Friday, November 25, 2011


I'm excited to have Liz here today. Yes, it's Black Friday and I'm not out shopping today. Too many people!!! So hopefully, others feel the same and decided to stay in, enjoy a few reads on-line and network and chat. Checking out what's available and buying from a computer is so much nicer. So sit back and find out a little about Liz.

CYNTHIA:  Okay, Liz, I'll start off easy. What is your process from idea to first draft?

LIZ:  I’m a known head writer.  I will wander around in a trance in the grocery story when I’ve got my mental hooks into a story (like I do right this minute) coming up with the main characters’ motivations and back stories until I’m good and ready. Then I sit and will write in marathon spurts, neglecting any and everything around me as much as possible considering I own a brewery and have daily marketing duties for it. 

CYNTHIA:  I hear you. When those characters pop into your head, you have to get them down, paper or computer. So since the grocery store is a great place to see people, how likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

LIZ:  The people I encounter definitely influence characters in my books. In The Tap Room, the "Choose your Romance Novel" of the Brewing Passion series, the main characters are a female brewery owner, her two male biz partners and her young man brewer.  Don’t have to dig too far into my bio to see that similarity.  But as I’ve said before (to them as well, bless them) it was just for “inspiration.”  I took it from there with my “imagination.” 

CYNTHIA:  Never hurts to have a little "hands-on inspiration" every now and then. When those ideas pop into your head, what comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters?

LIZ:  Characters, without a doubt.  I throw them into a hot scene right away and later determine if that scene comes first, middle or last.

CYNTHIA:  Sounds like you like starting with a hot scene and build around that. LOL. About those "hot" characters, what characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

LIZ:  I like flawed heroes.  Seriously—not PHYSICALLY flawed necessarily, oh heavens no we must have our six pack abs, huge broad shoulders carrying the weight of the world and an a** you can bounce quarters off of.  But I like ‘em to be a little…difficult.  Be they moody, haunted by inner demons from their past, or just plan too cocky for their own good, destined to be brought to their emotional knees by the right counterpart (male or female).

(CYNTHIA: OOOO, shivers. I can picture that physique perfectly. Sorry I interrupted, please continue Liz.)

Heroine’s are harder for me because I have a tendency to go a skosh TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) according to my beloved editing team.  Mainly because when you make a female main character “real” she comes across as “bitch” or “weak” or unlike anything a romance reader is looking for.  I myself despise weak heroines in my romances.  I expect them in mainstream fiction.  So I’m working on that!  Erin Brady, the heroine of the "Choose your Romance Novel" The Tap Room sometimes gets a bad rap because she’s so “lucky” to have “so many choices” when actually, most readers who really get into the story understand the dilemma for what it is: a life crossroads that won’t come along again, and sympathize with her a little.
Lisa, the heroine of The Rookie and Specific Gravity is one tough cookie.  She’s a take no prisoner’s type A sales woman supreme.  And has a tough time keeping men as a result. 

CYNTHIA:  I agree with your characterizations of Heros and Heroines.  Now, something a little different. If you could choose to time travel would you go forward or backward?

LIZ:  Backward without a doubt, plague, bad breath and hygiene and all – straight  back to Elizabethan England.  I of course would be Herself.  She is my hero.  I have a degree in British Literature and have read (and performed in some) every one of Shakespeare’s plays.  If there were such a thing now, I’d be his biggest fan grrrl.

My second choice would be at the peak of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul.  I’d be the head harem girl, with the heart of the Sultan and the balls of his court in my hand.  I’ve written a series set in modern day (and a prequel set in the 1960’s) in Istanbul.  I lived there for 2 years and became nearly as smitten with it as I am with England.

I’m lucky.  I got to live in both places and walked around with my mouth hanging open at all the bloody history around every corner pretty much every day.

CYNTHIA:  Wow, interesting times. I've been to Istanbul, England, Greece, and plan on a few more places to mark off my bucket list. I'm fascinated by the "bloody" history too. Now that I've digressed again, what is the biggest piece of your advice you can give a beginning writer?

LIZ:  Persevere and get professional help.  I don’t mean head shrinking help although that might be good advice too.  I mean professional editing and critique help.  Do NOT (I repeat Do. Not.) submit anything that has not been read by at least 2 other people who have already been published. Sure it’s cool that your friends and family think you are the greatest thing since Jacqueline Susann but…you probably are not.  Get someone to tell you how to get better.  Someone who’s been there done that.

CYNTHIA:  Great advice Liz. So true. What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

LIZ:  Getting The Tap Room done and published.  It was a MAJOR accomplishment as an 80k+ word Choose your Romance Novel that required me to come up with endings I never saw coming…until I wrote them.

Specific Gravity, that releases today, is the final “missing chapter” from that novel.  It focuses on Trent Franklin, Erin Brady’s business partner and oldest friend (formerly with benefits) and his new feisty girlfriend, Lisa.

CYNTHIA:  Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

LIZ:  I don’t venture much farther than mainstream fiction.  No bios, sci-fi or fantasy.  I am a HUGE fan of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and have re-read passage of it to remind myself just how you can create an entire character through the prism of another character’s POV.  I also LOVE The King and will curl up with 11/22/63 over the Thanksgiving holiday. Can’t wait.

CYNTHIA:  Okay, another off-the-wall question. If could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?

LIZ:  That one wherein you can get into Super Power shape in 24 hours and not 6-8 weeks or longer.  That one. Yeah.

CYNTHIA:  Oh, I'd like that one too. LOL. Okay, last one, I promise. What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?

LIZ:  Well like I said, I am head writing and actually have about 1500 words on paper/screen for my latest WIP: Menage a Brew (a working title but I like it).

Here’s a taste of the first few ‘graphs…from Liz’s latest WIP:

Jonas knew he’d hit the jackpot. Truly.  Finally, a gig at a major craft brewery.  Granted he’d had to move three hundred miles from his home, liquidate every penny of his savings and leave behind everything and everyone he loved. But it was his dream.

As second in charge at Prufrock Brewing in Grand Rapids, Michigan he was one step from his goal: running his own show as head brewer. He smiled to himself and put his back into the task at hand. God knows he’d shoveled out pounds of spent mash in his lifetime. But here, using the heavy metal scoop to empty the thirty barrels worth of soaking wet grains left behind in the first stage of the brewing process he had never been happier in his entire damn existence.

 “Hey! You!”

 The shout echoed through the ten thousand square foot brewery like it was the grand canyon. Jonas winced and turned, leaning back on the scoop that stuck out of the  mash tun’s open door. A tall, imposing figure strode towards him. His boss. One Marko Augustus Gebhardt, bona fide brew master from Vienna, recently named brewer of the year at the National Brewing Awards in Denver. And one of the hottest things on two, brewery coverall-clad legs.  Jonas winced at the look of anger in the man’s eyes and tried to ignore his own response to tall, blonde and exceedingly hot headed straight towards him with ass chewing in his eyes.

 “Ya. You. With the ridiculous hat.” Jonas touched his cap. It had been his good luck charm for the last five years of utter personal chaos.  He narrowed his eyes at the man. “You are doing that...wrong.”

 Jonas gaped at him and tried not to protest when six foot eight of incredibly beautiful man reached out for him, then past him to yank the metal trowel from the open door of the brewing vessel.  How in God’s name did you scoop spent mash...wrong?

The man’s broad shoulders rippled under his black brewery coveralls as he manipulated the shovel in and around the inside of the large stainless steel brewing container. He kept up a constant stream of muttering and, Jonas assumed German curses as he finished Jonas’ job for him. He’d never felt so useless, emasulated even.  The asshole had a nerve.  Over just a routine, mundane brewery job.  Jonas let his anger replace the lust he’d had bubbling up in his chest.

 “Hey, ah, Marko, that’s great and all but..” Jonas took an involuntary step back when the man whirled on him, sweat beading on his exposed forearms and starting to drip off the ends of his long blond hair. The look in his bright blue eyes was one of frustration, tinged with desperation.

 “Um, sorry. Please, be my guest.” Jonas knew better than anyone how much the physical parts of this job could be cathartic.  Far be it from him to keep Prufrock’s award winning, German imported brewer from exercising his demons over sixty pounds or so of smelly, heavy, wet grains.  He sat back on the stack of malt sacks and decided to just admire the view a moment. It was pleasant, that was certain. With every turn and pull of the shovel, Marko’s coveralls hugged his luscious ass and accentuated the breadth of his shoulders relative to the narrowness of his waist.  Jonas sighed and tilted his head.  Useless, he knew.  The man had a class A pussy chasing reputation. Hetero through and through. Hell, rumor had it was banging Helena, one of the owners of Prufrock on a regular basis.

CYNTHIA:  That sounds like another great one, Liz. Good luck finishing and submitted. That's it for me except telling everyone about your newest release. Take it away.

LIZ:  Back on task here…Specific Gravity, available today from Breathless Press, on Amazon, Allromanceebooks and Smashwords. 


Trent and Lisa have a sizzling hot physical relationship. Ever since they first met, it’s been a non-stop hands-on fest. Perfect for him, he thinks, coming off a rancorous divorce. But lately, it feels like something more…and it terrifies him.
Lisa knows Trent is the man she wants, but is too independent and stubborn to make him believe it. He has to figure it out on his own. Their shared love of craft beer and specific expertise in the business do make them a good match, and the sex? It’s off the charts.
“Specific Gravity” is a crucial moment in the beer brewing process—a moment of truth upon which successful outcomes depend. Lisa hopes Trent will go to the next level with her, but isn’t about to force him, but the moment of truth has arrived. Can he admit his true feelings before it’s too late?

A sizzling HOT excerpt:

Trent had shifted under her in the cab, kissing her in that way he had, no energy wasted. All focus and intent on her.
“Fuck me, Trent,” she’d whispered into his ear. “Right here, right now. You know I’m not wearing anything under this skirt.”
“Damn girl, what about the poor driver?” But he’d smiled wickedly and in one motion had his zipper down and his cock inside her. He’d released a breath as she enveloped him fully.  
“Give me that nipple,” he’d demanded. Lisa yanked her shirt aside, giving him what he wanted.
He’d muttered into her flesh, “I’ve been a walking hard on all night long. Thinking about you, about us, about this.” She’d gasped as he moved his hips again, bringing her clit in direct contact with his pubic bone.
Lisa remembered the sensation of his thick brown hair between her fingers. She’d clenched her pussy tight, clamping down on his cock, then released and tightened again. His breathing quickened as he bit down on her nipple. She sucked in a breath and pressed down harder. He fit her so perfectly, spreading her walls, and reaching up high inside. 
“Come on, baby,” Trent murmured. “Fuck me like you mean it.”
“Uh huh…” Lisa tried not to moan, tried to keep the rocking motion to a minimum. She used her inner muscles, clenching and releasing. Her body flushed with exquisite pleasure. When Trent returned his lips to her nipple, she’d gone right over the edge. She could still feel her nails digging into the skin under his dress shirt, as he muffled her moans with his lips. He’d moved again, positioning her a little higher so he could thrust inside her, once, twice, once more. She watched his dark eyes close and felt him release inside her. They’d forgone condoms weeks ago. Lisa knew she was playing with fire, at that point in the month, but she didn’t care.
“Okay, we’re here,” the driver had chirped from the front. They’d laughed as she slipped off his lap and they both rearranged themselves to exit the cab.
But early the next morning, something about him had changed. She had no idea what happened, but there’d been no time for bullshit. Instead of staying and talking with him, she’d left, holding back tears on her way home. The entire rest of the week she’d tried to call, tried to give him a chance to explain himself—had gone against all of her sworn vows to never beg for an answer from a man, because she honestly thought this man was worth breaking a few rules. But by the time the next Friday had arrived and she’d heard his voice in the cavernous brewery when she called there one last time, she was through. She’d broken her phone hurling it against the wall. And when her boss stuck his head in her cubicle to see what the noise was about, she’d said “yes” to his invite out for dinner.
And now, here he was, standing in front of her. His breathing was labored, his eyes full of pain and longing. She forced herself to stay calm, to keep her stare neutral. He was going to have to work for her now, god  dammit. She would not be treated like this.  

Thanks for having me Cynthia!
OR if you are into the beer side of my life:

Thanks Liz. I hope everyone enjoyed our time today and leaves a little comment and love for her. So go check out more of Liz and her great writing at her website, or better yet, go and pick-up one of her books.


  1. Leaving Love!!

  2. thanks for having me Cynthia! (and for the love Imajicasnow

  3. My pleasure Liz. Thank you for sharing your love imajicsnow.

  4. weren't lying.......those excerpts are HOT!!!;-)

  5. Thanks for the excerpts. More books to check out.



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