When Love is Not Enough

A common thread in all of my stories is trust. Sometimes there is complete lust, sexy attraction, passionate opportunities – but if the couple has a chance in hell, or heaven, they have to trust each other.
In Bartlett’s Rule Paige’s past makes it difficult for her to trust any man and nearly impossible for her to trust her own judgment. Along comes Lon whose patience and compassion teaches her she can trust. Then when events occur that put Lon in jeopardy, Paige never loses her faith in him even though she’s prevented from showing her support. Brandon deceives Caitlyn in a vain attempt to keep her safe in His Lucky Charm, instead though he almost loses her for good when his duplicity is too much for her to accept.
Adam shares his deepest secret with Davie in Courage of the Heart. While Adam trusts her enough to take the risk he is scared of her reaction, but thrilled when he receives her acceptance. In Final Sin a psychopath targets Jake and Julie when they act on their mutual attraction. Despite the torrid passion between them, they are torn apart when they lose trust in each other, it’s that trust that will, hopefully, save them both.
This theme is prevalent in all of my novels and stories whether is a passionate love affair or a close, platonic friendship –In Not Alone, a short story in the Forever Friends anthology, trust is questioned when a mutual friend dies in a car accident and when trust is regained and strengthened, the friends stand by each other.
Most of my stories involve love, many even include mind-blowing sex, but sometimes even love isn’t enough to make and keep my characters happy and bonded with each other. I believe that trust is the foundation of any worthwhile relationship.
(excerpt from A Chaunce of Riches)
“Where are you going? You’re the one who wanted to… have sex. I just want to see what you wear to bed.” He was talking in a loud whisper so that no one else in the house was disturbed.
“You weren’t drunk when I said I wanted to make love with you.” She tried to pull her hand away again but he wouldn’t let her go.
“I told you I am not drunk.” He sounded annoyed. “And I didn’t come here to have sex with you.”
She relaxed and stopped pulling away from him. “Then why are you here?”
“We need to talk.” He sat down heavily on the side of her bed and leaned back against the headboard. Ben kicked his shoes off and stretched his long legs out in front of him. He was still holding on to her.
She was annoyed that he had frightened her. “What do you want to talk about?”
Ben took her by the shoulders and turned her towards him. He squinted in the dark. Sam felt exposed under his gaze. “Is that a nightgown? How long is it?”
“To my knees.” She still wasn’t convinced of his sobriety.
He released her suddenly. “It’s not very sexy.”
“Well excuse me, I didn’t know I had to dress for company.” She sounded indignant.
“I remember when you used to wear one of my T-shirts to bed. Now that was sexy.” He told himself that her tousled hair and the simple fact that she was lying there in a bed wasn’t turning him on.
“That was a long time ago.” She painfully whispered.
He laughed. Then there was silence.
Finally Sam sighed and relaxed beside him. “What did you want to talk about?”
He looked at her in the dark. “You, me, sex, your husband, who killed him and who is trying to scare you?”
“Is that all one question?”
“Don’t be bitchy.” He sounded exasperated. “Did you love him?”
“Julian? He was a good man.”
Ben snorted. “That doesn’t sound like you loved him.”
“He’s gone.” She sounded sad. “Why do you need to ask?”
He grimaced. “Did you ever love me Sam? I know you said you did. But did you really?”
“Yes.” She still did but she knew he would never believe her.
“Then I don’t understand why you did what you did. If it were just the money… Sam, it’s not like you had a fling with the guy. You married him… you gave him a son. You lived in his world.” His words hung in the air. “And you never thought twice about me.”
He could hear her breathing in the dark. Sam was struggling not to cry.
“I can’t undo the things I did. I am so sorry I hurt you Ben.” Her voice cracked and she had to pause. “I really thought you would have found someone else and would be married by now…”
“I will never again put myself out there. I will never again trust a woman with my heart.”
“But Ben,”
“Don’t sound so surprised. That’s the lesson you taught me Sam.” He shook his head. “I never needed someone as much as I needed you when I woke up in the hospital. You have no idea what I went through.”
“Tell me.” He didn’t know how much she knew. He didn’t know that she was willing to do anything to save his life. He didn’t know that she was willing to sell herself to Julian to pay for his medical care.
“No. It was a long road. If you had cared, you would have been there.”
“So are you saying we’re stuck now? We can’t move on?” Sam turned to him. “Ben, we’re here now, together. We can be together now. Ben, you could have died but you didn’t…”
“We both could have died.” He thought she was talking about the car accident. “And you could have stayed.” He was quiet for a long time. “I wish I could forgive you, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to.”

Not Alone – part 4 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments beginning Aug 22. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

read part 1 – 8/22

Not Alonepart 4 of 4

He slumped back in the couch and then he started to talk. He wasn’t looking at me. I had heard most of it before, but I needed to hear it again and I needed to hear it from his lips. Kimmie had gotten drunk and she was angry at her boyfriend for leaving with someone else. Jordan was trying to be nice, he was trying to make sure that she was taken care of. She was difficult to control in the car and she had gotten sick. Jordan had just handed her a bag to throw up in when he took his eyes from the road. Then that car appeared and never stopped.
Jordan was quiet for a long time. He had to clear his throat before he spoke again. “You’d better leave now. People won’t be too happy with you if they know you were here.”
“I don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
“I do. I don’t want to ruin your life anymore than I already have.” He stood and put a hand out to me. “It means a lot to me that you came here today though. I want you to know that.
I took his hand and held onto it when I stood. “What are you going to do Jordan? You can’t hide in here forever. What about your classes? All those plans you had?”
He sighed. “I can’t think about that now …” He gently ushered me to the door. “I’m not going to fight Kimmie’s parents. I probably won’t be able to continue school after that anyway.”
When he closed the door behind me, I felt even more loss than I had before. My friend needed me but he wouldn’t accept my help.
I dragged myself to classes over the next few weeks. As far as I knew, Jordan dropped out of his. When I called him, he refused to talk. And he wouldn’t let me come over again. Listening to my classmates who knew Kimmie, I could tell that Jordan was right. People wouldn’t be very happy with me if they knew I was trying to help him. He was trying to protect me.
The school moved another student into the suite and into Kimmie’s room. She had just transferred from another school and she knew nothing about the girl who had slept in that room before her. And I resented her presence. That was always going to be Kimmie’s room and I wasn’t very nice to her. And I resented the fact that Jordan had pushed me away.
The next day I heard a few of the students talking in the library. They mentioned Jordan and the lawsuit. He had to appear in court … today. I ran back to my room and got changed. And then I caught a bus to take me into town and to the courthouse. I got to the lobby just before the doors were opened and people were going to be let in.
Jordan was standing there, alone. He looked sad. I could tell that he had lost weight since I saw him last. He didn’t hear me come up behind him and I slipped my hand into his.
He was startled as he looked at me, then he looked around the lobby. Jordan looked down at me. “People are going to hate you for being here.”
“You’re my friend Jordan. This is where I’m supposed to be.”
I didn’t feel so alone anymore.

Not Alone – part 3 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments beginning Aug 22. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

read part 1 – 8/22

Not Alonepart 3 of 4

Jordan looked unsure and then he just shrugged and allowed me to enter. He slowly closed the door behind us as I walked into his living room. I sat and he stood where he was. There was a photograph of the three of us lying on the coffee table. I picked up the picture; he came closer and looked like he was ready to snatch it back. But he didn’t. There were a series of indescribable emotions that flitted across his expressive eyes.
“How are you doing Jordan?”
“I’m still alive… I don’t know why, but I am.”
“Thank God.” I meant it.
He guffawed scornfully. “You don’t have to lie.”
“But I’m not, Jordan. I’m glad that you survived. It was hard enough to bury one friend…”
He sat heavily on the couch near me. “It should have been me.” Jordan looked directly at me, his eyes were moist. “I swear, I would give my life if it would bring her back. I would give my life if I thought it would just ease the pain for her parents and her friends. Trust me, I wish that I were dead.”
“Please don’t say that Jordan. We need you. I need you.” He simply shook his head sadly. “Tell me what happened?”
“I… I don’t really remember.” He looked haunted. “I can remember going to take Kimmie home. She drank too much and she got sick in the car. I glanced over at her. When I looked back again, a car was passing me and it pulled into my lane. I know that it caught my fender. I don’t remember what happened after that.”
I had heard that he told a police officer at the scene that he didn’t know what happened just before he passed out. “You were hurt, too. And everything happened so fast…”
He looked suspiciously at me. “Why are you so curious all of a sudden? Did her parents put you up to this?”
“Did her parents…?” I shook my head and was confused. “No, why would they?”
“Come on. Are you going to try telling me that you don’t know about the lawsuit?”
“What law suit?”
“Kimmie’s parents are suing me for wrongful death. They’re claiming that I killed their daughter.” He paused. “Actually I agree with them.” The police hadn’t filed criminal charges.
“It was an accident Jordan.”
“I figured she was too drunk to get herself home safely. I thought I could drive her home and she could sleep it off. But somehow I let that car get in my way.”
“You were trying to keep Kimmie safe. You did the right thing.”
“And I got her killed.” Jordan stood and paced. “What I don’t under-stand is why you’re here.”
“Jordan, you’re my friend too. Don’t you remember when I came to visit you in the hospital?” I never went back after that first day. “I was worried about you.”
He sat down next to me again and braced his arm against the back of the couch. Jordan leaned towards me. “So where were you since then?”
I couldn’t help it; the tears flowed. “I’m sorry Jordan. I had to think. I was angry that Kimmie was dead …”
“And you blamed me?”
“No … yes. I’m not sure.” I tried not to cry and I sniffled. “I didn’t know what to think. It’s only just beginning to sink in now. I woke up this morning and I really realized that she’s gone … but you aren’t. I … I didn’t want to lose you too.”
He was surprised by what I had just said.
“Jordan, tell me what happened that night. I need to hear.”

Not Alone – part 2 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments beginning Aug 22. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

read part 1 – 8/22

Not Alone
part 2 of 4

As word of Kimmie’s death spread across the campus, the ostracizing began. Her friends and classmates were too stunned to think beyond losing such a young, vibrant friend. Kimmie’s parents had suffered one of the worst things that ever could happen to a parent. They had no room for forgiveness in their hearts; grief was taking up too much space. It was easier to blame someone; it was far easier to blame Jordan than to try to make sense of it. And our friends, they turned on Jordan as well. No one had any time or any will to think of the desolation that Jordan was feeling.
I cried non-stop at Kimmie’s funeral and thought of all the long phone calls we had and the shopping trips to the mall and cramming for tests. None of my peers was dry eyed either. I couldn’t imagine a world without my best friend or a world without her laughter. We had been friends since our freshman year of high school and I felt a monumental loss. Each of us was self-absorbed in what we had lost when Kimmie’s mother let out a wail of grief that twisted our guts. Even though I knew that Jordan had been banned from attending the funeral, I was angry that he wasn’t there to witness the mourning, the loss and the questions of how we were all supposed to go on without Kimmie in our lives.
That was yesterday.
I woke up crying again. I cried not only for the loss of my closest and dearest friend, but also for the loss of the camaraderie we had with Jordan. It was obvious that Jordan had an interest in Kimmie at the beginning of previous school year and, as Kimmie admitted, he was just so damn cute. I tried to match them up; she knew how he felt. Kimmie wasn’t interested in Jordan in that way though and eventually he was able to accept that. He was always there to lend her his shoulder when she needed to talk about some guy she was seeing or to high-five her when she was happy after a date. He was there for me too; he just never seemed to think of me as anything more than a kid sister.
So the three of us became good friends and since he was a year ahead of us in school, he never minded showing us around or helping us learn a little more about campus life. Kimmie was always the first person I would call when I needed to talk and if she didn’t answer her phone, Jordan was next. I cried even harder when I realized that I had lost not one but two friends. None of our other friends wanted anything to do with Jordan; his loudest critic was Kimmie’s boyfriend. No one bothered to ask the boyfriend why he left Kimmie that night, no one assigned any of the blame to him. It was all Jordan’s fault.
I dressed but I couldn’t bring myself to go to any of my classes. Kimmie’s dad came by to pick up the rest of his daughter’s things; we shared a suite in the dorms. He hugged me and thanked me for the friendship I shared with his daughter. He told me how much it meant to him and his wife to hear me talk about Kimmie during the memorial service. Then he asked me to help keep Kimmie alive by never forgetting her. When he left, the tears began to fall again and I stared at a picture of my best friend while I cried.
Maybe I didn’t really, or maybe I did, but I heard Kimmie’s voice telling me that Jordan needed me. I thought that maybe I was losing my mind. It could have just been the desperation I felt, but I knew that I heard her voice. So I went over to Jordan’s off-campus apartment. Kim-mie and I had gone there often. I stared at his door for a few minutes before I actually knocked.
Jordan looked horrible when he answered the door. And he looked surprised.
“What are you doing here? Did you forget a few names?”
“I didn’t come to call you names. I didn’t come to be angry.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I wanted to talk.” He was quiet as he stared at me. “May I come in?”

Not Alone – part 1 of 4

I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments starting today. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)

Not Alonepart 1 of 4

I ignored the changing numbers on the alarm clock as long as I could. I still refused to believe that anything that had happened over the past few days was real. It was all a nightmare, that’s all.
As my toes sought the warmth of my slippers, the tears began to fall again. No matter how many times I tried to deny it, my best friend was buried yesterday. They wouldn’t let Jordan come to the cemetery; every-one blamed him. Even me.
For the two days that Jordan had been hospitalized, they kept him under a suicide watch. That angered him. Not because he wanted to commit suicide, but because it meant that people thought he would want to take “the coward’s way out” as he put it and avoid facing what had happened. He said it wasn’t his fault, but he still blamed himself.
I left the party that night early, too early to know everything that had transpired. Kimmie’s boyfriend dumped her, he left her at the party while he went home with another girl. She was upset and she drank more than she should have. Actually, she shouldn’t have been drinking at all; most of the folks at the party were under the legal drinking age – but that’s another issue altogether.
Eventually Kimmie wanted to go home and, as it was explained to me, she had trouble even holding onto the keys from her handbag. So Jordan offered to drive her. He drank a beer early in the evening; he was one of the few who could legally, and then he hadn’t had anything else. That was hours earlier. The cops even said that his blood alcohol level was well below the legal limits. Jordan was just trying to be a nice guy; besides, he had once had a thing for Kimmie.
I visited Jordan in his hospital room right after I heard about the accident. I didn’t even know that Kimmie was dead yet. Jordan was devastated. He didn’t need to have his friend’s condition confirmed; he knew. He told me how he had gotten cut off on that dark and winding road. The car rolled down the embankment and came to rest against a tree. There were no witnesses; just a minor paint scrape on the front fender and the police said that could have happened at any time prior to the accident.
Kimmie kept unbuckling her seatbelt and then she would laugh; Jordan kept telling her to put the seatbelt back on. He was tired of her arguing so this time he had been slow. When he looked at her after the car stopped moving, he knew that she was broken. The bone to one upper arm protruded through the skin and fragments of the bone in the lower arm gave her a limp rag doll effect. Her beautiful face was cut up from the windshield glass. He wanted to pull her from the car, but even though he had been belted in, he hit his head on something and was bleeding from the temple. And then he passed out. But he knew, from what he had seen, Kimmie was gone.

Did you catch my blog on short stories?

I recently blogged on Lindsay’s Romantics about writing the short story – I hope you go by and leave a comment

From Long Winded to Short Story

By the way, be sure to check out the link to Passionate Hearts in this blog – the publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing, is reviewing submissions until August 17 – romantic short stories (see the link for full details)

Preditors & Editors Poll Results 2008

category: Anthology
#5 “Forever Friends, Mandinam Press,” http://mandinampress.co.uk/
(includes the story “Not Alone” by Chelle Cordero)


category: Romance Novel
#16 “Bartlett’s Rule, Chelle Cordero, Vanilla Heart Publishing,” http://www.vanillaheartbooksandauthors.com/Chelle_Cordero.html
TOP 20 Finisher


category: Bookart
#2 “Forever Friends, Shelagh Watkins and Christopher Tovo (photographer),” http://www.shelaghwatkins.co.uk/mandinampressforeverfriendscover.htm
(includes the story “Not Alone” by Chelle Cordero)


category: Author
I would like to thank each of you who voted for me in the
2008 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll
& congratulate ALL of the nominees!
Always, Chelle

Last minute push – Please vote for me…

The Preditors & Editors TM Readers’ Poll honors print & electronic publications published during 2008.

And I’ve been nominated!!!!!!

Two of my books were nominated – unfortunately you can only vote for one (I’m encouraging Bartlett’s Rule), I was nominated as an Author (Chelle Cordero, of course), and the anthology that I have a short story published in (Forever Friends) was also nominated. I NEED THREE VOTES PLEASE.

You will need your name and email to vote – and you will have to confirm your vote by clicking on a link in the email.

1) http://www.critters.org/predpoll/novelr.shtml
Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero
Within the Law by Chelle Cordero
(Book titles are listed alphabetically and you can only vote for ONE [I voted for Bartlett’s Rule])

2) http://www.critters.org/predpoll/author.shtml
Chelle Cordero

3) http://www.critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml
Forever Friends Mandinam Press

Thank you so much for your help!

The Readers Poll ends midnight of 14 January (GMT).
Readers Poll Awards will be announced in February.

A little favor please…

Imagine my surprise when I learned that 2 of my novels, the anthology that I am in and my name (as author) were nominated in the current Preditors & Editors poll!

Would you please go vote for me?

You can only vote ONCE in each category.Here are the choices:

Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero
Within the Law by Chelle Cordero
(Book titles are listed alphabetically and you can only vote for ONE [I voted for Bartlett’s Rule])

Chelle Cordero

Forever Friends Mandinam Press

Thanks for your help!

Forever Friends Blog Tour

I am pleased to announce that yesterday on my Xanga blog was the very first posting for the Forever Friends blog tour!

Forever Friends is a celebration of the power of friendship and human relationships. The breadth and depth of the stories cover all ages from young to old. Filled with love and respect for family, friends, pets and even a telescope, these stories are guaranteed to entertain the most discerning reader. Thoughtful poems of friendship and love will bring smiles or tears and encourage readers to read the next story. The fiction and non-fiction works in this book express friendship as timeless, enduring and forever.

Please follow the tour to learn more about the book

December 1 Chelle Cordero

December 2 Zada Connaway

December 3 Mary Muhammad

December 4 Helen Wisocki

December 5 Pam Robertson

December 6 Dick Stodghill

December 7 Philip Spires

December 8 Grace Bridges

December 9 L. Sue Durkin

December 10 A. Ahad

December 11 Malcolm R. Campbell

December 12 Lynn C. Johnston

December 13 Dianne Sagan

December 14 Donald James Parker

December 15 Karina Kantas

December 16 Milena Gomez

December 17 Tiziana Rinaldi Castro