I am (Older) Woman. Hear me roar!

What do Nancy Pelosi, Donna Shalala and Maxine Waters have in common?  Clearly, they are all women.  If you guessed that they are older women, you’re right.  But how old?  In their fifties, sixties? Try in their 70’s and you’d be right. We all know Nancy Pelosi is 78.  Not to be outdone, Representative Donna Shalala, the former US Secretary of Health became the oldest freshman in the new House class. (She’s 79.) But Representative Maxine Waters can top that.  She became the first woman and African-American to lead the Financial Services Committee, at age 80.

According to a fascinating article by Jessica Bennett, in the Jan. 8, 2019 New York Times, older women are doing a heck of a lot more than “roaring”. They’re rewriting the roles they are playing in the US today.

Is it just political women who are rewriting the “you’re too old” rules?  Hardly!  Glen Close at age 71 broke those rules in an arena that, to say the least, does not value age in their women stars.  Close beat out four younger women to win the Golden Globe for best actress.

Let’s face it, the movie industry is not known for their deference to age.  Except when it comes to men. Female movie stars rarely crack the “age ceiling”. According to Time magazine, male actors hit their professional peak at 46, while female actors top out at 30.” Responding to that report, Helen Mirren recalled, that, at 37, Maggie Gyllenhaal had been told she was “too old” for a role opposite a 55-year-old man.  Apparently she adds “As James Bond got more and more geriatric, his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.”

Even in the business world, it was breaking news when it was announced that Susan Zirinsky will take over CBS News in March.  Ms. Zirinsky will be the first woman to hold the job. She will also be the oldest person to assume the role, at 66. Amazing! Bennet quotes Ms. Zirinsky when asked about the effect of age on her new job, “Age — don’t worry about it. It’s a state of mind. I have so much energy that my staff did an intervention when I tried a Red Bull.”

Representative Donna Shalala agrees. “Age is just a number. What the women’s movement did was develop generations of strong women. We had professional careers, we were achievers in our fields, and you’re seeing the result of that now. And we’re comfortable in our own skin, and we don’t put up with nonsense, and we have a sisterhood.”

Gayle King, 64, a co-anchor of “CBS This Morning, said in an email. “I’ve embraced every birthday … what’s the alternative, bitch and moan. I believe if your body and brain are healthy and you love what you do and the people in your life, what’s the downside of THAT?! So I’ll say it loud, I’m 64 and (oh so) proud.

Personally, I couldn’t agree more.  Point of information. Today is my birthday and I am 75 years old today!  Who ee. I have three extraordinary daughters, four gorgeous grandsons and an 80 year old best friend/lover who’s added even more sparkle to my life these last five years.  I work out seven days a week. (10 miles a day on the elliptical). I do pull-ups on the chin-up bar with my 14 year old grandson.  I can now hold my weight for ten seconds with my legs extended at a ninety degree angle.  My goal is 30 seconds…

Was my life always this great?  Heck no.  In fact in the not too distant past, in my late 60’s, it was downright crummy. I needed to do something different. I decided it was time to turn my strategic consulting firm over to my daughter.  I also left a marriage that was making both my then husband and I most unhappy.

Then something miraculous happened. On one of my multi-mile runs, I started hearing voices and envisioning almost movie-like scenes. Rather than checking myself into the loony bin, with the encouragement of my daughters, I did something I had never considered. At the ripe old age of 68, I began writing romance novels. Make that steamy romance novels and sexy mystery thrillers. It wasn’t as if I had a choice. My characters insisted that they come alive on the page. Seven years later I’m writing my 50th novel.  Frankly I’m amazed and a little more than awed at my gift of creativity.  It’s magic!

 So happy birthday to me and all of us older women who are not only “surviving” our age, but “thriving in it”.  As we should.  We are older women. Hear us roar!


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10 Great Romance Movies by Joan Reeves #mgtab

Although I love making video trailers, I don’t fancy myself to be a movie maker by any means, but perhaps my love of movies inspires by video book trailers.

Recently, I bought a copy of one of my favorite romance movies of all time, The Love Letter starring Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Many years ago, I happened upon this Hallmark movie late one night when I was channel surfing because of insomnia.

Made in 1998, the story is about a man who buys an antique desk and finds a hidden compartment containing letters written by a woman who lived during the Civil War.

Oh, what a romantic, poignant time travel story the movie was. It took me a long time before the DVD was available. I had it in my Amazon Wish list for a long time but didn’t want to pay the SRP. To my surprise, the price dropped to less than $10.00 last week. My copy was delivered today!

Subjective Taste

It’s funny how some things catch our imagination and speak to us so eloquently. However, movies, like books appeal subjectively to people. Since we’re all romance fans on this website, I wondered how many of my personal favorites “speak” to you. So here’s my list of romance movies I love that I think have stood the test of time. I chose the ones that you probably won’t find on film critics’ lists. They’re not in any special order because prioritizing the list would be completely impossible.

1. The Love Letter, 1998.

2. Ladyhawke, 1985. Starring a young Rutger Hauer who looks like a fallen angel with his blond hair and piercing blue eyes. Two lovers who can never be reunited.

3. The Last of the Mohicans, 1992. Starring a gorgeous long-haired Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe as Cora, with a stirring musical score that still gives me goosebumps.

4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, can’t leave those out!

5. Notting Hill, 1999. So funny and so romantic with Hugh Grant as the diffident would-be lover of a famous movie star.

6. Love Actually, 2003. Hugh Grant got a promotion to Prime Minister, a politician who meets his Waterloo on the day he arrives at 10 Downing Street. A talented ensemble cast with separate stories that are funny, heartwarming, and poignant. 

7.  American Dreamer, 1984. JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti. Frustrated writer stuck with a husband who doesn’t “get her” wins a trip to Paris, gets mugged, and wakes up thinking she is her favorite fictional heroine. Funny, romantic, and memorable. (I’ve got a copy.)

8. Something New, 2006. Opposites, landscaper and CPA, attract resulting in a delightful, emotional romance. Stars Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan.

9. The Holiday, 2006. Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black. Sometimes you have to go across the pond to find Love. Funny and romantic, my favorite combination.

10. The Jane Austen Book Club, 2007, with an ensemble cast of Kathy Baker, Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Marc Blucas, Jimmy Smits, Emily Blunt, and Hugh Dancy. I absolutely adore this movie.

Looking for Romance?

If you’re looking for a romantic movie, try some of the ones on my list. For romance novels, drop by our Authors’ Billboard Books page where you’ll find stunning romance collections at amazingly low prices.

Have a great summer filled with Romance!

Strong Women!

I’m the brunette in red, my mom (white hair) is next to me, her mother on the end. The others are three of my five daughters.

I know, it was just Fathers Day, but I was reared by a single mother.,,in the 60s!
My mother divorced in 1962, tried a stepfather for us, then when that ended horribly, decided she’d do it by herself. Now, that might not sound like such a big thing, but fifty years ago, it was.
First off, just being a divorced woman was a horrible stigma as was being in a family without a father. I swear, there were many kids whose mothers wouldn’t let me play with them because my mother wasn’t married. Divorced woman automatically meant ‘loose’ or ‘slutty’ woman to some folks.
And what a challenge! Even if there had been welfare (and there might have been), we weren’t on it. My mother groomed dogs, cleaned hotel rooms, did whatever she could to scrape together enough so we had food and a safe place to live. Eventually, she got a job as an accounting clerk. She and a young man had identical job titles and responsibilities, but he made twice as much money. When she asked her boss about it, he said a man was the head of the family and needed it. She reminded him that the co-worker wasn’t even married and that she had four kids! “Well, he could have them one day…”
I can’t remember what she did at that point. She couldn’t leave until she had another job, so she probably sucked it down. I know she did wind up changing employers down the road. Still, she always made less than men.
All four of us turned out fine, too. Even though my youngest brother was physically and mentally handicapped, he graduated from high school. Other brother served in the Army and Reserves and went to college on the GI Bill, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Older sister married well and, after ten years of working and going to school part time while rearing two high-achieving children, also earned a bachelor’s degree. No trouble with the law for any of us or our kids, either!
Well, I didn’t graduate from college, but I did manage to get USA Today Bestselling Author status a couple times and establish a successful business, starting out with nothing but chutzpah and tenacity…and a great role model.
Not bad for kids of a divorced woman. Correction. A strong woman!
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Birthday’s!!

Yep, you guessed it. Today is my birthday, and it’s a big one. The Big 5-0!! Honestly, I never thought I would make it this long in life. I can think of harrowing moments from my earlier years. Not to mention being in law enforcement for sixteen years, but now that I have, I hope I have another forty years to live!

For today’s post, I’m going to share a few things about me that you probably didn’t know.

I was born in Middletown, N.Y. on June 13th, 1969, and went to 13 schools before I graduated high school. I have had 23 addresses in my life, but I’ve lived at the last one for 16 years. So 23 addresses in 34 years of life. Do you know something I’m really good at? You guessed it – Packing!

My favorite place to live was in Sarasota Florida, and it’s where I’ll be spending a few days with my family this next week to celebrate my birthday. I even lived in Hawaii for a short time. By the time I’d gotten back to the mainland, I had overdosed on fresh pineapple!

I love classic cars (Mustangs and Challengers especially), Disney, photography, walking on the beach, watching a sunrise – and a sunset. I love music and movies, and I adore my family.

I don’t drink alcohol, it messes with my brain and after two concussions, I have enough issues with that. My favorite breakfast food is bagels and cream cheese with a slice of tomato, but I don’t eat bread anymore. In fact, I don’t eat any processed foods or things that contain sugar. I miss ice cream, but I’m healthier than I have been in years!

I have two children, a son who is almost twenty-nine and a daughter who is almost sixteen. My kids are almost exactly 13 years apart, and my grandson is 13 years younger than my daughter. My granddaughter threw off the 13-year rule when she was born 2 years after her brother. I guess we’ll keep her in the family, she is kind of cute!

One thing about birthdays, I’m not a fan of receiving gifts, but I sure do love to give them! So this month, this is my gift to you:

Below are three books of mine that are all FREE! Make sure to grab a copy and treat yourself! I hope you enjoy them!

Tangled in Tinsel (The Celebrations Series): www.books2read.com/Tangled-in-tinsel

Cured (The Heal Me Series): books2read.com/Cured-HealMeSeries

Love Torn (The Twisted Love Series): http://books2read.com/LoveTorn-TwistedLoveSeries

Also – Don’t miss out on our Authors’ Billboard monthly giveaway HERE