Age Brings Wisdom, Right?

Today’s my birthday. I usually love my birthday, even if it does signify getting older and all that goes along with that. This year, I’m not as enthralled as I usually am, even if I am only 29! I refuse to divulge it even in my own home because my son is a blabbermouth – no chance of his learning my real age until he’s at least to this point, so I will always ever refer to myself as 29. Though he’s likely to remind me that now I’m 30.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve finally reached the point that I don’t care anymore, the day is no different than any other, or the fact that I’m approaching a milestone that I really don’t want to approach. Maybe it’s because I still need to lose about 30 lbs. and start working out regularly, like I used to (curse you Curves, for closing all the damn locations near me!), because I need to start feeling younger again. Or maybe the fact that I now need glasses and will be getting them in a week or so is hitting home. The tests the doctor wants me to take. Hey, other than the standard female things, when did I start needing a doctor regularly, damn it?

Lately my 16 year old heart has been feeling more 30-ish and that can’t be a good thing, can it? Somehow, it bugs me. I want to hold onto my youth and keep partying like I did when I was 19, and I find it’s not so easy anymore. Not that I’m going to give that up – just have to get and keep my partying self in better shape, for better stamina! 😀

One thing I’ve also noticed is that I’ve been making my heroines a little older than I used to, well, except for Marissa in Warrior’s Vengeance and the heroine(s) to come in the sequel/prequels, the time period kind of needs them to be fairly young. Not sure why my more modern heroines are older, and the really odd thing is I find myself feeling more maternal toward my heroines rather than identifying fully with them. It’s weird, how my perception of them has changed. There’s less of “me” in them than there used to be, and they have complete personalities of their own. Maybe I’ve finally gotten to be old enough that I realize that fairy-tale ending ain’t never gonna happen for me, so I’ll give it to them.  Or maybe it’s that I’ve changed so much over the years that the parts of me that are in my heroines are not parts of me that are still relevant to me today.
Maybe I’m just getting better at compartmentalizing and sorting. Though I would rather have this skill applied to my home and office, rather than the emotional and rambling train of thoughts, thank you very much. I find plotting comes a little easier – is that because I’ve garnered enough knowledge in my advanced years to be able to make sense of things that I used to just wing without any sort of reasonable explanation? (Is that last sentence even grammatically correct?)
Anyway, a lot of this has come to me over the last couple of days, as I approach my day, realizing how short the span is separating me from that horrifying number and fighting it as hard as I can. But there are positives, especially when it comes to writing.
I’m better disciplined (though not by much), and I am honestly secure in knowing what I put into words is thousands and thousands of times better than what my first attempts look like. I’m good, damn it, and it may have taken a while to get to that point, but every minute, even the depressing I’m-giving-it-up-can’t-do-this-anymore ones, were worth it. I feel confident in giving advice and support to newer writers. I didn’t have that confidence for a loooong time. I feel like I know what I’m doing, more often than I feel like I don’t. Why the hell did it take so long to tip the scales the other way?
As for acknowledging today, I’m going to do my best to keep the day in general low-key, though I’m not past using it to my advantage when I need to. 😉 But I want it to be a regular day amidst the insanity of all the others. We’ll see how that pans out. Since everyone except me and the little guy have plans tomorrow, the odds of it being a quiet normal day are actually pretty good. I’m hoping, anyway!
And since it’s a birthday, it’s time for presents! I’ll give a few commenters a copy of any one of my titles, winners’ choice.

Warrior’s Vengeance – Available Today!

Today is release day for Warrior’s Vengeance. I’m very excited about this book – my CP’s know the trials and tribulations I went through. Lol 
This book is grittier and a bit darker in tone than other titles, It’s what I like best about it – I didn’t hold anything back (okay, maybe a little – gotta save something for another book, right?) and let Marissa and Ian go at it! I had fun with most of it, other times I was left a bit drained. Mostly I had a blast writing the book, though. I’ve mentioned before about the extreme reactions I’ve received. While the positive reactions were awesome, the negatives spurred me to think about using a warning for those who might not be comfortable with some of the scenes, and I’ve done so in a few places. Having said all that, I must also say publishing it is certainly the best validation. 😀
Aside from the sexual content, another reason I enjoyed writing Warrior’s Vengeance is because of its time period. I am a big fan of that time – I’ve written two other books that take place during the reign of Edward I, and I consider them the prequels to Warrior’s Vengeance. I’m considering rewriting them, and I have a basic outline for a sequel, with the main character one of the minor ones from Warrior’s Vengeance.
Back on point, romances from the period beginning with 1066 and the Norman invasion through about the time when Robert The Bruce defeated the English take up quite a lot of space on my bookshelves. I’ve read historical romance of all times – the entire range from pre-Viking England to the glory days of the American West (which is probably favorite #2 – how can anyone not drool over hot cowboys?), but always, my heart is drawn to this time, particularly the later Plantagenet years. I also have an extensive library of non-fiction about the period, which makes DH insane when I start pulling them out to research something! For some reason, all the romance books I read that took place in that period always seemed to draw me deeper into them, and I could picture everything so vividly, I was enraptured until the end, and at that point, probably a little disappointed it was over!
A couple of favorites are of course Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Wolf and the Dove. I can still see the scene where Aislynn is sure she’s lost her son, and she’s crying to Wulfgar. It still brings tears to my eyes. The Conqueror by Brenda Joyce. Rolfe is positively abominable to Ceidre but you can’t help rooting for them, even during some of the most torturous interactions and events. Johanna Lindsey wrote some marvelous ones, and all the Catherine Coulter’s Song series books in the house are rather weathered!
Anyway, here are the cover and blurb for Warrior’s Vengeance, and the link as well, for those who are interested in checking it out. It will be on Amazon as well, I’ll keep you posted. For those of you who enjoy this type of gritty sexual tale, I hope you like this book too! Leave a comment about some of your favorite historical romances, and I’ll reward a random commenter with a copy.

Near the Scottish border during the reign of Edward I, Marissa Langley, daughter of a powerful English earl is captured by a band of marauding Scotsmen. Completely at their mercy, she is desperate to escape. When the leader of the group saves her from certain rape, she believes she will be freed.
But Ian MacCallum is no savior. He takes her for his own, seduces her then makes her a submissive. Her collar and chains are part of his vengeance on her father—the man Ian claims is responsible for the death of his beloved wife and son.
But her immediate death is not Ian’s plan. He subjects her to daily suffering and punishments and goes so far as sharing her with another clansman. Yet, her spirit will not be broken. He finds himself drawn to that core of strength within her; finding it most exquisite as it cannot be violated.
When danger from within his clan threatens her, Ian protects her, discovering at the same time that he does not want to lose her, ever.
Marissa makes her own discovery: she comes to crave Ian’s torturous touch. When she learns the source of his hatred, she is certain he is wrong. Her father would not commit atrocities. She waits for the moment when she can escape and prove her father’s innocence. But that would mean leaving Ian when she is no longer sure she wants to be free.
Includes: Bondage, collars, spanking, multiple partners and so much more!