Relationships Passing in the Night

November 10, 2017 by Bella

I've finally got a new book coming out before the end of the year. It's called Relationships Passing in the Night and is a second chance erotic romance.

Relationships Passing in the Night

Here's the blurb:

An airport bar in Atlanta, two strangers on the same cancelled flight, a hotel with only one room left... and an unexpected mutual attraction.

Chloe runs a venture capital firm in Boston. She walked in on her cheating husband on the same day her father passed away. Now three months into a contentious year-long divorce proceeding, she just wants some peace.

Charles finally gained approval to sell his company’s surgical products and is in a celebratory mood for a change. His recent relationship crashed after he overheard his girlfriend outlining her plans to spend his money, so he isn’t looking for anything serious.

One amazing night later, the pair discover that sometimes strangers can be closer than friends. And after they part, their connection becomes an irresistible force that disrupts both their lives. Are Boston and Dallas too far for relationships passing in the night?

So... wanna read a couple of sample chapters?

Let me know what you think!


All Books Just 99c

October 4, 2015 by Bella

In my April update, I mentioned some changes in my personal life. Those changes have continued, and even increased in some ways, but I'm still writing every single day. By June, Cotton Nightie Press had two new authors with books out and I was feeling hopeful. Then Summer came and everything went out the window.

But through it all I kept writing. On vacation in July, when our family went to North Carolina, we stopped at a tourist trap ruby mine and I was inspired to write Diamond Rose, a 50K word novel that I'll never be able to release for various reasons.

In the mean time, enjoy all my books for 99¢ this week only!


Undeniable Is Out Today

April 30, 2015 by Bella

I'm excited to announce my latest book Undeniable: A Bisexual Bromance Big thanks to my editor Annie and the crew at Cotton Nightie Press for working with me to turn this idea into a story.

Undeniable: A Bisexual Bromance

Please consider reading and reviewing it!


New Book Coming

April 10, 2015 by Bella

I've been quiet for the last three months while I've sorted out some life and work issues, but I haven't stopped writing. In fact, I have a new book coming out on April 30th called Undeniable: A Bisexual Bromance.

Undeniable: A Bisexual Bromance

This story is the first in a new series that follows a trio of friends and lovers from the point of view of Matthew Mark Carpenter, the son of an Oklahoma preacher who lives and works in San Diego. He meets Derek Tolbert and Ana Lambert on a ski trip that changes his life completely. If you'd like an advanced review copy, drop me a line.

I originally wrote this story for fun after finishing writing and editing Something Different, but the characters took on a life of their own. I'm actually half-way through the draft of the next book in the series, tentatively titled Visiting Austin, which I hope to release next month.

On a personal note, it's been a hard year so far. I was planning on a career change to make more free time for my family and writing, but something happened that forced me to move faster than I'd expected. I had also hoped to buy into a small publishing company I enjoyed a good working relationship with. When that fell apart in December, I bought out my book contracts and decided to start my own boutique press instead.

Cotton Nightie Press is still in its early days, but I'm hopeful we'll be able to find enough business to make it worthwhile. I'm hoping to find new friends who want to work with me on this project. My faithful editor, Annie Hilen, is already available to help other authors with any developmental or copy editing needs. Please drop me a line if you know of any editor or graphics freelancers looking for leads. And if you're interested in publishing a book and don't know where to begin, I'll be happy to help.


Something Different Is FREE

December 31, 2014 by Bella

I wanted to let everyone know that the new book in my Inseparable series, Something Different, is free on Amazon for a limited time.

It picks up Charlotte's story in the Mardi Gras parade at the end of The Perfect Match. We get to see more of Jack, Julie, Polly, Kurt, and the kids as all their stories continue with this one.

Please take advantage of this limited time offer to read Something Different for free. I've also got a limited number of signed paperbacks that I'll be giving away, especially to those early beta readers who helped me tune the story. Let me know if you want one and I'll put you on the list, but quantities are limited.


Something Different

December 29, 2014 by Bella

I'm excited to announce that the sequel to Inseparable and Perfect Match will be called Something Different. It's still pending final review at Amazon, but will be available for free when it goes live.

Big thanks to my editor Annie and the crew at Cotton Nightie Press for working with me to turn this idea into a story.

Something Different

As soon as the book is available on Amazon, I'll post again with the link. Please consider reading and reviewing it if you liked Inseparable or Perfect Match and are looking for a book to read!


It's Finished!

November 14, 2014 by Bella

Today I've finished the last chapter of Charlotte and Christopher's story. It doesn't have an official title or cover yet, but it should be coming in a week or so.

The story came in at around 85K words, which makes it my longest story yet. Feedback from early beta readers and my editors at PubYourselfPress have been positive and I'm excited to find out what my readers think.

I wrote the first words on September 4th and today is November 14th which gives me a daily average of 1,200 words a day for 71 days. This is a little less than the 1,300 words a day I managed with Perfect Match, but life has dealt me some challenges the last couple of months that intruded into my writing time.

Starting next week we'll begin editing the draft into shape for a release. I'm hopeful we'll make the release window later this month. For now I think I'll just relax and enjoy the wonderful sense of accomplishment in finishing. I'm off to chase my kids around at the fall festival and spend time with my love.

I'll be sharing more as we move toward the release later this month, so sign up for my mailing list or follow me on Twitter if you want updates.

Feel free to drop me a line, even if you just want to say hi! Also, I'm taking questions on Goodreads if anyone has questions about the stories or writing they'd like to ask.


Life and Writing

October 16, 2014 by Bella

My lack of recent updates is a good thing, I promise. I've just passed 50K words for the next book featuring Charlotte and Christopher with another 40K or so to go. I have to share that this is my favorite story I've ever written.

If you've read my books, you know I focus on smaller scale stories of regular people. My first book featured Julie who worked at a bounce house place and Jack who sold oil field equipment. The second featured a ship master named Kurt and his love, Polly, who works as a pharmacy technician. In this new book, Charlotte is finishing up her nursing degree and is interested in Christopher, who served as a Marine and just graduated as a clinical social worker.

I tell intimate stories where characters grow in the telling, and this one is no exception. It picks up the story from Charlotte's perspective at the end of Perfect Match when Christopher appears at the Mardi Gras parade. Both Charlotte and Christopher are facing tough decisions about their careers, families, and lives.

Writing the story of their struggle has been exciting for me, especially the process of plotting out the scenes and exposing their often conflicting points of view. One of my favorite scenes so far has been Charlotte defending her right to her own sexual agency. Having her expose Christopher's subtle double-standard when it comes to their respective pasts was fun to write.

Today I'm writing the end of Act II when things fall apart and all hope appears lost. Conversely, this is my favorite part of every book I've written. Writing compelling, relatable characters is just the appetizer. The main course is when they are tested, beaten, and hopeless. Watching them rise to the challenge and overcome the odds is the heart of the story, and this one has a spectacular twist that will hopefully surprise readers and enrich the Happy For Now I'm working toward in the end.

Before I finish this post, I wanted to share an update from my publisher, PubYourselfPress. We released Inseparable in June and Perfect Match in August, and at this point I've sold or given away over 56,000 ebooks. With more than 70 reviews on Amazon and over 200 ratings on Goodreads between both books, I wanted to thank the readers who gave me a chance to tell them a story or two. The kind words and feedback you've sent, publically and privately, really keep me going.

I'll be sharing more details of the current book as I write, so sign up for my mailing list or follow me on Twitter if you want updates.

Feel free to drop me a line, even if you just want to say hi! Also, I'm taking questions on Goodreads if anyone has questions about the stories or writing they'd like to ask.


A Perfect Month

September 24, 2014 by Bella

It's hard to believe Perfect Match has been out for a month today! I am so pleased with how well it's done, getting up to #9 on the free bestseller list and staying in a good position on the paid lists for the rest of the month.

Big thanks to everyone over at PubYourselfPress who published both Inseparable and Perfect Match with me. I love Aubrey's cover design and Sean's assistance in editing helped make the story better than I could have alone.

Speaking of Inseparable, I'm so pleased that it was selected in the #IndieBooksBeSeen promotion effort on Twitter. I'd like to shout out big thanks to Mark Shaw for inviting me and to Miranda a BookTuber on YouTube who featured a video review. She mentions Inseparable right at the five minute mark!

I would also like to thank the readers who have taken the time to rate or review my book on Amazon and Goodreads. I'm thrilled that so many of you loved the book and am touched by the kind comments. I've read through them all and wanted to share a few.

"Bella Chal has done it again. What a story. It had me on the edge of my seat."

"I enjoyed reading this. And getting a glimpse of Jack's big extended family."

"An amazing story of finding love with a few twists and turns."

"These people are easy to care about and like."

"I'd read this book again and again."

"Loved the characters and the southern setting."

"I loved this book. I could not stop reading it."

"...But I do see a possible continuation of their story, in the next book maybe?"

Oh yes, I've already started the next book which will feature Charlotte and Christopher, but you'll continue to get glimpses of both Jack and Julie, as well as Polly and Kurt as their story unfolds.

I'll be sharing more details as I write, so sign up for my mailing list or follow me on Twitter if you want updates.

Feel free to drop me a line, even if you just want to say hi! Also, I'm taking questions on Goodreads if anyone has book or writing questions they'd like to ask.


In The Top Ten

August 28, 2014 by Bella

I feel like I've been on a roller coaster ride the last twenty-four hours. Perfect Match has zoomed from a rank of around 30,000 to #10 this morning on Amazon's Free Bestseller List.

The early reviews on Goodreads are wonderful and one of the reviewers asked if she could set up a Facebook Fan Page for me!

Thanks to everyone for the retweets and well wishes! You've made my day.


Perfect Match Is FREE

August 27, 2014 by Bella

The Perfect Match, the sequel to Inseparable, is now available for FREE on Amazon!

I am grateful to the many people who were interested in reading and reviewing the story. The first reviews are beginning to trickle in and I'm happy to report it has been well received so far.

Thanks for all the kind words, retweets, and well wishes!


Perfect Match Is Live

August 25, 2014 by Bella

The Perfect Match, the sequel to Inseparable, is now available on Amazon.


Perfect Match

August 24, 2014 by Bella

I'm excited to announce that the sequel to Inseparable is Perfect Match and will be available on Amazon tomorrow, August 25th. I'm so grateful to my friends at PubYourselfPress for their help taking my manuscript and making it a book. The cover and promotional materials that Aubrey made are fantastic.

Perfect Match

Once the book is available on Amazon tomorrow, I'll post again with the link. I'm still looking for reviewers, so keep it in mind if you liked Inseparable and are looking for a book to read!


The Sequel Is Finished

August 21, 2014 by Bella

I am happy to report the sequel to Inseparable is now complete and has been turned over to the editors at PubYourselfPress to help me craft into a book. Right now the tentative release date is Monday, August 25. I hope to have a title and cover to reveal soon.

The writing process for this story felt more focused, aided in part by the outline I submitted to the editors before I began. I wrote it with them looking over my virtual shoulder to help me during the writing process. They provided feedback and suggestions when I strayed too far from the outline without making me feel like I was being fenced in. The support they gave me allowed me to write faster and with more confidence.

For those who read Inseparable, this story picks up a little over a year later. The point-of-view in this story is evenly split between Julie's best friend Polly Makutsi and Jack's nephew Kurt Guidry. It begins on Thanksgiving and ends three months later at Mardi Gras.

Jack and Julie are featured supporting characters, as are their kids Jen, Lisa, and little Jackson whose only dialog is composed of an excited "Da!" I wanted to show their progress as a couple, so I gave them a significant subplot to explore their evolving relationship. Most of the scenes take place in their new house over Christmas, allowing readers to see how much has changed in their lives.

One of my favorite parts of the first book was the Cajun flair Jack and his mother, Claire, brought to the story. For this one I've opened up Jack's family to show the kind of life I knew growing up around Morgan City and Lafayette. With so many extra characters, I actually had to map out a bit of Jack's family tree and invented some back story to make them interesting and realistic. The dynamics of family love and tension stretch the characters in ways that mirror my own experiences in a large family.

I can't reveal too much about the antagonists in this story without spoiling part of the plot. Suffice to say Polly's road to happiness is not without its share of roadblocks and detours.

The story weighs in at around 69,000 words and took me 53 days to write. I'm not a full-time writer, so this represents a big chunk of my free time since June. After taking a week or two off, I'll get back to writing again. I bet by the end of this book it will be obvious who's going to be featured next!

I'm looking for reviewers who are interested in getting an advanced copy, so if you liked the first one and are looking for a book to read, shoot me an email!


Hurricane Bella

August 14, 2014 by Bella

For the last few weeks I've been carefully cultivating a garden. I began by preparing the soil while I planned where everything would go and planted the seedlings in their proper places. Then came the hard work of watering and weeding, holding my shears back when some of the plants grew in unexpected directions. I'm speaking metaphorically of course, because what I'm really describing is my writing process for the sequel to Inseparable.

I try very hard to plan my stories before I begin to write. It's in my nature to make plans. I often walk up and down the aisles of office supply stores and dream that the little tools and gadgets might make me more efficient. After years of writing I now recognize that my plans only last until I sit to write, then odd and wonderful things begin to happen.

It feels like my brain has two writing modes. One mode focuses on the larger plot arcs that take many chapters to realize. Imagine the gardener with clean hands, drawing out where the plants should go on a map. In my other mode, the gardener has dirty fingers and loves finding little earthworms and strange seeds in the soil. This is the mode where I write scenes and dialog, letting the characters speak through my imagination.

This story has taken me places I never expected to go. I've fallen in love with the characters as I always do, and I've given them little quirks to make them feel more real. As I write, I plant seeds that weren't in the plan for the story. Sometimes they are weeds that I end up pulling out. Other times, though... other times they grow into basil or mint or thyme and spice the story in wonderful, unexpected ways.

And then comes the day when I finally have a beautiful garden. It's rich and lovely, but the plants lacks character. Healthy gardens sometimes need strong winds and heavy rains, and today is the day my characters will be tested. I'm writing the the end of the second act. The antagonist has done his job well and Hurricane Bella is about to sweep through the plot.

At the end of the day my hero will believe his heroine betrayed him. My heroine will realize one casual comment has cost her everything. My supporting characters will be strained to the breaking point over secrets. The garden will be wrecked, but the story... ah, the story will be so much better for it.

I love planning and writing to create a beautiful story out of words. But my secret joy is the day I get the destroy it all, testing the characters to their limits and digging up the truth. This is the day I find out if their roots have grown deep enough to survive my winds and rain.

I can't wait to share this story with you!


Red Beans and Writing

August 3, 2014 by Bella

I'm happy to report the sequel to Inseparable is coming along nicely. The story is set, in part, in Morgan City, Louisiana and delves more deeply into Cajun culture than the previous story.

Since I grew up around there, doing the research for the book is a bit like coming home. I've spent time reading maps, examining speech patterns, and remembering the wonderful food.

So instead of writing this afternoon, I've spent time in the kitchen with red beans, andouille sausage, and the holy trinity; onions, celery, and bell peppers. After finding my MeeMee's recipe, I've set out to feed the family my favorite dish growing up.


The one thing I miss, and couldn't get locally, was the real andouille sausage I always got from Poches Meat Market in Breaux Bridge. But even without it, the beans simmering in my big cast iron pot is filling the house with the scent of memories and home.

And in another hour or so, the red beans and rice will ready. And tonight after the kids are in bed I'll be writing again, fueled by the same food my characters will be cooking and eating. Hopefully it will add some real flavor to the story as well as my stomach!

Feel free to drop me a line, even if you just want to say hi! Also, I'm taking questions on Goodreads if anyone has book or writing questions they'd like to ask.


Thanks For The Great Month

July 10, 2014 by Bella

This has been such a wonderful experience for me that I had to take time to thank everyone over at PubYourselfPress who published Inseparable last month. Aubrey's cover design is wonderful and Sean's editing and help with story development went way beyond the call of duty. Thanks so much to you both!

I would also like to thank the readers who have taken the time to rate or review my book on Amazon and Goodreads. I'm thrilled that so many of you loved the book and am touched by the kind comments. I've read through them all and wanted to share a few.

"Some novels just take you by surprise and sweep you up. Inseparable by Bella Chal is one of those books."

"Jack won stars with me when he fought for his kids."

"Julie's Revenge was funny and creative!"

"It has a little bit of everything a little drama... love... family."

"Loved hearing tidbits about Louisiana."

"I will never look at strawberries the same way again!"

"This is one of those books you finish and instantly check what other books this author has written... and, unfortunately, there aren't any yet."

As to the last comment, I am writing every day and hope to have something before too long. I'll share more details as I write, so sign up for my mailing list or follow me on Twitter if you want updates.

Feel free to drop me a line, even if you just want to say hi! Also, I'm taking questions on Goodreads if anyone has book or writing questions they'd like to ask.


Inseparable Still Going Strong

June 30, 2014 by Bella

Inseparable is still going strong after nearly two weeks on sale at Amazon. It got up to #8 on the free bestseller list and yesterday it got up to #701 on the paid bestseller list. The reviews have been amazing and I'm so grateful to all the readers who took the time to comment. The publisher has extended the 99¢ sale for a few more days, so spread the word!

To answer the most popular question I've gotten from readers this week, Yes, I'm already working on a sequel. I'll share more details as I write, so shoot me an email or follow me on Twitter if you want updates.


On Amazon Free Bestseller List

June 21, 2014 by Bella

My first book, Inseparable, is currently #13 #10 #8! on the Amazon Kindle Store Free Bestseller list!


I'm over the moon with that, but it's also got its first review... and it's a five-star! Pardon me for gushing, but I just can't help it right now.


3-2-1 Launch!

June 19, 2014 by Bella

My first book, Inseparable, is out today and so is my new website. I've got so many people to thank for getting me here, especially my friends at Pub Yourself Press who helped me edit my draft into a novel.

I'll be updating periodically with news about my second book, so sign up on the mailing list if you want to be notified of my progress. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments about the novel or writing in general.