Thursday, July 17, 2014

Shake Down by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Back Cover Blurb:
House of Secrets!

To clear his imprisoned father’s name, Shane Gillum must find evidence hidden in a Martha’s Vineyard cottage. But he arrives to find the “vacant” property being prepped for sale by real estate agent Janice Swenson. Is she tied to the notorious owners? Or is she in over her head as the “accidents” on the property grow increasingly dangerous? And who is the saboteur targeting—Shane with his search, or Janice with her dark, hidden past? With so much at stake, trusting Janice is a huge risk . . . but keeping silent about the cottage’s mysteries could mire them both in a deadly scheme.]




Read an Excerpt here:



CHAPTER ONE

© Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. 

Janice Swenson squatted on her haunches, frowning down into the ink-black hole beneath a hatch in the floor. Dank air wafted into her face, and she shivered. It was too easy to imagine this whole property rotting beneath the weight of fetid family secrets.

Disposing of this cottage she’d inherited from a distant relative might prove to be more troublesome than she’d anticipated. At any other time in her life, she’d have sold the property, sight-unseen, and called it good riddance. But she had her reasons for coming to Martha’s Vineyard to handle the transaction personally.

If her superstitious days weren’t well behind her, she might be tempted to think Moran Cottage was bent on doing her in. At her first step onto the front porch, she’d nearly plunged her foot through an eroded board. Then as she’d explored the walk-in kitchen pantry, a shelf let loose, tumbling expired canned goods onto her shoulders. A few aches across her back betrayed bruises forming. Now, she’d wrestled open a trap door in the floor of the hallway outside the miniscule bathroom and found the cellar.

At least her decade of experience as a realtor had brought her prepared to deal with little issues like lack of power in a run-down property. Janice swiped a flashlight from her belt-loop clip, clicked it on and pointed the beam into the pit. A set of treacherously steep stairs ended in a packed earth floor.

She frowned. If she wanted to sell this unexpected—and unwanted—inheritance, besides adding onto the bathroom and completely renovating the kitchen, she might have to invest in pouring cement down here. Those projects would eat up a lot of her budget, making it doubly important that she do as much as she could of the simpler tasks herself—like basic cleaning, wall-painting, buffing and refinishing the vintage wood floors, and brightening up trim, and moldings.

The plank steps appeared thick and sturdy, though the pitch of the descent was almost like a ladder’s. Surely, there was another entrance from outside the cottage, probably a set of those nearly flat to the ground cellar doors, but why traipse through the overgrown weeds outside when access lay before her?

Janice hauled in a cleansing breath, and squared her shoulders. If snakes or spiders lurked below, she might be startled for a split-second, but she could thank God neither arachnophobia nor ophidiophobia numbered among her issues.

With one hand on the adjacent wall, she lowered herself and found the top step solid, though the nails emitted small creaks that echoed faintly through the darkness. She continued her descent until her head dipped below the floor then panned her flashlight around the space that yawned like a manmade cavern. Square, oaken pillars, similar to the ones that held up the porch roof, supported the floor above in strategic places. The area seemed to be as large as the entire cabin and to have no interior walls, but the flashlight beam didn’t penetrate far enough to tell.

Could she turn this space into another living area? She’d have to find a better light source in order to make that decision. There must be an overhead light bulb with a string, or even a light switch, down here. It would be nice to know where it was for when the power company turned on the electricity later today—provided its staff kept their promise.

Gaze peering intently into the shadows, hunting for that elusive bulb or light switch, Janice lowered herself onto the next step.

Crack!

The board collapsed beneath her foot, pitching her forward. A scream rent her throat and her flashlight flew away as her hands thrust out instinctively to catch her fall.


To buy the book, go here:
Amazon
Christianbook.com



About Jill:
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, civic and church groups. She delights to bring the “Ahah! Moment” to students as they make new skills their own. Her bestselling handbook for writers, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View, is available at http://amzn.to/IvQTkj. Her most recent release is Shake Down from Love Inspired Romantic Suspense.

Connect with Jill here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter


Jill is giving away a copy of Shake Down. 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 may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.








Happy Reading!

Caroline Brown

8 comments:

cjajsmommy said...

Since getting hooked on Nancy Drew books back in the 60s, I have always loved mysteries set in old houses. I'd love to read this book. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com
Deb R.

Carol Q. said...

This book sounds fantastic please enter me in this contest

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Merry said...

Shake Down sounds exciting, thanks for the little peek. Jill is one of my favorite romantic suspense authors, I can't miss a book... please add me to the drawing!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Charity Lyman said...

I would love to win a copy! Jill Nelson is one of my favorite mystery writers:) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hello Jill,
I would be very excited to win your mystery "Shake Down." Please enter me into the contest to win it.

Joyce Guard

Anonymous said...

would love to win.
mandn(at)wisper(dash)wireless(dot)com

Melissa Oldaker said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

mo1202007@yahoo.com

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