By Nike N. Chillemi
Years ago I became the foster mom of two very pretty sisters, Tiffany and Nicole, The foster parents they had lived with for several years were ‘seasoned citizens’ and felt, as they entered their golden years, they should retire from the foster system.
Carol and Richard had been excellent foster parents and the girls loved them very much. Nicole had learning disabilities and Richard spent untold hours patiently teaching her arithmetic. Carol purchased clothes, toys, and movie videos as if she were buying for her own grandchildren.
When children leave one foster home and go to another they usually leave with a garbage bag full of whatever clothing and possession a worker manages to throw in. Then they’re out the door, into the worker’s car, and on their way to the new foster
home. It was summer, so as the new foster mom, I was trying to determine what the girls had, what they could make due with for the rest of the summer, and what they needed to start the upcoming school year.
When the girls came to live with us, I allowed them to phone Carol as they wished. It might’ve been because the girls repeated over-and-over how much they missed Carol and Richard, but Carol became concerned that perhaps the new foster home (our home) wasn’t so warm and caring. That was over fifteen years ago. I don’t know if even Carol remembers why she thought she wouldn’t like me.
Regardless, she was determined to do the right thing by the girls. She phone me and asked if I wanted to come over to her house for coffee and then take all of the girls’ belongings home with me for them. She thought she’d pour a quick cup of java, let me take the girls’ possessions, and get me out of there.
I went over to her apartment and as soon as we set eyes on each other, we liked each other. I stayed for several hours, consumed not only more than one cup of coffee, but also some pastry. That was the first of many hours I’d spend in her house over a cup of coffee. In recent years, Carol and Richard moved to Washington State. Richard has passed, and now I speak to Carol nearly every day on the phone. Yup, she’s my BFF and has been for years.
In the first novel of my series, HARMFUL INTENT, my heroine, Veronica “Ronnie” Ingles (gal private investigator) has been betrayed by her college BFF. She’s newly arrived in Texas, trying to sort things out, and winds up a murder suspect. That’s when she meets Bertha, a cheerful widow who has deep Christian faith. Bertha offers friendship and good advice to Ronnie. In turn, Ronnie encourages Bertha as she begins to consider a ‘senior’ romance and a second marriage. HARMFUL INTENT is now $1.99 and available in Kindle format at Amazon.
Nike N. Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN),American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers.She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction.
She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She writes monthly book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine.
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.