Sunday, 13 July 2014

Turning 50!

I just celebrated my 50th birthday! Hard to believe... but my mom (fondly referred to as Mother Theresa or M.T.) always says, "You're not too old for the years you've been born." Here's what I did on my special day. There's nothing like a paddle on the lake with cool breezes flowing to ward off any hot flashes and keep the mental attitude on an upswing!

What did you do?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Maxine Rocks!

My main main character in Mental Pause, Abbie's, power surges literally drove her to drink! Have you ever felt like just getting the hell out of dodge, grabbing a couple of gal pals and hitting the town? That is, if you haven't been laying in pools of sweat, staring at the ceiling night after night, fighting insomnia and wishing someone would just knock you out. Ok, say on a good week... wine, good music and good friends (of the female persuasion who understand without having to explain) is the best escape.

Here's an excerpt from Mental Pause where Abbie and her friends are heading out for a wild night on the town...

“It’s been so long since I’ve been to a dance bar I’m not sure I remember how to act,” said Abbie uncertainly, shifting on the seat and trying to stretch her skirt further down towards her knees. She didn’t remember it being so short when she bought it. If there was anything remotely resembling a hem she would have considered letting it down.
“Stop fidgeting! You look incredible.” Joan playfully slapped Abbie’s hand away from her skirt and clinked her plastic cup against the one she held tightly in her hand. “Don’t worry, you’ll love it!” Joan had insisted they take some ‘roadies’ and had made a pitcher of cosmopolitans just before they walked out the door. A little pre-lubrication to kick start the party, she said.
“I’m so psyched I can’t stand it,” Rachel slung her arm over Joan’s neck. “Take good care of us now. We’re a little out of practice.”
Abbie rested her head on the back of the seat and closed her eyes. She would have to slow down a bit on the drinking or she might not make it to the first stop. Joan launched into a diatribe of advice. 
“Now, the first place we’ll hit is more like a lounge. The dance bars don’t get going until much later. I know the bartender and she makes a mean kamikaze.”
“I don’t even know what that is but it sounds dangerous,” Rachel took another swig of her cosmo.
Abbie opened her eyes and stole a glance at the tattoo on the back of Joan’s neck. She had only just noticed it when they were getting ready earlier. She wondered why Joan hadn’t ‘unveiled’ it when she talked Abbie into getting hers. Abbie thought the angel wings on Joan’s ankle was the only tattoo she had. Joan was now shifted a bit sideways facing slightly towards Rachel so Abbie was able to study it without being obvious. It was the first time she had seen it in full as Joan usually wore her hair down. Tonight it was in a flattering upsweep fastened with a multicolored, randomly geometric, tortoise shell clip. 
Even as a fairly new tattoo fan, Abbie could appreciate that this one was a beautiful piece of art. It was a depiction of an angel, with wispy wings and soft edges in hues of blues and pinks with her eyes raised to the sky (or towards the top of Joan’s head). As Abbie studied the intricacies of the tattoo she realized that the sweet, ethereal angel had two sharp horns poking out of her curly golden hair and on closer inspection, she was gripping a squirming serpent in her right hand, from which long, red nails sprung.
Abbie gasped. Rachel and Joan had been in a boisterous conversation, planning the evening’s escapades and stopped and looked at her.
“What’s wrong Abs?” Rachel asked.
 “Uh, nothing… just sneezed.” She figured Joan probably had a dark side but she really didn’t want to know about it so she tore her eyes away from the disturbing image and downed her cosmo. She tried to stroke down the hairs that were standing on end on the back of her neck and ignored the unreasonable feeling of doom that enveloped her. 'It’s just hormones'.

Abbie should have listened to her intuition... Maybe she wouldn't have wound up on trial for murder ;)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Latest review on Amazon for Mental Pause!

5.0 out of 5 stars 
Introducing the meno-mystery!, April 3, 2014
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mental Pause (Kindle Edition)

I think this author may have created a new genre: meno-mystery!
Who would ever think of combining menopause and murder? Your answer to that question probably depends on whether you have gone through menopause! Anne O' Connell does a great job of describing the physical and emotional turmoil that menopause causes. The fact that she manages to do this in a story that is both humorous and suspenseful makes this an enjoyable read. If you have already gone through "the change" you know that her descriptions of it are not all that exaggerated. If you haven't, this book may cause you to go out in search of some supplemental estrogen. Plagued by hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and anxiety, Abbie needs a break! What starts out as a lark with friends ends up with Abbie being charged with murder and the story keeps rolling along at a fast pace from there.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Happy International Women's Day!

Doing a author reading at the
Keshen Goodman Public Library in Halifax
...And, Happy Anniversary to Mental Pause! One year ago today was the book launch of my first novel, Mental Pause. It's been a great year with amazing feedback and recognition with a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award. I'm a proud Indie Author, still happily writing away on various projects and hope to launch my second novel soon (stay tuned).

Book signing at Stayner's Wharf on the Halifax, NS waterfront

If you've read Mental Pause and enjoyed it feel free to drop by Amazon or Goodreads and share a review if you're so inclined ;)

Monday, 3 March 2014

Top 10 Places to Turn when the Night Sweats are too Much

I have never been one for turning to self-help books when the world around me or inside me for that matter, seemed to be a little off-balance... that's what girlfriends and the kitchen table are for, right? However, when the peri-menopausal demon reared his (her?) ugly head, I still turned to the old stand-by remedies but also sought out resources to help me come to grips with what was happening (and also to help confirm my suspicions when doing research for my book, Mental Pause). I thought I would share my Top 10 favorites (not in any particular order):

  1. Menopause Matters - a great website, which also has a facebook page and regular newsletter
  2. Menopause ChitChat - also a combo of resources and references to keep you reading for hours!
  3. Menopause Sucks! - a hugely popular Facebook page
  4. The Wisdom of Menopause - Dr. Christiane Northrup - book, website, FB page, Twitter, etc!
  5. Menopause in Manhattan by Anne Kleinburg - the first novel I found on the topic that convinced me that there really was a market!
  6. Menopause Talk - a little more on the serious side
  7. It's Not Menopause, I'm Just Like This - Maxine's Guide to Aging Disgracefully
  8. The Menopause Exchange
  9. Menopause, the Musical - if you haven't seen it and it comes to your town, you've got to go!
  10. The Road to Menopause - Minnie Pauz cartoons by artist Dee Adams 

Feel free to add your favorites... come on... don't be shy!