Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Warm Welcome to Award Winning Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Is there a story behind Betrayal on the Border?
I have strong concern about issues regarding the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The situation with the drug cartels just south of Laredo, TX, is appalling. Decent people hardly dare live in the area. Friends of ours operate a mission outreach there. They used to live in Nuevo Laredo, but their location became so dangerous they had to move their base north of the border. They travel in and out of Mexico to reach out to the suffering people there. The children, especially, are helpless victims. Many are absolutely destitute.

In Betrayal on the Border, I envision a joint effort between U.S. forces and Mexican forces to wipe out a particularly noxious cartel. As the title implies, a betrayal occurs, with tragic consequences. The story takes up from the point of the tragedy and leads the reader through a hair-raising race to expose who on the U.S. side is hand-in-glove with the cartel.

Sounds fantastic. What started you on your writing journey?
Well, it was God, I believe, but He worked through my 6th grade teacher to provide that shove from avid reader into avid writer. Unwittingly, my teacher helped me realize that I wanted not only to gain pleasure from a good book, but I wanted to give that pleasure to others. That school year, I wrote my first novel--a perfectly horrible mystery. (What else?) The world is grateful that not a shred of the manuscript yet exists! However, I did finish it, which is a milestone moment for any writer. Too many lovely story ideas get started, but end up moldering unfinished in a would-be author’s desk drawer or hard drive.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
My grandchildren! I have two biological grands and four more grands-in-love. I drop pretty much anything to spend time with them.

I can sympathize with that "problem." lol. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
As I’ve often said, I write what I like to read—tales of mystery and suspense seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. Most recently, I finished rereading the first two books in the Squeaky Clean Mystery series by Christy Barritt, and then read her newer release in the series, Organized Grime. You can tell from the title that it’s a humorous and spine-tingling romp. Highly recommended!

A few days ago, I turned the last page on Nikki Arana’s The Next Target. This one is a must-read for anyone concerned about forming an accurate and compassionate picture about Islam--the radical elements, as well as the decent, moderate majority being swept into the fanaticism of the few. An awesome read!

I agree! Both authors are great. Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?

I had a lot of fun writing the character of Maddie Jameson. She’s a female ex-Army Ranger and not your stereotypical romance heroine. It was a challenge and a pleasure to craft her and her love interest, Chris Mason, in such a way that the role reversal didn’t detract from, but rather enhanced, their natural genders. I invite my readers to see for themselves if I succeeded. J

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory.

I remember one year when I was around the age of 9 or 10, I became indignant that Santa Claus only came to children, and a brilliantly absurd idea entered my head. I decided to play Santa for my parents.

For weeks, I squirreled away a portion of my allowance and began to purchase small trinkets like pens or nail polish or candy for my mom and dad. I even made them stockings out of scraps of felt. The stockings were amateur hour to say the least, but I had fun making them. Christmas Eve night I snuck out of bed and into the room designated as the “playroom” for us kids, hung my parents’ stockings on the toy shelf and filled them with the little treasures I’d collected.

The next morning, after we kids had collected our Santa loot, I dragged my parents into the playroom and proudly presented my handiwork. I remember feeling so fulfilled as they oohed and ahhed over the little nothings I’d managed to collect for them. It was definitely the thought that counted!

What a lovely memory! What is your favorite season of the year?

I love fall—the colors, the smells. Grilling chicken or steak with family on a beautiful Indian summer evening is my idea of perfect relaxation.

Me, too. What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

My family get excited when they hear I'm going to make stromboli. Simply put, this dish is bread dough wrapped around a seasoned hamburger and cheese filling with sauteed onions and/or mushrooms optional. I usually have to make a plain version and a version with the onions and mushrooms in order to satisfy everyone’s tastes. (I like the kind with everything on it!) It’s really easy to make.

Simply thaw two loaves of frozen bread dough (either white or wheat, whatever is preferred), and then flatten each loaf on a greased cookie sheet. Brown two pounds of hamburger seasoned with garlic powder and spread the hamburger down the middle of the flattened dough. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the hamburger. Use generous handfuls! The cheese can be cheddar or mozzarella, whatever folks like at your house. Add the sautéed onions and/or mushrooms if desired, and then pull the sides of the flattened bread loaves up over the filling and pinch the dough together until the filling is completely enclosed.

Bake the strombolli in a 350 degree oven for half an hour. Let the loaves cool for five minutes or so then slice and serve.

Yum. Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
My life verses are II Timothy 2: 24 – 26. And a servant of the lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (NKJV)

These verses have inspired my life mission statement: I am a woman of the Word, called to be a woman of the word.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is tentatively entitled Shadow of Suspicion and takes up the story of David Greene, a secondary character from Betrayal on the Border. David is the only suspect in the murder of his girlfriend. He would be in prison but for insufficient evidence to convict him in a court of law. However, he has been convicted in the court of public opinion, rendering his life horrid and lonely. Even David himself is unsure whether or not he killed his girlfriend. He was a non-Christian party animal when the murder occurred and has no recollection of the fateful night in question. In Shadow of Suspicion, my readers will find out what really happened. The release date for Shadow of Suspicion is not yet determined. Sometime in 2013 I hope.


Purchase her books at:
loveinspiredsuspensebook store

About the author:Award-winning author and writing teacher, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. Jill is a popular speaker for conferences, writers groups, library associations, and civic and church groups. She delights to bring the “Ahah! Moment” to her students as they make new skills their own. Her handbook for writers, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View, is now available at:

Visit Jill on the web at:

or look her up on Facebook: 

or Twitter:!/JillElizNelson.

Her next release is Betrayal on the Border, coming in December from Love Inspired Suspense.

Jill is giving away a copy of Betrayal on the Border. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


ann said...

Sounds like a good book, one that Im going to enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance to win.
Have a wonderful Christmas

Merry said...

I enjoyed getting to know Jill a little better. Thanks for the recipe, it sounds delicious and easy!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Jo said...

This sounds like such a good book. Since we live so close to the border here, I enjoy reading border books.


spangldlady said...

Mystery, intrigue---interesting. Please put my name in the drawing. Blessings! Darlene

Anonymous said...

If it's not too late I'd like to enter for this book of Jills.
Maxie ( )

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