I’m always excited to host Liz Crowe because I love her books and devour them as soon as they come out. I’m so happy to have her here today as her new release, Mutual Desire, hits the virtual bookstores.
So Liz, a few questions:
I know everyone asks this but why did you decide to write romance?
I didn’t really decide to “write romance” per se. I’m not a huge reader of it, especially the “sweet” kind and my characters tend to go off the rails of “traditional romance” pretty quickly. I like to write stories, with strong, compelling characters living their lives in the real world but I don’t dim the lights when they have sex. Neither do I write predictable plots.
I’ve been vilified by many Big Time Romance reviewers because of this but have gained a decent following for the same reason. My style is unique in that I start with some familiar “types” (hero/heroines) and sort of let them screw up, do the wrong thing, fall apart, have terrible habits, then usually sort themselves out by the end. My books have lots of secondary characters as well, which is where this particular book came from. Mutual Release is “Evan and Julie’s story,” 2 characters mentioned several times in the other 6 books. However it could easily be read as a stand alone novel.
I call what I do “Romance for real life,” or the wordier: “Fiction, but the for over-18 crowd due to explicit sex.”
What was the hardest thing you had to do when you started?
Learn to take honest criticism not personally (I still have trouble with that).
What was the easiest thing?
Coming up with plots.
How long did it take you to finish your first manuscript and where did the idea come from?
The Stewart Realty series was the first thing I wrote but not the first thing I got accepted for publication. However I consider it my publishing journey in a nutshell. As I got edited for other books and learned what worked and what didn’t I was able to plow those things back into that project and make it better. What started as a long novel, ended up 3 books, the first of the trilogy, Floor Time/Sweat Equity/Closing Costs. It took me about a year and a half (around selling houses and then buying into a microbrewery) to get it done and published.
Tell me about your first contract?
My first contract was for a short story that was ostensibly a side story FROM the Stewart Realty series, called The Rookie, about a beer sales woman who is seduced by the owner of the company who has gone for a “ride along” sales day with her sort of disguised as just another sales guy for the brewery. It was with a company called Breathless Press. They took 3 other books from me but I have since received rights back and plan to revise and re-release them all in 2014.
Do you base any of your stories on real people or places or events?
Yes, some, as I like to read about real places and events. I set my books mostly in Michigan, many in Ann Arbor and use real places there to ground them in reality.
I also have a series set in Istanbul, Turkey where I live for a few years.
What gets you in the mood to write?
Actually having free time to do it.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years?
In 5 years I see myself on several big time best seller lists, with a killer mainstream novel published and in negotiations for the movie. In 10, I’ll have a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. What? You asked.
What do you enjoy most about being an author? When I get emails, facebook messages or tweets from new readers who LOVE my books.
Okay, quick fun questions:
Favorite ice cream: don’t eat it—I save all my empty calories for alcohol.
Favorite music: depends on my mood but I love the Foo Fighters and Nine Inch Nails.
Favorite movie: This year: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Ever: Gone With The Wind.
Favorite time to write: When there is free time (a rarity in my life)
If you could be stranded with a movie or television star who would you pick? George Clooney and he’d better bring his Viagra bottle.
If someone played you in a movie who would it be and why? Julia Roberts we have the same horse laugh.
And now for a taste of Mutual Desire:
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?”
Be sure to hit all the tour stops and comment to be eligible for the prizes. Look how great they are:
Grand Prize: Paperwhite Kindle (
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)