Your next book club discussion: Bartlett’s Rule

• How does Bartlett’s Rule explore the two distinct personalities of the main
• Discuss how the different personalities emerge in the beginning of the
novel. Do these personalities stay constant?
• How much do you think society’s expectations influenced Lon towards
building his reputation as a player?
• What pressures does society place on men in relationships? How different
are those pressures now in 2008 as opposed to, let’s say, the 1950’s?

• Lon admits he has to rethink his view of rape when he learns that Paige was
raped by an ex-lover and not a stranger with a weapon. Discuss different
concepts of what is rape, what is sexual abuse?
• Have a discussion about Paige’s emotional scars and the trust she felt was
betrayed. Should Paige “just get over it”? How realistic are some of her
reactions? Was Paige allowing herself to move ahead? Discuss Lon’s support of
• Hal attempts to blame people like Lon for the way he treated Paige. How
does TV/music/movies/novels affect actions and at what point is the individual
responsible for his/her own actions? For example, courtroom dramas like to
blame the influence of TV, etc. for today’s violence.
• Some TV/radio/print personalities enjoy an almost cult following and are
considered “experts” in their various fields. Discuss some of these selfproclaimed “experts”: Dr. Ruth, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Geraldo, etc. Do these ‘stars’
sensationalize rape? How so?
• How do you think you would feel if your private life, particularly romance,
was scrutinized by the paparazzi? How much does a public figure owe to the
public and fans in terms of privacy? How much does the media have the right to

buy links: Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero


Woo-Hoo! HYPHEMA cover wins…

Hyphema won the

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.

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.”

from 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.

Davie slept only fitfully through the night. It hadn’t taken her long to realize that this was the first time she was sleeping without Adam by her side since he had come home from the hospital.

By the time the morning sun cast enough light, Davie got up as quietly as possible and changed into her jeans and a man’s flannel shirt. She carried her loafers to the door. Davie tiptoed downstairs.

Everyone in the house was asleep.

She opened the door to Adam’s room and peeked in.

“I must have finally fallen asleep…” He whispered from the couch which was made up like a bed. “I’m having a wonderful dream. You’re here.”

“Good morning.” She hurried in and kissed him. “Get up, come with me.”


She smiled seductively. “Trust me.”

Davie waited silently in the kitchen. It didn’t take long before Adam was by her side wearing jeans, T-shirt and sneakers.

“Come on.” She took his hand and led him outside through the kitchen door.

It was chilly, a layer of frost covered the ground. They moved quickly along the side of the building until they came to a door. Davie pulled the door open slowly to minimize the squeak of the hinges and pulled Adam inside with her.

“What is this place?” He asked.

She had pulled the door closed behind them. A small dirty glass pane above the door let in just enough light to see the small cubicle. An old wash basin hung off the wall; it had obviously not been used for a long time.

“I think it was originally meant to be a laundry room. When I was a kid it was my secret playhouse.” She put her arms around him in the tight quarters and kissed him.

“Mmm, good morning.” He held her and kissed her back. “I missed you all night.”

“I know.” She slid her hands under his T-shirt. “Show me how much.”

He nipped at her ear lobe with his teeth and caressed her through her shirt. “How did I ever manage to get so lucky to tap into all this passion you have bottled up?”

His breathing quickened when he felt the erect nub through the flannel. “No bra?” He stepped back and made a show of unbuttoning her shirt. Adam weighed her rounded breasts with his hands and bent to suckle each one in turn.

Davie ran her fingers through his hair as she held him tightly against her.

He backed her against a wall and knelt before her. He placed tiny kisses on her belly as he unsnapped her jeans to pull them down her hips and legs. Once again, he realized that she had worn no underwear and he felt his pulse racing. Kneeling before her, he tasted every part of her as she was exposed to him.

“Oh, Adam.” Davie’s breath was coming in short spurts as she felt his very intimate kisses on the inside of her thighs.

Courage of the Heart by Chelle Cordero



from A Chaunce of Riches

A Chaunce of Riches
by Chelle Cordero

The day that Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for some rich widow and her kid, he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most so many years before. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would see him again. She never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man over the man she had sworn she once loved. And she certainly never expected to find out that her rich husband had been murdered and fingers were pointing to her former lover.

Between the letter of introduction that Samantha Chaunce sent to the school and a few personal phone calls she made, Ben had no trouble being allowed on school grounds. He was close by whenever Philip needed him. The teacher even seemed amused when Philip stated that he wanted to bring his bodyguard to class one day for show and tell.

The teaching staff was friendly and so were a few of the moms of other students. In less than a week, Ben had politely turned down two dinner invitations, a theatre ticket to accompany one woman, and had received assorted phone numbers. He was charming, polite and friendly to all. Each day he kicked himself. Ever since he saw Sam again he wasn’t interested in anything any other woman had to offer. Ben told himself he was pitiful. Not only had Sam dumped him once already because he was broke, but now that she was wealthy on her own, he knew there was no way he could ever be of interest for her again. Then he got annoyed with himself for even entertaining the possibility.

The atmosphere back at the house was surprisingly pleasant. Sam seemed to go out of her way to make him feel comfortable. Cook prepared a few of Ben’s favorite dishes for dinners and he couldn’t help but suspect that it had been more than simple coincidence. He marveled that Sam might actually have remembered such things about him. Ben wondered if his services were really needed though. There had been only one incident since Ben had been there. Sam received a letter at her office mentioning some of the security measures she had arranged. It even mentioned the security agency where Ben was employed. She seemed not to be worried by the unfriendly surveillance. Ben didn’t like it at all. He wasn’t comfortable with the level of knowledge her tormentor seemed to possess about her home and her dealings.

The next afternoon while Ben was waiting for Philip to appear after school, he noticed a strange man wielding a camera on the corner of the school block. The man was watching the front of the little school building intently. As soon as Philip appeared, the camera was lifted and pictures were taken. Ben made sure the teacher would keep a close eye on Philip and he took off after the unknown man with the camera. The guy ran fast, but Ben was faster. He caught him in an alleyway just a block from the school.

Grabbing him by his jacket front, Ben pressed his face close to the culprit. “Who the hell are you and who are you working for?” He moved one large hand to the guy’s throat. Ben was ready to strangle the man if he didn’t answer quickly enough.

“Hey, it’s just a picture.” The frightened man tried to escape Ben’s clutches. “The Chaunces’ are news especially since the old man kicked the bucket. And who the hell are you?”

Still holding him by the throat, Ben relaxed his stance a little bit. “You’re press?”

The uninvited photographer nodded against Ben’s hand at his throat.

“Let me see your ID. And your camera.”

As soon as Ben read the media identification, he let go of the guy. He flipped open the back of the camera and pulled out the film.

“Hey! What are you doing?”

“My job.” Ben handed the empty camera back and unrolled the film in the daylight.

“Well that’s my job you’re wrecking there buddy!”

“If I ever see you taking pictures again I will break the damn camera. And it will definitely be in the company of some of your body parts. Am I understood?”

After calling Ben several foul names, none of which even made him flinch, the dejected photographer finally left. Ben threw the exposed and ruined film out in a trash can on his way back to the school.

Philip was gently swinging on a swing set on the school’s lawn; he was under the concerned eye of the young teacher. He had no idea that anything untoward had happened and Ben decided to keep it that way.

A Chaunce of Riches by Chelle Cordero



Romance Fiction – not just Porn!

“Hi, my name is Chelle and I am a romance writer.” I receive a round of applause and several personal shouts of “Hi Chelle!” And over milk and cookies, we discuss the 12-steps towards REAL writing… (the preceding is a dramatization and should not be attempted, etc and so forth)

Why is it that many writers in the romance genre feel that they must announce their forte in clandestine meetings and apologize for their behavior?

Hey all, I write romance. I am not ashamed of the stories I weave. Yes, there is sex and sometimes I may even find myself blushing as I read aloud at an author event. I have oft been the recipient of “tsk, tsk” and “I’m sorry, I won’t read romance books.” And men, oy, they won’t be caught reading a romance novel, no matter how good a story you may tell. My son-in-law teased me that he planned to cover my first novel with a cookbook cover so he could read it on the train while heading in to work!

The romance genre has gotten a bad rep and romance writers are regarded with condescending amusement. And yet, Romance Writers of America has the following statistics on their website: “Romance fiction: $1.375 billion in estimated revenue for 2007, Religion/inspirational: $819 million, Science fiction/fantasy: $700 million, Mystery: $650 million, and Classic literary fiction: $466 million. Of those who read books in 2007, one in five read romance novels.” Impressive.Often referred to as escapism or fluff, the romance genre is known for the “formula” – boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl over some stupidity that can’t be helped, boy wins girl back, and they live happily ever after. But if all writers followed the “formula” without a real story plot, do you honestly believe that $1.375 billion would have changed hands in 2007? Romance has many sub-genres as well and contemporary romance (the here and now, situations the average reader can relate to) remains the leader of the pack.

During a recent discussion with my editor/publisher, I asked for her definition of romance, erotica and porn – all too often used to delineate categories of romance. Her response was simple, the focus of the story and whether the plot and love came before or after the sex in the book. This put it all into perspective for me. Just like the ingredient label on our breakfast cereals, which comes first?

To date I have written four contemporary romance novels; three have been published and the fourth, Courage of the Heart (actually a modernized re-release from 2001) is due out in February. The ingredient labels on Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law and the aforementioned Courage of the Heart would read: Love story. Sub-plots and twists, Sex – yep, they are romance novels. A fifth novel, due out in the summer, is called Final Sin. Final Sin’s ingredient label would read Crime-Suspense story, sub-plots and twist, love story and sex; while there is certainly sex involved, it is more relevant to the crime than to the love story. (I have been assured by the haters of romance novels that they are looking forward to reading my NON-romance.)

Some of the most popular stories throughout time have involved intricate love stories although some do not have happy-ever-after endings: Romeo and Juliet, Gone With the Wind, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Gift of the Magi, and more. Many modern day movies and box-office hits illustrate the theme of love and sex: 27 Dresses, Pretty Woman, Love Story, Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle…

It seems that the story of romance is here to stay. And if you decide to pick up a romance novel, you just might find yourself intrigued by the story.

I’ve written a few more books since I originally wrote this post…
a total of 7 romantic suspense and 2 mysteries.

Hyphema ~ the page 69 theory

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…

“Sudah is the last person to ever be scared of.” Matt knew how gentle and kind his wife was.
“Okay ladies,” the chief entered the room. “There‘s a tropical storm moving in. I need you to be extra careful and keep an eye on your TAWS.” Each chopper was outfitted with a terrain awareness and warning system as well as GPS, absolute necessities when flying in inclement weather. “I don‘t want any incidents out there.”
The weather service was predicting an active storm and hurricane season through the summer. This storm was just the first of many.
“You and me both.” Tony muttered under his breath.
Both Frankie and Matt hid their grins at Tony‘s comment.
“I‘m serious.” The chief scowled at Tony. “Frank, Chris is going to be riding with you today. Just remember, the barometer‘s gone crazy and there are winds of 60-miles-per-hour.”
Frank and Chris were sent out to move a critical heart patient from the Outer Banks to a trauma center inland. The patient, a 53-year old man, needed pacing as they transferred him from the barrier reef‘s hospital unit.
Matt and Tony were toned out to a motorcycle accident on the mainland‘s coastal highway. As they were getting ready to land at the LZ, Matt could see the fast moving storm clouds and lightning flashes that were headed their way. He made up his mind to move the patient as quickly as possible or they might not be able to lift off at all.
The young man had taken his bike down on the normally busy highway; it was empty thanks to the high winds and storm warnings. The motorcycle crashed into a thicket of trees and neatly wrapped itself around one tall Magnolia. The cyclist was about 80-feet down the road against a guardrail, the first trooper on the scene had to scan…
You can purchase Hyphema for the
Kindle from Amazon ( or through
Smashwords for multiple e-book formats (

You can read a sample of Hyphema at

Your Blog Jog Day Stop – Welcome!

Thank you for stopping by my Blog!
Please explore all this Blog has to offer, then jog on over to

If you would like to visit a different Blog in the jog, go to

My name is Chelle Cordero and I am a writer, dreamer, wife, mom and volunteer EMT. My favorite story is romantic-suspense or a really good mystery – that’s what I like to read and that is what I like to write.

So, please make yourself comfortable and read a few of my posts while you are here – sure hope you’ll come back again (& again…)

See you on the jogging track!