Author and freelance writer, Anne Louise O'Connell, has been an expat since 1993 when she and her husband escaped the cold of Toronto, Canada and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They enjoyed the sun and sand for 14 years, while she worked in the PR field, and then decided it was time for a new adventure. Heading for even more sun and sand, they moved to Dubai in late 2007 and then on to Thailand in 2011.Anne has been working as a freelance copywriter, writing coach and social media consultant since 2007. She is a regular contributor to Global Living Magazine and Expat Focus. In between clients she squeezes in time for her newly found passion - writing fiction. Her second novel, Deep Deceit, is coming soon! She and her husband have a passion for travel as well and that adventurous spirit has taken them all over the world. Anne grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has a bachelor of public relations from Mount St. Vincent University. She is the author of @Home in Dubai... Getting Connected Online and on the Ground; 10 Steps to a Successful PR Campaign - a Do-it-Yourself Guide for Authors; and award winning Mental Pause, her first novel.
Mental Pauseby Anne Louise O'Connell
Abbie Slocum, a forty-something, average, middle of the road, housewife and mother of teenage twin boys, tries desperately to keep her outwardly idyllic life together while spiraling into a dark pit of menopausal insanity. Her mind races with suicidal, murderous thoughts so outside of her normal character that it frightens her. The only person she can share the graphic images from her hormonally addled mind with is her best friend, Rachel, recently separated, and the mysterious and titillating Joan, a new friend from Rachel's singles support group.
Women have survived this female passage of life since the beginning of time! Why was Abbie having so much trouble handling it? As the battle to maintain her sanity rages on, Abbie, Rachel and Joan stumble into unfortunate, borderline comical, circumstances that lead to wild nights, experimenting with drugs and two suspicious deaths. Abbie's cop husband, Conrad, tries desperately to understand what's happening to his normally sweet wife. While vying for promotion, his family gets embroiled in a media frenzy that swirls around a murder trial in which Abbie is the primary suspect.
Abbie takes the reader on an old jalopy ride of uncharacteristic outbursts and wild escapism that leads to tragedy and finally, into court where she just might have to plead 'temporary insanity'.
"Astonishingly honest, this novel will take you on a wild ride with its unforgettable protagonist, a woman who is on a journey of shocking self-discovery. A book like 'Mental Pause' is long overdue and I am sure it will speak to millions of women who like me, identify with its message." Zvezdana Rashkovich, author, Dubai Wives
"This novel zips along at a cracking pace and is full of fun. I loved it." Jo Parfitt, author and publisher
"Abbie is riding the hormonal roller coaster and hanging on for dear life. She finds herself in a body she no longer recognizes, a marriage that feels overwhelming, and she questions her very sanity. Her existence has become one big hot flash inflamed by killer moods. A chance meeting seems to give her the escape she's desperate for but at what cost? Accused of murder she finds herself in a jail cell accompanied by her regrets and the gnawing fear that her life may be changed forever. It's a kind of mental pause that Abbie has never imagined, in a story that offers no letup from start to satisfying finish. Change of life, anyone? Mental Pause promises to take you way beyond." Stacey Donovan, author/editor, Donovan Edits
"Love, attraction, hot flashes, pending empty nest, sizzling nights, shifting identity, the meaning of friendship, surprising twists and missteps galore -- it's all here! Anne O'Connell has written a fun debut novel about one menopausal woman's desire to let her hair down, and the trouble that can result." Linda A. Janssen, author of The Emotionally Resilient Expat
- Anne O'Connell
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- 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.52(d)
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This debut offering from independent author Anne O’Connell is poignant, funny, shocking and provides a moment of “maybe I’m NOT the crazy one here” for readers. Abbie is peri-menopausal with all of the symptoms that are alluded to, but never wholly defined or described to women in a way that every reader can empathize, sympathize or nod their head in agreement. Wholesale personality changes have taken over the formerly competent and functional wife and mother, and no one seems to understand why: least of all her. Sometimes completely sobering then venturing into almost farcical situations, Abbie and her cohorts wander into situations and circumstances as they ‘go with’ their curiosity and let their impulses take command of their adventures. Unfortunately, being the chief suspect in a murder trial doesn’t soothe Abbie’s frayed emotions or ally her symptoms, and everyone is wondering if she truly is insane. Mixing humor, real life symptoms and extreme reactions, O’Connell manages to create Abbie into a character that speaks to many, stronger than she appears yet wholly fragile and driven by impulses that she doesn’t always understand she is delightfully wacky and fun while still maintaining a sense of realness. The outrageous circumstances behind the murder charge, and the husband that is a cop and completely confused but trying to be supportive are well-played and keep the reader entertained even as we know that she is not the murderer. Friends also play a large part in this story: finally at the point where women are less about ‘competition’ and more about support and real friendship – it was nice to see a portrayal of female relationships that didn’t digress into mean-girl syndrome: where the bond and the support were more important to all of the friends. I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Abbie Slocum is middle-aged, married and suffering the consequences of menopause. As she goes through this phase of her life, hormone-addled and teetering between sanity and a place of no return, she hangs on to her life by sharing her difficulties with her best friend Rachel, and a rather mysterious new friend named Joan. Together they escape the troubles of menopause through wild nights until a rather mysterious circumstance catches up on Abbie, where she becomes the primary suspect in a murder case. To top it all, her increasingly bizarre behavior confuses Abbie’s husband Conrad, a cop, and her two sons. Eventually, she finds herself in a jail cell, coming face to face with herself and her regrets. How will she get herself through it all? Will she even make it? Menopause is a confusing time for women, what with extreme changes happening to the body, but this novel tells a woman’s story with such exciting sequences – at times nerve-wracking, at others humorous – that give us a clear picture of exactly how crazy a woman’s journey can become. Anne O’Connor develops her characters solidly in a story that flows smoothly. It is likely that a reader may initially conclude it as a book for older women, but it is not just for them – although it tells their story – nor is it your simple chic-lit fare. With courtroom drama and a murder case rolled into one, "Mental Pause" is a highly engaging, funny yet enlightening read, worth every minute of your time.