“When Sunday Came” (2015) – #fiction #abuse

Montreal Nightscape

Photo credit: Michael Vesia via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I looked at his text again before deleting it.

Thinking about you. I still love you ♥

Memories of his words came rushing back to me like a tidal wave.

“No other man would ever put up with you…”

“For someone in your line of work, you really are sooo stupid…”

“If you loved me, you would want what I want…”

“It’s your fault that you make me so angry that I break things…”

But this time, instead of the memories hitting me like a ton of bricks and making me feel sick to my stomach, the wave washed over and above me.

That’s when I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the old me was gone. Forever.

No more walking on eggshells and feeling like I was having a heart attack.

No more waiting for the next blow up and blow out.

No more of me apologizing just to keep the peace and asking for forgiveness that I didn’t need.

I stretched out on the sofa and stared out into the darkness of my newly adopted city.

A glass of wine on the coffee table, a good book in my lap and wrapped in my cozy robe, I would never ever let him upset such a peaceful Sunday night.

©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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#TBT – Writing About What You Know #amwriting

I base my stories on what I know and my experiences. I can’t simply throw caution to the wind and totally go with my imagination.

I can’t write about dragons and vampires. And I could never see myself writing about long-blond haired Fabio-like type men (the older women know who I’m talking about and I still don’t know what the allure was) who sweep down to rescue the heroine in distress like in the Harlequin books my grandmother used to devour. I also can’t wrap my brain around writing a female leads who could have stepped out of an episode of The Housewives of (Pick-Your-City) because I know nothing about the world of the rich, bold, beautifully bored.

Sure, I use my imagination and research certain elements of my stories but on the whole, I base my storytelling on what I have experienced, scenes that could possibly happen in real life and locations exist. It makes it all the more real for me. Of course, a story wouldn’t be a good one without a little drama and twists thrown in for good measure. And whose to say that those are made up, right?

That’s my kind of fiction and the kind of fiction I write.

Do you agree with that quote? And if you write fiction, what kind of fiction do you write?

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Updated post – originally posted on November 3, 2015

 

 

“Face forward. Strip down.” (2015) #fiction #fictionfriday

blurred love

Photo credit: lanier67 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Originally posted December 6, 2015

“Face forward. Strip down.”

His voice was deep, suggestive and close enough for me to feel his breath on my neck. I won’t fool you, his voice sent tingles up and down my spine in a very naughty way.

I turned very slowly to face the tall, seductively handsome man I had only seen a few seconds before. He was grinning down at me in such a sexy way that I almost forgot where we were.

I inhaled deeply to refocus my thoughts, flipped my hair nervously over my shoulder and tried to match his irresistible smile.

“Excuse me?”

Oh…how I needed him to repeat those words again.

He extended his finger and barely stroked it against my…

debit card that I forgot I was holding.

“For your card to work, you have to put the face forward and the strip down through the swipe of the machine.”

It took me about five seconds to process what he had just explained. I looked up at him, down to my debit card and back up into his eyes.

“Oh, yeah. I knew that.” Totally embarassed, I swiped my card properly through the debit machine this time. “Sorry, my Pay Pass somehow got deactivated.”

Damn!

I much preferred my twisted meaning of what I thought Mr. Tall Hot and Handsome had said.

I fumbled to grab my coffee from the barista and stepped aside to the milk & sugar station. As I was opening my fourth packet of cane sugar, he appeared next to me again.

“Are you having sugar with your coffee or coffee with your sugar Beautiful?” he teased.

I had never seen a man with such striking eyes before. His eyes were capable of peering straight into my soul.

As my mind struggled to find something intelligent to volley back with, I knew that today would be one that I would never forget.

©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

The prompt? SYTYCW@Harlequin weekend writing challenge – Your hero and heroine have just met. Give us your hero’s most impactful/ funny/ sexy/ intriguing/ eye-catching opening line!

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“By The Time This Night Is Over…” #fictionfriday #fiction

(Repost)

poolPhoto credit: eltio_lewis / Foter / CC BY-NC

If we were any closer, I’d be drowning in his eyes.

I stopped swaying and lifted my head from his chest. Just the way in which he returned my gaze made my legs weak. My eyes were speaking volumes and he was hearing me loud and clear.

Why was I desperately trying to hang onto my last shred of willpower?

I was unattached, single and attracted to him at a level that I hadn’t experienced in a very long time.

Blame it on the island life, his authenticity with me, the fact that he was sizzling hot (as Ella would say), it really didn’t matter.

By the time this night is over, you’ll be wrapped around him anyways.

Alejandro lowered his lips to mine and to keep my balance, I clung to him, grabbing handfuls of his shirt.

Sweet, slow and soft. With each kiss, we delved deeper into each other with more intensity. One arm circled my waist, the other hand tracing the length of my back, Alejandro was giving me goosebumps of all kinds. I had no choice but to slide my hands up his chest and drape them around his neck. When we finally came up for air, I couldn’t catch my breath. I had totally lost my mind for those few minutes and I think he had too.

We held onto each for what felt like forever and said nothing, just trying to catch our breath. And that is when my rationale mind came back to rear its ugly head. I needed to explain why I had waited this long to let my defenses down with him, that it wasn’t some kind of a game, how I had been hurt before…

Alejandro must have read my mind of jumbled thoughts because just as I opened my mouth to speak, he placed his index finger on my lips.

“I only need to know one thing.” Alejandro paused and searched my eyes. “Do you ever think about him when you are with me?”

Him? Him who? It didn’t matter…the answer was hell no.

When I shook my head, he removed his finger and cupped my face within the palms of his large warm hands.

“That’s all I needed to know.”

©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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

(Repost)

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

love girl kawaii heart hearts

*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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“San Juan” (2015) #fiction #fictionfriday #love

credit to https://giphy.com/gifs/ocean-9iOXY191s2XrW

A week from now, all of this would feel like a dream. Like it never happened.

The knot in my stomach ached at the thought of leaving this place. From the moment I set foot out of the airport in San Juan, it had felt like “home”.

I buried myself a little deeper into the chaise and stared out into the darkness. Close enough to watch the white foamy crests of the waves as they lapped in time with their gentle whooshing onto the beach. The night sky was clear and always filled with so many stars, something I rarely noticed at home among a sea of concrete high-rise buildings.

Was this the same sky or had I been magically transported into another dimension?

One more week.

The constant moistness of humidity on my skin, the left-over grittiness of sand buried in crevices of my toes from my daily walks on the beach, the headiness of the salt air lingering in my chest that made me feel free and happy – I would miss it all. I had sat many evenings like this one, just curled up in a chair outside, enjoying the warm soothing breeze with a homemade coconut smoothie in hand. And every night, the ocean never failed to wash away the day and grant me a fresh new one after I closed my eyes for the night.

Who in their right mind could ever get tired of all of this?

But tonight was a little different. I wasn’t on my outdoor chaise. I was enjoying a better view from someone else’s chaise on a rooftop.

I took a last sip of my mint tea, unfolded myself out of my chair and went over to lean against the railing. Was it past 11:00 o’clock? Yes, it had to be past 11:00. Time crept so slowly down here in the Caribbean. I wasn’t sure of how long I had been out there. But I did know that I should have headed back to my place a long time ago, before I got myself into a situation I would probably not regret.

“Where did I leave my purse?”

I muttered to myself and almost immediately felt the warmth of his body behind me. His strong hands circled my waist and he nestled his lips into the oh-so sensitive spot of my neck. He had excused himself to take a phone call and from the dampness of his hair against my ear, he had also taken a shower.

“You aren’t working tomorrow so why not stay here tonight?”

I smiled. I had to hand it to Alejandro, he was smooth.

I turned around slow enough as to not lose contact, his chest just inches away from mine, his hands still around my waist. He smelled clean and fresh. I was just making a mental note to remember to ask him about the brand of soap he always used when I realized that the only thing between us were my workout clothes and a bath towel wrapped loosely around his waist. I felt a wave of heat spread from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. I wasn’t uncomfortable, I was just taken off guard enough for my mind to go completely blank.

Those dark eyes, that chiseled chest and such a wicked smile – I knew that he knew exactly what I was thinking. I had the urge to run my hands through the wet curls that dripped onto his forehead but I kept my hands to myself, unsure as to where else they may glide if I did reach out. He grinned even wider and I almost hated him for it.

“Don’t worry, you can stay in one of the guest rooms. We could watch a movie. Or I can take you back to your place. Your choice. Though you know what my preference would be.”

My mind searched for reasons to leave but my mind remained blank of excuses.

How many other women had stood in exactly this same position as I was tonight? Did I even care right now with one week left in paradise?

I pulled myself together and leaned in closer to him, which was already almost impossible. I inhaled deeply, trying not to think of what would happen if that bath towel accidentally fell to the ground.

“Okay,” I whispered into his ear.

He tilted his head and frowned, not sure of what I meant. He cupped my face his hands. “Okay, what?”

“Okay,” I repeated.

Image and content ©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted on April 7, 2015.

Note: Writing 101, Blogging U – Day 2:A Room with a View

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?
Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

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Catching “Feels” #writerwednesday #writerslife #feels 

Photo credit: Tamara Álvarez via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Like I said  in “All I Ask“, I’m answering questions I receive from time to time…this is question #3.

In a comment a while back, a fellow blogger friend from the 2017 A to Z Challenge, Geraint from Penguin Ponderings, asked me where I get my “feels” from in my fiction. I invite you to check out Geraint’s blog for some great stories. He also posts some beautiful shots of wildlife on Instagram.

It’s not the first time I’ve been asked that question about “feels”. I know what it refers to but not being 100% certain of what the proper definition is, I turned to the trusty Urban Dictionary:

“Feels”:

  • Shortened version of ‘feeling’, generally a strong emotional response;
  • A wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained;
  • A word used to describe something that is intensely emotional on a level somewhere between you feeling empty and you on the floor in a ball weeping uncontrollably.

Okay, so I would not categorize my writing by that last one but you get the point.

Like many others who write fiction, I get my “feels” by tapping into experiences and situations that have challenged me. Usually, I don’t have to dig that far.

I enjoy taking a scene to the basic underlying emotions that we all have, translating those feelings beyond words into “visuals” and having those scenes resonate enough to provoke a physical reaction…hopefully.

For me, a “feel” is successful if I find myself rewinding or rereading a certain part of a movie or book over and over again.

If I get the very same “pang” in my chest each and every time I reread or rewatch, that’s a “successful feel” for me, like that final fight scene of JLo’s movie “Enough” or Maya Angelou‘s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and her other autobiographical books.

Emotions are emotions:

  • that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know that you aren’t safe (“The Things Women Go Through“);
  • washing your hands clean of someone you used to love for good and finally meaning it (“Gone“) ;
  • allowing yourself to give into sweet temptation and not caring about the consequences (“Straight, No Chaser“); or
  • shutting yourself down to cope with the consequences of a bad situation (“Stronger“).

“Feels” are all about the good, the bad and the ugly of our emotions.

And what about you? How deep do you dig to get the “feels” for your writing?

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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