Keeping Up With Appearances

We tend to do this every day. We act happy when things are bothering us to keep our lives private, we go to jobs because we need the paycheck and the boss wants to see us putting on a happy face, we clothe ourselves in high fashion to look great even if the heels pinch a bit, and we look over our shoulders when we do give in to wild and impetuous desires.
When is the last time you rode a children’s ride in front of a shopping mall (rare but still there occasionally) or climbed into the bouncy house at a child’s birthday party? Have you played dress up and actually gone out in public with the same flair and pride as a four-year-old would? What did you order the last time you went out for a business dinner, the burger and greasy fries dripping in ketchup you really wanted, or the safe broiled sole and asparagus tips that seemed to meet with your host’s approval?
When is the last time you were really YOU?
Like Samantha in A Chaunce of Riches, are you leading a life others expect of you or are you living your dream? As I write this I am sitting in my robe and jammies in the mid-afternoon and doing a job I genuinely love, writing – very, very close to my dream. But I do admit, if someone came knocking at my door right now I would probably be embarrassed to be caught in my attire because it might not meet their expectations.
wouldn’t ask any one of you to publicly admit the ways you pretend to give others an impression that makes you feel more accepted, just as I would never divulge all of my secrets either. But think about it, do the sacrifices you make in order to “keep up appearances” really make you happy?
Maybe it’s time to start jumping in puddles, build a snowman (If you live in the northeast there is PLENTY of snow), eat a fun food, or just stay in our robes until mid-afternoon. Keeping up with our happiness may just be more important than keeping up with appearances.
I’d love to hear what you think.

Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for a rich widow and her kid, but he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man instead of Ben. Or that her husband had been murdered…and Ben was the prime suspect.

It’s finally here

…and what an amazing opportunity this is.

Please join us at the VHP Readers’ Club
Friday (today!) through Sunday.

(from Managing Editor Kimberlee Williams)

Welcome to the Grand Opening weekend-long celebration of the Vanilla Heart Publishing Reader’s Club! Coming up all three days of the grand opening, we’ve got some great surprises, games, contests, drawings and fun… Many of our terrific VHP Authors will be stopping by, and in the meantime, feel free to check out their novels and info in the Files section, peruse our extensive title catalog and video links, and have fun!

Take a peek at the Events Calendar for some great upcoming author events and celebrations, ask authors questions, share your favorite VHP novel, or suggest a topic…

10 Excerpts, 5 Books & A Chance to WIN a FREE E-Book!

Yes, you read it right – you have a chance to WIN a FREE E-Book!

Simply match the following excerpts with the correct book (hint: there are 2 excerpts per book) Leave your answers in the comments below (for example 1:A, 2:D, 3B and so forth – and NO, those are NOT the answers, LOL)

On Friday I will pick one name from all of the CORRECT entries (or a tie with the most correct responses) for a chance to win a FREE .pdf format E-Book of your choosing from my 5 novels. (If you can’t comment below, send me an email at with 10/5 Contest in the subject line)

The excerpts are direct from my books, I just substituted ***** for character names. BTW, you might even find some of these excerpts in the FREE Chelle Cordero First Chapter ChapBook (you can download that now for FREE

Here are the names of the books:

A: Bartlett’s Rule
B: Forgotten
C: Within the Law
D: Courage of the Heart
E: Final Sin

Here are the excerpts:

1. ***** helped her while she fumbled into a night shirt and crawled under the blankets. Then he went to his side of the bed and stripped, leaving his clothing on the floor. He got under the covers and pulled her body up against his, he kissed her on the top of her head and whispered “G’night.” Before he reached to turn out his night table lamp, he stopped to watch her sleeping in their bed…another memory for him to store.

2. There was no way he was a hero, he thought. He laughed and shook his head. But he didn’t argue. So long as he could wrap himself in the blanket, he was willing to cooperate. She helped him to his feet. He wound up taking a ride in the back on one of the other police cruisers, the trooper behind the wheel was nice enough to turn the heat on high. He borrowed the Nextel on his ride in and called ***** to ask her to bring him dry clothes and pick him up at the hospital. He assured her he was fine.

3. ***** injected epinephrine and sodium bicarb twice in an effort to restart her heart, but they couldn’t get her back. She had lost too much blood and had suffered too many traumas. It was almost as if she was surrendering to the peaceful cloak of death. It was a frustrating twenty-five minutes while the crew worked hard to save the young woman’s life.

4. She watched incredulously as he pulled a pair of jeans on. “I’m sorry…I…” Suddenly ***** felt angry. “If you thought that I thought it was going to be some kind of commitment, you don’t need to worry. I got carried away…don’t worry, it won’t happen again.” She stood taking the bed sheet with her to cover herself. “If you don’t mind giving me some privacy, I’ll get dressed.”

5. He silently counted to ten before answering. “You will stay out of my personal life. And don’t threaten me about my son.” He felt the bile rising in his throat. “And don’t you dare ever tell my boy that I didn’t want him. Consider yourself damn lucky that I didn’t tell him the truth about how you slept around with everyone and then lied about the paternity.”

6. “Come on, I know this evening was all a show to keep me happy so your company can buy the magazine.” ***** knew that this purchase would benefit the new publisher even more than it would him so long as he remained on board. “It would make me very happy to know a little bit more about the woman *****.”

7. He called and left a message on his office voice mail. A woman’s voice greeted him in a recorded message. Somehow he recognized that it was *****’s voice. He remembered her voice, but how could that be when he couldn’t remember anything else? ***** scribbled the hotel and room number for him on a paper napkin so he could leave it in the message. He finished his message and kept the phone to his ear through the rest of the recorded options. Wondering if his message sounded urgent enough, he thought about re-recording his message and then decided to let it stay as it was. He hung up the phone.

8. “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.

9. “You know hon, some relationships make it and some don’t. Every relationship has baggage of some kind. People grow, sometimes they grow apart.” She leaned on her desk and smiled kindly for her friend. “But I’m the kind of romantic that believes most love affairs do work out. And I really do see love in his eyes when he looks at you. That’s certainly something none of us would have expected from the old *****. You really have brought out the best in him.”

10. They sent ***** back to New York ahead of him. She hadn’t even said good-bye. After a short interview with a government agent, she was provided with a ticket home and a ride to the Las Vegas airport. ***** never got the opportunity to speak with her after their rescue. As far as he knew, she never asked to see him. She was already on her way back to New York when he found out that she was gone.

Just For Fun

Often when I have play-cast each of my novels, I’ve had readers comment on how much they agree or disagree with my choices. Usually they follow it up with, “I would cast… as…

It is such a fun game to play and I am fascinated by some of the choices made.

Well it must be that others think this game is fun too! There is a terrific site where you get to play-cast all of your favorites, just go to, register (it’s FREE), select the book you want to cast and simply choose the actors you see in each role.

It is a lot of fun to see how your choices compare. You can also leave comments and rate other folk’s choices. So far my four novels (to date) are available for casting – why don’t you let us know who you would cast in each of the leading roles in Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law or Courage of the Heart?

So just for fun – and who knows, maybe some Hollywood director will one day take your advice – enjoy “For the Movie in Your Mind”

* is new and growing, so be sure to stop back now and then as they add new works and new actors!