What Comes After Crazy

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Published by: Broadway Books
Release Date: January 10, 2006
Pages: 336
ISBN13: 978-1400097302



Having grown up as the daughter of Madame Lucille, “Fortune Teller to the Stars,” traveling from town to town, wondering which of the many men her mother brought home would become her next stepfather, Maz Lombard just wants a nice, quiet life. But Maz’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, Lenny, recently left for Santa Fe after his very public affair with a young day-care teacher imploded, and her daughter Hope is convinced she’s inherited the family “seeing” gene and is scaring her classmates with séances and dark prophecies.

When Lenny shows up wanting another chance, and Madame Lucille pulls into town with her newest husband, any hope Maz has for a simple, ordinary life goes out the window. But seeing her family in all its complicated, infuriating, and mystifying splendor might be just the thing to help Maz define herself on her own terms and live the life she’s always wanted.


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“Shelton's lively novel is perfect for readers who enjoy the antics of quirky characters.”
– Booklist

“Equal parts energetic comedy and earnest domestic saga…Lovely descriptions often grace the pages, and there are plenty of laughs.”
– Publishers Weekly

A skillfully constructed, economically written novel that is funny, sad, and almost painfully accurate about human failings.”
– Boston Globe

“A delightful beach book…Funny/sad and frantic/romantic, but with serious undertones.”
– Hartford Courant

“A zany, affecting first novel…Plenty of laughs here.”
– People Magazine

“I loved What Comes After Crazy. Smart, warm and hilarious!”
– Jennifer Crusie, author of Bet Me and Faking It

“This book is wise funny, wry funny, life funny, gotta laugh or you'll cry funny. What Comes After Crazy is a compelling, page-turning read in which everyone--even the people who thwart and frustrate Masden, are fully fleshed out characters you really feel like you know and care about. Shelton's a terrific writer, and I hope she's got another book in the pipeline because I love her literary voice. Read it at the beach, on the train, with your book group, or while your dinner's burning in the oven--just read it.”
– 5-star Amazon review

“What sets What Comes After Crazy apart from most chick-lit novels is the way Shelton deals with serious subjects, in particular Maz's need to accept that Lucille will never be the mother she wants or needs, but that doesn't mean they can't have a positive relationship. It's a heavy message, but Shelton weaves it so seamlessly with the laughs that readers may not realize until long after they've finished the last page that this isn't just a comic novel, it's a story about how our relationships are affected by the one which is most primal and often less than perfect: that between a mother and a daughter.”
– 5 star Amazon review


Chapter 1

The fact is, I’m in the process of panicking in front of Dan Briggs. We’re sitting in my living room late on Sunday night, and although I only met him a month ago and nothing has been said outright, the air has a sudden crackle to it that even I know means it’s time we decided whether we’ll sleep together. We’ve kissed three times—although not yet tonight—and he’s called me on the phone five times, and we’ve gone for two walks that turned romantic. That adds up to one overdue sexual encounter by today’s rules, I believe.

Here’s the thing: theoretically I would love to sleep with him, but I can’t remember how you get started. It has now been so long since I’ve been with a guy and had sex as a possibility—I am still technically married, after all—that I can’t for the life of me remember how it is that two people can go from having a conversation to passionately kissing. What is the signal that gets sent? And how in the world do the clothes come off? I’d like it if I could press the “pause” button on this relationship and call a few friends. What I need to know for starters is this: since it’s my house, do I have to make the first move? Or shouldn’t he, as the male of the species, simply ease me down onto the floor and start in with some heavy petting? And…well, is it possible to have sex without the other person seeing you naked?

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