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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 back 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.”

She looked back as she bent over and was annoyed to catch his leer. “Are you enjoying the show?” She sounded cynical.

Patches of red tinged his cheeks. His embarrassment surprised her.

“Sorry.” He looked back at the water. “I’m Bruce.”

She nodded in acknowledgment but didn’t bother to return the courtesy. “So how long before this hurricane actually hits?” Turning towards the hotel, she wrapped a clean towel around her waist.

“We’ve got about twelve or fourteen hours.” Bruce fell into step next to her “Where are you from?”

“Philadelphia.”

He hoped she’d be a little more forthcoming. She wasn’t. They kept walking. “So why are you in Miami Beach?”

She stopped. “I’m on vacation.” Debbie turned to look at him. She stood with a hand on a hip. “Thank you for your help in the water. But I’m not the kind of woman that picks up a vacation fling in case that’s why you’re following me.”

“Don’t worry. I’m not interested in being a tourist attraction.”

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AudioBook narrated by Wendy Tremont King

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Have you stopped by Weekend Writing Warriors
or Snippet Sunday (on Facebook) lately?

Every weekend a whole lotta’ authors get together to share tantalizing snippets from their works, some published and some not, and we all comment and offer critiques and encouragement on each. It’s Writers hanging out with Writers.

Even if you aren’t a writer you are welcome to come and sample our work — it will be like enjoying a passed hors d’oeuvre party. Just click on the links above to find the snippets.

In the meanwhile:

I posted snippets from Hostage Heart,
you can read them by clicking on the links below:

The bank robbery ~ 02/08/15

Danger ~ 02/15/15

Miss Goody Two-Shoes  ~  02/22/15

No money for ransom ~ 03/01/15

Because they sleep together ~ 03/08/15

Mamere called it vibrations – 03/15/15

Confusion – 03/22/15

Temptation  ~  03/29/15

Foreboding ~  04/05/15

Death – 04/12/15

We have a problem ~ 04/19/15

Three months later ~ 04/26/15

It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita ravaged the coastal communities off of the Gulf of Mexico. The devastation in Louisiana and especially New Orleans was heartbreaking and frightening. More than 1500 people died in Louisiana as a result of the storms and flooding.

My husband spent six weeks as a first responder down there giving medical aid and other assistance. When he came home he was filled with stories about the resiliency of the people who lived down there, about their remarkable spirit and their determination.

His stories inspired me to write Hostage Heart – to commemorate this event I am giving away a free audiobook download of Hostage Heart to one person who comments on my Author Facebook Page post about Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Just follow this LINK to be entered in the drawing

Win a FREE Audio Book or one of two E-books

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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My Rafflecopter giveaway is LIVE – There are THREE prizes: An audio-book of Hostage Heart and TWO (1 each) e-books of Hostage Heart. Earn points (entries) by following the simple instructions

Mother Nature spawned two daughters in the late summer of 2005, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The devastation to the coastal communities off of the Gulf of Mexico was substantial thanks to storm surge and high winds. In the City of New Orleans, which was buffeted by Category-3 hurricane force winds (125 mph) and rain; aging levees designed to protect from rising storm waters broke and an estimated 80% of the city was flooded. Homes and lives washed away.
All in all more than 1500 people died in Louisiana (more than 120 people are still listed as missing) and a total death count from the storm amounted to over 1800 (including Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi). The loss of beloved family pets, some dead and others forever lost in the chaos, weren’t even counted and families still mourn. The death toll rose with “indirect” fatalities which included a heartbreaking high percentage of stillbirths from the flooded parishes of Louisiana. Katrina made landfall in Florida on August 25, traversed the warm Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Louisiana on August 29.


“Hurricane Katrina (2005). A Day That Shook The World . With the power of a nuclear explosion, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana on the 29th August 2005. 125mph winds caused widespread devastation.”  (uploaded by British Pathé Aug. 1, 2011)

The massive loss of life, immense property damage, the failure of the levee infrastructure, and the lack of adequate evacuations pointed to dismal shortcomings in disaster planning. The dedication of public servants was questioned, communication between agencies responding to the emergency was confused, people who needed food and basic supplies were mixed with looters, charitable donations and rescuers were originally denied access to the areas of need by the National Guard for safety concerns, and heads of state were accused of delayed response.

Assistance and donations came from around the world to a country known so often for aid to others. Hurricane Katrina (followed quickly by Hurricane Rita) monopolized headlines and forced major overhauls in disaster planning and response. But even now, ten years later, destroyed homes still sit abandoned and thousands of people displaced during the storms never returned. There has been some re-building and the spirit of those remaining still shines strong, even so the scars will always be there.

People came from all over the country as part of organized Federal teams to render aid – rescue, medical, mortuary… My husband spent about six weeks in New Orleans helping to administer health services in tents set up in hospital parking lots; most hospitals were totally destroyed, others had minimal facilities available, and the patients overwhelmed those limits. During his tenure there he slept in tents, in a mobile van converted for administrative work, and in a firehouse on a barrier island (the firehouse had flooded and equipment destroyed); the teams he worked with shared supplies and sent messages home via satellite phones.

Spouses of the team members sat at home listening to every news report and waiting for those short 45-second calls from our loved ones. When he returned home he was filled with remarkable stories of strength and determination. People who had been through hell were inspirations in survival and compassion. The people of New Orleans were grateful for the help and eager to assist. When he came home he was a changed man for the better after spending that time with such amazing people.

 HH 3way

Hostage Heart

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood…

An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems… no, he is so much more

(From the acknowledgments for my novel Hostage Heart)

To my husband
For inspiring me with the stories he brought home from Louisiana after the storms…

And to DMAT teams around the country who rendered aid after hurricanes devastated parts of the Gulf Coast. And to the resiliency of the folks who met these hurricanes firsthand.

 

For the past year and a half I have participated in a weekly blog hop called The Weekend Writing Warriors #8sunday; a few weeks ago I added #SnippetSunday posts on the FaceBook group. Actually the posts are the same for both, it’s just a matter of who you follow and who follows you; WeWriWa limits your posts to eight sentences, snippets CAN be a little more.

Every week writers post snippets on their blogs and then we “hop” around and leave comments on each others’ snippets. Everyone is welcome to participate. We have just about every kind of genre and story line and it is entertaining to following along with a story and a new installment every week. Sometimes the snippets come from works-in-progress, sometimes they are already published. The comments we receive help to improve our writing.

I look forward to participating every week.

I just recently posted a few months of snippets from my novel Hostage Heart – if you would like to see what this blog hop is all about AND enjoy some tasty tidbits, visit any WeWriWa or SnippetSunday author’s blog on Sundays. Or you could always check out my Hostage Heart snippets.

Listed below are the Hostage Heart snippets in order with the most recent on the bottom:

The bank robbery 

Danger 

Miss Goody Two-Shoes 

No money for ransom 

Because they sleep together 

Mamere called it vibrations 

Confusion 

Temptation 

Foreboding 

Death 

We have a problem 

Three months later

HH 3way

Hostage Heart  by Chelle Cordero is available as an AUDIOBOOK and 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 was…no, he was so very much more!

 

Review
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

~~~~~~~~

 

 

ems audio star

Final Sin by Chelle Cordero

Deputy Sheriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full… investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger…

Final Sin was an Honorable Mention in the Fiction Category of the 2010 NY Book Festival & a 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee.

Final Sin http://amzn.to/1hgH9MY
narrated by Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodward

Print
Kindle
NOOK
Smashwords

Hyphema by Chelle Cordero

Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma… 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… Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

Hyphema won the Dec 9, 2011 Friday Book Cover Vote on the Shades of Love website & was recommended in the book Summer Reading: 2012 Blue Ribbon Selection published by Ewen Prime Co. 

Hyphema http://amzn.to/1kNAODr
narrated by Tim Danko

Print
Kindle
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Have you lived through a disaster?

Hi, I appreciate your assistance. I will be using your personal experiences for a book I am writing about surviving disasters (natural, man-made, technological, etc.) The only identification I am requesting is your FIRST name; any other ID offered will be kept in my personal file in case I need to contact you for more info and will be destroyed upon completion of the manuscript.

If you have lived through a disaster of any kind your responses will be extremely helpful to this project.

You can copy the questions with your responses into an email and send that to me at ChelleCordero@gmail.com ~or~ you can download the .doc (http://bylines333.com/?attachment_id=661), fill in the responses and attach it to an email mailed to ChelleCordero@gmail.com , whichever is easier for you.

Please put DISASTER in the subject line. Please respond as soon as possible.

Email is my preferred method to receive responses, however if you would like you can snail-mail the form to me at: By-Lines; POB 333; Tomkins Cove NY 10986.

1)      What region of the country/world do you live in and what type of disaster has occurred?

2)      Can you give a brief description of what your living conditions were before the disaster (ie: single family home, trailer, apartment complex)?

3)      What was the extent of damage and losses to your family and home?

4)      Did you have any warnings of the impending disaster? If so, what preparations did you make?

5)      What resources were available to you to assist you and your family after the disaster?

6)      Were you able to recover after the disaster and resume a “normal” life? How long did this recovery take?

7)      What were permanent losses that could not be recovered?

8)      What changes have you made to avoid or decrease your losses if future disasters occur?

9)      Based on your experience, what advice would you give to others to mitigate losses and safeguard their families?

10)   Any other comments?

 

(from my author blog)

Button Up Your Overcoat

 Superstorm Sandy
As a writer I get to live vicariously through my characters. I get swept up in their lives, sometimes cry for them, worry a bit, and cheer them on. I use the real-life things that have touched me or stories I hear from people around me. All in all, it makes for very interesting experiences.

In 2005 I listened to stories that my husband and some of his fellow DMAT team members told about what they had seen in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina brought that city down. They had gone down there as part of a medical response team to try to help. My husband was there for six weeks. Hearing about the courage and resiliency of the survivors and their determination to rebuild was amazing.

When I wrote Hostage Heart my heroine was a young lady from Louisiana whose family was devastated by the “hurricanes”, even losing a beloved family matriarch to the flooding. I relied heavily on the stories from my husband and the tales my late grandmother always told me after living through several Florida hurricanes, and I hoped it gave me a feeling of authenticity that I could put into my story.

About a year ago in the north eastern community where I live in the Hudson Valley of New York, I personally lived through Superstorm Sandy, barely downgraded from a hurricane. What was most memorable, aside from the fierce winds, driving rain and sixteen foot waves crashing in from the river, was the fact that I was lucky to be part of the rescue efforts in my small town.

I was a part of a local volunteer ambulance corps and we had just moved into a brand new building. The town supervisor was looking for a place to host a shelter for the many residents who would be displaced by the rising water or who would need assistance due the high winds and loss of electricity. We had the room, we had a generator, and we were a relatively safe distance from the river. Just a few families evacuated before the full brunt of the storm hit (a little more than a year before Hurricane Irene hit another part of our county and left my town unscathed, people expected the same thing).

The town dispatched buses to aid evacuation as the storm grew stronger and it became more evident we were not going to escape nature’s wrath again. While other members of my family and several of my friends responded to the many ambulance calls and aided in rescues, I was one of those who manned the shelter, greeting evacuees, keeping records and offering comfort however I could. A few of our corps members were affected, one losing his home to the river, and others needing heat and electricity. Residents in the town were generous and gave many much needed donations of clothing and other goods.

One of the scenes I wrote into my latest novel,Karma Visited, came directly from the night that Superstorm Sandy ravished the waterfront communities in the county I live in.

We had stragglers arriving through the day, but when the first busloads of evacuees arrived I remember looking down the hallway to see a large mass of shocked faces, dripping clothing, frightened children and broken spirits moving towards the only salvation they could find that night – us. We accepted many family pets (preparations were made to keep them separately from the human evacuees), but I remember seeing this young girl holding her beloved pussycat. The cats paws were literally wrapped around his owner’s neck. I don’t know who looked more scared. These are the two images that remain in my mind. The shelter was open for a week. By then many of the evacuees were either able to return home or had made arrangements with family; a few who lost their homes and possessions were put into a longer term facility where they could live, go to work and school, while trying to rebuild.

Although I spent the bulk of that week in the shelter, it was to care for those who managed to find some modicum of comfort, some who literally watched their homes floating into the river, others who needed warmth and electricity in a powerless community, and some who thought they were safe until trees crashed through their roof. My own family was relatively unscathed – a few trees fell on the property missing the house and doing minimal damage otherwise. We left our pussycats home after assuring their safety and arranging visits home to feed them – they managed without lights and the TV. At the end of the week we came home, cleaned up the debris, threw out some spoiled milk, and finally allowed everything we had seen and done to take hold of our emotions.

One year later, I still see areas in the region that need rebuilding, I hear of families still trying to start over. Here at home I see a community that has survived. Every day I pray for the people who still need our help and support fundraising efforts in the community.

One year has passed, one year… I feel very blessed to have been a part of the recovery and very, very blessed that my family seemed buffered through the storm.
a community rebuilds
a related article: 

Rockland Web Design Blog

Hostage Heart was included in
the Don’t Miss these romance authors
Listmania List on Amazon by 1920’s Movie Fan

Hostage Heart by Chelle Cordero


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