The Lonely Ego of a 40 year old Freshman Smut Writer

My 40th birthday is sometime this month.

And there it is. Forty. In a man, it’s a gilded, distinguished age, the age when a gentleman is experienced, when he begins to understand nuances and subtlety and can finally cope with the full range of a woman’s emotions.

In a woman, it’s simply aging.

Now, I’m in the middle of writing a book about a self-confident nineteen year-old Regency miss who is determined to bring her recalcitrant husband up to scratch, to teach him to worship at her dainty ribbon-clad slippers. Doubtless she’ll accomplish just that.

Women of all ages want to experience romance and hot sex, whether it’s within the confines of a marriage bed or not. But the truth is, there are very few good stories out there for older women. I’ve read a few. A very few. When an older woman falls in love with a younger man, they are labeled cougar stories, and frankly, I find that insulting – not the relationship, but the label.

Once upon a time I did write, under another name, a reconciliation story, of a man who had lost his wife through neglect and overwork. I actually love that story, and wish that I had the foresight to self-publish it as authored by Elle Q. Sabine. As an author, however, I am still young and foolish, and at the time, I was desperate to prove to myself that I could write anything. So it was shared on a blog as I wrote it and is for sale under another name on Amazon.

Tonight, though, I’m reading Never Let You Down by Joely Sue Burkhart, of Samhain Publishing. This story can easily be read as a standalone but the entire series is exceedingly well-written if you are open to a variety of orientations. However, Never Let You Down is about a widowed woman nearing the age of sixty, who has been alone for a decade, and still misses that man who left the earth a decade earlier. And it’s amazing. It’s amazing because Burkhart has characterized loneliness so well, and articulated it so accurately, all within the character of Virginia Healy Connagher.

She’s alone. Lonely.

Lonely.

Loneliness is an experience with which I was once intimately familiar. It ate at my soul, caused a few poor decisions, haunts me when it shouldn’t. Strength of mind has kept me company the last few nights, but just a few days ago, loneliness clutched at my heart and I cried, upsetting poor Mr. Sabine, who’s trying hard to make a better life for us. Tonight, reading Burkhart’s Never Let You Down, I was reminded of how lucky I am that he’s devoted to me. (He’d better stay devoted to me, too.)

Brief excerpt from Never Let You Down by Joely Sue Burkhart:

“You asked what I’ve been doing for pain.” She opened her right hand, not surprised to see drops of blood welling from where she’d dug her fingernails into her palm. “I’ve been hurting myself.”

He saw her hand and jerked off his seatbelt so he could dig in the console for a napkin. “Oh, Ginny, no, no.”

“Yes,” she replied grimly. “It’s the only way I’ve been able to get by. Well, that and working until I’m so exhausted that it’s all I can do to stumble to bed. Or I drink too much. But it’s just me, I clean up after myself and I never go anywhere, so I guess that didn’t matter much either.”

“It does matter. It matters to me.”

“Everyone told me to get on with my life. That it’d get easier with time. They didn’t know how much it hurt. Not just his absence. Not just losing his words, his touch, his presence, but I hurt. That need gnawed at me, just like the cancer ate his lungs away, and I begged God to take me so I could be with him again. I begged to be put out of this misery.”

He cradled her hand in his big palm and gently dabbed at the small cuts. “What else did you do to yourself?”

Despite his gentleness, his words were hard. It made her smile. Nothing riled Jeb up more than when he thought someone had hurt her, and just like on the playground when she’d been knocked down by a bully, he came running to her rescue. This time, I’ve been bullying myself. “I kept my strength up by practicing with my crop and whip. The crop was easy enough to turn on myself when I was desperate. This is nothing, Jeb. Please don’t –”

“Nothing?” His volume didn’t increase, but in intensity, he roared. “You hurt yourself. You… Damn it all to hell, you should have been using me. Me. Not you. You will use me….”

I want to stay out of the beautiful billionaire books and away from the rich Texas cowboys. I like vampires. I write vampires and shape-shifters and a bit of the paranormal makes me itchy. I want to write for older women, for women like me. For bisexual women. For women who find kink, ménage, pain, women, submission, and men stimulating and erotic. The book I have coming out now (The Second Sons) is being published under the new Pride Publishing imprint of Totally Entwined, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I want to write for Pride Publishing again, too. Often.

No woman should be lonely, no matter her orientation. Not in bed, and not in her library, either.

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