Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Menopause to Matrimony by Shelly Hickman (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Menopause to Matrimony by Author Shelly Hickman!

Author Guest Post

Top Ten Favorite Books And Why

1. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume – This was one of the first books I read as a child that left an impression on me. Judy Blume was a master of addressing the uncertainties of growing up in an honest and humorous way, and that was a story I read more than once.

2. My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews – The first book I read by Andrews, and I was so intrigued by the dark and dysfunctional family themes that I went on to read several of her other novels.

3. One by Richard Bach – This beautiful story explores the “what ifs” of life. It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, so I’m fuzzy on the details, but it looks at the possibility of simultaneous incarnations on different planes, each living a different experience, based on a person’s choices.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – As big of a Harry Potter fan I am, I only read two of the books. The movies had always been enough for me. However, toward the end of the series, I grew impatient waiting on the next film and had to read the last two. This one will always be on my list of faves.

5. Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes – I read a lot of these types of books while my daughter was going through a second bout of cancer. I needed something that made me feel like I had control over her fate, at a time when all sense of control was gone. This book gave me that comfort. Holmes insists that we have the ability to bring about desirable results for ourselves, even for others, by the power of our thoughts. It doesn’t matter how dire we may think a situation is. I still don’t know what I think about all that, given that the cancer won. I do know that this book helped keep me from drowning during the worst time of my life.

6. Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch – Another one of my favorites from that time period. Whether or not God actually spoke to the author is irrelevant to me; the messages are uplifting and hopeful. I highlighted the crap out of these books.

7. Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East by Baird T. Spalding – Can you tell I went through a serious period of seeking? Again, it’s easy to doubt the validity of the phenomena the author claims to have witnessed in this six-volume collection, when he meets spiritual masters in the Himalayas. There’s never been any proof behind these writings, but it doesn’t make the ideas presented any less compelling.

8. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – I really enjoyed the travel, food, and self-reflection that came wrapped in one package in this novel. However, I was disappointed by the film. Because it was a novel of self-reflection, it didn’t translate well as a movie.

9. Heartburn by Nora Ephron – Following a period of heavier material, Nora Ephron’s informality and humor was a welcomed discovery. After years of enjoying her romantic comedies, I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to read one of her books. Thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

10. Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli – I had this book on my shelf when I taught fifth grade but had never read it. One of my students recommended it. He’d borrowed it from me and said it was one of the best he’d ever read. After reading it, I was surprised that a fifth grader would have enjoyed, or even understood, this story. It’s told from the eyes of an orphaned, homeless Jewish boy living through the Holocaust. The tone is so innocent and candid because he has no understanding of what’s going on around him. The book had a lasting impression on me, I think mostly because it was recommended to me by a 10-year-old boy. Thank you, Bryce.

About The Author

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 dog, Frankie.


Book Review

Menopause to Matrimony by Shelly Hickman
Sequel to Vegas to Varanasi
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: October 30, 2014
Format: Paperback - 194 pages
              Kindle - 886 KB
ISBN: 978-1502757937
Genre: Romantic Comedy

BUY THE BOOK: Menopause to Matrimony

Book 1: Vegas to Varnasai
Book 2: Menopause to Matrimony

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

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.”

My Book Review: 

In Menopause to Matrimony, author Shelly Hickman brings the reader up-to-date on the lives of Anna and Kiran, whose story began in Vegas To Varanasi. This is a wonderful continuation that takes a realistic look into the changing dynamics of a late-forties couple's marriage, and the trials and tribulations that come with it when they enter the midlife phase of their lives. With the complexities and changes in their life experiences, Anna and Kiran face mid-life crises, menopause, and health scares, as they continue to travel down life's path.

This is so much more than the usual romantic comedy, the reader is easily drawn into Anna and Kiran's lives and the complexities of their marriage. It is a captivating and realistic tale that has a great mixture of emotions, humor and romance. Anna and Kiran takes the reader along on their life's journey as they experience the ups and downs, joys and struggles, insecurities and passion, and unexpected changes that comes along with life, marriage, and family. As a woman who just turned fifty, I could so relate to Anna as she experienced the ups and downs of the changes that come with accepting the midlife phase of her life. Author Shelly Hickman weaves an entertaining tale with a wonderful sense of humor that is infectious, you can't help but get a case of the giggles. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I really enjoyed reading a story about a late-forties couple, it is a refreshing and realistic account of the trials and tribulations that comes with entering the midlife phase of life.

With an engaging cast of characters who are realistic and have flaws; richly detailed descriptions of the setting; and a storyline that depicts the reality of life and the complexities of relationships; Menopause to Matrimony is a delightful story about the intricacies of the evolving, changing, and acceptance of life experiences. It is an enjoyable story full of depth, humor, and emotion that will leave a smile on your face.


Contest Giveaway

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Virtual Book Tour

Click the above tour page link for the virtual book tour schedule.


  1. Thank you for hosting me, Kathleen!

    1. Hi Shelly! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)

  2. The characters sound interesting.