Dream a Little Christmas Dream ~ celebrate

Xmas Orn 2013 (2)
My late husband Joseph and I picked this up in Key Largo and It’s hung on the tree since.

I start to dream just a tad more during the Christmas holiday season. For me it starts the day after Thanksgiving. To me, that day has never been Black Friday. It’s always been more of a Christmas Fantasy Friday. Although I love all the lights and tinsel (especially the lights), I don’t want to get caught up in it. I have to always remember the One who is the divine dream giver. He has a purpose and a plan for me and for you.

 

V Xmas Cookies 2 Go
My daughter Vicky’s Christmas cookie to go.

So, while I’m firmly aware of Who is the author of my dreams, I find myself leafing through pages of ladies magazines, looking for holiday food and Christmas decorating ideas. Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Journal is terrific for gathering ideas. I also surf the web for delish Christmas recipes. I started on my own low cal/carb style of eating (not a diet) and lost a substantial amount of weight over the last five years. And I’ve kept it off. So, I will indulge (somewhat) in holiday desserts and other high cal treats, but won’t overdo it. It takes some intentionality, but that’s my new buzz word: intentionality! That’s why I’m so thrilled at how easy it is to find truly healthy Christmas recipes that look and taste marvelous.

I also love Christmas decorating shows on the various cable networks. I love to watch instructions on how to make Christmas crafts. Love the old classical and the new innovative ways to deck the halls. I’m afraid I’ve become an HGTV and a DIY Network addict. I’ll have to go to 12-Step meetings in January. “Hello, my name is Nike, and I’m addicted to home improvement cable channels.”

It seems this year there is much less of a war against Christmas. Oh, there are still Scrooges and Grinches out there, and they take great pleasure at bringing all Christmas celebrants down a notch or two. Don’t let them. Pity them and pray for them. And then get on with Christmas cheer. Celebrate ground retaken.

I’m happy to revel in the Christmas spirit, you see because over two thousand years ago in the city of Bethlehem an angel burst forth with great joy announcing the Good News, “Peace on earth. Good will toward men.” [Luke 2:14] Jesus was born. He has decked the halls of my heart ever since the day I first invited Him in.

 

A Memorial Day Poem ~ the story behind it

Memorial Day 1

Jean Browder had been looking for a Memorial Day poem to read at her church service. She saw the title of this one listed among many poems for the holiday and it touched her. She clicked on it and was amazed to discover her son had written it.

 

We Never Forget by Mitchell Browder (written on Memorial Day 2001 after a visit to the American Cemetery and War Memorial in Florence, Italy)

 

Brothers and Sisters at rest
we never forget
the gift you give
we still receive how could you know
so young
that your battle
at all cost
must be won Brothers and Sisters at rest
may we, in your eyes
pass your test
and one day, with honor
join your ranks
Memorial Day 2
Memorial Day 3
Don’t forget prisoners of war. They have  not all been military in a war on terror, and in previous wars. We have and have had journalists taken, medical personnel, missionaries, civilians…
Memorial Day 4
Memorial Day 6
Rolling Thunder
Memorial Day 8
Veteran Suicide
Memorial Day 7
Let’s not forget the first responders (police, firefighters, EMS, equine and canine in the field. We’re losing them at an alarming rate too.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

 

Thanksgiving Day ~ what it means to me

Thanksgiving Turkey

When I came across this turkey in the oven photo, it reminded me so much of the way my grandmother roasted her turkey. Boy did that bring back fond memories.

Thanksgiving Day, here in America,  is a time to gather with family and friends to hang out and enjoy each other’s company, to give thanks,  watch a game, go to a parade or watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. Everyone has their own favorite float or balloon. I personally, always wait for Santa at the end of the parade.

Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled weekend of the year. It’s a time when loved ones make the effort to be together. This is a grand American tradition, complete with long lines at ticket counters.

Yet, everyone I know who is celebrating this holiday has personal issues, sadness, or tragedy. Sons and daughters are in the military and are stationed in dangerous locales, or simply stationed far from home and can’t get leave. A beloved family member or friend is battling an illness. Some are in dire financial straits. Others are going through a divorce. Yet others have lost a loved one.

I am grateful for all the people in my life who lift their chins and walk-the-walk, making it one-day-at-a-time. I’m so very grateful for them and they are an inspiration to me. I’m grateful to God for the role He plays in my loved ones lives, blessing them, even when they don’t realize He’s blessing them.

I’m also grateful for the Americans who came before me, who built this great nation. I’m grateful to the founding fathers, but I’m also grateful to the men who built the railroads, the bridges and tunnels. I’m grateful to women factory workers, farm workers, teachers, nurses, doctors, police, and many more. And don’t forget the IT guy. I know without a doubt that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may you be blessed beyond measure in all ways.

 

2 Corinthians 9:11-12 Living Bible (TLB)

11 Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help.

12 So two good things happen as a result of your gifts—those in need are helped, and they overflow with thanks to God.

Goodbye Noel ~ if you’re into Christmas in July

Goodbye Noel

 

Many thrill to Christmas in July. If you’re one of those, my classic 1940s mystery novel GOODBYE NOEL would be the perfect read for you. Especially now that World War II and post WWII novels are the new Amish.

 

 

GA Winner 2011Historical Romantic Murder Mystery, set in the mid-1940s
—murder/mayhem/kidnap/romance
—Sweet romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully
—Won the 2011 Grace Awards Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Historical Suspense category

 

The first body is found under a trimmed Christmas tree, the second as they ring in the New Year (1947), the third goes head long out a window. Will a young pediatric nurse determined to make it on her own be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again? Can she trust the stalwart village detective with her life and her heart as he works to catch this killer before somebody else dies?

Pediatric nurse, Katrina Lenart, grew up strong willed and independent minded, while sharing her mother’s flair for high fashion. When the police chief gives her an orphaned baby to care for, her maternal instincts take over and she’s willing to fight anyone who might not have the infant’s best interests at heart, even the man she’s growing to love. After an attempt is made to kidnap the baby, she and the resolute village detective team up and do some sleuthing, undercover at a cult as well as at a fancy ball.

Detective Ian Daltry is a widower with a child and is not interested in a new love. Hunting a killer who stops at nothing has placed him in the position where he must protect a beautiful young woman he’s drawn to. Is there’s something he’s overlooked in analyzing the case? Will he find out what that is before this ruthless murderer kills someone he loves?

GOODBYE NOEL on Amazon

 

Thanksgiving 99cents sale: HARMFUL INTENT

Harmful Intent 300 P

Thanksgiving is a warm and cozy holiday. It’s truly a wonderful American holiday, such a great time for family and friends get together.

It’s also a fantastic time to curl up with a cup of steaming tea, coffee, or hot cocoa and start in reading a murder mystery. I don’t know why, but to me, autumn seems to lend itself to reading crime fiction. I can see myself sitting by a roaring fire or listening to the wind blow outside as I turn pages.

So, I’m going to make it easy for readers to enjoy my newest murder mystery release, HARMFUL INTENT. I’m reducing the price to 99 cents for Thanksgiving.

HARMFUL INTENT

Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully. Tons of humor. Really, it’s a scream!

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.

Raves for HARMFUL INTENT:

Who’d a thunk it? Nike Chillemi’s New York gusto in Texas. HARMFUL INTENT is a mystery/suspense delight, mixing Nike’s New York flavor, the quirkiness of the South, a mystery to die for, and laugh aloud humor. I couldn’t put it down. ~ Fay Lamb, author of STALKING WILLOW and BETTER THAN REVENGE.

Nike Chillemi delivers another gritty ‘who dun it’ in her signature no nonsense style, with just the right amount of humor to lighten it up on occasion while keeping it real. Tracy Krauss – award winning and bestselling author of numerous novels including WIND OVER MARSHDALE

Echoing the best pulp fiction of generations past, Chillemi’s new contemporary series will please readers of romantic suspense. Harmful Intent introduces a modern day big-city female PI armed to the teeth and ready to draw when faced with danger in Texas. The best of both worlds happen when east coast meets southern charm in the hunt for cold-blooded killers. –Lisa Lickel, author of The Buried Treasure series

 

Armed Forces Day ~ Recognizing Our Armed Forces

Defense Dept SealI’ve long been in awe of our Armed Forces, the finest military force that has ever existed on the planet. And so Armed Forces Day is a perfect day to show appreciation.

It’s imperative that our young men and women serving abroad far away from their families, often in dangerous circumstances, feel our appreciation. It is my hope that this blog in some small way will help boost the morale of any member of the US military who happens to read it. I also hope to hold out the hand of friendship and support to the families of military personnel.

US Air Force, Thunderbirds

 

On May 17th, Armed Forces Day 2014, across the fruited plain there will be military air shows to enjoy as well as parades and other civic activities. It’s a great day to make it a family time. Take the kids and have some fun, but at the same time teach them to respect our men and women in the US military.

 

This is a time I have to speak in outrage about the unconscionable treatment our veterans are getting in Veterans Hospitals. The worst case is in the Arizona VA Hospital system where veterans have been reported to have been deliberately placed on secret waiting lists, resulting in veterans dying. It’s my opinion that care in VA hospitals across the country must be improved. Our veterans were assured they would have medical care when they got out of the military. This is not something that out of the kindness of our hearts we give to veterans. No! It’s a contract this nation signed with its military personnel. It’s part of the the benefits they are guaranteed when they sign up.

We tend to think our veterans have been treated better in days gone by and that it’s only in this present day that it’s gotten so bad. There have been delays in giving veterans back pay in days gone by, and the treatment of Vietnam veterans was horrid, a national disgrace. It’s time as a nation to get it together and improve our track record with regard to our military veterans.

Burning Hearts, Amazon SmI’m a supporter of the US military. My very first novel, BURNING HEARTS, was an arson/murder mystery with its male main character a World War II hero veteran. During the war, Lieutenant Lorne Kincaid appeared to be a motor cycle courier, but in actuality he was sent on dangerous undercover assignments in France for General George S. Patton. After the war, Lorne decides to settle down in a small village where he helps the story’s heroine, Erica Brogna, try to rescue a woman trapped in a burning house. When the wealthiest family in the village realize their dilettante son might be the major suspect, they leave no stone unturned  attempting to frame Lorne.

Flag, American