“In Hollywood there are only three ages for women, babe, D.A., and Driving Miss Daisy.”Goldie Hawn as Elise Elliot in The First Wives Club 1996
What do all of these female celebrities have in common? They are north of fifty, still fabulous, and still lighting up the stage and screens everywhere. Yes, we have come a long way from the days when turning forty was the death knell for an actresses career.
Happily Hollywood has come a long way. In the past ten years or so more than a couple of blockbusters featured leading actors over forty and fifty. Avengers Endgame starred 55-year-old Robert Downey Jr, and Don Cheadle. At 55 and 54, respectively, Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry starred in John Wick Parabellum and kicked some a**. Hollywood, which is image focused, has reaped the monetary rewards. Yet, publishing, a non-visual medium, has yet to truly embrace books written by north of forty and fifty authors who are creating characters that are closer to their age in the romance, chick-lit, and women’s fiction categories.
Publishers, like most businesses, are laser focused on the key market demographic, the all-important 18-49. Yet, if we look at the numbers, as of 2020, the Baby Boomer generation ranges from 56-74, while Gen-X’s range is 40-55. Even millennials are set to join the big 4-0, beginning in 2020. Now that more readers are joining the over-forty club, their chick-lit and romances have been christened with new genre names.
Matron-lit and seasoned romances are not representative of the passion, prose, and panache the authors bring to their stories. Matron, when not used to describe female guards in a prison, is an insult. Don’t believe me? Ask any designer on Project Runway if it was a compliment when Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, or Heidi Klum deemed a design as matronly. Trust me, no one feels happy afterwards. They aren’t using the designation for a bride’s wedding party anymore. No more matron of honor, it’s a maid of honor. As for the term seasoned as it applies to romance novels, I don’t get that either. I love to cook. Seasoned sounds like a reference to my spice cabinet or when I get a steak ready for the grill. However, if I had to make a food comparison, people pay any amount for dry-aged steaks. Why? Dry-aged steaks are tender and the flavor is both complex and nuanced on the palate.
Authors over forty and fifty create complex characters that are heroic and very flawed. They embrace the changes being over forty brings with humor and reverence. Life experiences are what shapes every author, and when it’s put on paper, it gives hope to others, and shows they’re not alone. It’s Still A Chick Lit’s goal to introduce readers to authors, both published and aspiring, with new voices they aren’t familiar with. We will put the spotlight on fiction authors in various genres and nonfiction authors of cookbooks, health, wellness, nutrition, coffee table books, and more.
Still A Chick Lit is proud to put the spotlight these wonderfully talented women with a little bit about them. Additionally, the authors will be guests of our eponymous podcast which is available on Spotify, Anchor. and more.
Our first guest is Brooke Nolan
For Brooke Nolan this book clamored to be written! Born of personal experience, and although a work of both truth and fiction, this story is part of her in a very profound way. It’s ingrained in her heart.Worth Waiting For is an “everywoman’s” story. Love, sex and passion are NOT the sole property of any one age group, and the young and lovely twenty and thirty – somethings do not have ownership of romance. From the perspective of a woman of years, who had long turned off her hopes and desires, we see how love can again blossom, that passion is not just a faint memory, and that sex is as fulfilling as ever – if not more so! The best – that which is Worth Waiting For – can come to us at any age. Women are beautiful and sexy at every stage of life, and if they would believe again that indeed they are, they may see a lost dream or two become their reality.
An Excerpt from Worth Waiting For
Laura woke up on Saturday morning determined to contact Julian. She thought she should find something to text him about, a pretense of sorts, so it wouldn’t look like she just changed her mind after she’d kept telling him “no” all this time. So while she drank her coffee, she sent him a text asking for his advice on putting in some shutters in her kitchen, which she had actually always wanted anyway. She thought that since he did remodeling and contracting that he could help her with it, maybe even do it for her, and she wouldn’t look like she had just stopped being worried about things, wouldn’t look flighty, plus it would give her an opportunity to see him again on her own turf. The thought of going out to dinner on a date with him was still a little scary. She didn’t want him to think she was toying with him. He texted back, saying he could and would help, he could even go pick them up for her and install them.
Laura was delighted. Cool, that worked! He told her he would be happy to put them in for her, to just let him know.Then she sent him a thank-you that was just a little bit gushy, a little over the top, and found herself smiling the way you do when you have a really juicy secret. She shook her head, thinking she was being silly, but she didn’t stop smiling.
At work Monday morning, her phone chimed. It was Julian, and she got that smile on her face again when she saw it. He’d sent a pretty “Good Morning” picture with roses and ribbons on it. Oh, that was so sweet! She messaged him back: “Thank you, Julian! That’s so sweet of you! That made me smile!” A few moments later when her phone chimed, Laura was smiling even before she picked it up. “Wish I could see your beautiful face, but it’s burned into my mind. I’ll never forget that smile. I love it.” Wow! How charming was that?? “Oh, Julian, that’s so nice and sweet of you to say! Thank you!”“No, I should thank you. I’m just happy you are in my life again.” Oh, my! She felt a little thrill run up her spine. In his life! she thought. “I’m glad, too” she texted back, and then wondered where that had come from…but yes, she was happy. Her heart was beating faster, and she tried to turn her attention to work without too much success.
When the phone chimed a few minutes later, she shocked herself when she actually giggled. “Were you able to look at the shutters?” he asked. She made a face. She’d never gotten the chance to go to the store. “No, I forgot to measure, so there really wasn’t much point.”“I can measure for you.”“Oh, would you, please? Then I know that it will be done right, lol!” she paused, then dove in. “Would you like to come over sometime? To measure, of course.”“Yes. Tonight works for me.”OMG! Tonight???? Laura was suddenly nervous. “OK. What time?” She texted back, not knowing what else to say now that it was going to happen. She felt a little scared, a little sick. What had she done? “7-7:30?” Julian asked her. “Unless you would like me to come later, so you have time to come home and relax.”“Relax??? I don’t think I am going to relax! I’m a little too keyed up to relax!”“LoL. Sexy and funny, too. I feel like a teenager in love with the prom queen.” But what a very cool and disarming thing to say!That just about charmed my socks off, she thought.I must be crazy, why did I do this? It was a fun game, and now he’s going to come over and…and what? Measure for shutters. That’s all she had asked him to do. If she wanted more than that, she thought that would be possible. And if she didn’t, that should be okay, right?
But Laura knew he would be expecting more, just from the nature of the last few texts. She stewed for a few minutes, and then picked up the phone again. “I don’t know about this, Julian. I am not sure, I don’t want you to think I am playing hard to get, but I’m a little scared about this.” That’s an understatement. How about a LOT????“If it helps, I am nervous too, and that’s the truth. It’s all you, Laura. Always had nothing but love for you.” Julian told her. Oh, wow. Wow! She texted: “It does help. Okay, okay. I just hope you aren’t disappointed, my friend.” “Never. You are sexy to me always.”Oh, boy, now I’ve done it. I pretty much let him think that all options are open. Laura thought about it. And realized that as much as she was nervous, she was also okay with the options being open. She was excited, and curious. Laura had to laugh. Julian thought she was the prom queen? She felt more like the gawky teenager worshiping the gorgeous jock from afar. So that was pretty funny, because he felt the same way she did, then, and that was comforting. After work, Laura raced home, took a shower, washed her hair, oh my God, don’t forget to shave her legs! She put some makeup on, just a little, and picked some underclothing from her drawer, rejecting most of it. She didn’t have anything sexy, because it had been a long time since anyone but she had cared what her undies looked like, and she hadn’t cared all that much either. Thank God she’d bought a couple of pretty bras recently! She took more time with her clothing, as she wanted to look casual but not sloppy. As for jewelry, nothing flashy, just a pretty pair of earrings, simple silver hoops, tiny and tasteful. A spritz of perfume, just a spray or two in the air above her, to settle in her hair and on her clothes; after all, less is more. She looked in the mirror, and unbuttoned one more button on the white blouse she had chosen to go with her jeans and bare feet. She cuffed the sleeves and thought she didn’t look too bad, but then, it was as good as she could get, as good as it was going to get. She couldn’t be younger, she couldn’t be skinnier, she couldn’t change much of anything at this point but her clothes, and those, she liked. If he was disappointed, she could do no more.
Then she remembered – this was Julian! Julian had seen her look her best and her worst. He’d seen her every day for years, and there were days he saw her with no makeup, days he saw her with her hair mussed, days he’d seen her in a robe and slippers and sick with a cold when he’d come in to check something in the apartment. He’d seen it all, and never stopped wanting her. Julian knew what she looked like, good, bad, and in-between, so she began to relax about her looks. She poured herself a glass of water, and sat on the sofa, wishing for a drink of something stronger, but she felt that might be imprudent. She thought she ought not to, in light of the fact that she was already throwing caution to the wind.
She chuckled to herself, and noticed that her palms were damp. It was almost time for him to arrive. What if he didn’t show up? Oh, she hadn’t considered that! She didn’t want to be stood up! The last time they’d seen each other was at the funeral, and before that, in the grocery store parking lot. How would it be now, when they could actually touch each other? When he could kiss her, if he chose to, and she could finally let him? She noticed she was shaking a little. Laura was getting up to refill her water when the knock on the door came, the same familiar knock he’d always used when he’d worked there.
“Here we go,” she said aloud, and went to open the door.
To find out more about Brooke and other authors featured here email firstname.lastname@example.org