|Guest post by Nike Chillemi|
It's been such a whirlwind since PERILOUS SHADOWS came out one-month ago. I've hardly had time to catch my breath. So, being the ever practical one, Kiera Devane, one of my twin protagonists and my heroine, suggested she take this one. Frankly I was a bit relieved. So, I'll let Kiera take it away.
But first, here's what PERIOUS SHADOWS is about:
(Historical Romantic Thriller, late-1940s ~ Sweet romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully)
Pioneer newspaperwoman Kiera Devane is on a mission to prove a woman can do a man's job as she hunts a young coed's killer. Ace radio broadcaster Argus Nye lost one love to a murderous fiend and his pulse races as he tries to protect Kiera from herself as much as from this killer.
Kiera was doted upon by loving parent, but they were killed when she was a girl and she was shipped off to live with a socialite aunt who had little time for her. In her aunt's house, she learned life could be cold and cruel. As a result, she grew up to be an independent and demanding professional woman.
Argus Nye, still bereft from the loss of his first love, can't understand why this female reporter is mesmerizing him. As she takes chances with her life trying to catch a killer, he's determined to protect her.
So, Who Is Kiera Devane?
Like some people, I try to keep the details of my life private…extremely so. So I was a bit disconcerted when Scottish born ace radio broadcaster, Argus Nye came hurtling into my life, invading every corner of it. At first I was put out, but then had to admit he was a decent guy, and having someone care for me felt good.
If you've read the first two novels in Nike Chillemi's series, you'll know Argus has been a compelling secondary character in both of them. You'll recall in book one, BURNING HEARTS, he was desperately in love with Ada Pinter, the murder victim, and was beside himself after she was killed. Let's fast forward, as you say in your time. When you get into PERILOUS SHADOWS, you'll realize I don't have a very good track record with men. I've encountered a few who had less than honorable intentions. So, when Argus careened into my life I thought, that's my luck. The guy is on the rebound, but it turned out to be the real thing.
I guess I've got a competitive nature. In the news business a girl's got to be twice as good as a male reporter just to keep her job. I'm a pretty good reporter. I manage to scoop a front page story right out from under the fellas quite often. Of course, that's made some of them real mad and they've said unkind things about me. For instance, that I'd stab my grandmother in the back to get a story.
In PERILOUS SHADOWS, I scooped the big story right out from under Argus and he gave me credit for it on his broadcast. That was a first. So, I agreed to meet him for a bite to eat at the Tastee Diner. That's in Sanctuary Point, a tiny village on the south shore of Long Island, New York that was first settled by missionaries. Of course in the roaring twenties its inlets and docks were used to ship illegal whisky to the robber barons vacationing in the Hamptons. But that was a while ago. At the time this story is set, in the late 1940s, Sanctuary Point had just come through the World War II and like the rest of America had lost a number of her sons in battle in Europe or the Pacific.
It was a time when women who had held jobs during the war…the Rosie the Riveter types…were getting pink slips so that returning veterans of war would have jobs. But some stayed on and became what was then called "career girls." I was one of them. Lots of young women started going to college. PERILOUS SHADOWS opens with a perky and quite ambitious young coed from the local women's college found dead at WSAN radio station, where Argus worked. The girl was working at the station in a summer internship. Needless to say, that started me on a hunt for the killer. Argus convinced me since we were both on the same story, we should team up. There were times he not only had to protect me from the killer, but from myself.
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From Chapter Three
Argus walked Kiera out of the diner and took her elbow as her heels tapped down the cement steps. Her suit was austere, yet somehow she made it sizzle. He shifted his eyes away so as not to be caught staring, but not before taking a second look. "I'll walk you to your car."
"No,that's quite all right. I've been taking care of myself for a long time."
"Still, lass, I don't feel quite right."
"This is the Tastee Diner parking lot. It's well lit. What could happen?"
Argus rubbed his chin. "Oh all right, if you insist. I'll say good night here." He’d tried to be the gentleman, but she was skittish as a young filly.
"Trust me. I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."
Fighting against an uneasy feeling in his gut, Argus walked to his car on the other side of the lot. Since Ada's death, he'd become overprotective toward women. Fishing in his pocket for his keys, he heard raised voices. One of them, Kiera's.
"Leave me alone. You cheated on me."
Argus dashed for Kiera's car, thinking he recognized the male voice, yet he couldn't quite place it.
"Give me another chance. You misunderstood. It meant nothing." Paul Gregorski, sportscaster at the station, had a hold of Kiera's arm.
A jolt like an electrical charge shot through Argus. "Let go of her if you know what's good for you."
Paul dropped the arm and turned to face Argus. "So, you bumped my show for your special report, and now you want my girl."
"My relationship with Miss Devane is purely professional." He would not allow the slightest insinuation.
Kiera squared her shoulders. "Look, Paul, I wish you well, but let's let bygones be bygones."
The sportscaster slanted his head toward Argus. "I don't want to discuss this in front of him."
"I'm not going anywhere unless Miss Devane asks me to leave."
Kierapivoted away from them and pulled her car keys out of her purse. "I don't give a hoot what either of you do. I'm going home." She slid behind the wheel of the Pontiac, backed out of her spot, and gunned it out of the lot.
Argus watched her signal light flash a right. She made the turn and her taillights disappeared into the twilight. He laughed aloud.
Paul growled. "What's so funny?"
Argus shook his head and walked to his DeSoto, got in, and put the key in the ignition, but didn't turn it on. She'd never be mistaken for a Carmelite nun. Not in a million years. Blunt, not soft and feminine like his Ada had been. And where'd Kiera get that short Betty Boop hair-do? Not his style at all. No Sir. Where Ada was a sensitive and godly woman, this one was so hard boiled he couldn't imagine her on her knees praying. So, why was she so captivating?
Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. 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. She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. BURNING HEARTS is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, published by Desert Breeze. 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, the third in the series released in July, 2012. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning).