I have Liz Crowe on the Hot Seat

Conditional Offer: Stewart Realty Book 5 August 30, 2012

How I Write.

I’m a notorious head writer and have been known to stop dead in the grocery aisle forcing people to mutter under their breath and move around me as I have various “a ha” moments during the first part of my process.

I typically do not make written outlines, but as I work my way through this longer series I am doing a fair bit of character mapping with timelines as I do some back and forth between books.  And by the time I hit the last book it will be the story of all the main characters’ children so I gotta make sure I remember who belongs to whom and how old they should be.

Once I can’t keep the story stuffed inside my brain pain I take a seat, open the Mac Book Air (one of my quirks. I simply canNOT compose on the main Mac house computer. I think it’s a function of needing to write where I am when I’m in full-on compose mode) and have at it.  And at it.  And at it…typically until the whole thing is done.  Housework goes begging, children eat a lot of cereal and Whole Food food bar for dinner, dogs start to whine anticipating the lack of walk they know they will get.  As an example, I wrote Essence of Time, the 4th book of the Stewart Realty series between April 1 and May 10, ended with about 85,000 words then added about 20k more in a few days more after getting it back from editors who said “this needs more here…and here.”

Not all my books come that easily mind you. And I subscribe to the Hemmingway school of “Your first draft is always shit” so I’m never averse to revision, rewriting or anything suggested by my kick ass editing team.

If research is required I typically do it alongside the writing as it’s hard for me to be motivated to research if I don’t have a specific project or question to answer right in front of me.  Of course, since every time I say “never” I end up doing that thing—and am in the process of doing research into soccer clubs as a business as I prepare the extension of the Stewart Realty series—the Black Jack Gentlemen will tell the tale of the expansion soccer league and team that Jack Gordon develops for Detroit.  The stories will focus on individual players and the coach and will run the gamut from m/m, m/f, with a dose of “second chance” for one married player, to a dose of femme dom as the BJ’s (as they laughingly call themselves) are gonna break a serious traditional mold and hire a woman as an assistant coach—a successful former team USA player, divorced who discovers her inner domme when confronted with a young player who is floundering at the club.

In the meantime, I’m pleased to announce that Conditional Offer: Stewart Realty book 5 is now available! It’s an in-between novella (about 45,000 words) that tells the tale of Craig Robinson, one of the men smitten with Sara in the first 3 books but who has quite a history of his own…and how he finally find happiness with a damaged woman. Two people who more deserved an HEA never existed I tell you and I was so happy to give to them!

Conditional Offer: Stewart Realty Book 5

Craig Robinson and Suzanne Baxter had no reason to meet, no real excuse to be friends. But when heart calls to heart…blood to blood…should two people who seem destined to be together heed the spin of Fate’s wheel?

Craig spent years floating through life on cruise control, using directionless jobs, his rock band, swimming, and a string of older women in his bed to smother feelings of loneliness and loss.  He finally thought he had found his true love in one Sara Thornton — A sexy, beautiful, fellow real estate agent and mentor. But his self-doubt and innate sense of failure is only reinforced when he realizes her heart belongs to another man.

When Sara introduces him to Suzanne, a woman fighting her own demons from an abusive marriage and subsequent feelings of inadequacy and deep unhappiness, that chance moment snaps Craig’s hazy existence into crystal clear focus.  A bond born of instant physical attraction is nurtured by time and shared experience, and plenty of erotic energy.

As Suzanne’s past continues to haunt her, making her push Craig away just as he thinks he’s getting closer, each of them must come to terms with their true selves and face their ultimate realities.

Liz Bio:
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.


Other Books in the Stewart Realty Series:
Floor Time
Sweat Equity
Closing Costs
Essence of Time
Conditional Offer
Escalation Clause (November 2012)
House Rules (March 2103)
Due Diligence (May 2013)
Good Faith (September 2013)

Mini Lesson: Up

Mini Lesson: Up

By Janice Seagraves

Up like the word down is a direction, but do we really need it in our writing?

Let’s take a closer look:

Example: She stood up.

Do we really need up in this sentence? No, not really. If she stood, then up is a given.

Correct: She stood.

Example: Grandma told Brian to put up his toys. He placed his toy cars on top of the TV, which made grandma angry.

You can see here Brian got confused by what Grandma wanted when she told him “to put up his toys.” Most readers would probably understand what Grandma meant, but to avoid confusion another word choice might work better.

Correct: Grandma told Brian to put away his toys. He placed them in his toy chest.

Example: The cat climbed up the tree.

We can assume that if the cat was climbing, it would climb up, unless you indicate the direction.

Correct: The cat climbed the tree.

Example: She looked up at the tall man.

If the man is tall then we can assume that she was looking up at him, unless of course if she’s taller than the man.

Correct: She looked at the tall man.

Mini Lesson: Down

I haven’t done a lesson in a while, so let’s look at the word down.

Mini Lesson: Down

By Janice Seagraves


The word down is a direction, if used correctly it can indicate where things are headed. But I tend to find it creeping into my sentences and I bet I’m not the only one.

Example: Roger sat down on the chair.

Here we see down used to indicate that Roger is sitting, but in this sentence down is a given so we don’t really need it.

Correct: Roger sat on the chair.

Example: Roger walked down the street.

Again the word down is a given. He wouldn’t be floating along the street, now would he?

Correct: Roger walked along the street.

Example: Roger set his coffee cup down on the table.

Again down is a given.

Correct: Roger set his coffee cup on the table.

Example: Roger looked down at the small child.

A small child will be lower than a grown man (we hope) unless the child is up a tree.

Correct: Roger looked at the small child.

You’ll find deleting down in your writing will lower your word count, which is always a good thing.

When is it okay to use down? You can use down to indicate a direction.

Example: The cat climbed down the tree.

Example: The leaf floated down.

Example: The bird fluttered down onto the lawn.