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March 02, 2010

The "C" Word

note from Harley: For those who've come late to the party, Susan McBride was one of the founding members of the Lipstick Chronicles -- if not for her, I'd still be scratching my head, wondering what a blog was. She writes mysteries, women's fiction, and YA novels, can be found at www.susanmcbride.com, and is one of my favorite people in the world. Welcome back, Susan! 

The “C” Word

by Susan McBride

Susan's Pic  Jennifer, Madonna, Cher, Demi, Halle, Mariah, Eva, Courteney, Sharon:  the list of celebrity gals involved with younger guys seems endless.  Their sex lives make constant fodder for tabloid covers while no one bats an eye at geezer-saurus Hugh Hefner doing another “Girls Next Door” with a trio of barely-legal Bunnies. So much for coming a long way, baby. Even a decade into the 21st century, double standards persist, which is why I was tickled pink when asked to write a chick lit novel carried by three 45-year-old protagonists.  I could depict women growing older gracefully with humor and heart, fluff and substance, kind of like a really gooey S’more with organic chocolate.

I should confess upfront that I’m an accidental Cougar.  I never set out to bag a younger dude, I don’t drink martinis, and I’m not very fond of animal print (although I do have a very cute pair of peep-toe heels that are brown and black zebra!).  Ed and I were introduced when I was a St. Louis Magazine “top single” back in 2005, and he did the pursuing.  As long as he was over 30—and he was, just barely—I didn’t care.  He was smart, funny, cute, and, best of all, a good guy.  We fell in love, took the leap, and celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary last week.

Now back to my COUGAR tale:  Late in 2008, HarperCollins approached me about doing a novel dealing with Cougars.  They thought my own life made me perfectly suited to it, and I jumped at the chance.  After penning two series with much younger protagonists, I was more than ready to write about grown-up women.  Being forty-something, surviving breast cancer, and settling down made me ache to spend time with characters that were closer to my own age and experience.  With THE COUGAR CLUB, I got my wish.CougarClubSmall   

I envisioned Kat, Carla, and Elise right away:  three 45-year-old friends at mid-life crossroads who come back together in St. Louis, supporting each other through thick and thin.  When THE COUGAR CLUB begins, Kat’s a successful ad agency exec, Carla’s a beloved anchorwoman, and Elise is a dermatologist with a thriving practice.  Then Kat gets down-sized, Carla realizes her ex-hubby (aka, the station’s GM) is about to replace her with a newer model, and empty-nester Elise finds her plastic surgeon husband has lost interest.  None of the three is a typical Cougar, not as defined by UrbanDictionary anyway:  The cougar can be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path.

The ladies in THE COUGAR CLUB don’t much like the stereotype any more than Katie Couric who, in a recent Harper’s Bazaar spread, declared, “I just find it stupid. I think it also surmises that the older woman is always the pursuer. That's not necessarily true. I always say that maybe the older woman is the prey and someone else is the predator. It's just silly."  (If you don’t already know, Katie’s boy-toy is 17 years her junior.)

Personally, the C-word makes me chuckle.  It just another label stuck on women who don’t behave like June Cleaver.  None of my friends who are over forty and single because of divorce, widow-hood, or a relationship-killing career act like middle-aged nymphos wearing Oompa-Loompa tans, frozen faces, and boob-baring leopard print cat-suits.  Even my bona fide Cougar sister classes it up more than that. 

My hope was that Kat, Carla, and Elise would make readers forget the C-word entirely and feel better about growing older.  I saw them as positive role models, and telling their stories energized me. Call me Pollyanna, but it didn’t enter my mind that having “Cougar” on my cover would evoke such strange reactions. Until I got nicked by unfriendly fire in the form of a Tweet from the fiction editor of a major trade publication that I found while Googling for pre-pub reviews.  “Do I really have to assign a book called THE COUGAR CLUB?” she asked. 

Ouch!  Then the editor of a web site about mid-life emailed to say, “No review for you!”  She found my characters disrespectful to women-kind because they actually had sex!  I know, I know.  I should have locked them in an attic where they could wear yellowed wedding gowns and pick cobwebs from their hair for the rest of their lives. (Oy!)  Next, on the date of COUGAR’s release, up popped comments on the Post-Dispatch books blog that went something like this: How dare this woman denigrate her own sex by writing about Cougars!  What a filthy piece of trash!  This book belongs in the dump!  My husband had to restrain me from replying, “Maybe you should read the book before you smear it, beotches! If you can read, that is.”

I felt a little like I’d entered politics and suddenly had Ann Coulter on my ass.  I kept reminding myself that it was 2010 AD and not 2010 BC. So why does this double standard still exist?  Why can’t women be like men and follow our hearts and pursue our passions at any age without someone shaking a finger at us?  Even an AARP survey from 2003 (yes, I’m quoting from AARP!) noted that 34 percent of the 3,500 women over forty they polled were dating younger men.  If they did that survey today, I have a feeling it’d be 50 percent at least.  Besides women outlive men on average, right?  So it just makes sense.

Lest you think I’ve been pelted with tomatoes during COUGAR promo, rest assured that the positive feedback has outweighed the negative, like Target stores picking THE COUGAR CLUB as a Bookmarked Breakout Title, the Midwest Booksellers Association naming it a Midwest Connections Pick, and MORE Magazine sticking it on their list of “Books We’re Buzzing About.”  I’ve heard from twenty-something guys who say they’ll only date women over 40 (friends of yours, Margie?), and I’ve gotten tons of emails from women in great relationships with years-younger dudes.  They don’t care if society brands them as “Cougars” any more than I do, because they’re not living their lives for anyone but themselves. 

Thank you, Lipstick ladies, for inviting me back for a visit (with an extra hug to Harley who read COUGAR early and gave me a great blurb for the cover!). And thanks, too, TLC readers, for letting me rant. I feel better already!  

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Comments

That's what we're here for, Susan -- Ranters R Us!

That anyone could call one of your books a filthy piece of trash has got to be mentally ill. For God's sake, you wear pearls! You write thank you notes!

Nevertheless, I think you should emblazon the quote on T-shirts and hand them out at the Romantic Times Convention, because that's the kind of criticism that sells books.

Susan! COUGAR is now in my Kindle; I look forward to reading it on the plane to Left Coast Crime next week. Congrats on second anniversary. I've missed seeing you, girlfriend; glad all is going so well.

It's too bad that those nasty reviewers would judge a book by its cover, but romance has had that unhappy rap for years now too. You must get some fascinating fan mail. And the kudos much outweigh the negative comments, as I hope so do your sales figures. You'd be great on a talk show on this topic.

Bravo! I can’t wait to order your book. With a mother, wife, two daughters and three granddaughters this is a subject that should not be taboo. My protagonist is the “good girl” who did everything right yet, through no fault of her own, ended up fifty, divorced and alone. I am baffled and embarrassed to be a man when I run across a “Cougar” teeming with life and intellect but unattached. Are men friggin’ nuts?

At least the Gen X males are showing some sense. Younger men have started to recognize the smorgasbord of treasures which have been cast aside by Baby Boomers who have refused to grow up. Instead of appreciating what they have, they grab the Viagra and Rogaine and embarrass themselves by chasing women half their age. Earth to middle-aged men: Having sex with a 25 year old doesn’t make you 25 again.

I’ll take a lady in a size 12 with a brain and a sense of humor over an underage witless size three any day. I want someone to talk to, debate, tease and who will get my jokes. I want a woman who has shared my history, not read about it junior high.

You Go Girl!

Susan, I can't wait to pick up your book! Congrats on the Target Bookmark.--Does it get any better than that these days? The stamp of approval *and* quality.

But that Urban Dictionary definition? Somebody needs a wedgie for writing that one.

Thanks for coming back to guest for us!

Rod, you are a wise, wise man! The women in your family are very fortunate. :-)

Twist, I miss hanging out at mystery cons, too. If my new Random House editor has her way, I'll be writing a YA thriller soon and then I'll have a great excuse to come back again! Enjoy COUGAR on your Kindle. I think you're going to have fun with it!

Nancy C., it's definitely been an eye-opening experience, getting judged by my title before some people even read the book! Thanks for the support (as ever!).

Nancy M., congrats on your new book release! And thanks for letting me visit TLC with my COUGAR rant. I feel like I'm at a family reunion. ;-)

Harley, you're a genius! T-shirts at RT! Why didn't I think of that? I'll even wear mine with pearls! :-D

Thanks for a great blog, Susan. Glad to hear you are so healthy and happy - you've been in lots of prayers over the last couple of years.

Cougar Club sounds like a good one - I'll add it my list of orders at Mystery Lovers!

And now a small highjack for a good cause- Today is Nancy Martin's Publication Day for "Our Lady of Immaculate Deception" - run out to your favorite book store and pick up a few - or for an autographed copy, you can order it here: http://www.mysterylovers.com/index.php?target=products&product_id=53945

Susan is on TLC?
Did I accidently press the Way-Back Machine button to 2006?

All kidding aside,
Susan has tapped into a change of cultural perspective and Acceptance ~ Older women, yYounger men. It is a fascinating paradigm shift.

Last May, 92 year old Celeste Holm was honored by the Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Beside recreating Ado Annie from "Oklahoma," her husband, 40~something year old Frank Basile sang "Some Enchanted Evening" from "South Pacific."

While I was uncomfortable in my seat, my friend Rachel said to me, "You would not understand." Most men did not understand that night, but most females were crying that May 9th in Cinema Paradiso.

Twenty years ago I would hear second hand tales from the manicurist. Yes Elaine, Tommie still does Molly's nails. The manicurist and her sister would go "dear hunting." The goal was a dear boy at least ten years younger then they were.

People really need to stop looking at life through reality TV. On TV Cougars wear spandex and push-ups. On TV Bart Simpon gets away with stuff. There are real women who are single again and are looking for company. Go for it.

I see trophy wives every week delivering pizza in West County. No one bats an eye that some guy has a son 28 and a wife 32. There in lies one of the advantages to a younger guy of an older woman. She is not looking to make babies. You may even have sat next to her baby in class.

BTW we had a regular customer who liked pizza by the pool. Mom at 40 was considerably hotter than her college age daughter.

Cue the music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V_rXTp1yBU

I have read Cougar and can tell you that it is fantastic! It was my nightly go-to book as I sat with a glass of wine while dinner was cooking, waiting for my younger husband to come home. :-) (Chronologically, he's not that much younger, but he looks about 10 years younger. Does that make me a cougar, Susan? I'm wearing leopard print as I write this.) All the best with the book, Susan. Everyone: buy it. It's great.

I guess I'm a mini-cougar. Dear Hubby is only 21 days younger than me, lol.

I really, REALLY hate that term. It implies that all women over a certain age are predatory. The fact is most women are just too busy to go looking, um in that way.

Sounds like a fun book and will hit my "Books to Buy" spreadsheet!

Susan, it's great to see you back here! and I'm looking forward to reading this -- I love stories of women who have lived and go on to live better! May there be many more.

Pam, what a good idea, a spreadsheet! Otherwise, there's no controlling the TBR list/mountain, and now I have yet another title/author to add to it.

Susan, best of luck with the new book. This is not a new phenomenon, though. My sister is eight years older than her husband, and they will soon celebrate their 30th anniversary. I don't know of any couple happier than they are, either, even now that her health is not good. He's devoted to her, and takes such good care of her.

Isn't Janet Jackson's husband also younger than she, by a lot? And as short as she is, he's even shorter. There must be something going on.

Louise Ure has a similar blog today on Murderati, about a reader's rant to her about her strong female character. It's chilling to read, but offers some insight as to the kind of person who might object. In other words, some Neanderthal guy who is not as enlightened as my husband and our friend Rod, both of whom stepped up when they realized early on they were going to be surrounded by strong chicks for the rest of their lives. ;-)

I am also "younger" than my wife -- by all of 10 months. However, she was born in 1949 with me in 1950. When I jokingly pointed out to friends she was so much older than me that we were even born in different decades...Her Highness was not amused. A few weeks later when asked by the same friend if I had been forgiven yet, all I could say was, “Can you die from a headache?”

All part of the learning process, Rod.

LMAO!!

Susan ~ it is great to see you back!!! And this book is getting added to my spreadsheet as well, since I was planning on a bookstore visit tonight.

And what is it with people, and judging books by the cover??? Didn't we have this discussion? And they missed it, didn't they. Or they flat-out ignored their parents about it as they were growing up!!!

Rod ~ if only there were more of you out there!!!

Thanks for the good wishes, Kathy (and for the past prayers). I am doing well, and I aim to stay that way!

Hey, Cinema Dave! So seeing my face made you feel a little trippy, eh? Aw, love the story about Celeste and her way younger hubby! I probably would've cried, too.

Alan, I should've put you in the book! One of THE COUGAR CLUB ladies, Elise, lives in West County! And you're right about that stereotype. It's mostly media-driven and no wonder it scares people!

Maggie, you know you'll always be a Cougar to me! :-)

Pam, have fun with THE COUGAR CLUB. Like Maggie said, it goes well with a glass of wine. ;-)

Holly, thanks, sweetie! It's fun being back for a day and seeing some familiar faces! (Well, you know what I mean!)

Karen, you're so right that this isn't a new phenomenon. It's just one that keeps growing for lots of reasons. I love that your sister and her younger hubby celebrated their 30th anniversary! I've been hearing from other women just like her, and it warms my heart. :-)

Rod, you crack me up! I have a feeling your wife has never had a boring day so long as you've been together!

Debby, it's nice to be here! I have no idea why some people jump to conclusions just by seeing a cover or a word in the title. I have a feeling they're the same folks who state their opinions (loudly and often) before they even understand an issue. I'm just sayin'! ;-)

So good to see you here, Susan!!
First, please do make pearls with t-shirts the new fashion trend. I was coveting a beautiful strand, and then thought about the fact that I mostly wear t-shirts. When even the saleswoman said that wouldn't work, I backed away from that impulse purchase. . .
Now, the book! You filled the room with enthusiastic fans at the St. Louis County Library HQ! I heard that the McClay Library event was terrific also (I was telling stories at Java G's that night, or I would have been there). . . _Cougar Club_ is life- and friendship-affirming, and I could not put down my copy! Warning to all: don't start reading if you have anything else you need to do, because you won't be doing it . . . ;-)
As for the backlash from the non-readers about the term "cougar," a friend pointed out that there is no equivalent term for men. For them it's just "dating," business as usual . . . and most importantly, their OWN Business! . . . as it should be for women as well, to find and cherish love wherever it is. Another friend pointed out to me several years ago that for women my age (61), far too many of our men were lost in Vietnam (and here my brother tried to tell me we were just too picky).
Nancy, I just ordered your book at Mystery Lovers (very easy web site to work with) because Kathy told me to, and yes, if Kathy told me to, I would probably jump off a bridge . . .

Susan - I'll admit...I don't like the title. Cougar has a bad tag, producing a stereotypical response.

However, I love the story idea. It is my exactly the type of book I'd love to read and WILL put it on my buy list.

Nice to see you back here.

This just struck me -- the conversation here has been about the quality of the relationship, the caring between two people in love, and the age is incidental. OTOH, I just saw a friend who now lives in Wildwood, made over so I hardly recognized her, who asked, "Do you think I can hold a man of 35?" I didn't even know how to answer that.
Smart men have changed attitudes on so many things. In the '70's people were concerned about the "blow to the masculine ego" if a woman earned more than her husband. Now it's common. Several years back, a teacher friend remarked that his wife, employed in the corporate world, earned more. He was surprised that it ever would have been an issue, and then surveyed his students (high school). There question was, "Is it her money or family money?" and unanimously agreed that more money in the family budget, from either source, was a good thing. On another occasion, my Shakespeare students looked up the definition of feminist and agreed they all were feminists. There are good changes in this world of ours . . .

Susan, I think the "C" word should stand for "Connection".
Okay, here is how I feel. The word Cougar elicits a predatory meaning or sense of lack of real caring. However, this is certainly not always the case.
When people meet and there is a basic sense of interest and mutual interests age does not always play a big factor. Sometimes two people have a spark and it is up to them to pursue it or not.
The term Sex kitten has been around for ages and to me it connotates someone who manipulates men in a sort of unnatural manner.
I have seen successful unions with age differences and if children are involved it always makes sense to find nurturing relationships.
Good luck on your book..it sounds like a lot of fun!
And I am eagerly waiting to receive Nancy's new novel.

The culture in the US is such that an older woman/younger man is thought of as unusual, but that's not the case elsewhere. France, for instance, has a long tradition of younger men revering older women. Think Tina Turner, by golly. Viva la France, I say.

A friend moved to Paris about 15 years ago. She says she moved there for the lingerie, but stayed for the men. I LOVE this line!

Speaking of the French, they have a saying: If a woman isn't beautiful by the time she is twenty, it is heaven's fault. If she isn't beautiful by the time she is forty, it is her fault. I think that in this case, beauty includes the wisdom and years of living that create character. Best of luck with your book, Susan. The Target promo is awesome.

I was a cougar once, I was dating a guy who was two years younger. I remember saying to myself at that time: "You're getting old, my dear, you started going out with men younger than you. Just a couple of years ago it couldn't have happenned".
Oh, yes, I was 20.

Mary, you have been a great cheerleader during this past month, and I appreciate it! I should note that Mary came to my defense when those nasty comments showed up on the Post-Dispatch book blog by adding to the nice comments (and, thank God, there were some). Yay for Girl Power!

Arkansas Cyndi, it's good to see you again, too! And I hope you read and enjoy TCC, despite the "C" word. ;-)

Marie, oh, yes, I think "connection" is the perfect C-word when talking about relationships, like the ones in the book. And it is all about connecting, finding someone you click with who supports you through thick and thin. I felt that with my husband very quickly after we met, and the nine year difference between us seemed irrelevant. My dad is six years older than my mom, and my brother's at least seven years older than his wife. No one even blinks about that.

Karen, I love the French! And I love your friend's line (can I steal it?). ;-D

Hi, Ellen, and thank you! May I mention that I love the French again???

Too cute, Paulina!!! :-)

I still haven't read my copy but at least I got it signed! Sorry you have had such negative comments, sounds like maybe people just can't play nice.

Hi Susan! Congratulations on your wild success...it's really fun to watch.
And you might be the perfect example of "just spell my name right." (Or--"just spell my books name right.")

And it's getting peoplw to talk! And figure yout what's really important--like finding someone you love and who loves you no matter what age they are.

Hurray! (And I love animal prints. Except when they are muddy and on my kitchen table top.)

This reminds me of when I was a bridesmaid in my best friends wedding. It was shortly after my boob-reduction (like two weeks), and I was actually feeling pretty darn good.

Keep in mind that this was my 30th birthday present to myself.

And then laugh when I tell you that the parents of one of the groomsmen actually pulled me aside during the reception to mention that they liked me (only single girl in the lot of maids) and would I like to date their son (who was VERY cute). I, of course, said certainly...but, could we wait until he had graduated college (he was 20), so that the age difference wouldn't feel so pronounced to me? LOL!!! So sweet, they thought that I was younger than him!

The longer you stay married, the smaller the age difference becomes.

Debby -- too cute! I once told a fresh student who had asked if I "would like to date a younger man," "J***, sweetie, you just don't get it. Your FATHER is a younger man." It turns out his dad was six months younger than I, but J*** didn't need to know that -- we talked often, including on J's 18th birthday when he told me he was too old at 18 to have a teacher calling his father.

Hank, I posted some Peeps links for you yesterday, very late . . .

Blonde Bond's birthday is today - he was born in 1968 and is 9 years younger than me. I would date him anytime but I think the line-up starts behind Harley!

Looks like I will be book shopping next week!

Oh, my gosh. Blond Bond was born the year before I graduated from high school. Not that he would look twice at me, but that would be a serious cradle robbing offense.

My paternal grandfather was 18 years older than my grandmother. Can you imagine? He was an adult by the time she was born. She was the bossiest, nosiest, and crabbiest thing ever, too. Never did see what the attraction was.

Okay, you all are too much fun!!! Every comment is making me grin big-time. :-D

Kris, you are so sweet. Thank goodness, there have been lots of uplifting things happening with TCC, too, so I'm trying not to dwell on the poopy stuff too much. Hope you and your mom both get a kick out of the book!

Hey, Hank! I like focusing on the "just spell my book title" right thing! You might have something there! ;-) (Loved your piece about Peeps, Easter candy, and Leap Day, btw, especially the undercover pics!)

Debby, wow! That's a novel right there, girl!

Mary, so true about the age difference getting less over time. I think one of these days, Ed's and my ages will cross, and I'll eventually be the younger one!

Gaylin, okay, Blond Bond...yum ('nuff said!). Oh, I hope my hubby doesn't see this! :)

Karen, re. Blond Bond, I think you should go for it!!! Unless Harley pulls some krav maga move or something to stop you. Hmm, that could be dangerous.

As a guy who has known a few cougars (back when I was young cougar-bait), I can tell you that the double standard will end when enough women such as yourself do what you're doing, marry your younger guy, write about cougars, and generally make the whole thing look like what it is: harmless and not a threat to Western Civilization. This is how all double standards meet their demise, just by the presence of a constant drumbeat against it.

Remember--and it was not too long ago--when the word "cougar" referred to a wild animal and not a human? Back then, such a relationship was far more universally frowned upon than it is today. Just the introduction of the word itself brought down some of the prejudice.

Keep it up, Susan. One day, you'll get your wish.

I am not fond of the current use of the word cougar. However I do not judge a book by it's cover and the book sounds wonderful. I have added it to my buy it list. My hubby of 28 years is 4 years younger than me. He chased me and I was happy to let him catch me. His 4 younger sisters were not happy that he married an older woman. Three of them have since married men more than 4 years older than them. They had no problem with that. Go Figure. ..... Mo

Susan, it's wonderful that you're in good health and in a happy marriage. Welcome back to TLC. I love the cover of your new book, especially the pink cougar on the all black purse. It looks like a fun read and is now on my to-buy list.

When I was in my teens and early 20's, I wouldn't date anyone younger than I was. I always preferred men two to four years older. I don't know why I picked that particular age span, but it was important at the time. I ended up marrying a wonderful man four years older.

However, if I were single, I'd have no problem at all dating a younger man now. I guess my sister is a good role model. She's happily married to a man 14 years her junior. And other relatives and friends of mine are dating or have become hitched to younger men. So why not follow the trend?

*****

@ Alan P - I misread this line:
"I see trophy wives every week delivering pizza in West County."

I thought you were saying that the trophy wives were delivering pizza. Now that would be an interesting sight! LOL

Susan, when she was very little, my sweet niece really did believe in the concept of ages crossing. She promised to take care of me and let me wear her cute little clothes "when I get big and you get little." Then one day, she figured out it wasn't going to happen quite that way. . . However, if not literally, then figuratively, I'm determined to stay a child and have as much fun as I can . . and you are a great role model for that!


I loved your post Susan even though it's causing me to put yet another book on the TBR list. I'd been racking my brain to say something important about the subject and then I saw Mike's post which says it far better.

I sympathize with all those who've been unfairly castigated for relationships because of unimportant reasons such as age difference. It makes me feel both indignant and sad that this can still be an issue.

I wonder if I may have experienced the phenomenon. At the mall recently there were two incidents where I was hit on by women who might well be in their 80's and I'm 60. I'm flattered of course. My wife has a very strict no-dating policy concerning me, however, and I have to tell them that.

Susan, forgive me for repeating your words here, but they are so great. For any middle-aged nymphos on the prowl out there wearing Oompa-Loompa tans, frozen faces, and boob-baring leopard print cat-suits, I say more power to you!

Wow, Mike, I love how you think! Very well said. And I do hope you're right. :-)

Mo, I'm glad to know you didn't let that stupid double standard stop you from marrying the man you love (in spite of his sisters!). And it's great that you won't let a thing like "Cougar" in a book title stop you from reading it!

Becky, thanks for nice welcome back. I've had a lot of fun spending today with everyone here. Sounds like all the women in your family are doing well in the love department! Honestly, when you find the right person, you know it, and that's what matters most.

Mary, that is cute! (And talking about age crossing makes me think of Benjamin Button!)

Al, good for your wife for instigating a "no dating" policy for you! I'll bet those women were disappointed though. ;-) You've demonstrated yet again that humor is the best way to conquer pretty much anything, and I'm so glad that you chimed in!

Long may you roar, Susan! The book looks like a lot of fun! And you look great, too.
Will there be a sequal?

Thanks, Melissa! :-) I don't know if there will be another. I just wrote it as a single title, but I've been asked that more than once lately (because the ending of the book is kind of surprising!). So we'll see. It's not on my immediate radar but anything's possible in this business!

Late to the party again here, but just wanted to chime in: my sister has been happily married to a man nine years younger for nearly 25 years--they've stood by each other through a little thick and a lot of thin, and they just keep taking better and better care of each other. If that's what being a 'cougar' is, then let's start teaching youngsters all about it.

Amen to that, Laraine! :-)

So last night, while I was making the staff at the local bookstore scurry to and fro trying to find books that were missing, I picked up Susan's book.

It makes me wonder what boyfriend #2's reaction would be if he saw my book collection (a la Mount To-Be-Read)...the already read's are packed away, out of sight. LOL!!!

Yay, Debby! I hope you love it! And having a huge TBR pile is the mark of a well-fed brain. How can anyone argue with that? ;-)

Absolutely Marvelous-- Can't Wait to Read it.

I love this-- and the comments. Congratulations on a novel well done. Best of Luck.

Thank you, Carolyn and Queen Annabella!

I cannot wait for the book! I am in the Over-50 Cougar Club, and love the looks on the other, younger faces! I think your experience proves that "if it is controversial, it will be successful!"

Deb, enjoy THE COUGAR CLUB! (I have a feeling you will!) :-)

I will have to pick this book up (love the cover, by the way) -- though I confess I just HATE the Cougar term. It seems so ruthlessly predatory and, frankly, to me, seems like a male term to demean women. BUt I like the humor of this blog entry, and figure that sense of humor must be part of the book! So on the "to read" list it goes. Chicklit power (www.chicklitpower.com) is a website I pop in on, because that writer, too, has a sense of humor about herself, her life and her past, which includes (as so many lives to!) divorce, dating and single parenting and soul-searching. The author (Evinda Lepins) has abuse in her past, too, which is a difference, I concede. Because of her own background she has a lot of compassion for other women who carry, as she calls it, 'junk in their trunk," which has given her a lot of passion to help women reach a much better destination -- she does it through "Fiction for the Mind, Body & Soul."

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