Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fortytude Blog Tour (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Series: Fortytude
Author: Shelly Hickman
Book 1: Vegas to Varanasi
Book 2: Menopause to Matrimony 
Publisher: Amazon 
Format: Kindle
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Anna has never been the beautiful one; she’s always been the nice one. So when the gorgeous man sitting across the table at a wedding reception remembers her from high school—and quite fondly at that—she’s taken off guard.

Formerly overweight and unpopular, Kiran has never forgotten Anna, the one person who was kind to him when no one else could be bothered, and Anna’s a bit flustered as she slowly comes to grips with his intense attraction for her.

In what feels like a romantic dream come true, all-grown-up, hunky Kiran invites Anna on a trip to Varanasi. But her troubled, whack-a-do ex-boyfriend starts interfering, creating drama at every turn, which begs the question, “Can nice girls really finish first?”


The sequel to "Vegas to Varanasi" catches up with Anna and Kiran a couple of years after the event that brought the once “ugly duckling” high school acquaintances together. But will their romance continue to flourish in the face of a whole new set of insecurities brought on by middle age? 

First, there’s Kiran, who has an unexpected health scare. While his doctors assure no permanent damage has been done, there seems to have been some damage to his personality, as the normally respectful and reserved Kiran begins behaving erratically and overtly. Anna wants to hope that this is temporary, sparked by the visit of Kiran’s womanizing, free-spirited cousin, Seth. But is this just the midlife Kiran surfacing? 

Anna has midlife issues of her own. Now forty-eight, she’s navigating the onset of perimenopause and all the delights that come with it, from facial hair to mood swings to body temperature issues. On top of that, her two-year-old granddaughter is starting to show signs of a behavior disorder, bringing with it a whole other level of stress and worry. 

Will Anna and Kiran finally find their happily ever after? Or end up stuck in a midlife mess in this romantic comedy of accepting change, and “the change.”

~Fight it or Embrace it~
I try not to obsess about getting older, but can we talk a little about how much work is involved in maintaining our appearance as we age?

I find myself missing the good old days when I didn’t have to wear eye makeup if I chose not to. And most of the time I chose not to. It was awesome. Far less time getting ready in the mornings. Now I’m appalled by the number of cosmetics that fill my bathroom drawer—half of which I don’t even use because they didn’t deliver on their promises.

When exactly did these dark circles find their way under my eyes, and why have they made themselves at home on my face? Concealer remains a mystery to me because no matter how much I apply, that icky grayish skin tone persists underneath, and the last thing I want to be is that old lady with makeup caked all over her crepey eyes. 

Pores. Oh my God, the pores! Maybe it’s just my imagination, but my pores seem to have taken on crater-like proportions. I’ve never been one blessed with invisible pores, but holy crap! I’ve recently become slave to my Porefessional primer.

I never used to pay much attention to my cosmetics, but I’ve noticed I’m slowly turning into an Ulta fanatic and it’s really weird. I don’t know if it’s because I have a teenage daughter who knows way more about makeup than me, or if it’s because I’m failing miserably at aging gracefully.

Thus far I’ve been able to resist Botox for three main reasons. One, I’m too cheap to spend that much money on a temporary fix, only to dish out another wad of money in six months. Two, I avoid pain at all costs. And three, I’m scared I’ll end up with a doctor who doesn’t know what s/he’s doing and wind up like one of those celebrities who when you look at them, something seems slightly off and you can’t quite put your finger on it. Or worse, I could end up being the victim of a botched job.

Thank you, I’ll pass.

So for now I’ll continue spending my money on cosmetics and beauty products that will unlikely provide results, and my current attempt to age gracefully involves growing out my gray because I am so sick of keeping up the roots. My hope is that it will look something like this.

And not this. 
How do the rest of you plan to deal with getting older? Will you just go with it? Or will you go down kicking and screaming?
~Meet Shelly Hickman!~
Living in Las Vegas since she was two, Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties worked as a computer illustrator. In the mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary Education. She now teaches computer literacy and media technology at a middle school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws, their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband, two children, and their dogs, Frankie and Junebug. 
Shelley will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Totally loved learning about these two books. Both sound like such fun and interesting reads! Definitely my types of books! Can't wait to read these books!

  2. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  3. What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix?

    1. This may sound strange, Mai, but I'm not much of a Netflix person. That would be my kids. My son is currently using our Netflix account to bring his girlfriend up-to-date on "The Walking Dead" and she's now hooked! She's got a long way to go, though. They're only on season 3. LOL.

  4. I am 56 and decided years ago never to dye my hair. I let the gray come in naturally, and it is doing so just fine, with some of the brown is still evident. It helps when my husband is ten years my senior, so he's been white for years....

    I have two girlfriends who scoffed for years when I said I wouldn't dye my hair. They had been dying their hair since their twenties. They scoffed when I said I wouldn't put the money towards the hair dye, I certainly wouldn't want to feel I HAD to dye it every four to six weeks or so (as sometimes I go 11 weeks between haircuts), and I have other things to do with my time. Well ... last year my one girlfriend had had enough and let the color go from her hair (after her daughter's wedding). She is now whiter than white (and one year my junior), and she loves it. She feels liberated - like her hair isn't controlling her but she's controlling her hair. She looks lovely, I might add. The other girlfriend is a professional in a huge corporation, so there's no way she'll stop coloring her hair, and I totally understand that (as the first-noted girlfriend is retired and I work from home).

    Anyway, to each their own. Whatever makes YOU feel good about yourself. That's what matters (to me).

    Good luck!

    1. Laney, I agree that whatever makes you feel good about yourself is what matters. To each his (or her) own, but I'm looking forward to the feeling of liberation that comes with going gray. I hope I won't give in. Ha! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  5. Sounds like a great series, thanks for sharing :)

  6. Thank you for having me, Andra! And thanks for the comments, everyone! :)

  7. I enjoyed the post, sounds like a really good series, thanks for sharing!

  8. I enjoyed your guest post. Aging is difficult to deal with at times in our culture because the focus is on being young and you're supposed to look younger than your years. I don't color my hair and at least for now, I don't intend to. Some days I think I look pretty good and other days not so much. But I go with a natural look and really don't wear much makeup and most days, I don't wear any.

  9. I'm happy to go grey naturally. It is happening, but slowly.

  10. I am fighting it. I want to look good as long as possible. When I look good I feel better about myself.

  11. Betty, I only wish I could get away without wearing makeup. Mary, my going gray is going slowly too. I went into my stylist a couple of months ago, hoping she could just give me a gray that my own would grow into without looking weird, but going gray at the salon involves a lot of processing, which I didn't want to do. Deanne, I agree that when you look good, you feel better about yourself. Sometimes I just have a hard time knowing how much I should fight it. LOL. Aging is going to happen no matter what, and I admire an older woman who knows how to build on her best qualities without trying to carry herself like someone in their thirties. You know?

  12. The author teaching computer literacy and media technology at a middle school has to be very rewarding.