With Rose's Gift, for the first time I wrote a love story for a heroine who is almost 61 and being romanced by a 58 year-old man. Romances aren't generally written about couples in the last act of their lives, but then I consider this novella to be more a slice of life story anyway, one about being old, making a good life, finding an unexpected love, second chances, and how vitality is not solely the provenance of the young. In fact, age might add to it.
Rose Redman appears in two earlier books as a secondary character. In 1886's Tucson Moon, she is the housekeeper, cook, and confidant for the heroine. Her husband is butler and all around take-care-of-everything guy. Then in 1899, she appears in Arizona Dawn where she is a widow in a bit of an emotional fog when that book's heroine, Grace, comes back to Tucson and gives her a reason to again pay attention to life.
When Rose's Gift begins, Rose is out of her fog of depression. Another young house guest, Holly Jacobs, had helped that happen. Still Rose is very aware of being old. It is not appropriate for her to be feeling what she is. Still, she can't deny the truth. She is very much attracted to a man and with those feelings come a mixture of shock, fear of being hurt, and a strange sort of sorrow for what she can't share with her deceased husband.
The hero, Ollie, is in two earlier books. In the first of the Arizona series, Arizona Sunset, he is jokingly called the hero's mother, as he looks out for him even though Sam is the boss and Ollie the foreman. Sam calls him old man, but it's as much for wisdom as it is for his actual age. He's only ten years older than Sam-- which was a lot when they first met. He appears again in Tucson Moon as a voice of reason but also a sick man who goes to Tucson only reluctantly to see a doctor. Ollie is a stubborn, opinionated and strong man who now knows exactly what he wants-- Rose to be his wife.
The story asks whether it can be too late for romance and a big life change. The characters from the three earlier Arizona historical romances have come together for Christmas. Change is in the air.
From the benefit of my own age, 71, I could bring to these characters my experiences of having once been a woman of 60 where I found it to be very different than I had expected. One of the advantages of writing at my age is how I can draw on all those earlier years to bring more depth to my characters through the benefits of personal experience.
As usual, i have created a trailer, which was fun to make. I had to throw out a few images, because trailers can't have too many or they feel rushed. The images that were edited away were as good as the ones I used, but they weren't needed to illustrate the energy of the story. They are above.
is available at Amazon for Kindle but will be in the other sites tomorrow probably. For the month of February, the novella will be 99¢.
It is the fourth Arizona historical. It was a bit unexpected when the idea came to me because I expected the fourth Arizona historical to be a novel. This novella though had a story that needed to be told. The next one will now be the fifth.
As soon as I get the first Oregon historical launched, probably in mid-March, I will start writing that fifth. I am looking forward to that book as it has a lot of things about it to excite me; but first must come promotions for Rose's Gift. Marketing... alas, guess I should write about that again. Not sure if I know anything more about it, but it is an issue if an author wants their books read by anybody but themselves.