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Jo Ann Simon

Official Website for the Emerging Author of


A Memoir of Love, Loss, Hope

Connect with Jo Ann Simon


Set on Block Island, RI


A Memoir of Love, Loss, Hope

Set in Key West with  Colored Glasses

What’s It All About?

Life was the best it could be for Jo Ann Simon.  She was happily divorced, with a good job and a full enjoyable life. Then she met Tom. He said – when he first saw her – that he would spend the rest of his life with her. To her surprise, he actually did. They shared a love that most people only imagine in their dreams. They lived life to the fullest until a tick bite and a diagnosis of Lyme disease, and then ALS changed their dream world forever.

Rose Colored Glasses – true in every word – is not just an incredible love story; it is a how-to book that walks you through medical mysteries unsolved at this time, and how to maintain hope and a positive attitude in the face of impending death.  Tom and Jo Ann would not accept their ALS diagnosis and pursued the controversy that Lyme disease, or a different treatable disease, could be true. They looked up instead of down, always looking forward to the next day, the next doctor who might solve their nightmare controversial diagnosis. The daily diminishing of life grew their love for each other by their savoring every moment, as they bolstered each other up to extend their life together as long as possible. The end did arrive for Tom with a beautiful last act.

Jo Ann, now alone, had to learn to cope with loss, grief and how to heal the spirit. She shares the promise of life after death that she experienced. And, like most people who have lost love ones too soon, she gets help from Tom. Rose Colored Glasses is set on Block Island over Labor Day weekend 103 days after Tom passed away. Jo Ann went there with good friends, to forget, but instead, she relived all the memories: the good times, the searing doubts, impossible challenges, the too-rapid changes, illness, doctors, treatments, hospital and eventually, Tom’s death. Jo Ann’s is a story of love and how to deal with end of life, of how to carry on with strength, all the while seeing life through optimistic rose colored glasses.

            Rose Colored Glasses includes thirteen appendices of the tests and medical information Jo Ann and Tom received, helpful to all who have questions about Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, plus ALS. Confirmed cases of Lyme disease has been reported in every state in the United States. Currently, 300,000 people in the U.S. get Lyme disease every year. The sooner one receives treatment after a tick bite, the less chance of complications. Lyme disease does not carry a lifetime immunity.

News and Events


Tom and Jo Ann in St. Marteen
        on St. Patrick's Day

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. 



Jo Ann’s blogs:

Forget Me Not JoSi

A Painting A Day


On the Radio Airwaves

 Radio interviews with

Angels Radio KLAA-AM in LA, Inspirational Women KRWN-FM in Seattle, Speaking Of WSVA-AM in Virginia, WBEV-AM in Wisconsin, Frankie Boyer Show, Boston, Alternative Medicin and Wellness with Dr. Jeannette Gallagher


Rose Colored Glasses Launch Party 6-27-18  

Register here:  Byrd's Book brings Jo Ann Simon to LaZingara

Kimchuk  ALS Hot Pepper Challenge 6-27-18  

Kimchuk employees take the ALS Hot Pepper Challenge and raise $830 for ALS Therapy Development Institute research

Oar Restaurant on Block Island

Rose Colored Glasses Oar is now hanging at The Oar restaurant on Block Island.  Check it out when you go there

Jo Ann Simon to Partner with E.L.Marker™Publish her Memoir of Hope

September 12, 2017 by Administrator

SALT LAKE CITY, UT September 13, 2017


Jo Ann Simon has led a full and fulfilling life. But the parts that mean the most to her are the memories shared with her husband Tom. She wanted to remember every detail: from the way they met, to the love they shared as they worked and raised a family together.

Even the heartbreaking times as Lyme Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis worked its way through Tom’s body and took his life were not to be forgotten. So she began to write.

Though her initial purpose was to record as many details as she could about their lifelong love, she discovered new truths as she did.

“As I wrote our story, I did not feel alone,” Simon revealed. “I was back in our life together and felt close to him even though he was no longer on this earth. The writing helped me to move forward in my life and to realize that I could continue to live a full life again.”

Jo Ann knew many others shared similar heartache. She felt every widow and widower could benefit from her story as they sought hope and courage in their pain. She wanted to help them in their journey to move past the grief and live again. The drive to help others inspired her to hone her writing skills. She took writing classes, attended conferences and joined writing groups, immersing herself in the industry.

When she felt her manuscript was ready, she began looking for a publisher, but soon found the road to publication a rocky one.

“Just the process of finding an agent to represent you was arduous,” Simon explained. “Self publishing seemed like the fastest, easiest, least expensive way to go.  But it is a very lonely path.” With a full time job and no publishing experience, Jo Ann felt she would not be able to make her book a success.

So she turned to the hybrid publishing model. She liked the idea of the publisher providing the community and experience she wanted.

“I was surprised to initially see significant variances in how, when, and what they would offer, as well as the hidden costs not immediately defined by all,” Simon recalled. “But one publisher shined through with an excellent package, a great reputation, experience and a staff that was dedicated, efficient and enjoyable to talk to. There were no hidden costs. Everything was very clear. I felt very confident and comfortable with the E.L. Marker™ imprint of WiDo Publishing™ to do the best job overall for my book.”

WiDo was excited to work with Simon as well. Upon reading her memoir, the managing editor, Karen Gowen said, “The detailed descriptions of her sweetheart’s medical conditions makes it part grief memoir and part medical memoir. This will be a book that will be helpful to others going through a similar situation.”

Gowen was also impressed with the incorporation of art into the story. “Jo Ann is an artist as well as a writer. And it shows in her book. We are looking forward to working with her to make her publishing goal a reality.”

Reserve your book now:


Live radio interview on Artist First Radio about me and Rose Colored Glasses - November 7th at 7:00 PM. . If you cannot catch it, you can go to the site where it will be archived to listen. It is web radio, so you have to go to this


Jo Ann's article published in The Day 5-8-17 about the important topic of Protecting yourself, your family, home and pets from ticks.

Tick Tock     

   by Jo Ann Simon


Spring is here and so are the ticks.  Protect yourselves.  Most importantly, enjoy this beautiful spring weather without fear of ticks.  Prevention is the best medicine.  When you hear the tick tock of the clock, remind yourself that tick bites can be prevented.

Those itty-bitty bugs are often in places you least expect, and can ruin your life.  They are tiny, but they can deliver potent and deadly bites.  Those bites can cause up to 14 different diseases, including Lyme Disease, which is the most common.  I know.  My husband contracted six of those diseases from a single lone star tick bite and eventually died from ALS.  These nasty insects can compromise your autoimmune and central nervous system. 


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, that may develop after a bite from a Lyme-infected blacklegged tick. The CDC estimates that more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year in the US but only a fraction of these cases are reported to public health officials.


Where are they?  Just like bears, most of them will hibernate if the temperatures are lower than 45 degrees.  Most ticks prefer to live in areas with dense undergrowth, long grass, leaf litter, fallen logs, and the edge of woods. They stay in the leaf cover in the woods or on your property. When spring arrives and warmer temps prevail, they are back to feed on whatever they can find, including you.  They have spread to the entire east and most of the west coast, encroaching upon the entire United States.


Of the nearly 900 tick species across the globe, eight are of major concern in the transmission of tick-borne diseases to humans in North America. The black legged tick is most common, but American Dog, Gulf coast, Lone star, and Rocky Mountain Wood ticks are out there, too.


 Courtesy of CDC


Take the time to protect yourself, and your family, friends and pets every day of tick season.  Tick season will change depending on where you live and what the temperatures are.  Here in New England it is the time to be mindful of ticks. Connecticut, where I live and where Lyme disease first occurred in 1975, ranks 1st in per capita incidence of tick-transmitted disease; while Rhode Island, where my husband was bit, runs 2nd in the nation.


We expect that we are safe if we are not in the woods; this is NOT true.  Ticks appear where you least expect them, including urban areas.  The blacklegged ticks have been found in almost every borough of New York City. American dog ticks, which can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, are crawling around many urban areas.  They travel on dogs, humans, birds, deer and other wildlife. If you live in the city, you might be safe, but they are in the parks and green patches of nature.  If you own a pet, you need to take even more precautions.  Pet ownership is associated with an increased risk of Lyme disease.


 Half of NYC black legged ticks harbor the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. I imagine them roaming around the world with their killer fangs ready to suck the life out of us.  Maybe they travel the subways, too.  I’m not trying to creep you out, but this image portrays how important it is to protect yourself.


  • Use bug spray that has DEET (Off or Repel products) or Picaridin (Sawyer, Fisherman, Skin So Soft products).  These are effective to deter ticks and can be found online, or at your local pharmacy, or department store.

  • If you are walking in grassy wooded areas, tuck in your pants to socks and wear long sleeve shirts so that your skin is not exposed.  They might still jump on you for a ride, but you can eliminate them by running your clothes in a hot dryer for 10 minutes so they turn into harmless toast.

  • You can treat your shoes and clothes with Permithrin, a synthetic pesticide that repels ticks from 5 to 70 washes, depending on the product.  Insect Shield in North Carolina will treat your clothes for up to 70 washes, or you can treat yourself with different products such as Sawyer insect repellent which can be purchased on line or at your local pharmacy, grocery or department store.  L.L. Bean and Cabela’s sell pretreated clothes and camping gear.

  • Protect your pet. If you stopped your pet’s tick preventive over the winter, get it started again NOW. Outdoor dogs and cats will likely be the first family members to find a tick and bring it home to you.  There are two types of products to use.  Products that kill ticks on contact – quick tick gone or kill ticks after their lunch – bite to die.  Talk to your vet to decide the best product for your pet.

  • Get professional treatment for your property to eliminate the threat of ticks in your outside living areas.  This does not stop the threat elsewhere, but at least you can sleep at night not worrying about the ticks on your doorstep.

  • Do a tick check every day.  This is especially important for your children and pets since they normally spend the most time outside


Dave Price said:  Great advice, thank you for writing this article

In The Press
Anchor 1



 Rosed Colored Glasses is published!!!  Launch Pary is June 27th

Book Signing Tourschedule to be released in the near future.


Tom Kilmurray, my husband, aka 'TK', was larger than life with a wonderful gregarious outgoing personality that never ceased to entertain.  He was an accomplished Executive Chef that always enjoyed and created foods from around the world, but especially French cuisine, his favorite.  

Upon retiring from the food industry, he studied the craft of voice-over which he promoted until the disease showed it head by introducing a slur to his speech.  

The recording and pictures below frame Tom and how he is remembered at all the places we like to go to.

Tom's recording:  Places We Like to Go

Unknown Track - Unknown Artist



Hog's Breathe Saloon, Key West


Islamorada, Florida Keys


Heart in theSky


Mimi & Tom, Cleveland


Florida Keys


New Hampshire


The National, Block Island


Halloween; Red Riding Hood and Sam the Sham


St. Marteen French side


Block Island Ferry


Marco Island, FL


St. Marteen


Tampa Bay, FL


Key West


Football in Miami




Our Special Place

BI sunset 20160902_192914_resized

Block Island


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 Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads

sharon leichsenring

5.0 out of 5 starsMore than a memoir, this book is a true testimony that wearing Rose colored glasses is more than a title. It’s a way of life

June 6, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I loved the act of really “reading” this book. Not a straight forward story giving you chapter by chapter but telling the story through a timeline and interspersing it with the author’s thoughts at the time and illustrations that were spot on. And the epilogue was moving beyond anything I have read in a long time.

Terry L Buckingham

5.0 out of 5 stars It was sad and awesome at the same time

June 14, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I've just finished reading this book on my kindle. I could never be a writer because I just can't find the words. This book touched me on so many different levels. It was sad and awesome at the same time. The love Jo Ann and Tom shared is rarely found. This book helped me understand what was actually happening when my father transitioned through illness and into hospice. I will read this book again, it was that good!

Christopher Kilmurray

5.0 out of 5 starsRose colored glasses

July 20, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

A journey into love, hope, loss and triumph over death. JoAnn and Tom show you how to love. JoAnn shares her fears, love, hope and loss with raw emotion. All of us can learn how to love and live a better life through JoAnn and Tom. Thank you for sharing your story.

Openly Bookish

5.0 out of 5 starsA Love Story You’ll Never Forget

July 2, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

Memoirs steal your heart. The author gives you a peek into their personal life, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Jo Ann Simon does just that in her memoir, Rose Colored Glasses. In her book she chronicles her marriage to Tom otherwise known as TK. Their love and romance reads like a fairy tale until they are faced with a harsh health update for Tom.
What would you do if your spouse or partner suddenly has to deal with a terminal illness? Jo Ann meets this challenge head on like a freight train, determined to find a cure for Tom. She is honest about their good days when Tom is back to his old self and days when getting through the day is a challenge. I can't fathom going through what Jo Ann has. You expect to grow old with your other half.
I received my free digital ARC copy of Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon from NetGalley care of Smith Publicity in exchange for my honest feedback. This memoir was beautifully written with little notes from Tom to Jo Ann sprinkled through out the pages. Loosing a partner to disease is devastating. Jo Ann shows how we can get through to the other side of this premature challenge to live life again. If you have a friend, family member, or an acquaintance that needs assurance they aren't alone going through this kind of major life change then I recommend to read this book. It's a book about hope.


Kathleen Pooler

5.0 out of 5 starsThis memoir can serve as a template for living life to the fullest and healing after a devastating loss.

July 16, 2018

Format: Paperback

Rose Colored Glasses is a tender love story about a couple who endure the painful and debilitating illness of Lyme Disease and ALS from a tick bite in the husband, Tom or TK . What struck me the most about this story was the ability of the author to maintain a positive attitude in the face of such overwhelming odds. Hence, the book’s title is an appropriate descriptor of the courage and passion of the author to overcome every obstacle that comes in her way. In doing so, she provides Tom with an endless source of optimism and hope in his battle to survive. This optimism nurtures their spirit of adventure as they continue to travel as long as Tom is able, participating in activities that bring them joy; living their lives to the fullest.

She chronicle their grueling journey through the health care system and includes love notes written by Tom to her and letters written to Tom by her, making the reader feel the couple’s closeness and love for one another.

Sadly, Tom eventually succumbs to his illness and the author continues her healing journey through grief and loss, reflecting on the many special memories they shared.

This memoir can serve as a template for living life to the fullest and healing after a devastating loss.


Kerrie A

5.0 out of 5 starsThis isn’t your Cinderella story of happily ever after

June 21, 2018

Format: Paperback

This isn’t your Cinderella story of happily ever after, but a real story of true love. JoAnn Simon took me on a journey and I’m trying to look at my life with a new optimism. This is hands down one of the best books I have read this year.

In short, a story about love, illness, death and optimism.

5.0 out of 5 starsPage-turner!

ByDonnaon June 29, 2018

Format: Paperback

This book is a real page-turner! I loved the story. I will be waiting for the sequel book to see what comes next for the author. What a story. And such a great writing style. Thank you for sharing your journey with me.

5.0 out of 5 starsFitting Title for a Courageous Memoir

ByAmazonCustomeron June 29, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

Ms. Simon tells her compelling story as she is thrust into the role of caregiver for a loved one. She bravely documents the highs and lows of this chapter of her life and provides inspiration for us all. In addition, she does an excellent job of providing information on the connection of ALS & Lyme Disease and the difficulties of navigating proper diagnosis and treatment.

5.0 out of 5 starsSomewhere over the Rainbow!

ByEdward Malatestaon June 19, 2018

Format: Paperback

Loved this book, finding true love when not even searching for it, and the real life drama of dealing with a life changing illness. The words flow endlessly. A true love story.

5.0 out of 5 starsAn incredible story of love and loss

ByCarol Kovachon June 16, 2018

Format: Paperback

This book was amazing. I could not put it down. Jo Ann is such an amazing writer. There were times I felt as though I was on this journey with them. The love they shared for each other is not a love you find everyday. An incredibly strong couple. Such memories and thank you so much for sharing this story with us Jo Ann.

"Just want to say thank you for letting me be one of the readers for your book. I'm sorry for your loss and what you endured throughout your terribly difficult and heartbreaking ordeal. In the book, you were able to paint it all in wonderful and moving descriptions. It beautifully written, as well as being really hard to put down."

Kikka,Early Reader

"As I started reading, the tears started flowing - pretty much throughout the book, but not all tears of sadness, some were tears of happiness.  I found myself not wanting to put the book down until I finished it all.  If I could have, I would have read it through in one sitting.  The book is a beautiful testament to your love and devotion to each other.  You were completely honest and showed your vulnerability, love, compassion, strength and determination.  Your book will be a wealth of information regarding ALS/Lyme Disease for those facing a similar situation, but more importantly it will be inspirational to anyone experiencing a personal struggle."    

Kelly O, early Reader

If you would like to add your own review, please send it in the Contact section, and I will add it to this page.  

Thank you in advance for your feedback... Jo Ann



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