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 Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book.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

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

• How does Bartlett’s Rule explore the two distinct personalities of the main
• 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?


Millie Burns said...

Oh, I wish she would have called the Police right away! I hate that she gave this creep money. This snippet made me angry. You drew that emotion from me in so few words...nice job.

Charmaine Gordon said...

Powerful eight, Chelle. Leaves this reader wanting more and soon. Retribution.

Chelle Cordero said...

We haven't heard the last of hateful Hal.

Veronica Scott said...

My first thought was that of course Hal would be've drawn him so clearly, he feels quite real and dangerous to me. Excellent excerpt!

homecomingbook said...

Sounds like blackmail to me, and there's never enough money for that.

Sarah W said...

This is the first time I've read about Hal and I already want him dead.

Powerful, painful snippet, Chelle---I just want to help her! said...

I'm happy that she got away, but am disappointed that she gave him all her money. Oh the pain of extortion! I loved the pace of this snippet, but can't help thinking this drama isn't over yet.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Dangerous and cruel-- I already want him in jail for what he's done. Oh you've created a fantastic visual and I have a hunch there's more to come.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

What a creep and a bully! I hope he eventually gets what he deserves.
Since you've asked for feedback, I did notice a couple of repeated phrases used closely together: step back, what you wanted. No big deal, but it's something to be aware of. It's so hard to catch that sort of thing in our own writing!

Chelle Cordero said...

Thanks Sandra, I appreciate you pointing that out to me. Although this book is already published, it makes me aware of it and hopefully more "eagle-eyed" on my next WIP.

caitlinsternwrites said...

Oh, I wish she hadn't met him! But I'm sure she knows what the consequences would be of refusing to do so--maybe they would have been worse.

Poor woman--her current relationship is going to suffer from this trauma.

Teresa Cypher said...

I wish she hadn't met him. He's a rotten person, and she needs to not allow herself to be victimized any more. But I bet that's part of what is propelling the story forward. It's good that you're getting an emotional reaction from the readers.

Since you asked for crit, I noticed some overwriting. I noticed it because I'm so very guilty of it too. It's one of the things I have to edit out after the first draft. :-) Examples are: "her body's trembling". I think the word "body's" is unnecessary. The reader will get it without being told that it's her body doing the trembling. Another example: "stare at him in the eyes" I think you can delete the "at" and just use "stare him in the eyes". It improves the reading flow and loses 'clunkiness" if you tighten up the writing. :-)

Chelle Cordero said...

Once again, I am so appreciative of the critique as I am hoping to improve my writing with each new story. Thank you all.