Excerpts of the Novel 40 Something

Here a list of excerpts from the series 40 Something, a story about 5 women juggling careers, kids, family, and men. It’s a story about life, love, marriage, dating, divorce, technology, and finding oneself.

 chicklit novel Title

There Must be More to Life

In the first chapter of the series, Justine contemplates about life at 40 and wonders if she’s missed something.

Click to read excerpt

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Online Dating Surprises: 

After being married for almost 20 years, Sophie has started dating again. She has her first date with a man she met online and he’s sent her a text to confirm.

Click to read the excerpt

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Date Night with Hubby

Rose is getting ready for a date night with her husband Gus. Will she be ready in time?

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Chicklit man hater

Date Changes his Mind

Charlie is excited about going to dinner with a man she met online, but did he change his mind or did she make a mistake?

Click to read excerpt.

Birthday party

It’s Just a Birthday Party

Justine’s son has been invited to an epic birthday party that makes her feel inferior as a mother. Is it really just a birthday party?

click to read excerpt

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Teenagers, Can I Give them Away?

Rose contemplates life with four teenagers in the house and wonders what happened to the wonderful, cute, and obedience children she once had.

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FWBs Are Fun

Lindsay’s thoughts on friends with benefits arrangements and how they fit into her dating life.

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Interested in getting an electronic copy to review on a blog, Goodreads.com, or Amazon leave a comment.

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Alone and Unloved

Recently separated Sophie is scared and alone. Will she find love again or is she, as her abusive ex claims, unlovable?

Click to read excerpt

Ebooks

Paperback

Includes all 4 ebooks copy-of-40something-6


Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

In her new Chicklit novel, Shannon Peel is exploring what it means to be a 40 something woman in the 21st Century. Each of the 5 women are personalities that we as woman are made up of in various degrees. We are too complex to be just one. 

For more about this novel and her YA Novel, THIRTEEN, go to www.shannonpeel.com 

For more about this novel and her YA Novel, THIRTEEN, go to www.shannonpeel.com 

Online Dating Surprises

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Finding herself single after almost 20 years of marriage, Sophie is trying her hand at Online Dating. She’s new and unsure about what is appropriate, what isn’t, and shocked by what she encounters. Follow her and her friends as they navigate life in the 21st Century.

Excerpt from 40 Something. A book about life, family, children, marriage, dating, careers, rivals, sisters, friends, technology, abuse, love, and so much more.


Sophie & Dating

It is so weird to be dating again.

I haven’t dated since the early 90s.

It’s so different now.

Before a guy would pick you up in a bar, coffee shop or at school now, my friends tell me that is not how things work. Charlie says that no matter where you go, men don’t come up and talk to women. Go to a bar and no one says boo. Go to a coffee shop and all you get is coffee. Go to the park and nothing. I’m not sure if Charlie is right, but I haven’t met a man in the real world.

It’s all online now.

This online dating thing is a bit addictive. I spend so much time going through profiles to find the ones I like, I hardly get anything done. I read the guy’s message. I think about what to say. I type mine. Then I wait for his response. You’d think I’d get stuff done while I wait, but no, I don’t. I look at other profiles. I have conversations with other men. It’s kinda cool actually. I mean, I get to chat with guys I’d never dare talk to in the real world.

We spend hours messaging back and forth to each other. It feels like a waste of time because we never make any plans to meet, just message back and forth. Once they get to know me and my situation they aren’t too interested in anything real.

A date for dinner tonight.

It’s my first date.

Charlie was kinda pissed when I told her it was for dinner. She said I should only go for coffee because he might be a bore and I’d want to escape. Lindsay thinks she’s just jealous because I got a dinner date and Charlie doesn’t get asked out for dinner or even coffee.

Charlie is amazing. I wish I was more like her. I don’t understand why she’s single and has so many problems with men.

She is much prettier than me. Her face is very pretty. If she’d exercise and lose a bit of weight she’d be a knock out. Her body has a nice hourglass shape with really big boobs. I’ve got nothing for a chest, I could be a boy I’m so flat. She’s so smart. Has a good job and is so confident about everything. I don’t know why she can’t find a guy.

My phone just whistled to let me know I have a text message.

It’s from Al. He’s the one I’m meeting for dinner tonight.

Al: Hey we still on for tonight?

Me: Yes. I can’t wait.

Al: I’m getting off earlier so we can meet at 6.

Me: Sure.

Al: Great. What are you going to wear? Something sexy?

Me: I don’t know yet.

I have a cute dress that I picked up from a thrift store yesterday after we made the date. It cost me $25. I really shouldn’t have bought it, I shouldn’t be wasting money on dresses and stuff.

Al: I like a woman in a dress.

Me: Oh

Al: And high heels

Me: OK

Al: I love the colour red.

Me: Oh

Al: Are you going to want to kiss me?

Me: I don’t know. Maybe.

Al: Maybe? Ah come on hun. You’ll kiss me.

Me: Maybe. I have to go. I have things to do.

Al: Ok babe. I’ll kiss you lots tonight.

Me: See you tonight.

I don’t know him. I don’t know if I’m going to want to kiss him. But I guess. I mean he is buying me dinner. Maybe I will want to kiss him. I don’t know. I wish he didn’t go on like that. It makes me uncomfortable. What’s one kiss?

I guess I’ll find out tonight. I better get going, I do have a lot to do before tonight.

My phone beeps with a text message. It’s from Al and there is a pic.

Oh my god.

I drop my phone.

What the hell?

The phone whistles with a text again. I’m scared to look. It might be another pic. What if my kids had my phone? I cringe. It whistles again. I pick it up and check the messages from Al.

It’s another pic and message. I’m freaking out. I don’t know what to do.

Al: What do you think hun? You like?

Me: Why did you send that?

Al: It’s fun. Send me a couple of you spread open for me.

Me: No. NO. no.

Al: Hun it’s all good. It’s just flirting. We’re adults.

Me: I don’t think so and I’m not sure I want to meet.

Al: I was just testing you. Seeing what kind of gal you are. I like that you won’t.

Me: OK?

Al: You a good girl and I like that. I’ll see you tonight. Can’t wait.

Me: Ok.

I delete the photos of his naked, standing to attention thingy. I can’t believe he sent that to me. I don’t even know the guy and he sends me that. Why the hell did he send me that?

Read More Excerpts

Ebooks

 

Paperback

Includes all 4 ebooks and a bonus episode.

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Who is the story about?

Sophie is one of five central characters.

The Jaded one  – The one who is bitter about men

The Romantic one  – The one who is happily married

The Fun one – The one who parties and loves men

The Tragic one – The one who is hurting and lost

These are the characters I am starting with. I will draw from my life experience and the stories I read, am told, and other share with me to define the characters and their journey through life.

What do you think?  Am I missing someone? Is there a type of relationship or woman that you think I need to explore and add to the group?



Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

In her new Chicklit novel, Shannon Peel is exploring what it means to be a 40 something woman in the 21st Century. Each of the 5 women are personalities that we as woman are made up of in various degrees. We are too complex to be just one. 

For more about this novel and her YA Novel, THIRTEEN, go to www.shannonpeel.com 

Celebrating Rejection

If you are in your 40s, chances are you’ve been rejected. You’ve experienced disappointment. You’ve felt the pain of not getting what you want. People have disappointed you. You’ve struggled with hope. If in 40 years rejection hasn’t beat the crap out of you, you’re not risking anything, you don’t want anything, and you’ve quit.

In my thirties, I drank the positive thinking kool-aid and why wouldn’t I? People wanted to know me. Employers wanted to hire me. My kids wanted to spend time with me and my husband wanted to build a life with me. It was easy to be an optimist who could see the silver lining in everything and be content.

In my forties, the kool-aid proved to be sugar and food colouring. I lost my job, my husband, some friends, and my children grew up.  My life turned upside down and no amount of positive thinking fixed it.

Rejection begets more rejection.

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I’ve lost things in my life, which leads to more rejection because people are wired to associate with those who win and society perceives loss as something to reject. 

When asked questions about myself I need to focus on the gains and hide the losses, to not tell the whole story, which for a storyteller, is nearly impossible.

Attitude Change

Last year, when I got laid off, the HR person tried to give me hope with meaningless positive saying and quotes. However, I couldn’t handle one more meaningless, inauthentic, I really don’t care,”think positive quote.” My insides were being torn apart by fear and anxiety, I didn’t need to hear about doors, windows, and better things. At that moment, I needed understanding, support, and truth.

what-you-seek-is-seeking-you_fotor No one has a crystal ball. We can’t see into the future. Thinking positive, though important, isn’t enough. We must act. If we do not learn from our experiences, our fears are going to come true and placating someone with hope filled “positive thinking” quotes, with no basis in reality, blinds them to the truth. Better to tell a person about their strengths, rather than some airy, meaningless, quote.

Sometimes we fail and the reasons for the rejection can help identify obstacles to success. However, most times, we aren’t the right person for the job, not the right fit for a lover, not the right personality for a friend and that’s life. Deal with it, see it for what it is, and move on.

What are your favourite positive thinking quotes, share them in the comments section. 

Focusing on the positives in your life, remembering the good things about your character, and knowing you are great at what you do, are vital to achieving success after rejection.

Make a list of all the things that make you great. Ask friends to come by and tell you all the things they love about you. When others tell us why we are amazing, we tend to believe it more than when we try to tell ourselves the same messages. You might be surprised by how great you really are when others tell you what they see in you.

Positive messages based in fact and reality are different from delusional positive thinking sayings used to placate a person with hope about an uncertain future.

Life changes, sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst.
What doesn’t change is you.

I Got Rejected, again

I didn’t move on in the interview process and it hurt. It knocked me on my butt and I wanted to quit, to hide myself away, to drown in the doubt, disappointment, hurt, and fear. Instead, I analyzed what happened and talked to a career counsellor about my interview answers to try and determine where I went wrong.

I needed to find out how I failed to sell myself as the best option.

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Knowing I’d messed up, failed, wasn’t perfect, hurt more than the rejection itself because failure due to the mistakes one makes, is worse than being rejected for no reason at all. Yet, knowing an opinion about why I might have failed, is very helpful for the next time.

I need to know why in order to fix it.

Your mind is your greatest tool.

Rejection Tools


The pain of rejection can destroy us
. We must face it, deal with it, and learn from it. The following links have tools to help deal with rejection. imgres

Seek Rejection

Everyone gets rejected. Everyone feels disappointment. A successful person embraces rejection and keeps seeking it out.

The only way to go forward in life is to put myself out there. To be open to the pain of rejection and to embrace it as a sign that I’m living. I may never find success, but quitting is not an option.

I keep learning from my failures. 

Chicklit man hater

Charlie’s date changes his mind


Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

In her new Chicklit novel, Shannon Peel is exploring what it means to be a 40 something woman in the 21st Century. Each of the 5 women are personalities that we as woman are made up of in various degrees. We are too complex to be just one. 

For more about this novel and her YA Novel, THIRTEEN, go to www.shannonpeel.com 

Disconnected in a Connected World

I have been thinking a lot about connections recently.

In todays world, we have the tools to connect on a scale that was considered science fiction when I was born, forty some odd years ago. Generation X started their journey in the dark ages and grew with a world that became more digitally connected and more isolating.

I remember watching a news broadcast, years ago, about Faith Popcorn and her theory on how our culture was going to disconnect through cocooning. It sounded like an odd idea at the time. How could we, as individuals, isolate ourselves from each other?

Well We Did

Video arcades, a teen social hang out, no longer exist because we bought our own game consoles.

Cinemas used to be a weekly treat, but they made way for video stores and ticket costs sky rocketed. Gone are the dinner and movie dates, they’ve been replaced with Netflix and chill.

Drive through options have extended our isolation into our cars where we pick up food, coffee, and groceries. Amazon and Online Shopping  keeps us out of stores and malls so we can shop from the comfort of our homes without ever chatting with a salesperson.

We have slowly been removing social hang outs for teenagers and they in turn, have no where to go. Most helicopter parents won’t let their kids ‘hang out’ anywhere because they might get into trouble. So, our children are learning how to stay home.

We Are Home Alone

1795684_666542126736269_214740821_n-2My bank account dictates whether or not I can hang out in coffee shops. With the skyrocketing cost of living in the city, my time in these establishments has started to dwindle. Even when I am in these places for long periods of time, I hardly meet anyone new. Everyone, including myself, is behind a laptop or looking at their phone, the two items that tell those around you – I’m busy, buzz off.

Not to mention I live in a city known for it’s isolation.  Dating in this city is near impossible, let alone finding people willing to invest in a friendship, especially with someone who is overweight. This city isn’t a fan of fat people. 

Work has even become more isolating as many people, like me, work from home. To save money, companies are opting for more remote arrangements for their employees. Making it even harder for people to connect with others and network.

Connected Online

Social media and online tools have grown over the last ten years to improve personal connections, to keep in touch, share our experiences with those we know and love. Are we really connecting though? 

I spend a lot of time online. Taking online courses, writing, posting on social media, tweaking my website, watching Netflix, dating and applying for work. I am chatting with people, virtually meeting new people, learning about people and telling people about myself.

Does this mean I’m connected though? 

What are your thoughts? Which generation do you think was more connected to friends and family in their forties, us or our parents? 

What to do

what-you-seek-is-seeking-you_fotorGetting out into the real world and saying “hello” to people on transit and coffee shops, is a start, which risks the one thing people fear – Rejection.

Volunteer for a charity or cause.

Text friends to see if they want to do something.

Go out into the world for a mini staycation adventure with your kids to build stronger connections with them. The bonus is getting acquainted with the city you live in.

Use Online Tools

Attend events advertised on Facebook.

Go to free seminars promoted on LinkedIn.

Attend meetups to get out of the house, and more importantly, out of your comfort zone. Learn something new while meeting new people.

Use dating sites to make real world meet and greets in a public place. This is really hard because most men seem to think a date is meeting them in private, but that’s for a different post.

Which online connecting tools do you use to help you get out and make connections in the real world? 

Make it a goal to smile more, get out more, and live more. Maybe you meet someone new, maybe you don’t. At least you lived.

 


Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website. www.shannonpeel.com

 

 

 

Lists and Chores

Excerpt from Book 4 of 40 Something, coming out in November 2016

Rose

copy-of-40something-6To Do List

  • Coffee with the girls at 11
  • School meeting at 1
  • Grocery shopping
  • Pick up Aiden and Jessica at 3
  • Make a roast for dinner
  • Put on a load of towels
  • Pay the bills

I bite on the end of the pen and twirl it along my lips. I know I’m forgetting something. I reach for the oversized calendar, where all the kid’s appointments are written out in different colours. It is filled with words; pink one’s for Alexis, red ones for Isabella, blue ones for Aiden and the odd purple word for Jessica.

I find today’s date and … Why I don’t check the calendar, before making my daily to do, list is beyond me. Isabella has a dentist appointment after school and Aiden has a football game at a school in the next town over. I scratch out picking him up at 3 and text Jessica to tell her I won’t be able to pick her up from school. I add pick up Isabella and take her to the dentist for 3:30 onto the list, then, pick Aiden up at 6 from the school.

If I throw the sauce together now and dump it in the slow cooker, I’ll only need to make the pasta when I get home. I text all the kids and Gus, Dinner @ 7.

Having dinner, as a family, every day is important.

As if on cue Alexis texts, I have a class tonight. I slam my thumbs onto the letters as I text back, why isn’t it on the calendar? She answers back with a quick, why does it matter? I respond with It just does.

I don’t expect her to respond, and she doesn’t.

I reach for a pile of different coloured pads of paper. A different colour for each of the children and Gus’ Honey Do List. I divide up the various chores between the children and make notes about those things that need to be brought to their attention, like Isabella not picking up her clothes off the bathroom floor – again – or Aiden leaving his skateboard at the bottom of the stairs – again. One day these messages will get through those thick skulls.

I look at the items on the lists. All the mundane chores, which I know I’ll end up doing because they are all too busy to help out. The excuses are endless: Too tired. Have too much homework. Have to be somewhere else. Forgot to do it. They always have a reason why they don’t complete their tasks and the work falls to me.

Over the years I’ve tried different incentive and punishment ideas to get the kids to do their chores. It lasts for all of a week, if I’m really lucky, then it’s back to me doing everything again. When I think about the planning, keeping track, and cost associated with each failed idea, I cringe. It’s so much easier to do the work myself, than to try to get them to do any of it.

Anger descends onto my shoulders and I clench my teeth. There is so much to do and no matter how much I run around cleaning up after everyone, when I turn around, it looks like I’ve done nothing. Absolutely nothing. Most times when I look behind me, the mess is bigger than the one I’d just cleaned up. I look at the pad’s of paper with the lists laid out in front of me, each item yelling to be completed first. Why do I even bother? I know I’m going to end up doing every chore on those lists. Still, maybe one day, hell will freeze over and God willing, they will complete one item written out. I keep hoping.

Maybe I should go on strike.

An image of garbage flowing out of the windows and doors, flashes in my mind’s eye. Piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and stuff strewn around the place becoming the stuff of horror movies. I feel overwhelmed by the thought and all energy drains away, leaving a deep tiredness behind.

I don’t have time to be tired.

I get up. Best to keep moving. I have to deal with the pile of dirty dishes on the counter. Who was supposed to empty and fill the dishwasher last night? I glance at yesterday’s chore lists as I open the dishwasher and proceed to empty it of clean dishes to make way for the dirty ones. Aiden. I don’t think that boy knows how to empty the dishwasher, let alone fill it.

My phone’s alarm starts beeping, interrupting me. It’s ten thirty and I need to be leaving the house in 10 minutes. I quickly finish up and start the dishwasher before heading out the door.

Always so much to do and nothing ever gets done.

Read More Excerpts

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Birthday party

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Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcomes any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website. www.shannonpeel.com

Fallout of Feminism

If you are a member of the X generation, in your forties and early fifties, you are experiencing the fall out of feminism. The generations before us fought hard so that women of our generation and our daughters would be equal in this world.

Someone forgot to write the manual

Our generation is defining what equality looks like, what it means and how we can be truly equal, however, we are victims of our upbringing. The girls of our generation grew up being told that we could have both a career and a family. We were given a torch that had no manual and few models to show us the way. The boys grew up watching their fathers and learning what it was to be a man. Their message didn’t change, stereotypically, mom did the house work, dad did the work outside. Mom took care of the kids and dad drank beer.

The result?

We have a generation of women trying to have it all and not enough time or energy. They are tired, stressed, and have little left to give to their husbands, who still need their attention. Men feel the demands of having to help out, do more of what they were taught was woman’s work. They changed a few diapers, made a few meals, and took care of the kids a little more than their fathers ever had. For that, parents patted them on the backs, congratulated them on a job well done, and told the women, see you have equality.

As women, we picked up the slack. We strived to be everything. We felt the guilt of not being there full time with our children. We felt the pressure of not giving enough time to careers. We felt our husbands slip from our grasps and move away from us.

Is it no wonder the divorce rate is so high?

Will gender roles change?

Society has a long way to go before we are truly equal and the ideology of what is men’s work and what is women’s work in the home changes.

I applaud the men who stayed home to raise the children and care for the family. It is not a choice society embraces, yet as equal partners, men should be able to make the choice to stay home.

There is hope that men and women will figure out how to work together in this new reality. A world where what it means to be a man includes childcare, housework, and laundry.  Until men and women can truly break free of traditional gender stereotypes and models, relationships will continue to strain to the breaking point.

 

A letter from a father to a daughter about what lessons she learned from him regarding woman’s work and how sorry he was.

 

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcome any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email me today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com

Am I a Man Hater?

Is it better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all? 

My friends love men and find themselves hurt by them on a regular basis. Almost daily my phone rings with stories of betrayal, insecurity, and miscommunication. I listen, offer comfort, and give advice. Some of their stories about the selfish men they date make me furious and I encourage them to move on.

I know, dating is hard and loneliness can hurt, but it’s better
to be alone than with a selfish, uncaring, person man or woman. 

I have seen love. 

I know good men, men who love the woman in their lives. They protect, provide, and care for their woman. They support, champion, and scream out to the world about how wonderful she is. And she is. The women I know who are loved by a man, are amazing women. They are supportive, caring, and respectful of their man. They are his cheerleader, his confident, and his best friend.

I have seen love modelled my whole life, in my grandparents’, my parents’, my uncle’s, my aunt’s, my cousins’, and my brother’s relationships. They have a partnership, which makes both people stronger.

Am I a man hater?

I am scared of men hurting me. I’ll admit that.

I am angry at how some single men behave and how they don’t care about whom they hurt. Their bad behaviour is how the idea for the series 40 Something came about.

Do I hate all men?
No, just the single middle aged ones. 😉

No, I do not hate them. I struggle to understand them. I know there are some  who don’t care about women beyond the physical and don’t care whom they hurt as long as they get what they are after.

There are plenty of women who behave badly too.

There are very few single middle aged men who treat a woman like a lady. However, many weren’t brought up to and women have punished them if they even tried to be chivalrous. The sexual revolution and feminism have freed women to behave like men and now men find what they want so easily, they don’t have to behave, love, or even commit.

I get it. Doesn’t mean I have to put up with it. After all, online dating sites have lots of men and maybe one will know how to treat a lady properly. Until them …

I chose to be single.

Does that make me a man hater?


The Man Hater in 40 Something 

copy-of-40something-6The character Charlie, in my series 40 Something, is a man hater. She’s been hurt and overlooked because she believes she doesn’t fit the young, good looking, image media says successful men are drawn to and she blames men for her plight. Is it the fault of men or her own insecurities?

Men Suck, I hate them All

I’ve paired her with Lindsay, a woman who loves men for who they are, short comings and all.

I’ve created male characters who love their wives and are ‘good’ to woman. Gus is the perfect husband, the provider, and protector. His brother Gary is in touch with women’s pain and offers his help whenever it is needed, however, he does not see his wife who is too introverted to voice her needs.

I want 40 Something to be a reflection of being a 40 something person in the 21st Century and that includes man haters, man lovers, and men themselves.

Read Excerpts of 40 Something

Ebooks

 

Paperback – Includes Ebooks 1-5

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Shannon Peel (6)

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of 40 Something, Captive, and  THIRTEEN. For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com