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Monday, July 23, 2018

 

Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon blog tour launch and giveaway


Dear Tom,
I'm back on Anna Maria Island... missing you.
But walking down these beautiful beaches reminds me of us and makes
me feel a little less far away from you. And that encourages me as I am writing our story.
Hopefully this will help other people who are feeling our pain too.
I love and miss you every day, darling.
Love,
Me

When he first saw me, Tom said that he would spend the rest of his life with me. To my surprise, he actually did. He was the love of my life. We shared a story that felt like a dream. Every moment was an adventure... and then Tom became ill. As his mysterious symptoms persisted we were hurtled through a maze of fear, tests, doubts and sorrow. But while doctors toyed with diagnoses--Lyme disease, ALS--we filled each day with joy, hope, good food, wine, music and travel. Even when death came to crush our storybook romance, we found that the human spirit is greater than the frailties of the body, greater than suffering and grief.

From the fateful tick bite on Block Island to central nervous system failure, to healing my grief and loss, I stayed afloat, upbeat, and connected to Tom through devotion, true love, and by donning my own special pair of rose-colored glasses.

Paperback:  288 Pages
Publisher:  WiDO Publishing (May 29th 2018)
Genre: Memoir
ISBN-10: 1947966049
ISBN-13: 978-1947966048

Rose Colored Glasses is available for purchase in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.  

Book Giveaway Contest!

To win a copy of Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon, please enter using Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on July 29th at 12AM EST. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author:

Jo Ann Simon, a corporate executive, is a lifelong nutmegger, living in various locations in the Nutmeg state of Connecticut. She is a constant traveler, exploring the world including her favorite country, Italy. When she is not traveling, Jo Ann loves spending time with her family, friends and her seven grandchildren. Her day job running a company, painting fine art, gardening and writing fill in the blanks of her life. Palm trees are essential in her personal landscape with beaches to match.

Find JoAnn Online:

Website: https://www.joann-simon.com/

Blog: https://forgetmenotjosi.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForgetMeNotJoSi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joannsimonauthorpage/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo-ann-simon-27626518/

Instagram: forgetmenotjosi

-----Interview by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

WOW: Thank you for sharing Rose Colored Glasses with the world and choosing WOW! Women on Writing to help you do that! With a heartfelt memoir, I always find myself wondering: How did you overcome your fears of how others might perceive Rose Colored Glasses?

JoAnn: Writing a Memoir is a humbling process. I had to decide how much of my life, my passions, my loves, my failures, my everything I wanted to put out there. That was a fine line and scary. At first I was being a scaredy cat, holding back and maybe not telling he correct story. That’s when I decided that if I am going to do this, I had to do it right or not do it at all. Once it was launched, I had to hold my breathe to see how people would react to it . . . thank goodness it is all great so afar!

I thought back to the early stages of my art career. I did not want to sell my work because it was precious to me, too precious to share with anyone. Then my art teacher convinced me to show my work in a local art show. My first piece sold. It was a watercolor of a beautiful yellow barn and a red flyer wagon on front of it with beautiful trees spotted with sunshine and shade. It made you think of days gone by and fun as a child. I was ready to let go, and feel how powerful it was to share my work with the world and to receive the appreciation for my work. It is the same with writing. Years later, after many more painting sales, I was in a restaurant and a women said:

“Aren’t you Jo Ann Simon?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Wow! I have one of your paintings. It is so nice to meet you.”
“It’s very nice to meet you, which painting do you have?”
“It is a beautiful painting of a yellow barn with a red wagon. I love it! I have it in my entrance way and see it every day. It makes me smile every day. Thank you so much.”
“I am honored and would like you to know that your painting was my very first sale. It makes me smile too that you enjoy it so much. Thank you very much.”

There is a beautiful power of overcoming fears, and learning that if you share what people need and want, you can hopefully make a difference.

WOW: What an awesome conversation - and so empowering!

What role has your family played in publishing? Who has been your greatest support and how so?

JoAnn: My family is ultra supportive of my endeavors and life challenges, and has always been there for me in so many ways. In my writing, I have a different set of ‘family’ who are my friends and new writing comrades. My friends stick to me like glue through thick and thin, I am the luckiest person in the world to have the friends and family that I do have.

The publishing world is all new to me, and I am immensely enjoying the camaraderie of individuals that I have met along the way, writing groups that I have joined, and the special bond that two writers have with each other, and there are millions of writers. My universe and support system has become the world. It is incredible and heartwarming.

WOW: You're not the first person who has enjoyed this camaraderie - writers are a heartwarming group!

When you first began writing, what were you hoping to gain by sharing your story of loss? How has this changed as the project progressed?

JoAnn: I started writing to not forget every inch of our amazing short time together. We were together for a total 10 years, married for 3 of them. On that drive home from Block Island after Labor Day weekend was when I decided to do this. That weekend really brought everything back to me and allowed me to see outside of my doom and gloom. I wanted to write everything down before I lost it, especially the special times with Tom. When I started writing I had intention of publishing my book. It gave me something productive to do with my free time and the time to think about what I had been through and try to make some sense of it. I didn’t have much time to make sense of anything when I was trying to save a life.

The writing flowed out of me, at the same time the grief and feelings of loneliness seemed to ebb its way out too. I also realized that my positive attitude helped me to survive some of the hardest moments, hours and days in my life. That’s when the thought emerged that maybe if I publish my story as a memoir it might help other people out there going through same or similar circumstances, just like it helped me.

After I completed the writing I realized that I was living in the past for the last 4 years while I wrote my story. It was hard for me to be anywhere else but in the past with my beloved Tom. I know that Tom will always be looking over me, and will give me signs that he is with me, but now I feel that I can and am living in the present and looking forward to the future and the next Chapter of my life. My campaign of wearing Rose Colored Glasses every day figuratively or actually to be positive and make the most of every day is working. That formula has helped me to grow, thrive and live my life again. My objective is to share that with everyone I can touch.

WOW: I love how you describe moving from past to present - such a coming of age. What resources do you recommend to those families trying to navigate their own feelings after losing a loved one?

JoAnn: Everyone has different ways of grieving and finding help, but it is important to have options to work through the pain and loss. I worked through mine by writing staying close to loved ones. Reading stories of loss and how people healed helped me immensely as well. Hospice offered much support with groups that I could join and newsletters with stories of people trying to heal and how they did. There is a significant amount of help out there if you want to find it, with support groups, through your church, hospital, or town/city that you live in.

I also reached out to the ALS Association to try to support them in fundraising to find a cure. That gave me a way to channel my loss into something positive that could help others in the future, and hopefully safe lives. I was part of the Ice Bucket Challenge and organized a recent Hot Pepper Challenge at my company. My article “Some Like it HOT, Some like it COLD has been published. My hope is that many more people will take a challenge to raise funds to find a cure for ALS and then challenge 3 more people to do the same . . . keep it going. This has helped me to know that I am making a difference for Tom.

WOW:  Just last week a friend and her husband received an ALS diagnosis - they are struggling through the 'incurable' part of the disease right now. Her husband and she are determined to wear their own rose colored glasses for the sake of their 5 young children. I hope her story ends differently than yours and a cure is found in time. From their family and the others touched by ALS - thank you for helping fund raise to find a cure.

What’s next for you personally? Professionally?

JoAnn: Right now I’m feeling like I’m on a magic carpet that can take me anywhere. The Launch of my book Rose Colored Glasses has been amazing so far and it’s only been a month. The feedback the book has been extremely positive and wonderful.

I’m very excited about this Blog Tour and am planning a Book Tour to all the locations in the book, which are many, at a minimum.

I have several Radio Station interviews scheduled and articles written and published in different online magazines and websites, which is very exciting to me.

I will continue my day job, but have decided to write my next book, which will be fiction loosely based on my life. It will be about a widow who lost her husband 3 years ago and has not found or wanted to find another love, but she has a yearning to have someone else in her life again. It’s time to open herself up. It’s really scary though, to want to love someone, be loved, make love and have a commitment to someone else, because she could lose that person again and go through everything that she went through before. It’s terrifying, the most terrifying thing to do.

So, the book will go to Italy and have some dalliances. It will have some sex scenes and will make her feel like she could possibly love again. It will make her feel like a person who can be alive again, be wanted and cherished again. It will be a bumpy and funny road. There will be times that silly funny things will happen with men, because she is rusty at this. She might be very demanding because of her now high standards of wha is expected from a man, that could turn everything to be impossible, but that’s the story of it all and that’s the story of not wanting something, but then it happens and the unbelievable happens with you even knowing it. It sneaks up on you and it grabs you. It never ever let’s go, that’s the thing called true love.

WOW: I just knew you'd have something exciting in the works!

What advice do you have for others who may consider sharing something so personal?

JoAnn: My advice is to try to live life forward a little at a time. Healing takes time. You will never be the same person, but you can become a person that lives a full and happy life again. Always keep your loved ones close to your heart, but don’t feel that it is the end of your life. They would want you to carry on and be strong so that they will not worry about you.

There are many things to do:

  • Write about your life together…it helped me immensely and could help you
  • Join a women’s group
  • Join a Book Club and read my book “Rose Colored Glasses”
  • Find a group that is involved with one of your hobbies
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Start exercising or walking
  • Spend more time with family or friends
  • Travel
  • Volunteer
  • Check out your local Meet Up groups

WOW: Those are great suggestions and ideas - thank you!

If Rose Colored Glasses were made into a movie, what song would you choose to compliment the movie and why?

JoAnn: Crystal, that is an easy, but a hard question at the same time. Reason being there are so many songs that would be perfect, that it would be hard to choose one. The movie would have to showcase several songs throughout. Starting with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which Tom plays for me every place I am doing something that he is really happy with me being there at that place or with those people. It doesn’t matter where or when, it is always a special magical surprise that tells me that he is with me. I don’t want to give the story away, but you will read about this in the book in The Epilogue, Paris.

Also, John Lennon’s” In My Life” is also in the book, which says it all about us, his life, and our life together….He loved me more. just beautiful. Also the chapter about a found recording that showcases gorgeous music from the forties. One song “A Dreamers Holiday” personified where Tom was at the point in time.

Climb aboard a butterfly and take off in the breeze
Let your worries flutter by and do the things you please
In the land where dollar bills are falling off the trees
On a dreamer's holiday

Every day for breakfast there's a dish of scrambled stars
And for luncheon you'll be munchin' rainbow candy bars
You'll be livin' a la mode on Jupiter or Mars
On a dreamer's holiday

Make it a long vacation
Time, there is plenty of
You need no reservation
Just bring along the one you love

Help yourself to happiness and sprinkle it with mirth
Close your eyes and concentrate, and dream for all you're worth
You will feel terrific when you get back down to earth
From a dreamer's holiday

Make it a long vacation
Time, there is plenty of
You need no reservation
Just bring along the one you love

Help yourself to happiness and sprinkle it with mirth
Close your eyes and concentrate, and dream for all you're worth
You will feel terrific when you get back down to earth
From a dreamer's holiday

We always had our ritual, which I still do, of Sunday morning coffee, newspapers, and forties music in the background.

One of the amazing things that started happening to me soon after Tom passed was songs playing that seemed like he was talking to me through th music. I have a list that I kept of over 200 songs that had meaning and lifted my spirits when I heard them. At first, it was too hard to hear, but then I realized that he was closer to me than he could ever be and that was heartwarming and caused me to smile and start to accept that he was not on this earth, but he was still with me, and always would be. Music can be a healer, a connection and a lifeline.

WOW: Thank you, Jo Ann! You've been a joy to interview and work with. Please keep in touch and let us know when that next book comes out!

----------Blog Tour Dates

Monday, July 23rd @ The Muffin
Author Interview and Giveaway!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

Tuesday, July 24th @ JoAnn Simon
Crystal Casavant-Otto reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon - don't miss this opportunity to learn more about Jo Ann's touching memoir.
https://forgetmenotjosi.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, July 25th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Wisconsin mother, wife, and autism advocate Michelle DelPonte reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon and shares her thoughts with readers at Bring on Lemons. This is an unforgettable memoir!
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 26th @ Beverley Baird
Beverley Baird reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon. This touching memoir is one readers won't soon forget! You'll want to add this one to your #TBRPile today!
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

Friday, July 27th @ Choices
The readers at Madeline Sharples blog, Choices, are in for a special treat today as Jo Ann Simon pens the guest post "Seeing Art Through the Artist's Eye". Readers can enjoy this post while also learning about Simon's memoir Rose Colored Glasses recently published by WiDO Publishing.
http://madelinesharples.com/

Monday, July 30th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Cathy Stucker interview Jo Ann Simon about her recently published memoir Rose Colored Glasses
https://www.sellingbooks.com/

Tuesday, July 31st @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon and shares her thoughts with readers at World of My Imagination. Don't miss a chance to learn about this memoir of love and loss.
https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 2nd @ Memoir Writer's Journey
Today's post at Memoir Writer's Journey includes a guest post titled "Simplicity in Life" written by Jo Ann Simon. There is also a link to Kathleen Pooler's review of Simon's recently published memoir Rose Colored Glasses. Readers won't want to miss this opportunity to learn more about Simon and her lovely memoir.
https://krpooler.com/

Tuesday, August 7th @ Bring on Lemons
Today's author spotlight at Bring on Lemons is Jo Ann Simon featuring her recently published memoir Rose Colored Glasses. Don't miss a chance to learn about Simon and check out Crystal's review of this touching memoir.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 8th @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton interviews Jo Ann Simon about her memoir Rose Colored Glasses (and more)!
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 8th @ Margo Dill
Today's guest author is Jo Ann Simon of Rose Colored Glasses - and today's topic is "A Positive Attitude". Don't miss this blog stop!
http://margodill.com/blog/

Monday, August 13th @ Write Happy
Catherine Brown reviews Rose Colored Glasses a touching memoir by JoAnn Simon.
https://www.writehappy.net/blog

Monday, August 13th @ Coffee with Lacey
Lacey reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon. Don't miss the opportunity to learn more about this inspirational memoir about love, loss, and hope!
https://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com/

Thursday, August 16th @ Ellen Valladares
Fellow author Ellen Valladares reviews Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon.
https://ellenvalladares.com/

Wednesday, August 22nd @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Fellow memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro shares her thoughts after reading Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon.
http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

Thursday, August 23rd @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator, mother, and business owner Cathy Hansen reviews the memoir Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Keep up with the latest stops by following us on twitter @WOWBlogTour.


*****BOOK GIVEAWAY*****

Enter to win a copy of Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway contest closes Sunday, July 29th, at 12am. We will choose a winner the same day. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jo Ann Simon said...

Thank you Crystal,
It was my pleasure to do this interview and work with you. This is very exciting to be on a blog tour.

Jo Ann

6:35 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Wonderful interview, ladies!

Jo Ann, I love your positivity, and memoir sounds like one I'd enjoy. I'm always looking for stories to learn how others heal after a loss. I appreciated the part of your interview where you talk about your writing process. I imagine it must've been incredibly hard living in the past for four years while you wrote. For the story to flow out of you, it was one you needed to write! Do you have any tips for memoir writing? I've wanted to write my own memoir about healing after loss, and I write essays, but haven't found the discipline to write anything book length.

I also loved hearing about your next book! It sounds like it'll be a lot of fun to write fiction and give you a chance to play with your imagination and the possibilities. :)

Congratulations on your launch and good luck on your tour! :)

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Jo Ann Simon said...

Angela,
Thank you for your wonderful comments. I have certainly enjoyed the journey so far. I would recommend to just start writing like I did. You can do a quick outline, that will change over time, but it gives you a path to follow with your writing. This will keep you going to write an entire manuscript. I wish you best of luck with your writing journey and hope to read your book someday.

I appreciate your feedback and do look forward to having fun with my next book.

Cheers,
Jo Ann

7:35 PM  
Blogger Crystal Otto said...

I loved this book - absolutely loved it! I also think this interview is fabulous JoAnn - thank you for your honesty and bravery in all things - and most of all for wearing your rose colored glasses (and your heart on your sleeve).

Thank you for choosing WOW!

7:51 AM  

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