Happy Monday, Reader Friends!
I hope you had a rested weekend! Today Nike Chillemi has stopped by to talk about her latest release, Courting Danger. All you suspense fans, grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us.
About the Book
The Blurb: A detective story that reads like a cozy thriller, with a national security twist. Dry humor. Sweet, romance. Uplifting.
Newly installed Pelican Beach, Florida detective Katerina “Kat” Andruko fears the prime suspect will get off in the murder of a teen with the help of the department’s forensics psychologist, a man she’s just started to trust.
This case has national security implications that gives former US Army Ranger, Dr. Dimitri Garmonin a chance to work with the FBI. The case could give him the chance to obtain the funds needed to expand his small Behavior Analysis Unit. He’s unmoved by the chic FBI agent sent to assist but is intrigued by Kat with whom he shares a Slavic heritage.
Kat and her partner detain two wrong suspects, giving the department negative press. The predator turns his anger on Kat, targeting her. Can Dimitri use his profiler skills to catch this killer before he hurts the woman he’s growing to love?
Toni: Courting Danger mixes romance and suspense. Are you more of a romance reader or suspense and why?
Nike: COURTING DANGR is more of a suspense novel, actually more of a murder mystery. The reason I’d term it more of a suspense or murder mystery is that the story is driven by the intense desire of both main characters, Det. Katerina “Kat” Andruko and profiler Dimitri Garmonin, to catch a killer who is terrorizing their small Florida beach city. As the novel opens, Kat has Dimitri as her prime suspect, but soon realizes there is no way he could have ever committed such an act. At this point they both begin a romantic journey in which they fall deeply in love.
Toni: Tell us a little about Katerina Andruko.
Nike: In telling about Kat, I think I should also tell a bit about Dimitri and even about myself. Both Kat Andruko and Dimitri Garmonin have a Slavic background and so do I. This gave me an opportunity to draw from what I know (culture, food, religious attitudes), what I grew up with. Though parts of my psyche are embedded in each of them, neither of them are me…not even close. They both share a few very special attitudes and values. Though Dimitri struggles with spirituality, they do share some spiritual values. They both live and thrive in modern America but have deep respect for old world Slavic values. In the modern world they live in and work in professionally, each wants to protect the innocent, find justice for victims, and keep Pelican Beach, Florida (the fictitious city they live in) safe.
Toni: That’s a background I’d like to know more of. If you were to cast your characters for a movie, who would play them?
Nike: This is an interesting question because I haven’t gone to many movies in the past years and don’t watch a lot of serial TV due to content. However, as my character Katerina is in her very early thirties, and I’m not. I felt I had to get a grip on her and I researched brown haired actresses in her age group. I finally landed on Sophia Busch, who starred in the TV dramas “One Tree Hill” and “Chicago.” She is actually a few years older than my character, but she had “the look.” She’s very attractive in an unassuming way and smart. The funny thing is she played volleyball as a teenager and so did Katerina.
Toni: That’s so cool! What would Kat’s life verse be and why?
Nike: Because Kat’s life (and also her older sister’s life) were dramatically altered by the violent loss of their parents, as a young adult, Kat found God and was born again. Whereas her sister started drinking and found her way to Alcoholics Anonymous where she has remained sober for the past sixteen years. Kat, on the other hand has relied on her deep faith. Her life verse is: Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Toni: Beautiful. Would you choose day or night?
Nike: I do sometimes stay up late, but I’m much more of a day person.
Toni: Me too. Lake or oceans?
Nike: Ocean!!! I must live near the ocean, though not on it. I have a healthy respect for hurricanes. Right now, I live in northeast coastal Florida. I write detective novels set in fictitious coastal cities in Florida.
Toni: I’m a fan of the ocean too. Suspense or mysteries?
Nike: Mysteries. I read mysteries, detective novels, police procedurals…though I also love a good suspense.
Toni: Detective novels are awesome! Tea or coffee?
Nike: Both! I love tea, drink buckets of it. But sometimes I’d kill for a cup of coffee…metaphorically speaking, of course.
Toni: Lol. Tea for me. Last but not least, what’s next on your writing journey?
Nike: I’m working on my next novel. ACTS OF MALICE is not a detective novel, it’s a mystery with a national security twist. Many of my novels have a national security twist. I’m a widow and I felt the Lord nudging me to write a leading lady who is a widow. Her name is Lavender Raines. As the novel opens, Lavender’s husband has been murdered in some arcane plot involving national security issues and the FBI is not giving her straight answers.
Toni: Sounds heartbreaking but the national security twist is intriguing! Thank you so much for sharing with us today. Readers, do you have any questions for Nike?
About the Author
Nike N. Chillemi writes contemporary detective novels, sometimes called “cozy thrillers” with a touch of wry humor and an uplifting message There’s often a national security twist to them. She likes her bad guys really bad, her good guys smarter and better. 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 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.
1 thought on “Interview with Nike N. Chillemi”
Thank you for having me on your blog. This has been such fun. Great questions.