Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April Feature #7

Introducing author Kimberly Matthews-Hooker!  


Kimberly is a ten-time published American women's fiction author, content editor and ghostwriter. Her most recent work, Spoonin, releases in June 2011.  You can visit her web site at http://www.kimberlytmatthews.com/




Excerpt from Spoonin' 

Whoever said the first year was the hardest didn’t actually tell the whole truth. The first year was actually like a slow ride into hell down a razor blade pole, and the second was the same ride all over again, only this time garbed in clothes soaked in gasoline. I found out quickly just how naïve my thoughts about marriage had been. 
I’d enrolled myself back into school but hadn’t been able to complete more than a semester. Within six months of our union, I had conceived a second time, unplanned of course, and this baby was taking me through the wringer. I hadn’t experienced one single day of trouble in my pregnancy with Casey, but this time I was constantly nauseous, highly uncomfortable, or just in pain. I spent most of my days in my pajamas laying down in an effort to not to throw up, and seeing after the one baby I already had as best I could.  When I didn’t have the energy or strength to cook and clean, he perceived me as lazy rather than understanding the fact that there was a whole person taking up residence inside my body.   
Sydney had no compassion when it came to my complaints He hardly had a kind word to say, and most days ignored me by saying nothing at all. This wasn’t how I envisioned my marriage or pregnancy going. The baby already made me overly sensitive and I’d cry at the drop of a hat anyway, but any commercial that portrayed a mother-to-be flanked by and excited, caring, loving father, resting his head against her belly, listening for the baby’s heartbeat, or feeling for movement, or kissing his child through the mother’s flesh made me bawl like a hungry newborn, wishing it was me and Sydney. I didn’t know what I’d done or said to make Sydney despise me the way he did. I knew he wasn’t overjoyed about us having another baby, but I expected him to become more accepting that a new addition to our family was just around the corner as I was headed into my final trimester. 
            As if some magical knob was turned from high to low on a disagreement control, we argued less frequently, which was just a tradeoff for not speaking at all in most cases. Even so, I made the best of the peace, and avoided subjects that were sure to get us into a wrangle of any sort, and these days just about anything would.  One thing that did make me smile was we’d recently filed our tax return and expected a few thousand dollars back. We needed the financial relief and we both had plans for the money which we’d split in half. Sydney talked about putting some accessories on his car, while like any other woman, I planned to shop. I did have my eye on an in-home bath spa gadget that I’d caught sight of in the mall. It would be my gift to myself, since Christmas, though months ago had been pretty scarce. The little money we did have, we spent buying Casey stuff he didn’t need and surely wouldn’t remember. I’d gotten Sydney a bottle of cheap cologne and some dress socks, and his gift to me was a coffee mug and some slippers. It wasn’t much, but we weren’t disappointed. The tub spa looked like the very thing I needed in my current state of perpetual back and belly pangs. Oh what a luxury it would be to nestle down in a tub full of bubbles on top of a pulsating, vibrating mat that offered a varying array of water massages. What I wouldn’t give to be the woman on the box, eyes covered with a satin blindfold and holding a glass of wine. I’d skip the wine for now but the rest of it I’d take in a second. Priced at less than a hundred dollars, it would leave me plenty of money to pick up post-pregnancy clothes, and other luxuries. My mouth watered every time I checked the mail box in anticipation. 
“Did the check come today?” Sydney would ask every day before he said anything else. He was just as anxious as I was.
“Not yet.”
            He’d grunt and go on with what he was doing, or what he planned to do. The day the check did come, he could see it on my face. The check would require both our signatures and both our presences at the bank. When he came in from work, both Casey and I were dressed, my hair was combed and my purse was under my arm.
            “Let’s go to the bank!” I sang waving the check in front of him with a smile.
            “Oh it came?” he asked to confirm.
            “Yep! Let’s go!” I felt like a child on Christmas day with visions of shopping carts and new purchases dancing in my head, but my dreams were put on temporary hold when the teller at Sydney’s bank informed us that she was required to put a three-day business hold on the check. Both our feelings were hurt, but what could we do. She offered us $100 from the deposit, but outside of that, we’d have to wait. We took her best offer in the form of two fifties, each of us taking one from the bank cash envelope once we got to the car.
            “I can’t wait to get my bathtub thingy,” I prattled. “That’s gonna feel so good to this pregnant body.” My feet fluttered as I drew my shoulders up to my years, hardly able to wait for my sumptuous soak.
            Sydney said nothing in return, he just bobbed his head a bit, but I thought nothing of it. I was too busy spending money in my head. Three days later, I figured out what his silence was about.
            “Did the check clear?” I asked, in desperate need of some retail therapy and still imagining my long awaited bath.
             “Yeah.”  He sat on the couch and pulled his shoes off. “You cook today?”
            “No, I was planning on going out to dinner since the money would be in the account today.”
            “Why you just can’t cook. I get tired of eating out all the time.”
            “We don’t eat out all the time Sydney. I’m talking about a sit down dinner at a real restaurant.”
            “I don’t feel like it tonight.”
            “Okay well just give me my half of the money and Casey and I will go.”
            “I didn’t bring any money home,” he announced, turning on the television with a press of the remote.
            My brows crinkled. “Why not?”
“I was just thinking,” he paused act like he was captivated by a commercial.  When it ended, he started flipping channels.
            “You were thinking what?”
            “You ain’twork none last year. All that money that got held came out of my check, so really - it’s my refund.”
 What?  What did he just say? “What?” my mouth repeated. “What do you mean?”
             “I mean just what I said. You didn’t work none last year, so they ain’t hold no tax money back of your check. The only person they took money from was me, so I’m the only one who should be getting some back.”
            “That part might be true, but did you claim me as a dependant? Yes!” I barked before he could answer. “Did you claim our son? Yes!” I answered again. “You got extra money for us being on that tax return and you know it.”
            “All I know is you didn’t work last year. You didn’t pay taxes last year because you didn’t have a job. So how they gonna refund you something that was never yours.”
  Lord I didn’t feel like crying today. I really didn’t. I willed back the water that threatened to spill from my eyes while I stared hard at Sydney, who focused again on the TV.
            “Are you serious?” I planted my hands on my hips and furrowed my brows. Sydney didn’t answer so I did the only thing that made logical sense; I went and stood in front of the TV.
            “Move Kareese,” he ordered.
            “I’m not moving until you give me some answers.”
            “I already told you, you ain’t work, so you don’t deserve no refund.”
            “How you gonna sit there and say that!” I screamed, completely infuriated. “I might didn’t work outside this house, but I did plenty of work inside of it. I’m your wife Sydney!”
            “Yeah, a wife who don’t do nothing.”
            I picked up the closest thing I could put my hands on which happened to be one of Casey’s shoes, and hurled it at Sydney. “You make me sick!” I screamed.” Sydney’s hands flew up as his body quickly leaned to the side dodging the shoe, then he sprang to his feet charging towards me.
            “I know you didn’t just throw something at me!” he growled grabbing me by my forearms.
            “Get off me!” I yanked and wriggled to get out of his grasp but his grip was too tight. “Get your hands off me!”
            “You gonna throw something at me?” he asked incredulously. “You done lost your damn mind!” he said shaking me then tossing me almost effortlessly towards the couch. “Over my damn money? You must be crazy!” He stormed to the bedroom and before slamming the door yelled, "I wish I would give your lazy ass another dime!"
-         End

Publisher - Kensington Books
Price: $6.99
Available - Whereever books are sold
5 Star reviews on Amazon.com

2 comments:

Nicki said...

Your excerpt was amazing! I was sucked in right away. The discussion about the refund cheque, right down to the teller holding it, could have been my husband and I. I really want to read the book. I so want Sydney to get his come-uppance. I hope he suffers alot! Heading over to your site now...

Lynn

Kimberly T. Matthews said...

Lynn,

Thank you for your amazing support! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. While you are at my site, please join my newsletter to keep up on all the latest!

Kimberly