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.
Cleo let her gaze roam over to the bar where the man who’d kissed her sat. She was almost positive it was the guy from the lounge—those brown eyes were familiar and the gesture with the glass he’d made minutes ago mimicked last night’s salute. She didn’t see the women he’d been with. There were several men in the room dressed as Cardassians, but he stood out from the others. He’d taken a lot for granted with that kiss, but she wasn’t as upset about it as she should be. She suspected he was a player, but what a kisser! It had been an incredible experience. If anyone else had tried it, she’d have busted his balls. She’d noted the way he’d rarely taken his eyes off her. While some of the men made her uncomfortable with the way they stared at her, he didn’t. Go figure. Normally she abhorred macho men, but there’d been times in the last two hours when she’d wished he’d been closer to the booth to glower at some of the more unsavory men she’d dealt with, especially the touchy-grabby jerks, like the one approaching her now. Mitch owed her big-time for this, and she’d collect. She started out trying to be polite—after all, some of these guys were fans—but she was fed up with their lewd innuendos. She’d resorted to sarcasm, but they were either too drunk or too thick-skinned to appreciate it. Why did some men think they could objectify women the way they did based on the clothes they wore? This was a costume. It wasn’t who she was.
“Back again?” She forced a fake smile on her face for the blue-skinned Andorian who’d been plaguing her the last hour. His battery-operated antennae wiggled more slowly now than they had earlier. “I can’t imagine I have anything left to give you.” His hand shot out, but she quickly stepped back out of reach.
“I can think of a couple of things I wouldn’t mind holding.” He smiled lecherously at her, showing a mouthful of poorly maintained teeth that weren’t part of the costume. “What can I say? You’ve entranced me. How about you and I get together later tonight? I’ve got a room upstairs and a bed just waiting to be broken in.”
You can break it in alone, you slime ball.
“Sorry, that’s a tempting offer, I’m sure, but I’m busy later.”
“Thought so; I saw you with the Cardassian earlier. What about tomorrow night? The convention lasts three days.”
“Sorry, busy all weekend.”
“Sure you are.” He winked. “If you change your mind, I’m in room nineteen eleven. We’ll have a party—it’s come as you are.” He leaned over. “I’d like to lick every inch of that green paint off you. You can return the favor.” He blew in her ear and she shuddered, the stench of his beer and stale cigarette breath making her want to barf. What a loser.
“If the soap doesn’t work, I’ll keep it in mind.” She breathed a sigh of relief when he took the bookmark she’d been holding, but almost gagged when he turned her hand over and licked her palm.
Gross! She rubbed her hand on the tablecloth.
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What sparked your interest in becoming a romance writer?
Reading. I’ve always had a love affair with books, but my preferred genre was romance.
What was the first romance novel you read that made an impression on you?
Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. I’ve reread it several times and seen the movie too.
Tell us 5 surprising things about yourself.
I didn’t speak English until I was four. I spoke French.
I was a stay at home mom for ten years until all my kids were in school full time and then went away to University for a year to get my teaching qualifications.
I can write as many as 5000 words a day and I type, with two fingers, watching the keyboard.
I’m allergic to chocolate –just the smell of it can cause breathing difficulties.
I’m only 5’ tall, but my daughter is 5’9”. We make a funny looking couple, especially when she wears 5” heels.
What is your writing environment.
I have an office at home. It’s sunny and bright and most importantly quiet.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I have their names and occupations in mind, but they develop as I write.
One of your favorite quotes.
If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. It’s attributed to Ben Franklin and Poor Richard’s almanac. It means you need to be careful what you do and with whom you do it. It’s been a guidepost for me and hasn’t let me down until recently. I’ve entitled one of my books Lie Down With Dogs.
Do you have a website recommendation for other writers?
http://www.novel-writing-help.com/ There are all kinds of articles there on writing. It really helped me learn how not to head hop.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
I don’t have perfect heroes. I don’t believe anyone is perfect. My heroes have qualities and faults that they need to cope with. Ideally, my hero is trustworthy and compassionate, honorable and secure enough to let the heroine be who she is without trying to change her.
Which authors have caught your interest lately? Why?
I’ve spent most of my recent reading time reading and reviewing books for new authors Bethany-Kris’ The Arrangement has an erotic suspense novel out that’s great. I read Rachel Russell’s Harvester which I loved, but is currently unavailable. Danielle Doolittle, Christy Newton, Siren Allen, Anne Bikov, and Melinda De Ross are all new authors I’ve read and reviewed. I look forward to reading your book, Melinda too. I have other books by new authors in my kindle to read yet. Of the established authors, my favorite is Nora Roberts. She’s my role model. I enjoy a good story.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
A fantasy romance.
Who are your dream dinner party guests?
That’s easy. I’d love to sit down with all of the great new authors I’ve met this past year. I feel like I know them, but we’ve never met, so it would be great to sit down with them in person. I think I’d especially like to meet Misty with whom I’ve co-authored two books and yet never spoken to in person.
What’s the last movie you watched and loved?
The Gangster Squad Ryan Gosling is from Cornwall, so I make a point of seeing his movies when I can. This one was okay, but The Notebook is still my favorite.
Most helpful in high school. (popular, nerdy, sporty…) Why? I helped a lot of people who had trouble in French or English. I guess wanting to be a teacher was always part of who I was.
Top three things on your bucket list.
Write a book that makes it to the bestseller list
See my grandkids graduate from university
Travel and see more of the world
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
My husband is a Star Trek fan and he’s always wanted to go to a sci-fi convention. For his 6oth birthday, my daughter and a friend threw him a Star-Trek themed birthday party. People came in costumes, including our six-month-old grandson.
What is your favorite scene in your new release?
The shower scene. I have a thing for showers.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Cleo is a lot like I was back when I was young. I think I’d be Mitch. She has all the confidence I lacked back then and even now.
Which actor or book character do you have a crush on?
Elvis. I saw Blue Hawaii at least two dozen times.
What’s your favorite body part of the opposite sex?
Eyes. You can tell so much about a man in the way he looks at you.
Hey, baby! What’s your sign?
Exit! I’m a Leo who is rarely like the characteristics attributed to that sign.
What’s an absolute no-no in a relationship?
Lack of trust. You can’t have love without trust.
How did you meet your significant other?
He put me in the hospital. Lol. I went to a party my first month at university. Like many others, I’d taken off my shoes. He dropped a bottle, and while I was helping clean up, I got a sliver of glass in my foot. It festered and I had to have it removed. The infection spread and I ended up in the hospital. When I got out, he asked my out and the rest is history.
Boxers or Briefs?
Planner or Panster?
White wine or red?
Sweet or salty?
Laptop or desktop?
Winter or summer?
Spotlight or In the Shadows?
Clubbing or candlelight dinner?
Backpacking or luxury hotel?
Christmas or Halloween?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.
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