Saturday, December 22, 2012

Betrayal on the Border by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

About the Book:

 
Former army communications specialist Maddie Jerrard may not remember the details of the deadly mission on the Texas-Mexico border, but she knows one thing. She's not the one responsible for the massive ambush that left only her and investigative journalist Chris Mason alive. The culprit must be the only other survivor—Chris. Yet with suspicion—and danger—targeting Maddie and Chris, and a killer on their trail, partnering up is the only solution. But as Maddie and Chris get closer to uncovering the truth, they'll have to trust each other to make it through alive.




Read the excerpt:
Chapter One

If that off-white chunk of clay was craftsman's putty, Maddie Jameson would eat her tool belt. What was C-4 explosive compound doing on the kitchen table in this unit at Morningside Apartments? A chill rippled her insides.

Not everyone would recognize the remnants from the construction of a pipe bomb. To the untrained eye, the dab of C-4 could be mistaken for putty and the bits of wire and lengths of sawed-off pipe merely scraps from a handyman project. But then, not many apartment-maintenance workers were ex-army rangers with Maddie's skill set—or a history that meant she must keep her head down and her eyes peeled.

Those who hunted her were relentless and ruthless, and she was damaged prey. She needed to see them coming before they got to her. Not that she ever knew exactly what hired assassin would be after her. She could bump into one on the street and not know it until he tried to take her out. Everyone was a suspect. If only she could figure out why she was marked for death. Had she seen something the night of the attack a year ago on the Rio Grande? If so, her head injury had erased it from her memory.

Was she the target of the bomb these Morningside tenants had been making? If the three attempts on her life within the past year were any clue, she'd be an idiot to think otherwise. Where was the bomb planted? Her caretaker's apartment on the premises? Maddie's mouth went dry. There could be collateral damage. Dozens of people—including children—lived in this building, and a bomb didn't care who it destroyed.

Dear God, please don't let innocent families be hurt because of me.

Fighting for a full breath, she looked down at the work order in her hand. No, she hadn't made a mistake. The order listed this apartment and stated that the tenants had given permission for the maintenance person to enter in their absence in order to replace a torn window screen. But she'd checked the screens—they were whole. Why would the tenants give permission for her to enter the premises on a trumped-up excuse and then leave their bomb-making scraps lying around in plain view?

Unless this was a trap.

The air in Maddie's lungs went arctic. Maybe the bomb was planted in this very unit. The timer could click down to zero at any second.

Her feet cried Run—seek safety somewhere…anywhere! But flight wouldn't help the other people who could be blown to smithereens.

Sweat trickled down her scalp, despite the coolness blowing from the wall-mounted air conditioner. The scar above her right ear itched, but she ignored the sensation as she yanked her two-way radio from her belt and began to search the premises with her eyes. There wasn't much space to cover in this studio apartment. A kitchenette. A living-room area with an easy chair and matching ottoman, a television the tenants had left blaring, and a couch that had been slept on, if the rumpled bedding was any indication. A hide-a-bed pulled out from the wall filled the rest of the space. That, too, hosted a nest of wadded bedding.

"Bill, do you have a copy?" Maddie spoke into the radio.

She took her thumb off the button and listened for a response. Silence answered. Great! The apartment manager had chosen this critical moment to be absent from his office.

Maddie gingerly cracked the oven door open and peered inside. No bomb. She checked the refrigerator. A half-gallon carton of milk, a partially eaten brick of cheese and an overripe peach, but no bomb. She opened the cupboards with one hand while using the other to keep calling for Bill every few seconds. Still no answer. Her throat tensed as if invisible fingers had tightened around her windpipe. A little voice in her head screamed she was running out of time.

The tenants in this unit had opted not to hook up a land-line phone, and company regulations dictated that employees not carry cell phones. Bad policy in this instance. Maybe she should run to the office herself and phone for the bomb squad. But the bomb could go off in her absence and kill any of the neighbors above, below or on either side. If she found the apparatus, she could defuse it as well as—or better than—the police experts.

She went to the clothes closet and pulled back the sliding door. Phew! The scent of onions rolled out. One of the owners of the stack of luggage that filled most of the space must have a love affair with the vegetable she most despised. Maddie let out a heavy sigh. She'd have to search each bag, and she'd be surprised if she didn't find a different name on every airline tag. Crooks who wanted to fly under the system's radar sometimes generated pocket money by walking off with pieces from baggage carousels and pawning or selling the contents.

From the hallway came the sound of male voices. They drew nearer…nearer…and then stopped on the other side of the apartment entrance. Maddie froze. The tenants were returning? Then the bomb wasn't here. Her shoulders slumped, but then her gut tensed. It was too late to slip away unseen. She could hide in the closet with the onion odor, but to what purpose? If the tenants were in for the evening, she'd be found eventually. There was no way to exit this third-floor unit except through the front door.

Well, then, that's how she'd leave. If she could bluff her way out, fine. If not. Tingles traveled down her extremities. Her muscles gathered. Combat instincts reared their ugly heads. Instincts she wished to forget. Instincts she might need. Again.




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:http://amzn.to/IvQTkj.

Visit Jill on the web at: www.jillelizabethnelson.com or look her up on:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JillElizabethNelson.Author

or Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JillElizNelson.


Her newest release is Betrayal on the Border, out in December from Love Inspired Suspense


Purchase her books at:
loveinspiredsuspensebook store



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

7 comments:

apple blossom said...

love to be included in this giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

ann said...

Sounds like a book I am going to enjoy reading . Thanks for the chance to win.

Bookishqueen said...

Looks like a good book!

lotsofbooks1 (at) live (dot) com

Anonymous said...


I would like to win Jill's book. Thanks for this chance, Carol and Jill. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

Merry said...

I always watch for Jill's newest books, she writes awesome romantic suspense. Please add me!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Jo said...

This sounds like such a good book and one that I would enjoy reading.

Blessings,
Jo
azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

spangldlady said...

Please enter my name in the drawing. I'd love to read this one! Blessings, Darlene
spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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