Must Meet Monday: Nike Chillemi

Happy Monday, friends! Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Nike Chillemi and introduce her debut novel, Burning Hearts which I’ve had the privilege to read.

I met Nike through the edgy christian fiction lovers site and was honored to be a judge in the romance category for the Grace Awards she put together.

Nike has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes monthly book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. Burning Hearts is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series.
Everyone meet Nike. Nike, meet everyone!
I love to know how writers started up. What inspired you to put your fingers to the keyboard?

I did the usual teen thing, writing bad poetry filled with angst. And sometimes I would trap my friends or parents and make them listen while a read it. I’ve always been comfortable expressing myself in writing. However, about five years ago I started to feel an inner prompting to write fiction…novels to be exact. And I just followed that inner niggling and here I am.
I had fun reading Burning Hearts. Tell us where the idea for Burning Hearts came from?
I wish I had something exotic to say about how I came up with the storyline. The truth is I keep a file of possible plotlines. I’ve got about fifty stories in that file right now. I add to a storyline as something comes to me. One of them will grab hold of me. The characters start to take over and demand their story be told. That’s what happened with Burning Hearts. I could see Erica and Lorne vividly and I had to write their story.
Smart cookie. I need a file. Do you see yourself in any or all of your characters in the book? I think your spunky like Erica but I can see you on a Harley like Lorne! So I’m curious.:)
Erica is a bit like me. She wants to be a dress designer and I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked in the bridal industry. She’s independent and stubborn and it gets her into trouble. I’m independent and stubborn but it never got me into any trouble at all. Yeah, right. Something I didn’t realize until the book was in edits is that Erica’s mother is very similar to my Czechoslovak grandmother. Mrs B excels in the kitchen and has a great sense of humor. So did my grandmother. Mrs. B teases her children and is teased by them. I recall my grandmother swatting my dad with a kitchen towel. He’d laugh and hug her.
Those sound like great memories. My grandma swatted me too, but with a fly-swatter and not out of playfulness. 🙂 I had it coming.  Something I loved was the lingo from that day. Their dialogue transported me to a whole new world. Golly jee, I loved it! How much research did you do for this book and what resources helped you the most?
I did a lot of research, definitely on slang of the period. They also had a certain rhythm and cadence to their speech. I listened to classic movies of the period to internalize that. I combed websites devoted to 1940s fashion and hairstyles, checked and double-checked products such as Mrs. Brogna’s Bendix washer. I also read up on the political situation in Europe at the end of WWII.
Well, you did a great job. I loved reading about Erica wearing pants when most women didn’t, or how she copied the patterns from Sears & Roebuck. So fun!
What challenged you most when writing Burning Hearts?
The greatest challenge was making Erica strong without her becoming abrasive. I saw her as feisty and wanting to follow her own convictions, but I had to craft her so she would retain a sweetness and naivety. That was like walking a tightrope.
Mission accomplished!
Before you go, tell us 3 random fun facts about yourself.
1)     I’m a lot more ditzy than people think I am.
2) I was an independent animal rescuer for a good number of years. I’ve rescued about 40 dogs and cats and found them homes.
3) My idea spot on earth would be in the tropic under a cabana with a good book as the surf comes in and goes out.
Oooh, #3 is on my list too! Nike, thanks so much for letting me read your book and for stopping by.
Connect with Nike on:
You can purchase Burning Hearts at:
Take a peek into Burning Hearts!
     “Erica Brogna’s parents doted on her and taught her to think for herself. So many young men she grew up with fell in the war, shaking her childhood faith. In rides a handsome stranger, at the hour of her desperate need when her best friend and mentor is trapped in a burning house. This stranger rushes into the inferno and carries Erica’s friend’s lifeless body out.

Lorne Kincade can’t out run his past on his Harley Davidson, though he tried. He’s been a knock-about biker since the end of WWII. His uncle bequeathed him a ramshackle cottage in Sanctuary Point, on the Great South Bay of Long Island, NY and now he has hope for the future, wants to repair the miniscule place, and settle down. The problem is someone’s setting him up for a murder rap, a young woman with hair the color of mink is starting to get under his skin, and that’s the last thing he needs. “

Frivolous Friday: Here’s What’s Happening In My Neck of the Woods

                                                               First of all a BIG FAT CONGRATULATIONS goes out to  Brandie Boddie! She just signed a 3 book deal with Charisma House! Go by and cheer her on!

                           Now on with the show this it!

1. I have a head-cold. In summer. Yeah.

2. I’m attending a viewing this evening and funeral tomorrow morning. When I wrote about my best friends being like the movie Steel Magnolias, I had no idea how true to life that would be and it’s just hard.

3. My son is spending a week with my mom and having a ball while being spoiled rotten. I’ll have to retrain him when he gets home because he’ll forget that “no” is a real word.

4. My daughter is leaving for camp this weekend. She wants to borrow my shoes. Why can’t her feet grow a size bigger than mine?

5. Funny note: My husband has shingles–brought on by serious emotional stress (see number 2)…okay that isn’t the funny part. The funny part is he had to go to the pharmacy and pick up the medicine, which happens to be the same medicine they treat Herpes with! rofl.

6. I’m about to refinish my bedroom furniture after I finish up the copy edits of my ms. Pictures will be posted–not in my ms–of my bedroom.

7. I’m still beating myself up for not finishing out the last half of the series Smallville, but dadgumit it just got stupid. I have it on TIVO if I break out in shingles over the distress from guilt, it’ll be there to watch. (and maybe cure me so I don’t have to buy herpes meds)

8. “Jane” got a membership to the country club with me. Neither of us belong in a country club. I’m sure we’ll be kicked out by the end of June. Side note: When I walked into the pool she was wearing a black swim suit and a big floppy hat. I think she was going for a Hepburn look. All I saw was the mom whose son got eaten by JAWS.

9. I watched JAWS last night.


10. One of my BFF’s gave me a present. An iPhone. It’s not even my birthday. How great is that? I’ve always suspected she’s cajun mafia so, I’m sure I’ll be owin her one…I don’t know much about making concrete shoes. I have shot a gun…for research. 😉

Next Monday I’ll be chatting with Nike Chillemi about her debut novel, Burning Hearts. Don’t miss it! Have a great weekend.

 So what’s going on in your neck of the woods?

In the Word Wednesday: Get Your Strut On, because it’s all about pace Part 3

Today I am answering 5 easy questions on Jill Kemerer’s blog! Come by and say hi!

Okay, on with the show this is it…
“There are three things which are majestic in pace, Yes, four which are stately in walk; A lion which is mighty among the beasts and does not turn away from any; A greyhound, and male goat also…” Proverbs 30:29-31

We’ve been looking at the wisdom of Agur in this particular passage. To catch up, you can read Part 1 and Part 2.

Let’s ask the same questions we asked about the lion and the greyhound (which isn’t a bus or a dog!). What’s so special about a goat? Just by looking at the picture, I’d say nothing.

Now I know goats are usually on the left and separated from the sheep in scripture as well as referred to as buckers and sinners, but not so in this particular passage. And this is the passage we’re studying!

Male Goats are a picture of what a Mature Christian should look like.

First of all, they’re social animals.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42

Goats like to spend time in fellowship with one another. Socializing with other believers is God mandated! How great is that! You never have to feel guilty for hanging with some gal-pals from church. 🙂

Interesting fact: Goats prefer to surround themselves with goats of their same breed in a mixed herd.

Should we become friends with those who don’t know Jesus? YES! Building relationships with unbelievers is an important way to lead someone to Christ. I have lots of friends that are unbelievers. Some I’ve known for years and they don’t go to church, but I guarantee you when there is a crisis in their family–they call me. They ask me to pray.

But I don’t spend my intimate time with them. Why? Because many times and as my mom used to tell me, “It’s easier to be brought down than lift someone up.” I need the iron sharpening iron in my life. So do you. It’s a sign of a mature Christian.

Even when Jesus left the homes of tax collectors and various “sinners” He spent most of His time with 12, and 3 He was even closer with. (Peter, James, and John)

Goats are notorious for undoing closures.

“So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Don’t let anything lock you up or bind you! There is always a way out.

Goats investigate everything.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

This verse comes at an appropriate time. If what people declare as truth doesn’t line up with scripture, then it’s false. It takes a mature Christian to know this because a mature Christian digs into their word and studies it!

Goats are avid climbers and can hold their balance in precarious places.

“For You have delivered my soul from death.Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” Psalm 56:13 I look at this picture and I think there is no way I could do that, but with God’s strength we can do anything! We can walk anywhere and trust Him to keep us from falling.

Goat’s hooves are made to withstand rocky and small place. They walk with ease. It’s pretty amazing to see them just moving along in scary places with ease.

When our faith is in God, tight places are easier to walk and that’s amazing to those who do not have our faith.

What we’ve learned so far:
1. Know who you are in Christ so 2. You can serve Him. As you serve and study you will 3. Mature in  Christ

It’s not a random order here. Agur listed these things by deliberate design. Next Wednesday we will study the last majestic thing: A king whose troops are with him.

I forgot to announce the winner of Desert gift. Congrats to Sheri Salatin!

Question: What animal do you find most interesting and why?