Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Liz Crowe and her new book, “Tapped”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card! Also, come back daily to interact with Liz and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!
by Liz Crowe
GENRE: Contemporary Erotic Romance
When wealthy brewery owner Austin Fitzgerald meets sexy saleswoman Evelyn Benedict, angry sparks fly. They seem destined to clash, until a hot hookup in a cold beer cooler changes everything.
For Austin, it's a life-altering moment that sets him on a path away from his birthright, while Evelyn must face her fears about committing to a man considered the playboy of the micro-brewing world.
The power of preconceived notions nearly tears them apart—until they meet up with brew master Ross, who opens their eyes to a deeper, even more erotic connection. But three strong personalities don’t always make for the best emotional mix and when a simple misunderstanding causes chaos, it’s up to Ross to repair the tattered shreds of their relationship.
Sensing the heat of Evelyn’s fury as he finalized another large order, he excused himself and made his way toward the restroom. The tuning-fork sensation had morphed into a dull ache centered in his gut, which steadily made its way down to his balls.
When he emerged—after splashing water on his face enough times to calm the hardening in his jeans—he almost plowed straight into her. He gripped her arms to keep her from falling and the impulses that had bounced around in his brain since the morning nearly brought him to his knees. He dropped his hands and looked away, swallowing back the urge to say something, anything, to convince her he wasn’t such a bad guy.
Her voice was flat. He took a step back, stopped only when his butt hit the wall. The space between them filled with near-visible silence, but he didn’t move.
“I don’t know how I’m doing it, but the longer we work together, the more sales I make, and the more you hate me. Clue me in here, Benedict. I thought sales were the goal of the day.” He crossed his arms, holding them close to his chest so she couldn’t gauge how shaky his hands had gotten.
She swallowed, and he watched the exquisite warm peach hue of her skin redden. Admiring the line of her neck, her jaw, the plump fullness of her lower lip as she bit it, a nervous tic he’d love to come to love, if she’d let him, Austin sensed himself falling deeper into a very scary hole. Her ongoing silence took on a life of its own.
“Well? I left my secret-sales-goal decoder ring at home. You obviously have a different agenda for today. I get it. ‘Prove to the rich boy he doesn’t have what it takes’ is fine, but we could have saved some time if you’d just told me first.”
She opened her lips, then pressed them together and shouldered past him. He watched, fascinated, as his hand reached out of its own accord and snagged her arm. She stopped, stared at it, then up at him. When he realized the blue of her eyes was brighter because of tears, he hesitated. Female tears always unnerved him, but his chest tightened in a thoroughly alarming way at the thought of having caused her unhappiness.
He let go. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to…”
In a split second, her beautiful face was within inches of his. “Don’t flatter yourself. I’m just pissed off. You’ve had that effect on me since I first laid eyes on you, so yeah, I guess I set you up. But apparently, all your country-club, private-school time has been worth it. Bullshitting comes naturally to you. And that’s all this job is. A whole barrel of bullshit.”
She stomped away before he could speak or, even better, grab her and kiss her. The space she vacated quivered with anger. But her crisp perfume stayed in his nose and he had to clench his hands into fists to keep from shoving her up against the wall and kissing her until she saw it his way.
I recently had the privilege of attending something that was presented to me as “sales training” for my day job—that of convincing people to sell and /or buy what for most of them will be the biggest investment (or two or three) they every make.
“Real Estate” in other words.
Said training was to occur over four straight days, 8:30-4 at a local hotel’s generic conference room. It was called “Ninja Training” which, as you might imagine gave rise to all manner of joking around my real estate office about leather pants and throwing stars. We can be a pretty funny bunch when we try.
But those four days changed my life.
How does this affect US—that is to say, “You and Me”— the collective unwashed masses of scribblers clamoring for attention from readers, agents and bigger/ better/ deeper pocketed publishers?
Pretty directly. Allow me to explain.
The first day we pondered the concept of “Abundance” vs. “Scarcity.” Humans tend to operate from the “scarcity” side of the spectrum. There are only “so many readers” (or houses, or buyers, whatever). There are a limited number of these readers/agents and they are all “used up” by the best seller types or those lucky enough to already HAVE an agent. It’s the proverbial “glass half empty” view, really but with a bit more around it. In short, it’s defeatist, limiting, and the mindset of a victim. (“It’s EL James/James Patterson/Lee Child’s fault I’m not a best seller.” By way of example)
“Abundance” on the other hand, is the mindset we were encouraged to contemplate. This way of thinking leads to a more positive frame of mind but it’s not “smile and the world smiles with you” brainless positivity either. It’s embracing the actual reality that there are, indeed MORE readers out there. They’re created every day (many of them BY the EL James/James Pattersons of the world). There truly is no limit to what you could do, if you use this sort of thinking as you ponder the pile of edits, revisions, submissions, queries, rejections, promotional opportunities from both legit and non-legit entities—in short, your “daily business as an author in 2016.”
That first day of Going Ninja as we came to call it, also involved what was even more life-changing for Yours Truly. Mainly because it encouraged me to dump my victim-hood and take on the mantle of “player.”
Yeah, I’ve written about plenty of Players in my books, including TAPPED which has not one, but TWO strong male players, plus and equally strong female. I think I created those people so as to affirm that their hard work combined with a positive outlook on life creates success.
I “created characters” with personalities more like I WISHED I had?
I already knew that to be a “Player” meant being the opposite of a “victim.” I’d written countless of these people, both men and women, many of whom had come through some pretty tough circumstances to get to the top of their personal mountain, whatever it was. In some cases, entire novels were written by me about HOW they went from Victim to Player.
And here I was, sitting at one of those annoying skinny tables with a sweating pitcher of water in the middle, just out of my reach, surrounded by colleagues eagerly scratching down notes on the fancy Ninja-labeled legal pads, with my mouth hanging open as I pondered my own victimhood of the past, oh, 24 months of so and accepting that only I had the power to change it. I was only a victim inside my own head.
Whew. Heavy stuff. But seriously, would I remember any of it later?
I assure you that I have and I’m here to tell YOU today, dear Pro Rookie column loyalists, that the Time of Our Victimhood Is Over.
Let me bring it down to the nitty gritty.
You’re slaving over a new manuscript while trying to figure out ways to boost your reviews/ratings on other books. You just got “paid” for a month of “sales” that were utterly depressing.
You owe money to your editor, your cover artist, the four or five promo venues you use and trust. Oh, there’s that pesky “groceries” thing and perhaps “heat” for the winter and “shelter” in the form of a rent or mortgage payment.
It’s January. It’s a Tuesday. It’s cloudy and cold but doesn’t have the decency to snow and be pretty for a few hours. You open your email to find three fresh rejections from agents you were sure would adore your attempt at a sexy thriller novel.
You are a good Liz Follower and usually avoid reading your reviews but happen to scan down the page of one of your books and find three or four scathing, 1-star lengthy diatribes on the novel you just spent $400 to give away free on bookbub. The dog’s puking on the carpet. The laundry is at avalanche-level DefCon 5. On Facebook you see three or four new posts about authors who used to read YOUR books who’ve made the New York Times Best Seller list after a few months of publishing.
Pretty dismal, no?
This was me, a few weeks ago.
But thanks to the time I spent pondering the fact that all of these things could either:
1. drive me under the table in a ball, thumb in mouth, cradling a bourbon bottle to my chest at 10 a.m. OR
2. drive me away from the house, out for a walk, to yoga, to a coffee shop to meet a friend who had no clue as to my misery, to anything that would take my mind off all of it for a short while and allow me a re-set.
Either way, only I had the power to determine which direction I would take.
Because I am a Player.
Some call this the “fake it ‘til you make it” mindset and it could be taken that way for certain. In real estate, we are more or less required to “dress the part and show up” for things like office sales meetings, learning sessions, to the office as many times a week as we can, in order to help us “feel” like we are actually successful until such time as we actually ARE.
This is all a little warm and fuzzy this month but hey! It’s January! It’s start-all-over-fresh time, right?
So this is your Liz Pep Talk moment and I encourage you to heed it. Don’t be a Victim—this means that when you are tempted to go on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, your Google Plus whatever the heck that is, your Pinterest feed and just pour your sorry-for-yourself guts out all over it, stop, take a breath, and walk away.
Put positive out into the world instead. I’m willing to bet you’ll get it back, you Player you.
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
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 at 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.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.
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Liz will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.