Today, 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.
So, 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.
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…
Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7046284.Noelle_Clark
All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-letangelsfly-1152513-149.html
LINK TO BOOK TRAILER http://youtu.be/6UMVU37sobY