Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A little holiday cheer!

Gotta love those minions!

Happy Holidays! In the spirit of GIVING, and to celebrate the New Year I'd like to invite everyone to share their best ‘Mental Pause’ moment here and then send me your email address to... anne@globalwritingsolutions.com and I'll send you a FREE signed PDF of Mental Pause! Or, why not gift it to someone else who’s going through ‘the change’? Just send me their email instead and I'll let them know it's a gift from you! Hard copies are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and ebooks are available on Kindle and Kobo.

Monday, 16 September 2013

I Have Arrived!

Well, it's been a year this month since my 'Aunt Flow came to town. You know... since I had to call in a 'code red'. I mean since I was visited by 'the curse'... I mean the 'crimson tide', um, the 'M' word... errm, my 'monthly visitor'. There are so many euphemisms for menstruating no wonder people get squirmy when you talk about it. Did you ever call in sick to a male boss with 'menstrual cramps'? Works like a charm. No questions asked!
Cartoon comes from Dee Adams at www.minniepauz.com

Anyway, back to the point of the story... I guess, at the tender age of 49, I'm officially in Menopause! No more peri-menopause, no more 'I'm experiencing 'the change'... the eagle has landed (if the definitions I have read are accurate).

I don't know whether to laugh or cry (so I guess the emotional jags will continue). I know it's not over yet but the nights sweats seem to have abated and the mood swings have evened out (I tell myself that anyway).  I hear that they can rear up again any time so I'll brace myself. The memory thing (what do they call it?) still seems to be a challenge but I'm finally going to throw out that little blue box in the bathroom cupboard that I've been saving 'just in case'.

I keep telling myself I'm too young for this but then again my mind hasn't caught up to my chronological age yet. I still see myself in my mid-thirties :) I did start peri-menopause early (43) and when I went to the doctor to have my hormones tested she said everything was normal so it hadn't started yet. I asked if she could explain my raging mood swings (I was having horrible night sweats too but for a long time I just chalked it up to living in the Middle East where the temperatures can hit 50 celsius). She suggested I was experiencing the typical stress of expat living and suggested I 'talk to someone' or consider an anti-depressant. I decided to 'talk' to my girlfriends over a glass of wine! I highly recommend that as a treatment when things get to be too much. I also wrote Mental Pause, which was very cathartic for me but not everyone has the time nor the inclination to do that.

I'm continuing by writing this blog so I hope you'll join me for a rant now and again and we'll all commiserate and realize that it's not so bad after all (until the next wave hits)!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Hot Flashes - A Movie!

Woo hoo! The cat's out of the bag and us 'flashers' are going to the movies ;) I've been told Mental Pause would make a great movie... now I just need someone to turn it into a screen play!

I'm definitely going to see this one:

Who do you think should play Abbie, Rachel and Joan? I had Julia Roberts, Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie in mind!

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Positive Side of Mental Pause

 Have you ever felt all of these at once?

The great thing about feeling these new sensations is that I can get into so many different character's heads when I'm writing and describe thoughts and feelings I could only imagine before :)

If you're a writer, it's a windfall! If not, well... I'm not sure there's a bright side then. What do you think?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Boomer Lit Friday!

Welcome to the Boomer Lit Blog Hop. This is my first time joining up and I'm happy to be participating.  It's already Friday morning where I am so I'm getting a 'jump' on it.

Here's a 'quick peek' into my novel, Mental Pause (from chapter 11):

“Abbie, you’re wanted on suspicion of murder back home,” Conrad caught her just as her knees gave out, and eased her onto the step and sat down next to her. “Your friend was found dead in a motel bathroom yesterday morning and you were the one who was last seen with her.”
            “Oh my God!” Abbie leaned over the side of the step and retched. “Oh God... How did it happen? I swear I didn’t do anything,” she sobbed.
Conrad rubbed her back. “I believe you baby but they’re going to have to bring you in. Don’t say anything until I get you a lawyer. Abs, you’re in huge trouble. You’ve crossed state lines. This is going to get ugly. Promise me you didn’t have anything to do with this.”

 ... there are more excerpts in previous posts and if you're hooked you can pick up a copy on Amazon! Don't forget to visit the other authors participating in Boomer Lit Friday :)

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Mood Swings

"I'm out of estrogen and I have a handgun... any questions?" This is on the front of a t-shirt my big sister gave me when I started 'flashing'. It appears in the first chapter of Mental Pause and I read that particular excerpt at a recent author reading in my hometown of Halifax, NS. It got a great laugh:

I guess we all feel that way occasionally (at least those who are in the throes of menopause, peri-menopause, or what's euphemistically called the 'change of life'). My sister-in-law said to me the other day that she wished there was an official slap day! Then we could get it all out and return to our normal, sweet selves the next day. Hmmmm.

How are you handling the swings? I wrote a book! No matter how crazy I was feeling, Abbie was always having a much harder time. I highly recommend writing... it doesn't have to be a book and you don't have to share it with anyone if you don't want to. It's just a great release that doesn't hurt anyone (especially you) and you'll feel so much better. I'm working on my next novel because the first one felt so good! And, I will keep sharing a rant or two here on Mental Pause!

Here's the actual t-shirt:

I have been told that reading the book is even a release, so feel free to order a copy and share your feedback and comments here or, if I may be so bold as to ask, do a review on Amazon!  And, don't be afraid to talk about it... especially with the male members of your family. They'll never really understand but if you try to explain how it feels at least they can be empathetic. I guess part of the fear is that if we talk about it, we have to acknowledge that we're of a certain age. Well, as my wise mother (fondly known as MT) always says, "You're not too old for the years you've been born!" By the way, she's 89, soon to be 90, so I can't really complain to her about getting older, can I? However, I'm very fortunate that she's a great listener... and my best friend :)

Happy Flashing!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Nerves or Hot Flashes?

Honestly, I really thought that since I started having peri-menopausal symptoms so early that it would end early too! A couple weeks ago I noticed that the night sweats and hot flashes seemed to have petered out a bit. I thought Hallelujah...  it's over! Well, the last couple of days they seem to have returned with a vengeance! As a matter of fact, they seem to be happening on the hour today. Then it dawned on me... maybe it's just nerves.

See... I have my first author reading/book signing tonight and the butterflies have begun. I guess the little fellas were cold because the hot simmer under the skin is joining the party. Oh well, I'll have lots of copies of the book to fan myself with (hopefully a lot fewer at the end of the evening).

If you're in Halifax, NS and want to 'come go mental with me' tonight (July 2nd) I'll be at the Keshen Goodman Library (in Clayton Park) at 7 pm.

Tomorrow night (July 3) I'll be at Stayner's Wharf from 4-6 pm signing books and raffling off goodies as well.  Everyone's invited.

Here's a little tune to entertain you whether you're coming or not. I've decided it's my Mental Pause theme song ... love Boy George!:

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Amazon Reviewer Compares Mental Pause with Thelma and Louise!

Okay... I have to share this review because it got me grinning from ear to ear! I'm pink with delight!
Anne ;)
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and furious! March 15, 2013


First of all, it elaborates on a very real and misunderstood medical condition that is more often the brunt of jokes rather than sympathy. Menopause is a life-altering change to the human body and this book combines that aspect with how it affects the soul of the body. In this book, Abbie will take you through this change and more!

With a Thelma and Louise type of abandon (minus the abuse), the character is confused at whether she is being redefined or being smothered under the change. I can only hope to have the support she has because without it, this change in life can/will change a person's life itself forever. You can/will lose friends and family and even lose your sanity. So, it makes perfect sense that the book developed from a girl read to a murder mystery. Entertaining as high-speed all the time, this is a one-two sitter. That means you'll read it in one-two sittings.

It's educational to those whom have yet to experience menopause and it should be given to your husband so that he can understand that the craziness is to be expected.

The author does an incredibly detailed job of explaining and describing symptoms and emotions. While reading this, you will also experience this. Fact. You can't help it. The author plants things into your mind so that the depth of the symptoms are at least attainable. A glimpse of the unknown and a touch of the hem of the garment of the robe.

With Thelma and Louise I was able to connect deeply deeply deeply with the characters and unbelievably I did so with the same depth in this book with Abbie. The author writes very well and any formatting errors were few and far between. I did not find this distracting because I expect that with ANY book from anyone even J.R. Tolkien I mean come on we are all only human.

At times a bit gritty but not dark at all. It's not what I would call a light read, but a fast read. It wasn't light, but I still read it fast because it was intense and I HAD to know where the author was taking me. It's really that simple, she writes a story like a pirate makes a treasure hunt; the treasure is elusive but the clues are excitedly honing you in and you will work feverishly to get there. Try to read it any other way lol.

I don't even know how to place this in a genre so I'm having to split it as a Crime Drama/Family/Mystery/Chic...it's a weird combo but it works.

Friday, 31 May 2013

2013 IPPY Awards

Just taking a brief pause between stops in our travels to share some photos from the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards in NY, where I received a bronze medal for Mental Pause (Best Adult Fiction eBook category). It was a blast!

In the spotlight!

Meeting other medalists was the best! Here are co-authors of You Can't Eat Dirt, Vyola J. Ortner, Diana C. du Pont

Dick Wagner, Silver Medalist-autobiography/memoir for Not Only Women Bleed. This guy collaborated with Alice Cooper on the song Only Women Bleed and performed it at the awards. Cool!

Joining the other medalists in my category.

Friday, 17 May 2013

What do I know?

The excitement mounts as I prepare for my next stop on the virtual book tour this morning at Jeri Walker-Bickett's blog, What do I Know?... A Twisted Book Blog.

Come join us as we discuss life as a writer and self-published author and give away a couple copies of Mental Pause along the way!!!

I was also surprised and delighted to see another interview posted today on Expat Focus. Pop by and check it out and peruse the website for some great columns by expats from all over the world. I actually do a regular column on life in Thailand :)

I took a brief pause over the past couple of weeks but the momentum is gathering steam again so I'll be sharing more in the coming weeks. The champagne celebration in my last post was actually at the Moulin Rouge in Paris where I was with my mom-in-law. What a great place... and loads of inspiration for another novel I'm working on that will be set in Paris.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Mental Pause Wins Award!

Well, a couple months ago I decided, what the heck, I'll enter Mental Pause in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) program. There were 2,500 entries so I really didn't think as a first time novelist I had a chance so I hit send and then basically forgot about it... until I got an email announcing the winners.

Time to celebrate!
I scrolled through the list and there, in the Best in Adult Fiction ebook category, in the bronze medalist position, was Mental Pause! I practically fell off my chair, until I noticed that the author's name wasn't mine. What! Could there have been two books of the same title entered in the same category? I held my breath and my excitement and fired off an email to the organizer. He replied almost immediately apologizing for the error, fixed it right away and congratulated me for my win!

I'm thrilled and just a bit incredulous but it's something like this that spurs a writer on to work even harder and produce more. I'd like to congratulate all the winners and happily share with you the announcement from Independent Publishers. There are some amazingly talented indie authors on this list and I'm humbled to be included among them. Have a look and see... you might find a couple of real gems to add to your collection!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

This Week's Tour Stops

Just a reminder of the blogs I'll be visiting on the Mental Pause virtual book tour this week:

The Artist Unleashed - on the Alliterative Allomorph, guest post April 17th, 'Inspiration comes from the strangest places.


Morgen Bailey's Blog - guest post, April 18th, 'Switching Genres'

See you there!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Today's Stop and Coming Soon!

Hi there,

After a couple day's break we're revving up again on this blog tour!

Today I'm thrilled to join the folks as a guest blogger on The Bookshelf Muse where we're talking about Juggling Genres.  Am I crazy?  Maybe... maybe not! Hope you can join the discussion. Mandy over at Literary R&R also did a review. Thanks Mandy!

Coming a little further down the road:

The Artist Unleashed - on the Alliterative Allomorph, guest post April 17th

Morgen Bailey's Blog - guest post, April 18th

What Do I Know?, author interview, May 17th

Rock on!!!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Today's Blog Tour Stops

Hello all!

Image courtesy of my mom!
Well, today I had a very pleasant surprise! I knew Melanie Adkins at Have You Heard My Book Review was going to review Mental Pause but I didn't know the date. I happened upon it after seeing her 5-Star Amazon review and then went to her blog and 'voila'!  It ran yesterday so feel free to visit and I'll pop back to see if anyone leaves a comment :)

The tour will stop today (the 14th) at the famous Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog for an author spotlight. Hope you can pop by. She's got an amazing collection of spotlights (author interviews) and other fantastic resources for writers. If you're a novelist, check out her online novel writing group on Facebook. There's plenty of lively discussion and writing prompts to sink your teeth into. Tell her I sent you!

So, here's the line-up of the latest and coming up:

Melanie Adkins, Have You Heard My Book Review, review March 13th
Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog, Author Spotlight, March 14th
The Bookshelf Muse, guest post on juggling genres, March 18th
The Alliterative Allomorph - The Artist Unleashed, guest post on where inspiration comes from, April 17.

I'll update the links as each post goes live and keep you posted as new ones are added. Stay tuned!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Next Stops on the Mental Pause Express!

Huge thanks to everyone who has participated in the tour so far. I had a chance to catch my breath yesterday but we're moving full steam ahead again today starting with Expat Bookshop. If you've missed any, check out the full schedule on a previous blog.

Here's where I'll be over the next few of day so feel free to pop by:

Expat Bookshop, March 11 - Guest post on switching genres

It's not all Gravy, March 13 - Guest Post on my 'change', the inspiration behind writing Mental Pause (she's already posted a teaser)

Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog, March 14 - Author Spotlight

There's more to come so stay tuned and let me know if you find any other gems on these book review blogs! I'm always looking for my next great read too :) If you've come across other book review sites that you'd like to recommend, or have one yourself and would like to review Mental Pause, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below :)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Blog Tour Updates and Other Fun Stuff

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/freedigitalphotos.net
For those of you who have ordered a print version of Mental Pause, when you start reading, you may or may not notice in the first chapter that I have discovered a unique breed of dog. It's a cross between a pit bull and a ... type-o! Yes, it's the dreaded pit pull. It's very similar in nature except that it stutters when it growls. I have to be honest, the error was pointed out by one of my reviewers who had received an advance review copy in electronic format. At the time the print version had already been approved.  I did go ahead and make the correction to the Kindle version but that crazy pit pull is still lurking about in the print version.

If anyone catches anything else, please let me know so I can fix it if and when there's a 2nd edition. It would probably be easier to have the International Association of Dog Naming just change the name though. It might even be good PR for that particular breed, right?

Anyhoo... launch day went really well and I'd like to thank those who participated in day 1 of the blog tour:

Katie Foster, Arabian Tales and Other Amazing Adventures
Jo Parfitt, Author Interviews (Summertime Publishing)
Linda Janssen, Adventures in Expatland
Glenda Bixler, Book Readers' Heaven
Melanie Adkins, Have you Heard my Book Review (author intro... review to follow)
Tuesday Riegen, Ravenous Reader
Judy Shafer, Voracious Reader

Coming up next, Mandy at Literary R&R!

Just in case you missed them, here are the links to buy Mental Pause on Amazon:

Kindle: -->

Print: -->

Or, you can order a signed PDF from my bookshop at  http://www.shop.globalwritingsolutionsonline.com   

Happy reading!