Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Monday Meditations

This next year I want to focus on one word each week. I've asked for your help in coming up with words, and so many of you obliged and came up with better words than I ever would have thought up. I'm going to call these my Monday Meditations. Make sure you follow the blog to get automatic updates or check back each week so you don't miss one. I hope you will get to know God and me a little more through these posts that I pray will be spiritually uplifting and fun at the same time.

Looking forward to spending 2019 with you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Courting Danger Release

I am honored to have fellow author, Nike Chillemi visiting with me today. Keep reading to find out more about her and her newest book Courting Danger.

Q:  Give us an insight into your main character(s). What does he/she do that is so special?

A:  In COURTING DANGER, both Det. Katerina "Kat Andruko and forensic psychologist 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 imbedded in each of them, neither of them are me…not even close. They are defined personalities I created. They both share a few very special attitudes and values. Each wants to protect the innocent, find justice for victims, and keep Pelican Beach, Florida (the fictitious city they live in) safe.

Q:  How much research do you do?

A:  COURTING DANGER is set in northeastern coastal Florida and that's where I live, so I know a great deal about the area, it's residents, weather, and so forth. Nevertheless, as I write, I'm constantly googling to check and double check for accuracy. Over the years, writing detective stories, I've become knowledgeable about police procedure. Still, I also have a gentleman who I send chapters to involving firearms, martial arts, and combat. He corrects and/or adds to those areas.

Q:  How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

A:  I get the most response (as far as I can tell) from Facebook. I know many authors swear by Twitter and I enjoy Twitter. So, I've been seeking to find out how to be more effective on Twitter. I read Ruth's recent article, "Marketing With Twitter," and I'll try to implement some of the suggestions there. I think the thing that really struck me in that article was "Tweet for other people." I think that's so important. Although I want them to be riveted to news about me, the truth is they're interested in themselves and their pet things. I have to engage others, catch their attention.


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?


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 HARMFUL 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.

Twitter: @NikeNChillemi

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Looking for a new kind of planner?

This 2019 calendar features a Bible verse for each week in creative fonts that can be colored in. A wide variety of holidays are listed, both traditional and unusual. (Do you know when Appreciate a Dragon Day is? How about Lost Sock Memorial Day?) You’ll have plenty of room to record your activities and appointments in the section for each day and week. After every month, you’ll find word puzzles featuring key words from that month's scriptures and holidays.

Prepare for a year full of coloring and fun that will help you hide God's Word in your heart in 2019 without even trying!

Now take a look at some sample pages! (In the actual calendar, each page is 8 1/2" x 11".) 
Clicking on a picture will open up a PDF of the left-hand page (just the part with the Bible verse, not the calendar week) that you can print and color.

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.
Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

Click here to order a copy of Hide it In Your Heart in 2019 for yourself or a friend now!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Writing Success Takes Time

I read something interesting the other day. Chinese Bamboo takes 5 years to root before you see a sprout come to the surface. When it does, within 6 six weeks, this bamboo shoots up to 19 feet tall! Nature is amazing. That waiting period is a nourishing period. While it may seem like nothing is going on, in fact, everything is going on. The root system is hard at work building a firm foundation.

Writers can apply this to their work as well. I know so many people who want to spend a few weeks, maybe a month, writing a book and then expecting to see amazing financial results overnight.

Yeah, it doesn’t work that way.

Writing is an art. It takes time. You need to build a foundation of followers who enjoy reading what you write. It takes a lot of effort and time. I spend one day a week concentrating on marketing. I hate it. It’s the worst part of my job. I don’t like to promote or talk about myself, but how am I supposed to get new readers if I don’t? That is part of my foundation.

Another part of my foundation is to keep on writing smaller pieces while working on the larger books. Books take a whole lot more time to write than an article. When writing articles, I find new readers who can link back to my website and see what else I have done.

So, for all of you new writers out there, don’t expect fame and fortune to happen immediately, if it happens at all. Make sure you spend some time working on your foundational platform. Take notes of the things you do as well as take notes on how much response you’ve had. For example, post a short story on your blog. See how many people actually read it and, even better, leave comments. You have to find what works for you and helps you get your name out there.

Don’t get discouraged. Keep on working. It will be worth it in the end.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Quilt Scraps

Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy quilting. It's my "thinking time" for writing. I grew up watching my mother sew. In fact, many times she sat me down at the other sewing machine and gave me a project of my own on which to work. Sometimes she gave me work to do that I didn’t like and wished that I were doing something else. Now that I am an adult, I’m glad that my mother taught me to sew. I enjoy making gifts for other people, especially quilts.

 My mom did make a few quilts in her lifetime. We all had quilts on our beds to keep us warm on cold winter nights. Quilts are my specialty. While sewing one day I thought about all the quilts that I had made for people over the years. Some I liked, some I didn’t, some I hated to give away when they were all done! 
I was making a quilt for someone one day, while the neighbor girls were at our house playing with my daughters. One sat and watched while I cut out all the pieces that I would need. She asked, with a rather disgusted look on her face, “Are you going to use that material?” I had to admit that it was rather ugly, but I just told her to “trust me.”

So often when I am making scrap quilts, there are downright ugly fabrics that I use. Somehow in the end, though, the finished product turns out being one of the nicest quilts I have ever made.

Isn’t that the way it is with our lives? Sometimes there are so many bad things that happen to us and we wonder why. I am sure that many of us ask these questions. Why did my parents die when they were so young? Why was there abuse in my household as a child? Why can’t my marriage work? Why did I ever try drugs or smoking?

There are many more questions that we can ask, but the answer is one and the same: to make us who we are.

The quilts of our lives are all different. There are no two that are the same. That makes for a diverse world where there are people that only we can help. I was rather a goody-goody when I was a child. I can’t relate to these young girls today who are having babies when they are still babies themselves. I can’t give any counsel to those who have been so high on drugs that they almost died. I have my own “scraps” from life that make me unique in my experiences.

 If it weren’t for the ugly scraps of life, our “quilts” would not seem completed; it would look as if something were missing. Even those who appear to have perfect lives have ugliness that they try to hide, but it does not change the past and who they are.

 I like those ugly fabrics in my quilts; they pull the whole project together and make it seem just right. Next time you are about to complain about all the bad things that have happened to you throughout your life time, just remember, it is your scraps that could make someone else’s life beautiful.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Release! Spiritual Insights from the Classics - Charlotte's Web

I have just released another book in the Spiritual Insights from the Classics series. This one is a companion to Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. 

In honor of the new release, I thought we could have a little fun today. Here's a quiz for you to learn how much you actually know about Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. Take the quiz and post your answers in the comments. I will then choose a random winner to receive an ebook version of my devotional book based on Charlotte's Web.


1. What does Fern ask her mother in the first line of the book?

2. Why does Mr. Arable set out to kill one of the piglets?

3. Who wanted to keep Wilbur as a pet?

4. How does Fern sometimes take Wilbur out?

5. What sort of a pig is Wilbur?

6. How many times did Templeton the rat get words for Charlotte?

7. What did Charlotte write about Wilbur in her web?

8. Who won the blue ribbon at the fair?

9. How many eggs did Charlotte lay?

10. How many of Charlotte's babies stayed on the farm with Wilbur?

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Library Door

Thanks to Nanette Bergevin for helping me with the picture!
This door may not look like much, but oh what wonders it held for me. Behind that door was more doors in the form of books, books, and more books. Countless summer days I would pedal my bike as fast as I could the mile to the library and check out a book or two or three. I would then ride my bike another mile and a half to our community pool (This is back in the days when I was in shape). I would spend the afternoon alternating swimming with my friends and reading my books. I truly had the best of both worlds.

My family didn't have a lot of money while I was growing up, and the library offered me free books galore! I had already developed a love of reading at home, but entering this door set that love in place for the rest of my life. I am now bound and determined to create a library of my own - you know, like the one in the Beauty and the Beast movie. It's a fact that one can never have too many books.

I even had one of my first jobs at the library. A friend of mine, April, and I worked through the card catalogs checking to make sure books were in their proper place on the shelf, preparing the library to update to a computer system (Yes, I'm that old!).

There are so many fond memories of being at the library as a child. I took my own children to our local library weekly while they were in school, bringing home piles of books to read together. I hope I instilled a love of reading in them. I don't spend nearly as much time as the library anymore, and I have to admit that I think it's a little sad. I still read a lot, but there's something about the atmosphere and smell of a library that gets the blood excited. At least for me.

If you don't have anything else to do this week, take a trip to your local library and see what they have in store for you!

Do you have any library memories? I'd love to read them if you leave them in the comments.

Take your child on an adventure with books at

Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Childhood Door

Home. That's a word that has different meanings to different people. To me it was always a good word. Perhaps that's why I don't mind being at home now as an adult. This is the door to my childhood home. I was five months old when my parents bought the house and I stayed until I got married. This door was the entryway to family and love. There are a lot of good memories behind that door. While there are a few negative things I can remember from my childhood, there are really very few.

I remember when my dad told us he had lost his job. Yes, things were uncertain, but we stuck together as a family, and our church family at the time stuck with us as well.

I remember when my mom told me her father, my grandfather, had passed away from a heart attack. This was another sad time, but again, we were together.

There were fights among us siblings. There were also the three day long Monopoly games.

There was the occasional argument with one of my parents. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was not the offense, but the punishment. I was not allowed to watch Little House on the Prairie that night. Whatever I did, I'm sure I never did it again!

Home is where my mom read much of my early writing, giving criticism and encouragement to help me succeed.

Home is where my sisters and I would have food fights after my parents left the dinner table.

Home is where we entertained friends with food and fellowship.

Home is where we laughed.

Home is where we cried.

Home is where we celebrated.

Home is where my mom passed away. 

Home is where I accepted the Lord as my Savior.

Home is a special place to me. Even though someone else lives in "my" house now, I still have all the memories, and no one can take those away.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Book Release "Spiritual Insights from Classic Literature: The Wizard of Oz"

Click the cover to go to
As a writer I am always on the lookout for new ideas. Last summer an idea came to me while sitting in church. Our pastor was preaching on the heart. For one of his examples he read from The Wizard of Oz and the backstory of the Tin Man. That was when a light bulb came on in my head.

I love reading the classics. There's something about them that is different from today's writing. As a homeschooling mom for 20 years, I was always looking for things I could incorporate into school, but also looking to double up as there were only so many hours in the day. I wish I had thought of this when my kids were still in school. Oh well! It's here for your kids.

I am starting a new series of books. These are devotional books that go along with classic literature. After reading one chapter of the classic, you would then read one chapter of my book, which is a short devotion.  Reading through classic literature with new eyes, I've discovered there are so many lessons learned, or not, by the characters that we can bring into real life discussion with our kids.

I have many books on the horizon with this series, and I can't wait to see where it goes. The first book is Spiritual Insights from The Wizard of Oz. Coming out in February is Spiritual Insights from Charlotte's Web and then in April I'm looking to release Spiritual Insights from Little Women.  After that the sky's the limit as to what I choose. If you have any favorite classics that you would like to see a devotional companion to, please leave a message in the comments. I'll do my best to accommodate you. There's just so many choices, and I want to read them all!!!

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Age Range: 8 - 14 years
      Grade Level: 1 - 8


Looking for some new curriculum? Try There's a great sale going on through January 31st.                                          

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Once again, a new year is upon us. A new year that will hold joys and sorrows, trials and triumphs, new opportunities. Each new day will offer a new door for us to walk through. Most of those doors are physical, but some might be symbolic.

That will be the focus of my posts this year – doors. I'll share some doors I have walked through and tell a little story about each one. Some will be happy, some sad, some full of reminiscing. Some doors will be a challenge to walk through, but with God's help, I'll get through all the doors He wants me to if only I take the necessary steps.

While I share my 2018 journey with you, I'd love to hear about yours. Where will doors take you? Feel free to leave comments on any posts that touch you in some way. Make sure to sign up to receive my posts by email if you don't want to miss one. You can find that link to the right of this blog.

I'm looking forward to doing 2018 with you!