Guest Post: Just For The Weekend by Susanne Matthews

The Story Behind the Story:

My husband is a Trekker. He has movies, posters, ceramic plates,  games, and of course figures. None of my grandkids can understand why Grandpa doesn’t take his toys out of the packages, because you can’t play with them if they’re still in the packages. For his sixtieth birthday, a friend and our daughter threw him a Star Trek birthday party and many of the guests came in costume. We had a wonderful time.  Note my daughter in her Dax costume and a very young Mr. Spock as well as my Klingon son.

 

The idea of going to a Star trek convention was the inspiration for JUST FOR THE WEEKEND. Imagine the thrill of rubbing elbows with characters long admired and enjoyed.   You could pretend to be someone else for a few hours, a few days. It would be fun! When I was doing the research, I found out that it might not be as much fun as I thought.

There have been many documented examples of women being assaulted at these conventions by men behaving badly. It seems you put a mask on someone, and they morph into someone else. Hiding behind masks seems to destroy our inhibitions and we’ll do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. But the worst information I found didn’t involve the doers—it involved those who stood by and did nothing. It seems there is a culture prepared to overlook people having fun at someone else’s expense. Whatever happened to just having fun? Good, clean, safe fun? If you were behind the feathered mask, would it change you?

I tried to incorporate some aspects of that in the book. Women are people first. What they wear or don’t wear shouldn’t give a man a license to treat them poorly. The incidents I used in the story were designed to be humorous as well as call attention to a problem.  

About JUST FOR THE WEEKEND:

Sometimes, you have to step out of the box.

Kindergarten teacher, Cleo James, needs a break. For the past three years, she’s put her life on hold to help her father deal with grief, but now she’s ready to move on. A weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention may be just the place to start. She’ll be costumed as an alien and no one will recognize her. What could go wrong? Things get complicated when she’s attracted to a conventioneer whom she believes is a gorgeous Chippendale dancer.  Can Cleo set her strict moral code aside and enjoy what promises to be a once upon a time weekend?

Multimillionaire real estate developer, Sam Mason has sworn off serious relationships. In Vegas to visit family and friends, he’s talked into attending a sci-fi convention for the night. Dressed as an alien, he’s confident he can elude the usual gold diggers looking to star in the role of Mrs. Sam Mason. When he spots a beautiful woman dressed as a green-skinned slave girl, he’s captivated by her and changes his plans to leave Vegas in the morning. The more time he spends with her, the more he realizes she’s unlike any woman he’s known. Fantastic sex and too much alcohol find him married to his alien siren, but before he can tell her the truth about himself and see if they can make their marriage work, the bride vanishes.  Finding her is going to be a challenge.

Excerpt from JUST FOR THE WEEKEND:

“I look like a mutant leprechaun belly dancer.” She took a sip of her wine. “It’s a damn good thing you didn’t show me this when you asked me to come. I’d have said no.”

 “For the record, you’re not a mutant leprechaun; you’re an Orion slave girl. Men are powerless before you. Too bad that cutie from the bar last night can’t see you. You’re worth a dozen of the brunette he was with. Come here so I can spray the glitter on you.”

Two glasses of wine in quick succession were easing her embarrassment, but as she allowed Mitch to spray the liquid shimmer on her hair and body, she couldn’t resist one final complaint.

“Well, I’d rather wear what you’re wearing. If the air-conditioning is turned up as high as it was this morning, I’ll be an Orion slave icicle!”

“Seriously, Cleo, relax. Don’t be a prude. No one’s going to recognize you. I know you’re not used to showing so much skin, but you look fantastic, and the men will be drooling all around you. Every woman in the room is going to envy you. You’ll be the most sought-after slave girl here. ”

“God, I hope not. That’s the last thing I want. I feel like a chunk of meat on display for a starving man. You’re the extrovert, the one who wants to be the center of attraction. I’m not. I think that’s why we’re friends—because we’re so different.” Horror filled her eyes as she thought of something else. “Crap, I hope no one takes my picture. The last thing I need is to have someone see us on the Internet and recognize me. I’ll wear this tonight because it’s too late to find anything else, but we’re going costume shopping tomorrow. I’m sure we can find something a little less revealing.”

“Whatever you say, but I don’t think anyone’s going to recognize you.”

Cleo turned around and stood in front of the mirror. Her mouth dropped open in shock. Good grief. It’s even worse than I imagined. Thanks to the glitter, her skin reflected the light and looked alive, shimmering as she moved. Her hair shone the same way, and she looked alluring and mysterious. Her large, hazel eyes seemed more golden than ever. Mitch was right about one thing: she didn’t look like a kindergarten teacher from Gordon’s Grove. She looked like a sexy, alien siren. Just the look I want around a bunch of half-drunk Neanderthals. She remembered how decent guys had turned into absolute jerks at university costume parties.

“If it makes you feel better, you can stand behind the table replenishing the books as I sign them and handing out the bookmarks and the other swag the publisher provided. Come on, let’s go.”

Cleo followed her best friend out of the room. She shook her head. Why do I let myself get talked into these things?

*

Cleo followed Mitch into the convention hall packed with hundreds of people in various alien costumes, and allowed some of the excitement in the air to calm her fears. She recognized outfits from various sci-fi movies and television shows. There were several Orion slave girls in a variety of shapes, shades, and sizes, and Cleo saw the not-so-friendly glares she got from them—especially when one of their male friends stared admiringly at her. She nodded in return and chuckled when one girl gave the guy she was with a jab in the ribs.

She tried to keep up with Mitch, who barreled across the room as if she were in a speed-walking race. Barefoot as she was, conscious of the icky, sticky carpet, Cleo moved slowly to avoid stomping boots and heels. She’d almost made it to the promised land of booth security when a giant, in snake-like makeup and the dark gray leather and chain mail associated with the Cardassians, grabbed her arm. He spun her around quickly.

“Hey, let go of my …” Her angry words died on her lips.

“What have we here?” He eyed her hungrily. “Are you lost, my pretty little slave girl?”

Familiar chocolate eyes pierced hers, and she couldn’t think straight. His whiskey-smooth voice caressed her; his touch ignited a fire along her spine. Realizing what he’d said, she searched for an answer.

“Lost? No, I got separated from my Klingon friend. She’s over there.”

She pointed to the publishers’ autograph area where Mitch stood.

“Then allow me to escort you safely to her.”

Holding her close to him, he ushered her across the congested convention floor. He bowed to Mitch and gave the Cardassian salute.

“I believe she’s yours, but I’m entitled to a reward for coming to her assistance.”

He smiled wickedly before pulling Cleo into his arms and capturing her mouth with his.

Cleo held herself rigid, but the kiss poured liquid fire through her. Of their own volition, her arms wrapped around his neck both to hold her upright and to encourage the incredible sensations to continue. His mouth devoured hers as if she was his last meal. She’d been kissed before, but never like this. When he slowly pulled away, she was breathless. She read desire in his eyes.

“Later, my Orion beauty.” He turned and walked away, disappearing into the crowd.

 “Who the hell is that?”

“I have no idea.” Cleo reached for Mitch’s blue-tinted Romulan ale and drained the glass.

 

About Susanne Matthews:

Susanne Matthews lives in Eastern Ontario, Canada. She is a retired educator who enjoys writing romance novels and reading them too. In the summer, she gardens and goes camping—in a tent. In the winter, she hibernates in front of her computer or watches her favorite television shows while sipping a glass of red wine.

Buy link for JUST FOR THE WEEKEND:


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Website: http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca
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