Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Looking Out the Window: Nike Chillemi Talks about Burning Hearts, a Finalist in the 2011 Grace Awards. Now in Print.
Arson, Murder, Action all part of this sweet romance set right after World War II.
Can a sheltered young seamstress, disillusioned by the horrors of WWII, escape an arsonist/murderer who has killed her employer and mentor, while trying to decide if she can trust the dashing war hero who’s ridden into town on his Harley—who some say is the murderer?
Erica Brogna’s parents doted on her and taught her to think for herself. Many boys she grew up with had fallen in the WWII, shaking her childhood faith. In rides a handsome stranger, at the hour of her most desperate need. A woman who is her close friend and mentor is trapped in a burning house. After making an unsuccessful rescue attempt, Erica stands by as this man rushes into the inferno and carries her friend’s lifeless body out.
Lorne Kincade can’t out run his past on his Harley Davidson WLA, the civilian model of the motorcycle he rode in the war. He’s tried. He’s been a vagabond biker in the year since the war ended. His Uncle Ivar bequeathed him a ramshackle cottage in Sanctuary Point, on the Great South Bay of Long Island, NY and now he’d like to hope for a future again, repair the miniscule place, and settle down. The only problem is, a young woman with hair the color of mink is starting to get under his skin and that’s the last thing he needs.
Such a fascinating novel and time. I love the patriotism of our country just before, during and right after WWII. Why did you pick this era to write about?
I've been intrigued by that ear for quite a while and decided to put my hand to writing about it. It's a time when America came out of the pain and loss of a war that they hoped would end all wars. The nation pulled together, became a little wiser about evil in the world, and America rose up to even greater heights. I admire the America of that era and wanted to look back at it. Immigrants with little but the clothes on their backs were pouring into the country from Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. They were not always met with open arms. There were struggles and difficulties. Yet there was an American can do spirit. Americans of that time held themselves with a great deal of dignity and class.
Is there significance (symbolic or otherwise) connected to the Harley motor cycle?
Nike: I think the Harley Davidson is a romantic symbol in the classic sense of the word romantic. It's also an all-American symbol. The Harley was used in WWII. In fact hero Lorne Kincaid rides the civilian model which is a replica of the one he rode in the war where he was a courier going on missions under General Patton.
Is there a personal connection to any part of the story? If so, what?
Nike: Erica Brogna, my heroine, is a bit like me. She wants to be a dress designer and I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked in the bridal industry. She's independent and stubborn and it gets her into trouble. I'm independent and stubborn but it never got me into any trouble at all. Yeah, right. Something I didn't realize until the book was in edits is that Erica's mother is very similar to my Czechoslovak grandmother. Mrs B excels in the kitchen and has a great sense of humor. So did my grandmother. Mrs. B teases her children and is teased by them. I recall my grandmother swatting my dad with a kitchen towel. He'd laugh and hug her.
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (penciled might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 and 2012 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. BURNING HEARTS, the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, finaled in the Grace Awards 2011 in the Romance/Historical Romance category. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series released in December, 2011 won the Grace Award 2011 in the Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category. PERILOUS SHADOWS, third in the series released July, 2012, and DARKEST HOUR, the fourth in the series released in February, 2013. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Purchase Links for Burning Hearts:
Amazon/Print and Kindle. http://tiny.cc/m1v1ww
Also Available in Ebook at Barnes and Noble/Nook.