Friday, March 8, 2013

Mental Pause, Novel by Anne O'Connell, Launches on March 8th, International Women's Day! Part of the proceeds on launch day will benefit Room to Read

"Abbie opened the freezer, pulled out a loaf of bread and
held it against her cheek. It was such a relief. She grabbed
the eggs and milk from the fridge and began setting the
table. She hadn't slept well and her head was pounding.
It felt as if she was standing in the middle of a 21-gun
salute. How long were these night sweats going to last?
It seemed to be getting worse rather than better...

"What in God's name are you talking about? And I'd
appreciate it if you wouldn't be so patronizing." She
was deperately holding on to her last threat of patience
and the cannons in her head were getting closer and
going off more often. She rubbed her temples and tried
to focus on what he was saying.
"What she really wanted to say was that he was such an
asshole. And, maybe she was trying to kill him. That
would certainly get a reaction out of him. She wasn't a
child. How dare he scold her like that! A hundred
comebacks rolled around n her head but she just
couldn't form the words. She didn't want to fight. They
never usually did...But lately, it didn't take much to make
her want to jump down his throat..."

Mental Pause

By Anne O'Connell

Ok readers, there I was floating through the first pages of what I though was a Chick-Lit novel. You're right, I don't normally choose from that genre, but I thought, by the title, that it might be fun... After all, we women do know all about the word-behind-the-title, don't we? Well, if not, then you will have an opportunity to learn about important issues while reading this fun novel!

But just as I was settling in, enjoying how Abbie was dealing--Let's just say that the first thing we learn is that she takes food out of the freezer to hold against her body to try to cool off after her night sweats--The book turned into a murder mystery! How Cool Is That?!!! Way to go O'Connell!

Abbie is a loving wife and mother to two great sons who are soon leaving for college. Conrad was a cop and was looking for a promotion. She knew she was lucky because he seemed to be able to keep work separated from home life and he was always loving at home. But now...he wasn't quite sure what had happened to his wife...

"She heard a rustle in the bush just ahead and
stopped dead in her tracks. A man in a trench
coat and cap pulled down low over his eyes stepped
out. Abbie gripped the pepper stray tighter as he
approached. Oh my God... he's going to flash me!
What an asshole! A wave of anger overtook her as
she lunged towards him and sprayed him full in
the face. Abbie's foot hit a slippery spot and her
slide, continuing her forward momentum. She
unavoidably body-slammed him and tackled him
to the ground. He screamed. His hands flew to his
eyes as she came down on top of him.
"Petrified, Abbie pushed herself away as her
attacker's arms flapped around his face, his
unseeing eyes becoming beat red from the
spray. She scrambled to her feet, her anger
melting into fear that he would retaliate. She
turned and ran as fast as she could to the safety
of her own back yard before he could regain his
"...she couldn't tell Conrad what had happened.
He would go ape-shit and all protective and
'cop-like' on her and run after the guy. Then
he would lecture her on how she really
shouldn't have gone out on her own..."

I know it is not funny when a woman is experiencing it, but, you got to admit when you read what it results in...well, it just IS... You know that often we think about saying what we are really thinking about any given situation... Well, Abbie's husband and sons were getting the brunt of a lot of that feedback that they usually didn't hear. Of course, they looked at their mother strangely and then with puzzlement to each other...

Which only made Abbie that much more irritated and angry!

Fortunately, her best friend was somebody that she could talk to about what she was experiencing. But when she found out that she was also going through it, she was shocked, because she always seemed so calm. However, she learned that she was taking medication. Abbie was opposed to taking any medication that she felt she did not need. She'd decided she'd just make it through it all: irritation, anger, pain, night sweats, and lots more that each individual woman could name for herself, because we are all different, right?!

It was the night sweats, which often resulted in her taking a walk in the middle of the night, that helped get her in trouble...

Rachel was her best friend so she started telling her, for instance, about the fry pan and the dead dog... Yes, Abbie did it...

But one day when she went to visit, Joan was there. Joan and Rachel were both members of a support group for recently divorced... Joanie immediately gave Abbie the impression that she was attracted to her. And, indeed, Joanie had divorced her husband once she had finally admitted to herself that she wanted to be with women...and so she had already started...And Abbie realized that she was just one of them...

They enjoyed each other as friends, however, and Joan even called Abbie for lunch one day without Rachel. But one night they all went out to dance to have a girls night out. Drinking was, of course, part of the deal and Abbie soon was not worrying about how she was feeling--in fact, she was feeling fine! So fine, that when Joan pulled her into the restroom and offered her drugs, Abbie took it...

It happened that night! Rachel decided to head home alone...Joan and Abbie wound up at a hotel and Abbie woke the next morning, not knowing where she was or what had happened! She did remember who she had been with and thought that it was Joan who was in the bathroom...

Abbie gathered up her clothes and got out of there!

Only to learn that Joanie had been murdered that very night...

Yep, and she was arrested on three counts of...murder...count them...

O'Connell, in launching her book on Women's International Day, is recognizing women, spotlighting and sharing one of the most important changes in her life, gets into women to women relationships, medication issues, family life, as well as a hell of a great mystery! I personally think she's done a great job in celebrating women! Don't you?

My recommendation: Get it!


About the Author

Author and freelance writer, Anne 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 and then on to Thailand. Anne has been working as a freelance copywriter,
writing coach and consultant since 2007, specializing in social media, marketing, corporate communications and public relations.

Anne grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has a bachelor of public relations from Mount St. Vincent University. Mental Pause is her first novel. Check out her site: Twitter @annethewriter.


  1. Thank you for this review, it was very informative and well written. I like how you added an "about the author" section, too. I look forward to more reviews from you!

  2. Hey Thanks Jeff...I appreciate the feedback! If you think of any other way I could make it more helpful, let me know!