Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Mental Pause - Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Image from by Nuttapong
Plans are well underway for the Virtual Book Tour for Mental Pause that will start on launch day, March 8th and run until the end of the month (and beyond as long as there are folks out there who wish to review the book, host a guest blog or do an interview with the author… me!). If I haven’t sent you an invitation and you’d like to review the book, please don’t hesitate to send a request to

Here’s the line up so far. I’ll be updating as newcomers join in and will also share links as soon as reviews and interviews are up so check back regularly!

Expat Info Desk - Feb. 28th
- 1st Interview - A little sneak Peek!  

Folia Montana (my alma mater MSVU's alumni newsletter) - Spring Issue

Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog - Guest Post - Advice on Switching Genres

The Alliterative Allomorph's Artist Unleashed, Guest post, Inspiration Can Come From the Strangest Places

Jeri WB's What Do I Know? - author interview

These are all great blogs and I encourage you to follow and visit regularly. Happy reading!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Mental Pause - Chapter 8 (excerpt)

            “Hi hon. Did you sleep okay?” Conrad kissed her on the cheek she offered him distractedly. “I must have been dog tired. I barely remember you coming back to bed. How was your walk?”
            “My walk? Oh, it was fine.” Abbie tugged at her hair to make sure her new tattoo was covered. She had finally taken the bandage off realizing it looked even more conspicuous. Her hair covered it just fine as long as it was pulled forward. She didn’t need the lecture just yet.
            “On the way?  Where are you going?” Conrad stood between Abbie and the door so she had little choice but to stop and have the conversation.
            “To Rachel’s. Remember I told you that we were doing a girl’s night tonight and I was going to stay over with her? You’re working tonight anyways so you said you didn’t mind.”
            “Oh right. Why so early?”
            “Um… you know us girls. Any opportunity to have a gab session.” She skirted around him, grabbed a buttered bagel that he had left on the counter, took a bite and said a muffled, “Later guys,” with a wave over her shoulder.
            Abbie practically ran to her car and started it before she even had the door closed. She plugged in her hands-free while backing out of the driveway and punched Rachel’s number on speed-dial. She jammed it into first gear and squealed the tires.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Mental Pause - Chapter 7 (excerpt)

 It was Friday night and the boys were out, Conrad was working and Abbie had an evening to herself. Ah bliss! She quickly threw on a load of laundry that had gone forgotten for a few days… the boys wouldn’t have any clean underwear left if she didn’t. Then she tossed a bag of popcorn in the microwave, poured herself a glass of wine, popped Rent into the DVD player and planned to sing along to every song without being teased.
She climbed into bed well after midnight and was asleep when Conrad got home but she felt him as he climbed in beside her. She snuggled back against him into their favorite spooning position.
Not long after, Abbie awoke to the pin pricks of heat crawling all over her body like a thousand red ants leaving tiny, scorching footprints behind.
Conrad started like he had been burned. “Jesus, you’re burning up!” He held her at arms length. “Are you okay? It’s like a furnace just switched into overdrive.”
“I know.  Think how it feels from the inside,” Abbie replied despondently as she flapped the covers to try to get some respite yet knowing it was going to get worse. “I’m going to get some air.” She climbed out of bed and padded in her bare feet to the door.
“Want me to come with you?” Conrad asked, a tinge of concern appearing in his voice.
“No… But thanks. I won’t be long.”
“It was raining when I came in and it’s cooled down a lot tonight… your raincoat’s by the back door. You don’t want to get a chill.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine,” Abbie’s voice had an edge of irritation. She couldn’t help it but with a herculean effort, softened her tone. “I’ll be back in a while.”
She tiptoed past the boys’ rooms and crept down the stairs and into the kitchen, slipped on her crocs and her raincoat but left it unzipped to let in the cool air. She went off to the left, down the side of the house to the driveway, avoiding looking at the back gate, still not having ventured to the other side of the fence since the frying pan incident.
She walked briskly down the sidewalk to make the best use of the air filtering in and around her body, while the sweat poured down her back, and spackled her upper lip.  Rounding the first turn on the crescent where they lived, she glanced back at Bess’s house. Her lights were off so hopefully Bess was sleeping. Abbie didn’t need the neighborhood gossip talking about her wild walk in the middle of the night. She made a quick turn onto the cul de sac that jutted off to the right and headed for the familiar pathway between two houses that led to the next street. The wind was kicking up so she dug her hands into her pockets. Her hand felt the small cylinder of pepper spray that she had carried while the neighborhood was being terrorized by that awful pit bull. Guess she didn’t have to worry about that any more. She felt her stomach do a flip-flop and wondered again if she was going to get into trouble for that.     
She heard a rustle in the bush just ahead and stopped dead in her tracks.  A man in a trench coat and cap pulled down low over his eyes stepped out. 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Mental Pause - chapter 6 (excerpts)

Here are a couple of excerpts from Chapter 6...  Only 4 1/2 weeks until launch day, March 8th! If you want me to send you a reminder, just let me know.

After yet another restless night, Abbie practically had to feel her way to the kitchen. Bleary-eyed she put on a pot of coffee and pulled out a box of waffles from the freezer. She left the door open and stuck her head in to cool off as the remnants of her last hot flash lingered.
“Anything good in there,” Conrad patted Abbie’s bum as he walked by.
“Just cooling down,” Abbie replied removing her head from the freezer.
She poured herself a glass of water and popped a couple of Tylenol into her mouth.
Both boys had already left to play golf with some friends. She was glad she didn’t have to face them this morning and try to explain her wild ranting and raving. They were teenagers. They’d have forgotten it already and be focusing on their golf swing and planning the party for grad night.
“Sorry about the drama last night,” Abbie slouched onto a bar stool at the kitchen counter.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve dealt with tougher thugs than you,” Conrad joked as he poured his coffee.
Abbie could feel a nasty retort building just as the phone rang.
“I’ll get it,” relieved, she snatched up on the second ring. “Hey Joan… no, you didn’t wake us up… the boys are actually up and out already… lunch? Sure… I have no plans,” Abbie covered the mouth piece and mouthed to Conrad, “We don’t have plans today do we?”
“No, I’m headed down to the station so you go ahead,” Conrad poured his coffee into a thermal ‘to go’ cup.
“Yeah Joan, that would be great,” Abbie turned back to her phone conversation. “Where do you want to meet?... Okay, see you there at noon.”
Abbie hung up the phone and leaped off the stool, welcoming the distraction.
   They walked into the tattoo parlor that actually looked a bit like a barbershop. It had the same type of chairs and there were even a couple of people reclining comfortably while the tattoo artists were jabbing ink-filled needles rapidly in and out of their arms. It looked like they were having matching tattoos done… a heart with an arrow through it and each other’s names inscribed across the bottom (at least that’s what Abbie assumed). 
   “Hi there, how’s it going?” Joan walked to the counter and started flipping through the catalogue of designs. “My friend here would like to get a tattoo.”
   Abbie felt like a real rebel. She was scared but a little excited too. She and her mom had always joked about going to Key West together to celebrate Abbie’s 50th and her mom’s 80th birthdays (their birthdays were in the same month and they had always celebrated together on the day that was exactly in between). But her mom had died before they could call each other on their bluff. As an only child, Abbie and her mother were extremely close and the memory of her passing still triggered a sharp pain in Abbie’s heart and a gnawing emptiness in her stomach.
   Thinking about how much she missed her mom Abbie absentmindedly started to flip through the catalogue Joan had passed to her. “It can’t be anything too big,” Abbie began. “I want it to be understated. She stopped at a whole page of tattoos with the word ‘mom’ in them. How appropriate would that be? If I did it in memory of my mother, how could Conrad get mad? Besides… she was still a mom too but she’d be a wild mom with a tatt!