There May be Snow on the Roof, but There’s Still Fire in the Belly

Noelle ClarkToday, all the way from Brisbane, Australia, Noelle Clark joins me with some of her own musings about being middle-aged.  My friend, and fellow Etopia Press author, has written the novel, Let Angels Fly. But before we get to her book, here are Noelle’s musings.

There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still fire down below

….By Noelle Clark

The only fifty shades of grey I’m interested in, are the ones that, every six weeks or so, I colour so I can’t see them. I’m not criticising EL James’ hugely successful novel – I just found that I couldn’t gel with the two main characters who were 20 and 29 respectively. I tried. All my work colleagues – younger than me – raved about it. Said it was hot, sexy. But I just couldn’t get past page 43.

I was very disappointed actually, as I really wanted to like it. I thought about all the wonderful books I normally read, and enjoyed. Then I took a look at my DVD collection. I just love romance movies, rom com, women’s fiction type movies. And I noticed that just about all my favourite books and movies had heroines and heroes about my age. It’s so easy to get caught up in a story about a broken marriage, older kids who cause heartache, meeting someone and falling love – after you’ve been hurt so hard before you swore you’d never go there again.

It was a light bulb moment for me. I knew then that many people, mostly women, want to read about people they can resonate with; ones who share the same ups and downs as them; ones who see through the darkness of sadness and despair and find a ‘happy ever after’.

It’s such a gift to be able to write stories that uplift people, help them find their own way in real life, give enjoyment, hope, and self-esteem.

So, in my books, I write about strong women who – for whatever reason – have found themselves alone, hurt, lacking confidence. Their heroes aren’t perfect – whatever that is. But they’re kind, honest, and care about her feelings. OK, so the fact the hero is also strong in character, attractive (to her), and jolly good in the bed department, is a bonus.

In ‘Let Angels Fly’, Abbie and Craig are both on their second time around. They form a bond based on trust and empathy. They face danger together, and nurse each other through rough times.

My newest book, ‘Rosamanti’, stars two very different people from Abbie and Craig. Sarah has been widowed and is tired, unable to find the spark in life that used to be there. Enter my Italian man, Pietro. He’s never been married. He’s not the successful lawyer he set out to be. But he’s warm, real, kind, funny – and he loves Sarah so much he nearly bursts.

I hear the terms ‘Matron Lit’ and ‘Boomer Lit’ occasionally. Personally, I don’t think those tags are the most flattering, however I suppose it does flag to potential readers that here is a book they might like.

I’m heartened by the movie industry – a place where once upon a time good looking women had a use by date. These days, the industry doesn’t seem to discriminate on having older women play roles where they fall in love, get their gear off, and have hot, unbridled sex. So why should books discriminate? Ask any 20 something year old if they love a good rom com or chick flick. If the story is good, the characters real and easy to relate to, then age doesn’t matter. In fact, I think people improve with age. Take a look at these actors – all favourites of mine, and I see every movie they make, because I like the way they portray ordinary humans. I also love the way they have a few wrinkles here and there, and Richard Gere’s white hair is so sophisticated.

picture 2So, I like my female characters to be mature in their outlook, show wisdom in their choices, to be brave and not naive, and most of all, to relish their womanhood. I like my men to be kind, gentle, strong and affectionate. Love and sex aren’t just for the twenty-something’s. It’s for us all – older, chubbier, past the first bloom of youth, whatever – because when someone falls in love, it transcends looks, age and social status.

LetAngelsFly_ByNoelleClark-200x300BLURB for Let Angels Fly

Life can full of surprises the second time around.

Arriving in Cambodia to volunteer at an orphanage, Abbie finds a warm welcome with the owner of her hotel, the handsome Craig Nelson. Craig is everything her ex-husband wasn’t—warm, compassionate, and a generous humanitarian dedicated to helping the local people. But after raising a family and being devastated by the end of her bad marriage, the last thing Abbie needs is complications. She’s on her own for the first time in many years, and it’s time for her to spread her wings and fly free amid the people and culture that have always fascinated her.

But while exploring the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, Abbie overhears odd noises and sinister conversation that raise her hackles. Turning to the only person she thinks may be able to help—Craig—she realizes she’s witnessed tomb raiders—art thieves stealing frescoes to sell on the black market. Unable to let the pillaging of the beloved temple continue, Abbie goes back to investigate and finds evidence that proves her theory. And in the meantime, she finds herself falling for Craig.

Yet change isn’t easy for either of them. Both carry scars, and neither is ready to let go of the past. When Abbie is attacked in the market place, it’s clear her presence in the temple wasn’t overlooked. When Abbie agrees to help the police stage a sting operation to catch the thieves, things go from bad to worse. And Craig might be powerless to help…







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29 responses to “There May be Snow on the Roof, but There’s Still Fire in the Belly

  1. what a wonderful post Noelle. You are one talented lady. Sharon, thanks for again having a great posting here. .

  2. noelleclarkblog

    Hi Shey. Thanks for coming over here! Sharon has a wonderful blog, so a huge thanks to you Sharon for allowing me to be a part of it all. 🙂

    • Loved your piece Noelle and so happy to have you here today. Let Angels Fly looks wonderful and it in my TBR pile!

      • noelleclarkblog

        Sharon, thank you so much for having me. I love your ‘new look’ web page, by the way. And I’m glad you enjoyed my piece. It’s been a total pleasure.

      • Thanks for joining me! We cougars have to stick together. Oooo, I just cringed…that name isn’t right at all. Slightly greying panthers? Anyway, it’s been a pleasure to have you visit.

  3. So enjoyed this post and Let Angels Fly. Thank you, Sharon. Hugs, Noelle! ♥

  4. I LOVE it that “Later Bloomers” are appearing in more books as well as the movie screen. Being one of them, I would hope that our rather large group won’t go unnoticed and treated as if we don’t exist. So cool.

    • Like my guest, Noelle, we both write to that audience of folks are age who still see love in the cards even though there may be a few signs of age. I mean, really…are we ever to old for romance? I think not! Thanks for joining us today, Patti!

    • noelleclarkblog

      Hi Patricia. Sorry, I posted my reply to you in the wrong spot. I find that now my children have children of their own, they see just how wise and experienced we are. I like being this age. And there are so many of us that we’ll never go unnoticed. I hope. 🙂

  5. If books were written for my age group, they’d have to call it geezer lit. : – )
    I find I can read about any age right down to YA if the characters are well-developed, but some of my favorite books are those that have at least minor characters who are older. I absolutely love the mother in Allan Ansorge’s series. She checks herself into an assisted living home because they have free WiFi. Hope the mother in my own novel has some of that appeal. (Did I get a little longwinded there? Sorry ’bout that.)

    • Angela, I’m cracking up over the idea of checking yourself into assisted living for the free wi-fi.
      Geezer lit is a new one, lol! Thanks for stopping by!

    • noelleclarkblog

      Not long winded at all. Thanks for coming Angela. I’ve told my kids that I can live without pretty much anything – except WiFi and the odd bottle of wine.

  6. noelleclarkblog

    Patricia, so happy to meet you. Yes, I think we are a force to be reckoned with! Old enough to have learnt a lot – young enough to enjoy (without worrying about getting pregnant!) 😉 Thanks so much for reading this article.

  7. Great post! I completely agree with you, Noelle–love isn’t just for the young and so neither is the passion that comes with it. Both of my summer releases have a couple with a bit of life-experience under their belts, and I loved writing about them!

    Looking forward to your new book–I have a soft spot for guys who haven’t quite hit their career goals, and being Italian doesn’t hurt!


  8. noelleclarkblog

    Hey Charley. So great to see you here. I’m glad there are so many of us who don’t mind a few years of experiencing life in our characters. Looking forward to reading yours. Thanks and cheers, Noelle.

  9. Great post – love your point of view Noelle!

  10. What a thoughtful post, Noelle. Thank you- from the dark side of the ‘hill’.

  11. I share your ideas about positive, uplifting themes. keep up the good work!

  12. I also like to read books like this with characters that are mature and it’s really nice to see more of them in movies. Wish you all the best with your novel.

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