What on earth has my new release, THAT SPECIAL ONE, got to do with Hurricane Irma and brownies. Read on and find out…
Last week, with Hurrican Irma bearing down on Miami at something between a category 4 & 5, I sat at my laptop furiously trying to finish final editis before the storm reached Jacksonville. It was a race against time, trying to get my first attempt at a New Adult novella published on Amazon (downloaded) before JEA ran into serious service problems.
Alas, due to the high volumne of downed trees and flooding, the power went out in nearly all of Jacksonville. My next door neighbor was kind enough to run an extension chord from his generator to my refrigerator. That still meant, no lights, no a/c, no TV or audio system, no Wi-Fi, and manual toilet flushing for three days as the temperatures climbed (is that too much info?).
After three days, the power did come back on. I think I must’ve looked and felt much like Jonah had after three days in the belly of the great fish. The upside was, I was able to continue with edits offline…but, still no Wi-Fi. I couldn’t download the novella to Amazon. Finally, the Wi-Fi came back on and I was able to launch THAT SPECIAL ONE.
Where do the brownies come in? I made a batch for my very kind next door neighbor who shared electricity from his generator with me. When I handed him the plate full of brownies, he broke out into a huge smile and said, “I’ll have to pour a glass of milk.”
THAT SPECIAL ONE in a nut shell…
New Adult Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense
College freshman Ivy Chalmers moved in with her aunt and uncle in Arroyo, Texas. She needed to get away from her alcoholic and weed smoking mother. Ivy longed for a different life than the revolving-door-men in her mom’s life. Making a one-eighty, she vowed not to make a serious dating commitment unless she knew it would be that really‘special relationship ‘.
Corey Jones had been the man in his house since age twelve, when his alcoholic dad abandoned him and his mom. Once in a while, his dad showed up trying to extort money from them using threats. Then his blue-haired, self-centered cousin Ava came to live with them and the way she treats his mom enrages him.
Ivy is thrilled when she meets an upper classman from a neighboring college and thinks he might be ‘that guy.’ When she is horribly betrayed, her world is thrown upside-down, and she plunges into a depression. In a steady and kind of clumsy way, Corey is there for her during her worst moments. But his family is plagued with alcoholism, the life she had with her mom, the life she ran away from. What’s wrong with her that she attracts the wrong guys? As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s an arsonist terrorizing their tiny village.
BLOOD SPEAKS:Taut and compelling detective story, with a clandestine twist. Dry humor. Sweet, romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.
…and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. ~ Hebrews 12:24 [NASB]
BLOOD SPEAKS in a nut shell…
Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Brooklyn gal PI, waited a long time for the solitaire on her finger. When her sometimes boss, a shadowy figure and director of a secret government organization, offers a one-week bridal shopping vacay in Virginia, she jumps at it.
Joined by bridesmaids, Sandra Daube and Bertha Dagney, Ronnie sets off for the village of Heritage Cove on Arrowhead Lake, Virginia. Their joyous stay at the rustic yet luxury Heritage Cove Inn is shattered by a murder with tendrils and a clandestine motive stretching back to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
It doesn’t take long for Ronnie and her gal-pals to become targets of the killer. It goes without saying, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes leaves Texas to protect his bride-to-be. He’s joined by Sandra’s employer, conservative political activist Ben Cohen. Neither hell-nor-high-water can keep Gabby Hayes look-alike Hoot Dagney from the side of Bertha, his new bride.
I walked over to the front bay window to gaze out at the beauty of the snow in a neighborhood filled with houses dating back seventy-five years, or more. Maybe I’d get a handle on my squirrely feelings. I scooped up a forkful of pie, but never got it to my mouth. “What the…”
At the edge of the Rosier property, Craig Munro had climbed into a leafless tree with low branches. Using a telephoto lens, he was trying to take shots through the large, bow-shaped window.
“Now he’s gone too far,” I hissed under my breath. I stepped to the side hopefully quickly enough to avoid his camera’s view finder. As I scanned the room for LeBlanc or Peterson, I spied Detective Ross on the sofa patting Cecile’s hand.
Mrs. Blanchard took the pastor’s hand. “Your sermon was fitting to Melanie’s life. You captured her quirky innocence.”
I quickly moved away from them. I’m not good at funerals unless I’m functioning in an official capacity. By joining the family at the house, I’d slipped out of professional mode and began experiencing some of the emotions I’d felt when my murdered husband had been laid to rest. Sadness was always something I could cope with. After mom and I were abandoned by my dad, that was something I lived with for quite a few years.
It was that I couldn’t deliver justice where evil had devastated lives that tore at me. Since I’d started trusting the Lord, I’d gotten better at handing distressful situations over to Him. Still sometimes my inadequacy taunted and played terrible head-games.
The old, avenging Ronnie was back in a flash. I strode over to him. “Detective, I need to have a word with you, now.”
The urgency of my voice must’ve surprised him. He immediately stood and followed me.
I didn’t take him to the bay window, but to another, smaller window that had a direct view of the reporter’s deviousness. “There’s a newspaperman up in that tree trying to get photos of what’s going on inside the house.”
Ross took off across the room. “Knepp, come with me.”
The two men hurried outside with Officer Murray and the rookie following them.
I walked over to the bay window and took a bite of spinach pie as Ross hauled the reporter out of the tree and slapped handcuffs on him.
Munro dropped his camera… and, well, Ross must’ve had a clumsy moment because he stepped directly on it, crushing it into the snow.
My emotions were feeling much better now. I took another bite of spinach pie.
Praise for BLOOD SPEAKS:
If you enjoyed the first two Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes books, it’s a cinch you’re going to love this one. The scene is set–and captured my attention–with the wintry, getting-ready-for-a-wedding first chapter. Ronnie and her two bridesmaids, Sandra and Bertha, set off for the luxurious Heritage Cove at Arrowhead Lake, Virginia for a one week vacation gifted to her from her shadowy “boss.” As usual, Ronnie–and this time, her close friends–light straight-way into a murder investigation, and the clues are hinting at long ago motives clear back to Kennedy‘s assassination. Of course, Ronnie and her friends become targets of the killer. Fast paced and delightfully written with wit and suspense that keeps you burning the midnight oil, this novel is filled with colorful characters, dialogue that is spot-on, and scenes that will make you drool with envy. And with a truly satisfactory ending, what more could you want? Except your own personal copy. ~ Carole Brown, author of KNIGHT IN SHINING APRON
In this one you’ll find a handsome hero and a smart heroine. If you think romance and dead bodies can’t mix, wait until you read Dawson and Ronnie’s story. Don’t pass this one up, if you’re into a good detective/crime novel. What makes this one even more special is the fact that it’s a Christmas story. Curl up and enjoy. Keep warm and snuggle with a book that might keep you awake through the night since you’ll want to know who the killer is and see what happens to soon-to-be favorite characters. Will a wedding and honeymoon ever take place for Ronnie and Dawson? It’s been a pleasure to know another good one was on the way as the series continued. ~ B. J. Robinson, Author of CHRISTMAS IN THE SMOKIES, WHEN THE SNOW COMES, SIEGE OF AZALEA PLANTATION, AZALEA PLANTATION, amongst over twenty novels
Grab a cup of joe or hot chocolate and immerse yourself for an enjoyable read. Nike Chillemi has a knack for cozy mystery, a mixture of mystery and subtle humor that brings you into the settings and the characters of BLOOD SPEAKS. After this read, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to go back and read the rest of the series. Ronnie is a detective with heart and soul, a character you can easily fall in love with.” ~ Linda Wood Rondeau, author of MIRACLE ON MAPLE STREET
Deputy Sheriff Lt. Dawson Hughes and PI Ronnie Ingels return in BLOOD SPEAKS… a fine Christmas caper that brings murder a bit too close for comfort. As per previous books in the series, BLOOD SPEAKS features first-rate detection and secondary characters that you won’t soon forget. Chillemi’s tight plotting and well-paced action keep the story moving, but her rich descriptions of time and place, along with culinary tidbits to entice foodie and mystery fans alike, make BLOOD SPEAKS a holiday mystery confection you’ll want to savor long after the last carol has been sung. ~ Jenna Victoria, author of WAR OF THE HEART