Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get to know Liz Crowe, author of 'Mutual Release'

Please welcome author Liz Crowe to the blog today. She shares with us more about her new release, 'Mutual Release,' as well as some of her upcoming projects and other fun tidbits about herself and one of my favorites, beer.

What was the inspiration for 'Mutual Release'?  
Originally, it was “just” Evan & Julie’s story. They are a couple of secondary character in the best selling Stewart Realty series. However, I quickly realized that it needed to be something more once Hans, my well-known, 6’5” blond haired, blue eyed hot German Muse got hold of it. So I crafted it as a stand alone, which, if you have ever tried to write a stand alone smack in the middle of a series without including too much of the previous characters’ stories is pretty darn difficult.

Given all the hullabaloo about Dom/subs and BDSM clubs, lifestyles and Super Master Alphas Who Are Perfect, I wanted to inject a little realism into it. While Evan does require a certain level of kink to truly satisfy him sexually, ultimately it is the emotional connection he’s missing. And when he finally encounters a woman who has had her own hellish journey to emerge in a position of power over him professionally, it is immediate electricity.

But it is not all love, roses and happiness. The two main characters have been through too much to just have a few playtimes, drop a little wax, smack a little ass and live happily every after. I want to see them earn it. Which they do, by the end.
Which scene is your favorite?
I have several. One of them would be the first meeting between them, which is one of those “mistaken identity” scenes. I would also throw these phrases out at readers to ponder as they read:

“New York City, Thanksgiving”

“Miami Beach, New Year’s Eve”
Which character spoke to you the most during the writing process?
Julie without a doubt. And I am already getting some readers and reviewers who claim they cannot “connect” with her. But I will tell you now that by the time she meets Evan she is NOT finished maturing. She has been through way too much to just “get over it” and let Evan be her “hero.” Part of her requires his help to get to an emotional maturity point where she can trust and love. But the flip side of that is Evan, who very nearly ruins everything with his own moment of non-trust, keeping something from her that is important to him.

Julie Dawson is a tough cookie. But she did not get there by accident. She continues to learn about herself via Evan’s influence, but ultimately he learns from her as well. Their “Dom/sub” relationship is more about “give and take” not just “take” which I think sets this book apart from the crowd in a way. It is less about him teaching her and more about them learning together.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
I have several. The final Stewart Realty series wraps up with a book called Good Faith in November. There is a bit of “Jack Gordon con” planned for Ann Arbor the weekend after its release and I have lots of people already making travel plans for that.

I also will release a new side series, an off shoot of the Stewart Realty series, called the Black Jack Gentlemen. It begins with a trilogy of books introducing the fictional expansion pro soccer league and team based in Detroit. It will include several familiar faces from the original series but focuses entirely on a new set of characters and situations, based in the pro soccer world. It incorporates several challenging storylines including the very current topic of gay pro sports stars. The three books in this series each tackle a different difficult topic, with a core “love story” at their center.
How is being stuck in a man's world, between your job in the brewery and following your ex-pat husband, so helpful in writing erotica?
I was lucky enough to visit and live in so many varying cultures, taking them in on a daily basis, just to get through my day. We lived in Japan, Turkey and England and made a point to see as much of Asia and Europe as we could while there. It was a mind-expanding, eye-opening, and made me a better world citizen (and my 3 children too I hope). I am very glad I got to do all of it. Anyone who fancies themselves an author of any genre truly benefits from living an interesting life. Not everyone has had the same opportunities I did. And while a lot of it was hell on wheels (if you have literally packed up and moved your entire household 10 times in 7 years you know what I mean and I won’t even get into my arrest by the Turkish Gendarme), looking back it did nothing BUT make me more creative.

However, in the beer world I am without a doubt surrounded by men. And I love it, for many reasons. Not only is it inspiring sort of “scenery wise,” it has taught me how to be succinct, make my points and shut the hell for effect (the less you say, they more they listen—try it), and to use the word “fuck” in ways that are very creative and fun in mixed company.
How do you define "Romance for Real Life"? How does it stand out from other romance genres?
It has familiar elements and storylines that start out in ways that traditional romance readers will recognize, but will veer off the rails at some point and go in a new direction—one I like to think more closely mirrors how REAL people act, or how REAL life would interject into the fantasy romance.
What is your favorite kind of beer?
My brewer’s India Pale Lager: Gulo Gulo (I’m a hop head, through and through).

Not my brewery: I will go with either a New Holland Brewing Full Circle Kolsch or Dogfish Head Brewing 90 Minute IPA.
If one was to come to your brewery, which varieties do you recommend?
I don’t recommend anything without asking a few key questions. What sort of beer do you usually drink? What kind of flavor do you prefer (malt, hops, sour, fruit)? Then I can make all sorts of recommendations. Walking up to a beer bar and expecting a bar tender to know what you like when you say “I like ale” is like walking into a 5-star restaurant and saying “I like French food.” Learning to be specific about your exact tastes is very important. I like to teach that and am happy to do beer tastings and beer school sessions (which I do. A lot.)
Who is your favorite soccer team?

MLS: I’m an LA Galaxy fan ‘cause I love Landon Donovan.

Euro leagues: Real Madrid (specifically Xabi Alonoso the best GD midfielder on the planet)

English Premiere League: Everton

Bundesleague (German league): Bayern Munich (specifically Mario Gomez)

Turkish League: Galatassaray

I am a huge fan of the US Women’s national team as I have a daughter who will likely play NCAA Division 1 soccer in college. But of course I support the US Men’s national Team (although my heart belongs to the Spanish National Team).
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I am a preacher’s kid and can recite not only the books of the Bible in order, but many verses by rote. And I sing Soprano in my church choir. Plus I love Opera, especially the heavy Italian ones.
Anything else you wish to add?
I hope you give my books a chance. They are a bit of a middle genre, not so much traditional romance, but with enough of those elements to appeal. Happy Reading!
Thank you so much for your time!


Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry), has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.

Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”) Her beer blog is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices. Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.


Liz Crowe

Disclaimer: This is an 18+ book with erotic BDSM scenes and explicit language.

As president of her own distribution company, Julie Dawson has all she ever wanted -- money, power, and respect. But her carefully crafted façade conceals a torment of abuse and helplessness. After years remaining emotionally aloof, she is finally independent, but alone. Because she refuses to rely on anyone but herself ever again.

Evan Adams is no stranger to success, or personal demons. The horrific trauma that destroyed his twin sister, and tore his family apart, forced him to craft a new life from the ashes of the old. He's content enough, focusing ahead and not dwelling on his murky past. But something important is missing. He knows what that thing is but refuses to acknowledge it.

When a chance encounter brings these two strong-willed but damaged people together , what seems like a long, erotic journey through hell could lead them to a match made in heaven.

A coming of age novel about trust...on the long road to love.

Read an excerpt
A leather chair appeared from the gloom. Evan looked around, then took the seat, disappointed but intrigued. He could hear Jack’s voice, his laughter low and inviting. What the fuck? Was Gordon getting in on action while he had to watch? Then he heard Jenna’s annoying giggle and realized the club must be making her watch too, only she got to do it with her date. He sighed, leaned back, and prepared himself to be underwhelmed.
“No,” a sexy, rough female voice broke through the clamor in his head. It must have surprised everyone because all the people on the couches glanced up. “I want him. Out here.” Evan looked straight at her and saw the hot-as-shit Domme point her bullwhip right at him. He gulped, actually looked around like a dork, thinking there must be someone behind him. He was no sub.
She crooked her finger, her ruby-red moist lips drawing his gaze and making him feel positively hypnotized. His cock kept up its painful pressure along the inside of his zipper. A drop of sweat formed on his temple but he couldn’t move his arms to brush it away. All he knew… was her.
“Mr. Adams,” the disembodied voice said. “Your presence has been requested by our Mistress. Please. Do not make her wait.” The sheer curtain separating him from the crowd parted as he stood. Shoving his hands in his pockets and no longer aware of anything at all but what he wanted right now, he took the few steps down to the main floor.
“Stop!” She held up a hand. “Do not come any closer until I tell you.” She snapped her fingers. A tall man dressed only in leather pants emerged from somewhere to her left. A woman approached him, smiling and holding out a tray filled with… He stared, then shook his head, backing away, his brain on fire and his body in flight mode. “Where are you going, slave?” The woman cracked her whip. Evan sensed its bite near his cheek.
“I am no one’s slave,” he croaked out, sounding like a whiney kid.
“Perhaps. But I am not just anyone.” Before he could catch a breath, the woman was in his space. He kept his hands at his sides, knowing if he touched her he would be punished. Her full lips were inches from his. She leaned in, placed a tender kiss on his cheek, then stepped back.
“The Mistress has chosen!” the voice boomed and the room heaved a collective sigh. Evan whipped his head around, suddenly terrified and hornier than he had been in his entire existence. He closed his eyes as a loud whooshing sound started echoing around in his head in perfect time with his heartbeat. He held his ground, biting the inside of his cheek raw to keep from falling to his knees and kissing his way up her shiny patent leather shoe. The woman stood, the cape-like cloak draped around her tall, perfect body. He couldn’t move and had no idea what to do now anyway.
She took two long steps and was back in his space, tugging his tie, lifting it free of his collar and letting her lips linger over his, tempting, teasing, and bringing his body to full attention from his scalp to his toes. What in the hell was going on here? He was a sub? But the whooshing sound would not stop; it deafened him and he started to shake. The woman put her hands on his shoulders and kept kissing him just enough to make him insane. Disembodied hands removed his suit coat. Then, with a powerful jerk, She ripped his dress shirt into two scraps of expensive cotton that hung from his wrists.
His nipples hardened, his skin broke out in goose bumps. More bodiless hands unfastened his cuffs and took what remained of his shirt away. The woman kept smiling, trailing her fingertip down his chest. Evan’s lungs hurt he was breathing so hard.
“You are very…” She leaned in and touched her tongue to a nipple, making him gasp. “In need of…” She licked her way across his chest to the other hardened nub of flesh and bit, hard, making him yelp and grunt to distract himself from coming in his trousers. “A lesson in what it means to wield control.”
She unfurled the whip, keeping her lips on his skin, licking and nibbling her way up his neck as he stood, fists clenched and teeth grinding. Then she bit down on his lower lip, bringing tears to his eyes and yet more urgency to fuck. What was happening to him?
“Sit.” She shoved him down. Evan dropped, hoping someone had put a chair there. His ass hit leather and wood. Watching mesmerized as she dug a sharp heel into his still-covered thigh. The pulsing behind his zipper had reached a level he’d never experienced. It was as if he were already coming, in his head, trying to relieve the pressure without actually ejaculating. This was a total goddamn trip. He sighed, looked up at the ceiling.
“Don’t look away from me, slave.” Her rough voice made the whooshing sound return between his ears. She snapped her fingers. Two nearly naked women scuttled to his side, undid his belt, unzipped his pants, and pulled off his shoes while removing his trousers, leaving only his tie and boxers.
“Holy fucking mother of… ah!” he cried out, unable to stop when the woman stood over him, her warm, inviting sex right at his eye level. Other hands rubbed, teased him through his underwear. But he kept his eyes trained up as he sucked in a lungful of her heady scent.
“You think this is all there is, don’t you, boy?” The woman’s voice filled his head. “Your giant cock and what you can do with it.” She stepped away from him, flicking her whip at his inner thighs, breaking up the pleasure with a bite of pain that made him curse and lean forward. The lovely, soft hands that had been on his aching shaft disappeared. “Oh no you don’t. You sit; you take, and you do not come. For any reason. If you do, I will make you very,” she slid the handle of the whip along his reddened inner leg, “very sorry. Are we clear? Dear?”

Buy links: Amazon

The author will be awarding a few prizes to randomly drawn commenters along the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

Grand Prize: Paperwhite Kindle 
1st Prize: Signed set of first 6 books (Includes all books in the series *except for* Mutual Release)

2nd Prize: boxed set of first 3 Stewart Realty ebooks (Floor Time, Sweat Equity, Closing Costs)

3rd Prize: Zazzle store Stewart swag pack (including canvas tote bag, mug, t-shirt, keychain)


  1. Always fascinating to learn more about an author and their background, thank you

  2. Always fascinating to learn more about an author and their past. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for hosting Liz on your blog today!!

  4. Excellent interview Liz:) I also sing soprano in my church choir. Though the days we sing at the 8am service, I need a nap afterward, lol.

  5. Great interview! I did learn some new things about my favorite author, I did not know you sing soprano in your church choir, perhaps will get some singing out of you in November! My favorite Lager at the Tap room is High N Dry Rye :) but out of the 7 I sampled the day I was there, there wasn't one that I didn't say, yep I'd drink a glass of that! I really enjoyed the Barista too! Looking forward to the release of House Rules, and Good Faith, as I am all about my man Jack! TEAM JACK!

  6. Another wonderful interview. Do any of your soccer teams play each other? How do you decide to root for which one?

    I loved your 1NS soccer story and can't wait for the Black Jack Series. I hope some sprinkling of Detroit will be a part of it.

  7. Great interview as always! Cant't wait for Good Faith and the upcoming series Black Jack Gentlemen! You are awesome!

  8. I always love reading your interviews, Liz. And love your books! "Mutual Release" sounds like another must read for me.......Polly

  9. I always love your interviews, Liz, as much as your books. "Mutual Release" is another must read for me!


  10. Hi Liz,

    Good luck with your latest release. Love the Turkish Delight series.


  11. I always enjoy learning more about you, Liz. Congratulations on the success of the Stewart Reality series. Your new side series is going to be a good one. I see you mention Dogfish Head. I know you've met Sam before. He continues to be a big part of the business community here in Delaware, and one of the state's best success stories.

  12. Seems like you visited a lot of places

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  13. OMG!!! Love the excerpt.

  14. Very interesting interview! Multi-talented author and microbrewer. Enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  15. I love the interview! I had no idea you sing Liz!! I love opera also but never quite understand the entire story. I'm all about this book peeps. MUTUAL RELEASE totally rocks! I love Evan and although many fans prefer Jack, Evan just has it all for me! TEAM EVAN ALWAYS!!!


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