Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
When my son was younger, I didn’t worry about the stigma of my chosen profession. After all he couldn’t read what I was typing away on at the computer nor did he comprehend the cover art of my books. Now that he’s entering third grade, I do worry about public perception. I also worry about explaining my choices to him as he gets older. We all know how judgmental teenagers can be.
Granted, I could use a pseudonym and I know many erotica authors who do. I understand and respect the choice, but it’s not for me. It’s important to me that I publicly acknowledge my participation in what I view as a revolution in female sexuality. It’s my way of declaring, “There’s no shame in fantasizing or writing about those fantasies.”
That being said, I know when asked what I do and I reply, “I’m a writer,” the next logical question will be, “Oh, what do you write?” And yes, I will usually say I write romance until I know the person asking is open-minded enough to get the uncensored version.
In general, most folks in family and my community are intrigued and supportive of what I do. My mother reads my books. My brother and father don’t (thank God) but they are proud of what I do. Earlier this summer I attended a friend’s birthday party and she took great delight in introducing me affectionately as “the author who writes chick porn”. I spent the rest of the party fielding questions about my feelings about Fifty Shades of Grey, about what a “day at the office” is like and how my personal sex life compares to what I write about. Questions about my personal sexual history I usually sidestep, though my life partner loves claiming credit for much of my inspiration. And rightfully so. But again that plays into my anxiety about what my son’s perception of my work will be as he grows up.
As he has matured, his understanding of my writing has changed and the way that I manage his exposure to it changes as well. I can’t write sitting next to him on the sofa anymore because he’s nosy and all too good at sounding out words he doesn’t know. I don’t even want to imagine what the parent-teacher conference would be like if he quoted my work in class. I also have to be mindful of whether or not he can see my laptop screen when I open a new book cover file. Some are more explicit than others. But it’s a balancing act because I don’t want to give him the impression that sexuality is anything to be ashamed of. I suppose as he gets older the way in which we process the divide between what he wants to know about my work and what I feel is appropriate to share will evolve. For now, if you ask my son what Mommy writes, he’ll reply, “Mommy writes books about people kissing.” That’s his take on the book covers he’s allowed to see and I’m grateful that I don’t have to explain them any further just yet.
My latest book my son isn’t allowed to see releases this fall at Ellora’s Cave! Smuggler’s Blues, book two in the Pirates at Heart Series.
Book two in the Pirates at Heart series.
The year is 2017 and all is quiet on the eastern front. Good news for the war weary Republic of Texas…bad news for weapons smuggling pirate Captain Brett Logan.
A landlocked pirate is a dangerous creature. Logan’s been a surly handful since war’s end—not to mention a rather perfunctory lover—and his wife, Kate, has had about enough. When his first mate proposes a business venture, Logan is eager to get back to outrunning and out-gunning the enemy’s navy. There’s only one problem—his shoot first and ask questions later attitude lands him in jail. It’s up to Kate to bail him out.
On their way home, the couple gets stranded in enemy territory, but it’s just the shot in the arm Logan needs. Now in his element of excitement and danger, he becomes the roguish daredevil Kate fell in love with. Their passion for each other is hotter than ever—spurred on by the thrill of the chase—Logan finally finds himself rid of those pesky smuggler’s blues.
“You plan to do what?” Kate’s eyes flashed in the firelight.
“I don’t plan to do anything yet. It’s Jacques’ idea. He just needs my vessel.”
“And you expect me to believe you won’t be on that vessel?”
Logan held up his hands. “I never said that.”
“Then Jacques’ idea has become your plan so I repeat, you plan to do what?”
“It’s not as risky as it sounds.”
“Smuggling bootleg whiskey into the RSA isn’t as risky as it sounds? Oh good then because I thought you intended to do something crazy. And stupid.”
“It’s not crazy. No crazier than running guns to the American rebels but you never seemed to mind me doing that.”
“I minded. Of course I minded. I was sick with worry every time you left, but at least I was worried for a good cause. You were trying to resurrect the United States of America, but now that fight is over and we lost. There’s the Republic of Texas, the Reformed States of America and never the twain shall meet. So tell me, why would you voluntarily put yourself in that kind of danger again?”
“Am I? Seems to me you’re being reckless.”
Reckless. The word echoed in his ear. He shook his head to clear it, but he knew she was right. He longed to be reckless. And foolhardy. And daring. And violent. He missed the bloody mess that was once his life.
Kate didn’t understand—she couldn’t and he lacked the words to explain himself—but this unending domesticity was killing him a day at a time. He needed this business venture. He’d die without it, of this much he was sure.
She sat on the sofa, the fire in the fireplace licking at her olive complexion, dancing in her eyes. He hated that she would be worried. He hated that the boys would miss him, but when she’d met him, Logan had been an outlaw—she herself had labeled him a pirate. She had to understand that much, didn’t she?
Brushing a lock of black hair away from her face, he pressed his forehead to hers. He took her hands in his and kissed her cheek softly. “Kate, I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you need to reconcile yourself to the idea because…because I’m going to do this.”
Her jaw set and she jerked her hands away from him. She stormed upstairs, Logan numbly watching her retreat. He’d go up in a few minutes and smooth things over. But before he got the chance, she marched down, a pillow and blanket in tow.
“And you need to reconcile yourself to sleeping on the couch until you come to your senses.” She threw the bedding at him and stomped upstairs again.
Setting the pillow and blanket aside, Logan sighed, the air puffing out his cheeks before it escaped his pursed lips. He rubbed the back of his neck and shook his head. Apparently she didn’t have to understand anything.
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
A brutal attack left Lori Brockton convinced she was damaged goods.By the time she emerges from hiding two years later, ready to run her family’s famous brewery, she’s determined to be independent–never rely on anyone ever again. Nearly a year of working in every corner of Brockton Brewing Company, from warehouse to pub, front office to kitchen, teaches her all she needs to know about the business.
Then, she comes face-to-face with masculine perfection in a suit and her world is rocked in more ways than one. Garret Hunter is the new Brockton business manager who takes one look at the beautiful, sad young woman and his entire existence coalesces around winning her heart.
But standing between Garrett and what he believes is his true love, is a six-feet six-inch blond-haired bad boy brewer.
Eli Buchannan is a craft beer rock star, recently hired by Brockton to drag the company into the 21st century. He brings innovation and attitude plus a prima donna ladies man reputation. But he’s sworn off anything resembling commitment,personal or professional, after getting burned at his last job on both fronts.
Garret Hunter is “The Perfect Man” — handsome, successful, stable, eager to settle down. Eli Buchannan… is not. Compelling, smoking hot, creative and elusive, he represents everything Lori Brockton should avoid. But just as she makes a difficult choice, a drastic life-changing shift occurs, and nothing is ever the same again.
BOOK VIDEO LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOcC8FMXOpE
Lori wrestled open the back brewery door, ears already ringing from the curses that echoed through the large, brightly lit room. The brewery boys, and three second brewers stood in a line, like they were in a marine barracks all looking as nervous as mice observed by a very hungry cat.
“And who the fuck,” boomed a voice, “might you be? No one told me there was a girl brewer in this place.”
As a reflex, Lori looked around, seeking out the girl who’d pissed off the faceless angry voice that must belong to Eli Buchanan their new master brewer. She’d been instrumental in convincing her father to hire the guy. He was a brewing celebrity, a genius, temperamental and prone to quit perfectly good breweries if the mood suited him. He was exactly what Brockton needed. They had to to get past their staid, complacent attitude in a rapidly changing craft beer environment.
“Yeah, I’m talking to you. The one who showed up fifteen minutes late for my morning staff meeting.” She flushed, frowning at the line of men, many of whom had worked for her father for years as they shuffled their feet and wouldn’t meet her eyes. “Who the hell are you, and why are you on my brewery floor?”
She cleared her throat, squared her shoulders and channeled the anger building in her chest. “I’m Lori. Lori Brockton. This is the first day of my brewery rotation.” She hated how thin her voice sounded.
“Your brewery rotation eh?” She stepped back at the vision that emerged from between towering stainless steel fermentation vessels. “What is this? Brewing Day Camp? I’m supposed to babysit the Brockton kids?” He glared at her, making her blink in the glare of his bright, steely blue gaze. Eli Buchanan was larger than life. At least six foot five, with long blonde hair held back by a small piece of leather. Clad in light blue jeans and a Brockton Brewing grey t–shirt, the span of his shoulders and definition of his torso forced an exhale from Lori’s lips. He kept quiet as her eyes took him in, from rubber boot clad feet to the light red hair covering his jaw. “Well? See anything you like?”
“Uh, no, I mean, it’s not camp. I mean, you are…I’m…” she stuttered, then stopped. The man stood stock still, glaring as if challenging her. She stood up straighter. “I’m here for the next six months to learn this part of the business. You know, so I can be your boss someday.” The man frowned at her. She frowned back.
Then he tilted his head back and laughed, stepped into her personal space and smacked her ass so hard she yelped. “I look forward to that day girl Brockton. Yes, I do.” A couple of the men started forward as if to protect her but she waved them back. This asshole had another thing coming if he thought she’d be intimidated by him. As much as she might have been at one point, something about him was as non-threatening as Garrett,but in a different way—a much more spine–tingling way.
The following ten hours of back breaking work nearly made her throw in the towel. But after an hour scraping out the last of a twenty barrel’s worth of wet, heavy spent mash—the leftover grains from a batch of beer made on their smaller system, she felt sore as hell, but invigorated. The smells, sounds and sights of this place, the heartbeat of the entire operation, the reason all three hundred of her father’s employees came to work every day, this she loved.
“Brockton!” An angry voice behind her made her jump and turn. Wet, sticky malt grains dripped from her face where she’d accidently splashed some onto herself as she cleaned out the large vessel. She swiped at them, smearing even more of the mess across her cheeks. Without warning, Eli wiped her face with a clean white towel, his touch surprisingly tender, lingering longer than necessary. But his frown stayed stuck in place. She stepped away from him even though her body reacted, compelling her to move closer.
“Some guy in a tie is looking for you,” he jerked a thumb over his shoulder but didn’t move. Lori had no experience with hypnosis, but she’d swear at that moment he’d done it to her. They locked eyes, then the sound of harder heeled shoes on the concrete floor forced her look past him. Garrett’s bright smile was familiar, yet strange in the highly charged environment.
“I’m actually here to see you, Eli.” Garrett stuck out a hand and the other man looked at it, glancing over to Lori then back over before gripping it without a smile. “Glad to have you on board.”
Eli took his hand back, and swiped at it with the towel he’d used on her face. If he noticed the rude gesture, Garrett didn’t indicate it in the slightest. Impressed, Lori moved a step closer to him and glared at the tall, blonde man.
Eli shot her an unfathomable look, but spoke to Garrett. “Sorry, but no suits in the brewery. Wouldn’t want to get you messy.” He walked away, waving over his shoulder. “Glad to be on board, boss, thanks.” The sarcasm dripped from his words like venom. Garrett turned to her, his handsome face calm, as if the odd exchange with the rude employee had never happened.
Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, 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 groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are 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.
And check out these reviews for Paradise Hops. Definitely don’t want to miss this highly rated novel.
ARC reviews for Paradise Hops:
Friday, October 19th, 2012
A little early but it’s never too early to get out the scary stuff. Join me on another fantastic blog hop with a chance to win fabulous prizes from dozens of authors.
Here’s my contribution to the paranormal world this October. Now out in ebook and print:
Jonah Grey is driven by a lust for the blood of the legendary Chupacabra who murdered the woman he was to mate with in a horrendous manner. He jumps at the offer to leave the FBI and join Night Seekers, a group of people dedicated to hunting and killing the devil beast. When a new killing is reported, Jonah is assigned to investigate. Following a track late one night, Jonah encounters comes upon a cabin where a woman lives alone. Through the window he sees her pleasuring herself and both his wolf and human senses are fully aroused. When he goes to question her there is such explosive chemistry between them that neither can turn away from it, and the sex that follows brings them to a level of pleasure neither has ever known before. He moves into her cabin dividing his time between tracking the Chupacabra and erotic bouts of orgasmic sex with Dakota. They form a bond that goes beyond the hot tumble in the sheets. She is even accepting of him when she sees him in his wolf form. But will she agree to mate with him and accept him full into her life? Is the beast they track and kill the real Chupacabra…or a fake, leaving the real beast to search for yet another prey?
Jonah leaned against the headboard of the bed, pillows propped behind him, and watched as Dakota opened a bottle of wine, poured the amber liquid into two glasses and carried them to the bed. They were both still completely naked and her body was fluid motion. Graceful. Artless. If he were an artist he’d want to paint her.
Her skin was a golden color and he noticed there were no tan lines. Out here in the middle of nowhere she could sunbathe nude without fear of prying eyes. Her breasts were high and firm, tipped by dusky nipples still hard from the attention of his mouth. Her dark hair cascaded down her back, wispy bangs drifting across her forehead. Thick lashes framed eyes blacker than night and high cheekbones defined the exotic quality of her face.
Her long legs moved easily around the room, the rounded globes of her ass tempting him as she turned her back to him. His cock swelled and hardened just watching her.
A tiny frisson of guilt raced through him as he realized he had given himself to this woman as completely as he had to Jenna. Would she see it as a betrayal? No, Jenna was a person who believed in giving completely, holding nothing back. Inexplicably he’d felt her spirit encouraging him, urging him to do this. But he feared the guilt would always be there, a barrier to a new relationship, until the devil beast was finally captured and killed.
“Heavy thoughts?” Dakota was standing beside the bed.
Jonah wiped everything from his mind but her naked presence. Something was pulling them together and he wasn’t about to throw it away. Somehow he’d deal with the inner turmoil of his conflicting emotions.
“Not too bad.” He curved his lips into a smile. “Thinking about you.”
“Here.” She handed him the wine. “I don’t usually drink this early in the day but today I’m making an exception. I thought it might be more appropriate than coffee.”
Jonah grinned. “I think all things considered it’s a good exception to make.”
He shifted to make room for her next to him, holding the wine with one hand and looping his other arm across her shoulders. The press of her body against his was like a lit match to his skin. God, how could he want this woman so fiercely when he barely knew her and they’d just had off-the-charts sex?
The word singed his brain. Forcibly he pushed it away. He was no longer in the market for a mate. Besides, he was sure if she saw him shift that would kill any relationship.
No! She believes in legends and the unusual. Don’t write this off.
He took a healthy swallow of his wine, hoping to derail his thoughts. He had a mission and he couldn’t lose sight of that, no matter how much he desired this woman or how fantastic the sex was.
“Would I sound too unsophisticated or cliché if I say I don’t usually do this?” she asked.
Jonah had to stop himself from chuckling. He was pretty sure she didn’t do this on a regular basis, considering her situation. And he was the one who practically attacked her. Shifters acted on their lust when it surged through him. He was just worried she’d think he made a regular habit of it.
“No worries.” His fingers drew circles on her shoulder. “I felt the heat between us and so did you. It’s all good.” When she didn’t say anything else, he asked, “So are you saying you don’t have any…relationships with men?”
“I’m saying I learned long ago to keep my urges to myself and live alone.”
Her voice was flat but he detected the undertone of pain. Someone had hurt her, badly. Or maybe several someones. A sense of protectiveness flared within him. Who would deliberately hurt an erotic flower like this? Who could be so cruel? But he could answer his own question. In his life, both personal and professional, he’d unfortunately seen all kinds of cruelty.
On impulse he reached for her hand and wound his fingers through hers, squeezing them gently. He was surprised when she gave him an answering compression.
She took a sip of her wine as if to distract them both from the conversation. “Tell me about the story you’re writing.”
Story? Oh, yeah. My cover.
“It’s actually a series for National Crime Magazine. My boss is fascinated by the legend of the Chupacabra. There have been so many conflicting stories. Each time a body’s discovered the interest flares up again. So I’m checking things out.”
“That’s all it is, you know. A legend. People have created this absurd story for publicity value. And to explain what they don’t have answers for.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You really think that?”
Dakota ran her fingertip around the rim of her glass. “This town’s really been crazy since the hunters’ bodies were found. Without any other resolution, it was natural for them to bring up the legend. But I don’t believe in it.”
Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012