Book Promo ~ Learning to Breathe Underwater

Learning to Breathe Underwater

by Jason Elliot

Learning to Breathe Underwater is a collection of poetry that tackles anxiety, depression, heartbreak, loss and growth. In this book, you will find deep and personal thoughts and fears that is intended to resonate with you if you feel alone while experiencing different things in life.

We all share the same heart, with different stories to tell. If i can learn to breathe underwater, so can you.

An interview with Jason Elliot:

Q) Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
A) Certain lyricists from bands that I’ve looked up to definitely have played a part in inspiring my writing. The Color Morale & Hotel Books are two main ones that I really admire as far as writing goes.

Q) Do you have plans for “the next book”?
A) I do actually, as soon as I pieced together this first book I already went ahead and starting writing material for the next one. Same concept, some different topics this time around though.

Q) When did you realize you wanted to write?
A) I can remember as far back as being in middle school and jotting down lyric or poem ideas in my notebooks. I don’t know exactly what onset my sudden desire to write, but the spark has definitely been there since I was young.

Q) Tell me about your interests and passions.
A) Aside from writing, I play guitar in a band called Call It Home. That’s my biggest passion and priority in life on top of everything. I also love unwinding with a cold beer and a good horror movie in my spare time. I’m fascinated with aliens and conspiracy theories… I’ll talk your ear off for hours talking about it, and I have an undying love for reptiles and tarantulas.

Buy Link: AMAZON

An Interview With Chelle Cordero (courtesy of a few friends)

A short while ago while in a deliriously good mood about my husband and I reaching 38 romantic years of wedded bliss, I asked friends to send me questions for an interview. Thanks so much to both those who submitted questions and those who sent congratulations. So here goes, you asked…

1) Gladys asked, Should there always be a happy ending to a novel?

Some genres require happy ever after endings, like romance genres, but even if the chosen genre doesn’t require the HEA, I believe it should still be a fulfilling ending. Take a book like The Diary of Anne Frank, definitely not a happy ending, but by returning Anne’s diary to her father, the only survivor of the family, the story ending has something significant and the story itself has a “purpose”.

As a writer, whether I am writing a non-fiction article or a novel, it is my job to provide something for the reader to take away from my work – a thought, a value, inspiration… The average reader wants something final from a story, some type of solution. The solution doesn’t necessarily need to be outright happy, but no one should be left with haunting unanswered questions. Cliffhangers in a series will leave enough open to make the reader want to come back for more, but there have been answers and solutions along the way making the reader feel they’ve gained something along the way.

2) Cindy asked, How many of the settings in your books have you actually visited?

I really have to count this one out. I’ve never been to Vegas (used liberally in His Lucky Charm), Colorado (from Karma Visited), or Louisiana and Arkansas (from Hostage Heart). I think I’ve been every other place I’ve used as a backdrop, or at least to the general vicinity.

I tend to soak up stories from others about places and experiences they’ve been through; I certainly live vicariously. It doesn’t matter whether I have been someplace myself or not though, I do extensive research on each location and try to include enough reality to make the place real – and yet not so much description that I get tripped up for “faking it”. Several of my stories have had NYC and Hudson Valley settings, places I am very familiar with, but how often have we heard stories of folks who grew up in NYC and yet never visited the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building? I like to check my facts instead of relying on simple memory.

Amusingly I once had someone who has been to Las Vegas talk to me about where I had been and stuff – when I told her I never was she told me I “had to have been there” because I described something so well in my book. Travel guides and Chamber of Commerce or Tourism sites are so rich with knowledge and often include pictures, maps and even videos and allow for virtual visits.

3) Marshall asked, Do you think that your early education gave you “food for thought” in developing plots, concepts or characters for your novels?

Both my early education and experiences undeniably have provided me with a lot of fodder for my stories. I was extremely lucky to meet a lot of very interesting and colorful people. My parents were involved in the community which opened my eyes to different perspectives. Each school I attended from grade school through college allowed me to meet and socialize with people of varying backgrounds, faiths, economic status, and interests.

I went to high school and college with artistic and creative types, and I worked a part-time job through college that allowed me to fulfill my sense of adventure (undercover retail investigation). All in all I grew up believing everything was possible and even the unexpected could happen.

4) Teresa asked, Where do you get inspiration for a story?

I people watch, I listen, I read EVERYTHING, and I play the game of “What if?” I love to exercise (writing) and I rewrite nursery rhymes, newspaper articles, TV shows and things that happened in my own life that I would do differently now with my vast experience, lol.

My husband is part of a federal medical team; he spent six weeks in southern Louisiana after Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans. When Mark came home he was filled with stories about the strength and resiliency of the people he helped treat, as well as tear-filled recollections of the destruction and loss in the area. The more he spoke the more I pictured a family who had to put their lives back together and Deanna Blair and her parents (Hostage Heart) were “born”. Tidbits from other stories (news items mostly) and memories of folks from my past filled in the rest.

5) Vicki asked, How did you start writing?

I volunteered with the NYC Auxiliary Police Department and worked under the auspices of our precinct’s public relations officer. Hank (the detective in charge) asked me to do a favor for him – a young man from our community was killed while trying to help a mugging victim and the weekly newspaper editor asked for an article about the incident. Hank knew I had taken creative writing in school and assigned the task to me. A week later, at the age of 18, I had my first professional byline.

Nine years later, married and pregnant with our daughter, I decided to build a business that I could work from home and I returned to writing professionally. I got a few assignments with local magazines and newspapers. Several years later I realized that I wanted to write fiction, something I had always dabbled with privately, and I kept writing until I found a publisher.

6) Daisy asked, What started you into writing? I know that it is just a matter of time before your books turns into a screen movie.

My parents always encouraged self-expression; however I was always very private with anything I wrote. I was shy and worried about exposing myself to ridicule or worse, vulnerability. No joke, putting something as personal as your written thoughts out there is tantamount to stripping naked and inviting a critique on every body flaw.

In high school I had a class in creative writing taught by the renowned poet Daisy Aldan. Ms. Aldan encouraged me to write and deal with the vulnerabilities. I will never forget one writing assignment, we had to write a serious love letter to an inanimate object – I wrote a Love Letter to a Guitar which later appeared in my school’s yearbook – we all chuckled under our breath when the assignment was given, but the exercise proved to be life-altering. I learned to write with much more than pen and paper, I learned to write with my heart and all of my senses.

Thanks for the kind words, I would absolutely love to see some of my stories on the screen and I often play around with casting the characters. Alex O’Loughlin would definitely have to play Jake in Final Sin! (Yum)

7) Jayne asked, How do you envision your hero in each book?

My heroes tend to be a compilation of people I know, have heard about, or dream of. I’ve been asked several times if the hero in a book is really my husband, there are qualities that each one shares with Mark, but they aren’t him. While I admit to falling in love with each and every one of them, they are all different and each one has a bit of “bad boy” in him. I think my heroes fit the stories that they are in.

One thing that I do in every story is gift each hero with a habit or trait that has my husband, Mark, all over it, even a few frustrating habits. In Courage of the Heart there is a humorous scene where Davie files Adam’s computer disks on his desk – only NONE of the disks are labeled and it winds up irritating him because he has to now go through them to make sense of the information. Back when we had diskettes Mark never, ever labeled them and it totally perplexed me.

8) From my publisher Kimberlee, Does your significant other read your stuff?

No, not at all. Mark likes action adventure books; his favorite books are probably Ludlum and that sort. He “claims” he doesn’t like reading romance – even suspense.

But a few years ago I heard another author talk about her husband not reading her books – she asked him if he felt self-conscious about reading the love scenes and that he might fear seeing himself on the pages. His answer to her was surprising, he was afraid he WOULDN’T see himself. I stopped trying to guilt Mark into reading my books after I heard that.

He is very supportive of my writing endeavors though and cheers me on with each accomplishment.

9) From my publisher Kimberlee, What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Writing “The End” and saying goodbye. I’ve created the characters and raised them to function and after all the time I’ve invested on them I now have to let them go off on their own. It really is an empty nest feeling.

10) From my publisher Kimberlee, Tell us about your recent release.

I love my novel Karma Visited – it was really a stretch for me to write, it was different from the others. Karma Visited is a Paranormal Suspense with a strong romantic edge.

Annie Furman died on the operating table after an accident that took her parents’ lives – the doctors revive her but she has an unexpected ability to travel in her sleep to disasters and people in need. No one believes that her nightmares are real and her guardians put her into therapy, she eventually learns to pretend that she is “normal”.

She gets married only to find that her husband, Scott, isn’t the man she thought he was. When she makes the mistake of confiding in him he uses the information to control her and threatens to commit her if she rebels. Annie meets Dave Turner in one of her dreams; surprisingly he can see and hear her. Dave and Annie grow closer and… well, you’ll have to read the book to find out the rest.


Last Chance- Enter the Anniversary Celebration Giveaway

dec 28 1975 MC003Dec. 28, 1975
My husband and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary on Saturday December 28! That put me in a real good mood so I’m going to celebrate by giving YOU presents.
…I want to ask you for a favor; my publisher wants us to give interviews and I need questions. Please think of a writing related question you want me, Author Chelle Cordero, to answer and then post it on my Facebook page (if you haven’t already you will have to “LIKE” the page)
I’ll choose up to 10 questions to answer in a blog on Wednesday, January 8. I will give each person whose question I choose a gift – either a FREE downloadable audio book or an e-book from Smashwords (randomly chosen). Last day to submit a question is Sunday, January 5, 2014.
Here’s a list of prizes: (1 each) audio books of Bartlett’s RuleHostage Heart; & Courage of the Heart; and e-books of A Chaunce of RichesCommonBond, Tangled HeartsHis Lucky Charm; & (4) The Many Faces of ChelleCordero.

It’s simple – LIKE my Facebook Author page, post an author interview question, and read my responses on January 8 on The Potpourri Parlor (here), my Facebook page, my blog  and my website.

Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway

dec 28 1975 MC003Dec. 28, 1975
My husband and I are celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary on Saturday December 28! That puts me in a real good mood so I’m going to celebrate by giving YOU presents.
…I want to ask you for a favor; my publisher wants us to give interviews and I need questions. Please think of a writing related question you want me, Author Chelle Cordero, to answer and then post it on my Facebook page (if you haven’t already you will have to “LIKE” the page)
I’ll choose up to 10 questions to answer in a blog on Wednesday, January 8. I will give each person whose question I choose a gift – either a FREE downloadable audio book or an e-book from Smashwords (randomly chosen).
Here’s a list of prizes: (1 each) audio books of Bartlett’s RuleHostage Heart; & Courage of the Heart; and e-books of A Chaunce of RichesCommonBond, Tangled HeartsHis Lucky Charm; & (4) The Many Faces of ChelleCordero.

It’s simple – LIKE my Facebook Author page, post an author interview question, and read my responses on January 8 on The Potpourri Parlor (here), my Facebook page, my blog  and my website.

Meet Dani Collins, “a debut author with a mission”

Today I am sharing a cup of Peppermint Tea with Dani Collins in the Potpourri Parlor. Dani is the author of More Than A Convenient Marriage? (Harlequin Presents) with a publication date of December 1, 2013.

Dani Collins spent twenty-five years dreaming of writing full time and finally made her first sale to Harlequin Mills & Boon in May of 2012. She’s still dreaming of making Romance Author her day job, but for now she writes around work, family, and enough exercise to keep her out of traction. For more information about Dani, you can visit her website at, listen to her interview with Nice Girls Reading Naughty Books, or watch her interview on GFTV.

Thanks for joining me today, Dani. Let’s get started…

Dani Collins, Author

  1. What’s the elevator pitch for your most recent release?

The biggest selling feature is that it’s two original romances for the price of one! They also happen to be linked books.

The heroine in More Than A Convenient Marriage?, Adara, goes looking for her half-brother in Greece. He’s the hero of the other title in this book, No Longer Forbidden?, but Adara’s husband, Gideon, thinks she’s having an affair and chases her down. From there, all the secrets they’ve been hiding from each other begin to come out. 

  1. Do you work on more than one novel at a time?

To some extent, yes. People often ask how I kept myself going as an unpublished writer and one of my tricks was to always start something new the minute I sent something off. This started my ability to switch gears fairly quickly. Nowadays that usually translates into writing a draft of one, revising something that has come back, doing line edits on a third, then jumping back to my first draft. 

  1. What historical time period is your favorite? Why?

Mostly I write contemporary, but I do have an eBook, The Healer, written in a fantasy medieval world. (Recently names a finalist in Epic’s 2014 ebook Awards!) I think I could be drawn into setting a story in just about any time period if that’s what the characters and story demanded. There’s something deliciously taboo about passion against a backdrop of strict customs or very conservative societies. I’m always intrigued by that sort of contrast.

  1. Do you have a vision board or other `trick’ to help motivate you?

I don’t collage or do a lot of pre-work, although I usually have a brief synopsis and character back stories as well as a few plot points outlined. As I’m writing, I love jumping online—no, it’s not goofing off if it’s research—when I arrive at something I want to describe. For instance, in the third book in this series, An Heir To Bind Them (June 2014), my heroine is Punjabi. I wanted to describe the atmosphere of an Indian wedding in a few sentences. I googled for images and went from there. Same goes if the hero whisks her to his villa on Lake Como or she has to put on a gown for a fancy ball.

  1. Do you schedule time to write or is writing all-consuming to the exclusion of everything else and you schedule time to do other things? Like eat.

Well, for years I got up early to write before my day job. My children were young and my husband worked shifts so that was the only time I could really schedule. I still get up an hour early to write before work. In the last few months I’ve had some really tight deadlines so the writing has become all-consuming out of necessity. I’ve discovered that there are times I can’t be bothered to eat, or eat well. I’m a bit of a hippy so I’m shocked that I’m letting myself fall into these bad habits. Also, I recently went away for eleven days for my day job. When I called my husband, he said, “It’s like you’re upstairs writing. We don’t even notice you’re gone.” This reinforces the message for me that I have to make changes. I will. Just as soon as I get my December book submitted.

  1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Hilarious. Just kidding. I mean self-deprecating. Haha, see what I did there? I suppose I’m driven, given the pace I’ve kept to the last year. People would say I’m nice and bubbly. I tend to say yes to things and worry about the how afterward. That gets me into these over-committed situations.

  1. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

I can get pretty worked up about women’s rights.

  1. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

We have a cat, Buddy, who drives me crazy. He’s nice, quite affectionate and a heck of a mouser, but talkative and very determined. Just try locking him out at night. He climbs to the deck outside our bedroom and yowls until we let him in. We’ve tried three different ways to block him and he’s managed to outsmart us and climb up anyway. If he would only learn to tell time and come in by ten, we’d all be fine, but no. He breaks curfew and I wind up in a domestic dispute with him at one in the morning when he finally gets home sticking of the neighbor’s fireplace. Such a pain.

  1. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I like to garden and travel and golf.

  1. Where did you find the strength to persevere until you got the “call”?

I get asked that a lot, especially because it took twenty-five years for that to happen. I always say that you don’t know going in that it’ll be that long. I always started a new year thinking it would be The Year. Eventually I developed a Scarlett O’Hara ‘tude where I was not gonna let them lick me. I had too many years invested to believe it would never happen so I just kept throwing the spaghetti at the wall. Eventually something stuck.

  1. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

That’s a great question because I was always wary of calling myself a writer, even when my family called me one. I would say ‘I write’ but I didn’t feel like a writer because I hadn’t sold. I’ve since reframed that in my own mind. If you write regularly, you are a writer. If you publish, you are an author. Having said that, when I was among other writers, I always felt like a writer. I spoke the language, I knew the pitfalls and triumphs. In my day to day life, however, it took the validation of a sale to make it easy for me to call myself a writer.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

Elizabeth Lowell and Linda Howard occupy a large section on my keeper shelf. I have a ton of Harlequin Presents and really don’t want to play favorites. When it comes to reading, I’ll try any sub-genre so long as it’s romance. There are a ton of newer authors in print and digital I haven’t had time to try and it’s making me crazy. Again, it’s time to make changes.

More than a Convenient Marriage? (Harlequin Presents)


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