Saturday, September 28, 2013

9/29/13 WEWRIWA a community of writers and readers

My entry this week is from Hostage Heart, a romantic suspense involving a young lady from Louisiana whose family was affected by the devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But life goes on and a baby is on the way. Although she is an unwed-mother-to-be, the baby's father wants to be a part of his child's life... and hers.

It was important to her that they pass along their legacy. Ryan picked the book up while she was in the bathroom and opened it to the pages on the mother’s family. 

Deanna had an older brother, Andres, but Ryan was dismayed to see a date of death listed. He looked at a picture she had stuck on the page of a young man in a marine uniform and assumed that was her brother.

 She had several relatives in the Louisiana area and there were references to the Creole and Cajun culture. A picture of her mamere who had drowned during the Katrina flooding showed an older woman with the same dark eyes and a darker complexion than Deanna and her mother shared; she was truly another beauty. Deanna wrote that her maternal mamere was Chacuma from her grandfather. Deanna’s paternal line was pure Creole.

For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 

Hostage Heart  by Chelle Cordero is now available as an AUDIOBOOK on Audible, iTunes, and on Amazon! Also in All Ebook Formats and  Print Editions.

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents' home and livelihood...Deanna did the only thing she could do. She moved to New York City, found a job, worked hard, scrimped and saved to send what little she could manage back home to Louisiana to her parents.

An errand for her boss - a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers - a kind man who tried to help her and deserved her courageous help in return... But he wasn't the man she thought he, he was so very much more!

Hostage Heart is a captivating read… I really enjoyed Chelle Cordero's 'Hostage Heart.  It read quickly and kept my interest until the very end. I would highly recommend this book and I plan to read all of the author's other books. It took me along on the adventure. I enjoyed the romance.
~LDB, on Amazon

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Friday, September 27, 2013

National Preparedness Month - COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS

Individuals can make a difference in their own community but not everyone has bought into preparedness.  Research on personal preparedness indicates that individuals who believe they are prepared for disasters often are not as prepared as they think.  In addition, some admit they do not plan to prepare at all. 
The challenge: Maximizing awareness and encouraging participation in disaster preparedness activities to affect change at the community level.
Our nation’s emergency managers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMT/paramedics, and other emergency responders do an incredible job of keeping us safe, but they cannot do it alone. We must all embrace our personal responsibility to be prepared – in doing so; we contribute to the safety and security of our communities as well.

Getting Started

While no two projects will be the same, successful projects will share a few common practices. We encourage you to incorporate the following elements into your service project:
  • Create a team with your friends and neighbors to share the effort;
  • Set outcome-based goals and track your progress to those goals;
  • Celebrate your successes together.
The Challenge: Many community-based organizations do not have enough capacity to manage a large number of volunteers, so they need you to organize yourself in coordination with them.  This tool kit is designed to either help you organize a group and be a positive addition to a community-based organization, or, if such an organization does not exist, to be a well-organized independently-run group that fills a gap in the community.
A step-by-step guide to getting started and executing service activities follows.  Please let us know how your project goes and what you learn by telling your story at


Check out which organizations are already helping in your area.  Many have identified community needs and built the expertise to provide solutions, and there may already be an active volunteer group that you could join.  Here are several ways to identify local groups and volunteer opportunities:


Teams can help share the work, motivate members, and hold each other accountable.  Teams build community.  Ask your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and faith group members to serve with you.


Set a service goal and hold yourself accountable.  Find out what your partner organization needs and then work to fill that need.  For example, commit as individuals and as a team to helping at least three people who may need additional assistance in preparing for emergencies (including the frail, elderly, individuals with disabilities, and others with special needs). Set your goals high to stretch yourself.  Then keep track of how you are doing and designate someone to be responsible for updating the group on how you are progressing toward your goals.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can do when you commit, focus, and follow through.


The key to effective service is planning.  Organize your materials, make confirmation calls, and, if you have time, read supplemental materials before you volunteer.


Your team members, the community, and the President want to know about your successes and hear your stories.  Share your accomplishments by reporting your results. We will highlight the best stories throughout the year. Tell us about your successes and what you have learned, or just tell your story of service at
and now, a brief excerpt

Annie was standing at the end of a long hallway. A group of people were walking towards her. She noticed tear streaked faces and vacant eyes that had already seen too much. One woman was holding a toddler to her chest; both of them were soaked through and shivering. A young girl was holding a calico cat; the cat clung to her, and both of them looked scared. Arms around the furry feline, paws around the little girl’s neck, both of them looked like all they had in the world was each other. Silent tears were rolling down the girl’s cheeks.

The destination for the mass of bedraggled storm victims was a rickety table. Two women sat there asking gentle questions and taking names. As the evacuees signed in they were ushered into the room behind the table. A man brought in a heavy wool blanket and wrapped the woman and toddler in it. Through the tears and anxious whispers Annie heard the words rain, tornadoes and death. The shocked expressions and quivering voices bore testimony to the fierce winds of the monsters that left devastation in their path.

Looking around the room now teeming with both the rescued and the rescuers, Annie saw trophies and photos of uniformed men and women marching next to fire trucks and ambulances. The local fire department opened its doors as a shelter for the survivors of the storm. Even the heroes who were doling out blankets, hot coffee and comfort looked scared and overwhelmed. Every now and then she saw a shelter worker offer a consoling and light touch on the arm, a hug, a shoulder – human touches that were beyond her ability. Annie wondered why she was there, what she could do to help them.

The evacuees clung to family members and friends who walked in with them. She heard people crying as they spoke about homes that collapsed around them. A few people stood and shouted random names with passionate pleas for any information. A shelter volunteer began handing out dry clothes for people who needed, others got blankets and toiletries, a few of the very young were given stuffed animals and toy trucks. A non-stop stream of coffee, juice boxes and cookies were offered all around. People sat at tables clutching their new possessions, an armful of material things that represented all they owned.

No one saw her there, no one could take comfort from her touch, and no one could hear her words of encouragement.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

National Preparedness Month - PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR FAMILY

Download the
 Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF - 1.2 Mb), print the pages and fill them in offline.Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Read more about school and workplace plans.
Once you’ve collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss the information to put in the plan. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.
Family seated around a kitchen table writing an emergency plan

a short story collection

Stormy Weather

The sun felt like it was burning into her skin. Even SPF-25 didn’t stand up to the wind burn.
It was just too easy to be lazy and lie there on the towel. The wind was kicking up and she felt grains of sand skitter across her skin every now and then. She wasn’t alone, there were a few diehards still on the beach. Running feet kicked up clumps of sand and finally annoyed her enough to sit up and dust herself off.
“Surfers,” she mumbled and shook her head. Storms always brought them out. The wind kicked up the surf and the waves swelled. Debbie was compelled to watch two figures riding a huge crest and cringed when she saw one tumble into the crashing foam, his board flying in after him.
Groaning, she finally stood and brushed some of the sand from her arms. Debbie walked to the water’s edge and was amazed to realize how much closer it was to the towel she was lying on than when she first picked out a spot. At least she would get her feet wet before she packed up her belongings and trudged back to the hotel.
She was standing in ankle deep water when a wave crashed into her at chest height. She was knocked off balance and wound up sitting in the wet sand as the water threatened to pull her in. The salty water passed her lips and she sputtered and tried to catch her breath.
“You okay?” A bronze god squatted beside her. His hand rested on her back to support her in case she actually collapsed.
Cough, cough. “Yeah,” cough, “I’m fine.” She paused and cleared her throat. “That wave just surprised me.”
He stood and stretched a hand out. “Obviously a tourist.” He smiled.
Debbie stood, she deliberately avoided his help. “Is that an insult?”
“No,” Adonis’ twin laughed. “It was a guess. This is obviously your first hurricane and since we have them every year I figured that you’re either a brand new resident or, most probably, just visiting for a few days. So which is it?”
She didn’t look up at him. “I’m here on vacation.”
“Hah! I was right.”
Debbie looked out at the horizon. “How bad does it get?” It almost looked like sets of black curtains were billowing from the clouds. She walked back to her towel and straw bag and just assumed he’d follow her.
“Oh baby,” he paused while she bent to pick her things up. “It hasn’t even started. The storm is still pretty far off. Besides it’s only a category two.” ...
The Many Faces of Chelle Cordero is a single author collection of short stories featuring Introduction, Pussycat Tails, Holiday Happiness, Not Alone, I Swear That Raccoon Just Knocked on the Door, Stormy Weather, A Mother’s Love, More Than a Friend, The Meeting, The Vacation and a special bonus section.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Did you watch last night's EMMY's? What would you say?

Breaking Bad (AMC)
Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Henry Bromell (Homeland)
David Fincher (House of Cards)
Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire)
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Modern Family (ABC)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock)
Gail Mancuso (Modern Family)
Tony Hale (Veep)
Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie)
Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra)
Laura Linney (The Big C: Hereafter)
Abi Morgan (The Hour)
Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra)
James Cromwell (American Horror Story: Asylum)
Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals)
The Voice

So what did you think of the winners and their acceptance speeches?

Actress Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie, Supporting Actress in a Comedy) is being touted as having "the shortest acceptance speech" ever! She was clearly surprised and emotional... congratulations to her on her win.

What would you have said?

I've often daydreamed what my acceptance speech would be as I accept an award for writing the book made into a bestselling made-for-TV movie... Would I remember to thank everyone or would I inadvertently leave someone special out? Oy, the thought gives me palpitations. 

But I'd like a chance to try!

So all of you movie producers out there, let's talk! Do you like Final Sin, a real thriller set here in the Hudson Valley? Or maybe Karma Visited with its paranormal suspense story line? How about Bartlett's Rule and the heartfelt story of a survivor? ...I've got more.

Just contact my terrific publisher, Kimberlee Williams, or me and the three of us can do lunch and talk...  Who is going to make this dream come true?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

9/22/13 WEWRIWA a community of writers and readers

Another foray into the WeWriWa meme...

Continuing with the theme of September being National Preparedness Month, I am including an excerpt from another of my EMS novels, HYPHEMA (I used creative punctuation to make this fit)

In this scene North Carolina paramedic Matt Garratti has responded with an S.O.D. team (Special Operations Division) to the scene of a town devastated by tornadoes. Matt and his partner Jay are attempting to search and rescue victims trapped in a collapsed church after a youth group event.

Jay was lowered first, Matt followed; he could hear muffled sobbing in the dark – that was a good sign. With flashlights on, they found their way to the first victim, a teenage girl was battered from the debris falling in on her, her right leg was fractured and the bone was protruding through the shin. He felt sorry for her, he knew that it hurt; splinting it the best he could in the confined space, she was soon ready to be lifted out. Next he moved on to a young boy, timber was lying across his chest and the boy couldn’t escape; Jay helped move the debris and the boy was free -except for deep scratches and bruises, he was well enough to crawl towards escape. Matt was thankful the boy’s injuries were minor.
They moved four of the seven trapped victims out without incident; two were dead in the carnage long before they got there. The last victim, the pastor, was pinned beneath a heavy metal beam, the kind that was strong enough to hold the floor under an exuberant congregation during services; the man, though weak, was conscious and praying for the souls of the two teens who had perished. He told Matt and Jay how much he appreciated their help.

For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to:

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I hope you leave a comment below...
and then if you would like to read more of this scene, click here

Friday, September 20, 2013

National Preparedness Month - Business Continuity


The planning process should take an “all hazards” approach. There are many different threats or hazards. The probability that a specific hazard will impact your business is hard to determine. That’s why it’s important to consider many different threats and hazards and the likelihood they will occur.
Strategies for prevention/deterrence and risk mitigation should be developed as part of the planning process. Threats or hazards that are classified as probable and those hazards that could cause injury, property damage, business disruption or environmental impact should be addressed.
In developing an all hazards preparedness plan, potential hazards should be identified, vulnerabilities assessed and potential impacts analyzed. The risk assessment identifies threats or hazards and opportunities for hazard prevention, deterrence, and risk mitigation. It should also identify scenarios to consider for emergency planning. The business impact analysis (BIA) identifies time sensitive or critical processes and the financial and operational impacts resulting from disruption of those business processes. The BIA also gathers information about resources requirements to support the time sensitive or critical business processes.
This information is useful in making informed decisions regarding investments to offset risks and avoid business disruptions    Information from Ready.Gov

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Link Between Hyphema and The Miss America Pageant

There's a lot of noise about Syracuse-born Nina Davuluri winning the Miss America title because of her heritage. It seems that her brown-skin makes her UN-American according to some rather vocal opponents. Davuluri was born to parents who emigrated from southeastern India before her birth.
It shouldn’t matter where Miss Davuluri was born or raised anyway. "I have to rise above (the hate). I always viewed myself as first and foremost American." Those were the words she spoke after vile diatribe hit the online world.
In Hyphema, Sudah Garratti was born in Pakistan (another Asian country). She was making the appropriate moves to earn her American citizenship and to vow her allegiance to everything the U.S.A. stands for. When Matt Garratti moved his family to North Carolina they were met with bigotry and misconceptions. One person compares Sudah to the 19 terrorists of 9/11, she’s called an “A-rab” and she’s looked at with undue suspicion when her own family is put in jeopardy. Her determination to earn her American citizenship, to be a good person and to love her husband and son is mocked simply because of her ethnicity.
I am certainly not attempting to trivialize Nina Davuluri’s situation or the loathsome and hateful statements made against her after being crowned Miss America. She is an American woman who is now in a position to be a role model, an emissary of our land, and an example of our American diversity. Sudah Garratti is a fictional character, but Sudah was the result of the same hatred exhibited in vile tweets and other comments after the pageant.
A few weeks ago I watched John Wayne’s The Searchers and I had to laugh when he “complimented” a tribal chief by saying “You speak good American for an Injun.” Certainly our Native Americans have a different perspective on the term “American through and through”. According to Wikipedia, in 2010 the (Native American) American Indian or Alaska Native population was less than one-percent. In 2007 there were approximately 38-million first-generation LEGAL immigrants. Our country is overwhelmingly inhabited with people and traditions that did not originate on our shores, we’ve blended cultures and families with a diverse and rich mix of heritage.
The pageant was filled with beautiful American women from varied backgrounds and ideologies, women who can be respected and admired for their intelligence, their uniqueness, and their commitment to principles. Each participant seemed worthy of her individual state title, but in the end only one could wear the crown. I applaud Nina Davuluri for being proud and understanding the ethnic roots her parents chose to plant in America and for earning the title of a true American beauty.

*In 1983 Vanessa Williams became the first African-American woman to wear the Miss America crown - there was a lot of hate mail and racist comments then too.

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's Here! Karma Visited

Karma Visited

Cover for 'Karma Visited'

Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing

Published: Sep. 15, 2013 

ISBN: 9781301666546

Do you believe in karma? Annie Furman has a gift that allows her, while she sleeps, to visit people in their time of need - but who will be there for her when she needs help? Undersheriff Dave Turner is investigating a series of home invasions and homicides. He has no idea that solving this case will lead him to the woman of his dreams.

"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." reviewed by Charmaine Gordon, Author of Survive and Thrive novels and Mature Romances
Now in Print!

Marilyn's Musings: Dream, dream, dream...Chelle Cordero

Marilyn's Musings: Dream, dream, dream...Chelle Cordero: Dream, dream, dream…

 “ To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,
 For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come, ”...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

9/15/13 WEWRIWA a community of writers and readers

My very first (& hopefully not last) post that is part of the WeWriWa meme!
(thanks to Charmaine Gordon for cluing me into this terrific weekly activity)

Since this is National Preparedness Month, I am choosing my brief excerpt from one of my EMS suspense novels, Final Sin - this is from a scene in the autopsy room, Jake is entering to learn what he can from the autopsy in hopes of solving a crime. Present are the chief investigator Sheriff Jake Carlson, the Chief Lab Pathologist Dr. Ramos, and the remains of Holly, a victim of a sadistic murderer :

        He entered the autopsy suite passing the heavy wooden sign next to the door; It said, “HIC LOCUS EST UBI MORS GAUDET SUCCURRERE VITAE”. Once before when Jake had been here, he had asked for a translation of the Latin words and was told, “This is the place where death rejoices to teach those who live.” He was anxious to learn and he hoped Holly would be anxious to teach; He had high hopes that they could learn something, anything that would lead them to the murderer. Two men were waiting for him as he donned a surgical gown and protective eye-wear.
        Holly’s body was already lying on the shiny, aluminum dissection table. The table, a little more than waist high, was edged with an aluminum channel to allow blood and fluids to drain away from the body. The room was uncluttered and glaringly bright. It was a stark reminder of the lifelessness of the cadavers stored in the drawers along the wall.
For more snippets: 

Amazon Paperback
Audio Edition

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Exciting News! Bartlett's Rule is now in Audio

Can you hear it now? YOU BET!

Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero is now available as an AUDIOBOOK on Audible, iTunes, and on Amazon! Also in All Ebook Formats and Print Editions.

Bartlett's Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige's love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.


A fantastic read -- a love story between two seemingly very different kinds of people. Between all the tribulations that get in the way of their romance, they ultimately triumph. The story is so well crafted and the characters evoke lots of emotion from the reader. The plot takes lots of twists and turns and underscores the severity of rape crimes and the lasting damage it inflicts upon its victims.
~Barbara Moroch

Bartlett’s Rule audiobook is narrated by Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard, professional voice actress, owner and producer at Gypsy Audio, residing in the Pacific Northwest. Final Sin was the first audiobook she produced for Chelle Cordero and Vanilla Heart Publishing, followed by Hostage Heart, and is now at work on Chelle’s upcoming paranormal suspense, Karma Visited. Gwendolyn’s range, professionalism, and extraordinary high quality production standards are just a few of the reasons we’re thrilled to be working with her on these projects.



And if you decide to use the Amazon-exclusive 30-day free trial membership it includes:
  • This audiobook free, plus a bonus audiobook of your choice
  • Exchange any book you don't like with our Great Listen Guarantee
  • Total flexibility - cancel, pause or upgrade membership easily and whenever you like

Smashwords for All Ereaders –

Payloadz Instant Download –

and the FREE Book Club Discussion Packet with full color printable bookmarks, author bio and photo, discussion starters, and synopsis –

Bartlett’s Rule was named one of Carolyn Howard Johnson’s Top Ten Reads for 2009