Saturday, May 19, 2018

When the author creates that persistent character…

The author in “writing mode” creates characters, situations and sometimes even whole worlds — when those creations seem to become real, so real that they won’t fade away without a struggle, it is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

I’ve known that joy and in some cases the characters were so persistent that even though I had already typed “The End” there was so much more to say.

The first time this happened to me was after I finished the story His Lucky Charm (by the way the original title was “Forgotten”). The story centered around Caitlyn and Brandon, their love affair, a wee bit of espionage, and their battle to get back to each other despite the dangers. There were a few supporting characters, aunt-&-uncle/step-parents Sylvia and Walter. This whole cast of characters continued in a sequel, Within the Law.

Tom Hughes fulfilled the big brother role for Caitlyn’s angst about Brandon, he was wise and supportive. At one point Brandon voices his surprise to Caitlyn that despite Tom’s strong family values he was going through life alone. That was the moment Caitlyn let Brandon know about Tom’s tragic past when his high-school girlfriend and fiancé was murdered and Tom had to say good-bye. I really liked Tom and I couldn’t help it, I actually worried about him. (Writers can be a strange breed, our imaginary friends become very real to us.) Tom deserved his own Happily-Ever-After.

And thus began Within the Law
Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist.
Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.
Alli and Tom share a mutual and passionate attraction but Alli refuses to make any commitments. She is hiding a huge secret. Tom falls in love with her and pursues her despite a false arrest, kidnapping and attempt on his life.

A similar story of persistence occurred after I finished Final Sin. The heroine of the story, Julie, was a paramedic, her paramedic partner Matt had decided he needed to move on career wise by the end of the book, He also had gotten married by the end of the book although we never met his wife. My story Hyphema focuses on Matt and his wife Sudah as they settle in at their new home and Matt’s new Job.
Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors.
Before long, Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

Things were slightly different when I wrote Karma Visited and its sequel Annie’s Karma, both books focused on the same couple, Annie and Dave, and was truly a continuation of their journey. This was an interesting experience for me because I really got to see my characters’ growth in their circumstances and in their relationship with each other.
Annie Furman moves on from her past and into her future with Undersheriff Dave Turner. Her gifts – or are they her curse? – grow stronger, and she finds out that she is not alone in the realm of astral travel. Dave saved her life, now she has to fight another ‘traveler’ to save Dave… if she survives.

How about you? Have you ever read a story and wondered what happened in the future with one of your favorite characters?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

What is a MOM?

In the literal sense a MOM (Mother) is a female parent, traditionally it is assumed she is the woman who gave birth to a child although she may also have adopted a child. A mother shows maternal tenderness or affection to her child, she nurtures and helps care for a young human being to bring him/her into adulthood.

I would say it’s much more than that. There are blended families and step-moms, there are godmothers, aunts, grandmothers, and even sometimes older sisters who helped to raise a child. All of these roles can also nurture, show affection and tenderness, and all can raise a child.

In today’s world there are also some men who can and do raise children nurturing them, holding them and showing them tenderness, Single Dads. Same-sex couples. Two Moms, two Dads, it could be only one… EITHER one.

As a matter of fact card-producer Hallmark has put out cards that say Happy Mother’s Day, Dad and Happy Father’s Day, Mom. Gender and roles are not nearly as specific anymore. Several years ago artist Marshall Davis Jones introduced an expressive poem called I Spell Father M-O-T-H-E-R.  

A few more observations about Moms, I object to the idea that they are only involved in raising their children into adulthood. Yes, Mothers have to learn that their children be on their own when they become adults, begin jobs, and married; if they did a good job guiding them through adolescent and teens, they are probably pretty capable of living productive lives on their own. Still a Mom’s love never ends no matter what age their child is.

Finally let’s not discount Moms who care for and LOVE cats, dogs and other companion animals. There may be a difference between human and animal children, no one pretends otherwise, but there is still true love, concern, and nurturing — and that spells MOM in my book.

Sending you Happy Mother’s Day wishes to all Nurturers from the Moms and others in my books. With love from Sudah (Hyphema), Deanna (Hostage Heart), Davie (Courage of the Heart), Alli (Within the Law), Sam (A Chaunce of Riches), Layne (Common Bond, Tangled Hearts), and, of course, ME.

Hostage Heart
Courage of the Heart
Within the Law
A Chaunce of Riches
Common Bond, Tangled Hearts

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Speaking in Tongues ~ Chelle Cordero novels in translations

I was raised in an English-speaking only home even though both of my parents were fluent in other languages. The only times I heard other languages were when my mom lit the holiday candles or when my dad lost his temper (and didn’t want my mom to understand the curse words) — while my dad understood and could speak Yiddish and some Hebrew, my mom had NO knowledge of Spanish (and probably felt it wouldn’t be wise to repeat things my dad said in anger). My dad also had a good knowledge, even if not totally fluent, of French, German and Italian thanks to his time served in the army during WW2.

I had heard my older relatives speak in Spanish and Yiddish (and I think some other languages) but since my sis and I weren’t encouraged we really didn’t pick it up. It wasn’t until Junior High and High School that I had any formal education in other languages (French and Spanish)… and I just never really seemed to retain any of the languages. Because of my Cordero surname many people I’ve encountered through the years have expected me to be bilingual with a fluency in Spanish and it’s almost always been a surprise to them how very lost I am.

Okay fast forward to the past few years, just in case you are not aware, I write. Obviously with my lack of communication skills in languages other than English everything I write is in English. My publisher and I were pleasantly surprised to find some of my books selling in faraway (other language) places like Germany, France, Argentina, Italy, Spain, India, and Portugal — my ENGLISH books. This helped inspired my wonderful publisher at Vanilla Heart Publishing to market foreign language translations. I was so excited the first time El último pecado (Spanish edition of Final Sin) was sold!

My terrific publisher has published eleven more translations of four different books (Kimberlee, you are wonderful!) She’s had my stories professionally translated by wonderful artists like Elisabetta Colona, Audrey Vennin, Mariana Sanchez Carranza, Selma Regina da Silva, and Katharina Klamt. Readers can find editions of Final Sin, Hyphema, Karma Visited and Annie’s Karma in Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and French. You can check out these and all of my books on Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble  and other online retailers.

 Oh, by the way, things like Google Translate are great if you are “conversing” on social media one or two sentences at a time, but even then the app doesn’t pick up the local idioms and nuances that are specific to other languages. One of my cousins who speaks Spanish had a good laugh at my attempts at conversation, LOL.

       Amazon buy links

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Touch of Love ~ ...a bit of therapy

If you’ve read any of the stories in my second short story collection you might have surmised how personal some of the stories are to me. In addition to the obvious I’m going to let you in on some of the backstories.

The first and most personal one is An Empty House. In December 2016 my wonderful husband had a stroke. I can use all of the clichés available (Threw me for a loop, knocked the wind out of me, came out of nowhere…) and it just does not express how our lives changed that night. As I said in the story we’ve had to adjust to a “New Normal” which really isn’t normal.

I am eternally grateful that the love of my life survived and has made terrific strides towards recovery, but there is still much more to go. In the meanwhile we had to find ways to get back to life, my husband is the one who suffered the stroke and yet we’ve all been affected. I had to force myself to resume my activities, responsibilities, and my professional life. I actually felt empty inside.

Long ago during an interview I was asked WHY I write, my answer was “I write because I breathe.” I had to learn to breathe again. I started compiling my second short story collection and it wound up being both personal and therapeutic for me. This collection is truly personal to me and there are other stories which were certainly drawn from my heart. I also started a very basic website which, although slow in development, I hope will offer some useful information to others who have stroke survivors in their life.

He is My Brother is about my brother(in-law) and our desperate quest to save his life and find him a donated kidney. We, our family, need him. If you don’t mind please visit the website we set up for him and share our story to all of your contacts,

Although these next stories are pure fiction, they were certainly inspired by people and events in my life and hold very special meaning for me — these stories include: Rekindled, A Date with Mistletoe, and The Lost Love. Finally The Dead Guy in the Park and Always, One More Time were just fun stories to write.

If you take the time to read this collection, please handle it with care, it really was written with a personal Touch of Love.

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

And then came Annie's Karma

The Karma Stories

Writing a sequel wasn't the easiest thing I've done. I had written series books before: Bartlett's Rule & Courage of the Heart (Survivor Series); His Lucky Charm & Within the Law (Cousins Series); Final Sin & Hyphema (EMS Series) — but this was the first time I wrote an actual sequel.

What's the difference? In two of my series I did have recurring characters, but it was always another couple who was the main focus of the book. I created Annie and Dave in Karma Visited and the story could have ended there, but it couldn't. You see both books do have the traditional HEA (Happy Ever After) implications, but somehow my fictional characters wanted more and they talked me into it.

So I wrote a continuing story of a couple — a Colorado Sheriff and a woman with an unusual and really unexpected talent. Annie is able to "travel" while she is sleeping and when Dave first met her he really only met her "essence", it took him a while to accept that she was a real person and he wasn't just going a bit bonkers.
Annie's Karma opens approximately one year after "The End" of Karma Visited. Sure I had already created these "people" and now I was writing about those same characters, I did know them pretty well. Except... there was a year of growth between them. Dave had a year to accept Annie's unusual talent. And Annie had a year to be out of an abusive marriage and learn what it was liked to be loved by a kind and generous man. They couldn't be portrayed the same way they were in the first book and that was the challenge; keep their basic traits but add new experiences.

I hope you'll give me a chance and read both books and then tell me if you think I achieved that growth.

Oh, one more big change in the two books — Mauszer, Dave's cat, had a much bigger role in Annie's Karma.
Annie's Karma
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Saturday, April 7, 2018

So… do YOU believe in Karma?

 Karma Visited

Based on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, Karma means “Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering.” [Wikipedia]  

Many people have beliefs that include phenomena that seem unexplainable, things that really can’t be proven beyond doubt. Even our major religions all refer to angels and spirits. Some people believe in, and might even have abilities, in ESP, a sixth sense, and contact with the afterlife. 

Annie travels in her sleep to help people, literal strangers. Who are we to say that someone might not be “sleep traveling”? Actually there is a more acceptable word for what my character, Annie, can do in Karma Visited — it’s called Astral Projection, also known as an Out-of-Body experience.

Annie doesn’t understand what’s happening to her; for some reason Dave can “see” her and neither of them can understand that either. But then that’s how my story develops and it’s exciting and even though I wrote it, I keep rooting for Annie and Dave to find a way to be together. (btw, their story continues in Annie’s Karma)

 Karma Visited captured me from the beginning and never let go. This tale of good, evil, and a miraculous gift between has a cast of characters you’ll never forget. Well done, Chelle Cordero.
Charmaine Gordon, Author of Survive & Thrive novels and Mature Romances

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also available in foreign translations
Portuguese ~ Italian ~ French ~ Spanish

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Just like breathing ~ 60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write

In one of my earliest interviews as a published author I was asked
WHY do I write...
my answer was simple, "I write because I breathe."

When I created my Amazon Kindle Blog in 2009, I named it to reflect my love of writing

Living, Breathing, Writing

The blog received lots of acclaim and there were several subscribers, but when my publisher and I noticed that a few would-be blog users complained that they didn't have a Kindle (the blog was not available on a PC) we decided to make some of the lessons available to them & created
Living, Breathing, Writing: A Lesson A Day, Volumes 1 & 2

Soon we responded to more demand and created the wildly popular 

60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write

print a copy of this sheet

60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write
has been used in classrooms and libraries across the nation!

 Author in Residence by J.B. Naylor 

Having Chelle Cordero's blog on my Kindle is like having an author here in residence with me. She gives inspiration, motivation, and best of all, practical advice and solutions. I love the "writing exercises" she offers at the end of each blog, as well as the "writing prompts". I've already used them myself and with my 6th grade writing class!

Just Google Chelle Cordero's name and you will see that she knows what she is talking about - her byline has shown up on many articles all over the country in newspapers and magazines. And she has authored multiple novels and short stories as well.

This is a terrific chance to learn from a pro. Until now only a few have been able to attend a writing workshop led by Cordero because of location, now so long as you have access to the internet or a Kindle you can benefit from her amazing tips. Her workshops have been so helpful.

60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write
 is available in Kindle and
in Paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble