40 Something
by Shannon Peel
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction

Five women navigate life while juggling careers, children, family, and the men in their lives.


Charlie is bored with the family tradition of Sunday Dinner so she brings a friend her family won’t approve of to spice things up a bit. Will this friend go too far and cause too much damage?


Rose only wants to do what is right and keep her family safe. How can she do that when the world is so dangerous and her teenagers so willful. Will helping a friend invite trouble into her perfect world?


Lindsay loves to have fun and enjoys the company of men. She is a modern playgirl who will stop at nothing to get a man’s attention. Will she find what she’s looking for or something unexpected?


Sophie wants to keep the peace and keep everyone happy, especially her ex-husband, so her children will live with her full time. Will she lose the children if she can’t afford to take care of them?


Justine wants to escape her perfect life, she just doesn’t realize it. Will she find the passion that is missing or will she continue to hide behind her computer screen?

My feet are soaking in a warm tub of water filled with skin softening additives, while my hands are getting the full treatment. My nails are a mess. I’ve needed a manicure for weeks. My hands are getting so old looking, they are covered in age spots. Disgusting. The skin is beginning to wrinkle and thin. I haven’t been giving them enough attention lately.

Before I leave, I’ll buy a good moisturizer for them. Something expensive.

My whole body has been breaking out in age spots. They look like dull brown freckles with dry skin building up on them constantly. There has to be some product that can get rid of these ugly brown splotches.

“What colour do you want?” The manicurist asks.

I look through the case of nail polish colours and choose a deep, dark, red colour. Sexy.

“This one.”

“You want shellac? It $20 more.”

“Why not.”

The news channel is on and I read the closed captioning while the girl works her magic. Always the same thing on the news, war, war, and war. War on drugs, gang wars, actual war. If it bleeds it leads they say and the world is bleeding big time.

I push a button and the chair starts rolling against my back, giving me a machine’s version of massage and it does feel good. Not as good as the real thing but it is putting pressure on those points that ache deep in the muscles. I’m just shutting my eyes when an image of a face comes on the screen that snaps them open again.

I know that guy.

I’ve dated that guy.

I’ve had sex with that guy.

In fact we had an affair for a year before he disappeared. One day he just stopped communicating with me, wouldn’t answer any of my calls, messages, or texts. I assumed his wife found out and he was doing some penance before crawling back to me for a good time. I guess not.

The headline says, Local Business Exec Arrested for Solicitation of a Minor.

I read the words moving across the screen trying to keep up.

Stanton Boremann has been charged with solicitation of a minor in court today. It is alleged that Mr. Boremann offered to pay a 15 year old $300 for sexual services during an online instant message communication.

An officer comes on the screen and is asked about the charges, her response is,

“The two met on an online dating site when the young girl messaged him to ask if he’d have sex with a younger woman. At first she claimed to be in her early twenties, but soon admitted that she was still in high school. The online conversation between the two continued for a couple of weeks before the young lady mentioned she needed money and Mr. Boemann made the offer of money for sex. His messages were quite detailed and he expressed certain sexual requests be performed in exchange for the money.”

The reporter comes on the screen.

“Mr. Boemann was not available for comment.”

The Anchor came back on the screen and a new story came onto the screen.

Stanton. A pedophile. I never would have suspected.

Sure he liked role-play. I’d dress up like the naughty schoolgirl and he pretended to be the principal. That was just fantasy role-play, lots of men like to pretend to be the teacher, the principal, the boss, the daddy, or whomever while the woman pretends to be younger. That doesn’t mean they want sex with a minor, it’s more about the power imbalance than the actual age. This doesn’t make any sense. He wouldn’t have sex with a minor and he definitely wouldn’t pay one. He doesn’t need to pay for sex.

What is this world coming to?


Shannon Peel grew up in Enderby, BC where her family’s root run deep. Growing up where television was either non existent or very limited she relied on books & imagination to escape into the world beyond.

She went to UBC to study and earn a general studies BA with a concentration in Political Science and Economics. Macro analysis of world events, social justice and human motivations became a passion of hers. This passion is a driving force in all her stories, which have political, economic, and social justice undercurrents.

After a career in the financial field she decided to stay home and raise her two children until school age. In 2007 she return to the workforce as a sales / marketing / advertising professional. She currently resides in BC’s Lower Mainland with her two teenage children.

Shannon Peel is a creative, intelligent professional with a 20 year proven track record in sales, marketing, customer relations, project management, presentations, and communication.