Shannon here: Nike N. Chillemi shares insight into her characters’ romance plus a chance to win her latest Romantic Suspense, Harmful Intent. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: May 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Nike:
I’ve been a widow for nearly two years and as anyone can imagine, it has been quite an emotional journey. I published all three novels of my Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes trilogy before Joseph passed and didn’t realize the heroine and her female Christian mentor were both widows. Not only were they widows, they both went on to love again. It wasn’t specifically my goal to write widows into my stories. My aim was to write interesting characters.
Private Investigator Ronnie Ingels had been stalked as a child and comes off in the first two novels as a bit of a loose cannon. She matures spiritually in the third story. Fifty-something, plus-size Bertha, Ronnie’s best friend and Christian mentor, is sweet and calm. Bertha became a beloved character to many readers.
- For Ronnie Ingels: Are you open to your own romance?
I wasn’t looking for romance when I came to west Texas. That’s where I found out my husband of one-year was having an affair with my best friend. Then he was murdered. and the deputy sheriff had me as his prime suspect. As he investigated, he became convinced I had not killed my husband. Then this honorable and quite attractive man realized I’d become a target of the killer and he set out to protect me. That opened me up to a friendship that had romantic possibilities.
- For Bertha: What’s the number one quality you’d require in a mate?
The most important quality is a deep love of Jesus. Walt, my first husband, was deeply committed to Jesus and was the spiritual head in our marriage. I was devastated when he died. Of course, I was employed by another godly man, but it took me five years to notice how cute he was. Eventually, Hoot Dagney and I were married. So, love is possible the second time around.
- For Ronnie: Where is the worst place you can think of to find a mate?
I’d say the worst place is in the middle of a murder investigation. In my case it got more pathetic because the murder victim was my cheating husband…and it’s true, the wife is the last to know. His adulterous love affair took me by surprise. So, when the very attractive deputy sheriff had me as his prime suspect…well I can’t think of a worse situation in which to meet a man.
- For Bertha: What type of character traits are you attracted to?
Honesty. I can’t abide a liar. He also has to have a sense of humor. And he has to relish home cooking.
- For Ronnie: What’s the one habit or lifestyle that would make you run the other way?
I couldn’t live with a smoker, a substance abuser, or a gambler. I don’t even buy a one-dollar Lotto ticket. That’s like flushing a dollar bill down the toilet. I guess, I’m saying a lifestyle of addiction would make me run.
- For Bertha: Where do you dream of celebrating your wedding anniversary?
I’d like to go to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida. Also, Sea World. I’ve never been to any of the Orlando attractions. I think those two would be awesome, such fun.
- For Both Ronnie and Bertha: What would be a reason to end a potential romance for you?
They both answer: Adultery!!!
About Nike: Nike N. Chillemi writes contemporary detective and/or suspense novels with a touch of wry humor, and there’s often a national security twist. 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 its Chair, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category.
Her four novel Sanctuary Point series (out of print), set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. The first novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series HARMRUL INTENT won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense category. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network. Learn more and connect: Nike’s Blog
About the book – Harmful Intent: 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.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now! Harmful Intent – Amazon
Question for Readers: Some readers think my writing has a humorous streak. Some of my friends think I say funny things. Do you think a sense of humor is important, and why?
Come back May 18th for Tara Johnson!