Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Guest Novelist Heather Wardell: The Menopause Support Group

     Today on the blog I'm sharing something new and fun---a sneak peek at author Heather Wardell's upcoming novel, The Menopause Support Group." A brief summary of the book: Three very different women (cancer survivor Emily, career-obsessed Michelle, and busybody Brenda) and their fellow menopause support group members work through career crises, marriage disasters, and the world's worst birthday celebration as they learn together what it means to be a woman in menopause and beyond.

     I am completely intrigued by Heather's novel and can't wait to read it. The book will be released on June 30th, so be sure and grab a copy (links for ordering are below). Here's a sample from one of the book chapters to further convince you. Enjoy!

                           THE MENOPAUSE SUPPORT GROUP

Maria leads me to the circle of chairs, where I end up sitting next to her as she introduces me to the group then says, "Michelle, what's your story? As much or as little as you want to tell us."
"I'm... I'm thirty-nine," I say, "and I think I've been in menopause for about half a year now. I get on average seventeen hot flashes a day, I track them, and—"
"That's good," Brenda puts in, "it'll help you figure out what causes them. I track mine too, and—"
"Yes, thank you, Brenda," Maria says firmly. "Michelle's speaking."
Brenda mumbles something and I say over her, "I don't have any kids, and... well, I'm not sure I'm happy with that." Understatement, but enough for this group. "And that's about it."
Everyone murmurs some version of "Nice to meet you," and Maria says it more clearly then adds, "And you've picked a good week to start, as today's topic is hot flashes. This week we have an official topic, next week we'll just talk about whatever interests the group, and so on back and forth. As we always do when it's a topic week, I'll present some information from the doctors and then we'll discuss it and give our own tips and tricks. So..."
She picks up a binder from the floor beside her and begins. She doesn't just read it, which is great because that annoys me, but looks back regularly to keep herself on topic.
"Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause, affecting three out of every four people going through it. They're caused by a lack of estrogen, which in turn is caused by the ovaries shutting down or beginning to shut down. It's thought that the body's temperature regulation uses estrogen to some extent, and so without it the body thinks you're in hot conditions and so acts accordingly. With the symptoms we know. Which are?"
"Red face."
"Red chest."
"Red everything."
Everyone looks at Lisa who laughs. "I figure the red hair and lipstick distract the eye from the red skin and the sweat. Worth a shot, right?"
Maria smiles and nods as several more symptoms are thrown out, all of which I have during my flashes.
"It's the racing heart I find really difficult," I say, surprised I want to be involved right away. "Makes me feel like I'm panicking."
Maria nods and so do several of the others, including Brenda. "We'll talk about ways to help with that," Maria says, then adds, "Shortly," over Brenda's attempt to talk about it right now.
Brenda subsides; Maria continues to explain the biology of hot flashes for another few minutes, then ends with, "But understanding why they happen doesn't necessarily help us control them. What have you found to work for you?"
The usual things I've seen online, like deep breathing and wearing layers, come up first, and someone suggests a few essential oils that might help, then Lisa says, "Green primer."
The other ladies, none of whom are wearing much makeup, look confused, but I turn to her and say, "Really?"
She nods and holds both hands up to her face as if framing it. "Having a flash right this second. Can you tell?"
We all peer at her and shake our heads.

Heather Wardell, Women's Fiction with Depth, Humor, and Heart
Heather is a natural 1200-wpm speed reader and the author of twenty-one novels. She came to writing after careers as a software developer and elementary school computer teacher and can’t imagine ever leaving it. In her spare time, she reads, swims, walks, lifts weights, crochets, changes her hair colour, and plays drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.
***Pre-order is live now at 99 cents and the book will be released June 30th. The price goes up to $3.99 after July 4th. There will be a print version at $18.95 but likely not until early July.
Amazon - 


  1. Oh, my word! So . . . real! Excellent, Heather!
    And thanks for sharing, Marcia!

  2. This sounds like a ton of laughs, not to mention tips for symptoms I'm experiencing! I've bought the kindle book. So excited to get into it. thanks for the share, Marcia. Nice to learn about Heather! Best to you for your book launch, Heather.

  3. Thank you so much for this, Marcia! I hope everyone has a great day with no (few?) hot flashes! :)



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