Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hot Sex and Beer a la Wench! (or Liz Crowe is in da House!)

So Liz and I have known each other for years... maybe six of them... as we live about six blocks from each other and my two Tartlets are matching sets for Wenchlings 2 and 3... and oddly enough, we came out as writers right about the same time. Liz is tenacious, dogged, even (works SUPER HARD), and in her chosen genre of erotica, her approach has been more than effective. She's has several short story successes and now combines two of my favorite things for her first full length (yes, that IS innuendo) novel (and not just full length... it is a CHOOSE YOUR OWN!--not just for RL Stein any more, eh—hummina hummina—The Tap Room... Hot sex with your choice of hottie and beer OH MY!!!

And for you men thinking erotica is women's literature, you have NOT read Liz—I've read some candid comments from men after reading her stuff, and she is making EVERYBODY happy... it is far more realistic than the theoretical sex written by virgins I so often see in erotica (erm, no offense... though it is honestly a HUGE compliment to Liz that I find this stuff so hot, as often the genre makes me roll my eyes)

So without further ado, I bring you The Beer Wench, Liz Crowe!

Dreaming in “Hero”
Reality Checks in Writing
by Liz Crowe

At certain times in the writing cycle I get utterly absorbed inside the lives of my characters. I find myself dreaming in their heads, thinking their thoughts, unable to focus on real people trying to have conversations with me. The only way to rid myself of this brain tickling annoyance is to Finish the Story. I can’t walk away from anything half or even three quarters done. It will make me patently insane. Deep wells of energy and caffeine must be tapped in order to further the cause of Finish the Story. Children go hungry** and dogs unwalked in the name of Finish the Story.

Then the next stage: self-editing/polishing/absorbing critiques kicks in and I’m brought low by reality. Holy Sh*t this story is crap. No one will publish it much less take the approximately twenty five seconds required to down load it—read it? Please.

Polishing and humble pie stage accomplished, it’s time to submit. I’m one of those who must write the intro email about three weeks ahead so as to go back and stare at it, tweak it, delete it and start over a lot. Don’t even get me started on the evil that is a Synopsis. I usually write mine drunk I’m so sick of the whole thing by then.

Press send. Hold breath. Check email obsessively (I do this anyways, as you know, waiting for good beer news too so it doesn’t seem like I’m obsessing over a submission). I publish in the e-realm, therefore many responses are swift. With a few notable exceptions (hold on, gotta check my email).

Acceptance. Cue “Happy Dance with Squee” although both of those phrases makes me want to chew glass for some reason with its gag-reflex cutesy. So sue me. I sell beer for a living. We don’t happy dance or squee in the beer biz. We smack asses or other much more mature ways of expressing our excitement and support for one another’s endeavors. And overuse the Eff word.

Tart's favorite *drools*
Editing. Another point at which you can question the purpose of your very existence. I am blessed with a couple of pretty high level professionals on the other end of the “track changes” and while I may holler “you’re an idiot” at the computer screen at some of their comments, usually I slink back to my seat and am able to become a better writer thanks to their help.

The editing process, depending on your publisher, is long and drawn out and ends with galleys: your very last opportunity to hook dangling participles and stick punctuation marks back where they belong (how do those suckers escape?)

But simultaneously along in here the Great Promotional Machine takes a cough and a wheeze and fires up, carrying you along for the ride.

I write in one of The Most Crowded Markets Known to Man: Romance. I’m not exactly sure how I ended up here, to be perfectly honest. It was not at all what I read growing up. But the freedom to explore the human sexual animal thoroughly and honestly and without turning off the lights and shutting the door has been a thrill ride beyond anything I could imagine. That, and discovering all the ways to say … oh never mind. Different post. [may the Tart suggest Meaty Thunderstick?]

It works really. My real job involves making and selling craft beer. The Most Crowded and Fastest Growing Alcohol Sector Known to Man.

I fight daily with start ups, indie pubs, home brewers eager to find out “how I did it,” newbie authors with my various publishers asking the most basic questions like “how do you blog?”. The competition is fierce and grows daily. But one more similarity if you will indulge me is that both industries have a very pleasant underlying sense of camaraderie that I just refuse to believe you get between competitors anywhere else. We pay it forward daily, be it by posting yet another comment on a blog, sharing ideas, collaborating on stories or brews, hosting fellow writers on an annoying blog tour (thanks Hart) [*snort* Any time], or just being open to answering questions about process, craft or sales.

Somewhere along in here, I realize I’ve stopped dreaming in my Hero’s head, no longer wonder how my heroine would have responded to the jerk at my bar, and can accept that someday, hopefully someone else will read my book and take over where I left off all wrapped up in their lives. If so, then I can say: Mission Accomplished

Okay so here is the egregiously promotional bit as we hitch ourselves up to the Promotional Train:

My novel, The Tap Room Is Now Available.

It is a “choose your romance” novel….a pretty new thing in romance. And a tough thing to create, I assure you, but fun.

Erin Brady is having a seriously interesting year…

After finding out her alpha banker husband, Bradley, has been cheating on her with his bubble-headed PR girl, she puts all her passion and energy into making her microbrewery a success. Until one business partner, Trent, attempts to rekindle an old flame, and her other partner, Owen, admits his true feelings for her—what is a woman supposed to do?

Throw the hot new brewer, Jeff, in the mix, and it's a formula for disaster.

The daily stresses of running a small business, plus the ongoing turmoil in her personal life has Erin escaping to California for an industry event, where she meets Landon, a brewery rock-star-turn-consultant, who has been watching her and her company for a while.

When a family trauma requires her presence in Michigan, Erin is faced with an ex- husband who wishes for a reunion. Caught in the middle of all these men, she's even more confused by what she truly wants or needs.

Then the ultimate decision forces her into action: Newly acclaimed as the owners of Winter Street Brewing, honored by Inc. Magazine as Top Entrepreneurs, Trent, Owen and Erin face a buyout offer from a much larger brewery. What will she choose? Who will she share it all with?

**This is a Choose-Your-Own-Ending book.**
Available from Breathless Press, Amazon, Allromance Ebooks and a few other places but these are the easiest ones to navigate!

C’mon along folks! Help me choose Erin’s fate.

Buy it here:

Liz Bio: 
Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town [three guesses which one]. 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 beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly. If you want a beer education follow her: www.a2beerwench.com. For writing related stuff: www.brewingpassion.com.
Coming from Liz:
Breathless Press
The Tap Room: Sept 30
Specific Gravity (the final short story installment in the series): Nov. 25

Rebel Ink Press:
Player Conference (A Claw Mark Anthology short story): Oct. 3
Vegas Miracle (Novel): Oct. 17

Decadent Publishing:
Part of the popular 1NightStand Series:
Caught Offside: Oct. 2011
Turkish Delights: Nov. 5
Blue Cruise: Nov. 11
Tulip Princess: Nov. 20

Holy cow!  That is break-neck pace publishing this fall!  Good luck to you on all of it!


Trisha said...

I love that she writes romance novels AND she's a micro-brewery owner. That rocks!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Two fascinating and time-consuming careers! Congratulations on managing them so well!

Old Kitty said...

I choose the most NAKED one with free beer!

Yay for Liz and her amazing book and choosing your own ending! WOW! Good luck, Liz - nice to meet you! Take care

Matthew MacNish said...

This is not normally the kind of thing I read, but I just have to say: The Tap Room? That's an effing bad-ass title.

Unknown said...

thanks kids! damn you guys are up early....I am just now recovered from my mecca trip to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last weekend so pardon my late arrival at the Par-tay! gotta go help out with our bottling line this morning, then pour beer at a fund raiser tonight. THANKS TART for this...you are my hero, seriously. Were it not for you I would never have had the nerve to get Out There with my dream of writing...carry on kids! The Tap Room is a fun ride! went from a 33k slightly predictable novella to an amazing project wherein frankly, every time I read over it I changed my mind about who my heroine should choose!

Nina Pierce said...

Congratulations Liz on all the releases this fall. You are my multi-tasking erotic beer wench of a hero. (And I don't say that lightly. LOL!) All the best.

Heather Savage said...

That is really interesting to write a choose your own ending for romance. I like it. Isn't that funny the genres we fall into? When people read my first works and suggested they were romance, not adventure, I was a little miffed. Now, I guess I embrace it, or at least don't cringe when I touch it. --HK Savage

Talli Roland said...

Oh my! I'm having problems concentrating! Wow - Liz must be crazy busy with everything happening. Congrats!

Hart Johnson said...

Trisha-I now, right?!

Elizabeth-yeah, she never seems to slow down!

Jenny-and then read it again and choose a different one, yeah?

Liz-I don't know how you do it!

Nina-nicely put!

Heather-teehee--funny how we all see things differently.

Talli-*giggles*--it is the Turkish guy, isn't it?

Hart Johnson said...

Doh! I skipped you Matt--my bad--definitely bad ass! (and seriously, not just for the ladies)

Jan Morrison said...

Wowza! Naked men and beer - now, Liz - have you considered naked men and scotch? Set in Scotland? just wondering...

Unknown said...

Jan--I'm not a fan of the "kilt lifter" actually although I read a good one by Laura Harner recently. My "exotic locale" tastes run more to the Mediterranean as you can see by the Turkish Delights franchise that Decadent wants me to develop. Those hit in November...verra hot.

Unknown said...

Talli/Hart---Nov. 4---prepare yourselves for some seriously Hot Turk, k?

Unknown said...

Thanks Nina! you rock. I am not worthy.

Unknown said...

Jenny--yes it is set up so you can go back and re-choose..I would NOT want you to miss any of these men and what they can offer Erin.

Unknown said...

Hart--watch your email...I'm sending you an ARC of The Tap Room....might be willing to send another one or 2 to some lucky commenter types.

Hart Johnson said...

teehee--Jan, YOU should write that book!

And yes... waiting for the hot Turk. My only problem is so many Mediterrenean men are shorter than me... I likes 'em tall.

And I'm watching!

Unknown said...

HART: I have in pretty much every e-format known to man and a few known only to vampires I think...how would you like it?
Also, I would be delighted to provide two more copies in exchange for a review or 2.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Liz, Sounds like your a busy girl. Good luck on your book.

Hart, Thanks for hosting.

Laura said...

Wowee, you sound like my new hero! Beer and Erotica? Great things to be selling! Good luck with the release

Unknown said...

offering copies...if anyone wants...
lemme know.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

There is some serious man-flesh on those covers.

Anonymous said...

Micro-brewery owner AND writer? That's one awesome combo in my opinion. And I don't even like beer! Very, very intrigued by Liz's work since Hart has given it the two thumbs up. Modern erotica has fallen very short in my opinion (despite all their talk of largesse... *cough*). Good luck, Liz, and can't wait to check out your work!

Unknown said...

thanks Kimberly! if you are interested, I'm offering ARC copies in exchange for reviews...let me know.
Yeah Michael: Man Flesh Rules in my world
etcrowe AT me DOT com

Helena said...

A hot heroine who owns a microbrewery--gee, why would men like this book too? But me, I'm interested in the hot guys and that I can choose which one in the end...

And what a hoot that you were at the Beer Festival here in Denver! The hordes or beer-rabid men (and not as many women) all over this downtown was a sight to see.

Unknown said...

Hart - Love your blog title. LOL

Liz - Wow, some seriously hot covers. I can tell there will be story steam coming from the pages...LOL

Good luck with all of your releases.

Johanna Garth said...

Liz and Hart, how fun to have the neighbor writer connection going on.

I'm impressed by the voluminous and speedy writing pace both of you manage.

Unknown said...

Helena, I vow next year to see more of Denver than the inside of the airport, the inside of the convention center and the inside of the Falling Rock, Euclid Avenue and the Star Bar... thanks for all the good wishes! Hope you enjoy the book.

Danette said...

Congratulations on the release Liz and very intro to her book Hart! It's looks quite.. exciting might be exactly the right word, aye?

Enid Wilson said...

Wow, how can you pack in so many things in a day? Must be all the beer you have...

When the Ghost Intervenes

Unknown said...

'tis exciting Danette, indeed and even more so 'cause you get to determine her fate.
you know Enid, the longer I'm in the biz the less beer I actually drink...although I wager I'm still a Class A Professional in that department (i.e. A Very Expensive Date).