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May-December Romance 5

Me: How are things with your boy toy?

Her: *glowingly happy* Really good.

I’d heard through the office mill that my co-worker was dating someone younger than her but I wouldn’t have teased if I realized she was already getting heat, supportive and typical but still heat. Turns out she is more than ten years older than her new boyfriend. Once I turned my misguided josh into genuine questions on her happiness, she told me about meeting the parents and how well her twenty-one year old daughter was handling it.

This made me think about May-December relationships in movies and books. May-December are relationships with a significant age difference. How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 movie where a forty-something stock broker falls in love with a young twenty-something. In Suzanne Brockmann’s The Admiral’s Bride the hero saved the heroine’s father during the Vietnam war. They had an over twenty year gap as well.


Ronald Tobias talks about May-December romances in 20 Master Plots and breaks down the movie Harold and Maude. Harold is sixty years younger than his love interest Maude. Tobias describes this almost forbidden love as built slowly out of commonalities and respect. Yet in most of these stories the couple, because of the age gap, has little but physical chemistry in common. They work to get past that awkward meeting of friends or disliking each other’s musical tastes.

In my novella Marriage Most Convenient there is a secondary plot that features a May-December relationship. Bob and Ashley have been married for awhile and are happily expecting their first child. Ashley helps Tom, the story’s hero, remember that love can keep us together despite all our differences.

I told my husband about my foot in mouth incident and the concept of May-December romances having ‘unique challenges.’

Him: Every relationship has those moments.

Me: *agreeing with him* WE don’t even like the same kinds of music. (We are only 9 months apart in age)

Him: Are you saying you only want me for my body?

Yet that isn’t why my co-worker is dating this younger man, for his body. And not because he makes her feel younger or because he needs someone to take care of him. They’re building a solid relationship with friendship and respect and attraction. We don’t have to ‘get it’ as long as it makes sense to them.


Me: Your body definitely ranks pretty high on my happily-married-for-19-years list.

Him: *shakes head* That doesn’t make up for your dislike of Evanescence. 

Do you know anyone in a May-December relationship? Or have a favorite version of the story in book or movie form?

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What do Marilyn Monroe and Fall Colors have in Common? 7


Yes, this is the USA sculpture from Palm Springs that has come on a holiday/vacation ‘Downunder’ for six months. It’s the first time it’s ever left USA soil.

On Friday, I played hookie from writing my current novel.  Some girlfriends and I took a 400km/248 miles road trip from our rural city to another rural city to see a fabulous exhibition centred around the public and private clothing of Marilyn Monroe.  I’m not  a fan per se  but I LOVE exhibitions that give me an insight into people . Oh and I love looking at clothes 🙂

However, I came away with a much better sense of a woman I had never really given much thought to as she died when I was born.

The Bendigo Art Gallery has also been given permission by Twentieth Century Fox to use film footage so between the clips, still photography, the clothes and some personal items you came away with an impression of a very savvy woman behind the vapid blonde persona.


Sadly, she was just coming into her own having fought for roles that stretched her acting ability and owning her own production company; she was the first woman in Hollywood to do so, when she died.

IMG_2171I had no idea she’d had such a rugged early childhood in and out of orphanges or that she’d been ‘discovered’ by a photographer during WW2. I remember my mother sitting me down as a kid on holidays  watching How To Marry A Millionaire  and Gentleman Prefer Blondes on the midday movie slot so I loved seeing some of the clothes from the films. Her personal wardrobe was incredibly understated although she did have some beautiful pieces and occassionally they sneaked into films. The white dress above, made so famous in Some Like It Hot was actually her own dress purchased from Jax in NYC. She loved it so much she bought it in 4 colors 🙂

I have never seen the The Prince and the Showgirl but it seems like it’s straight out of a Harlequin Romance 🙂 Some things don’t change except that I think the showgirl deserved a more handsome prince than an aging Olivier.

To get to Bendigo, we drive inland from the coast and over a range. We climed, the temperature dropped and we were surrounded by gloriously tall and stately gum trees. As we came through small towns, the native vegetation gave way to gardens and in the cooler climate we were treated to glorious autumn/fall colors.IMG_2175 DSCF3717


Do you have any Marilyn stories? Road trip stories? Spring flower stories? I’d love to hear them.

For my latest book news, head over to my website. I’ve written 28 romance novels so there’s a plenty to choose from 🙂

Happy Reading!

Fiona x

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Getting Inspired By Nature 3

The last month or so I’ve been going through some difficult changes in my life. One thing that has always kept me grounded in the worst of situations has been nature.

I’ve always wanted to hike to the top of Bald River Falls, located just off of the Cherohala Skyway in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. I’ve driven up there many times and looked at the falls from the bridge, but I’ve never actually gotten out on the trail and experienced them first hand. Now that I’m looking at being single, there was no one to stop me so why not?

The Bald River Falls trail is a total of five miles in, and it’s not a loop. I’ve gone on two hikes and have only walked about three miles in so far – it’s easy to get distracted with all the beauty there.


Here’s a view from the top of the falls.


I actually found myself a writing rock. I can climb up on it and write in the middle of the stream.

Here I was working on The Searching Place, the new romance I hope to have finished this year.

This is what it’s like while you’re sitting on the rock writing. I took this directly from my writing perch!

This is a year of new beginnings. I’m hoping to discover the end of this trail at some point, but I’m going to enjoy the journey even if I don’t – there’s a lot to see!

What is your favorite in nature that inspires you?




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