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

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,


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.

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