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Are you looking for a new author to try? I am happy to have Nike Chillemi visiting today to share about the first book in her suspense series (The Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes Trilogy), Harmful Intent. Before we meet Nike, let’s take a quick peek at the story.
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.
Welcome, Nike! What inspired you to write this series or Harmful Intent in particular?
Harmful Intent originated from a writing challenge for a short story where the author had to take a character and put him/her out of her/his element. I created a tough, competent, often sarcastic, female private investigator from Brooklyn (NYC) and plunked her down in Abilene, Texas. There the drop-dead-gorgeous deputy has her as the number one suspect in the murder of her cheating husband. I had such fun writing it that it totally got away from me. It soon became a short novella, then a long one, then a full-length novel.
What a fun challenge! Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this character your favorite?
Ronnie Ingels, gal PI, the heroine is my fav character. She’s complicated. Her childhood had a great deal of pain and she’s still sorting things out from back then. She has disturbing dreams that hint at despicable things, but she’s not quite sure what those dreams mean. Despite her painful childhood, or maybe because of it, she’s become a skilled law enforcement professional who doesn’t take guff from anyone. The Texas local deputy, who all but accuses her of murder, isn’t ready for her butting into his case. Then it occurs to him he’s going to have to protect her from the real killer.
She sounds like an intriguing character. Who is your favorite secondary character in this novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
Berth Dagney is my favorite secondary character. She’s a deeply committed Christian, plus-size, over 50 widow, and she’s about to get a second chance at love in Harmful Intent. I did include her as the most significant secondary character in the last novel in the trilogy, Blood Speaks.
What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
Harmful Intent has a strong good vs. evil theme. The spiritual or traditional values message I’d like readers to take away is that heroines and heroes are ordinary, quite often flawed individuals who step up to the plate and take on evil. They very well may be overwhelmed or afraid. However, they have a firm sense of right and wrong and want to see justice done.
I suspect most heroes never saw themselves as heroes prior to their heroic action. We’d love to get to know you a bit. Could you share with us a few fast favorites? What is your favorite:
Color? pink or rose
Season? When I lived in the northeast it was fall, now that I’m in Florida it’s spring
I visited Florida last spring, and it was beautiful! Writing snack? salted roasted cashews
Beverage? unsweetened iced tea with lots and lots of lemon wedges
Animals? dogs and cats. I have one dog and five cats
Movie? The King’s Speech
Vacation destination? The Bahamas. I’ve been twice to two different islands. Absolutely love the people.
Ice cream flavors? butter pecan or chocolate chip mint
Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I enjoy cooking and eating. My family is eastern European, and they are quite free with the butter and sour cream. When I lived in NYC, I learned my husband’s family’s recipes and became a good Italian cook. However, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight over the last four years and have spent a good bit of energy trimming the calories from those recipes while, hopefully, retaining the taste.
A little creativity in the kitchen can go a long way. 😉 If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go?
I have a few places on my bucket list. I’d like to see the Northern Lights and so would like to go to either Alaska or Iceland. I’d like to see the Grand Canyon. And I’d really like to visit Israel, also Ireland.
Those all sound like wonderful trips! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Nike!
Your turn! Aside from reading, what hobbies do you enjoy?
More about Nike:
Like so many writers, Nike N. Chillemi started at a very young age. Her first major work was a Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned as a little girl (colored might be more accurate) about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista with a humorous side. 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 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.
Harmful Intent Giveaway:
Nike has graciously offered to give away an ebook copy of Harmful Intent. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.