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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 that receiving your comments is 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 and Lon Bartlett spent an uneventful evening together having dinner and going dancing. Paige has been pleasant but remote and Lon is puzzled. As the author of a misogynistic column about relationships and one of the city's most eligible and revered bachelors, he is not used to a woman who doesn't fawn over him. It's the end of their "date" and Lon is determined to learn more about her. He asks about her and we pick up in the middle of her answering him. (as usual, I've used creative punctuation & I apologize I needed to add that last sentence)...
“…Until six-weeks ago I worked in the secretarial pool at By-Lines Publishing, I just earned a promotion into their Public Relations department and when my boss called me into her office yesterday to tell me I had to wine and dine you, I balked.”
Lon laughed, “I take it you are not a fan,” not many women were quite that frank around him.
“No,” There was no hesitation, “did I make you happy?” she smiled for his benefit.
He just smiled back at her, “I like your honesty although I am wounded that you aren’t an adoring fan;” she looked away again, “why did you decide to move to the city?”
Paige swallowed, “I got engaged and my fiancé wanted to live here.”
“Oh, ”he looked down at her left hand and didn’t see any ring, “are you still engaged, or married?” Lon was hoping the answer was no and he was pleased when she shook her head, “what happened?”
“That’s none of your business,” Paige hadn’t meant to snap; she caught her breath, “I’m sorry, I just would rather not discuss that.”
“I’m sorry if I intruded, but I am still happy the answer was no,” he noticed the surprise in her eyes, “may I see you again?”
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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.
Bartlett’s Rule was named one of
Top Ten Reads for 2009
• 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?