Please welcome Liz Crowe, author of the fabulous Stewart Realty series. In honor of the release of the new Stewart Realty “Jack & Sara Trilogy” print anthology, she’s taken the time to answer some of Britney’s questions. And as always she’s such fun to talk to!
Britney: You're a writer of "Romance for Real Life." What is your definition of "Romance for Real Life" and what do you like most about writing this subgenre?
Liz: Well, first let me say “thanks” for having me here today. And second, allow me to say that honestly, my books are not really “romance.” They have elements of what readers expect in romance novels but that really just means that the books are “character driven.” Or that the characters drive the story as opposed to some external plot or crises.
I write books with characters that provoke very strong reactions in readers—not always positive ones—which is sort of where “romance” and “Liz books” part company. And I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t read traditional romance books and never have. However, I do love a book that delves deep into the psychology of the humans in it, and have attempted to do that in all of my books.
I think that any author who can create characters that make a reader stop, think, and have deep emotional reactions to them that are NOT always “knee- melting,” or “omg I want to be her bestie” are authors I want to read. So, that is what I try to create. It’s a tough balance, crafting characters that you can curse on one page, then empathize with on the next. I shoot for it.
I’m not saying romance books are bad. Frankly, it’s such a giant beast of a genre I’d be lucky to consider myself successful in it. But I gave up on that once I acknowledged that I just could not allow my characters to be too…perfect.
B: I'm really looking forward to this new anthology in print! (Yes, I still have a bookcase and I love my hard copy books!) This anthology will include the first 3 books in the Stewart Realty series: Floor Time, Sweat Equity, and Closing Costs, also known as the Jack and Sara Trilogy. Which of these was your most favorite to write and why? What do you like most about Jack and Sara's relationship and/or is there anything about their relationship you found particularly difficult to write?
L: You know, I adore these two, mainly because so many of my fans “feel them,” or come to me at various times and say “I have never felt as if a book character could be as real as these.”
That said, both Jack and Sara are so type-A as to be pretty self-centered. I think that I enjoyed so many aspects of crafting their relationship (and that of those around them) and each one of the original trilogy represents something important about how they learn to trust and love each other. Their love is so strong, it transcends many things (as readers have found in the final novel Good Faith that released last November). But I make them go through a fair bit of hell to find that heaven in each other’s arms…finally. Floor Time is part one—the heat, the steam, the getting-to-know and really enjoy but reject, until Jack pulls a major trigger at the end. Sweat Equity is the one that had many readers cursing my name in the wee hours. It’s the typical “middle novel” that has the bulk of the personal crises with a killer cliff hanger. Closing Costs introduces a very important new character—one that finally makes Jack and Sara understand that it is NOT all about the two of them.
B: You are constantly turning out new and exciting stories full of romance (well I consider it romance. Who needs an unnaturally happy ending all the time!?)and lets be honest, a fair share of heartbreak. Can you give us an idea of what you have coming out for us in the near future?
L: Well, I’m turning my attention to a psychological thriller that I hope to sell to an agent who will help me move to a new level of my career. I also have a really killer mystery novel (both of these are set in Ann Arbor/Detroit) that’s in early stages of development that I want to have ready for that go-getter agent once we find each other.
I also have big plans for the Black Jack Gentlemen series, a side series from Stewart Realty that already has 3 novels released. It is about a fictional expansion pro soccer team set in Detroit.
B: Now for fun! If you were stranded on an island and could only choose to live the rest of your life with 1 of each of the following, what would your choices be?
- Type of beer (I know how difficult this one might be for you Ms. Beer Wench!) Easy: an India Pale Lager—hoppy, balanced, around 7% alcohol.
- Book: Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
- Movie (Hey, this is a semi-well equipped deserted island!): Empire of the Sun
- Food: Pizza
- Non-alcoholic beverage: coffee (duh)
- Animal: my standard poodles (both of them)
B: I like to keep my deserted islands very well equipped. Hey, it’s my world! Thanks so much for joining us Liz! It was such a pleasure as always.
L: Thanks again for having me!
Find Liz online at the following places:
Writing Blog: www.brewingpasssion.com
Beer Blog: www.a2beerwench.com
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
FB Fan Page: www.facebook.com/groups/Lizcrowefans/
Jack Gordon’s FB Page: www.facebook.com/jackgordonrealtor
Stewart Realty Anthology: The Jack and Sara Trilogy
Love is an easy word to use, a hard one to demonstrate, and sometimes impossible to trust.
The Stewart Realty series is a sweeping epic, encompassing many years in the lives of two people who know how to love with their bodies, how to please and get pleasure, to control and be controlled. When it comes to the deeper meaning of the one word they both need, backgrounds and personalities get in the way. While their physical connection sizzles they somehow manage to continuously disappoint one another on an emotional level.
Jack Gordon has it all—money, success, a string of women—but also a deep longing for something more. When he thinks he finds it with Sara Jane Thornton, his world is never the same again. Sara releases a side of himself he considered buried out of frustration and unhappiness. Sara soon learns that she must trust him implicitly, something she cannot do, no matter how many times she tries...and he fails.
With a rich cast of secondary characters, including a young man who presents a near-perfect foil to Jack's intensity, and who falls hard for Sara, The Stewart Realty series is a saga with an emphasis on contemporary life with a healthy dose of realistic eroticism. A tale of modern, busy, driven people seeking the ever-elusive and highly coveted combination—a friend, lover and trusted companion who will be there for the long haul.
Start at the beginning, with the Jack and Sara Trilogy, now for the first time ever in a print anthology. The Stewart Realty series is a best seller in family saga and urban fiction categories. See for yourself what the buzz is all about.
Want to know more? Check out this fabulous sneak peek!
Floor Time Excerpt (Stewart Realty Series (Book 1):
Sara put her palms against the ice-cold glass of the floor-to-ceiling windows. She smiled, observing the entire downtown of Ann Arbor spread out below her like a child's carpet map. The heat rose visibly from the pavement as the crowds scurried in and out of restaurants and shops.
Adam's arms around her waist startled her. As she turned, a niggling voice at the back of her brain made her hesitate before brushing his lips with hers. They'd been in the vacant condo way too long. Now that he'd teased a satisfactory orgasm from her neglected body, an antsy, nervous sensation wormed through her psyche. She sighed and disentangled herself from his embrace.
When the doorbell echoed through the cavernous space, she broke out in a cold sweat. Fumbling with blouse buttons, she pushed past Adam on her way through the kitchen and to the door, cursing under her breath. She looked back to make sure he was pulled together – not a tough thing since neither of them got completely out of their clothes – and scowled as he gave her a knowing smile.
Shit. You should not have done this. You don't even really like him. But it had been so long and he was pretty good looking. Jesus, slut much Sara?
Sara let guilty thoughts clang around her head long enough to hear the doorbell ring once more before yanking it open, her perfect pleased-to-see-you sales smile fixed in place, keys clutched in one hand.
Jack had a hot date, one that was going to yield him a kick-ass listing, but due to the unwarranted dawdling of the condo-shopping couple he had been dragging around, he'd be lucky to make it in time. The empty lock box on the door of the penthouse unit provided the real icing on the cake. He leaned on the doorbell, hoping they could skip this one and stop wasting his time while mouthing platitudes to his clients. He had hoped that the relocating, executive couple like the ones he was courting at that moment wouldn't spend so much of his valuable time arguing over granite colors and the relative benefits of central vacuum cleaners. God, he hated this job sometimes. He smiled, and turned, hearing the click of the deadbolt. Finally.
When the heavy door swung open, the vision standing there froze him mid-sentence. Sara Thornton, one of the newer, and more successful, realtors at Stewart Realty, stared at him, eyes blazing in a strange combination of aggravation and satisfaction. Jack clenched his jaw at the sight of her smoking hot body encased in skintight short black skirt, creamy silk blouse and four-inch stilettos.
As one of the few chosen to populate the downtown storefront office, based upon her good looks and the ability to rope in new buyers and sellers off the streets of Ann Arbor, Sara had serious sales skills. He'd studied the branch's numbers, as part of a management decision-making process, to ultimately turning down the offer to handle that stable of prima donnas. But at that moment Jack couldn't believe he'd never noticed her before – really noticed her. Where had she been hiding? And what was that amazing sexy aura that permeated the air? Jack's heart jumped in his chest.
"Um, hi Jack." Her voice was hoarse, making him blink. He made a conscious effort to wipe the idiotic look off his face, aware of the annoying clients still standing at his elbow. He held out a hand, needing to confirm that her skin felt as hot as it looked. Surprised no one else saw the sparks pass between them, he couldn't suppress a grin at the look on her flustered face.
So, she sensed it too. This could get interesting.
"Sara." He heard his own voice, sounding a hell of a lot more confident than he felt at that moment. And he did not rattle easily. "Sorry to barge in but…” He was struck dumb once again by the sight of Adam Donovan, mortgage broker tool, at Sara's shoulder. Jack gave himself a mental shake. The sudden realization of what had undoubtedly happened, in the same condo he was about to show, made his head pound. Reluctant admiration mixed with something resembling jealousy fogged his brain. He raised his eyebrows at the tall blond man whom he could have sworn was engaged to someone else.
"Jack." Adam moved around the beautiful woman who still blocked the doorway. "Good to see you."
Jack shook the guy's hand, never taking his gaze from Sara, reserving his smile for her. His brain engaged, focus locked on Sara Thornton, and the world shifted under his expensively clad feet.
Sara had never been more embarrassed. No, that was too weak of a word – mortified was better. Jack Gordon, king of the Ann Arbor real estate universe, wanted to show the condo where she'd just let Adam Donovan mercy fuck her. As she tried not to drown in Jack's deep blue gaze, Sara clenched her thighs, already imagining how he might have done it differently, and likely better.
"Um, hi Jack," she croaked out. Her face flooded with heat; even more so when she put the keys in his outstretched hand, and yanked herself back at the intensity of their instant connection. Tall, ruggedly handsome with coal-black hair and a shimmering blue gaze, the man boasted a personality that bested all other males within a fifty-mile radius. Sara only knew of him, of course. They'd never actually met. However, she'd swear right then he seemed happy to see her. The realization made her zing from scalp to toes.
She watched his full lips form words but remained deafened by the roaring in her ears. His gaze never left hers, even when Adam nudged her aside and shook his hand. Her whole universe suddenly shrank to two people. Looking back, she'd pinpoint that as the instant she fell hopelessly in love with an impossible man.
See what other readers have to say about
Floor Time (Stewart Realty Series Book 1)
“Sara and Jack’s banter and absolute need for one another when they were together was positively combustible, and it had me switching from angry to aroused every other minute!”
~ Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“The sizzling power of attraction and the sexiness of a take charge Alpha male attitude is incredibly written by this talented author. From passion to inner turmoil, to falling in love, these characters take the reader on a whirlwind of rides!”
~ Romancing the Book
“When it comes to a book with a little BDSM, Liz Crowe’s “Floor Time” is absolutely a must read! Crowe brought out the personal inner struggles of a former Master who lost his way, and a newly introduced submissive who is battling within herself between keeping the control or giving up said control willingly…if you’re looking for a way to enjoy a known fantasy or maybe you’d like to consider a little rough play, I say pick up this book for some inspiration. You will not regret it!”
~ Bitten by Love Reviews
LIZ WILL CHOOSE FROM AMONG COMMENTERS ACROSS THE ENTIRE TOUR AND AWARD THE FOLLOWING PRIZES IN MID-MARCH:
2 signed copies of the new Stewart Realty “Jack & Sara Trilogy” print anthology (U.S. ONLY)