Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is trust?


Some time back I had a conversation with a friend where I remarked that the only person I trust completely is me – I tried to explain that no other person would always choose the things I would and no matter how well-intentioned, a decision might let me down. She was offended though and felt that what I said was insulting, that I should either trust someone or not and that there was no middle road. I still disagree.
What does trust mean to you?
I believe there are levels of trust. I trust my husband of 39-years with my life, literally, but there are times we disagree about relatively minor things like what movies we want to see or what color we want our walls. So yes, I trust him, but do I always “trust” him to choose, say or do the things I would want him to without being there to let him know how I feel?
Then there is the trust of loyalty – a “friend” who means you no harm whatsoever, but when you are confronted by adversity may be scared of facing conflict themselves and won’t take the visible stand of support you’d like. Or sometimes a person will call herself a friend but, like in high school, is not willing to go up against the “popular kids” and will distance herself from you in order to feel good about herself and enjoy her own popularity.
And of course there is the person who cannot and should not be trusted – ever. This is the person who will figuratively stab you in the back for their own gain, who doesn’t care if you are hurt in the process so long as he gets what he wants. Maybe there is the person who WANTS to cause you pain because of some imagined or accidental slight?
Trust has to be earned, not just given blindly. And when you do trust someone and that trust is betrayed it is one of the most painful disappointments.
I’ve been participating in a weekly blog hop called Weekend Writing Warriors (WeWriWa for short) and each participant pastes a short snippet from one of their works. Lately I’ve been featuring snippets from my novel Bartlett’s Rule; in the story Paige has been betrayed by her ex-fiancĂ© the ugliness of which leaves more emotional than physical scars. Finding that you were wrong to trust someone can shake more than just the belief in that person, but can also destroy a person’s self-confidence in the ability to trust at all.

Have you ever been betrayed and brought to your knees questioning how you could have trusted someone in the first place? How did you overcome that? Do you agree that there are levels of trust or is it as black and white as my friend seemed to feel? More importantly, who do YOU trust?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wow, Lon nearly blows it ~ Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 04/20/14

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior round. Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

  
See more at the WeWriWa blog

Welcome to a snippet from Bartlett's Rule, my first novel published with Vanilla Heart Publishing. Even though this piece is already published, I find receiving your comments helpful as I write future stories - you strengthen me when I know how well (or not) I communicate with my readers, and I learn what readers like and don't care for. I really appreciate you for giving me your time.

Lon proposes... and Paige puts him off. He's hurt and it doesn't help that his very public image leaves them little room for privacy. This discussion takes place during breakfast in the hotel dining room, a public breakfast that Lon's publicist set up to show the two lovers off. One reporter asks if there are any marriage plans and both Lon and Paige are trying to hide their discomfort from the spectators:
  

“Lon, please, I didn’t turn you down, I just need more time,” the last thing she wanted to do was hurt him; They smiled at the waitress as she brought them their breakfasts.
Paige sampled a piece of fresh fruit that topped her pancakes.
“I thought things were coming along really well,” he put a piece of bacon in his mouth and chewed slowly.
“They are, we are.”
“Then I don’t understand why you won’t marry me; I mean once we got past the sex thing…”
Her voice was angry but she kept the volume low and refused to look angry or hurt because the reporters were watching them from a distance, “the sex thing?”

“That’s not what I meant, you were able trust me, I thought that was a big step.” He took a gulp of his coffee, “I know things aren’t just about sex, I didn’t mean to make it sound that way.”


For more WeWriWa snippets, go to www.wewriwa.com

 

Bartlett's Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige's love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.






Looking for Reviews


We writers are always looking for honest
(& hopefully good) reviews
Would you like to review one of my books?
I would like to offer up-to ten FREE e-books (one per title, one per reader)
to anyone who would like to offer a review on
Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, etc.
Please take a look at my page on Smashwords
& tell me which novel you'd like to review 
(send me an email ChelleCordero@gmail.com)
& I'll pick the 1st inquiry for each title and send you a
FREE download code

Thanks!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

from 2008 for #ThrowbackThursday ~ The Magic of Passover

In time for Pesach, here's an older article about Passover preparations & festivities. This year, 2014, has been wonderful, although our first seder was just three of us (hubby, son & me, future dil was working & daughter & sil were with his side of the family). The 2nd seder was lovely, a table of 13, unfortunately not everyone invited was able to make it. It was a fun time with lots of laughter and good food. ...still my favorite holiday.

As a child I loved waking up the morning before the first Passover Seder to see our kitchen so sparkling with aluminum foil lining the stove and refrigerator shelves. The special dishes were set on the table and the good silverware was polished and sparkly. All of the “chometz” (any mixture that contains flour and water that has been allowed to ferment) was GONE, often hidden away in a cardboard box in a bedroom closet or such. The food pantry was chock full of delicious chocolate covered jell rings, jars of gefilte fish (mom didn’t make her own), matzo farfel for turkey stuffing, sweet grape wine, apples, walnuts and other delicious treats.
When the extended family came to the Seder on either (or both) of the first nights, my folks had folding tables set up that stretched across the living room effectively dissecting the bathroom and kitchen side of the room. Depending on how much horseradish you took on your gefilte fish, you were happy, or not, that you sat on one side of the table or the other – the dash for water rivaled the great Exodus by itself! My dad did not read Hebrew, neither did many of the other relatives, and trust me, English was not my dad’s first language. So the reading of the Haggadah (the story of the Exodus) was always a lot of fun as daddy substituted words.
As far as I was concerned, Passover was pure magic. Passover has always been my very favorite holiday.
Now I am the mom and the wife. It is my kitchen that I line with aluminum foil. It’s my pantry that gets scoured and restocked. It is my table that hosts family Seders for up to 20 people (the largest was 24!). And oy, it is my back that feels the strain year after year.
This year as I folded myself pretzel-like to line my pantry shelves and realized that I am not nearly as flexible as I once was, I began to wonder if perhaps I fell in love with the holiday and its “magic” because I was not the one originally doing all of the work.
But as we sat around the Seder table on the first two nights (the first was just the 6 of us, the 2nd night we had 16) and we took turns reading from the Haggadah – in English with the prayers being done in Hebrew by those who knew it – there was so much laughter and so many jokes. There are jokes that are repeated year after year and still are laughed at, like the parsley dipped in salt water that we call the salad course of the meal, red faces after the horseradish is passed on matzo (home ground from fresh root!), and many, MANY impromptu comments thrown in during the evening.
The service and meal takes approximately 4 to 5 hours. That is 4 hours or more of captivated audience even though I have more table room than mom did and my home is not dissected by the elongated table. (But it was still a riot when my son, seated at the far end, handed his father, seated at the head of the table, a walkie-talkie so they could “communicate”!) And as I sat there, hopping up between courses to serve, I noticed something significant – the magic is the family. It is the laughter, it’s the joy, it’s the good food, it’s the love and it’s time together.

There is such a magic – I love the Passover holiday.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lon & Paige make love ~ Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 04/13/14

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior round. Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

  
See more at the WeWriWa blog

Welcome to a snippet from Bartlett's Rule, my first novel published with Vanilla Heart Publishing. Even though this piece is already published, I find receiving your comments helpful as I write future stories - you strengthen me when I know how well (or not) I communicate with my readers, and I learn what readers like and don't care for. I really appreciate you for giving me your time.

After her encounter with Hal, Paige shows up in Lon’s hotel room (he’s away on a promotional tour) seeking the safety she’s learned in his arms; they finally make love. While he is thrilled to be with her, Lon is aware that something is troubling her and he asks her about it. She tells him about Hal’s extortion (creative punctuation to make it 8):
  

She looked away, her voice was nearly inaudible, “everything I had in my account,” she looked at his face and could see he wasn’t happy; “it was worth it if he’ll stay away.”
It took a few moments before Lon was able to simply nod, he held her to him; he tried to convince himself that she had done what was best for her as he ran his hands along her arms then Lon saw the bruise where Hal had grabbed her, “what’s this, did he do this?” he was at war with his anger.
Paige looked at her arm and half smiled, “I’m proud of that.”
“Why?”
“Hal kissed me... against my will and I bit him, that’s when that happened.”
Lon wanted to kill Hal, but he also saw she was happy that she had fought; he forced a smile, “you bit him?”
She nodded.
“I hope it hurt.”


For more WeWriWa snippets, go to www.wewriwa.com

 

Bartlett's Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige's love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.




The following originally appeared 
"it’s time to tell us about that hunky hero in your book."

What's his name?
Lon Bartlett

Why did you pick that name?
I always look up names (usually under baby names) for their meanings. In this case “Lon” means “ready to do battle”; the name Lon also reminds me of a Lion (without the “I” of course!). The Bartlett surname appears many times throughout history (politicians, publishers, racecar drivers, sports figures, philosophers and writers) and is also used for a collection of quotations. Besides, the title Bartlett’s Rule just seems to roll off of the tongue comfortably.

Give us a brief description of how he looks.
I picture Lon as a big (maybe about 6 foot to 6’2”) man and yet graceful. More to do with image and less to do with vanity, I picture him working out and keeping trim and fit. Because of his public image, he probably has his hair professionally styled and his clothing personally tailored. All in all, he is very comfortable “in his own skin”.

Is there anything unusual about his appearance?
He definitely is the type of man who would attract stares from most women.

Who does he love? Why?
His romantic love interest is Paige Andrews. In the beginning he believes his love for Paige stems more from a need to protect her but then he comes to realize that he admires her strength and appreciates how she makes him feel. He also has a very deep and friendly love for his publicist, Shell, who once was a romantic liaison and now is simply his best friend.

Does this person love him?
Yes, Paige loves him even though her love and need for him scares her.

Tell us about his family. Are they important to him?
While his family is only mentioned in the story, it is obvious that his closeness with his parents and the way he was raised is a big reason for the self-confidence he has.

Where is he from?
Lon has settled in the very urban and bustling New York City.

Does his hometown affect his behavior, thoughts and attitude?
Lon is very “metropolitan” and used to the hectic pace. He is also used to fine restaurants, doormen, and public scrutiny.

What does he want out of life?
He wants Paige in his life. Lon also wants something more than the shallow relationships that have helped to promote his image.

What's his biggest secret? (Only share if it isn't a spoiler in the story.)
All I can say is that Lon learns he has no regrets for his actions if it means protecting the ones he loves.

Did you write more than one story about him?
So far Bartlett’s Rule is the only story with Lon Bartlett. Who knows though? That could change.

How would he describe you?
Lon respects me for being a strong-willed woman who is not afraid to voice my opinions.

Is there anything else about your hero that we need to know? Feel free to share.
Lon truly adores women. Of course he enjoys sex but he also is thrilled when he can engage in intelligent conversation with a woman.



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hal comes back - Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 04/06/14

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior round. Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the WeWriWa blog
Welcome to a snippet from Bartlett's Rule, my first novel published with Vanilla Heart Publishing. Even though this piece is already published, I find receiving your comments helpful as I write future stories - you strengthen me when I know how well (or not) I communicate with my readers, and I learn what readers like and don't care for. I really appreciate you for giving me your time.

Lon and Paige have grown closer and to all observers their relationship seems trouble-free. Lon is still being patient and allowing Paige to build both trust in him and self-confidence in herself. Lon leaves on a business trip - Paige declined to accompany him. She is alone when she answers her phone and it's Hal, her ex-fiance. Hal threatens her and demands money - Paige meets with him.


She managed to control her body’s trembling and spoke in a strong voice, “if you want me to do this, you’d better step back and give me some room.”
She heard him laugh as he took a step back, Paige inserted her card into the machine slot and covered the keypad as she punched in her pin number; she knew that she barely left enough in her account to cover checks she had already written but that didn’t matter to her, as far as Paige was concerned, if Hal would stay out of her life, it didn’t matter what the cost so long as it was only money.
He took the stack of twenties she handed him, “you know, it really pissed me off that you told Rita I raped you, you know that’s what you wanted,” Paige was surprised that she felt brave enough to stare at him in the eyes, “you taunted me that day and I only gave you what you wanted and don’t taunt me now unless you mean it.”
Hal pulled her to him for a kiss again, he didn’t expect it when she bit down on his tongue, “you bitch!” He raised his hand to strike her when she turned suddenly and reached for the alarm button on the ATM console, he caught her hand before she could push it, “don’t!”
Paige couldn’t hold it anymore, she sobbed, “please let me go Hal, I gave you all the money I had, you’ve already taken everything.”
He gave her arm a painful squeeze before he laughed cruelly again and stepped back, she knew she would have bruises where he grabbed her.

Paige ran all the way home.

For more WeWriWa snippets, go to www.wewriwa.com



Bartlett's Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige's love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.
Smashwords (multiple e-book formats)
Amazon (Kindle, Print, Audio)
AllRomance E-books
Bartlett’s Rule was named one of
Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 
Top Ten Reads for 2009
on MyShelf.com


• How does Bartlett’s Rule explore the two distinct personalities of the main
characters?
• Discuss how the different personalities emerge in the beginning of the
novel. Do these personalities stay constant?
• How much do you think society’s expectations influenced Lon towards
building his reputation as a player?
• What pressures does society place on men in relationships? How different
are those pressures now in 2008 as opposed to, let’s say, the 1950’s?
• Lon admits he has to rethink his view of rape when he learns that Paige was raped by an ex-lover and not a stranger with a weapon. Discuss different concepts of what is rape, what is sexual abuse?
• Have a discussion about Paige’s emotional scars and the trust she felt was betrayed. Should Paige “just get over it”? How realistic are some of her reactions? Was Paige allowing herself to move ahead? Discuss Lon’s support of her.
• Hal attempts to blame people like Lon for the way he treated Paige. How does TV/music/movies/novels affect actions and at what point is the individual responsible for his/her own actions? For example, courtroom dramas like to blame the influence of TV, etc. for today’s violence.
• Some TV/radio/print personalities enjoy an almost cult following and are considered “experts” in their various fields. Discuss some of these self proclaimed “experts”: Dr. Ruth, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Geraldo, etc. Do these ‘stars’ sensationalize rape? How so?
• How do you think you would feel if your private life, particularly romance, was scrutinized by the paparazzi? How much does a public figure owe to the public and fans in terms of privacy? How much does the media have the right to report?


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday - I am woman, hear me roar

I am woman, hear me roar

random thoughts from Chelle Cordero
I am not Davie, Samantha, Caitlyn, Sudah or any of my other heroines… but I do admit they all share some traits with me (or at least I’d like to think so)
Each of the women I write into my novels has her own mind and is not afraid to voice her own opinions. She can be independent and still enjoys being taken care of. My females enjoy their sensual sides. They refuse to be simply accessories in some man’s life. And most importantly, any of the heroines I write into my novels would be willing to go to any length to help and protect her man.
I think the best example of a woman’s selflessness is Samantha “Sam” Chaunce in A Chaunce of Riches. Sam made a “bargain with the devil” for the sake of the man she loved. Now that he is back in her life, all he can see is her betrayal. Then things get complicated when the police suspect him of urdering er husband.
An excerpt from A Chaunce of Riches
“But why? You told me you loved me. You said you needed me. We were working towards a future…”
A tear rolled down her cheek. She remembered the things they had promised each other and it was sheer torture to hear him reminding her. “What kind of future did we have Ben? I was working selling donuts in a bakery and you were hoping for something better than a sales job at the hardware store. We didn’t have two nickels to rub together.” She never would have had the money she needed to make things right again.
“So it was the money?” Ben sat at the edge of his chair. “And you couldn’t even wait to tell me yourself? You just left.”
It was another car accident that had changed her world… again. Sam had little more than a broken arm and a minor concussion. Ben was in a coma and had a severe spinal injury. He almost died. There were so many complications. She couldn’t look at him. “I did what I had to do.”
“Are you that much of a coward?” She couldn’t answer him “And he was almost thirty years older than you. Was his money so attractive that you didn’t mind being with a man who was old enough to be your father?”
She looked up at him then. “Julian was… good to me.”
“He bought you.” Just like all those johns who had bought his mother. His voice was edged with disappointment and pain. “Sam, you sold yourself. Did you enjoy letting him put his hands all over you? Was it worth it? I really thought you were different from my mother.”
Sam opened her mouth to speak but decided to remain quiet. She refused to debate this with him any more. Putting the closed book back on the end table, she stood and threw the blanket onto the chair behind her. She couldn’t let him do this to her. She couldn’t let him past all those barricades she had built around her heart so long ago.
“I have contracted with your agency for your services. I think that is the only relationship you and I need to have…” She started to walk towards the door. She turned back to him. “Breakfast is at seven, Philip needs to be at school by eight-thirty. Please manage to find it in your talents to be civil with me in front of my son. He seems to like you and I want him to feel safe. But Ben, I won’t hesitate to have you replaced. Remember that.” She left the room without looking back.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Paige & Lon get closer - Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 03/30/14

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior round. Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the WeWriWa blog
Welcome to a snippet from Bartlett's Rule, my first novel published with Vanilla Heart Publishing. Even though this piece is already published, I find receiving your comments helpful as I write future stories - you strengthen me when I know how well (or not) I communicate with my readers, and I learn what readers like and don't care for. I really appreciate you for giving me your time.

Paige has confided her past history to Lon and she's beginning to believe she can trust again. Obviously Paige is important to Lon and he is doing his best to let her know she is safe, he doesn't want to give her up. I've used creative punctuation again, but even so I am over by a sentence, so sorry:

“I want to sleep with you, the operative word being sleep; I would just like to hold you and wake up with you in my arms.”
“You’re willing to spend the night in bed with me and not get...”
“Yes,” he saw Paige glance nervously back at her bedroom, “have you ever just slept with a man, I mean, since Hal?”
She mouthed the word no as she shook her head.
“Tell you what, if at any point during the night you wake scared because I am next to you, just wake me; if my presence scares you, then I will get up and finish the night on your couch, you have my word, I know trust is a lot to ask for, but please Paige.”
“And you would really leave the bed if I woke you, you wouldn’t argue?”
“I would be disappointed, but I wouldn’t argue.”
“And we wouldn’t have sex?”
He smiled, “if you molested me I probably wouldn’t refuse you, but it would have to be your decision and it would always remain your right to say no and stop.”

For more WeWriWa snippets, go to www.wewriwa.com



Bartlett's Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige's love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.
Smashwords (multiple e-book formats)
Amazon (Kindle, Print, Audio)
AllRomance E-books
Bartlett’s Rule was named one of
Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 
Top Ten Reads for 2009
on MyShelf.com

Stop Abuse of Women
Interview with Chelle Cordero
Author of Bartlett's Rule 

Chelle Cordero joins Jeanine Swatton on BlogTalk Radio in discussing her novel, Bartlett's Rule. This is a story of a woman recovering from the devastating effects of rape while she learns to trust and fall in love again. The story explores the secondary victim challenges facing the man she meets (after the rape) and the effects on people around them.  10/28/2009

Popular Self Help Internet Radio with iSwatton on BlogTalkRadio