Monday, October 27, 2008

back to Bartlett's Rule...

At a recent author's event it seemed that this particular reading was a favorite, so I thought I might share it with you. This is from page 152 in Bartlett's Rule:

“Paige? May I come in?” Lon lightly rapped his knuckles against his bedroom door. He just didn’t want to intrude anymore than he had already done by listening to Cindy. There was no answer. He opened the door. The room was dark. “Paige?”

He turned on the lowest setting of the lamp on his night table. A muffled sniffle came from his bathroom. The door was open. He went towards the sound. With the faint glow from his night stand, Lon could see her silhouette.

Paige was sitting in the corner of his shower stall. She was holding her knees tightly in front of her. Lon sat on the floor just outside of the shower. He started to reach for her and felt that the floor of the stall was still wet from his earlier shower.

“Baby?” He felt her flinch as he touched her shoulder. But she didn’t pull away.

She spoke quietly through tears. “Please don’t be mad at me.”

“Why would I be mad?”

“Because I didn’t tell you. I didn’t want anyone to know…”

He shook his head in the dark. “I was the one who let your sister keep talking. I’m sorry. There is no reason for me to be mad at you.” Lon clasped her hand in his. She let him hold on. He sat with her quietly.

Paige was remembering. She remembered the last beating her father had given her. It was the worst. She shuddered. Lon felt her shudder, but he didn’t say anything. He just squeezed her hand tighter.

She couldn’t remember what she had done to make him so mad. She wondered if she had ever known. He had grabbed her hair and dragged her into the barn. She tried not to cry, it always made him madder. When he was finally done, she lay there bleeding and too weak to stand. She didn’t even have the strength to cover herself or hide when she heard Hal come into the barn.

He said he had been sneaking around trying to catch a glimpse of her. He had seen her in town and thought she was pretty. Then he had heard her father yelling and he had seen him drag her into the barn. He had witnessed the beating she took. Hal had swiped a washcloth from her mother’s clothesline and had dampened it in the horse trough.

He blotted her wounds and spoke soothing words to her. She was unaware when his touch turned from comfort to lust. Suddenly he was in her. Paige was terrified that her father would come back and find her like that. She was terrified what he would do to her. So she was silent. She never told Hal to stop. Afterwards when her virgin’s blood had mingled with the blood from her wounds on the barn floor, he said he would take her away from there. And she was grateful.

Lon noticed the glimmer of the tear that ran down her cheek and he used the back of his hand to tenderly wipe it away. He gently put an arm around her shoulders and was happy when she let him.

“Come on baby. Let’s go inside.”

She looked at the shadow he cast. “I don’t want to have sex.” She sounded scared.

His heart broke from hearing the fear in her voice. “Don’t worry. I wasn’t asking to have sex. I just wanted to lie with you in my arms and hold you. If that would be okay with you.”

Paige took a long time to consider his reply. Then she nodded.
from Vanilla Heart Publishing

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alpha, Beta or Gamma - My Heroes

I recently read these definitions on an online message board -

The "Alpha Male" a.k.a. "Dukes of Slut", tends to be dominant, aggressive and in control.

A "Beta Male" is generally the "boy next door" and is more submissive to his female partner. Maybe more in touch with his "feminine side"?

And finally, the "Gamma Male" is an Alpha with a dark side.

I was curious where each of my story heroes might fit in. Please feel free to chime in at any time (or atleast to leave a comment below). I like to think that my characters are "real" so they are really multi-faceted; I will try to label by the most predominant traits.

Lon Bartlett (Bartlett's Rule): Alpha. But is Lon an Alpha because he believes that is what society (& his publisher) expects? When Lon meets Paige, his bed-hopping seems to come to a screeching halt. But then Lon claimed that it was all media-hype to begin with. He is tender and definitely passionate with Paige and caters to her needs and comfort level. His chosen career is a writer.

Brandon Price (Forgotten): Beta. He tends to be reclusive and a bit shy in his personal life. Caitlyn draws him out socially. But in business he is an agressive go-getter and is able to handle himself well. He was born into wealth but is determined to pay his own way. His chosen career is an Information Technology Specialist.

Tom Hughes (Within the Law): Gamma. He's an authority figure and doesn't let you forget it. And he's got a temper that gets him into trouble. Tom also has a wild side and in his own words, he hasn't always done the right thing. He is a very physical man at work, around the house and in bed. He is not threatened by Alli's independence. His chosen career is a New York State Trooper.

Now my real-life personal hero, my hubby, he's a little bit of all three (but that's another story).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

YOU could wind up in my next novel!

I've been busy tweaking manuscripts and hoping to submit - hoping even more that my publisher will like them and want to publish them!

My next novel will be a re-release of Courage of the Heart in Jan/Feb 2009 and the heroine, Davie, has a pretty cute dog at her family home - it's a Pomeranian named Gizzy. Gizzy is a real dog and belongs to my friend Michael!

You too can enjoy Gizzy's notoriety if you've read one or more of my novels. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which book(s) you read and what you thought of it.

Then leave me your first name (in the comment box) and something about yourself to make a character uniquely YOU (your job, as physical characteristic, a favorite food, a particular habit - you get the idea) Tell me as much as you want - but remember, the world may get to meet you as you appear as a neighbor, a coworker, a chance aquaintance on the street...

If the manuscript you appear in gets accepted, I will be sure to broadcast to the world - and you of course - that you made it into print.

So, comment away... and yes, you have to leave the comment in the box below.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Homework assignment - MUSE conference 2008



Contact: Chelle Cordero

Well-published Romance Author Has Short Story Featured in Anthology.

Tomkins Cove, NY—The short story ‘Not Alone’ by Chelle Cordero was recently published in the ‘Forever Friends’ anthology edited by Shelagh Watkins.

‘Not Alone’ is a fictional story inspired by recent events in Ms. Cordero’s home community.

Forever Friends’, a celebration of the power of friendship, is a collection of stories and poems created by members of the Published Authors Forum. It was published by Mandinam Press and is available through (content #2816139).

Chelle Cordero is the author of romance novels Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten and Within the Law from Vanilla Heart Publishing. Her next novel, Courage of the Heart, will be released next February. Cordero’s non-fiction articles have also been featured in several local newspapers and magazines as well as national trade publications.

Learn more about Chelle Cordero at her author’s blog or email Chelle at

the assignment was to write a current press release and post it on my blog or web-site - eventually it will be uploaded to three social book marking sites...
please let me know what you think of this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Within the Law - an excerpt

from Chapter One:

The courthouse was already closed by the time Tom had driven into Rome, New York. He knew it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway. The district attorney’s office had been very specific about what time they wanted to see him. All they wanted him to do was identify the Tupper Lake High School ring with his initials engraved in it. All he wanted to do was get a look at the guy who had changed everything in his world. Tom had an almost masochistic need to put a face to the lowlife who had turned every dream he had into a nightmare.

Tom looked at his wristwatch and decided that as tempting as it was to drink himself into total numbness, he wanted to be aware enough the next morning to really get a good look at this guy. He’d been waiting eight years. Throwing a couple of bills on the counter, he paid for his last drink and stood. He took his car keys out of his pocket and weaved his way through the crowd towards the door.

Tom knew he was comfortably buzzed enough not to drive, but he also knew he had to get out of the bar before he lost total control of his emotions. He figured he’d see how he fared once the outside air hit him and if he had to, he’d just roll the car down the street to the empty parking lot of a closed supermarket and sleep there for the night.

He stood on the sidewalk outside of the bar and let the cool night air absorb him. The Subaru was parked just a few car lengths down. He decided that if he managed to put the key in the lock on the first try, he’d be okay to drive. When he first heard her, he thought he was imagining the sound. Then Tom was sure that he heard a woman sobbing. He continued down the block until he saw her.

She was on her knees and he could see that she was trying to stand but what looked like a broken shoe and a bloodied knee wasn’t helping.

The woman, an attractive blonde, seemed scared when she first saw him approaching from out of the shadows. She tried to stand again and he watched as her ankle turned in and she groaned. Her knee-length tan skirt showed dark smudges from the dirty sidewalk.

“Don’t come near me.”

Tom stopped where he was. “Hey lady, it just looked like you needed some help.”

“I’m fine.” She managed to get to her feet. She was tall, maybe about five-foot-eight, he thought. Her stockings were ripped over her knees, one knee was bleeding and the contents of her pocketbook were spilled out over the broken sidewalk where she had tripped. “Thank you, but I don’t need your help.”

“Okay.” Tom leaned against a parked car, crossed his arms and watched as she struggled to remain in an upright position and pick up her belongings at the same time.

The woman almost fell again and Tom lost patience. He came to her side.

“I’ll scream for help.” She looked frightened by him.

“Go ahead.” Tom stared at her for a full minute. Finally after nothing more was said, he bent to pick up her spilled possessions and put them back into the wayward purse. “Do you live around here?” He handed her the pocketbook.

She hesitated. “No. Why?”

“I was just wondering what a woman alone was doing out on these streets at this hour.” He raised his eyebrows.

“I don’t like your insinuation.” She looked around and seemed to realize how dark and isolated the streets were. “Not that it’s any of your business, but I had an appointment.”

“Okay, let’s get you home.” He surprised her by cradling her in his arms.

“My car is right over here.” She was a lightweight to carry.

“Put me down.”

“Yeah... sure.” He walked over to his car and put her down next to it. “You have your choice. I can drive you home. Or you can try to hobble along these dark streets by yourself. I can assure you I have no interest in attacking you. I can’t guarantee anyone else you might run into in this neighborhood at this hour.” This was an older part of town with lots of alleys and shadows to contend with. It was down near the courthouse and jail and had a forbidding feel to it in the dark.

She turned her head to look around. A few men stumbled out of the bar and headed in the opposite direction. “I don’t live far from here.” Their raucous laughter seemed to unnerve her. He noticed her slender hands which seemed much more suited to typing at a desk than defending herself on a dark urban street.

“So it won’t be a long drive.” He unlocked the passenger side door of his car and was pleased that he got the key in on the first try. He uttered silent thanks that his hands were steady enough and he wasn’t really feeling any of the affects of the alcohol. “By the way, my name is Tom.”
She sat in the car and just before he closed the door, she cautiously smiled. “Thank you Tom.” He couldn’t explain why, but he knew that was the kind of smile he would remember and enjoy.

It wasn’t far to her home. She gave him directions as he drove. Their path took them just past the local hospital to a small garden apartment complex. He parked in front of one of the Tudor style buildings.

“Thank you again.” She opened the car door and stepped out. She had to lean against the car when she found her ankle wouldn’t support her weight.

Tom got out of the car and came to her side of the car quickly. He cradled her again ignoring the gasp of her surprise. “Would you like to go to the hospital to have this looked at?”

“No.” She seemed to relax in his arms. “No thank you. I’ll just stay off of it tonight. I’ll be okay.”

“What floor?”

Resigned to the fact that she did need help after all, she told him. “Second floor, rear apartment.” After a moment, she added “thank you again,” and loosely put her arms around his neck.

“Okay.” He carried her into the building and up the stairs. “Do you mind if I ask your name?” He really wanted a name to call this ethereal wisp of a woman.


“Nice to meet you, Alli.” He brought her to an apartment door. Tom stood there with her in his arms, enjoying the feel of her arms around his neck. Finally he looked at the apartment door. “Do you have your key?” There was a tinge of amusement in his voice.

“Really, I can manage...”

“I’ll just put you on your couch, get some ice for your ankle and then I’ll leave. Boy Scout honor.” Tom grinned. It was for his own benefit, he thought, to get in and out as quickly as possible. He was enjoying the feel of her in his arms entirely too much.

Alli thought about it before she pulled a key from her purse and unlocked the door. The door opened onto her living room. As he bent to put her on her couch, she started to chuckle. “Gee, if I had realized you were a boy scout, I wouldn’t have given you such a hard time.” He put a throw pillow behind her head.

Tom pointed towards what appeared to be the kitchen. “Ice, that way?”


He went into the kitchen and noticed it was immaculate. All the appliances matched with brushed metal finishes. The surfaces were pristine. The room looked like it belonged in a magazine layout. A hot and cold water dispenser sat in the corner of the room, no simple tap water for this lady. It was certainly not like his place at home where his mom had picked out a stark white fridge and he relied on well water for drinking. He came out a few moments later carrying ice wrapped in a kitchen towel and a plastic grocery bag. “Here, put this under your foot so the ice doesn’t get everything soaked.” He put the bag under her leg and then wrapped the towel and ice around her ankle. “Okay, I’m out of here...:

“Tom, thank you. I’m sorry I was being so difficult before.” He liked the way his name sounded when she said it.

He smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it. I understand.”

“I just never expected to find a truly nice guy...” He hid his disappointment at her words. A nice guy wasn’t the way he wanted her to see him. He would have preferred a handsome guy, an attractive guy, a sexy guy... Nice was just so bland.

“Don’t sweat it.” He looked around the room. She had a delicate collection of spun glass figurines on display in the living room. He thought of how the type of collection suited her, very beautiful, very intricate, very fragile. Probably very expensive. “Can I get you anything else before I leave?” He noticed that she had a few photos on display, probably family pictures. The frames were all highly polished chrome and silver. Except for an older man next to an older woman, she didn’t seem to have any pictures of a special man in her life.

It looked like she wanted to say something else but changed her mind.

“No thanks.”

“Bye Alli.” Discouraged, Tom left.

coming this November!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Casting Game Again...

Okay friends, I'm play casting Within the Law this time...

Here's Alli -
If WTL went Hollywood, I'd cast Cameron Diaz as Alli Davis

And here's Tom -

We have returning characters from Forgotten...
...but now I can't decide,
Please help me decide who would be Tom's Mom (Sylvia Hughes) -

Doris Roberts?

Tyne Daly?

or Sharon Gless?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Local Authors Night at the Palisades Mall

Don't miss Local Authors Night at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in the Palisades Center Mall, West Nyack, New York on October 14 at 7:00 PM
Chelle Cordero will be one of the featured LOCAL Authors. Meet her, buy her books, get her autograph... It's a fun night, you don't want to miss it. Talk about Bartlett's Rule, Forgotten or her latest release Within the Law.

Guests can purchase their very own copies of Bartlett's Rule or Forgotten at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in the Palisades Mall, West Nyack NY.

ALL Barnes and Noble stores can order the book(s) in for you - just tell them at the Info desk that you want a Chelle Cordero novel!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Tom's Turn...

Readers met him in Forgotten - now, it's Tom's turn...


He put his hand on the bartender’s wrist as she moved the open bottle towards his glass to refill.

“That’s going to be it for me, I’ve got an early morning.” He removed his hand from her wrist and watched as she pulled her slender hand away, noting the bright red of her nails. He remembered seeing red nails like that before. It was the same red as the cherry that topped the ice cream sundae you took your girl out for on a hot summer night. It was the same red as the Ruby stone that sat in a high school ring.

It had been more than eight years since he had seen that high school ring. She had been wearing it on a gold chain around her neck as she kissed him and told him she’d see him later. He waved as she got into the car with her friends and they drove off. Even though it had been a girls’ outing, he was supposed to drive them that day. One of her friends was planning to move into the dorm at the university in Syracuse later that summer and they all had wanted to help her make purchases for her room. But the restaurant manager had a last minute opening and he was grabbing all the work he could. So he stayed behind. He stayed behind and worked so they would be a little bit closer to being able to afford getting married.

His high school ring was never supposed to replace her engagement ring. He had been planning on buying one. But they wanted to move the wedding date up. They needed the money so buying the diamond was put on hold. Tom was still working the busboy job that had carried him through his senior year of high school. He had applications in at lots of other places for full time jobs, but the summer wasn’t the best time to get hired. His dad had wanted him to go on to college, but college wasn’t in his plans. Not anymore. He proposed to Joyce on their high school graduation day.

Joyce’s parents tried to convince them each to go to the local community college. They kept telling them that a two year engagement wasn’t all that long after all. Tom and Joyce knew they couldn’t wait the two years. So he worked as many hours as he could as a busboy. He managed to pick up a few extra hours pumping gas at the local station also. Joyce babysat and she was going to start selling plastic kitchen containers to all the area housewives. She wasn’t planning to buy anything that day. She was just going along for the ride. She was just going to enjoy the day with her girlfriends. He wanted her to have fun.

He was dead on his feet after the shift at the restaurant and he just wanted to go home and watch TV. His mom called him before he left work. His fifteen-year old cousin had run away again, something she did an average of twice a week since coming to live with them when she was twelve. Tom always knew where to find her and he picked her up on his way home that night. They were sitting in his car while he once again lectured her about her behavior when the police car pulled up.

Tom knew that his world was about to end when he saw Joyce’s father get out of the back seat.

Within the Law
~~coming in November 2008~~