Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Liz Crowe's Stewart Realty Anthology. The first three books in the Stewart Realty series, Floor Time, Sweat Equity, and Closing Costs are included in this anthology, available in PRINT and ecopy. I have a guest post from Liz for y'all. And there is a giveaway on this tour...but it's a little different. Here's how it works:
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:
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!
FYI, for the duration of the tour, Good Faith, Liz's final, epic, mainstream fiction novel of the Stewart Realty series continues to enthrall readers and reviewers. As part of the re-release of the first 3 books of the series that focus on Jack and Sara's early years, her publisher is offering Good Faith for just $0.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for the month-long duration the tour. You do not have to "know" these characters to appreciate Good Faith. But a great way to get to know them is to start with re-released anthology and then read Good Faith. It's not every day you can get a long, juicy, well-crafted novel for just a buck. But thanks to this tour, you can, for just 4 weeks.
Stewart Realty Anthology: The Jack and Sara Trilogy
Stewart Realty: Life in the House Lane
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.
**Excerpt from Book 1, Floor Time**
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.
Adding in the Right Spice
by Liz Crowe
Erotic fiction was not invented two years ago, despite newly popular opinion. Books about explicit sex or that have it contained within the plot of a story have been around for a long time. I’m even going to go out on a limb and say that neither the grand dame of hot Scotts, Dianna Gabaldon nor the queen of Neanderthal
“pleasures” Jean Auel came up with the concept of capturing audiences with leaving in the sexy bits.
I always encourage readers new to and enraptured by books that “go there,” to check out a couple of real classics. The Story of O, the original “ode to the Marquis de Sade,” by Pauline Reage (real name Anne Desclos) is the original fiction novel of Doms and subs and tells the story of “O”, who is not allowed to have a real name
according to her Master, Sir Stephen. There are a ton of hot Doms in fiction out there. If you are into that, you owe it to yourself to read the original. It is a deeply psychological novel that is both disturbing and incredibly erotic.
“Fear of Flying,” by Erica Jong is the other book that should be required reading for both readers and writers of any sort of fiction that delves deep into the sexual psyche of human beings. It is a little dated in parts, but 2 words—“zipless fuck”—have permeated the culture and come to mean so much about female sexual freedom. Plus, the writing is sharp and seductive in ways that so many of today’s books with their purple prose and overused situations and phrases don’t come close to emulating.
Keeping things hot and steamy in books is not that difficult. Readers seeking that and only that are fairly easy to please. With the first 3 books of the Stewart Realty series (Floor Time/Sweat Equity/Closing Costs now in a print anthology with a new cover) I included a lot of steam. The two characters, Jack Gordon and Sara Thornton, are driven, type-A grownups with healthy libidos. It stands to reason that they would hook up, more than once, in places and fashions that titillate and make the reader want more.
What I do is take them beyond that, and make their story less about the how and more about the why of their intensely physical relationship. A relationship that takes a long time to morph in to anything legitimately emotional—one where they are not constantly talking about what each of them want and starting figuring out what the other needs.
In all my books I do what’s called “deep 3rd person point of view." While I'm not telling the story by looking out from the character’s eyes, hearing what they hear and doing what they do directly (which is “first person POV”) I allow myself to get into their heads while still letting them to maintain control over what they do and say. I find it to be a very sexy thing, writing from a man’s POV but without using the “I” or “me” or “we.” Getting into Jack’s psyche taught me a lot about myself, to be honest. And I bring the male POV in most of my books, but don’t feminize them, or make them overly introspective and wordy. That feels false when I read it and so I don’t write it that way.
Books that start hot and stay that way for this reader (me) are ones where I give a rip about the characters. I want to know why they are getting it on, not just where and how. And it is something I strive for in all my books. As I used to say “I write fiction. And when it feels right or moves the story along in some way, I leave in the sex scenes.” That keeps things real, and as a result, pretty darn hot.
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 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