Connect with Jo Ann Simon
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.
Tom and Jo Ann in St. Marteen
on St. Patrick's Day
IN THE PRESS
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
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:
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
PLACES WE LIKE TO GO
Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads
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.
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!
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.
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.
July 16, 2018
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.
June 21, 2018
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.
ByDonnaon June 29, 2018
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.
ByAmazonCustomeron June 29, 2018
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.
ByEdward Malatestaon June 19, 2018
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.
ByCarol Kovachon June 16, 2018
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.
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