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Friday, February 14, 2014

Blog Tour: The Stewart Realty Trilogy by Liz Crowe (Interview, Top 10 List + Giveaway)!

It's a well known fact that I just adore Liz Crowe's books. They are beyond unique and not for everyone. In fact I'd say that they're books that are for the brave reader. The one who isn't afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and try something that doesn't follow any formula. I have personally experienced a wide range of emotions with her Stewart Realty series: Excitement, anger, frustration, humor, joy and heartbreak. I am so honored to be part of Liz's blog tour to celebrate the re-release, yes you read right, the re-release of the first three books of the Stewart Realty series. Floor Time, Sweat Equity and Closing Costs were originally supposed to just be a trilogy but thankfully someone recognized the potential for something different and they grew into a multi book series and became Liz's best selling series to date.

I am happy to not only have Liz on the blog again but also a top ten list which is rather humorous for those who are familiar with the Gordon family and a giveaway. So sit back and enjoy the ride, I've got a ton of information for you today and TWO giveaways, one tour wide and one just for visitors of today's post.

Also, for the length of this tour, Liz's book GOOD FAITH will be only .99 in e-book format! Grab it while you can!

About Liz Crowe:
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. While working as a successful Realtor, Liz made the leap into writing novels about the same time she agreed to take on marketing and sales for the Wolverine State Brewing Company.

Most days find her sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, unless she’s writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and many times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate, and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

If you are in the Ann Arbor area, be sure and stop into the Wolverine State Brewing Co. Tap Room—but don’t ask her for anything “like” a Bud Light, or risk serious injury.

Find Liz Crowe:





Adria: Hi Liz! Welcome back to the blog and Happy Valentine's Day (I'm not really a V-Day person)! I'm glad to get a chance to chat with you again. It's a little early for an alcoholic beverage (not really but I thought it would sound "adult" of me to say it), so is coffee okay? I also have to just mention that this is an adult blog so dirty thoughts, sarcasm, cursing up a blue streak, and well, dirty thoughts are allowed to run wild here (Like how I slipped in that warning to readers?).
Liz: Cheers Adria! I’m on a bit of a booze de-tox and have over compensated by going way overboard on caffeine on a daily basis. So coffee works, thanks. And I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day either but it seemed a pretty cool moment to re-release this best-selling trilogy of my best-selling series. So thanks for having me!


Adria:Congratulations on the re-release of Floor Time, Sweat Equity and Closing Costs! How does it feel to be promoting and celebrating a re-release of the first three books from the Stewart Realty series?
Liz: It’s a way cool feeling. Not one I ever thought I’d experience since this original trilogy I shopped around for so long before the current publisher took a chance on it and has allowed me to “run with it” all the way to the end. And with this fabulous new cover, I’m thrilled to feature!


Adria: Jack and Sara are two very popular characters among your fans, what do you think it is about them that draws people in?
Liz: In the course of my fairly new writing and publishing career I’ve created a ton of characters. Every time I go back and re-read my books (yeah I do that because I write what I like to read) I fall back in mad love them, no matter who they are.

Jack and Sara are something different however. I think mainly because they were my “First,” as in they were in the VERY first scene I ever wrote of any kind, be it an everyday or a hot one. It was the one in the hallway of Sara’s office—their first time. I put a lot into that scene. It was revised and re-written at least a dozen times as I learned and grew as an author.

But really I think that by the end of the original trilogy (the one I’m currently promoting) I had poured more than “just” writing experience into them. And anyone who has ever travelled that road of “Holy Shit! I wrote a book!” to “What do you MEAN it’s ‘not for you?’” and “There is nothing at all wrong with this book. You are obviously some sort of philistine.” and “Oh, well, yeah um, ok I should work on that head hopping thing.” and “ok what’s a dialogue tag?’” all the way to “Yeah, that 12th rewrite REALLY nailed that sucker.” knows precisely what I mean here.

I went through every single one of those stages (and a few more) before I got to this point. It’s a process too many authors skip in my opinion. Just my opinion.

But not only did I undergo the ego-wrenching, craft-building process of writing better through getting repeatedly rejected, I let these two be the two sides of Liz. Jack is my male alter ego. Sara has so much of my inner insecurities and BS sometimes I feel personally offended when I get a “I hated her!” from a reviewer.


A truly good book (for me) contains characters that live and breathe, and do not just kiss and grope and fuck and fall madly, perfectly, in love. They eat meals, go to work, drive cars, catch the flu, drink too much and have ugly hangovers, do stupid shit like get pregnant after repeated, unprotected sex, and do other things that we mortals do as well as screw up relationships.

I let them do that. As a result, I think they are compelling to readers—you love them, you hate them. But you are never, ever, “whatever” about them.


Adria: Damn, where are my manners today? I'm assuming everyone knows about Jack and Sara. Liz, for those who may not be familiar with Floor Time, Sweat Equity and Closing Costs (aka The Jack & Sara Trilogy) can you tell them a little about the books?
Liz: Take one part grown, hunky, dark and handsome man with an attitude, sales skills, a giant ego, too much money and a huge, gaping hole in his life that he doesn’t even realize exists. Mix with a variety of women, all of whom manage to elude the much-sought-after title of “Mrs. Jack Gordon” but who never go home unsatisfied. Then, toss in a healthy dose of driven, self-centered female determined not to fall for any man, much less a class-A trouble maker like Jack. Add a pinch of brotherly love/advice/interference and a huge “holy shit I’m what?” moment. Then, just before throwing the whole mixture into a giant cocktail shaker, add one calm, cool, Southern gentleman, seeking true love and thinking he’s found it with said self-centered female. Add some ice cubes and a soft, leather flogger. Shake it until you can’t stand it another minute. Pour into a tall glass. Add a splash of bourbon. Enjoy the experience.


Adria: What's the best thing a fan has said to you about your books?
Liz: I’m lucky to be on the receiving end of some very glowing reviews. Even sometimes ones that start out with “I hated those two but could not stop reading about them. Now, I love them.” I get a lot of that. I think, recently anyway, a reviewer made a very clear disclaimer about how my books were not like any she usually read and raved about and hence, she was reluctant to write the reviews we were asking for. Until she thought about the fact that Jack, Sara, Blake, Rob and the rest of the gang stuck with her weeks after she read them. So much so they felt like friends. And so she admonished her readership/following NOT to go into these books thinking or expecting anything. Just to enjoy them as they were. That was pretty cool.

You have had some very awesome things to say about me as well, Adria, and I really value that. As you might expect, I engender strong feelings on both sides of the love her/hate her equation. And my reluctance to do a ton of sucking up has caused me a bit of strife in the past few months, but I’m way past that now. Still, I need all the true fans I can muster!


Adria: I have yet to read it but Good Faith was the conclusion to the Stewart Realty series and I know a lot of fans expressed both joy and dismay that the series was over. Was it as emotional for you, letting Jack, Sara and the gang go or was it something you were ready to do?
Liz: I was ready. But it was still hard. The entire Good Faith writing process was bizarre in a way. I am a well-established marathon style writer. I get the muse cranked up and we go-go-go-go until the project is done. I had the basic concepts of the Good Faith Brandis/Blair story arc in my head for months before I settled in to write it. And the ending felt right to me when it appeared, fully formed, in my imagination. I sent it in chapter segments to my publisher as I went though, making sure she was ok with what I was doing to “My people.” She said, “They are your people. Do what you will and do it well. We will deal with the aftermath.”

Which we have done, big time. A bit of early ugliness was quickly taken off Amazon and hidden on Goodreads once it was established that some of the aforementioned “angry at Liz for some reason” people were out to be nasty and ruin things. It has not hurt sales and right now after 8 weeks for sale, Good Faith has 40 reviews with an average of 5 stars (and not one came from a family member or bribed with beer friend!). Plus, I think it caused those particular unhappy folks to re-think their motivation or, at the very least to channel their own creative energy into positive ways as opposed to trying to tear other people down for no very good reason.

Edit: I have just recently finished reading Good Faith and a review will be up soon!

Adria: People seem to have a hard time categorizing your books. I've seen them called Erotic Romance, New Adult, and Fiction. Frankly I don't think there's a category yet for books like yours that have elements of the aforementioned but don't strictly fall into any of those categories. Would you like to see a category created for books like yours and how would you classify your books?
Liz: Mainstream fiction with an “over-18” warning for mature content. The majority of my books with a very few exceptions (the single title I have with Ellora’s Cave being one of them) are all very much character-driven stories about people working, loving, making mistakes, learning (or not) and moving on in their lives. No pretty bows and ribbons, or rainbow-shitting unicorns anywhere near my books. But I do guarantee you a compelling, sometimes humorous, well-crafted reading experience where the characters have (hot, I’m told) sex at times, kind of like they “eat,” or “go to work,” or “drive cars” at times. But the stories are hardly about the sex or even driven by that act. They are just a part of the story, when it occurs (and don’t always get a full-frontal description either. That gets old).


Adria: You're always working on what seems like multiple projects at the same time. How do you keep every thing straight and most importantly, how the hell do you keep your sanity?
Liz: By acknowledging that there just is no such thing for truly creative people. I’m not happy unless I have a bunch of projects, events or writing to do.


Adria: What are you working on now?
Liz: A couple of things. HAT TRICK will be the 4th book in the Stewart Realty “side series” the Black Jack Gentlemen, about a fictional pro soccer team in Detroit (that Jack helps found and that his brother-in-law manages). That series (books: Man On, Red Card and Shut Out) set a few folks back too, but readers are starting to “get me” and understand that a Liz Crowe book follows no formula and tells it like it is. HAT TRICK is about a lovely Scotsman, Declan MacGuire who is single-parenting the daughter of his ex-wife, as well as he can, which is to say not perfectly, while he navigates the precarious waters of the newly single, hot-stuff athlete.

I’m also deep into a something completely new that I want to use to see if I can snag the attention of an agent. It’s called “Precious Vessel.” Here is the working blurb (FIRST SEEN HERE and most likely to be re-written so damn many times it won’t matter anyway but what the hell):

Detroit is dead. Long live Detroit!

The once lifeless, bankrupted city has been revived thanks to the money and efforts of one man and his determination to connect it to its wealthy suburbs. Leo Kingsley made a killing in international banking but returns to his home town, ready to solve its problems with high speed rail, jobs, housing and schools. His company, TriNova Inc. has spent a decade doing exactly that and the results are astounding earning him and the newly revived city accolades and international attention.

Brooke Landon is a math prodigy, snapped up out of grad school to head the newly formed “TriN Analytics.” She is quickly absorbed into the company culture, finding happiness and even love with a fellow employee, Andrew Ingram, head of the water filtration division. After years of chemical and industrial dumping, the Southeast Michigan water table is saturated with more poisons than humans can process. TriNova is pouring millions into finding out how to filter and purify it, making it safer for future generations.

But current population growth in the midwest has dropped to near zero, thanks to an alarming decline in fertility rates that began when Brooke was in grade school. As the TriNova Pharma Division scrambles to find answers and provide treatment in its growing network of "Precious Vessel" clinics it is hampered more and more by a group of "truthers," a hidden rebellion within the inner reaches of the now dazzling and successful city. Arson and sabotage of filtrations systems, and now kidnapping and torture of high level company officials have become more and more frequent. Brooke finds unlikely help in the form of Matteo, the mysterious and angry chief of TriNova security. But in the middle of their attempts to decode the clues and find the real perpetrators, her life is blown wide open by a horrible truth about Andrew, Matteo, Leo…and herself.

Adria: Thank you for your time Liz, it's been great having you on the blog again!

I really love having Liz on the blog, she always gives such detailed and thoughtful answers. Honestly guys she is a blogger's dream guest. Before you move on to the giveaway, I also wanted to share with you a special top ten list. Fans of the series are familiar with Jack, Sara and their kids but even if you aren't you'll will find this quite entertaining. I have an exclusive top ten list, that's right folks, I give you the top ten things most heard in the Gordon household!

The Top Ten Things Most Often Heard in the Gordon Household:
(with warnings: could be seen as somewhat spoilerish)


10. No, it’s not my turn to empty the dishwasher, you douchebag.

9. Go Blue!

8. You know, there’s an app for that?

7. I told you to put that stuff back in the toy box!

6. Cheers!

5. So, mom cooked. I can tell because the smoke alarm’s going off again.

4. Hey! Why are half of my (cigars/beers/travel mugs/razor blades/booze bottles/dollars) I left on the counter missing?

3. Mom, can you please tell him to stop looking at me?

2. Go Sparty!

And the number one most heard thing in the Gordon Household:
1. I love you. Now go clean your room. Your mother and I need some alone time.

How's that for fun guys?



Please note that the first giveaway is TOUR WIDE and prizes will be provided by Tri Destiny Publishing and Liz Crowe. The second giveaway is sponsored by myself.

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY:
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)

- Audible.com downloads for each of the first 3 books in the series (available internationally) Here is link to the Liz Page on Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_mn_at_ano_tseft__galileo?advsearchKeywords=liz+corwe&x=-1050&y=-41

- 1 signed print copy OR 1 eBook copy of GOOD FAITH, the critically acclaimed final novel of the Stewart Realty series (e-book available internationally, print is U.S. only)

- 1 Stewart Realty SWAG PACK complete with “I heart Ann Arbor mug” (U.S. only) and more!

SECOND GIVEAWAY (Sponsored by Me)
An e-copy of GOOD FAITH the final book in the Stewart Realty series (Remember that for the length of this tour, it is available for only .99 in e-book format).

5 comments:

  1. This is so awesome! I found a new author that writes great books and one that is a fellow Michigander! I actually purchased Good Faith today, seeing that it is on sale, and I wanted to give myself a nice Valentine's Day treat! lol I also put the whole series on my Amazon Books I Want Wish List. :) Thank you for this informative post and I look forward to following your tour. kbinmich AT yahoo DOT com

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  2. thanks for your support Adria! and I am so glad to meet you Kimberly! I hope/think you totally enjoy this series. cheers, Liz

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  3. #4 in the top things heard in the Gordon household is common in my house. Except usually my husband is staring right at them and still can't see them lol.

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  4. I love the top ten. I admit to #1 on the list. We would tell the children we were going to the bathroom and then hide, lock the door and well...

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  5. Can't wait to read The Stewart Realty in order! I love all the emotions you put the reader through. You are an amazing author & can't wait for more people to discover your incredible books!

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I love hearing from you and will always try to get back to each and every one of you as soon as I can. If you have a blog, leave a link so I can stop by and say "Hello!"