Posted in author interviews, book giveaways

Day 9 of the Days of Christmas Giveaway Celebration with Nike Chillemi & Ada Brownell

Tomorrow is the last day for my special Days of Christmas Giveaway Celebration! I hope you have enjoyed reading about the wonderful Christmas memories of some very talented authors!

I think one of my favorite things about these postings is that the books being given away are so diverse. We’ve had  historical romance, suspense, Bible studies, biographies, and more! Today is no exception, as the winner will take away a wonderful nonfiction book and an action-packed Christian suspense novel. While I haven’t read either book yet, they look fantastic!

So…be sure to leave a comment below. This time, let’s share about someone in our family – it could be a child, spouse, parent, grandparent, or other relative, who has made Christmas extra special. Or, if you prefer, feel free to instead leave an encouraging comment for one of my authors.

And don’t forget to go back and leave comments on the past seven days of giveaways. (The links can be found in the right-hand margin under “Recent posts you may have missed.” All winners will be chosen on December 18 and announced on December 19 and confirmed subscribers receive two entries.

And now…here are the two books up for grabs…

Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

Both books are available at Amazon and the winner will receive an ebook copy of Burning Hearts.

Here is the blurb for Burning Hearts

Can a young seamstress with an independent streak escape an arsonist/murderer while deciding if she trusts the dashing war hero some claim is the killer?

And the blurb for Swallowed by Life
Do you know physical evidence shows you are more than a physical body? An award-winning medical and religion writer, Ada Brownell, after the death of her daughter, sought to verify if she believed in eternal life. This book shows why she has this hope, not only from a Christian point of view, but because of physical evidence. This book will help you discover if you believe and how to prepare.

And now, let’s hear from our authors!

Grandmothers Make Christmas Magical by Nike Chillemi

I remember Christmases when we went to my maternal grandmother’s house in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. Sometimes my dad would have to drive through a snowstorm to get there or to get home. The chains on the car would clank as the wheels turned when we went up and down those steep and winding mountain roads. We’d gone through so many storms that we were old hands at it. It had to be a “big one” for us not to go.

My maternal grandmother was born in the Ukraine and we’d have Pierogies on Christmas Eve (cheese or potato filled dumplings swimming in butter) and rice stuffed cabbage because that meal is traditionally meatless in Eastern European countries. Then of course, on Christmas Day we’d have a feast with the table over flowing with Ukrainian and American delicacies. My maternal grandmother was a short plump lady, and I loved to hug her because she was so soft. She was gentle and kind but she wasn’t spineless, she was as strong as they come.

On Christmas, I missed my paternal grandmother who lived in Ohio with my aunt. This grandmother was born in Czechoslovakia and closely resembles the heroine’s mother in my debut novel BURNING HEARTS. One Christmas when I was about nine years old and opening presents at my Ukrainian grandmother’s house in the Catskills, one of my aunt’s called out with a devilish grin, “Who is that big box for?” Well it was for me and it was from my grandmother in Ohio. She’d made me two velvet dresses with lace sewn around the collars. One was in Christmas red and one in Christmas green. I’ll never forget that day. I tried them on and my mother took photographs of me in front of the tree. I have a scene in GOODBYE NOEL where the heroine’s mother sews lace around the collar of the hero’s young daughter’s Christmas red “Sunday-best” dress to make it even extra special. I guess I took that one from my own life too.

Nike loves to hear from her readers at

12 Days of Christmas: Epiphany by Ada Brownell

The twelfth night of Christmas for some ends in the Feast of Epiphany. In the United States it is known as Three Kings Day and falls on Jan. 6, 2012.

EPIPHANY IS A BEAUTIFUL WORD that even sounds like its meaning: Revelation, Shining Forth, Manifestation.

I WROTE ABOUT EPIPHANY OBSERVANCES in other churches as a newspaper reporter, but I’ve never celebrated epiphany with my congregation. Yet, as with every Christian, I experience epiphany often. I’ll be reading the Bible and suddenly a scripture will pop out, as with when we lost our daughter to cancer: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory ad honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9)

THERE WAS THE DAY WHEN I WAS HAVING A PITY PARTY and telling God He even said in this world we would have tribulation. Then I recalled the rest of what Jesus said in John 15:33, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

THEN AS I WORRIED ABOUT MY NEW BOOK, Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, coming on Amazon in December, I worried about how well it would do. We had other mountains in our lives that needed conquering and I was studying the faith chapter in Hebrews 11. One day I backed up into the last words of the previous chapter: “Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

MATTHEW 4:16 IS A FLASH OF INSIGHT SHINING FORTH all year, but especially this season. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Matthew 4:16).

GOD WARNED THE FIRST COUPLE if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would die. There in God’s garden, they became mortals. Their flesh would be subject to illness and dying, and it would affect every person born thereafter.

YET, GOD IN HIS LOVE told them a Redeemer would come. Jesus is the Redeemer promised in Genesis 3:15 right after Adam and Eve sinned, and people walking in darkness have seen a great light.

Knowledge that the Redeemer has come is EPIPHANY.

Ada Brownell has written for Christian publications since age 15. She is a retired newspaper reporter (The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado), and author of the book, Swallowed by LIFE , which is now available. Confessions of a Pentecostal will soon be available as an e-book.

©Ada Brownell 2011


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and through her newsletter via

28 thoughts on “Day 9 of the Days of Christmas Giveaway Celebration with Nike Chillemi & Ada Brownell

  1. My mother always made Christmas special, even though we had periods of being very poor, she was not too proud to ask for help. She always made sure we had something under the tree.

  2. My mother made Christmas special. I’ll never forget the feeling of going to bed on Christmas Eve sure that something magical was about to happen. My own kids kept that feeling going later in life. I knew when they went to bed on Christmas Eve something magical was about to happen!

  3. That’s such a sweet story, Nike. I also have several handmade items from my grandmother. She used to sell things at craft shows – bunnies in dresses, geese and dolls. There was a Christmas bunny, wearing a white dress with red & green trim that I just adored and unbeknownst to me, she pulled it from display at the craft show and gave it to me that year. I know I get my creativity from her and I treasure her bunny (& a few other items) as reminders of that. I love finding elements about myself that I inherited from my parents & grandparents.

    1. I especially like your last line, Kat…”I love finding elements about myself that I inherited from my parents & grandparents.” That is so neat and I especially admire those who can do crafts since I’m craft-challenged! 🙂

  4. A person that still makes my Christmas’ special even though she is no longer here is my grandmother. She instilled in me the knowledge of what Jesus came to do and made sure that we put Him first even when all’s us kids wanted to do was rip open gifts. We read Luke 2, the youngest child closest to age 12 usually read it. I remember when that fell to me. I was humbled by it. We had a big family so there were many watchful eyes and listening ears. I have carried that tradition down to my family. This year my youngest who is 10 is going to read it for the first time! I am so excited for her!

    1. Terri, I think your yearly tradition that has been passed on from your grandma to have the youngest read Luke 2 is awesome! I love traditions like that and how neat that then your own children will pass that on too! And what a way to focus on what’s REALLY important this time of year!

  5. I lived for many years far away from my Mother and home state but my Mother-in-Law treated me like a daughter and we had many Christmas’s together, she was a special southern woman and I miss her a lot….

    1. We hear so many things about mother-in-laws not being the best people in the world and your comment, Paula, was like a breath of fresh air. What a wonderful woman to treat you like her daughter!

  6. My Grandfather always made Christmas so special because when I was small all of us kids knew that Papa could fix anything and it would stay fixed.
    So when I had children I would go to his house or he would come to mine and put my children’s gifts together. Like a bike, wagon or doll bed. He always seemed to enjoy that time with me and my husband. He passed away at age 95 in the year 2000. I really miss the time we spent together.

  7. Christmas is difficult with both mom and dad in heaven, but I’m so blessed that all of my kids and grands are going to be here the week after Christmas. We’re taking them all to a Nashville Predator Hockey game. (grands are 4, 8 and 12) so this should really be a fun outing. And of course, I try to have tea parties and we always have craft time and reading time together. Being a MIMI is one of the best things this life offers! I love mystery novels and am hoping I’m a winner! Thanks, Penny!

  8. My sister always makes Christmas Eve at Mom’s special. She has my kids over the day before to help her bake cookies. Then the next afternoon, she prepares pigs-in-a-blanket (smokies wrapped in a strip of biscuit), punch, fudge, and other goodies for Christmas Eve dinner. All we do is show up with presents and an appetite. :O)

    1. What a special memory for your children, Glenda. It must have meant all the more to them since their father left for their grandfather to be such a wonderful and giving influence.

  9. Food was always a big part of our Christmas celebrations. Especially with my mother and her mother. One thing that was always fun though, my grandmother used to give my granddaddy gifts from interesting people.
    She had a great sense of humor and would give a gift: To Jack From The Upstairs Maid or To Jack From Prissy (the dog).
    They had a farm and of course always had a dog but never a maid. It was always interesting to see “Who” would be giving granddaddy gifts.
    I hope you all have a great Christmas!

    1. LOL, Jackie! I loved your comment! My husband and I always use “code names” on our gifts to each other as well. Our kids are a little confused, but we always know what our “codes” mean! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  10. My mom has always made Christmas special. She decorates really nice and has good food. She worked hard to make sure we all had a nice Christmas.

  11. My Grandma raised me and was more of a Mother than Grandmother to me. She made Christmas very special every year. This will be my 2nd Christmas without her and I miss her very much.

    Great GIveaways!

    Merry Christmas


  12. This may seem silly, but growing up we didn’t have a lot and my Grandmother had MANY grandchildren. Every year she would give us each a box of chocolate covered cherries and I looked forward all year to getting that simple box of candy. I remember how disappointed I was the year Grandmama switched to something else. I can’t even remember now what it was she gave me…I only remember it wasn’t the chocolate covered cherries!!!! margie at mijares dot net

What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s