Author Interview: Liz Crowe & Giveaway!

Disclaimer: Rating 18+ - Content contains mature themes, explicit language and sexual scenes not suitable for everyone.

Can two dark souls ever make a light?

As president of her own distribution company, Julie Dawson has all she ever wanted -- money, power, and respect. But her carefully crafted fa├žade 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.

Read the review of Mutual Release.

About Liz:

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 a successful author.

When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or implementing promotions for her latest publications. Her groundbreaking literary fiction subgenre, “reality fiction,” 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.

For more information on Liz Crowe, please visit her website or (her author blog). She enjoys interacting with her fans on her Facebook author page Information for all of her books, including eBook and print formats (where available), can be found on her Amazon author page.

Please welcome Liz Crowe!

SRNA: New Adult is an up-and-coming genre in the ever-expanding realm of romance. Do you consider yourself a New Adult author? 

LC: I don’t consider myself an author in any particular genre at all. I do have a few overtly “contemporary erotic romance” books out but this series (and the majority of my books) in my opinion, should be considered “fiction with a 18 and older warning for explicit themes.”

The New Adult genre confuses me some, especially considering some of the books and series that get lumped into it. Many of them are merely “contemporary erotic romance” complete with a requisite hero/heroine, conflict/resolution, Happily Ever After, merely with the ages of the H/h moved down by about 10 years, to people in college or in their early twenties.
What I have done with this series is begin it fairly traditionally (with the trilogy of Jack and Sara: Floor Time/Sweat Equity/Closing Costs) as adults (in their late 20’s and early 30s) and then moved it elsewhere into “fiction” or “family saga.” As a matter of fact, on Amazon the series is ranked very highly in “family saga” and “urban fiction” genres.

What that says to me? My books are a little un-classifiable. And I have been told in no uncertain terms by plenty of Hard Core Romance (and erotic romance ) readers and reviewers that I have no business considering what I write “romance”—too unpredictable, too much conflict, too much reality. Which suits me fine.

My readers are across the spectrum, many of them turned on to reading erotic novels thanks to the 50 Shades of Gray phenomenon, some of them traditional romancer readers, and some who are surprised to find that books that are technically classified as “romance” have unique plots, three dimensional characters and some unpredictability within their narratives.
It puts me at a disadvantage in some senses because it’s a sort of “between genre” sort of thing. But if New Adult can be considered “coming of age” in its basic themes—which is how I understand it—then Mutual Release (and the upcoming House Rules: the Jack Gordon novella in which we meet Jack at age 16) are without a doubt in the New Adult realm.

SRNA: Your latest release in the Stewart Realty series, Mutual Release, delves into a side of BDSM most people may not even realize exists. What made you want to tackle this side of sexual expression?

LC: To be completely honest, I developed Jack Gordon (Evan’s friend from law school and the main character of the first few books) as a guy who “would be” a Dom but didn't quite take him there until my final, and now well-considered revision of him as a character. He needed something to take him to that next level—a bit of darkness to his happy go lucky, pussy magnet, devil may care sort of personality.

When I wrote in the characters of Evan and Julie in the first 3 books they were there to serve as a “what if,” thing for Jack. A bit of “what if I did this (Dom/sub thing) right and could have the whole package—the sub, the collar, the relationship I think I want like my buddy Evan.”

Then, when I sat down to write Evan and Julie’s story it became the catalyst around which they circled, and what ultimately made them let go and to trust each other. Not because Evan “dominates” Julie in the bedroom when they both discover how much they enjoy that type of activity, but because of his well-roundedness as a switch early in his experience. Because that allows her to “top” him emotionally—something he never thought would happen, or would never allow to happen. Both of these steps are required for them to be together, and happy (or as happy as I ever let my characters be).

I honestly believe that everyone’s sexual switches are flipped differently. Some women love to watch men have sex. Some men need a woman to smack his ass or ‘be the boss’ in the bedroom to get off. Some people like multiple partners. Some couples like to be rough with each other but tender in other ways. Everyone is different. But some people just flat out get off on pain. I've read some fairly dreadful fiction about ‘pain sluts’ that I hope no one else is subjected to, however, they gave me insight into a certain type of personality who requires that sort of activity. And some men just have to be in charge, to dominate, in order to achieve orgasm. It’s how people are hardwired to like sweet or sour, beer or wine, to be night or morning people. Your sexual psychology is just a much a part of you as anything else. I wanted to show how a young man’s early frustration leads him to his own awakening, sexually, but also to prove that plenty of people use it as an excuse to be abusive. His struggle learning how to own and navigate his own particular fetish is a huge part of this book.

SRNA: Many may also consider the “club” aspect of BDSM to be less than romantic, yet you seem to be able to make it work within the romance between Evan and Julie, while still maintaining a deviant edge to it. What challenges did you face in bringing this particular aspect of BDSM into an already difficult romantic journey between Evan and Julie?

LC: I suppose it’s just my writer’s imagination. I like to think that Evan could show Julie how to make it work for them. And there are a few clubs that are less like “haunted houses with sex” as Julie puts it and geared more toward couples and their shared experiences (sort of like The Suite, that is a feature throughout this series, a fictional club in downtown Detroit run by Kyle Summerlin, ex-NFL star turned business man which may end up an offshoot series, depending on how my next year goes).

The challenge came earlier than the club scene for Julie. I think her ultimate WTF moment was in New York at Thanksgiving, over an innocuous dinner when Evan just came right out and told her what he wanted, how he operated and what could (would?) happen next. She responds exactly as he expects—by rebelling against it and acting out. Julie’s journey towards trust is something Evan guides her through and he uses the “clubs” (including the one in Miami) to make his point about their relationship and where it is going.

Taking people outside their comfort zone, and putting them in situations where they are forced to either go with the flow or freak out is one way to gauge trust to be certain. And Evan is ready to shove Julie, hard, over that line by the time they go their first club. It’s not until later that they start frequenting The Suite, just for fun and in interest of keeping it hot once they discover that is what they enjoy.

SRNA: The Stewart Realty series, as I understand it, is coming to an end this year. Is there a final chapter in the works to close out this successful series?

LC: Yes, the series ends with the release of GOOD FAITH in November. There will be a farewell weekend in Ann Arbor that culminates with a book signing at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, Nov. 16. We have a huge weekend of fun planned though, with a party at my Tap Room, trivia contests, scavenger hunts around town and other, yet to be revealed, special appearances. There are already several fans coming in from out of town so I got a group rate at a hotel in Ann Arbor for them. And my local fan base is gearing up to show everyone what the Stewart Realty setting of Ann Arbor is really about!
Good Faith is mainly the story of the “kids” with an emphasis on Brandis Gordon, Jack and Sara’s son and how adults move through yet another life stage with their sanity and relationships (mostly) intact.

SRNA: What feedback are you getting from your Stewart Realty fans as the end draws near?

LC: Oh, about what you might expect really. Every time I mention something about Good Faith in my fan group on Facebook or on my Liz Crowe fan page I get a whole lot of “I can’t wait! But please don’t let it end…”

SRNA: Is there a new series on the horizon for Liz Crowe fans to look forward to? Can you tell me a little bit about it?

LC: There is and it is an off-shoot of the Stewart Realty series. The Black Jack Gentlemen series will begin with a trilogy of novels in August and September 2013. The Black Jacks are the expansion pro soccer team that Jack Gordon helps develop with the help of his brother-in-law Rafael Inez in ESCALATION CLAUSE. You get a nice taste of this story line in that novel (the 6th of the series). It will begin with MAN ON, which is a novel about gay men in pro sports and the many hurdles they must leap in order to lead the lives they want. Then FREE AGENT will release the next week. It is the story of the coach, Metin Sevim, a Turkish man whose life was “picture perfect” until it … wasn’t and he is thrown into a tailspin. He was a super star player at one time with a beautiful wife and child and then he is staring out from the bottom of a booze bottle until Rafe and Jack decide he would be a great (and affordable) coach for their new team. Finally, RED CARD will release in September. It has BDSM themes as well, but in a fairly unique way.

I’m a huge soccer fan and have been dying to get this series going. I think these book will be a lovely addition to the Stewart Series (and yes, Jack Gordon makes an appearance in them all).

SRNA: You successfully marry two of your loves – writing and brewing. While many separate their “day jobs” from writing; you join yours together. What inspired you to include your love of brewing within your storylines?

LC: Sort of as a “why not” thing I guess. So many novels have their requisite sub genre: super stud CEO’s, cowboys, cops and firemen, rock stars, soldiers and sailors, pirates, vampires etc.—I wanted to show that sometimes hot guys and steamy romances occur elsewhere—like in real estate offices or in breweries.

SRNA: Between writing and micro-brewing, do you have time to read? What are you reading (or have recently completed)?

LC: I always make time to read and am one of those readers with several projects going at once in different formats. I’m listening to Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and I highly recommend it. I have a book called Wolf Hall on my Ipad by Hillary Mantel which is the story of Thomas Cromwell, advisor and some would say enabler to King Henry VIII during his “find a wife” years. I love English history especially this period and this book gives me a whole new perspective on a guy who was vilified by many. In print I am co-reading The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer with my high school freshman—a Newberry award winning Sci Fi, YA that is, in a word amazing.

SRNA: Thanks for your time, Liz! We wish you the best of luck in your future series, and look forward to more unpredictable, compelling storylines in your intriguing romances!

LC: THANKS for having me! Hope you all get a chance to read my books (there are a bunch of ‘em)!

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark


  1. Thanks for the great interview. Team Evan forever!!! I love your style of writing Liz. The emotional journey that I find myself on while reading your books is what draws me back to the next one. I can't wait for Good Faith and I'm expecting a roller coaster ride as the series comes to an end. I cant wait for A2!! Captain Team Evan will be representing for sure!!!

  2. I love Liz's stories. They are passionate and show that life isn't about easily wrapped up packages. There is fear, anger and yes- passion in life.

    Thanks Liz!