Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Where Does a Story Come From, an essay by Charmaine Gordon, and her book, "Help Wanted."

Where does a story come from?

I was a professional actor for years on daytime drama, stage, commercials and more and the written word on scripts was the most important thing to learn. No paraphrasing or tampering with the playwright’s words or else! So when I began the new career of writing, I had a lot of creative juice and experience culled from directors and playwright’s I’d worked with. My stories are linear, filled with an attitude of survive and thrive no matter what happens. A lot of this comes from my own experience. At my age, I’ve had loss, love, and joy. Like so many others, I get along well. And I am an observer, a watcher, a good listener.

Fortunately, Vanilla Heart Publishing signed me to my first book and five years later, nineteen books to date, taught me a lot about writing. I concentrate and now I’m into contemporary mature Romance/Suspense long/short stories that fit together with interesting characters, always pets and humor.

The book I’m talking about today is part of the River’s Edge Series. Titled Help Wanted


Steve and Sally Atwood have some big adjustments to make when they move to River’s Edge. Steve has lost his career in the corporate world and finds work painting houses. Sally flings off her apron and pursues her lifelong dream to be a reporter in the small town with a big heart, where the motto is ‘Kindness to Strangers’.

Afraid he is losing Sally to a more exciting world, Steve panics, but despite Sally’s lecherous new boss, together they rediscover all the love of their thirty-five years together and the excitement that brings.


Sally has just signed a big contract with her boss Lance.
They’re having lunch to celebrate.

A rainbow of sails on the river billowed with the wind as a race began, each sailboat displayed different colors; cheers from the east side echoed across the always cold water.

Strictly business, Sally reminded herself, and pheromones be damned, she concentrated on the menu and avoided eye contact with Lance on this gorgeous day outside under an awning on the wrap- around deck.

She ordered pancakes and they arrived right away;  his smoldering gaze heated the syrup as she poured more than enough to drown the large perfect pancake on her plate.

“Sally, ever since we met I can’t get you out of my mind; I’m not sleeping or eating.”

“Lance, I’m just a middle aged woman at the beginning of a new phase in my life and that doesn’t mean I’ll make the mistake of pushing someone away who has loved me for thirty five years.”

“All right, you’re mine, Sally, in business because I don’t want anyone else to grab your talent before we have a chance to work together.”

Relieved brunch ended, Sally rose, bumped into Lance on the way up and found herself wrapped in his powerful arms, their lips together. She didn’t break away until his tongue, like a heat seeking missile, plunged into her mouth and then she pushed him away with “No.”

Sally must find another woman to pawn off on her infatuated boss. She finds a beautiful doctor at the Veteran’s Hospital in River’s Edge when she brings Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause to entertain the wounded vets. Chapter eleven in the book is one of my faves. You’ll cry and laugh at this totally true part of the story. My friend, Judy Audevard, is the director of this fine organization that, with their Therapy dogs,  does so much good to heal returning veterans at West Point and other venues.

I kissed my acting career goodbye, leaving on a high note with the lead in an Off Broadway play, “The Fourth Commandment” by author Rich Knipe.  “It was great fun and time to move on since my voice was gone, kaput, bye, bye,” Before that, I had a full schedule working on movies like “Working Girl”, “Road to Wellsville” and having the pleasure of Anthony Hopkins’ company at lunch.  I worked with Mike Nichols in “Regarding Henry” and sang outside with Harrison Ford during “Working Girl”, cried with Gene Wilder over loss on another set, and sang ‘It Had to be You’ with the whole cast of  “When Harry Met Sally”.  There were lots of fond memories; “Especially my first job as a stand-in leg model for Geraldine Ferraro in a Diet Pepsi commercial with Secret Service men guarding Ms. Ferraro and her daughters.  Eleven years on One Life to Live, a few years on All My Children, Another World kept my calendar full.”
FaceBook authorCharmaineGordon
Buy links for Help Wanted

SMASHWORDS for All EReader Devices
including PC and Mac

And also Help Wanted is available in a trio Volume one of the River’s Edge Stories.
River’s Edge Trio, Volume 1
Three Stories from the small town with a big heart!
by Charmaine Gordon


Now in Print and All Ebook Editions!
Three stories in the Charmaine Gordon series River’s Edge,  combined in one volume. She Didn’t Say No, Book 1; Housebroken, Book 2; and Help Wanted, Book 3. These Charmaine Gordon stories of love, passion, and suspense set in River’s Edge, the small town with the big heart, are also available as singles in all ebook editions.

She Didn’t Say No

Grace didn’t say no to the Big Man On Campus, Scott Dwyer. And then her life changed… Years later, a too-close encounter of an unpleasant kind with a skunk and Scott’s German Shepherd reunites the former lovers. What happens in between are their stories of beginnings and endings and love lost, then found.


Sally and Steve Atwood must make a big adjustment – a fair number of them, actually – when after thirty-five years, three grown children, and a lifetime of memories, they are alone, together, at last… And, then they found River’s Edge, a small town with big heart, stories to tell that will warm your heart, make you smile, and turn a dreary day into a day of hope for the Kindness of Strangers.

Help Wanted
Steve and Sally Atwood have made some big adjustments when they moved to River’s Edge. Afraid he is losing Sally to a more exciting world, Steve panics, but despite Sally’s lecherous new boss, together they rediscover all the love of their thirty-five years together and all the… excitement… that brings to their lives.
Thanks, Jane. It’s been a pleasure visiting with you this week.


  1. Welcome, Charmaine. You've had quite a wide-ranging career. May your writing career be as interesting as your acting one.

  2. Hi Charmaine. Nineteen books! That's fantastic. Help Wanted looks great and I just love the cover. Best luck in 2015.

  3. Hi Rose, we haven't communicated for a while so it's great to see your comment. I'm always posting on Exquisite Quills.
    Doing my best as creative juices flow., thanks so much. Keeps me young and frisky at 83.

  4. And Jane, you're a sweetheart for posting the whole shebang. Lovely site. And don't think for one minute that just because I don't have hot abs on the cover, there aren't some between the pages. My publisher goes for a different type of show. Valentine's Day looks sultry and oh so intriguing.

  5. No abs, but that dog on your cover is the most adorable thing. ;-)

  6. Hiya Charmaine - your stories are always as charming as the covers! Thanks to you and Ms Quinn for allowing us another glimpse into your life.

  7. Hi Chelle. Thanks for stopping by Jane's terrific blog site and busy you, taking the time to say hey. C to shining C, my friend.