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

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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 

Alone and Unloved

Excerpt from the book 40 Something about 5 women juggling careers, kids, family, and men. Based on true stories about life, marriage, dating, careers, rivals, sisters, friends, technology, abuse, love, and so much more.

Sophie 

I am unwanted.

I am unworthy.

I will never be loved.

These words keep going around and around in my head. Repeating themselves over and over. It’s like there is a demon talking inside my mind and it won’t shut up. It won’t stop. It’s incessant. I just want it to be silent so I can think, so I can sleep, so I can move on. How can I move on when I feel so alone? The pain inside is palpable. Every word stabs at me. Every realization rips me apart. I want to cry, scream, beat something, the pain is brutal and it won’t go away. It burns in my throat and behind my eyes. It rips at my heart. It leaves an empty hole beneath my breastbone. Everything hurts. A deep tired ache with every nerve on fire to remind me I’m alone.

I will always be alone.

Forever alone.

I’m damaged goods.

Craig found someone to love him. He found love, so, he must have been right when he said that I was the reason our marriage didn’t work, that I’m not good enough to love. He treats her with respect. He cares about her wants and needs. He never cared about mine. I was nothing but a burden to him. A responsibility he no longer wanted. I didn’t matter. What I wanted didn’t matter. Who I am didn’t matter. My happiness never mattered. All that mattered was him.

My kids need me.

I need to focus all my energy and attention on them. I’m a mother. Mothers don’t date. Mothers don’t go to bars. Mothers don’t have sex with men that aren’t their kid’s fathers. Mothers are good. I’m only a mother.

I’m a single mother.

Single.

Alone.

My mother couldn’t love me. My husband couldn’t love me. I am unworthy of love, I know that, every guy can see that. They’ll know. I’ll just get rejected. I don’t want to date. I don’t want to be thrown away again.

Men don’t talk to me. Men talk to Lindsay because she’s gorgeous, fun, and happy. She doesn’t have all the problems I have. Men talk to Charlie because she is smart, successful and interesting. She doesn’t have all the insecurities I have. Men see them. Men don’t see me.

Unwanted.

Invisible.

Worthless.

Lindsay wants me to go to some shindig with her tonight. I don’t want to go. Maybe I should tell her I’m sick. Who am I kidding? I’ll go. Even though I don’t want to. I’ll go because she asked me to. I never say no. I never do what I want. I don’t know. I’ll go. I don’t want to stay home. I don’t want to go. I just. Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know what I want.

Maybe I should ask Craig what I should do. He always told me what to do. I’m lost without him.

I better get ready. Lindsay will be ready to go soon. She won’t let me stay home. Damn. Why don’t I know what I want?

I am unlovable.

I am unwanted.

I am alone.

The pain is sharp and it cuts into my soul, shredding it to pieces.

 

Why do we Shame Each Other

shame


 

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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 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

Stood Up

Sophie is a character in a chicklit novel

I’m sipping on a coffee waiting for my date to arrive. Frank. He’s cute. Well, he is in his photos, tall, and rugged looking. We’ve been chatting online for a couple of weeks, some texts and even a phone call. He sounds nice. Really nice.

I’m kind of nervous to tell you the truth. Butterflies be damned, I have eagles flying around in my stomach making me nauseous. What if he doesn’t like me? What if he walks in, sees me, turns around and walks right out again without even saying hello?

I look at the time on my phone. 1:47. We were supposed to meet at 1:30. A few minutes late doesn’t mean anything, right? I reread our conversations. I like that I can go back and reread conversations like this. It helps. I feel like I can really know him, you know, like some door to his mind has opened up, the one that social filters usually keep tightly shut.

Our text conversation

Him: Wow sexy
Me: Thanks. I think you’re hot
Him: Mmmmm you are making me hard
Me: What? How? I’m not there
Him: Just thinking about you about touching you
Me: So do you want to? Touch me that is
Him: Hell yeah baby
Me: Then why haven’t you asked to meet me?
Him: You want to meet me?
Me: Yes.
Him: When
Me: I’m free tomorrow afternoon
Him: You want to come to my place?
Me: I’d rather meet in public
Him: I thought you wanted me to touch you
Me: I want to meet you first – In public 

We’ve had this same text conversation almost every night for a couple of weeks, until he finally asked me to meet him, here, at this coffee shop at 1:30pm. I look at the time on my phone again. I remember when you needed a watch, now they are unnecessary. I miss wearing a watch, maybe I can buy one. I mean if Craig pays child support I can. But that’s for the kids not me. I better not, but I miss having a watch. At least I have a phone. Craig wouldn’t buy me a phone, didn’t want the payments. And a phone is better than a watch. The phone says 1:53.

He’s over 20 minutes late.

Is that OK? Should I leave? Should I stay? What should I do? Should I call him? Text him? Charlie will know.

“Charlie, it’s Sophie.”

“Hey what’s up?”

“Well, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course. Shoot.”

“When a guy is over 20 minutes late for a coffee date does that mean I got stood up?”

“Depends. Traffic, accidents. But baring that, I’d say he forgot.”

“Oh. Should I text him? Call him?”

“Fu** No. He’s the one that’s late, he should be texting or calling you. Call me if he does and let me know what his reason was. Otherwise, sweetie write the loser off and move on to the next. You deserve better than that ass.”

Do I? I am not so sure. I mean he seemed like a really nice guy, we hit it off, I like him and maybe he is just stuck in traffic or in an accident. I get a jolt of fear. What if he’s been in an accident? What if he’s hurt? I should find out.

“But –”

“No buts. Promise me Sophie that you won’t contact him. Contact another guy, any other guy but don’t contact him. If he had a legitimate reason you can talk about it with him when he contacts you. Otherwise, assume he stood you up and find someone else. He’s not worth the effort.”

He is. He is worth the effort. At least I think he is.

I’m here. He isn’t. He didn’t call. Didn’t text. Maybe his phone broke. Or maybe his car broke down. Maybe his phone is dead. Maybe he deleted my number by accident. Or —

“Why don’t you come over and we’ll make everything better with retail therapy.”

I think about getting a watch, briefly. I know I can’t afford it. I mean there is a bit of money in the account, but the kids will probably need something. And what if Craig choses not to pay child support this month? I don’t think I’ve upset him, but I never know with him.

“Uhm. I can’t, sorry.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I got to get back to the kids. Isabella is babysitting.”

“OK. Tell Isa that I said hi.”

I hang up. Glancing around the coffee shop one more time, not seeing him. I am embarrassed. It’s crazy I know, but I think everyone in here knows I just got stood up. I glance down at the floor. My eyes burn for a minute. Just a minute though. I can do this and I walk out to my car. Tears streaming down my face.

Buy the novella – Sunday Dinner From Amazon.

 

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]

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 PM

Shannon 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 

Separated and Broken

Sophie, a character in a chicklit novel

This post was included in the novella Sunday Dinner. It is available on Kindle. Please take a moment to view the other posts available.

 

Buy the novella – Sunday Dinner From Amazon.

 

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]

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 PM

Shannon 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 

Sophie – The Tragic One

When you write a novel you have to know your characters inside and out. The more developed the characters, the more believable and empathetic they are. The aim of any good writer is to draw the reader in by making their characters relatable.

For this novel there are a number of characters and each one has their own back story, personality, likes, dislikes, and attitudes. Sophie is one of these characters.

Demographics

Name: Sophie Harris
Age: 43 years old
Status: Recently Separated
Occupation: Many failed ones
Children: Two one boy 10 and one girl 7
Body Type: Petite and slim

Personality

Sophie is a tragic woman who tries in life but doesn’t succeed. For her life is one daily struggle after another resulting in chronic depression and stress ailments. She really does try hard, thing is she gets it wrong more times than she gets it right and those who claim to love her beat her down her. She is beaten down, submissive, and doesn’t trust herself thanks to years of conditioning from a lifetime of abuse.

People see her as weak, whiny at times, and not worth their time. At least that is what she thinks, it’s not the truth. Those who know her see a strong, capable woman struggling and surviving. Yes she is a tragic figure with her clearance rack, ill fitting, clothes and do it yourself die job. She’s never had anyone put her first and does not know how to believe she’s worth the money to polish her appearance.

She struggles daily with demons telling her she is not good enough, she is worthless, and doesn’t deserve to be happy because let’s face it, she’s tragic. She fights these demons with a strong mind and an even stronger will. She wants a better life, she wants success, she wants to be loved, and she knows she deserves it. Problem is, life and those who claim to love her have given her evidence to the opposite and her will falters under the proof that she isn’t worth what she hopes she is.

She isn’t outgoing and prefers to be alone. She gets scared in large noisy groups of people and feels safer in quiet places. She is a fierce lioness where her kids are concerned and protects them with a venom so dangerous it seems like over kill and an inappropriate response to most people.

She is not the kind of person people seek out to spend time with and if it wasn’t for her friend Rose she’d be alone all the time. She doesn’t mind being alone except when the demons get too loud and the pain gets too much to bear.

Marriage

At first Sophie’s marriage to Craig was like any marriage and they were both somewhat happy, then life happened and wore them both down. The marriage became a long struggle for her as she tried to please her husband who was never happy and didn’t appreciate her. Over the years Craig’s drinking became heavier and more violent.  He blamed her for his perceived failures, even though she did everything she could to support him, while simultaneously trying to succeed in her own endavors with no support from him.

Little by little the power dynamic shifted until Sophie had no power and felt what she wanted didn’t matter at all. She stopped wanting, she stopped dreaming, and she stopped hoping. Craig’s angry outbursts were uncontrollable and directed at her. He called her terrible things, said she was worthless, and incapable of getting anything right. This took its toll and she still struggles with the lies he told her.

Finally, he had enough and wanted out but did not want to lose any of his economic status, the house, or his stuff. His frustration at having her in his life came out in violent anger and soon she had no option but to leave the house with the children.

Family

Sophie’s mom is a very opinionated, competitive, and strong woman who controls everyone and everything around her. She needs to be the best, have the best, and that included kids. No matter what Sophie did growing up, it wasn’t good enough for her mother who expected perfection. Second place was never good, B’s should be A’s and heaven forbid Sophie be the topic of any rumour in the small town they lived in.

Though her mother expected perfection, she did not expect Sophie to amount to much more than a housewife and mother. Any time Sophie dreamed of being something that her mother didn’t think fit into her plans for Sophie’s life, her mother informed her that she didn’t have what it took to do that. Support came with strings and as long as Sophie towed the line she was given approval and love, the minute she didn’t, support was non existent, criticism heaped on, and love withheld.

Her father died when Sophie was young and her mom remarried a man who was successful in the business world, easy going, and liked little girls. Sophie’s mom turned a blind eye to what was happening under her roof because it was more important to look perfect to the world than air out dirty laundry. Besides, he supported them financially and gave them the socio economic life her mother wanted.

She has a couple half brothers who are much younger, spoiled, and entitled. Where Sophie could do no right, her brothers could do no wrong and they just ignore Sophie.

Likes / Dislikes

Sophie has no idea what she likes or dislikes. She just exists and believes she doesn’t matter enough to want anything. It’s been so long since she wanted something for herself she has no idea what she wants anymore. She tells herself she is content with what life has given her and makes do.

Ideal Man

Sophie just wants to be loved. She wants a man who will take care of her, protect her, see her, love her, give her a life she never thought possible. She desperately wants a boyfriend who will invite her to move in with him, make her safe and take care of her and her children.

She just wants to feel safe and protected.

 

The start of Sophie’s story

 

Buy the novella – Sunday Dinner From Amazon.

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel by Shannon Peel about being single as a 40+ year old in today’s online dating environment. 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. She welcomes any dating stories you would like to share for the book but understand the story will only be a jump off point as she isn’t about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her 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 PM

Shannon 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