Guest Author ~ Liz Crowe on Tour!
We’re always excited when Liz Crowe has a new release out – and what a heart-wrenching story this is! Be sure to scroll to the bottom for her tour contest!
We all face challenges in our lives. Everything from dragging ourselves out of bed, doing annoying housework, working jobs we don’t enjoy to fighting substance addictions, abusive relationships, money problems, physical and mental disabilities are what we humans cope with—or not as the case may be.
When I pondered a novella for Decadent Publishing’s new Challenge Series I drew on a story I had read a year or so ago about a man who I felt was facing something that I personally could not get out of my brain—the loss of his entire family to a brutal, senseless attack. So in order to help me process it in my own head, I decided to fictionalize it, and get right inside the man’s soul as he attempted to cope.
Luckily, I have never lost a child but as mother it is a perpetual worry-slash-nightmare of mine. I read once a perfect description of motherhood: as willfully agreeing to let your heart go walking around outside your body. But instead of exploring it from a female perspective I decided to take that horrible real life story as it was and have a fairly typical Alpha Male be the one having to recover from seeing his entire family ripped out of his life and being unable to do anything about it.
It’s a tough story, I won’t kid you. But one I tried to handle with sympathy, on a real-life level (as I do with all of my books), in a pretty low word count (for me) format. It was a challenge for me, for certain and one I worked very hard to meet. The female protagonist has not had an easy life either and their connection is one of desperation at first. But they slowly learn to trust each other and their own expectations, and our hero is allowed to heal.
“Stop flirting with me. That’s a personal bubble violation,” he whispered, letting his lips graze her earlobe, loving how her whole body shivered against him.
“Fine, then stop pressing against me so hard I can feel how much money is in your pocket.”
“Touché.” But he gripped her closer. The candlelight flickered, the music embraced them, and she nearly brought him to his knees with her next words.
“I can’t be what you want me to be, Jay. I have goals. I need my independence. I want to make it on my own.”
He sucked in a breath, slid the hand he had on her hip around to the small of her back. He didn’t need this. But he wanted it so much he was about to explode. “I’m never going to be what you want me to be, either. Let’s just be…what we are…tonight.”
She laid her head against his chest, and he shut his eyes, trying not to let the moment overwhelm him, send him screaming into the night. Christy’s face at their wedding, at the birth of their children, and that last moment when her eyes clouded over after she told him not to blame himself while he watched her die—they all rose, clear and bright. He swallowed, leaned down into Abigail’s thick riot of dark curls, sucked in a deep breath. “What do you want me to be for you…tonight?” he asked.
She put her hand to his face, went up on her tiptoes, and met his lips, urgent and needy. He kissed her, listening to the crowd clap and catcall. Then broke away. “Well?” he asked, his body zinging.
“I want you to be the guy who takes me to bed again.” The simplicity of her words taking his breath away. “I don’t want to be made love to, not now. I need you, Jay. With me, inside me, all over me. And you need it, too. No strings, no emotion. Only physical urges met. I’m willing. Are you?”
He stepped away from her, a little shocked and a lot horny. “Give me two minutes.” Grateful the room had dimmed for the music and dancing, he dropped three hundred in cash on the table, more than enough to cover the meal, wine, and a healthy tip, and took her hand.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” she said, giggling when he pushed her up against the side of his SUV and dove into her mouth, sweeping into it with his tongue, his hands cradling her face then buried in her hair. She molded into him, making that damn noise, the one that made him insane, down in her throat.
He broke from her, stared into her eyes. “Yes.”
Jay Longmire had it all–a successful business, a beautiful wife, two loving children. But one normal Sunday evening in Ann Arbor everything was ripped from his arms at knifepoint. He has retreated to Traverse City to hide from the world, nursing his physical and emotional wounds and trying to cope with mind-numbing guilt over his inability to protect his family.
Abby Powers serves him coffee he never drinks and has become obsessed with the movie-star handsome but melancholy man. And the anticipation of his appearance every day takes her mind off her own messy life.
What begins as a near desperate physical connection out of the blue develops into a friendship that has the potential to heal two damaged hearts. But Jay is terrified to love again. While Abby’s fierce independence forces them both to acknowledge the deeper relationship they both desire, but that remains just out of reach.
About the Author:
Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, 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 erotic romance author. When she isn’t sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications. Her ground breaking romance sub genre: “Romance for Real Life” has gained thousands of fans and followers, interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)
Her beer blog a2beerwench.com 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.
I will give away a copy of any Decadent back list books to one commenter
Here is a link to those books (The Turkish Delights books are a series. Cheeky Blonde and Caught Offside are stand alones).
Also, check out Decadent Publishing’s submission guidelines here: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/index.php?osCsid=vm2lcn38t4dk6b96pm24l844h3&content=submissions