Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fortytude series by Shelly Hickman @shellyhickman @goddessfish

Ten Weird Things About Me
by Shelly Hickman

1.      My pinkie toes are way shorter than the rest of my toes and they turn sideways.
2.      When I eat a Three Musketeers bar, I pick all the milk chocolate off the outside and eat it first.
3.      Every so often I have dreams about parts of my face falling off, and after all these years, they still disturb me.
4.      Ever since I had my first hip surgery, I can no longer bring my knee to my chest, making shaving that leg a real pain in the ass.
5.      The first thing I remember wanting to be when I grew up was a nun. I have no idea why—I’m not Catholic or even religious for that matter. I think I liked the habits.
6.      I would rather go to the gynecologist than have any kind of dental work done—that’s how much I hate going to the dentist.
7.      I sleep with an ice pack every night because my hands get unbearably hot at bedtime.
8.      Every year around September I get a tickle in my throat that hangs on until Spring, making me cough my brains out for months.
9.      I can’t wear high ponytails because they give me headaches.

10.  Before I put my contacts on in the morning, I have to wear two pairs of glasses to see my laptop clearly. My husband calls me six eyes whenever I do this.

Fortytude series
by Shelly Hickman 


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.”


Kiran folds his arms over his chest and his expression sobers. “Before we take the trip into old town, I have to make sure you’re prepared for the bathrooms. Did you do your homework on bathrooms?”

I don’t like his somber tone and furrow my brow. “No... But I used the bathroom at the Delhi airport.”

“That’s different. They have western toilets there. Have you ever heard of a squat toilet?”

Oy. “Is that sort of like a port-a-potty?”

Kiran tries to contain a grin. “No. It’s not like a port-a-potty.” He walks over to the computer in the corner of the living room and turns it on. “It’s time to pull up some YouTube videos.”

No, no, no. Please tell me I’m not going to sit here with Kiran and learn how to go to the bathroom in India.

“You’ll want to make sure you carry toilet paper with you while in the city.”

Not such a big deal. That’s good practice in the States while on a road trip. Many rest stops won’t have toilet paper.

“Okay. I brought a bag that can accommodate a roll of TP.”

Kiran sits me down in the chair in front of the computer and pulls up a video on how to use squat toilets. A very questionable looking fellow proceeds to talk about “the art of laying cable” and “how to take a dump, by the book,” all in subtitles.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Buy links:

NOTE: "Vegas to Varanasi" is now perma-free on multiple platforms


Shelly Hickman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Shelly Hickman said...

Thank you, Laurie! :)

MomJane said...

Had to giggle a little about wanting to be a nun. I am not even Catholic, but thought I would look good in the outfit.

This series sounds good. Really enjoyed the excerpt.

Rita said...

I liked the Ten Weird Things.

Eva Millien said...

I enjoyed the posts and I am glad to know someone else eats all the chocolate off their Three Musketeer first. Thanks for sharing! Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!

Victoria Alexander said...

It's always nice to know that I'm not the only one who does strange things like eating the side of a chocolate bar first LOL.. I do that with Milky Way's .. I have no idea why but I've done it since I was a kid :D

Shelly Hickman said...

MomJane, why in the world would we have thought nun clothing would look good? LOL. I think they were just so unusual, I found them interesting. Eva and Victoria, my fellow candybar pickers, I do the same thing with Paydays. I have to pick all the peanuts off and eat them before eating the filling.

I was waiting for a comment from someone who said they had weird pinkie toes too. Oh well. :)

Thanks for stopping by ladies!

Betty Woodrum said...

Great post, thank you for sharing!

Ree Dee said...

Thank you for sharing the Ten Weird Things About Me! I enjoyed reading it immensely.

Angie D said...

Thanks for the intro to some new books and author to read! Thanks for sharing!