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Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Reluctant Runaway by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

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.

I received The Reluctant Runaway several weeks ago and have been dying to do this interview with the author Jill Elizabeth Nelson. Some of you will remember that I loved Jill's debut novel Reluctant Burglar. I thought it had a little bit of everything. Intrigue, suspense, romance, drama. I would have been hard pressed to find any fault at all with the book. So when I heard about the second book I wondered if it would hold up to the praise of book one. You know how sequel movies are never as good as the original and almost always leave you feeling dissatisfied???

I can honestly say Jill blew that theory out of the water. Again, her book has it all. This time she even threw in some cult like behavior for good measure. ;) She obviously did her homework and researched the locations in the book very well. I felt like I could feel the desert rock under foot as Desi made her way through the rough terrain.

The romance between Desi and Tony doesn't leave me disappointed either. I love the chemistry of these characters. I still stand by my first opinion of this series and say that these characters could do justice to a T.V. series. I know I'd watch it.

After you read the short interview with Jill, please leave me a comment about what you thought of the first book or why you'd like to read this book and I'll draw from the names for a free copy of The Reluctant Runaway. ;)

Hey, Jill. I thought we’d go for a more fun, quirky interview…since we already did the mature/serious one. back in October. LOL.

I have to reiterate how much I enjoyed both the Reluctant Burglar and the Reluctant Runaway. Last year I thought RB was one of the best books I read and I mean that. (I still say it would make a killer TV. series)You can bet Reluctant Runaway will make the top ten list next year. ;)

Anyway, tell me something about yourself that readers or even friends might be surprised to learn about you.

JN: When I get to laughing really hard, I start a high-pitched squeak sound like Mutley from those old Dastardly and Mutley cartoons. My family thinks it’s so funny they laugh at me . . . not with me.

Isn't family fabulous? LOL. Is there any of “Jill” in your main character Desi?

JN: Only a smidgeon. Desi can be an I’ll-do-it-myself control freak, and I have to admit I can be somewhat the same way. All right. A lot the same way. The Lord and I are working on this. You could say I’m a “recovering Desiree.” LOL.

On the other hand, I only wish I could invent the clever repartee that she does on the fly. Generally, the smooth response doesn’t occur to me until after the fact. At least, we both love classic films.

I, too, would love to be as smooth and efficient as Desi. Now, if you could be doing anything right now…what would it be?

JN: Sitting in a lawn chair in a wooded area on a sunny, warm day, feeling the breeze on my face, and listening to the birds sing while I invent stories on my laptop. Nothing compares to that peaceful environment to facilitate concentration and creativity.

Sounds relaxing. What’s something you’ve always wanted to do? Any skydiving or bungee jumping in your future?

JN: My daughter bungee jumps. She can have it! Gill Grissom (CSI) rides roller coasters. He can keep those. And I prefer to stay in my seat in an airplane, thank you very much. But I would like to have unlimited funds and endless vacation time to travel the world on mission trips. Last year, my husband and I were in Thailand for a couple of weeks. Next year, we hope to go to the Philippines and Thailand. I’d like to do lots more.

What would be the perfect date night with your husband…pizza…fine dining…walk in the park…etc…

JN: A delicious meal at a fine seafood restaurant, followed by an exciting action movie. (I’m not a chic flick kind of gal.) On the other hand, a nice walk on a balmy day then dill pickle chips and a movie at home is just great, too. Of course, my husband doesn’t care for my kind of chips. He eats Lays au gratin.

Are you still working full time? Or are you writing full time now?

JN: When I’m not at my laptop, I work forty plus hour weeks as a housing manager at a senior housing complex. So you could easily say I hold down two full time jobs. Good thing I love them both!

Share something new that you’ve learned recently about the writing/publishing world.

JN: The more things change, the more things stay the same. Multnomah just went through a major change in being purchased by Random House. The absorption into a larger company and merger with Waterbrook (RH’s other inspie imprint) had its bumpy moments, but not as much as one might think. A number of processes changed as a result, and yet I find preparing a manuscript for publication the same hurry-up-and-wait business it’s always been—flurries of activity, followed by waiting for someone else to get their part done.

I adore your book covers. Very appealing and eye catching. Did you have input on the final design?

JN: I love my publisher. They give me input on everything. Their in-house cover designer came up with several options—using live models, by the way—then I got to pick what I liked best. With Reluctant Runaway, I selected my favorite and made a suggestion for a slight change, which they went with right away. I’m thrilled with my covers! I’m double-thrilled with the preview I’ve already had of the cover for my January release, Reluctant Smuggler.

Feel free to share anything about the book or future projects.

JN: Reluctant Runaway was such a fun book to write because I got to actually visit Albuquerque, where much of the action takes place. I so enjoyed the high desert topography and climate. The upcoming January release, Reluctant Smuggler, is special because . . . well, let’s just say we have some pretty awesome developments for Desi and Tony.

Be sure to stop by my web site for lots of great changes and updates since the release of Reluctant Runaway. My Stealth and Wealth page has a new art IQ contest posted for a monthly chance to win a signed copy. Also, my books page not only has excerpts to read, but a book trailer to view. I’ve also added a whole new page of speaking topics. Check ‘em out!

Thanks, Jill. I appreciate you taking the time for this. And I can’t wait for book three. ;)


There you have it folks. Now leave those comments for a chance to win a gently used copy of this fab book. ;) And be sure to check back at the end of the week as I'll be interviewing and giving away a copy of Rachel Haucks new book. Diva NashVegas. ;)


Cara Putman said...

Great interview, Sabrina and Jill. And I LOVED the book. I agree with Sabrina that I was leery about how the sequel would follow up, but it was great. My review will be up this week, too, at Bottomline, I LOVED it.

Cherie J said...

Great interview! Would love to be entered into the drawing to win this book.

Crystal Miller said...

This was a fun interview, Sabrina/Jill!

Thanks for filling us in on the Real Jill behind these fun reads!
(And let Cherie J. have the book--I have my

Georgiana D said...

Sounds like a great book!I wish I'd read the first one, but the selection in our small town is so limited :( Would love to win the second one!

Karla said...

Sounds good! Please enter me in the drawing.

Jill said...

Thanks for posting this interview...and for your lovely comments on my latest release. I love writing this series and always hope others will love reading it!

Awesome Blessings,


Sabrina L. Fox said...

Georgiana D. Congrats! You won the book. ;) Email me your info and I'll get your book to you.

Stop by in the next few days as Rachel Hauck is giving away a copy of her new book, Diva NashVegas. If it's anything like Lost in NashVegas it's a winner.

Finally, thank you, Jill for the wonderful interview and for always taking time to stop by. You're a gem. Oh and a fab writer to boot. ;)

Georgiana D said...

Hooray, thanks a million! I'm soooo excited!!!!!!