Can you hear me?

Coming soon from VHP...

will soon be available for your listening pleasure!

Hostage Heart  by Chelle Cordero
Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood… An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems…no, he is so much more

Final Sin by Chelle Cordero
Deputy Sheriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full… investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger…

Vanilla Heart Publishing is pleased to announce that in the coming weeks and months, a long list of selected VHP works will be available IN AUDIO. All audiobooks will be available on,, and iTunes!

Coming Soon!







I miss my youth – win a FREE ebook!

I miss the days when I felt confident enough to lead with my heart and not my head – when common sense didn’t stop me from having fun – when I had the desire and the impetus to experience adventures – when I felt invincible and couldn’t comprehend my parents’ worries.

Today as a woman with several decades behind me and offspring of my own, my perspective is quite different. Today I (try to) think before I act, weigh the possible results of every decision, and say thanks everyday that I survived my youth and still manage to make it through my present. I don’t lead a boring life by any means, but I do lead a more cautious one.

My two grown children have followed their hearts to travel the world, jump from airplanes, run obstacle races, play extreme sports, explore caves, hike mountains, respond to danger as first responders, learn and use new skills, take gambles, and always push themselves a few steps further. It would be sooo easy to live vicariously through them. And now I truly emphathize with my parents’ angst…

My characters are not boring people either. When I write I include some of my past experiences, borrow some of my children’s lives, and certainly toss in my dreams, to create people who live life to the fullest.

Have you read any of my books? Would you like to take a guess and try to win a FREE ebook of one of my novels?

Listed below are 3 columns – a character, a profession, a book title.  See how many you can match up. The first 4 people to play this game and get AT LEAST 1 complete answer right will win a FREE ebook. (hint: for easy clues, go to Submit your answer in the comments below

1:  Adam Sherman
A: artist
r:: Final Sin
2: Tom Hughes
B: state trooper
s:: Common Bond, Tangled Hearts
3: Julie Jennings
C: FBI agent
t: Bartlett’s Rule
4: Caitlyn Price
D: pr exec
u: Courage of the Heart
5: Matt Garratti
E:  business owner
v: Hyphema
6: Paige Andrews
F: bodyguard
w: Within the Law
7: Ryan Hunter
G: programmer
x: His Lucky Charm
8: Justin Ross
H: flight medic
y: A Chaunce of Riches
9: Ben Johnson
I:  paramedic
z: Hostage Heart

Uh, what year is this?

Perhaps reading recent posts from fellow Vanilla Heart Authors Malcolm Campbell  and Joice Overton  about the research they put into their stories for authenticity influenced my subconscious… boy did I ever wake from a confusing dream this morning!

Basically the dream involved two brothers and their dad. There was mention of mom but she never appeared in the dream. The setting, clothing wise and scenery seemed to be in the middle ages (like the “Robin Hood” era), but here comes the confusion.

The younger boy was headed off to some fair or such, he was rolling a zippered suitcase. The boys wanted their dad to come with them, but dad was having trouble getting a message to his wife because she apparently “never got off of her cell phone”. At the fair the boys ordered lunch and sat in a booth in a 50’s style diner complete with car hops on skates. Confused? Definitely.

Please don’t analyze my dream, lol – I swear, it was just because I was thinking about research and period authenticity.

How many times have you succumbed to a movie or book plot just to be jolted awake by a glaring addition of something so very out of place like a wrong year car driving over a bridge that collapsed years before the manufactured year? Or maybe it’s a pineapple tree growing (naturally) on the streets of New York City? The last time I was bumped out of the fantasy, it had to do with a police uniform and the color of a shirt. Not everyone will realize or catch mistakes, but why ruin it for anyone? Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean it shouldn’t seem real.

I write mostly contemporary fiction so, hopefully, I don’t have too much of a problem with the proper accessories of the time. But research is still crucial. Take the weather for instance, in Hostage Heart I used actual hurricane devastation to build my character’s story. Sometimes the tourist industry is important, in His Lucky Charm and Within the Law  I used well known landmarks to paint the picture. And in Hyphema  I used ethnicity and cultural insensitivity to build my plot.

Some research may come along easily especially if we write about areas, customs and time periods we are most familiar with. If I wrote about my community, my experiences, my lifestyle and my life in every book, I doubt readers would be fascinated (at least not beyond one story). I have to learn as much as possible about other occupations, religions, areas, cultures and more in order to make my stories real and believable.

How do writers do their research? Most of us delve deeply into the learning process using encyclopedias, the internet (and we know that EVERYTHING we find there is true, lol), read books, and even find tour guides for foreign locations.
When I am researching culture, religion or occupations, I stop random people in my daily activities and ask questions – I’m sure one of these days I’ll probably be arrested for harassment or such. I sometimes even go to experts for answers although I guess I wasn’t thinking too clearly the time I asked a real medical examiner if a particular poison could be detected in an autopsy…

We have muses, we have voices in our heads, and we live in fantasy worlds – but we do try to stay grounded in reality.

Please visit my website for more info about my books

Have you had your Expresso today?

Such exciting news!

Folks can walk into any location with the fun to watch EBM, call up a favorite title, and walk out five minutes later with their very own copy – it’s instant gratification!

What’s an EBM?   Expresso Book Machine

Now what this means for you, dear readers, is that you can walk into a location and walk out that same day with a fully printed book in hand!   Not ordered and wait – but you can start reading immediately.  Formerly this instant gratification was only available at a very few select mortar and brick stores – or for ebook purchasers… and there are still some purests out there who enjoy the feeling of a book in their hands.

And there are NO shipping charges – how much better can this get?   Even overseas readers can enjoy print copies of books WITHOUT those exorbitant shipping charges.

There are dozens of these machines already out there ALL OVER THE WORLD – and they are expecting that amount to more than double by the end of 2012.

Right now you can find EBMs in the following countries:
United States of America
Santo Domingo
United Arab Emirates

… and there are MORE coming!  For a complete listing of locations AND books available go here 

Read the brochure here

About Hostage Heart

I am a romantic dreamer. Despite all of the rumors that writers are full of angst, I really like my life – so I love to write about the things in my life… but my books are pure fiction.

After the 2005 hurricane season and the devastation it caused to parts of Louisiana and Texas, I heard many stories about the people down there and their remarkable spirit. (As an aside, my hubby was a rescue worker down there and he came home with incredible stories to tell.)

Deanna Blair, the heroine of my book Hostage Heart, was born from these stories. Add to that my sometimes “questionable” imagination and my need to let everyone have their special romantic moments and I added Ryan Hunter and a few other interesting characters. Then I tossed in a bank robbery.

The book starts in New York City, a city that never sleeps and the place where I was raised. The bulk of the story takes place down south in Baton Rouge, LA and Little Rock, Ark. Although I grew up with a southern-born mama, I still did a lot of research into Deanna’s Cajun heritage and the local customs. It was really fun for me.

I want my readers to experience the flavors of a beignet (a Louisiana fried fritter) and the dialect of a Cajun as they read my story. More than that, I want them to feel the love between my characters and each of the relationships they have. And of course I hope that they sit on the edge of their seats as they wonder what will come next.

Here’s an excerpt:
Deanna tried to pull away. Tears came to her eyes. “Please, let me go.”

“Hey Roy, Miss Southern Bell said please.” He mocked her pronunciation. One of the other two men laughed at her distress.

The third man got up and grabbed her chin. He held her face still as he forced the neck of another open bottle of beer between her lips and poured. Deanna choked and spit out most of it.
“Come on, swallow.” He kept pouring and she finally swallowed some to keep from choking. “That’s right baby, you’re going to feel much better. We just want you to enjoy too.”

After most of the contents of the bottle of beer was either down her throat or spilled down the front of her blouse, the bottle was put on the table. Deanna fought to keep from gagging as the beer hit her stomach and started an abrupt return trip. “I’m going to be sick.”

The first guy stood and nearly dumped her on the floor. They let her heave the contents of her stomach while she bent over. They laughed at her. When she was done, one of the men splashed her face with even more beer to rinse her off. Then the front of her blouse was torn open.

“Oh God, please don’t…:” Unable to defend herself or run away with her hands and feet still tied, she cried and pleaded.

Tugging the front of her bra as if to rip it off of her, the second guy found her grandmother’s ring. “What’s this?” He dug the piece of jewelry out.

She looked longingly at the ring. “Please, that’s all I have left of my mamere.” They still hadn’t recovered the old woman’s body long after the flood waters receded. “Please don’t take that.”

One of the men leered at her. “Maybe we’ll let you earn it back.”

“What the hell is going on here?” His booming voice surprised everyone.

“Hey man, we were just having some fun. She doesn’t mind. Do you?” One of the three drunken revelers pouted.

“I told you, she’s my property… and I don’t share with anyone.” The pseudo bank customer had returned from his errand. He walked to them and grabbed her roughly by her arm. “What’s that?” He questioned the guy with the ring in his hand.

“She was hiding it.”

“Give it to me. Now.” The ring was put into his outstretched palm and he put it into his pocket. He looked at the floor where she spit up. “Clean this up.”

“Hey man, we were just bored.

“That’s not my problem.” He pulled Deanna into the small kitchen and helped her wash her face and rinse her mouth at the sink.

“So long as Jacob is gone, I’m in charge around here. And I don’t like having my orders ignored.”

New version – UPDATED 2011 Sampler

Fall 2011 Chelle Cordero Sampler

Fall 2011 Chelle Cordero Sampler
By: Chelle Cordero | Other books by Chelle Cordero

Published By: Vanilla Heart Publishing

ISBN # 9781937227791

Word Count: 118500

Available in: Adobe Acrobat

Read More

About the book

This Chelle Cordero sampler is free for your enjoyment. All of Chelle’s novels are available in both print and ebook editions for every reading device, through online retailers and in select bookstores around the world. Chelle’s writing workshop, Living, Breathing, Writing: A Lesson A Day is available in both print and ebook for Volume 1, and Volume 2 in ebook.

Bartlett’s Rule

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.


Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma… Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors… Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

Final Sin

Deputy Sherriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full… investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger…

His Lucky Charm

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.

Common Bond, Tangled Hearts

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. When Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies.

A Chaunce of Riches

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.

Hostage Heart

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood… An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems…no, he is so much more.

Courage of the Heart

Courage of the Heart shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers.

Within the Law

Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.

Previously Published…

One of the reasons I love to re-read, and in some cases re-post, old interviews is to see how far I’ve come as a writer. Ideally we should all be learning and growing in our fields and I believe I have ~ and hopefully improved.

The following interview was posted nearly 2 years ago on Romancing the Book

AUGUST 01, 2009

Interview with Chelle Cordero

Jen: Readers, please help me welcome Chelle Cordero to Book Talk. Chelle, will you please share a short bio with us?
Chelle: I am a full-time freelance writer with both non-fiction articles (newspapers and magazines) and romantic suspense novels to my name. The younger of two daughters, I was raised in the Bronx (NYC) and studied theatre and drama in high school and college. My parents were very progressive and supportive; they encouraged both my creativity and my individualism.

Today I live in the lower Hudson Valley suburbs, married for 33+ years, and am mom to 2 grown offspring’ daughter is married and son has a special gf. I volunteer for my local ambulance corps as an EMT and do my darnedest to try to keep busy and out of trouble.

Jen: Tell us about Hostage Heart and where it’s available.
Chelle: Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood…Deanna did the only thing she could do. She moved to New York City, found a job, worked hard, scrimped and saved to send what little she could manage back home to Louisiana to her parents. An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her and deserved her courageous help in return… But he wasn’t the man she thought he was…no, he was so very much more! It’s available through Amazon in both print and Kindle and at Smashwords in various formats.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Chelle: I “discovered” writing in high school and enjoyed making words work. I wrote on my high school yearbook staff and in college I wrote for my school newspaper. I was about 19 when I wroite a hard news story about a 16 year old boy who had been killed when he came to the aid of a woman who was being mugged – this story was run by both my college newspaper and in a local weekly paper in the Bronx where I lived. It was a rush to see my first professional byline.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Chelle: Actually I create my characters, give them a situation and let them write their own story. Occasionally I will throw them a few extra curves.

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Chelle: Mostly I pick character’s names that I like the sound of; sometimes I will modify a name slightly if I think it suits my character better.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Chelle: The most challenging part of fiction writing is typing “The End”. I wind up getting so involved in my characters’ lives and suddenly I have to put them back into a manuscript and get all business like and start promoting my story to a publi8sher and eventually to the public. Like a mom often finds it hard to cut the apron strings, I find it difficult to let go of my characters.

The easiest part of writing is allowing my characters to become real and working with them to create a story.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Chelle: When someone reads one of my books and then after either writes to me or leaves a review somewhere and expresses how much they enjoyed the book – then they follow it up with comments about my characters and emotions and it just seems the really “got it”.

Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Chelle: Depending on how quickly money comes in afterwards, I try to pay a bill or two,,,

Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Chelle: I think I would just tell each person what they have meant to me in my writing career 1) Daisy Alden- Ms. Alden was my creative writing teacher in high school and encouraged me to use words to communicate and get inside people; she was also a published author and poet and she inspired me since she was the first “real person” I knew to have books in print. 2) Hank Spallone- former NYPD Detective and eventually Yonkers Mayor. Hank was the liaison between the community and the local police and I was an Auxiliary Police Officer that had the wonderful opportunity to shadow him and learn the true importance of communication. Hank was certainly my mentor. 3) My sister Bobi Du-Bois, she has always told me “you can do it” and has managed to be there just whenever I need an ego boost. 4) Barbara Moroch – she [was] an editor with my local newspaper and I have had a wonderful and long term working relationship and friendship with her for almost 2 decades. 5) Kimberlee Williams – she is the managing editor at Vanilla Heart Publishing and believed in me with my first manuscript, Bartlett’s Rule and each manuscript since. Her enthusiasm is definitely the “vitamin” every writer needs.

Jen: If Hostage Heart was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Chelle: LOL, whenever I write my stories I cast my characters in my head. The role of Ryan would be played by Eric Martsolf (Brady Black from Days of Our Lives) and the role of Deanna would be played by Christel Khalil (Lily from The Young and The Restless)

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Chelle: I dream of writing the next book. Eventually I would love to see one (or more) of my books made into movies,

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Chelle: I don’t know if I really have what you call free time. It certainly isn’t that I work all of the time – I enjoy writing so much that it is hard to realize (most times) when writing for work and writing for pleasure begins and ends. As I said earlier in my bio, I also volunteer to ride as an Emergency Medical Technician with my local ambulance corps where I also sit on the Board of Directors. Then, and this is certainly NOT in order of importance, I try to spend time with my family (hubby, son & his gf who live at home, my daughter and her hubby who love nearby, and 3 rambunctious cats).

Jen: What’s next for you?
Chelle: I just want to keep writing and maybe one day get on some best seller lists for my novels AND maybe a Pulitzer for my non-fiction articles? Who knows, I believe that anything can happen.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Chelle: My website is and I have blog all about my writing at

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Chelle: Aside from asking everyone to read my books, I would love to ask 2 favors – 1) If your local bookstore doesn’t already carry my books on their shelves, please ask them to and 2) I love to hear from my readers so please let me hear from you. Tell me what you thought of my writing; let me know what you would like me to write about. Mainly, I just want to hear from you, my email address is

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through,
destroying her parents’ home and livelihood…
An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers –
a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems…
no, he is so much more

In the News ~ Floods 2011

When I wrote my novel Hostage Heart this country was reeling from the stories of the tremendous losses suffered by the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failure. Although I was not personally down there at this time, my husband was as a rescue worker and he brought home tales about the people down there and their wonderful spirit.

…ever since that time, we have felt a kinship with the people of Louisiana and the surrounding area. We’ve been following the news and the reports of a swollen Mississippi River with concern and heartache – and we are sending our prayers for recovery once again.

Celebrate Read-an-Ebook Week with FREE books

Use the code RE100 at checkout to

get these books for FREE

during Smashwords
site-wide promotion!

(Offer good thru Mar. 12, 2011)

I have short stories in each of the following anthologies!

With Arms Wide Open (features “For Love of Family” by Chelle Cordero)

Ebook Price: $4.99 USD. 48640 words. by Vanilla Heart Publishing on June 14, 2009
Stories and poetry exploring the joy of living and loving, With Arms Wide Open… Stories and poems about taking a chance, moving past fear or apprehension, risking everything for love, finding peace, expanding a comfort zone – and other emotions and experiences that share the intimacies of living and loving With Arms Wide Open.

Passionate Hearts Anthology (features “The Meeting” by Chelle Cordero)

Vanilla Heart Publishing Anthologies and published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on Sept.1, 2010
Sixteen fabulous tales of love, passion, and romance from sixteen incredibly talented authors: Victoria Howard, Jacqueline Seewald, Chelle Cordero, Michael Bracken, Charmaine Gordon, Melinda Clayton, Marilyn Celeste Morris, Angelica Taylor, Robert Hays, Kathie Harrington, Misha Crews, Allison Wonderland, Sandy Nicks, KC Sprayberry, Smoky Trudeau Zeidel,and Billy Burgess

Nature’s Gifts Anthology (features “I Swear That Raccoon Just Knocked” by Chelle Cordero)

Ebook Price: $4.99 USD. Non-Fiction by Vanilla Heart Publishing on March 22, 2010
Our first annual Nature’s Gifts Anthology… More than twenty pieces, from haiku to villanelles, from essays to short stories, will delight nature lovers everywhere. Take a walk in a garden or hike in a national park. Reflect on the moon. Learn something new. Laugh—and cry—with our writers as they discover the beauty, the joys, and the raw power of nature.

Forever Friends (features “Not Alone” by Chelle Cordero)

Ebook Price: $6.66 USD. 88370 words. Fiction by Shelagh Watkins on February 17, 2011
This collection of stories and poems, created by members of the Published Authors Forum on the world wide web, reflects the bond of friendship between writers from all over the world. 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.

All of Chelle Cordero’s books
are available at 25% discount
from Smashwords

Use the code RAE25 at checkout

Offer good thru Mar. 12, 2011

An Interview With Deanna

Welcome to today’s CC-Talk show…

We’re talking with Deanna Blair Hunter from the pages of Hostage Heart about being married to an F.B.I. Special Agent…

Hi Deanna, thanks for coming in today. One of our listeners sent in an interesting question: What is it like to be married to an F.B.I. Agent?

They don’t use the title Agent, they are all Special Agents. Actually it’s not really any different from being married to a police officer. I met my husband Ryan in kind of unusual circumstances – he was working undercover – so I didn’t really know who he was when I fell in love with him. That was difficult because I thought he was killed and I really never dreamt that we’d be together again.

Oh wow. That must have been hard. Does he go undercover a lot?

Fortunately he doesn’t get many undercover assignments anymore. There are a lot of times he can’t speak to me about his work especially if he’s involved in an investigation. I had to learn not to keep asking him too much about his work.

Does he spend a lot of time away from home for work?

Most nights he comes home to our little ones and me. He is based out of a local office and he does most of his work locally. You get assigned to an office but once you are there, you usually remain in the same place for a long time. Once in a while he has to go away for a few days for a special investigation or a training exercise.

Is there a lot of danger? Are you worried that he night get hurt?

Sometimes he has to deal with some bad people and there is always a danger. But there is a lot of his work, like many law enforcement people, that happens at his desk, he hates paperwork. The day that we got married Ryan was in a wheelchair because he had gotten hurt. I’ve learned to count my blessings each day he comes home to me in one healthy piece.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to marry an F.B.I. Special Agent?

Understand that your husband, or wife, may get moody sometimes because they are working on a case and they really can’t talk it out in front of you. They are under a lot of stress so it is good if you try to keep calm and happy. It’s also real important that they stay fit and healthy, that you can support them a bit and help them live a good lifestyle.

My daddy gave me advice early in my marriage – he said to see if I could speak to wives of other F.B.I. Special Agents. There is a lot of support within the families, it’s a little bit like military families. That was the best advice I ever got.
buy links

Deanna did her mourning in private. The police psychologist suggested that she speak to a counselor. No one understood. A few nights after she was home, Deanna had a dream about Ryan – she was in his arms. Her mamere was in the dream too and she was happy that Deanna was with Ryan. She knew that Ryan was meant to be her soul mate, she just couldn’t understand why it was over so soon. Her dream mamere told her that the best was yet to come, but when she woke, she was confused.

Although she had to make a statement for the District Attorney’s office about the bank robbery, they had kindly allowed her to give a taped deposition. She was extremely relieved not to have to face the surviving kidnappers again. The DA assured her that the bank robbers turned kidnappers would be put away for a long, long time. To her dismay, she learned that the robberies they staged were used to help finance suspected terrorist activities. She still couldn’t accept that Ryan had been involved in something like that.

Fortunately Rob let her come back to work. He told her he understood that the loss of the money wasn’t her fault. Then he told the police, the F.B.I. and his insurance agency that the loss was twice the actual amount. Deanna kept quiet and she felt guilty. But she was desperate to hold onto her job. She had told her parents about the bank robbery but not the kidnapping. Deanna knew they would have made her come home if they had known the whole truth.

Rob told her how worried he had been when he got the phone call from her kidnapper. He said he prayed for her safe return to him. He became possessive. Deanna found herself working with him more and more, he scheduled her work hours closer to his own. She briefly suspected that he might not trust her alone with the cash register. Then Rob made it clear that he wanted to be with her. Deanna suspected that his ultimate plans included a more personal relationship. There had been several unsolicited invitations for a quick bite to eat or more after work. It wasn’t long before he stopped being subtle.

The feeling wasn’t mutual, but Deanna decided she had to move on or she would never recover from her all too brief love affair with Ryan. Ryan was gone, she was still alive. Rob was there and he didn’t hide the fact that he wanted her. He had more than once offered to comfort her after her terrible ordeal. Despite her denials, he let her know that he suspected she had suffered after she was held hostage by four men for several days. Rob said he wanted to help her heal her wounds.

Before this, Deanna had never considered the idea of involvement with Rob. He was her boss, but he kept planting the seed in her mind. She accepted his dinner invitation for that Saturday night. She tried to concentrate on her work for the rest of the week, but she couldn’t ignore the nervous twinges in her gut. It was enough to get her sick and she left work early on Friday and stopped by the clinic on her way home.

Rob had given Deanna Saturday off and teased her that she would have all day to get ready for their date. Deanna got herself dressed and was standing in front of the bathroom mirror when she burst into tears. She had been in control ever since the doctor told her that she was expecting the day before but after having all day to dwell on it, Deanna was scared. She had no idea how she was going to be able to manage; certainly she would have to stop sending money home to her parents.