Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Divorce isn’t a subject you would expect a romance writer to write about… but actually we do. In my novels there have been a few cases where the hero or heroine is divorced. Jake in FINAL SIN, Laynie in COMMON BOND, TANGLED HEARTS, Dave in KARMA VISITED, and Annie in ANNIE’S KARMA; I also had a divorcee in my short story THE VACATION. Basically the rate of divorced characters in my novels is close to the national (expected) rate of divorce — “The marriage breakup rate in America for first marriage is 41% to 50%”.

Although statisticians have noted that the divorce rate has gone downward in more recent years (due to couples getting married at older ages, higher education and financial independence, and more couples living together without marriage, etc.), what breaks a marriage up? Obviously some folks just aren’t “right” for each other and may have gotten hitched because “everybody else was doing it”, sometimes unexpected pressures/tragedies put serious strains on the relationship, interference from outside sources (in-laws? friends?), and sometimes people just grow-apart as they grow-up. Two people can never really be in total agreement about everything, not if they retain their individuality, and it would be kind of boring if they never had different opinions, but if you can’t move past those differences it doesn’t bode well. Unfortunately statisticians also noted that there is an even higher risk of divorce the second time around, possibly that is because “once burnt” means someone’s defensiveness is up.

So can we find love with a divorcee? I believe in the possibility of Happy-Ever-After’s, but I also believe it’s worth understanding what went wrong in their first (or subsequent) marriage. Having seen divorces happen to people I know, my personal observations tend to make me believe that outside interference is a huge risk factor. A meddlesome mother-in-law who can’t let go of her son, a father who pressures his child into a family business that makes him/her miserable, siblings or friends who insert themselves into personal matters and instigate arguments… While I am a firm believer in marital counseling, it can help couples see beyond their alleged differences, it doesn’t always save a marriage.

Aside from finding out what went wrong in the first marriage, and many times you can rely on simple verbal honesty, I would say beware someone who is hiding information or purposely keeping you away from other past friends or family (who might be able to tell you a different story). Also listen to the ex-spouse but don’t necessarily take her/his word as truth. Definite red-flags to note, if anyone suggests that your intended may have been abusive, carefully watch how he/she treats you (not all abuse is physical); if there are children involved in the past relationship, is responsibility being taken (not just financially), this is especially important if you hope to have children with this individual; and of course, if your intended cheated (with you or someone else), you might have a problem.

I think the most important red flag to watch for is did he/she actually let go of the ex-spouse? I have seen it happen where one person said they were divorced when in reality the divorce wasn’t finalized because one of them never signed or it was hung up in a lawyer’s office because there was a disagreement on the settlement of property, alimony or even child care. Make sure that your chosen one is free to begin a new relationship (even if you’re both willing to put the formal ceremony off for a while). Even if a civil divorce can be proven, be aware that there are some religious divorce requirements as well and for any number of reasons one party may be avoiding doing what is right after being married in a religious manner — and why would anyone want to marry a man (or woman) who is still hanging on to their “ex” spouse? And especially if someone is avoiding getting the religious divorce in order to make their ex miserable, would you really want to marry someone who is that spiteful?

Judaism, Islam, and Christianity (for example) require certain procedures in order to release each party from the marriage commitment and enable each to marry someone else if they choose. In a Jewish divorce a husband must submit a written form, known as a “Get”, to his wife as proof of their divorce, without it neither one of them should be able to marry again, but if he is withholding the Get for spite, chances are he is also lying to his new wife (only the man can provide the Get). In an Islamic (Muslim) divorce, the civil divorce (if there was a civil marriage) holds no bearing on the ability to remarry as a Muslim; a lawyer familiar with Islamic precepts must work with the couple’s Iman to create an equitable parting of the ways and possessions. A Catholic divorce will not allow either partner to remarry in the Church, the marriage must be “annulled” which basically denies that the couple was ever married in the sacraments of the church. So make sure that your intended partner is truly free to marry you and is honest from the beginning.

Even with all of this talk about divorce, this romance writer is still a romantic-at-heart. I believe in second chances and true love. I also believe that any commitment, partnership, marriage, or whatever you are calling your relationship, needs to be founded on truth and trust. My parents were married for almost 32-years when my dad suddenly passed away and I truly believe they would still be married and very much in love if they were both still around; the day my mom died there was a cloud in the sky that looked like a staircase to heaven and I’m sure that my dad was waiting at the top as my mom went to him. No marriage is perfect, there will always be disagreements and sometimes tears, but when you put each other first, when you like yourself as well, and when you are openly honest and communicating, then each year is special and life can be pretty wonderful.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Perils of Being a Romance Author

Ever since my first book, Bartlett’sRule, was published in 2008, people have come to me to discuss “personal issues” thinking I would have the right words to help them reach their Happy-Ever-After. I only wish I had the advice to help them, but the truth is even my storybook characters have had to go through a lot of their own false starts and some mistakes before they found their true loves. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me because of the books I write was when the husband of one of my then close friends came to me to complain about his wife’s “performance” in the bedroom and wanted me to give him some advice to get her to be “willing to experiment”! Pushed for an answer I haltingly told him to just talk to her and tell her how he feels. (It was hard to look her in the face after that.)

The truth is that while many writers are told to “write what you know” we also have to use A LOT of creative imagination. I remember at a book discussion appearance for His Lucky Charm one audience member actually asked me if I was describing my husband in the love scenes! I think I turned beet-red right then and there. (I still refuse to answer that question, it will forever be a mystery.) I remember a fellow-romance writer friend whose husband refused to read any of her books because he was afraid if the hero wasn’t him he would be jealous. By the way, I have always used at least one of my husband’s traits in every hero I create, but I will never say which one it is.

Not all of my books are sexually explicit, and never just for shock value, I basically use what I feel is appropriate for the story. In my first EMS-based novel Final Sin the villain was a sexual predator so, yes, I went there. Then in my first paranormal story Karma Visited the two would-be lovers weren’t really ever together (until the very end) so there wasn’t exactly too much they could do; while the sexual innuendos went further in the sequel Annie’s Karma, the sex was still rather downplayed even while the passion was heated.

I love the idea that people like to read about passion and hot romance, it’s certainly one of my favorite book topics as well, but read the stories and let them get you in the mood. One couple I know (because one of them told me so) likes to read a chapter together and cuddle — I don’t ask what else they may do… Some women who have attended my book discussions have said that they like to read passionate, sexy stories because it gives them a wonderful escape from the mundane; that’s why I write romance. It’s not auto-biographical, it’s just a fictional story that enthralls me and I feel needs to be shared.

I hope you enjoy reading my stories as much as I like writing them.

visit Chelle Cordero on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

9/11 — 18 years later

In Judaism the number 18 corresponds to Chai (Life) and for the past 18 years people have gone on living, but never forgetting the precious lives lost on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Living… but life was never the same for the widows and widowers, the children and parents, the brothers and sisters, and the friends and co-workers. Some have remarried, children have grown to have families of their own, but the mourning continues. It’s said that you never stop missing someone, instead the hole inside of you just becomes a part of your everyday, and as time goes on you can’t help but wonder how different life might have been if your loved one was still here, walking beside you, and sharing in the many joys that could have been. So many of the loved ones of those lost have lived courageous lives, they’ve raised their children, children have found their paths, siblings have created lasting tributes, and none have never forgotten.

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” George Eliot

Every year I selfishly count my blessings. My husband had been scheduled to be working that Tuesday at 3 World Trade Center (destroyed under the collapsing towers), but thanks to the grace of God (if you believe), or a stroke of luck (if you don’t), the 2-day financial show he was working on was rescheduled for the 10th and 12th instead due to a scheduling conflict of one of the keynote speakers. Instead he was at home, by my side, and we watched on TV as the towers fell. I will never forget the panicked phone call from our son, in school, asking about his father and not knowing about the changed date; then a second phone call from our daughter, away at college, checking in on our welfare and saying she was headed home. And later that evening, he was on one of a contingent of (volunteer) ambulances that went to the site to hopefully assist in the rescue of survivors — unfortunately those trucks returned without any patients, no survivors were found by then.

There were 2996 people killed on 9/11 (including people at the World Trade Center, airplane passengers and crews, and Pentagon employees) In addition to the memories and the losses suffered that day 18-years ago, by 2019 we’ve had many more tragic losses due to respiratory disease and cancer from those who were exposed to the dust from the collapse of the epic buildings. The NYPD, which lost 23 brave souls on Sept. 11, 2001, 37 from the Port Authority police also died; they have to date lost 241 more members of 9/11-related illnesses. 343 courageous firefighters, plus 1 heroic fire patrolman, died 18 years ago, since then 202 more FDNY members have died of illnesses related to their service on Sept. 11.And 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private agencies also died on 9/11. 

Thousands more (including rescue workers, employees at WTC, and area residents have been reported to be suffering from illness related to 9/11. Researchers have now linked cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke) to exposure at the WTC site. And there are no available numbers of the effects of PTSD on anyone who was physically present or even watched the news reports of that day. The horror continues.

Since I was a Rockland County (NY) resident at the time of the attacks, I often listed the names of Rockland residents that died; I personally only knew two individuals and a few of the families. Before I moved out of Rockland I met more families and friends and heard many more stories. Although I am no longer living there I will post and honor those individuals (links to more names are below):

       Rockland County Residents

Ø Janet M. Alonso 41 Stony Point NY
Ø Calixto Anaya Jr. 35 Suffern NY
Ø Japhet J. Aryee 49 Spring Valley NY
Ø Richard E. Bosco 34 Suffern NY
Ø Sgt. John Gerard Coughlin 43 Pomona NY
Ø Welles Remy Crowther 24 Upper Nyack NY
Ø John D' Allara 47 Pearl River NY
Ø Bernard D. Favuzza 52 Suffern NY
Ø Thomas Foley 32 West Nyack NY
Ø Andrew Fredericks 40 Suffern NY
Ø Robert Joseph Gschaar 55 Spring Valley NY
Ø Dana Hannon 29 Suffern NY
Ø Capt. Frederick Ill Jr. 49 Pearl River NY
Ø Farah Jeudy 32 Spring Valley NY
Ø Joseph Marchbanks Jr. 47 Nanuet NY
Ø John Marshall 35 Congers NY
Ø Patricia A. McAneney 50 Pomona NY
Ø Robert Garvin McCarthy 33 Stony Point NY
Ø Robert William McPadden 30 Pearl River NY
Ø Luke G. Nee 44 Stony Point NY
Ø Gerald O'Leary 34 Stony Point NY
Ø David Ortiz 37 Nanuet NY
Ø Lt. Vernon Allan Richard 53 Nanuet NY
Ø Thomas G. Schoales 27 Stony Point NY
Ø Mohammed Shajahan 41 Spring Valley NY
Ø Gregory Sikorsky 34 Spring Valley NY
Ø Catherine T. Smith 44 West Haverstraw NY
Ø Robert W. Spear Jr. 30 Valley Cottage NY
Ø Loretta A, Vero 51 Nanuet NY
Ø Benjamin Walker 41 Suffern NY
Ø Weibin Wang 41 Orangeburg NY
Ø Steven Weinberg 41 New City NY
Ø Capt. David T. Wooley 53 Nanuet NY

To view a full memorial list of 9/11 victims go here:

To view a list of law enforcement officers from 10 agencies, go here
(includes those who have died from 9/11 illnesses)

To view of list of FDNY officers who died on 9/11, go here:

To view a list of all Emergency workers killed in the September 11 attacks, go here: