The Autumn of Life

by Maureen O.  Betita

I love the fall. My absolute favorite time of the year. The change of the seasons, the strange hush the afternoon takes on as the sun nears the horizon, the silver sheen the waters of Monterey Bay carry, and most of all, the way my yard opens up to reveal what was hidden all summer.

Let me explain. I live in a town that literally translates to ‘the jungle beach.’ No, not a tropical jungle, but a California coast jungle of poison oak, ivy, vinca and berries with thorns that make summer gardening a true nightmare. There isn’t a real ‘no growth’ time of the year here. Just a slow down and shedding time of the year. My house sits on the down slope of a narrow valley that is full of oaks, eucalyptus, coffee berry and the assorted vines I mentioned above. Plus camellia, fuchsias, and the assorted remnants gone wild of whatever the tenants before us planted.

Come spring and summer, I am closed in with growth. But now, this time of the year…the poison oak has done its brilliant red dance and is going dormant. The berry is drying up, the oaks drop a bazillion leaves, the coffee berry goes bare. And suddenly, the slopes of the hillsides are revealed. I can see the burrows of the wood rats, the paths the deer have been taking all summer…more light makes it through to actually touch my windowpanes.

It’s nice!

Autumn is a revelation. Everything is slowing down and I can appreciate what is going on around me. Which leads me to the book I’ve written, The Kraken’s Mirror. My hero is 65. My heroine is 53. They are in the autumn of their lives but are by no means ready for rocking chairs or snuggies. The have the keener eyesight their age has brought them and the ability to focus beyond the immediate. Though after falling through a magical mirror to a pirate paradise where the swashbuckling heroes wear ipods and matchmaking kraken meddle in human affairs, Emily takes some convincing that she isn’t simply insane.

I loved writing a story featuring a couple our society views as past the season of romance. But one never knows when romance is around the corner. My Mother-in-Law is in her 80s and happily engaged to a man she met ten years ago on the internet.

Keep your eyes open, the autumn season is full of the unexpected.

The Kraken’s Mirror, coming soon from Decadent Publishing.
Blurb –

Treated by our youth oriented society as invisible and sexless Emily Pawes attends a pirate festival to recapture the make believe magic she knew as a younger woman. She wins an interesting bit of booty at an old woman's bric-a-brac stand. The Kraken's mirror is a magical portal and transports her to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, she embraces the madness, deciding she’ll play pirate until she figures out how to get home. Or wakes up in a padded cell.

Instead of men in little white coats, she encounters the handsome Captain Alan Silvestri. He is a man haunted by a strange curse. Good luck is his to command, but it comes at the cost of any place to call home or people to call family. Resigned to die shunned by all, forced to sail every three days, he begins to dream of a special woman.

When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. They set sail, uncertain of who has control of the wheel, seeking to defeat his curse of good luck and discover all the Kraken’s mirror plans for them.
Celebrate the season, celebrate romance. One lucky commenter will win some bright bit of pirate swag, courtesy of me and my creative fingers. And chocolate. Always a tempting bit of treasure…

Maureen O. Betita (blogging as 2nd Chance every Friday) (every Tuesday)
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+ comments + 12 comments

October 28, 2010 at 4:58 AM

Mau, I really dislike these comment boxes, they keep eating my words like the kraken! Argh!

I said ... I want some treasure (KH treasure!) and I can't wait to have a signed copy of your book so I can squeal. :):):)

October 28, 2010 at 8:16 AM

So excited for you, Chanceroo!

October 28, 2010 at 8:25 AM

I love this description of the season and what it's like in your neck of the woods. Fall doesn't seem to want to show up over here (mid Atlantic) as we've been pushing 90 degrees all week.

Can't wait to add this book to my eReader and my signed printed version to my bookshelves. :)

October 28, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Plus I get to use my favorite word..autumnal

October 28, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Maureen I love that you have your pic there. I just want to say that I am the editor for Maureen's Kraken's Mirror and wait for it will NOT find steamier love scenes anywhere!

October 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM

WEll, mid age love and steamy huh? Maybe being 64 isn't so bad after all.

Love and blessings

October 28, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Barb - I know... I stuggle with blogger, too. Perhaps it's a distance relative of the kraken!

Sinsister - So good to see you pop out of the crowsnest! It's pretty exciting!

Terri - Still 90! Sheesh! I can't imagine kids worrying about heat stroke in Halloween costumes. I just...can't!

Deanna - I love that word, too! Pinkie sisters!


Redameter - You bet, steamy doesn't end at whatever random age society decides. Only when we decide! Thanks for commenting!

October 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM

I like the premise of this story more because of the heroine's age. Don't those of us in the 50 age group deserve a love life? And I'm sorry, I can't imagine wanting a toy boy, so cougar stories aren't my thing. I prefer a guy in my general age range anytime! I rarely make my heroines under 30 anyway, just can't identify with them enough to write them I don't think.

October 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM

I love the idea of ipod wearing swashbucklers! What a fun way to meld two decades together. Can't wait to read more.

October 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Kate, that was one of my major pushes to write Emily and Alan as contemporaries. I just am not one who finds the cougar stuff appealing. I did enjoy making him so unaware of his age as a roadblock, where for her it was huge!

Having him help her see beyond that was delightful!

Sondrae - I am one for ignoring rules and lets face it, we all want a soundtrack...even swashbucklers!

October 28, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Great essay Maureen!

It did make me smile that you think of autumn as the time of slowing down. I'm a teacher. Autumn is the time of racing to learn 100 new names, to learn 100 new sets of quirks, to open 100 new minds. For me *summer* is the slow-down time. So, can't help but grin when you describe it.

October 28, 2010 at 7:42 PM

About time someone wrote a romance with older protagonists! Great stuff!

Love the title, Maureen.

RG Hart

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