Ooh-la-la, What a Catch Dimitri Is

by Nike N. Chillemi

Of course, you always hope your hero is super appealing. In COURTING DANGER, I got half way through writing the book and wanted Dimitri to marry my daughter. Oh, oh, then I had a very high bar to meet, or he did for the rest of the novel.

Former US Army Ranger, Dr. Dimitri Garmonin, has been recently hired as a profiler by the Pelican Beach, Florida police department. When a young woman’s body is found on the beach at the same time a Pentagon weapons designer (who had been visiting the beach city) goes missing, the FBI gets involved. The consummate professional, Dimitri believes by working with the FBI on this case that’s getting media attention, he can expand his small Behavioral Analysis Unit. Not only is he not interested in a relationship, he’s not impressed by the manipulative, yet chic female FBI agent.

However, there’s something very appealing about Katerina “Kat” Andruko, the rookie detective who has been assigned to the case. She’s delightful in an authentic way. The only problem is he found the young woman’s body, and Kat has him as her prime suspect in the murder.

sand-768783_1280As Kat gets to know him, she realizes there’s no way this highly ethical man could have committed murder. She’s perplexed and drawn in by his intellect, professionalism, and old-world charm. Her problem with him is he seems to have lost his childhood faith, and faith is central to her life. Still, she has to admit, he’s got gorgeous blue eyes.

They both share a Slavic heritage. They even share more than that. As children both spent years in a Slavic country. Dimitri was born in Russia and lived there at the fall of the Soviet Union. His father was murdered there, and his mother escaped with him to America. As an adult, he still speaks with a faint Russian accent. After her parents were killed by a drunk driver in northeastern Florida, Kat was shipped off to an aunt and uncle she didn’t know in Ukraine. She spent two of her teenage years there. She confesses to Dimitri that she could easily imagine him wearing a smoking jacket, reading Dostoyevsky in the original Russian. In fact, she was shocked to discover he’s a former Army Ranger. She can’t imagine him on a forced march. However, it’s his Army training that saves her when the killer sets his sights on her.

COURTING DANGER has been called a “cozy thriller.” The storyline is driven by Kat’s and Dimitri’s intense desire to find the killer. Intertwined is a love story.

Click to Tweet: When a young woman’s body is found on the beach at the same time a Pentagon weapons designer (who had been visiting the beach city) goes missing…Courting Danger by Nike N. Chillemi #CozyThriller #Suspense


Nike N. Chillemi writes contemporary detective and/or suspense novels with a touch of wry humor, and there’s often a national security twist to them. She likes her bad guys really bad, her good guys smarter and better, and a touch of the comedic. Her newest endeavor is COURTING DANGER.

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, 2016, and 2017 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 HARMFUL 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.

https://nikechillemi.blog/

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Yes, you are at Hello, Thursday Morning! I hope you’ve enjoyed my guest post from Nike Chillemi. As one of those who worked on the critiques for this book, I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy clean suspense/thrillers.

Thanks for dropping in! See you next week.

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

Hello, and happy Valentine’s Day, Thursday Morning friends!

Valentine’s Day began as a Christian holiday – the feast of St. Valentine (an early Roman martyr). Unfortunately, it’s not a “lovely” history, since it involves martyrdom.

It’s association with romantic love is said to have begun with Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century poet). Some of you may remember him as a character in the movie A Knight’s Tale—my first experience with steam punk—but that’s another subject.

My first experience with Valentine’s Day began in first grade, when I garnered an amazing number of cards. It didn’t matter that everyone in class received the same amount.

Do you have a favorite Valentine memory?

These days, I usually only receive one card but it’s worth more than a bushel-basket full. Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy day to visit with me. And have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s my valentine for you, from me:

Happy Valentine’s  Day!

The Art of Conversation

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! What a wild ride the weather has given us so far this year! We’ve had nearly 70 degrees, now plunging into the twenties or lower. Brrr! I’m pouring another cup of hot coffee, as we speak.

Speaking—conversation—is my topic today. Conversation can be interesting and fun, or it can be deadly dull. Have you ever sat next to someone who couldn’t stop talking? Is it a nervous thing? After a while, I tend to tune them out (survival tactic) and hope it ends soon.

Even though that is definitely considered talking, it’s not conversation. A conversation is at least two-sided. It’s like a game of ping pong or tennis. There’s a lot of back-and-forth. And, like a game, it can be exciting. Even scintillating, depending on the content. My favorite books are those with a lot of conversation. We learn about people as they speak to one another, especially when there’s friendship and camaraderie between them. They are comfortable being themselves.

camaraderie: mutual trust between people who spend a lot of time together

My all-time favorite book is Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë. Most of the story is in Jane’s voice, singular. She’s a definite introvert, though no reader doubts her mental and spiritual strength of character. But the moments in conversation with the rugged Edward Rochester gives the reader insight into more of her character (and his). We learn that she can be witty and wise. We learn that though sour and almost ugly, Rochester can be warm and caring. And we find out what has soured him on life.

When we’re comfortable (at ease) with someone, we tend to ‘fess up about stuff. That’s the interesting part. As in a game, it’s a balancing act. A writer needs to balance narrative with great conversation to keep a story moving forward.

What’s your favorite novel? Does it contain a lot of conversation, or is it mostly narrative? What draws you in?

I remember some of the early conversations with my spouse before we were married. We’d talk for hours. It was seldom boring. We still have those moments, when we hit on a topic that interests us both. Real conversations can bridge gaps and bind hearts. Relationship is a process. I don’t know if we can ever learn all there is to know about one another. But, we enjoy each other’s company—that’s conversation.

When I write, I try to develop my characters in this way. My main character meets a man, but she doesn’t really know him until they spend time together, talking. Through their conversation, they get to know one another better. Maybe at first, they’re bantering or arguing, but through contact and over time, they find similarities. They connect.

Jane and Rochester connected mentally and spiritually through their conversations. Those connective moments built a strong bridge that held them fast, even when all seemed lost.

So, next time you find yourself seated beside a chatterbox, try to look at the bright side and pick out interesting tidbits they may drop about themselves. Think of the game of ping pong. Try to jump in at some point and redirect. Make it fun. That’s conversation.

Click to Tweet: When we’re comfortable (at ease) with someone, we tend to ‘fess up about stuff. That’s the interesting part. As in a game, it’s a balancing act. The Art of Conversation with @batowens #ThursdayMorning #ThursdayThoughts

Strength in Our Meekness

Hello, Thursday morning readers! January 2019 is leaving with a strong blast of frigid air. Except where it counts. It’s definitely colder outside than in my refrigerator this morning. We’ve lost most of what we had stored.

This issue has me thinking about power. And strength. A friend posted this morning about meekness: Don’t mistake it for weakness. No, meekness is harnessed strength. A “broken” or tamed horse may be meek, but don’t be fooled. That horse has great strength.

Controlled by the reins, strength reined in, the horse’s muscles ripple. Great strength. 

I can be meek, but strong in a given situation. Often, when strength is detected, promotion follows.

A meek person may not be a powder keg ready to blow at the slightest spark, but don’t be fooled. Don’t miss the ripple of strength below the surface.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”–Matthew 5:5

He knew what it meant to be meek. Strength reined in. Quiet strength, accompanied by inner peace and deep, spiritual joy.

That’s my aim today.

We’ve called a repairman to see if the fridge can be saved. As much as I would love a new toy for my kitchen, I hope we can put off that big purchase, because we have other priorities. Sometimes necessity laughs in the face of priority. We’ll see how this one turns out.

Remember to practice meekness today and Make Every Moment Count.*

*Dedicated to Rick Loyd

Endearing Traits

I’m always surprised by Wednesday, especially when I don’t have a post ready for Thursday. Like today. I always mean to write several posts and schedule them. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by, sparing a few moments from your busy, busy day to visit with me.

I just returned from a quick dinner out with my husband (Bob). He was uncertain what he wanted to eat and where he wanted to go, but we have dozens of good restaurants nearby to choose from. We’re driving and he says, “Hey, let’s go to that place with the big fan.”

I laughed, because this is classic Bob. He’s a smart guy, but he can’t remember names. Now, lest you think he’s on the road to memory loss, that might suggest he had something to lose. Where names are concerned, that is. It’s an endearing trait that provides ample opportunity for humor in our family.

We went to the place with the big fan. On the drive home, I was musing about all the other places he can’t remember. “Hey, how about the place with the horses out front?” Some of you may recognize that one.

“Let’s go to that place next to “chillis” (Chili’s—that’s another joke, but for a different reason). Chillis is how his mother pronounces the name of the restaurant. I guess the red pepper on the sign wasn’t an ample clue for her. It’s been years, but we still call it that. Bob doesn’t care for chillis, so we go to the restaurant next door.

Hey, don’t we know that guy?

It’s not only restaurant names he can’t remember. I often get an elbow in the ribs when we’re at church, or at a party. “Quick, what’s that guy’s name?”

I give him the “I can’t believe you” stare. “We’ve known him over forty years—he was in our wedding!”

“I know, but what’s his name?”

My favorite episode happened recently. We were sitting in a nice little Mexican restaurant when a friend walked in. She stopped by our table to say hello before taking her seat. We had to pass her table on the way out, so Bob wanted to speak to her. He punched me. “Quick, what’s her name?”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Oh, my gosh. You’re kidding me.”

He frowned. “What’s her name?”

“Her name is Betty.”

“No, really, what’s her name?”

I leaned closer. “Betty.”

We cracked up.

We’d been married barely two weeks when he forgot my name, while introducing me to a friend. At the time, I was shocked. “Really, Bob? How could you forget my name?” These days, I just shrug and smile. “Classic Bob.” I squirrel it away to tell later, when the family gets together.

Oh, and he’s directionally-challenged, too. But that’s another endearing trait for another day.