Friday, March 15, 2013

The Time I Cheated on the Cotton Ball and Spatula Game

By Nancy Jill Thames

 Since we've been doing book giveaways this week and last, I've been thinking about offering up one myself. There's St. Patrick's day on Sunday, yes, that would be a good reason...but my conscious was pricked in the meantime while trying to decide.

Years ago, in my wedding and baby shower days, we played a game called "Scoop the Cotton Balls." Blindfolded, the contestant had to scoop as many cotton balls off the floor with a spatula as she could into a bowl. The person who scooped the most was declared the winner. And I wanted to win. So badly did I want to win that when the blindfold was tied around my eyes and I could see underneath, I made the decision not to say anything and began scooping as many fluffy balls into the bowl as I could! 

As if the game wasn't funny enough, watching us grovel on the floor with a spatula trying to scoop up cotton balls and put them into a bowl, the hostess removed the cotton balls for the last contestant, and we watched her scooping up air!

Well, I won. I think it was for the first time in my life, and at the time it felt wonderful! I was a winner!! Years passed until this week, and I thought about when I had cheated. I was writing a scene in "The Ruby of Siam" and had to decide if my protagonist should lie or not. Being a Christian, I made her say something that would throw off the scent, but it was the truth. My heart was pricked over the Cotton Ball and Spatula win. I will ask forgiveness and make amends.

Now for the amends! As a token of my sincerity, if you would like a free e-copy of one of my books, please join the site as a follower and leave your e-mail so I can gift you. I will choose two winners at random and announce you next Friday. Here are your choices - please mention the one you want:

MURDER IN HALF MOON BAY  Book 1
        
Did the woman jump or was she pushed over the balcony? When the shocking murder disrupts the West Coast Garden Club Society's second annual conference, Jillian Bradley and her garden club friends join with Chief Frank Viscuglia to find the killer. Jillian and her friends move through the Ritz-Carlton hotel to private mansions searching for the truth, pausing for afternoon tea along the way, of course. The unlikely team helps the chief uncover a series of mysterious events that lead to solving several murders, both past and present. Could it be the mean spirited conference director? Perhaps it's the wealthy widow on the make for her next husband; or maybe the killer is the haughty business woman who shows no regard for her brow beaten husband.
Murder in Half Moon Bay, first book in the Jillian Bradley Mystery series, introduces Jillian's little  companion 'Teddy,' a Yorkie who falls prey to danger but rises to become sleuth dog in the next book. 

 THE GHOST ORCHID MURDER  Book 2

It's been eight years since gardening columnist Jillian Bradley helped solve a string of murders in Half Moon Bay. But when a friend and colleague in Scottsdale, Arizona finds a young technical assistant dead on the floor of his private office, Jillian doesn't hesitate to answer his plea for help in the investigation. After all, a $2 million research grant depends on it.
Together with Detective Jack Noble and Jillian's clue sniffing dog, Teddy, the three set out to track the killer who leaves a porcelain orchid over the wound as the only clue. Even though it means personal sacrifice for Jillian, she is determined to uncover the truth. A faith-based novel.



FROM THE CLUTCHES OF EVIL Book 3 

     Christmas – the busiest time of the year! And on top of everything, Jillian is throwing an engagement party for two dear friends. But on a final errand before the party begins Jillian witnesses a horrific car crash and notices two witnesses leaving the scene of the accident. She and Teddy pull a survivor from the wreckage, and together they attempt to solve the mystery of the amnesia victim, a 17-year-old boy she and Teddy take under their wing. After one of the witnesses is found brutally murdered, Jillian discovers an ominous connection between the boy and a string of heinous murders in a nearby remote farming community. And when Jillian stumbles across a mysterious compound, she is determined to unlock old family secrets to solve the mystery of his identity even though taking the risk creates the ultimate test for her and Teddy's survival. 


THE MARK OF EDEN Book 4 

After a frantic call from a couple on their honeymoon, Jillian returns to Half Moon Bay to help. Two elderly men have been found dead in their recliners, and now another man is missing—the distraught father of the bride - Jillian's personal assistant. Their investigation must be incognito since the groom is a detective and can’t work on the case due to conflict of interest. The clues the threesome find lead Jillian and Teddy to take a cruise to Catalina Island, but it’s only an entrée into a strange clinical world, where she almost becomes a victim herself before she identifies who is responsible for a bizarre series of deaths. Will Teddy be in time to save the day?

  

PACIFIC BEACH  Book 5


The quaint surfing town of Pacific Beach becomes a destination for murder when a young starlet and her mother are found brutally murdered at the Pacific Terrace hotel where Jillian’s family reunion is taking place. Their reunion takes a terrifying turn when Jillian's nephew is arrested as a prime suspect and Jillian must move quickly to find the real killer and prove her nephew's innocence. There is no shortage of suspects, including an unsavory doctor who attended the popular teen star and a mysterious guest at the party where the starlet dies. But why is her mother murdered with her? Working at Jillian's side to find the perpetrator of these bizarre killings are her faithful assistant Cecilia Montoya, and Teddy, Jillian's Yorkie companion who sniffs out his own clue.


     WAITING FOR SANTA  Book 6

     The family has gathered to celebrate Christmas at Jillian’s house in Clover Hills, but Jillian’s plans for a lovely Christmas Eve are rudely interrupted by a power failure. And a homicide. Not only does Aunt Jillian find herself with a house full of company to entertain in the dark, but she also receives a call from Detective Walter Montoya who finds himself in the dark trying to solve the bizarre murder of a worker found dead in a maintenance shed at the power station. With Teddy at her side, Jillian is determined to solve the mystery.



Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers!


See you in my books!
 ~Nancy Jill 
Mystery novelist Nancy Jill Thames began publishing Christian fiction in 2010. The author of six books in the Jillian Bradley series, she is an award winning blogger and is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller’s List, this in addition to winning first place for her Chocolate Cream Pie.

When she isn’t plotting her next book, she spends time with her six grandchildren in two states, tags along with her husband on business trips, and plays classical piano for her own personal enjoyment. She is an active member of the Leander Writers Guild and supports the Central Texas SPCA with a portion of her book sales.


Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" a mystery taking place in London, England. To learn more about the author and check out her books, please visit her blog at  

CONTACT INFORMATION
To view and purchase her books on this site, please visit the Cozy Book Store.




12 comments:

  1. Nancy--Now that explains why I never won that game! Somebody always "stacks the deck" so to speak:) My friends put an interesting twist on the game (just for me). They added water to the cotton balls right before I spooned them onto my head! What are friends for?

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  2. Nancy - so much time has passed since the event happened. Way past the statute of limitations on cottonball spatula games. I know this as I am a magistrate for this. ;) So let it go - everyone had a good time and that is that!

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    1. Thank you - I feel sooooo much better!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  3. Cottonball and spatula sounds like a hard game. I would like to win the book Pacific Beach.

    spookycat72(at)gmail(dot)com

    GFC follower - Michelle Fidler

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    1. Thanks, Michelle - your name's in the hat!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  4. I wonder how many others could see underneath it as well! ;) Confession is good for the soul. Go and cotton ball scoop no more. ha :D

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    1. Fear not - my cotton ball scooping days are over!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  5. Your story made me laugh. I'll bet you don't even remember what the prize was. ;)

    I would love to win a copy of your book, FROM THE CLUTCHES OF EVIL.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win one of your books.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ~Cindi

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    1. You're right Cindy - I don't remember the prize! Good luck in the drawing!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  6. Interesting game.... Not sure I could do it without peaking... Waiting for Santa would be my choice.... :)

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    1. Hey, thanks Alicia. We all make choices in life - ha! ha! Please let me know your e-mail in case you win. Send it to me on FB or jillthames@gmail.com.

      Good luck!

      ~Nancy Jill

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