The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Welcome romantic comedy author, Shelly Hickman...

           Hi Shelly! It's great to have you here and to be a part of your ongoing tour - I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Let's start with my questions...

1.)          What is your favourite thing about yourself?

My favourite thing about myself is that laughter comes easily from me. I love humour of just about any kind—especially stupid humour like the Naked Gun and Austin Powers.

2.)          What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?

I wish I knew how difficult it would be to achieve visibility. It takes soooo much work and it’s easy to feel like you’re moving backward at times.

3.)          Share a romantic moment in your life.

There’s a moment I’ll always remember from when I first met my husband. I don’t know that it’s necessarily romantic, but it was a cute exchange. He was friends with my girlfriend’s guy, Bill. Michelle invited me over for a get together at Bill’s to watch the series finale of Magnum P.I. It wasn’t an official set up, but just an excuse for Eric and me to meet in a casual setting. When I arrived, there was a group of people there already and Michelle introduced me to everyone. Eric was sitting on the couch, and I didn’t let my eyes linger on him too long as she made introductions because things were already weird. We both knew there were intentions to set us up.

I was sitting on the floor, my legs stretched out in front of me, not paying attention to the show because I was so self-conscious about the circumstances of the evening. Finally, I braved a look in Eric’s direction to find him staring at me. Our eyes met, and I think we were both uncomfortable that we caught each other and exchanged embarrassed smiles.

4.)          Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?

I’ve never really given that much thought. There are plenty of subjects I wouldn’t have any interest in writing about, but when it comes down to it, I think any subject is fair game. It’s up to the writer to do the topic justice in the way that s/he presents it.

5.)          Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

My suggestions aren’t much different than most you already hear. Read a lot. Write regularly, whatever “regularly” means for you. I’m not one of those people who says you must write every day. I’d be a hypocrite if I preached that. Critique groups can also be helpful if you recognize that the advice you receive there isn’t gospel. :)

6.)          If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. This was one of my all-time favourite books as a girl, and I’ve heard the same from so many women. Judy Blume made the subject of growing up not only funny, but also less scary, and to do that for a young person is such a wonderful accomplishment.

7.)          What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I was a pretty boring kid and didn’t do much that got me into trouble. Yet from what I’ve been told by my parents, I was a hellacious toddler—stubborn, defiant—beyond what’s typical for a child that age. This cracks me up because I’ve been a pretty easy-going person my entire life. My mom always says, “…But once you got out of that terrible two stage, you were pretty much perfect.” Granted, that is my mom speaking, and most parents think their kids are perfect, or close to it at least. ;)

8.)          If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?

I suppose it would be tacos simply because it’s the meal I’ve received the most compliments for over the years. I don’t make them much anymore since I used to make them for practically every large get together at our house, and I’m kind of over them. LOL.

Fortytude series
by Shelly Hickman




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.”

Excerpt One:

Kiran folds his arms over his chest and his expression sobers. “Before we take the trip into old town, I have to make sure you’re prepared for the bathrooms. Did you do your homework on bathrooms?”

I don’t like his somber tone and furrow my brow. “No... But I used the bathroom at the Delhi airport.”

“That’s different. They have western toilets there. Have you ever heard of a squat toilet?”

Oy. “Is that sort of like a port-a-potty?”

Kiran tries to contain a grin. “No. It’s not like a port-a-potty.” He walks over to the computer in the corner of the living room and turns it on. “It’s time to pull up some YouTube videos.”

No, no, no. Please tell me I’m not going to sit here with Kiran and learn how to go to the bathroom in India.

“You’ll want to make sure you carry toilet paper with you while in the city.”

Not such a big deal. That’s good practice in the States while on a road trip. Many rest stops won’t have toilet paper.

“Okay. I brought a bag that can accommodate a roll of TP.”

Kiran sits me down in the chair in front of the computer and pulls up a video on how to use squat toilets. A very questionable looking fellow proceeds to talk about “the art of laying cable” and “how to take a dump, by the book,” all in subtitles.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Amazon author page:

Buy links:

NOTE: "Vegas to Varanasi" is now perma-free on multiple platforms


Shelly Hickman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Comments?? Questions?? 


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me, Rachel!

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me, Rachel!

  3. Enjoyed the interview: Tacos would be pick too! Sounds like a great series, thanks for sharing!

  4. Really great post, thanks for sharing!

  5. Nice interview and the books sound good too! I remember reading Are You There God? It's Me Margaret when I was younger. I thought it was a great book as well.

  6. Great interview! I think I wasn't a headache for my parents when i was young but i guess they remember it differently!