March is Women’s History Month

Eight members of the Vanilla Heart Publishing family talk about women who made significant differences in their lives and are part of what made them who they are today.

Learn what makes these women so special: Flora Schlegel, Frances Garrett Morris, Reva Rudick Cordero, Jerrilyn Woods, Mary Leakey, Amy Rea Malone, Miss Wilson, Mary Elizabeth Corley Hays, and Jane Toombs

Common Bond, Tangled Hearts as reviewed in the Sony Reader Store

Kimberlee Williams, the managing editor at Vanilla Heart Publishing, certainly makes sure that our books are available at numerous outlets – one more place you can get my books, in ebook form, is the Sony Reader Store.

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. Justin, the victim of a fraternity prank, and Layne, the subject of a forced insemination, have produced a beautiful child that they are both willing to protect at all costs. The two parents realize they can love each other, but when Layne’s abusive ex-husband shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies. Justin won’t give up until Layne is returned to him. Layne uses her new-found strength, courage and knowledge to defy Charlie’s ugliest demands.

There are three reviews for Common Bond, Tangled Hearts listed in the Reader Store; one review is only 2-stars because “It reads like a Danielle Steele book” and the reader is not fond of Danielle Steele. However, Danielle Steele has always been one of my favorite authors so I am really flattered at the comparison!

The other two reviews are 4-star and 5 star (not bad!) and has statements such as “Layne and Justin clearly love the child, and this comes across well in Cordero’s tender yet suspenseful prose. And when Layne’s hurtful and scary ex – who I hated as soon as Layne started to talk about him!! – shows up, I flew through the pages to see what happened to this realistically written couple.” and “There are so many unexpected twists, it kept me turning “pages” to find out what happens next. I loved the ending, but I won’t give it away. Great story!

Pre-Order Nature’s Gifts now

Nature’s Gifts Anthology
Compiled by Vanilla Heart Publishing

from VHP:

“We are thrilled with the quality and variety of prose and poetry for our first annual Nature’s Gifts anthology. More than twenty pieces, from haiku to villanelles, from essays to short stories, will delight nature lovers everywhere. Take a walk in a garden or hike in a national park. Reflect on the moon. Learn something new. Laugh and cry with our writers as they discover the beauty, the joys, and the raw power of nature. The Nature Conservancy will receive a donation of 50 percent of the profits for every book sold in both print and e-book editions for one year. Dedicated to protecting our rapidly vanishing natural environment, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 117 million acres of land in 28 countries.

The selected poets and authors are: Kathi Anderson, Douglas G. Campbell, Malcolm Campbell, Sam Cash, Chelle Cordero, Helen Fanick, JEGlaze, S. Kelley Harrell, Robert Hays, Donna Henes, Lisa Houff, Victoria Howard, Leah Mooney, Thom Newnham, Deanne Quarrie, Connie Spittler, Smoky Trudeau, Kimberlee Williams, & Scott Zeidel.”

A Winning Title Was Chosen!

I sent Kimberlee a complete list of suggested titles for my new manuscript you can read about the quandary we faced here: ). It was a terrific list and Kimberlee made the choice (I understand she got some input from our favorite in-house editor – Smoky)

The chosen title is “Common Bond: Tangled Hearts” submitted by Lindsay Townsend.

And here is the complete list of titles I received:

1. Heart Strain
2. Twisted Ties
3. Layne’s Strain
4. Too Many Fathers
5. Tangled Hearts
6. Who the hell R U?
7. Guess Who’s your Daddy?
8. Gimme the Money and Get out
9. Common Bond: Tangled Hearts
10. My Two Dads
11. Web of Hearts
12. Mother’s Love, Mother’s Torment
13. Tormented Love
14. My Son, A Mother’s Torment
15. Bonded Hearts
16. Father, Who Art Thou
17. Past Lies
18. Living Lies
19. Captured Love, Living Lies
20. Captured Loves
21. Layne’s Lasting Love
22. Illegitimate Alliances
23. Out of Passion
24. Paternal Faceoff
25. Where Love Lasts
26. Passions’ Gift
27. Deciding Genes
28. DNA Decisions
29. Hidden Truths
30. Secret Lies
31. The Undeniable Truth
32. Two Good To Be True
33. Crossed Hearts
34. Cross My Heart

Thank you so much to all of you who submitted! Thank you each: Barbara, Malcolm, Lindsay, Kathleen, Judy, David, Eva, Charmaine, Jackie, Miikell, Eda, Jane & Bill, Bobi, and Michael.


The blog talk radio show about Hostage Heart is now archived at

Please join Kimberlee Williams and me as we talk about Hostage Heart and more.

Here’s a terrific opportunity:
The Muse Online Writers Conference – you MUST register by August 1.
This conference is FREE, online and really worth attending.
Maybe I will see YOU there?

As moderator Lea Schizas says, expect
a week of nonstop action. So much so that many who have attended in the past
make sure to take off a week, or take their vacation at that point.”


Have I told you about my Kindle blog yet? (Of course I have…)
You can get a weekly writing workshop on your KINDLE
Just go to for details.


Please join ChelleWrites, an announcement-only list of people who would like to receive e-newsletters from me. YOU decide the frequency which you receive emails
– individual posts, daily digest, special notices or NO email/web only.
Members can access files about my books, event photos and more.

Click to join ChelleWrites

Click to join ChelleWrites

Sign up with ChelleWrites now and get a chance to WIN a SIGNED PRINT copy of
Hostage Heart
or one of two .pdf e-books (Hostage Heart & Final Sin)
***The grand prize of a print copy is only available in the continental U.S.

On August 14, I will pull 3 names from ALL the members of ChelleWrites and contact the winners by email.


March is Small Press Month

March is Small Press Month

Vanilla Heart Publishing
with Kimberlee Williams, Managing Editor
In your words, what is a small press?
Evolving, always evolving. In general, when I first began this journey into publishing, I considered any publisher with fewer than ten titles and 5 individual authors small press. As Vanilla Heart Publishing has grown and evolved, I would now call a publisher a small press who has fewer than 20 titles each year and fewer than 15 authors. The bigger determining factor to me is the level of publisher/CEO interaction with the authors. Small presses can and do participate on most every level, while the biggies can’t, due to time and volume issues.
Why would an author go to a small press? What can an author expect from small press?
I would expect authors go to small press publishers for a long list of reasons, but in my conversations with authors and having been an author ages ago, some of the biggest reasons are: we’re friendlier, more helpful, more open to books that don’t quite fit ‘the mold’, more willing to take a chance, more involved in the whole process – before and after publication – and more accessible.
With Vanilla Heart Publishing, an author can expect professional editing, covers, design, formatting, and all that, but also, much more openness and assistance with the all important facets such as building their author platform, industry information, promotion, distribution, wholesale venues, handholding when necessary, brainstorming with the publisher (me) or with the person on staff or contracted who does whatever is needed at the time. We like exploring new marketing methods, and may ask our valued authors to ‘test’ run something for us, or at the very minimum, discuss their ideas and ours with us. Our authors are valuable members of our team.
To us, even more important is what an author should not expect and should not accept from a small press publisher. A reputable small press publisher is NOT a vanity or subsidy press, and authors should always research any publisher before submitting a manuscript.
Can the reading public expect the same quality book from a small press as from a “big NY house”?
They MUST. And small press publishers MUST deliver, maybe not ‘just’ the same quality, but better – more tightly edited, cleaner/better/more engaging novels, industry standard or exceeding industry standard from front cover to back, good font size, crisp print, even to the support small press authors receive for learning to help promote their books and responding to bookseller interest – everything we small press companies do MUST be of the highest caliber. A single small press title that goes on the market and is less than that denigrates all of us.

The book industry overall has felt the effects of the recession; how has the recession affected small presses?
We’ve been chatting a bit about that in my various professional groups and the general consensus is that it is hitting us as hard as any other industry. Many of us signed contracts when things were great for publishing, and now must find ways to cut expenses while maintaining quality, with the knowledge that we can’t be quite so generous with contracts, advances, expenses (things like conferences and bookfairs that don’t show a historical record of high return, advertising, full page magazine ads for a small niche book, etc.)

Really, I think it is not such a bad thing. This gives us a chance to really brainstorm and be flexible in learning new, better, and less expensive ways to manage all the many details and expenses involved in putting out fabulous books. Even such things as the cost-value of purchasing 100 or 100 ISBNs for example. Sure it seems like a fortune to purchase a block of 1000 ISBNs when we aren’t putting out more than 30 books or so a year, but by buying the larger blocks, we get the per unit cost down to a reasonable expenditure, and we can use them for three years, rather than have to purchase smaller blocks at greater per unit costs. Spending $1000 on design software for the interior bookblocks might seem scary (it did to me) but by learning and learning it well, the software saves us both time (independent contractor formatters and layout people) and money (the same people), so if two or three of us here learn it well, woohoo, we’re saving big bucks.
Another cost-benefit to think about is expanding sales venues. For us, that means sucking up the horridly high distributor discounts and just doing it, but also developing even more channels and versions such as Ebook and Kindle versions on every title at the same time as print.
A few small presses have gone out of business. More have cut back the number of titles they put out and authors they sign. Even more are more selective of the manuscripts they accept. Where a couple years ago, a small press might have taken a chance, paid for content or developmental editing rather than a simple professional edit, even reworked an entire 600 manuscript…maybe now they aren’t so likely to say ‘good story, needs a lot of work, let’s sign them’ quite as much as ‘good story, thanks but no thanks, you need to blah blah blah before resubmitting, good luck’.
So, maybe people are a bit more nervous about spending money, but we’ll keep putting out great books by terrific authors and I expect that the economy will turn back around soon enough.

What is the biggest challenge to you as a small press managing editor?
The biggest challenge for me is time management. Time to read manuscripts and make the best decisions, time to write an encouraging rejection letter when warranted, time to write a concise rejection letter when it is obvious the effort is nil, time to oversee every detail of the production process and the contractors we hire, gee, I could go on and on, but let’s just say time management. OK, time management and taxes. Yes, taxes are right up there. Oh, and saying no to manuscripts and authors we just don’t feel are marketable or prepared prior to submission. Then there is the always fluctuating rules and regulations of the many different agencies and organizations we have to deal with on a daily basis. Hmmmm…

What has been the most rewarding to you as a small press managing editor?
Working with authors who blossom and grow along with us. Being allowed to participate in authors’ growth and emergence in their genre and occasionally explore new genre with them.Through selecting fantastic authors and manuscripts, we’ve been rewarded with watching our company grow and gain credibility to an extent we never imagined, gaining footholds in market channels that generally fight small press tooth and nail.. That is another big one. SMILES

Where do you see your small press 5 years from now? What do you see as the future of publishing and the book industry overall?
I see Vanilla Heart Publishing being involved in studio production of audiobook editions of our best sellers, managing movie and foreign rights, coordinating all the pieces of the puzzle, and appearing at awards banquets with our authors. Of course, I see all this from a semi-retired perspective with me on a beach in some warm gorgeous country, my laptops and a cabana boy (or two), while my executive directress manages everything else.

I see the publishing industry as growing, expanding into new markets, new technologies. I envision that someday the industry standard returns policies will change to accommodate financial patterns more accurately, and stop the ridiculous manner that those policies harm publishers, large and small. Just this past month, we saw the emergence of the new Kindle device, with speech to text capabilities, however basic they are. I see technology improving (doesn’t take a psychic to do that!) to the point where books are accessible to all, and reading becomes a ‘normal’ recreation. Again.

Can you tell us something about your small press company, the history, how many author/titles do you have, how do you distribute your books?

Vanilla Heart Publishing started out in erotica as Caged Heart Publishing and we were inundated by many many authors of more mainstream fiction with fabulous manuscripts, great author participation, and terrific energy. It was truly a no-brainer to switch fully to Vanilla Heart imprint and publish these quality books. My husband suggested way back in the old days that I was first looking to publish a novel of my own that I consider opening a publishing house, not so much for my own novels, but because I seemed so interested in the publishing process. He dared me to learn everything I could about it.
I don’t do dares well, lol, so a few years later, here we are, Vanilla Heart Publishing. I’ve studied successful publishers, taken classes and workshops, learned an amazing array of computer software I never believed I could learn, and best of all, I am still learning. I had a background in business management from owning and operating a successful legal secretarial and business services business, but managing independent contractors is much different than that, so I refine processes as we go along.
Currently, and through 2009, Vanilla Heart Publishing has 21 amazing, awesome authors with a total of 35 books released already, and 24 titles scheduled for release in 2009. Our distributors include Ingram Book Group, who are also wholesalers for some of our smaller niche titles, Baker & Taylor, suppliers for many schools and libraries, Follett Higher Education Group for some titles that meet their criteria for college and university bookstore placements, which they manage and operate for more than 1700 schools nationwide, Gardner’s in the UK and Europe, and of course, as many online venues as we can find, including Amazon, AmazonUK, Canada, France, Germany, and some in Japan, Barnes and Noble, Hastings, Borders, etc. My personal favorites to work with are the independent booksellers, because of their professional and pleasant behavior with small press and their willingness to work with us to set up events and signings for our authors and books.

March is Small Press Month, and Vanilla Heart Publishing is planning specials and prizes all throughout the month. March 8-14th is Read an Ebook Week and to celebrate , Vanilla Heart Publishing will be offering each of our Ebooks (with cover art and set in large type for accessibility) for the terrific price of just $5 each. That’s right! The whole week all of our ebooks will be just $5 each and remember, with Ebooks, no shipping! Instant Download!

Our VHP Xanga Blog will have details as the month-long celebration goes on, as well as our Vanilla Heart Books and Authors website.

The True Story Behind Courage of the Heart

This true story isn’t about the love affair between Adam Sherman and Davie Prescott, the hero and heroine of my book. This isn’t about the shame that Adam feels or Davie’s innocence, or about the way he fears that he will taint her.

This is a true tale about the publication of a novel and the dreams of an author. You see, I first wrote Courage of the Heart in 1999 and it was published in June 2001. At the time, the publisher was an innovative print-on-demand company and one had to apply to be published. And while they never promised to move mountains to market the book, they indicated that they would help.

So my book went to “press” and I experienced the wild euphoria of seeing my name on the spine of the book. Between the time that I signed the contract and my book actually was made available, the company had changed its policy and became an all out self-publishing company. There was nothing wrong with that except that even the limited help with marketing I thought I would get was nil since I had not paid any money or purchased any packages. And… I knew absolutely nothing about marketing a book on my own.

Courage of the Heart received a few very favorable reviews (no, they were NOT all relatives!) and not many more books were actually sold. My copy sat filed away as a frustrating memory of what could have, should have, been. It was frustrating, but I had a book in my name even if less than 20 people had read it. I still felt some accomplishment.

I kept writing and in 2008, Vanilla Heart Publishing published my novels Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten and Within the Law. Then Kimberlee Williams, managing editor of VHP, asked if I would consider re-releasing Courage of the Heart. My heart took a leap! Could it really happen? VHP and I had worked as a team to promote my other books and things were moving along very nicely. Did I dare to hope?

So I sent Kimberlee the manuscript – and legal looked into the question of rights. Kimberlee liked the story with some updated scenes (mostly to reflect the more modern world of computer technology that the story relied heavily on). Right now I am soooo excited I could squeal – Courage of the Heart will be re-released in a few months by Vanilla Heart Publishing!

Kimberlee designed a magnificent cover that so perfectly reflects the heat and intensity of Davie and Adam’s love story.
And while I don’t remember the music I listened to when I wrote the first version in 1999, I do know that I listened to Keith Urban singing “Once in a Lifetime while I made the changes to make my story fit into the 21st century. So I guess that “Once in a Lifetime” is the theme song to Courage of the Heart.

Keep your eyes wide open for this romance… You know that I will let you know as soon as it is available. And in the meanwhile, keep coming back here for bits and pieces of interest about Courage of the Heart as well as Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten and Within the Law.

A year in the life of this writer…

September 22nd is an important date as it marks the 100 day countdown of 2008.

So many good things have happened in 2008 as far as my writing goes – I made a wonderful connection with Vanilla Heart Publishing and had my novels Bartlett’s Rule and Forgotten published.

I’ve had the excitement of online interviews, meeting reporters, store book signings and blog talk radio interviews. I’ve spent hours on the phone with Kimberlee (VHP Managing Editor) brainstorming innovative marketing and promotion methods for my books – Thank goodness for nationwide calling plans!

I have made a lot of terrific friendships and contacts with other writers like Namid, Karen Harrington, Sophia Dembling, Smoky Trudeau, Ryan Callaway, Mary Quast, Malcolm Cambell, Jackie, Zulmara, Esmaa and the complete line of VHP Authors. …and I know I haven’t listed everyone! And I don’t have room to list all of the new and re-connected friendships I have made courtesy of MySpace and Facebook.

In addition to the hard print copies of my books, VHP also decided to release them in E-Book versions – get your Bartlett’s Rule or Forgotten E-Book now and save shipping and handling, get it immediately and read it at your leisure – you can even resize the print on your computer screen!

So 2008 has been a wonderfully productive year for me – and there are 100 more fantastic days to celebrate. By November, my next romance novel will be available, Within the Law. And I have a few author appearances and book signings scheduled, look for me at the West Nyack NY Barnes & Noble (Palisades Center Mall) on Tuesday October 14 and at Rose Memorial Library in Stony Point NY on Wednesday October 15. There’s lots more to come!


THIS Sunday!
Books with Heart Blog Talk Radio Show
Sunday, August 31, 6:30PM EST
Join VHP Author Chelle Cordero, and Kimberlee Williams, Vanilla Heart Publishing Managing Partner, as they discuss author promotion and marketing techniques and tips! Chelle’s strategies for promotion and marketing of her books, Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, and coming soon, Within the Law are hugely successful, so be there and learn the secrets to exploding your book sales.

Marketing & Promotion – Blog Talk Radio show

http://www. blogtalkradio. com/Books-with-Heart

Due to technical difficulties on Aug 10 – Kimberlee Williams from Vanilla Heart Publishing and author Chelle Cordero have rescheduled the BTR show on Marketing & Promotions to Sunday, August 31 at 6:30PM EST!

Join VHP Author Chelle Cordero, and Kimberlee Williams, Vanilla Heart Publishing Managing Partner, as they discuss author promotion and marketing techniques and tips! Chelle’s strategies for promotion and marketing of her books, Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, and coming soon, Within the Law are hugely successful, so be there and learn the secrets to exploding your book sales.

Sunday, August 31, 6:30PM EST