Forever Travels – available now at discount!

Forever Travels

Forever Travels
Forever Travels is a collection of stories written by a group of writers from around the globe. These travellers’ tales cross five continents: Europe, America, Asia, Africa, Australasia … and beyond. Thirty-one stories of fun and laughter, adventure and discovery, family and friends, love … and lust.
Compiled and edited by Shelagh Watkins

**************SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY DISCOUNT**************

Featuring the short story STORMY WEATHER
by Chelle Cordero


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 ever now and then. She wasn’t alone, there were a few diehards still on the beach. The running feet kicked up clumps of sand 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.

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Product Details

ISBN 978-1-4466-8168-8
Copyright Mandinam Press (Standard Copyright License)
Publisher Mandinam Press
Published November 19, 2010
Language English
Pages 272
Binding Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink Black & white
6.0 wide × 9.0 tall

from the editor of

Not Alone – part 4 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments beginning Aug 22. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

read part 1 – 8/22

Not Alonepart 4 of 4

He slumped back in the couch and then he started to talk. He wasn’t looking at me. I had heard most of it before, but I needed to hear it again and I needed to hear it from his lips. Kimmie had gotten drunk and she was angry at her boyfriend for leaving with someone else. Jordan was trying to be nice, he was trying to make sure that she was taken care of. She was difficult to control in the car and she had gotten sick. Jordan had just handed her a bag to throw up in when he took his eyes from the road. Then that car appeared and never stopped.
Jordan was quiet for a long time. He had to clear his throat before he spoke again. “You’d better leave now. People won’t be too happy with you if they know you were here.”
“I don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
“I do. I don’t want to ruin your life anymore than I already have.” He stood and put a hand out to me. “It means a lot to me that you came here today though. I want you to know that.
I took his hand and held onto it when I stood. “What are you going to do Jordan? You can’t hide in here forever. What about your classes? All those plans you had?”
He sighed. “I can’t think about that now …” He gently ushered me to the door. “I’m not going to fight Kimmie’s parents. I probably won’t be able to continue school after that anyway.”
When he closed the door behind me, I felt even more loss than I had before. My friend needed me but he wouldn’t accept my help.
I dragged myself to classes over the next few weeks. As far as I knew, Jordan dropped out of his. When I called him, he refused to talk. And he wouldn’t let me come over again. Listening to my classmates who knew Kimmie, I could tell that Jordan was right. People wouldn’t be very happy with me if they knew I was trying to help him. He was trying to protect me.
The school moved another student into the suite and into Kimmie’s room. She had just transferred from another school and she knew nothing about the girl who had slept in that room before her. And I resented her presence. That was always going to be Kimmie’s room and I wasn’t very nice to her. And I resented the fact that Jordan had pushed me away.
The next day I heard a few of the students talking in the library. They mentioned Jordan and the lawsuit. He had to appear in court … today. I ran back to my room and got changed. And then I caught a bus to take me into town and to the courthouse. I got to the lobby just before the doors were opened and people were going to be let in.
Jordan was standing there, alone. He looked sad. I could tell that he had lost weight since I saw him last. He didn’t hear me come up behind him and I slipped my hand into his.
He was startled as he looked at me, then he looked around the lobby. Jordan looked down at me. “People are going to hate you for being here.”
“You’re my friend Jordan. This is where I’m supposed to be.”
I didn’t feel so alone anymore.

Not Alone – part 3 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments beginning Aug 22. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

read part 1 – 8/22

Not Alonepart 3 of 4

Jordan looked unsure and then he just shrugged and allowed me to enter. He slowly closed the door behind us as I walked into his living room. I sat and he stood where he was. There was a photograph of the three of us lying on the coffee table. I picked up the picture; he came closer and looked like he was ready to snatch it back. But he didn’t. There were a series of indescribable emotions that flitted across his expressive eyes.
“How are you doing Jordan?”
“I’m still alive… I don’t know why, but I am.”
“Thank God.” I meant it.
He guffawed scornfully. “You don’t have to lie.”
“But I’m not, Jordan. I’m glad that you survived. It was hard enough to bury one friend…”
He sat heavily on the couch near me. “It should have been me.” Jordan looked directly at me, his eyes were moist. “I swear, I would give my life if it would bring her back. I would give my life if I thought it would just ease the pain for her parents and her friends. Trust me, I wish that I were dead.”
“Please don’t say that Jordan. We need you. I need you.” He simply shook his head sadly. “Tell me what happened?”
“I… I don’t really remember.” He looked haunted. “I can remember going to take Kimmie home. She drank too much and she got sick in the car. I glanced over at her. When I looked back again, a car was passing me and it pulled into my lane. I know that it caught my fender. I don’t remember what happened after that.”
I had heard that he told a police officer at the scene that he didn’t know what happened just before he passed out. “You were hurt, too. And everything happened so fast…”
He looked suspiciously at me. “Why are you so curious all of a sudden? Did her parents put you up to this?”
“Did her parents…?” I shook my head and was confused. “No, why would they?”
“Come on. Are you going to try telling me that you don’t know about the lawsuit?”
“What law suit?”
“Kimmie’s parents are suing me for wrongful death. They’re claiming that I killed their daughter.” He paused. “Actually I agree with them.” The police hadn’t filed criminal charges.
“It was an accident Jordan.”
“I figured she was too drunk to get herself home safely. I thought I could drive her home and she could sleep it off. But somehow I let that car get in my way.”
“You were trying to keep Kimmie safe. You did the right thing.”
“And I got her killed.” Jordan stood and paced. “What I don’t under-stand is why you’re here.”
“Jordan, you’re my friend too. Don’t you remember when I came to visit you in the hospital?” I never went back after that first day. “I was worried about you.”
He sat down next to me again and braced his arm against the back of the couch. Jordan leaned towards me. “So where were you since then?”
I couldn’t help it; the tears flowed. “I’m sorry Jordan. I had to think. I was angry that Kimmie was dead …”
“And you blamed me?”
“No … yes. I’m not sure.” I tried not to cry and I sniffled. “I didn’t know what to think. It’s only just beginning to sink in now. I woke up this morning and I really realized that she’s gone … but you aren’t. I … I didn’t want to lose you too.”
He was surprised by what I had just said.
“Jordan, tell me what happened that night. I need to hear.”

Not Alone – part 2 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments beginning Aug 22. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

read part 1 – 8/22

Not Alone
part 2 of 4

As word of Kimmie’s death spread across the campus, the ostracizing began. Her friends and classmates were too stunned to think beyond losing such a young, vibrant friend. Kimmie’s parents had suffered one of the worst things that ever could happen to a parent. They had no room for forgiveness in their hearts; grief was taking up too much space. It was easier to blame someone; it was far easier to blame Jordan than to try to make sense of it. And our friends, they turned on Jordan as well. No one had any time or any will to think of the desolation that Jordan was feeling.
I cried non-stop at Kimmie’s funeral and thought of all the long phone calls we had and the shopping trips to the mall and cramming for tests. None of my peers was dry eyed either. I couldn’t imagine a world without my best friend or a world without her laughter. We had been friends since our freshman year of high school and I felt a monumental loss. Each of us was self-absorbed in what we had lost when Kimmie’s mother let out a wail of grief that twisted our guts. Even though I knew that Jordan had been banned from attending the funeral, I was angry that he wasn’t there to witness the mourning, the loss and the questions of how we were all supposed to go on without Kimmie in our lives.
That was yesterday.
I woke up crying again. I cried not only for the loss of my closest and dearest friend, but also for the loss of the camaraderie we had with Jordan. It was obvious that Jordan had an interest in Kimmie at the beginning of previous school year and, as Kimmie admitted, he was just so damn cute. I tried to match them up; she knew how he felt. Kimmie wasn’t interested in Jordan in that way though and eventually he was able to accept that. He was always there to lend her his shoulder when she needed to talk about some guy she was seeing or to high-five her when she was happy after a date. He was there for me too; he just never seemed to think of me as anything more than a kid sister.
So the three of us became good friends and since he was a year ahead of us in school, he never minded showing us around or helping us learn a little more about campus life. Kimmie was always the first person I would call when I needed to talk and if she didn’t answer her phone, Jordan was next. I cried even harder when I realized that I had lost not one but two friends. None of our other friends wanted anything to do with Jordan; his loudest critic was Kimmie’s boyfriend. No one bothered to ask the boyfriend why he left Kimmie that night, no one assigned any of the blame to him. It was all Jordan’s fault.
I dressed but I couldn’t bring myself to go to any of my classes. Kimmie’s dad came by to pick up the rest of his daughter’s things; we shared a suite in the dorms. He hugged me and thanked me for the friendship I shared with his daughter. He told me how much it meant to him and his wife to hear me talk about Kimmie during the memorial service. Then he asked me to help keep Kimmie alive by never forgetting her. When he left, the tears began to fall again and I stared at a picture of my best friend while I cried.
Maybe I didn’t really, or maybe I did, but I heard Kimmie’s voice telling me that Jordan needed me. I thought that maybe I was losing my mind. It could have just been the desperation I felt, but I knew that I heard her voice. So I went over to Jordan’s off-campus apartment. Kim-mie and I had gone there often. I stared at his door for a few minutes before I actually knocked.
Jordan looked horrible when he answered the door. And he looked surprised.
“What are you doing here? Did you forget a few names?”
“I didn’t come to call you names. I didn’t come to be angry.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I wanted to talk.” He was quiet as he stared at me. “May I come in?”

Not Alone – part 1 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments starting today. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

Not Alonepart 1 of 4

I ignored the changing numbers on the alarm clock as long as I could. I still refused to believe that anything that had happened over the past few days was real. It was all a nightmare, that’s all.
As my toes sought the warmth of my slippers, the tears began to fall again. No matter how many times I tried to deny it, my best friend was buried yesterday. They wouldn’t let Jordan come to the cemetery; every-one blamed him. Even me.
For the two days that Jordan had been hospitalized, they kept him under a suicide watch. That angered him. Not because he wanted to commit suicide, but because it meant that people thought he would want to take “the coward’s way out” as he put it and avoid facing what had happened. He said it wasn’t his fault, but he still blamed himself.
I left the party that night early, too early to know everything that had transpired. Kimmie’s boyfriend dumped her, he left her at the party while he went home with another girl. She was upset and she drank more than she should have. Actually, she shouldn’t have been drinking at all; most of the folks at the party were under the legal drinking age – but that’s another issue altogether.
Eventually Kimmie wanted to go home and, as it was explained to me, she had trouble even holding onto the keys from her handbag. So Jordan offered to drive her. He drank a beer early in the evening; he was one of the few who could legally, and then he hadn’t had anything else. That was hours earlier. The cops even said that his blood alcohol level was well below the legal limits. Jordan was just trying to be a nice guy; besides, he had once had a thing for Kimmie.
I visited Jordan in his hospital room right after I heard about the accident. I didn’t even know that Kimmie was dead yet. Jordan was devastated. He didn’t need to have his friend’s condition confirmed; he knew. He told me how he had gotten cut off on that dark and winding road. The car rolled down the embankment and came to rest against a tree. There were no witnesses; just a minor paint scrape on the front fender and the police said that could have happened at any time prior to the accident.
Kimmie kept unbuckling her seatbelt and then she would laugh; Jordan kept telling her to put the seatbelt back on. He was tired of her arguing so this time he had been slow. When he looked at her after the car stopped moving, he knew that she was broken. The bone to one upper arm protruded through the skin and fragments of the bone in the lower arm gave her a limp rag doll effect. Her beautiful face was cut up from the windshield glass. He wanted to pull her from the car, but even though he had been belted in, he hit his head on something and was bleeding from the temple. And then he passed out. But he knew, from what he had seen, Kimmie was gone.

Forever Friends Blog Tour

I am pleased to announce that yesterday on my Xanga blog was the very first posting for the Forever Friends blog tour!

Forever Friends is a celebration of the power of friendship and human relationships. The breadth and depth of the stories cover all ages from young to old. Filled with love and respect for family, friends, pets and even a telescope, these stories are guaranteed to entertain the most discerning reader. Thoughtful poems of friendship and love will bring smiles or tears and encourage readers to read the next story. The fiction and non-fiction works in this book express friendship as timeless, enduring and forever.

Please follow the tour to learn more about the book

December 1 Chelle Cordero

December 2 Zada Connaway

December 3 Mary Muhammad

December 4 Helen Wisocki

December 5 Pam Robertson

December 6 Dick Stodghill

December 7 Philip Spires

December 8 Grace Bridges

December 9 L. Sue Durkin

December 10 A. Ahad

December 11 Malcolm R. Campbell

December 12 Lynn C. Johnston

December 13 Dianne Sagan

December 14 Donald James Parker

December 15 Karina Kantas

December 16 Milena Gomez

December 17 Tiziana Rinaldi Castro

Homework assignment – MUSE conference 2008



Contact: Chelle Cordero

Well-published Romance Author Has Short Story Featured in Anthology.

Tomkins Cove, NY—The short story ‘Not Alone’ by Chelle Cordero was recently published in the ‘Forever Friends’ anthology edited by Shelagh Watkins.

‘Not Alone’ is a fictional story inspired by recent events in Ms. Cordero’s home community.

Forever Friends’, a celebration of the power of friendship, is a collection of stories and poems created by members of the Published Authors Forum. It was published by Mandinam Press and is available through (content #2816139).

Chelle Cordero is the author of romance novels Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten and Within the Law from Vanilla Heart Publishing. Her next novel, Courage of the Heart, will be released next February. Cordero’s non-fiction articles have also been featured in several local newspapers and magazines as well as national trade publications.

Learn more about Chelle Cordero at her author’s blog or email Chelle at

the assignment was to write a current press release and post it on my blog or web-site – eventually it will be uploaded to three social book marking sites…
please let me know what you think of this.