Today I’m excited to share a fab interview with author Carol Maloney Scott and an excerpt of her latest novel Afraid of Her Shadow.
Afraid of Her Shadow by Carol Maloney Scott
Book Blurb: Forty something, self-proclaimed cougar, Rebecca is committed only to her cats and her career. Her veteran single girl lifestyle has been peaceful and happy – that is until she started dating age-appropriate Steve, an entomology professor with a sweet smile and demeanor to match. Who knew an insect scientist could be so appealing?
The problem? Steve is a widower with baggage to spare. Memories of his late wife fill his home. Smiling photos and jars of bugs serve as constant reminders of Steve’s continued attachment to his dearly departed wife, Noreen, who shared his passion for creepy crawlies!
Now that Rebecca is facing her commitment phobia by moving in with Steve, she is becoming more unhinged. Behaving more like her zany friends than her level-headed self, she burns her butt at the tanning salon, crashes on energy drinks, and even loses a hamster. Throw into the mix a few delusional relatives, a sarcastic teenager, and a fluffy dog who sheds a new dog every day, and Rebecca doesn’t recognize her old self.
And if that isn’t enough to push her over the edge, her smokin’ hot ex returns, reminding her of a simpler time with a man who carries no more baggage than a wallet.
Book 2 is a STANDALONE novel, as well as a continuation of the wacky and relatable saga of the ladies of Rom-Com on the Edge.
Interview with the Author – Carol Maloney Scott
Author Bio: 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.
Join her on “The Edge” for giveaways, cover reveals, excerpts, contest and members-only content at carolmaloneyscott.com/
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Sure! My name is Carol Maloney Scott and I am a frazzled new bride and wiener dog fanatic. I have a 6 year old wiener girl, an almost 21 year old son, and I recently got married in June, which makes me the stepmother to a lovely 16 year old girl. I am a lover of donuts, and a hater of mornings. I live in Richmond, VA and I am originally from New York.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
I have a brand new release that just hit Amazon today, The Juggling Act, but for the purposes of this blog tour, I will answer this question based on Afraid of Her Shadow, my 2nd novel in the Rom-Com on the Edge series.
My husband is a former widower, and Rebecca’s story is loosely based upon my experience of dating, falling in love with, and marrying a man who lost his wife. It has been a joyful, but at times difficult, journey, and I wanted to work through some of my own feelings, as well as help others understand the plight of this often neglected and misunderstood group – girlfriends and wives of widowers. This is a weighty topic, but Afraid of Her Shadow is just as funny as it is sad. I seek to find the humor in situations. Humor is healing.
3. How long did it take you to write Afraid of Her Shadow? What is your writing process like?
This book took me longer to write for two reasons. One – I was planning my wedding during the writing, as well as moving into my fiancé’s home with my twenty year old son and wiener dog. Two – I underestimated how emotionally draining it would become to get through some parts of this story. I had to take frequent breaks in order to find my voice again, and approach the topic with love and humor, since those are the two main ingredients in romantic comedy.
4. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
As I said above, I just published my 3rd novel in the Rom-Com on the Edge series, The Juggling Act. This book continues Claire’s story from my 1st book, There Are No Men. It is told in multiple first person POV, so we get into the heads and private activities of the men in her life as well. Also, Claire’s mother is back in a big way, and she’s hilarious. All in all, it is a story about jealousy, communication, temptation and forgiveness – along with my signature trademark zany situations which throw my heroines into hot water, to see if they can swim. Sometimes literally.
While The Juggling Act was with the editor, I started on Book 4, Accidental Makeovers, which is Bianca’s story. Bianca was a friend of Claire’s in There Are No Men, and is facing a crisis of career and relationship, which become hilariously and precariously intertwined. That manuscript is sitting at 22K words, and I plan on getting back to it once I finish the print version of The Juggling Act – and start Christmas shopping! My husband and I also have 2 December babies – what were the odds of that?
5. How would you describe your writing style and previous novels to someone that has never read your work before?
My novels are funny, sometimes hilariously funny, but they all have a serious undertone and issue the MC is dealing with. Just like life. They are fast paced with lots of dialogue, cute pets, and an array of hot men. My heroines are women you can identify with, whether through your own experiences or those of the women in your life.
6. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, and it took me 46 years to realize the dream. In some ways I wish I had done it sooner, but I am a firm believer in things happening when they are meant to happen.
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
I have always dreamed of managing a rock band and touring with them. I am a head banging chick at heart.
8. If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?
Any character played by Bradley Cooper.
9. Being a writer is a great job but what’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Retail shoe store manager. Hell. Be on the lookout for a fictionalization of that experience in Book 5, when the sister of one of my characters finds herself unemployed, relocated and yes, you guessed it – working in a shoe store!
10. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
I used to work with a woman who told me that I should always take care of myself first, and that would make me a better wife and mother. I have a hard time doing this, but it is advice that has stuck with me since my son was a baby. Without self-love and care we can’t possibly produce our best work or fulfill our dreams. As my son heads off to art college in January, I hope that I have inspired him more by being my own person, than if I had made more dinners and been home after school every day.
11. Is there one book that stands out in your mind that you wish you’d written?
Bridget Jones’ Diary. No other book has made me laugh as much as that one did.
12. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
I secretly wish my house didn’t have a kitchen.
13. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
Jeans – I am blue jean girl!
14. Where is your favorite place in the world?
It’s a cliché, but definitely the beach.
15. Do you have any pet peeves?
Yes. I hate when people (men) throw their clothes on the floor, and I hate when people argue a point to death to be right, even if it means sacrificing the relationship. Sometimes I would rather be happy than right.
16. A few of your favorites…
Favorite scent? Not a big fan of perfume, but I like fruity scents, like peach and raspberry
Favorite color? Purple
Favorite food? Italian
Favorite word? Unfortunately bad ones
Favorite song? Rebel Yell
Favorite book? Bridget Jones Diary for humor, I Know This Much Is True or Tell the Wolves I’m Home in serious literary fiction
Favorite/dream vacation spot? Beach – I would also love to do more European travel
Favorite time period in history? Now!
Favorite article of clothing? Jeans
Favorite drink of choice? Hard cider
Favorite celebrity crush? Bradley Cooper
17. Either or…
Dogs or cats? Dogs all the way, but I don’t dislike cats. I just don’t connect with them as much, however lately I have seen insanely cute kittens on Twitter. Wiener dogs are almost an obsession. I mean – look at them!
Red wine or white? Red
Coffee or tea? Neither
Summer or Winter? Summer
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep as late as possible – I am a night owl
Apple or PC? PC – Apple confuses me.
Excerpt – Afraid of Her Shadow
I hear a clatter in the cube outside my office. My junior recruiter is in.
“Hey, Rebecca. Good morning!” I don’t like a cheerful Cecilia. Not that I liked the conniving, manipulative, lying version better. But this metamorphosis is bizarre. She must be on drugs. Legal or illegal. Or she was abducted by aliens and they did a brain probe instead of the anal variety. Then again, knowing Cecilia…Sigh. Nope, not going there.
“Hi, Cecilia. How was your night?”
The black spikes still stick up all over her head, but her demeanor has softened considerably. She also doesn’t seem to be as quick to sleep with every man that breathes. Poor Claire. Cecilia was screwing her new boyfriend last year and none of us had any idea. Apparently Cecilia’s experience with Nathan (and the subsequent falling out at work) left her so distraught that she decided to do a complete turnaround. I heard she went to one of those New Agey sweat lodges. The ones where you find yourself by sitting in a sauna until a magic coyote says you had a terrible mother. Apparently, you then feel better and love everyone. Even the guy who made you shell out four hundred bucks.
“…and then I got home from volunteering at the Food Bank and I saw a lost dog in my apartment complex. Would you believe people could be so lax with their animals?” She shakes her head and not a single ironclad thorn moves.
“Yeah, well there are all sorts of loonies out there.”
Claire inserts herself in the conversation and my office, brushing past Cecilia. “Oh, you and your loonies. You know they are properly called whack-jobs.”
“Hi, Claire. You look so pretty today. Love those shoes!” Cecilia looks like she wants to hug her. I guess when you are also caught sleeping with one of the IT staff to get access to personal company information AND you somehow don’t get fired, you are pretty grateful and repentant. Yes, Cecilia had multiple indiscretions last year. Fortunately our former IT director, Justin, figured out her scheming ways.
Claire turns back towards Cecilia and replies, “Oh, thanks. Did you need to meet with Rebecca? I have something I need to go over with her.”
Cecilia shrinks her way out the door, but still hanging onto the doorframe with boney witch hands. I could be nicer, but seriously I think she was screwing Tim, our CEO, too. How else does a major scandal erupt in a promotion? Justin is also a possibility on her list of office liaisons. He is way too hot to be completely innocent. But since he quit and moved away a couple of months ago, that one will likely remain a mystery.
“No problem, Claire.” She casts her eyes down to the floor.
Claire sighs and says, “Cecilia, you don’t need to continue with this overly conciliatory tone you have with me. It’s okay now. Nathan was a horrible person and we all learned valuable lessons. Like not to date Nathan. And that Google is your friend. I’m very happy with Brandon. You did me a favor. Let it go. Be normal.”
I add, “Yes, let’s all be normal. Like Claire.” Claire narrows her eyes at me.
Cecilia says, “I’m sorry. Oh, haha…I guess that’s apologizing again, but I do feel terrible about everything. I was so out of control with men. I’m in a much better place now.” She bites her lip and lowers her voice.
“But seriously. THREE women. At the same time! On my birthday. Not including me. Or you. Or anyone we know. He isn’t Hugh Hefner. I had to buy a new kitchen table. And frankly, he has old junk.” She immediately covers her mouth. “Sorry, Rebecca!”
“Why do I deserve an apology?” What the hell is she talking about? I don’t have any junk. Or maybe I do. I am never sure of the definitions of these ridiculous terms young people use.
“Because of Steve.” I can barely hear her as she half mouths the words.
Claire is cackling in the corner. Whatever. Brandon’s junk will get old, too. I glare at Claire and turn to Cecilia. “Oh, yes. The aging scrap heap between my boyfriend’s legs.” I shake my head to try to dislodge the crazy. “I am not at all insulted by the ‘junk’ comment. We try to do it in the dark. Helps a lot.” I wink at Cecilia, who gasps and turns to leave. “Now go try to find some people to work here. Preferably not recruited from Craigslist or out of prison.”
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