Great Sex Requires Effort #sex #love #romance #weekendcoffeeshare

(Repost)

Just enough intensity …anticipating what will happen next …before diving deeper…visualizing just how …

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*This updated post from February 2017 now includes a link to a short scene I wrote*

Rekindling passion was part of my 52 Things In 52 Weeks challenge, that is, my passion for reading.

I signed up for a Kindle Unlimited because I’m always hearing about how writers should read outside of their genre and it seemed the most efficient way to have access to tons of books.

Mind you, I’m guessing my genre of writing fits into “women’s fiction” but I knew that I couldn’t go wrong with choosing books under the “romance” category. Or so I thought…

I think that the definition of “romance” may have changed when I wasn’t looking.

I started and stopped reading a number of books after just a few chapters, either because lots of Easter Eggs and back story were given away within the first few pages or because the book was simply a string of sex scenes strung together by an anemic storyline.

Call me old-fashioned but great sex scenes in a novel require more than sexually explicit words tossed carelessly onto a page. Or a bed.

In my opinion, writing a great sex scene requires effort, patience and some kind of love thrown into the mix in order to give the characters a happy ending.

That pun was totally intended! 🙂

But there was one e-book that had me shaking my head at just how quickly things unfolded and then deflated.

The breakdown of the book?

4% : Female character (FC) tells her boyfriend that she’s pregnant and the boyfriend dumps her.

6%: FC gets upset, storms out, has a minor accident and is helped by a sexy rugged stranger who takes her home because he lives nearby.

11%: FC tells sexy man her entire story and that she is pregnant. There’s a storm brewing so sexy man insists that she stay in his guest room.

13%: FC and sexy man fall into bed. He declares his love for her and tells her that he is ready and willing to love her and her baby.

Really?

All of that at the 13% of the book? Isn’t that a little quick? Where could the rest of the story possibly go?

I was curious enough to speed read through the rest of the 87% so I really can tell you where the rest of the story went:

Spiraling fast downhill until it crashed and burned.

  • No tense sensual build up between the characters.
  • No slow burn towards that first kiss.
  • No flirty moments between the two characters.

Nothing. Nada. Nein.

I’m not looking for the chaste vanilla of the Harlequin romance books my Granny devoured or the BDSM of Fifty Shades of Grey. There’s nothing wrong with themthey just aren’t my preference.

I can do without the 20 different words to describe the same body part and the blow-by-blow accounts of which body part went where and at what frequency…

I like my “romance” with just enough intensity between main characters that leaves me anticipating what will happen next between them. Romantic scenes that make me want to read and reread certain scenes before diving deeper into the book. Visualizing just how a scene would unfold in my mind.

Less is more.

And a little imagination is good for the soul.

Update: When I reread this post, I decided to write a “sexy” short story. Inspired by being on the beach, I started with one sexy scene and worked my way back to drafting a story line.

If you’re interested and over 18+, feel free to take a read via the link below.

*Mature 18+ content warning*

Straight, No Chaser

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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Pretending To Be A Tourist In Montreal #52things52weeks #montreal #travel

During the summer, there is a different festival every week, Downtown Montreal feels like New York and Old Montreal feels like Paris…

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I LOVE my city.

Let me rephrase that…I love my city in the spring, fall and especially in the SUMMER.

During the summer, there is a different festival every week, Downtown Montreal feels like New York and Old Montreal feels like Paris. The city has an energy to it and everyone enjoys the season to its fullest after a long cold winter.

For the longest time, I’ve said that one day I would pretend to be tourist in my own city and that’s what I did to cross it off of my 52/52 list.

But I should have waited for summer….

As luck would have it, I needed to spend some loyalty points before I lost them all, so I bought a guided sightseeing tour of Montreal.  My intention was to take lots of pretty pictures and post them here but unfortunately, the day was completely fogged over and pictures were useless.

Aboard a coach bus, a professional guide provided live commentary as they took us through 200 of the top Montreal attractions and landmarks, including Old Montreal, Olympia Park, Chinatown, Notre-Dame Basilica, Mount Royal Park and St Joseph’s Oratory, whose dome reaches 320 feet and is second in height only to St Peter’s basilica in Rome.

Though we could barely see anything through the fog, the real tourists seemed quite charmed by the unique French character of the city. Not the greatest of pictures below but I’ve posted them below anyways.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Montreal, you should consider doing it this year.

Montreal is coming alive for its 375th birthday with  375 events during 2017!

You can check out more details on the city’s official “birthday” site: 375mtl.com as well as the tourism site:  tourisme-montreal.org .

And because you can’t be in tourist in Montreal without having a smoked meat sandwich….

Images and/or content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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Building An Email List #writerslife

I need to build an email list.

That’s the consistent message I’m hearing loud and clear from all the books and blogs I’ve been reading about self-publishing. From what they all say, it’s essential for future marketing, book promotions and giveaways.

And regardless of whether it’s in print or on your own, since it takes a long time to build those kinds of lists, aspiring authors should start long before they think about publishing.

I’ve also been reading how agents want to see aspiring authors with a certain level of followers on different social media platforms.

Like I said at the beginning of my WordPress journey, I wasn’t interested in the number of followers I had. But I guess that if I want to increase my chances for success as a writer, I have no choice to get more interested in “numbers”.

So I’m starting now.

You may have noticed a few changes:

  • the Mailchimp pop-ups to sign up for my mailing list and
  • that I’m signing off on my fiction posts with a “click here to sign up” , “If you liked this piece and want to see more like it, please click on “Like” and/or “Comment” and share with others who would also enjoy it” or
  • a combination of the two.

If you’d like to sign up, please do. I promise not to bombard you with a deluge of emails.

And over the next few months, I’ll be posting a variety of “Tell A Friend”, “Please Like My Facebook Page“, “Follow Me On Twitter” posts.

When you see these, I’m hoping that you will sign up for my different “calls to action” to help me on my journey to being an author!

Cheers!

M  xoxo

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.


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Book Review: “In The Best Interest of the Child” | Felicia Denise #52things52weeks @MSFelicia

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Debut novelist Felicia Denise definitely knows how to capture her readers’ attention with the depths of the characters she presents along with the layers of subplots that support the main storyline very well.

Without giving away too many Easter eggs, Olivia Chandler, lawyer and child advocate, is a complicated and tough woman who has no time for games. But the reader soon discovers the “why” behind Olivia’s approach to life and those around her.

It’s not until Olivia’s own childhood is reflected back to herself in the eyes of the child she is fighting for that she begins her journey to coming to terms with the residual issues that still lurk deep inside of her. Dealing with past trauma, loss and love interest with Bellamy gives the story a number of complex dimensions that keeps the reader interested to the very end of the book.

From the details throughout the novel, it is obvious that Ms. Denise is well-versed in the area of child protective services, details which added a level of authenticity to the book and Olivia as a character.

I have been following this writer for a while and expected no less than a great novel and that is what I got. It’s a worthwhile read and I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction of a number of characters who could easily be developed into future stand-alone novels.

If you are looking for a great new author to follow now and for future books to come, I would highly recommend that you buy this book.

M xoxo

Review also posted on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca

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What Now Wattpad? #52things52weeks #simplymarquessa #wattpad

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I tackled 2 easy items on my 52 Things In 52 Weeks list before I start a number of mini 7, 14, 21 and 30 day challenges…

I uploaded “Two Can Play That Game” and the first installment of “We Can’t Be Friends” to Wattpad.wattpad_cover

I had no clue that I had to develop a cover for each of these but I’m happy that I learned something new.

But now that the stories are up, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do…

Am I simply waiting to see how many Wattpad readers stumble across it?

Do you have anything posted on Wattpad?  If so, do you have any tips to provide? 

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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Shake The Room #52things52weeks #simplymarquessa #speakup

If you don’t ask for what you want, who will do it for you?

Shake The Room

The older I get, the less I care about holding my tongue, especially when it comes to “me” these days.

Strangely enough, growing up, I never hesitated to defend the underdog or speak up for those who couldn’t or wouldn’t do it for themselves. It was part of DNA. But when it concerned me, that wouldn’t always be the case.

But during my last trip, I realized just how long gone those days are.

Being a last minute decision to tag along to a friend’s conference, the research I did on the resort was quick and dirty but enough to add a few requests onto the reservation – a room not located next to an elevator or ice machine and no view of the parking lot, if possible. From the reviews on Trip Advisor, I knew that an upgrade to an ocean view room was next to impossible.

We couldn’t check in until 3PM so we killed 3 hours taking pictures, having coffee and simply chilling out. At check in and as part of friendly conversation with the young lady at the front desk, I mentioned the requests we had made and asked if the room had a garden view. She nodded and gave us half a smile before handing us our keys.

Before we could swipe our key to get into the room, we noticed the service elevator right next to the room.

Hmmm, okay.

Then a few kids whizzed past us with ice buckets in their hands and that’s when we noticed an ice machine directly behind us.

Whirrrr…whirrr..bang…bang sang the ice machine until their buckets were full.

Hmmm, not good.

Knowing that Murphy’s Law never stops at two, as soon as we got into the room, I made my way to the balcony and pulled the curtains back to enjoy this view.

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Not only was this lovely concrete monstrosity in the way but we could the conversations of everyone walking back and forth under that structure as clear as day from our balcony.

My first reaction was disappointment. I’m in Maui and this is the view I’m going to enjoy while having an early morning coffee and writing?

My second reaction was annoyance. Okay, technically the view wasn’t of the parking lot I’d read about but really? Why couldn’t the front desk agent have said something?

My third reaction was resignation and trying to convince myself to go with the flow. I’m in Maui. How much time am I really going to spend in the room anyways?

Then I remembered the half-smile from the front desk agent when I asked about the view and that’s when it hit me – she knew exactly which view we were getting.

And that’s when I got angry with myself for even considering letting it go. If this had been about a friend of mine, I would have been the first to say, “ask them for a room change and don’t take no for answer”.

Nope. This was not how the next 7 days were going to go down.

It was time to shake the room.

I called the front desk, politely explained the situation and asked for the possibility of another room.

“Oh, we are so sorry about that but the hotel is fully booked. Maybe we could see what is available tomorrow?” is what she said.

But what I heard was, “Go ahead and unpack because by tomorrow, you won’t be interested in wasting time, repacking and moving rooms after settling in.”

Uh, no.

I took a deep breath. “No, that doesn’t work for me. I’ll be at the front desk in 5 minutes.”

I snapped a photo of the view and headed back. Before we could even rejoin the check-in line, the same front desk agent ushered us to her.

Before she could start talking, I preempted her.

“I fully understand that requests are not guaranteed but the resort struck out on all 3 requests. No view of the parking lot translates to a room with a decent view.”

“We apologize for that but with the conference, the resort is fully booked. Like I mentioned, maybe tomorrow….” she tried to say.

I lowered my voice and leaned on the desk that separated us.

“I don’t want to interrupt you but …there are 2 things that I’d like you to keep in mind before you continue. One, my friend and I had no problem waiting 3 hours to check in and that is what we did – we checked in at exactly 3PM. Right now, it’s only 3:15PM. Are you saying that all other guests expected today checked in during the last 15 minutes and because they have, it’s impossible for you to assign us another room?”

I think that the combination of my politeness, my question and my smile threw her for a loop because there was silence from her.

Crickets.

And the other two front desk agents glanced over curiously, waiting for her response.

“Two, my friend and I traveled 15 hours to get here and the least we can get is a decent view of this beautiful island from the balcony. We never expected an ocean view but would you like to have this view for the next 7 days?”

I showed her the photo I’d taken on my cell and she couldn’t hide her surprise.

Crickets again.

At that point, my friend simply walked away.

Silence as she punched at her keyboard.

Within seconds, I had new keys in my grasp and I was thanking her for her help. I think she realized that I would have no shame in returning to the front desk again if I had to again.

As we walked away, my friend whispered, “That poor girl never had a chance, did she?”

No, the poor girl didn’t have a chance.

What is the point of this long-winded post?

When it comes to other people, we often don’t have a problem going all out for them but when it concerns ourselves, we hold back or think twice.

But sometimes you’ve got to shake things up for yourself. There’s no harm in asking for what you want or saying that you’re not happy with a situation and in most situations, being polite, diplomatic, reasonable and firm will go far.

If you don’t ask for what you want, who will do it for you?

And if in the end, you are still told no or things remain unchanged, at least you would have tried, right?

Side-note: Granted, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the room but when we did, at least this was the view.

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Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above. No copyright infringement intended.

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Carrying On #traveltuesday #traveltips #52things52weeks @EbbyDoesItAll

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Photo credit: My Standard Break From Life via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

I HATE packing my carry-on and toiletries.

It’s much more complicated than packing the suitcase because you have to think about TSA rules, what you might need in the plane at arm’s reach, what you won’t need from the above head storage area…

And then after the trip and all that “compartmentalizing”, I unpack everything and hate the process by doing it all over again before the next trip.

Then it dawned on me – why am I even unpacking all of this when I can simply refresh the contents of my toiletries and leave it packed in the carry on?

And that is exactly what I decided to do.

Within days of my last vacation, I refilled toiletries, refreshed my travel-size items, left my emergency travel outfit, packed everything in my carry-on and put away the bag. Even the sunscreen, insect repellent and walking pharmacy items are packed.

The only items missing are current prescriptions, snacks and a “leisure bag”.

If  had to travel tomorrow, my carry-on is basically 95% done!

I didn’t have the patience to take photos/videos of what I personally did but I did find this excellent video from “Ebby Does It All” on YouTube below that basically illustrates a similar approach I take.

Be sure to check out Ebby’s YT channel – she’s got lots of great videos on a variety of things!

What are some of your travel tricks?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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