Fortytude by Shelly Hickman


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shelly Hickman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Last Ten
This being one of my very last blog posts for a tour I’ve been doing since September, I am seriously running out of material folks! If I manage a post once a month on my own blog, it’s quite the accomplishment, so I’m not sure what I was thinking when I dove into a tour that required me to provide material about once a week for over four months. All I have to say is alcohol must have been involved.

That being said, I did a search for blog ideas and found one that I thought might be fun—sharing the last ten photos on my camera roll without deleting anything. So here goes. Oh, and I’d like to thank Long and Short Reviews for featuring me. I hope all these pics aren’t too much of a pain to post!

My son and his girlfriend on their way to her company Christmas party.


My husband and I having dinner with our oldest friends. The meal was their Christmas gift to us. I love them!!!


My daughter loves to get hold of my phone and take silly selfies for me to discover. She says she does this on her friends’ phones as well. Not sure what’s going on with all that static on top.

The recipe for a soup my mom makes that my family is crazy over. I’ve been meaning to get it from her forever and finally remembered to take a picture of it. It is quite yummy—but more importantly—easy! Try it. 😉


The view while filling up my car. It was a gorgeous day and I wanted to capture the palm trees against the mountains.


Our Christmas tree!


My parents are always asking me for ideas for things they can get me for Christmas. I saw this super cute, fuzzy robe in Kirkland’s and thought I would send them a picture of it. I never did because I forgot all about it. (Short attention span strikes again.)


My kids and their cousins playing Fun Run on their phones together after Thanksgiving dinner.

My kids and their cousins playing Fun Run on their phones together after Thanksgiving dinner.


Our house after my husband and son put up the Christmas lights. It’s the first time we’ve had lights on our house in ten years. Hubby got motivated! :)

Our house after my husband and son put up the Christmas lights. It’s the first time we’ve had lights on our house in ten years. Hubby got motivated! 🙂

So this one is pretty boring, but after deleting the photos of my husband’s strip tease, it was the next in line. (I JOKE!) A pic I sent to hubby while getting the outdoor Christmas lights. Did he need a timer?

Take a look at the last ten photos on your camera roll. Anything interesting? Care to tell me what they are?


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.”

Enjoy an excerpt:

When I look up, Kiran is regarding me so intently, I swear he’s mentally calculating the diameter of my pupils. “It was truly exceptional, for someone your age to be so compassionate toward others.”


This is becoming far too intense. My insides feel as if they’re playing musical chairs. “I could really use a drink. You?”

“I’ll get it for you. What would you like?”

“A glass of white wine, please.”

“Any particular kind?”

“Whatever they have is fine.”

I sit down on one of the sofas while he walks to the bar for our drinks.

This is childish. Why am I acting like I’ve never had a man give me attention before? It has to be because I’m letting his looks intimidate me.

Luke never flustered me, but maybe that was because he was my buddy first. Despite his good looks, he was approachable. Kiran, on the other hand… I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone in real life who was so arresting.

I feel flushed and touch my face.

He’s not full of himself, and he genuinely seems to like me. Clearly, he has these idealistic memories of me which are far too much to live up to. I’m not Gandhi, for crying out loud!

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 dogs, Frankie and Junebug.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page
Buy the books:
Amazon: Vegas to Varanasi Menopause to Matrimony
Barnes and Noble: Vegas to Varanasi Menopause to Matrimony

NOTE: Vegas to Varanasi is now perma-free on multiple platforms
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for hosting

  2. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

  3. I really did enjoy reading the excerpt for this story.

  4. Andrea C. says:

    Enjoyed your photos & the stories that went with them!

  5. Becky Richardson says:

    What genre is your favorite?

  6. Thank you for having me!

  7. Becky Richardson says:

    Enjoyed the excerpt and what kind of books do you enjoy?

  8. Danielle M. says:

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  9. This sounds like a great book-I can’t wait to read it! Thank you for sharing your awesome pictures!

  10. Rita Wray says:

    Great excerpt, thank you.

  11. added to my tbr can’t wait to read

  12. I enjoyed reading the excerpt for this story and like your photos and their stories!

  13. Patrick Siu says:

    I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  14. Eva Millien says:

    Enjoyed the photos and the post, sounds like a great series, thanks for sharing!

  15. Loved your photos!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    P.S. i totally don’t believe you were joking about that pic of your husband having to be deleted 😉 lol

  16. I enjoyed your family pictures. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Linda Romer says:

    I love your holiday pictures ♡ Thank you

  18. Thank you for all the comments, ladies! 🙂

  19. Loved the excerpt sounds like a great read!

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