page 69 Theory – Bartlett’s Rule

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

“Do you want me down on my knee?”

She stared at him. “I wasn’t expecting this.”

He laced his fingers with hers. “I’m kind of blindsided by this too. I started thinking about it yesterday. This morning though it just seems so right.” Lon brought his hand to her jaw and tilted her face to him. “May I kiss you this morning?”

When Paige didn’t answer, Lon took it as agreement.

He slanted his mouth over hers and drank from her sweet lips. He gathered her close to him. Paige could see, and feel, he wanted so much more than a kiss but he held back. She mentally chastised herself. She should have been able to let him know that it would be all right, she should have been able to initiate their lovemaking. But the truth was, she couldn’t. Lon had proven himself to be a patient and considerate lover… hell, he had proven himself to be a terrific lover. But she was still so unsure of herself in the sex department and Paige berated herself for that.

She gently broke their contact with a hand on his chest, his magnificent, muscled and strong chest. “I can’t think. I need time. This is so rushed.”

She could see the disappointment in his eyes. He nodded to show that he accepted her decision. Lon stopped as he was getting out of bed, his feet on the floor, his back to her. “Do you want room service or are you up to the dining room?”

“The dining room is fine.” She looked at him sitting there. “I’m sorry Lon, I just… I need more time.” She watched as he nodded. “I do care for you so much. I wasn’t saying no. I’m just not ready.

There is still time

go to Lost in a Good Book and get involved in the January Book Discussion of Bartlett’s Rule and you might just win an autographed copy of Bartlett’s Rule. January book discussions will run through January 31st. Discussion comments will be made in the comment section of each book. (found at the bottom of each posted selection) – moderated by Annette Snyder-Novelist.

Bartlett’s Rule
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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 Publishingfrom

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).


Lon Bartlett Chats With Brandon Price

Lon Bartlett of Bartlett’s Rule is a famous author in his own right and he has agreed to do a weekly radio spot on WVHP interviewing interesting and upcoming new stars.
Let’s listen to this week’s broadcast…


Lon: Greetings everyone. Today we’re talking with Brandon Price, the hero of Chelle Cordero’s latest novel, Forgotten. Brandon, you truly are a man of mystery in this novel. I was lucky enough to receive an Advance Reading Copy from the publisher.

Brandon: So what did you think of the story, Lon?

Lon: It was really good. Chelle sure did a great job with your story.

Brandon: Well I got to read your story too. Not bad at all.

Lon: Thanks. We have a little mutual admiration society going here I see.

Brandon: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Lon: Agreed. But back to you and your story, Forgotten. That is one book that won’t be forgotten. The plot had some unexpected twists and all.

Brandon: Yeah. A whole lot of things were going on.

Lon: And you still got the girl. Tell us a little bit about that.

Brandon: Well Lon, the real mystery certainly wasn’t my choice. It was pretty unsettling not to be able to remember the woman I supposedly married.

Lon: (chuckling) It sure wasn’t the greatest time to ask a young lady who she is.

Brandon: It definitely was a shock for Caitlyn. I really put her through hell. She must have felt terrible to realize that I had no idea who she was…

Lon: Right in the middle of making love too, whew! But even when you got your memory back, she found out that there were a lot of things you hadn’t told her.

Brandon: I’m not really proud of that…

Lon: So how did you manage to pull that off? You know I used to have a pretty good reputation with women and…

Brandon: (Laughing) I wouldn’t call that a good rep Lon. You know if I had a sister, I wouldn’t have let her anywhere near you.

Lon: Things change. Now I’m a stable married man.

Brandon: Paige certainly had an effect on you.

Lon: Well Brandon, let’s get back to the effect that Caitlyn had on you. What made you finally open up to her?

Brandon: I didn’t really have a choice. It was tell her everything or lose her.

Lon: She wasn’t exactly too happy at first, you almost did lose her anyway. What was the biggest secret that you told her?

Brandon: Well, uh, I really can’t give that away here. Folks are just going to have to read the book to find out all of my secrets.

Lon: Okay. Tell me though, you had a lot of help winning her back, didn’t you?

Brandon: I’m not going to lie, a couple of really good friends helped out. Someone that knows Caitlyn real well did me a big favor by helping me understand a few things. I was really clueless.

Lon: You were pretty much a loner before your lady came around, weren’t you?

Brandon: Yes. I pretty much kept isolated. The only person I ever trusted, before Caitlyn of course, was my secretary.

Lon: Ah yes, your secretary. She certainly surprised you.

Brandon: I still can’t believe how wrong I was about her.

Lon: People make mistakes. She put on a good act.

Brandon: Yeah, but I thought I knew women pretty well… and look how that turned out. You know I used to read your articles back in the day. They were actually pretty good. You put in a lot of valid pointers about the fairer sex.

Lon: Hey Brandon, how about telling us a little bit about Caitlyn.

Brandon: What can I say? She’s beautiful and smart. She is a really gifted artist. I love her paintings. And she is very giving of herself to everyone around her. She is a real people person. She loves her family and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her friends. The best of all, she loves me.

Lon: How did you meet her?

Brandon: I was at job fair, I had been asked if I would take on an intern. Anyway, I saw this gorgeous young lady come walking in – there was no turning back. I had to meet her.

Lon: There is a bit of history in the story about your families. Do you want to fill us in?

Brandon: There really isn’t much to say about me. I was estranged from my father for years. My mom had died. I didn’t have any other relatives. As for Caitlyn, her parents were killed by a drunk driver when she was just twelve. She went to live with relatives after that. It was Caitlyn who really made me see that family was a nice thing to have.

Lon: Whatever happened with the intern?

Brandon: I never did get around to finding one.

Lon: Your work is pretty interesting…

Brandon: All I do is design computer games, Lon. You know, I’m the guy who helps create those huge battle scenes that online gamers go crazy for.

Lon: Well Brandon, I’m afraid we’re out of time here. Folks we’ve been chatting with Brandon Price… computer game designer. You can meet Brandon for yourself in Chelle Cordero’s latest romance novel, Forgotten. Forgotten comes out later this month. Please stay tuned for your favorite music with DJ Steve when we come back after this break.

Why I wrote Bartlett’s Rule

Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually

That is a terribly frightening statistic. Dispel other misconceptions, rape happens more often than just the back alley stranger with a weapon. According to statistics, 73% of rape victims know their assailant, often there is no weapon used other than fear and force, many sexual crimes are not reported, and sexual assault and rape can happen to all ethnic groups, to women AND men, all ages and all economic stations.

Whether you realize it or not, it is more than likely that you personally know at least one survivor of sexual assault.

Rape and sexual assault are traumas which leave lasting effects, it never goes away. The act will forever have an effect on the survivor’s life and on those around her/him. Living through the assault or rape and finding a way to live life afterwards is what makes a survivor; not letting the assailant steal more from your life is one of the bravest acts a survivor can accomplish.

I am a romantic at heart, but also a realist – I know that it takes work, A LOT of work, to make a relationship strong. Every couple will be faced with challenges, sometimes those obstacles seem too great to cope with. Catering to my idealistic and romantic streak, I wanted to create a couple that is able to face and ultimately conquer a more than simple obstacle. This creation led to Lon, with his image imposed expectations, and Paige, with a troubled past and determination.

Once I developed my main characters, the words to my story seemed to flow and sometimes I even surprised myself with the twists that just seemed to develop. Lon and Paige really wrote their own story, I only threw in a few extra characters and helped keep them on track. Shortly after I finished my story, a friend told me about a new publisher and I decided to take a chance and send a query letter.

Inspiration will strike at the least expected times, looking out the car window as my husband conquers city streets, newspaper articles, my own adolescent diary, and people-watching but not necessarily listening. I always play “What if?” and I always manage to come up with many, MANY possibilities.

My Hero – Lon Bartlett of Bartlett’s Rule

A while back I had received questions about Lon, the hero of Bartlett’s Rule (I know Paige just adores him!). Here is the basic gist of that interview:

Does his name mean anything special?
I always look up names (usually under baby names) for their meanings. In this case “Lon” means “ready to do battle”; the name Lon also reminds me of a Lion (without the “I” of course!). The Bartlett surname appears many times throughout history (politicians, publishers, racecar drivers, sports figures, philosophers and writers) and is also used for a collection of quotations. Besides, the title Bartlett’s Rule just seems to roll off of the tongue comfortably.

What does Lon look like:
I picture Lon as a big (maybe about 6 foot to 6’2”) man and yet graceful. More to do with image and less to do with vanity, I picture him working out and keeping trim and fit. Because of his public image, he probably has his hair professionally styled and his clothing personally tailored. All in all, he is very comfortable “in his own skin”. He definitely is the type of man who would attract stares from most women.

Who does he love?
Lon loves women generally. His romantic love interest is Paige Andrews. In the beginning he believes his love for Paige stems more from a need to protect her but then he comes to realize that he admires her strength and appreciates how she makes him feel. He also has a very deep and friendly love for his publicist, Shell, who once was a romantic liaison and now is simply his best friend.

Does Paige return his love?
Paige loves him even though her love and need for him scares her. He is so opposite of the type of man she thought she should be involved with. She definitely worries about his reputation and whether he would hurt her or not.

What is some of Lon’s “history” before the story begins?
While his family is only mentioned in the story, it is obvious that his closeness with his parents and the way he was raised is a big reason for the self-confidence he has. He’s chosen to live in the very urban and bustling New York City. He is an award winning writer with a reputation as a womanizer.

What does he want out of life?
He wants Paige in his life. Lon also wants something more than the shallow relationships that have helped to promote his image.

Does Lon have any great “revelations” about himself during the story?
Lon learns that he is capable of doing anything necessary to protect the ones he loves.

Will there be any more stories about Lon?
No, Lon and Paige go off to live happily ever after; there is no need to feature him in another story. BUT… he may appear as a character in someone else’s story at some point. Some of the characters that appeared in the story may take on more of a life of their own. Who knows? Maybe I will see an opportunity for Shell, Jorge, JeanMarie, Cindy or Denny to begin a romance???

from the back of Bartlett’s Rule

Paige Andrews, the heroine of the fictional tale Bartlett’s Rule, is a rape survivor. Paige and her hero, Lon Bartlett, have to learn to love and trust each other despite her past and his womanizing reputation.

Rape is a very real and tragic occurence. That is why, at the end of the story, I included a fact sheet (information courtesy of RAINN)



Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.

Rape: Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.
Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.

Sexual assault: Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (But, be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape.)

Incest: Incest is sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent.

Approximately 73% of rape victims know their assailant, according to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey
Approximately 38% of victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance;
26% of victims by a stranger;
28% of victims by an intimate;
7% of victims by another relative;
in 2% of cases the relationship is unknown.

If you have been sexually assaulted, there may be medical concerns that arise both immediately following the assault and much later. If you were sexually assaulted recently, it’s a good idea to go to a doctor to be checked out for possible injuries or complications.

All the statistics and information above are courtesy of RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

For more information and help, go to or call 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

To purchase Bartlett’s Rule