Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blogiversary Excert and Giveaway: There Are No Men by Carol Maloney Scott

Divorced thirty-something Claire doesn’t know who’s in her dating pool—but she’s doing her best to avoid shark infested waters. Leaving her clueless and insensitive husband behind was a smart move after losing her fertility, but now she’s riding the wave of flying toupees, strange men in leather thongs and drunken nights in painfully impractical shoes. Claire desperately wanted to be a mother, but now she’ll settle for one middle aged man worthy of a second date.

After a long drought, men are flooding her shores and she’s drowning in choices. There’s Justin, the 25-year-old IT boy-genius with the GQ looks and cougar fetish, who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. A woman would have to be a blind, lesbian nun not to fall for him, but he reminds Claire of her wasted youth. And then the charming but mysterious Dr. Nathan appears, but he’s cheating on her with his medical mistress—a demanding cardiology practice.

To further rock her boat, Claire’s ‘stable’ career in publishing has been tossed about by her floundering company’s launch of a new line of trendy, salacious books. Cookbooks aren’t selling these days, but erotica is flying off the shelves—and challenging Claire’s attitude about sex, work . . . and her tempestuous new life.

When her best friend convinces her to buddy up to the aspiring writer who just moved in across the street, Claire rejects the idea—he has already caught her in more than one embarrassing and scantily clad situation. Giving in to her friend’s nudging, she tries to ignore the details she discovers about him, including his hard rock night gig and his mesmerizing blue eyes, in the hopes his literary talents can pull her publishing house up from the bottom of the ocean.

Claire’s dilemma begs the question: Are there NO men or TOO MANY?

I don’t see Bianca, but I have no idea why I want to talk to her anymore. Right now I just want to get home and go to bed. Two problems with that. Really three. I need my shoes. I can’t possibly drive like this, AND Nathan is supposed to come over. It’s almost two o’clock, though. He can’t be planning on coming over now. Shit again. I think my phone was vibrating and I mistook it for the buzz of blasting speakers and blue drinks.
I stumble over to the shoe pile, which is like a mass grave of bad decisions, and start sifting through all the stilettos and platforms. I think I see mine. Yep, that’s one. Damn it, it’s a little smashed. I think I can fix that. Where the hell is the other one now? I think I’ve spotted it. I can’t reach it so I lean forward and end up laying on the pile. I did not fall! I simply placed myself in the cradle of leather and bling, which is not entirely uncomfortable. Maybe I could climb inside the pile and sleep awhile before the bouncers see me.
“Jesus, Claire. What the hell are you doing?”
Why does this man keep catching me doing stupid things?
I turn over and realize that my halter top has shifted and it is possible a boob has escaped. Not that it would be any great big flopping display, but there’s enough to identify it as an actual boob. As I try to adjust myself, Brandon looks away, shaking his head and offering me his hand.
“I can’t find my other shoe.” I stumble forward, unable to articulate any more words, like ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘the show was great’ or ‘your beard looks really good.’ It’s probably a good thing the stupid thoughts in my alcohol soaked brain can’t find their way out of my dry, disgusting mouth.
Brandon grabs a chair, seemingly from thin air, and pushes me down into it. He asks one of the guys to stop breaking down the equipment and watch me for a second. “Hey, man, could you just hold her in place for a second. I need to find her goddamned shoe.” The guy mumbles something I can’t make out. “No, she’s not my girlfriend. I’m not her type.” More mumbling. “Right, I know man…a handful…just want to get her home…thanks.”
I accept my indirect scolding and try hard to stay put in the chair. I want to check my phone but it’s in my pocket. My jeans are so tight, and my movements so unsteady, I’m afraid I’ll fall on the ground if I try to retrieve it, and Brandon will leave me here in a footwear tomb.
“I got it. Thanks, man.” The guy stops holding me and I immediately slump in the chair. I try to right myself and Brandon takes the other shoe out of my hand. He motions to put them on my feet, but examines them more closely and decides not to bother.
“Claire, I’m going to take you home now.” He holds my face in his hands. “You should have some water and aspirin. I’m going to take care of you, but I need you to walk to the car with me. I could carry you—I’m a little stronger than you think I am, but I think if you just lean on me I can manage.”
Even in my drunken stupor I am catching on to the subtle hints here. He heard me. Now I have to trust him to take me home. Hopefully he won’t dump me on my front porch or in the bushes.

Carol Maloney Scott, author of the Rom-Com on the Edge series, is a frazzled new bride and wiener dog fanatic. She is a lover of donuts, and a hater of mornings. Recently unearthing a childhood passion for writing, she can once again be seen carrying around a notebook and staring into space. Her stories are witty, fresh and real, just like life.

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