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Cleo: Who Is She Really?

ImageHello, I’m jumping on the  A to Z Blog Challenge bandwagon three days late so here is my third entry. I’ll post A, and B, after this to get caught up. I just heard about the challenge and I’m willing to try anything at least once. On April 11th, Just For The Weekend will be released. I’m really excited about it. This story is one that was near and dear to my heart because I’ve always wanted to go to Vegas and see the Grand Canyon. Cleo, my heroine, has an awful lot of me in her–more than any character I’ve created. She’s usually uber responsible and thinks everything to death before she acts, but  this time she’s steps out the box to experience life. I haven’t done it often myself, but the few times I did, the experience was memorable. 

As a teacher, Cleo is part of a career that exacts more than a pound of flesh from the teachers involved. We are all expected to be above reproach and can get our fingers slapped for doing things that are perfectly acceptable for others.  When I researched the morals clauses in many U.S. teacher contracts I found the moral turpitude clause. Even the slightest hint of impropriety can earn you a reprimand–and it only has to be the appearance of it in someone’s eyes.

Following her attraction for Sam is really consuming forbidden fruit, but sometimes you just need to do what’s best for you and everyone else be damned.

In Vegas, Cleo attends a sci-fi convention dressed as an Orion slave girl, a costume that not only makes her feel uncomfortable, but seems to bring out the pig in men. Here’s an excerpt to wet your whistles.

Excerpt from Just for the Weekend:

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 by now 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 table cloth.

She replaced the pile of books next to Mitch, added more swag to the table and jumped when a man dressed as a vampiric, hive-dwelling Wraith from Atlantis leaned across the table. He’d been standing over to the left of the booth watching her, and she’d tried to ignore him as best she could.

 “Hey gorgeous, I’ve been watching you turn down the guys all night. If you like to party with the ladies… I can arrange a ménage à trois. I’m all for new experiences. What’s your name?”


“Leaveme? Is that an Orion name?”

“No, it’s one hundred percent Terran as in leave me alone.”

He laughed loudly, drawing the attention of several people nearby. “I like my women feisty. I’d love to suck the life force out of you.” He raised his mini-suction-cup-covered hand and ran it along her bare arm.

She shuddered at the uncomfortable feeling of hard plastic against her smooth skin and pulled away.  He stuck out his tongue—it had to be as long as Mick Jagger’s. She rolled her eyes. Really?

“Yeah, well, it isn’t going to happen. I like my life force right where it is, thanks. You’ll have to find someone else to play with.” She shoved a bookmark in his hand.

“Relax. I’m just looking for a good-time same as you. That’s why we come to these things, right. There’s nothing I’d like better than to look down at you with your mouth on my…”

“Stop right there while I bleach my eyeballs to get rid of that image. It isn’t going to happen, not now, not ever.”

She turned her back on him and focused her attention on the remaining books. She was spitting mad. How dare he make those assumptions and suggestions? She straightened the bra that had a tendency to slip and was glad to see her nemesis had gone. At least he’d taken the hint. That guy had left a bad taste in her mouth.

You can pre-order Just for the Weekend here: 

Just for the Weekend:

Check out the other challenges on the  A to Z Blog Challenge Facebook site. 



Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have published 24 manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.

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