Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'm Celebrating with a Giveaway!

I was recently notified that Romance Reviews Today voted Reluctant Runaway the Best Inspirational Novel of 2007. Whoo-hoo!

Here's the link to RRT's "Perfect Ten" review of Reluctant Runaway:

Awards are of a fleeting nature, so I'm "seizing the moment" to give away a couple of copies of Reluctant Runaway in celebration. Please read through this blog post and answer the questions at the end for a chance to win one of the copies. Don't forget to include some kind of contact information in your comment!


Stolen Indian artifacts. . .
A dead museum guard. . .
A missing wife and mom. . .
A baby in mortal danger. . .

Museum security expert Desiree Jacobs and FBI agent Tony Lucano scramble to unearth the horrifying secret that links every incident. The investigation thrusts them into the path of something dark and sinister.

Something that craves blood sacrifice.

From the high society of the U.S. capital to the streets of Desi's beloved Boston to the mountain desert of New Mexico, Desi and Tony must thwart forces of darkness—relying on God’s guidance and strength—to save a young woman and her baby from a villain more desperate than they can imagine.


“Nonstop action, danger, and a romance with the tension of a walk on a high wire. You’re in for a wild ride with this story!”- Lorena McCourtney, author of the Ivy Malone Mystery series

“A fresh voice, strong heroine, and unique plot make Reluctant Runaway a can’t-put-down read. Jill Elizabeth Nelson is an author to watch in the realm of romantic suspense!”- Susan May Warren, award-winning author of In Sheep’s Clothing

EXCERPT. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

September night pressed in on Desiree Jacobs like an urgent warning. She shrugged the unease away. Flexing rubber-soled feet, she fixed her gaze on the brick wall half a dozen yards ahead. Under her Mylar jumpsuit, sweat trickled down her ribs.

E-e-easy. This little jaunt was no different than a trip across the balance beam at the gym, a move she’d practiced for twenty-two of her thirty years. Except no thick mat waited a few feet away to soften a fall. Only ten stories of empty air. A single misstep off the steel girder and she’d make a nice Impressionist splat on the pavement of the alley below.

Then Max can attend another funeral.

Desi sighed. All right, girlfriend, you win. Bungee cord it is. She took a step backward onto the roof behind her. Amazing how easy it had been to get into this co-op apartment building next to the exclusive Tate Art Gallery of Washington DC. Delivering pizzas opened doors fast. Must be the hypnotic smell of sausage and pepperoni.

Desi knelt beside her discarded delivery uniform. She stripped off her backpack, then pulled out the bungee cord and clipped an end to the harness around her torso. The other end went around a pipe sticking out of the roof.

Lifting her arms, Desi stepped back onto the beam. Just try to keep her away from that American artist collection. She took a step, then one more, toes outward, heel to instep. And this step is for the Cassatt. She moved forward. And this one for the Savage. And this one for Grandma Moses. She hopped and switched foot positions. Expect me soon, Andy Warhol.

At midbeam she stopped and looked up at the sky. One plump star winked at her. If Tony could see her, he’d have a cow. She winked back at the star. What an overprotective FBI agent boyfriend didn’t know couldn’t hurt him.

Desi adjusted the backpack straps around her shoulders. She quick-stepped forward, one step back, then a trio of toe-steps forward. And those were for the three Georgia O’Keeffe’s. I’m coming, darlings.

The tenth-story ledge of the Tate Gallery building loomed close. She smelled the brick cooling from the heat of the Indian summer day.Almost there. Almost…Yesss!

Her breath came strong and even. She knelt on the two-foot ledge and glanced back at the wide-open space she’d conquered. The girder formed the only remaining connection between buildings that once shared a roof support system. A handy choice of approach under cover of night.

She shrugged out of her pack and unhooked the bungee cord. Good riddance.

By feel, Desi located her narrow-beam flashlight and trained the glow on the window in front of her. The pane was an unimpressive standard thickness, and the wood frame showed weather wear. Desi kneaded gloved fingers together.

Where were the booby traps?

Her gaze stopped on a slim white sensor strip across the inside of the sash. Even a trained eye could miss that one. Any tampering with the frame, and alarms would shriek loud enough to startle a poor unsuspecting burglar right off the ledge.

Desi gulped and peered downward. The ground was there, in the blank darkness, hard and unforgiving. Cold sparks skittered up her spine.

She stiffened her jaw. No way was that a premonition. She pursed her lips at the window. What about cutting the pane? Nope. A web of hair-fine wire covered the glass, not obstructing the view of the drab roof opposite, but any slice would end in handcuffs for the window surgeon. Nuh-uh! She didn’t need those bracelets.

Time to find another way in. And in a hurry. Tony would snort and paw if she wasn’t ready on time for the White House Midnight Masquerade. Besides, she couldn’t afford to give him explanations.

Rising, she hefted the pack in her right hand and pressed the left side of her body against the building. She swept the flashlight beam ahead of her on the ledge. All clear. She lifted her foot and then halted midmotion. Indrawn breath hissed between her teeth.


Planting her foot back where it started, she panned the light up the wall. Sure enough. Stubby plastic-coated sensor rods stuck out from the brick at irregular intervals–no slipping around, between, or under these babies. A broken rod or an attempt to remove one from its socket released an ultrasonic frequency that tripped an alarm, and voilĂ , one bagged burglar.

So where did that leave her? She frowned. With a sackful of goodies and no place to go, except…
She looked down and smiled.

Chuckling, Desi set a grappling hook in the chink between the ledge and the window and then clipped the end of the rope to her torso harness. Lying on her stomach, she turned and flipped her feet into open space. She balanced on the rim of the ledge, abdomen muscles and extended arms bearing her weight as if she were about to start a routine on the uneven bars. The bottoms of her feet sought and found the wall below.

Blood pumping, she pushed away from the ledge. The tether flowed with steady friction through her gloved fists. Piece of cake. Just a few smooth hops and–Cra-a-ack!

Desi’s line jerked. Bits of debris bounced off her head and shoulders. Her feet lost purchase. In free swing, her body rammed the wall, spurting a grunt from her throat. Pain shot through her shoulders and hips. She dug her fingers and toes into the chinks between the bricks and went still–except for her heart, which threatened to backflip right out of her chest.

- - - - - - - - -

Here are the questions for a chance at one of the books:

What is Desiree Jacobs' occupation? (Be careful! Appearances can be deceiving. :-)

What does Tony, Desiree's boyfriend, do for a living?

Thanks for helping me celebrate! Tell your friends about the opportunity.

Excellent Blessings!


CherryBlossomMJ said...

Oh OH OH! PICK ME! I loved book three R. Smuggler, I want the others!!!!

1. Security Consultant
2. FBI Agent

cherryblossommj (at) gmail [dot] com

Becky C. said...

I would love to be entered in the contest. Looks like a very interesting book.

Thank you,
Becky C.


Lee said...

How exciting for you, congratulations!

1. Museum Security Expert
2. FBI Agent


Anonymous said...

That is such exciting news. Please enter me in the drawing. I would love to get picked.


~Ley said...

Congratulations! It totally deserves it. My sister and I both love these books.

Desi is a security consultant and Tony works for the FBI.


kamewh said...

Security Consultant
FBI Agent

Thank you for the giveaway!

smilinkyn said...

I would love to enter my name in the drawing! Thanks and God Bless!
smile_y9 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Pamela J said...

Desiree is a burgler
Tony is an FBI agent

cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Miralee Ferrell said...

I'm soooo happy for you! That's an amazing achievement and one to be proud of. Congrats, girl! Miralee

Oh yeah...and please enter me in your drawing, LOL!

Miralee Ferrell said...

uh-oh...I was too excited about your accomplishment. Security and FBI. Miralee miralee at gorge dot net

Tina said...

Congrats on your award!

1. Museum Security Consultant
2. FBI Agent

Sara (artist4christ) said...

1 Expert Security Consultant
2 FBI Agent
Sign me up please

Rachelle said...

1. Security consultant
2. FBI agent

Jill said...

I'm tickled to announce Cherry Blossom and Rachelle as winners of signed copies of Reluctant Runaway during this celebration giveaway.

Thanks for entering, everyone. Stay tuned. More giveaways coming up!