Memorial Day Weekend ~ curl up with a novel that won’t insult your patriotic values

American Flags, 2

 

 

 

As everyone knows, the United States military is so bad arsed that when they wake up in the morning and their feet hit the floor Satan and his minions tremble, saying, “Oh, sh*t, they’re awake.”

It’s too bad we can’t say the same thing about our elected officials.

 

Of course there are the parades, visitation, decoration, and prayer at soldiers’ graves…and quite time for reflection during Memorial Day weekend. Then if you’d like to curl up with a  thrilling novel which will only compliment and honor the dignity of the weekend, may I suggest BURNING HEARTS , the first in my Sanctuary Point series. [Inspirational fiction]

Burning Hearts***Lorne Kincade ran secret missions for Gen. Patton and his best buddy died over there.

***Harley riding WWII hero framed for arson/murder. He falls for a girl who’s afraid to trust him.

Can a sheltered young seamstress, disillusioned by the horrors of WWII, escape an arsonist/murderer who has killed her employer and mentor, while trying to decide if she can trust the dashing war hero who’s ridden into town on his Harley—who some say is the murderer?
Erica Brogna’s parents doted on her and taught her to think for herself. Many boys she grew up with had fallen in the WWII, shaking her childhood faith. In rides a handsome stranger, at the hour of her most desperate need. A woman who is her close friend and mentor is trapped in a burning house. After making an unsuccessful rescue attempt, Erica stands by as this man rushes into the inferno and carries her friend’s lifeless body out.
Lorne Kincade can’t out run his past on his Harley Davidson WLA, the civilian model of the motorcycle he rode in the war. He’s tried. He’s been a vagabond biker in the year since the war ended. His Uncle Ivar bequeathed him a ramshackle cottage in Sanctuary Point, on the Great South Bay of Long Island, NY and now he’d like to hope for a future again, repair the miniscule place, and settle down. The only problem is, a young woman with hair the color of mink is starting to get under his skin and that’s the last thing he needs.

 

Classic murder mysteries in this post WWII series (action-packed, often laced with humor, inspy)…

Goodbye Noel   Perilous ShadowsDarkest Hour

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harmful Intent 2

HARMFUL INTENT: a contemporary detective story with despicable criminals and good guys who are smarter and better. A Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes novel. Law and order values. [Inspirational Fiction]

Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.

 

Find these exciting reads on Nike Chillemi’s Amazon page.


1940s Historical Whodunits for Mother’s Day ~ reading and gifting

Moms who read classical murder mystery will enjoy these thrilling, provocative, mysteries with a bit or romance and a touch of humor. Some even go so far as to call them “foodie fiction” because of the many cooking and eating scenes so true to their setting in the mid-1940s. These four novels,  in the  Sanctuary Point series, involve couples who are falling in love, and who have the support of their loving families as they struggle to overcome the adversity that murder brings. Moms, grandmothers, and aunts will enjoy reading about the styles, the lingo, the music of that classy era.

Burning Hearts

BURNING HEARTS ~

—arson/murder, action, and romance
—Sweet romance, sophisticated themes presented tastefully
—Finaled in 2011 Grace Awards Romance/Historical Romance category

Readers Favorite 5 Stars

Earned Readers’ Favorite Five Stars

Can a sheltered young seamstress, disillusioned by the horrors of WWII, escape an arsonist/murderer who has killed her employer and mentor, while trying to decide if she can trust the dashing war hero who’s ridden into town on his Harley—who some say is the murderer?

Erica Brogna’s parents doted on her and taught her to think for herself. Many boys she grew up with had fallen in the WWII, shaking her childhood faith. In rides a handsome stranger, at the hour of her most desperate need. A woman who is her close friend and mentor is trapped in a burning house. After making an unsuccessful rescue attempt, Erica stands by as this man rushes into the inferno and carries her friend’s lifeless body out.

Lorne Kincade can’t out run his past on his Harley Davidson WLA, the civilian model of the motorcycle he rode in the war. He’s tried. He’s been a vagabond biker in the year since the war ended. His Uncle Ivar bequeathed him a ramshackle cottage in Sanctuary Point, on the Great South Bay of Long Island, NY and now he’d like to hope for a future again, repair the miniscule place, and settle down. The only problem is, a young woman with hair the color of mink is starting to get under his skin and that’s the last thing he needs.

 

Goodbye NoelGOODBYE NOEL ~

—murder/mayhem/kidnap/romance
—Sweet romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully
—Won the 2011 Grace Awards Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense category

Amazon rated: 5 stars

GA Winner 2011The first body is found under a trimmed Christmas tree, the second as they ring in the New Year (1947), the third goes head long out a window. Will a young pediatric nurse determined to make it on her own be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again? Can she trust the stalwart village detective with her life and her heart as he works to catch this killer before somebody else dies?
Pediatric nurse, Katrina Lenart, grew up strong willed and independent minded, while sharing her mother’s flair for high fashion. When the police chief gives her an orphaned baby to care for, her maternal instincts take over and she’s willing to fight anyone who might not have the infant’s best interests at heart, even the man she’s growing to love. After an attempt is made to kidnap the baby, she and the resolute village detective team up and do some sleuthing, undercover at a cult as well as at a fancy ball.
Detective Ian Daltry is a widower with a child and is not interested in a new love. Hunting a killer who stops at nothing has placed him in the position where he must protect a beautiful young woman he’s drawn to. Is there’s something he’s overlooked in analyzing the case? Will he find out what that is before this ruthless murderer kills someone he loves?

 

Perilous ShadowsPERILOUS SHADOWS ~

—dead coed/news professionals hunt a killer/secrets
—Sweet romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully

Amazon rated 4.9 Stars

Pioneer newspaperwoman Kiera Devane is on a mission to prove a woman can do a man’s job, as she hunts a young coed’s killer? Ace radio broadcaster Argus Nye lost one love to a murderous fiend and his pulse races as he tries to protect Kiera from herself as much as from this killer.

Kiera was doted upon by loving parent, but they were killed when she was a girl and she was shipped off to live with a socialite aunt who had little time for her. In her aunt’s house, she learned life could be cold and cruel. As a result, she grew up to be an independent and demanding professional woman.

Argus Nye, still bereft from the loss of his first love, can’t understand why this female reporter is mesmerizing him. As she takes chances with her life trying to catch a killer, he’s determined to protect her.

 

Darkest HourDARKEST HOUR ~

—a widow is framed by powerful people/the medical examiners knows she didn’t pull the trigger
—Sweet romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully

Amazon rated 4.6 Stars
A petite widow, secretary and sole support of her son and grandparents, is framed for the murder of her boss. Wealthy village residents conspire with the DA to indict her and stop further investigation. The medical examiner thinks the shooter was a tall individual and when his report is shoved aside, starts snooping trying to clear her and in the process falls in love with her.

Lucinda Byrne lost her husband and parents at sea. When she discovers the body of her boss, his A-List society fiancée, backed up by her powerful family and a corrupt DA, accuses Lucinda of murder. She struggles on shielding her five-year-old son, her feisty grandfather and arthritic grandmother from the ugliness of her situation. She mistrusts the dapper ME, thinking he’s a ladies’ man, but soon realizes he may be the only one in her corner.

Hank Jansen, the county ME who’s had his share of pain and loss, doesn’t know if this little widow was in on the murder, but he knows by the trajectory of the bullet she’s too short to have pulled the trigger. His professional opinion ignored, he begins his own investigation and at least one cop accuses him of an ethics violation. He certainly can’t deny he’s fallen head over heels for the accused, and also is crazy about her son. A huge problem is there’s a leak inside the investigation and the murderer is always one step ahead of them.

 

Nike, Boca Raton

Author Nike Chillemi

Nike so many writers, Nike (Navor) Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT released in the spring of 2014 under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers. https://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/


People Pleaser No More

Cool

 

I could’ve titled this, “I Can’t Please Everyone, But I Sure Have Tried.” This probably started in my family of origin where I strove to get good grades thus pleasing my parents, to have lots of friends, to be well liked by the teachers, and on top of that I wanted to be cool.

I wish I could say when I got into adulthood I was untouched by the expectations of others. Hardly. Those ‘great expectations’ were often heavy on me. I wasn’t performing well enough on my job (though I seemed to be doing as well as other employees). My house didn’t pass ‘the white glove test.” Remember that, when your mother-in-law, or your snarky older sister, or that holier than thou church lady comes, rubs her white glove across your coffee table and horror-of-horrors, absolute panic-time, she finds dust. Of course, since then I’ve learned a little known truth: dust is a wood preservative.

I can say that at one point in my life, right before I started my serious fiction writing journey, I twisted myself inside-out to make everything perfect for others in my personal world, to create a happy picture. Some had absolutely no appreciation of my efforts, while a few others actually disdained my efforts and actively tried to wreck them. So, I tried harder and the upshot was I lost myself in the process, for a while. For a while I was in a place of desperation. That was nearly eight years ago, when I banged out a really terrible first effort at a murder mystery novel. Writing fiction helped bring me back to me…back to the woman God sees when He looks at me.

Now that I’m a tad older than 39, I’ve learned categorically, no matter what I do, somebody’s going to have an opinion about my actions. I can prove this by taking a cursory look at social networking sites. Don’t you just love when somebody takes a stand, perhaps a faith stand, and they get castigated?Maybe they’re out of step with the mainstream. Maybe they hold traditional core values and they dare to express that… and they get figuratively stomped on. Other, do nothing types, sitting in their pajamas in their parents’ basements barrage them with insult upon insult. Some do not merely want to win the present argument, they seek to destroy the other person.

When this happens to me, and it has happened to me, I refer to, hold onto, put my feet down firmly, and stand on Scripture. Romans 8:1 [NASB] Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (2)For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Eagel 2

 


KILLING KENNEDY ~ a review

Killing Kennedy

Just finished reading Bill O’Reilly’s KILLING KENNEDY. What an amazing book.  Especially in laying out the Kennedy presidency and that time in American history that was Camelot . Wow! I got totally swept up in the class and grace of that era, though much of that was only a public face (the white washing of what went on in back rooms and behind closed doors). Still, the book made me yearn for a bit more panache in public life today. Despite the “cleansing,’ it’s clear they believed in public dignity and JFK believed in heroic deeds.

I wished O’Reilley had gone more into the findings of the Warren Commission and how they arrived at their conclusions and more importantly, why he agrees that Oswald was the lone shooter. Would have liked more depth there. Still a terrific book.

I’m fascinated by the Camelot era in American history. My initial reason for purchasing the book was as research for the next novel in my detective/espionage series. I’m a research hound This third book in my Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series will have throwbacks to the Kennedy assassination.  A shadowy figure in this real life political drama will be impact to the outcome of my novel.


The Family Meal Has Been Hijacked

Mac 'n Cheese with tomato slices before it goes into the oven. Trust me it beats Kraft.

Mac ‘n Cheese with tomato slices before it goes into the oven. Trust me it beats Kraft…oh,there’s bacon on top too.

 

 

 

 

Cooking is fun. It must be. Millions watch cooking shows with regularity. In fact more watch cooking shows than actually cook.

 

 

 

Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.

Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.

 

 

One of the things I loved about my childhood was sitting down at the dinner table which we did every night. I particularly loved the holiday table at my grandmother’s house. It was so comfy, Uncle John told the funniest stories, and the food was great. There’s really nothing quite as good as the aromas coming out of a kitchen when a home cooked meal is being prepared. When you’ve eaten a good home cook’s Sunday friend chicken with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, Kentucky Fried Chicken just doesn’t cut it.

 

I recently read that in 1900 the average American family ate only 2% of meals out of the home. By 2010 Americans ate 50% of their meals out of the home. When they were home eating “together” it was quite usual for each family member to microwave their own frozen meal. If they actually sat down at the table together with their individual nuked food, it would be for less than 20 minutes.

 

IMG_0848

I cook. I love to stand in front of the stove and stir what I’ve got simmering in a pot. I love to open the oven to check on my baked chicken and revel in the garlic and onion aromas wafting over my kitchen and into the rest of the house. That’s wonderful and pleasurable to me. Sitting down at a set table and eating a well prepared, home cooked meal is pretty close to heavenly. It warms the cockles of my heart hearing: “I’ll have another helping of sweet potatoes” or “Wow, these carrots are good, can I have more?” or “pass the grated cheese.”

 

I could tell you studies show that kids who regularly sit down to a meal with their families are more well-adjusted than kids who don’t. I could point to research suggesting children who eat at home with their families have better grades and get into less trouble. I could ask you if you knew eating meals at home protects girls from anorexia and bulimia. But what I really want to tell you is how much fun it is to eat together. How great it is to cook together in the kitchen, and carry the platters out to the table.

 

Watching cooking on TV is fun. I do it all the time. But cooking at your own stove is more fun. Trust me. Shopping at the supermarket should be a wonderful sensory experience. There are red, round, ripe tomatoes waiting to be sliced and added to a sandwich. Yum. Anyone can do that. There’s a package of chop meat that would make a few hamburgers to share with family and friends and they won’t taste like the cardboard burgers you get at a fast food place. Put it on a good roll you got in the bakery section and plop one of those fresh cut tomato slices on it. Then eat! Eat! Enjoy the people at the table eating with you. After all, community starts at the dinner table.


I’m So Tired of Angry, Bullying Cowards!!!

BullyAngry, bullying people get a kick out of being terrorizers who intimidate others into doing their bidding. I refuse to see them that way, refuse to give in to their pressure. I think of them as stud-muffins (super cool in their own minds but with a soft, cowardly core). Jerks, is another term that comes to mind. They’re infantile, and this game of theirs is so played out.

 

They splatter their anger all over others
Anger isn’t the same as becoming or feeling angry. We all experience anger, much of it justified. Life is hard, we get knocked around and we become angry. Mature adults learn to control it, to get over it, and not let it rule them. What is disturbing is the trend in our post-modern world is to live angry, to have anger as the premier emotion. We see this on the internet, individuals blasting away at others, literally trying to destroy reputations and lives.

 

The Bible, a book of great wisdom and inspiration, that uplifts and enhances my life, says: BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger. [NASB, Ephesians 4:26] Here we see that anger is not a sin. Well, what is sin? The word sin literally means missing the mark. The emotion of anger is natural, but rehashing it, nursing and feeding it until it becomes a monster is definitely missing the mark. (Note: the italicized yet was not in the original Scripture text. It was added by editors.)

 

Why do anger-mongers do what they do? The payoff to over-the-top anger is intimidation. In their own minds, bullies feel like big shots…powerful. Many times, those wielding intense anger like a sword find they tend to get what they want. So, they ratchet up their anger to even higher decibels to get more of what they want. In the face of this type of outrageous anger, others may quake in fear and give in to them.

 

This is a societal problem and it’s becoming one of great magnitude. So, what can individuals due? First of all, we can refuse to sink to their level. We must raise the bar, not lower it. We must not allow their anger to goad us into debasing ourselves. If possible, ignore the bully when he/she is in intimidation mode. They feed on attention, deny it to them. Do nothing to reinforce the image they have of themselves as powerful and commanding. When forced to deal with their tirades, do so in a calm and rational manner.

 

How about, don’t give the anger-monger status within your group? Don’t give him/her standing. When an innocent member of your group (work team, neighborhood, etc.) is verbally attacked by a bully, stand up and give the injured party moral and verbal support. It takes a little backbone to set things right. Should the bully engage in physical confrontation, call the police.


When a Crime Fiction Writer Throws ‘Bait and Switch’ at the Reader

Bait

I got an interesting email response to my last post from fellow Christian writer Mary Vee. She stated she hated it when an author broke my “rule #5 for writing detective novels.”

 

Rule #5: The criminal should be introduced early in the story, amidst a field of plausible red herrings.  There’s nothing worse than having the criminal sprung on the reader, out of the blue, at the last minute. There could be more than one culprit. So, secondary culprits can be introduced later. Still, it’s sort of cheating to wait till the very end even for those to be brought into the story line. Don’t want to give the reader a bait-and-switch feeling. Finding out who the killer is at the end ~ good. Introducing the killer at the end ~ bad idea.

My author friend said she’d read several novels that had done that (dropped the killer into the story at the  end and then wrapped it all up neatly) and she disliked them terribly. She felt as if she’d been robbed…cheated. Then she got even stronger saying perhaps “embezzled” was the word she was looking for because the author has set her up and then let her fall.

Tipped Hat

She went on to say that if the clues were there and she got caught banking on the wrong killer, if she got caught in a “red herring snare,” well that was just pure fun. Hats off to the author.