Author Responses, Part 2

Here's more from author Jill Elizabeth Nelson. This week, at my request, she has provided us with a brief excerpt from one of her books that shows a scene involving housekeeping/mess/cleanliness, etc. Jill says:

My April release, Calculated Revenge,doesn't contain any such scenes, but my October release, Legacy of Lies,is littered with them. (Pun intended.) The snippet I picked is from a scene where the main male character, the local police chief, takes off-duty hours to help the main female character set her grandmother's house to rights after an official police search that created havoc in the household.

An unsmiling Nicole opened the front door to him. He followed her through the foyer into the living room. Most of the furniture remained out of place.

"I'll put your muscle to work with that to start with." She motioned toward the couch that stood kitty-corner in the middle of the room.

Rich moved toward the piece of furniture. Nicole darted ahead of him and grabbed the far end. Together they put the couch back in its place then worked steadily to set the rest of the room to rights. She must really be skittish of him because she didn't talk except to give directions and kept her distance.

"I'm done in Grandma's bedroom and mine," she said, "but not much else. How about you take the dining room, and I'll tackle the kitchen."

"Sounds like a plan." What else could he do but let her be the boss?

Over the next few hours, they worked through the house, room by room. Nicole always made sure they weren't in the same room. Accidentally or on purpose? Rich battled disappointment that she seemed determined to hold herself aloof. But wasn't that a good thing? Hadn't he determined a similar course of action where the attractive Nicole Mattson was concerned? Why couldn't he convince his heart to chalk her up as a missed opportunity?

They finished the last rooms on the second floor and then met in the hallway. Nicole eyed the open doorway to the attic as if a monster might emerge from the stairwell at any time.

"We might as well get this over with." She marched toward the attic.

Rich hurried after her. So that's what had been bugging her. Of course! She'd have to face the spot her grandmother had lain bleeding. The stain would still be on the floorboards.

"Just a minute," he called.

Oblivious, Nicole charged ahead and started up the stairs just as Rich reached the bottom. On the third step, she let out a sound like a half sigh, half sob and went limp. Her body collapsed backward. Exclaiming, Rich lifted his arms and caught her. The impact of her slight frame drove him a step backward.

Cradling her limp form, he lowered her to the floor. Nicole was out cold.


For the Birds

Author Responses, Part 1

The authors have responded! Here's some of what Jill Elizabeth Nelson, author of Calculated Revenge, had to say to two of my questions.

If you could invent a machine that accomplished one single housekeeping task in your home, what would the machine do?

My machine would sense when crumbs have dropped to the floor or something has been spilled and automatically rush over and clean up the mess. Ummm, you know what? I think I've just invented The Family Dog!

If you could easily afford to have a full time or live-in housekeeper, would you want one? Why or why not?

If I could easily afford a housekeeper, I could no doubt easily afford my dream home. (I dream big.) In that case, I would definitely be interested in a full time housekeeper, though maybe not a live-in. I'd like total privacy at least some of my day. Even now, I'd enjoy having a part time housekeeper--maybe once or twice a week for a few hours. Since I hold down a full time job outside the home, as well as writing a couple of books a year, I would have no trouble keeping busy with my life minus the housework. I do the sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, mopping things because my aversion to filth is greater than my dislike of tedious household chores. But if I could pay someone to take care of those tasks--thus providing gainful employment to another human being--that would be a win-win situation.

Stay tuned for more thoughts on house cleaning from Jill Elizabeth Nelson. Here's the cover for Calculated Revenge, one of her exciting suspense novels for Love Inspired.

Deadline Time

Here's a little irony for you: Just as the flowers are starting to bloom and birds are tweeting and the earth is waking up and animals are coming out of hibernation, I'm about to do the opposite. Thanks to an impending book deadline, I am now going INTO hibernation. I'll be fairly incommunicado for a while as I focus almost exclusively on finishing my next book. Sounds odd, maybe, but actually it's one of the most fun parts of what I do. Hibernating to write lets me turn off the noise and the distractions and focus solely on my craft.

However, I didn't want to leave you hanging here on the blog without any new entries, so I have made arrangements for a really fun treat instead. As you may know, though I wrote The House That Cleans Itself, I am primarily a fiction author. Yesterday, I put out a call for help to my fiction author friends, providing them with a list of housekeeping-related questions for them to ponder and then post about here. Why them? Because they're an enormously creative bunch and they really know how to think outside of the box. And isn't thinking outside of the box one of the key elements for creating a House That Cleans Itself? I've already gotten some replies, and over the coming weeks, this blog will feature my questions and their answers--some of which are hilarious, some of which are serious, and all of which are awesome.

So be sure to come back next time to see how they responded to my first question, "If you could invent a machine that accomplished one single housekeeping task in your home, what would that machine do?" If you'd like, please use this blog's Comments to post your response to this question as well!

In the meantime, in honor of spring, I thought I'd share two photos that I took this morning on my front porch. I was trying to water the flowers...

but just like a Cracker Jack box, there was a surprise inside!

Isn't God great?