excerpt from His Lucky Charm

Brandon was looking out of the window on the plane ride home. He wondered if he would ever get to see Caitlyn again. Cheating on Amanda or not, he definitely couldn’t get Caitlyn out of his mind. Amanda was an attractive woman, very sophisticated and she certainly knew how to dress to show off her best features. Her red hair framed her face beautifully and her green eyes accentuated perfectly flawless skin. So why, he wondered, did he, an obviously healthy man, not find himself desiring her the way he did Caitlyn?

The flight attendant interrupted his thoughts as she placed the juice and snack mix he had ordered on the tray in front of him. Amanda had ordered a rum and coke to wash down her snack. He thanked the young woman and sat drumming the tray with his fingers.

Amanda placed her hand over his. “A penny for your thoughts.”

He smiled at her. “I don’t think they’re worth enough yet.”

“Have you remembered anything?”

“I think maybe a piece here or there.” She cocked her head and waited for him to go on. “My apartment, I think I remember black and tan, and a lot of bold pieces. Do I have one or two bedrooms? I seem to think I have a home office but I can’t remember if it’s in a room by itself or not.”

“You are beginning to get your memory back. It is a separate room, a spare bedroom. You actually have three bedrooms, you use the third as a guest room.” She smiled encouragingly. “You like to call in from your office at home, especially when you just get back from a business trip. You say you get most of your work done from there.”

“It’s near a park? And I go running when I need to think?”

“Yes.” She smiled. “You live just west of Central Park and you like to run around the reservoir to clear your mind. I usually wind up manning the office downtown by myself.”

“I guess I must leave a lot on your shoulders?” He wondered how he could use this woman the way he apparently did. He must rely on her for a lot of his professional obligations. Maybe that was all he kept her around for and maybe that was why he was having an affair with Caitlyn while promising to marry Amanda. Or maybe he really did have feelings for Amanda and just didn’t remember them yet.

“Not at all. You’re busy with your stuff, designing and meetings and all.” She gave his hand a squeeze. When we get back to New York, I’ll help you get things sorted out in your apartment…”

Closing his eyes, he tried to visualize his work area. “I have a locked file cabinet there that I keep my designs in, don’t I?”

“Yes.” She sounded surprised. “Uh, why don’t you put your head back and try to relax?”

“Don’t you want me remembering?” He was surprised.

“Oh, I do. It’s just that when we get back, you have to face so many new things.” She chuckled. “Is it possible to strain your mind?”

“I don’t know.” He had an inexplicable unease.

Brandon gently retrieved his hand from under hers and reached for a magazine from the chair seat back in front of him. He began to flip through pages before he even took a look at the actual content. The article was about the development of the digital age and its applications in the business world; it was easy for him to focus on the magazine and mentally escape the presence of the woman next to him.

He couldn’t understand why he had a growing distrust of Amanda and he wondered if their supposed engagement was as genuinely happy as she was telling him. It was obvious that he hadn’t been very honest with her.

“Brandon,” Amanda had allowed him to read quietly for several minutes. “I have something…” She put a pair of rings into his palm.

One gold band and one small diamond ring. He recognized them immediately as Caitlyn’s rings. “Where did you get these?”

“It was the only thing she left in her room when she skipped out.”

He closed his hand tightly over the small gold band and the simple diamond ring. He could almost see them on Caitlyn’s delicate hand. “I don’t understand why she left these.” Holding the rings left an empty feeling in the pit of his stomach.

“Did you actually think she’d feel sentimental about these?” She was sarcastic. “Obviously they meant nothing to her! You meant nothing to her except a free ride. If she couldn’t have your wallet, then I guess she didn’t want you at all.” She watched him to see if he would react. “Hey, maybe she figured it was payback for the bail money that you lost when you thought you could trust her. But I don’t think she could be that decent. She probably just wanted to send the message that you mean nothing to her.”

It was easy to understand Amanda’s contempt but he still didn’t like hearing it. “I would have thought that she could use the rings for cash somewhere along the way.” He admitted to himself that he felt hurt that she didn’t keep his rings. “I didn’t expect her to… have any feelings for me.”

“Why are you still wearing that ring?” She pointed at the gold wedding band on his left hand.

He shrugged. “I’m not sure, I guess I didn’t even realize it was there.” It just felt natural to him. To appease her, he removed the wedding band from his finger and put it, along with Caitlyn’s two rings, into his pants pocket. Immediately he regretted removing the ring.

She put her hand gently on his arm. “I already called your lawyer to get him started on annulling your marriage, although I don’t think it was valid anyway since she drugged you…”

“She didn’t drug me.” Somehow he was sure of that even though everything else he thought he knew seemed to be crumbling.

“Are you telling me you actually wanted to marry her?” She turned in her seat to face him and her voice quivered. “Are you telling me that you don’t want to marry me?” Her voice had risen and Brandon noticed that a few of their fellow passengers had actually quieted as if they were listening.

“I don’t know Amanda. I’m sorry, but whatever happened to me afterwards, I believe that I wasn’t drugged and I wasn’t even drunk when Caitlyn and I were married.”

A tear escaped and rolled down her cheek. “You admit you wanted to marry her?” She barely whispered. “How dare you? How can you hurt me like this?”

“I’m sorry, I really am.” He felt like a heel and he knew that one of the other passengers was watching him with undisguised disgust. “I never meant to hurt you. I don’t know why I did what I did. I don’t think I want to break our engagement, but I’m not sure what I want right now.” He felt badly for the woman sitting next to him. Turning towards her, he took her hand. “Please give me a chance to get my memory back and then, I guess, we need to sit and talk.” Maybe then he’d understand why he had such erotic memories of Caitlyn, why he wanted her and why he seemed so anxious to forgive her for her alleged crimes.

Amanda sniffled and drew a slow breath in. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Sure.” She sounded hollow.

Brandon sat back and tried to avoid the disapproving stares of his fellow passengers. He really didn’t like the picture of himself that he was beginning to see. He didn’t like the fact that each time he closed his eyes, he was able to imagine Caitlyn as she climaxed. And whenever he tried to substitute Amanda into those memories, all he felt was cold.

Maybe when he got his memory back and understood more about himself, he was going to have to break this woman’s heart and be honest with her. He was very disappointed in himself.

Heart Transplant – Google alert

Today I received a Google-alert in my e-mailbox titled “Heart Transplant Recipient” – scrolling down was listed “Vanilla Heart Publishing is pleased to announce the public release of Forgotten by Chelle Cordero, author of Bartlett’s Rule. Vanilla Heart Publishing is presenting Forgotten in three formats; trade, paperback edition, large print edition, and ebook edition in hopes they can reach many underserved readers with this exceptionally well-written and professionally edited fiction novel. Forgotten is an unforgettable romance… Read more by Vanilla Heart Publishing on July 14, 2008

How very apropos!

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas… this time it follows Brandon and Caitlyn across the country and into a world of espionage and danger. The one thing that Brandon knows for sure is that he can’t afford to lose his lucky charm, Caitlyn.

Previously released as Forgotten,
by Chelle Cordero

previous reviews of Forgotten said:
“Forgotten is Hard to Forget”
“The story grabs you from the beginning”
If you like Danielle Steele and Patricia Cornwell, you will enjoy ‘Forgotten.’

So why is this story getting a heart-transplant and becoming His Lucky Charm?

It’s all in the name. If you go to Amazon.com and look up the name Forgotten, you get pages upon pages of titles using the word forgotten in myriad possibilities – Forgotten by Chelle Cordero actually gets listed several pages into the search which has made it difficult for readers to find the book by its title alone.

But search His Lucky Charm and it comes up FIRST!

Readers will be able to find this story with a lot more ease! (Yes, I do try to give my readers what they want)

Oy – what I put my heroes through…

I put each one of my heroes into the hospital!!!

I realized that the other day and wondered why. Am I being sadistic? Yikes.

But then I suddenly understood – vulnerability. I like knowing that my muscled and independent hunks are vulnerable. Okay, maybe hospitalizing each of them is a bit extreme, but it helps to point out how very human they are and it gives a chance for the heroines to take care of them.

Lon gets a busted shoulder, that wasn’t too serious. Brandon winds up getting treated for burns, but only 2nd degree. Poor Tom gets his femur (thigh bone) broken and needs a metal rod inserted (ouch!). Adam comes down with an advanced case of pneumonia and nearly loses his life. Jake is shot in the chest, the bullet pierces his pleural cavity and his lung collapses – luckily for him a paramedic is standing next to him when he goes down. Finally Ryan suffers severe spine and head injuries in a meth-lab explosion and wonders if he will ever walk again.

Omigosh – the insurance companies would have a field day with my novels.

In Forgotten I used Brandon’s injury as a turning point in their relationship. Caitlyn got a very heavy dose of reality that she could lose him forever and while it still took some coaxing from her cousin Tom, she takes care of him through his recovery and has long moments to think while he sleeps from the pain meds.

The room was dark when he opened his eyes. Feeling a little disoriented, he expected to see the familiar surroundings of his hospital room. It took a minute or so for Brandon to realize where he was and who the silhouette at the window was.

He watched Caitlyn in silence. She seemed so absorbed in her thoughts that she never turned around as got up from the bed. He walked up behind her. The moonlight and the neon sign in front of the motel shed a little light into the room. He saw her shoulders shake and realized she was crying. Then he looked beyond her, out the window, and could see the rubble that was all that remained of her home across the street.

“I’m so sorry.” He put his hand gently on her shoulder and felt her jump. “I’m sorry about the house.”

She sniffled, but tried to hide it. “I was just thinking. On around the age of thirteen, I was just so angry and I felt so cheated. My mom’s cousin was super. She and her husband really took me in and tried to give me everything, but it just wasn’t the same. I wanted to know why it was my parents that died. They were such good people.” She waited while she tried not to cry. “I always ran away every time that something didn’t go the way I planned it. But I never ran far. I always ran to the house and sat on the porch. Even though there were people renting the place, it was still my house. One tenant even called the police. They thought my obsession was scary. Tommy had just gotten his driver’s license, and every time I disappeared, he drove by here to find me.”

“It must have been nice to know that someone would come looking for you if you tried to run away.” Brandon figured that his father would have offered him train fare if he had threatened to leave home. “You and Tom are real close. Why didn’t I ever meet him?”

Caitlyn turned to him in the dark. He saw her shrug. “You were always busy. He came to the city once, but you had to go out of town on business. The few times I went back home, you were always working on some project and you never seemed to be interested, so I didn’t push.”

“I am sorry. I should have been more interested.”

“It doesn’t matter.” She turned back to the window. “I was so anxious when the house was mine again. Tommy tried to get me to take it slow. But I just had to get moving with the renovations… and I had to move in. One of the first things I did was take my folks’ stuff out of storage and put it back in the house. Now look at it, it’s all gone.”

“I wish I could undo what happened.” Brandon had a whole laundry list of things he wished he could undo. Be honest with her; that was what Tom had said. “Your cousin told me about the insurance. Caitlyn, I can help you to rebuild.”

She took a long time responding and he worried that he had said the wrong thing. “I don’t know if I do want to rebuild.”

“But why not?”

Again, she was silent for a while. “It just wouldn’t be the same. And I couldn’t replace the material things that really mattered anyway. The family photo albums are gone. So is my mom’s wedding dress. Even my dad’s love letters to my mom are only memories now.”

“I am so sorry Caitlyn.” His voice was very low. Even though it was dark in the room, he couldn’t stand the possibility that she would turn to face him. So he walked back to the bed. “It seems all I have brought to you has been misery. You’ve lost everything because of me. I’m sorry. I really am.” He sat on the edge of the bed again.

“Brandon.” Her voice was stronger, almost reprimanding. Caitlyn came back to the bed. She switched on the lamp that sat on the nightstand. Brandon squinted from the glare. “You have done everything to protect me. My gosh, you saved Tommy and me. You saved our lives. And you almost lost yours.”

Caitlyn could no longer contain her tears. She sat next to Brandon and began to sob. He put his arm around her and she leaned into him. Her tears stained his T-shirt.

Brandon felt uncomfortable. He really hadn’t thought about his dying. He was definitely frightened when he saw the timer. “We’re all okay. Ssh. I was just scared that you would be hurt.”

“I heard the explosion and you were jumping out of the window… and you were on fire.” She clung to him. “I thought you were going to die. I thought I was going to lose you forever. I was never so scared in my life.”

He was surprised. He had never expected Caitlyn to react that way. He had never even given thought that his dying would even be mourned.

She clung to him until her sobs subsided. Brandon just felt good holding her. He hoped she wouldn’t regret saying the things she did to him. He needed the time to show her that he still loved her, and always would.

After her tears stopped, Caitlyn used her shirt sleeve to wipe her eyes. Then she backed away from him. Tentatively she looked up at him. He got the impression that there was something he should be saying to her, but he didn’t know what. There was an awkward silence.

Finally, Brandon had to break the silence. “Uh, how long did I sleep?” Damn, he thought, she’s going to figure I’m changing the topic because I don’t want to share. “By the way, thank you.”

“For what?”

“It was beautiful waking up and seeing you.”

She sniffled and then she chuckled. “You’re welcome. You slept for a couple of hours” Caitlyn stood up and walked to the bathroom. Brandon heard the running water. When she came back, she was drying her face. “Are you hungry? I brought you some dinner.”

He put a hand over his stomach. “I guess I do feel a little bit empty.”

“I got you a turkey breast sandwich. I figured burgers would just be too heavy.” She had filled the ice bucket with ice and was using it to keep his food cool. Using the tray from underneath the bucket, she spread a napkin and unwrapped a sandwich. She placed a small container of potato salad and a plastic fork next to it and popped open a can of ice tea with a straw. She brought the tray to the nightstand and placed it there. “Sorry, I know it’s not that fancy hospital fare you’ve come to love…” She grinned.

“Thank you. I think I can manage.” He caught her hand before she could walk away. Brandon figured out what he should have been saying. “Caitlyn, I love you.”

In Chaunce of Riches, coming out later this year, I do NOT put Ben into the hospital – but then I realized it was his hospitalization after a car accident several years before that separated him from Samantha. Oh well.

I do have this WIP on my desk and he never winds up in the hospital, but we’ll see what happens in re-writes.


All of my novels are available through Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and other major online retailers in print (& Kindle from Amazon) – and ask at your favorite bookstore, some of them are carrying my books on their shelves. My books are also available as instant-download-ebooks from SmashWords & PayLoadz.

p69 Theory – Forgotten

There is a theory that if you pick up a book and turn to page 69, you will know if the book is interesting or not

so we are putting it to the test…

p 69

…Everything was just as he imagined it would be and he knew more pieces of his memory were coming back.

He unpacked his suitcase and put things away. He put the water kettle up in the kitchen and reached into the cabinet for a pair of oversized mugs. Not at all surprised to find cocoa mix just where he thought it would be, he enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa with Amanda. Leaving the kitchen he walked her to the office door and helped her to turn the futon into a bed. He kissed her gently and wished her good night. Entering the master bedroom, he sighed contentedly and got ready for bed. Jet lag and the stress of the past two days had taken their toll and he felt tired. Maybe he would wake up to more memories after resting.

He felt comfortable as he stripped down to his boxers and crawled in between the sheets of his king sized bed. He fluffed the oversize pillows and lay down enjoying the comfortable familiarity. It didn’t take long for Brandon to close his eyes and begin to relax. Some of the tension he had been feeling began to melt. Just as he was feeling himself drift off to sleep, he reached out and was bothered by the unfamiliar feeling of finding himself alone in the bed.

Without hesitation, he realized that he had shared his bed with Caitlyn several times before and he missed having her by his side. In the dark, he stared at the empty half of the bed and then forced himself to stretch out across the middle to make the bed seem a little less bare. He fell asleep with Caitlyn’s name on his lips and her image in his mind. Tomorrow he would have to talk to Amanda about their engagement; it was something he obviously couldn’t honor.

The room was dark when he woke and it took a few moments for him to get his bearings. Slowly he recognized the shadows of his bedroom and was pleased that they felt …

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Paige (from Bartlett’s Rule) writes to Caitlyn (of Forgotten)

Hi Caitlyn,

I read your letter (Open Letter from Caitlyn) and thought I might lend you some support.

I know how important trust is in a relationship so I can understand why you feel the way you do about Brandon’s duplicity. But I also know, because Lon spoke with Brandon about this, that Brandon did what he did because he thought he had to protect you. Now I am not excusing him, I don’t like lies or “half-truths” at all. Just know that he really does love you.

It’s funny because Lon wasn’t who I thought he was either – but yeah, in his case, he wasn’t really trying to fool me; he just thought he had a public image he had to live up to. I’m so happy that I gave Lon a chance though and it really did pay off.

I am going to read Forgotten – I’ve got a copy sitting right here and I plan to start it tonight. While I understand why you don’t want anything to do with Brandon I really am hoping that you give him a chance. Lon said he’s a really good man and I do trust Lon’s judgment.

Listen, stay in touch, okay? If you need to talk, I’m here. I hope it all works out for you and Brandon.

Best always,


coming soon – Forgotten

coming July 25th

by Chelle Cordero

One of the last things a woman wants to hear from the man she is making love with is “Who are you?” When Brandon asks that of Caitlyn less than a day after their Las Vegas wedding, her life begins a wild and out-of-control spin. Even though Brandon can’t remember Caitlyn, Brandon can’t understand why he is so attracted to a woman that his fiancé tells him he has no right to be in love with.

Forgotten is an unforgettable romance about two people who meet by chance, love by choice and are torn apart by intrigue. Their romance survives a foreign threat to national security, kidnapping, personal tragedy and a murder attempt.


An Open Letter from Caitlyn

Hi Everyone,

My name is Caitlyn Smythe (well, that is my maiden name) – People will first meet me in the novel Forgotten as Caitlyn Price. My husband is Brandon Price.

BUT… my own husband doesn’t know who I am! And we only got married the night before the book opens.

Now I am sure that most women would be rather upset by that and I certainly was too. But Brandon eventually does regain his memory (most of it anyway) and I would think that we could have, SHOULD have, just gotten on with our lives – our HAPPY lives.

BUT… Once Brandon regains his memory, I find out that he isn’t even WHO I thought he was to begin with! There is just so much I don’t know about him. I would think that if a man loves a woman, REALLY loves her, then he would love her enough to trust her with some honesty.

So I think you can understand why I get to a point that I want NOTHING to do with him!

Anyway, please read the story Forgotten and let me know what you think. If you would like you can either leave a comment for me here or send it to me c/o Chelle at ChelleCordero@gmail.com.

Have a great day.