Today we're welcoming author Liz Crowe to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the erotic novellas, "Turkish Delights", "Blue Cruise" and "Tulip Princess" -- three stories in the 1NightStand series from Decadent Publishing.
Liz is giving away three Turkish themed prize packages to randomly drawn commenters which may include, but aren't limited to:
* a holiday stocking made from authentic Turkish kilim rug
* a mug with the Turkish "evil eye", meant to ward off said evil
* a pewter dish, that is traditionally used to hold "lokum" or the actual Turkish delight confection/candy
* a box of traditional lokum
* a small Turkish kilim rug (reversible--authentic)
So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND earn a GC to buy more books. It's win-win.
And now, without further ado, please welcome Liz:
What genre do you write and for what publisher(s)?
I write contemporary erotic romance. I currently have 3 publishers: Breathless Press, Rebel Ink Press and Decadent Publishing.
Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
The Turkish Delights trilogy was inspired by my years living in Istanbul. I fell head over heels in love with the country, the people, the food, even the Extreme Frustrations of it (and I was actually arrested by the Gendarme once so I have seen it all). I channeled the amazing history and beauty of Istanbul and the coast into a family story that is part of the 1NightStand series with Decadent Publishing.
How do you build characters and their personalities and looks?
I build scenes first. The characters sort of tumble from the ends of my fingers fully formed to be honest. I will go back and hone them of course, coming up with quirks and stuff. But for me, it's story first.
Tell me about some of your heroes/heroines.
In the Turkish Delights series, as I said is a family story. In the first story (Turkish Delights) you meet Emre Deniz, whose twin Tarkan is in the next book. Their parents are Turkish and American, their father a self-made millionaire in construction. They've spent the last four years in America at University, Tarkan at Stanford and Emre at Vanderbilt. They're tall, like their father, unusual in Turkish men, dark and deliciously handsome and charming. Emre is desperately in love with Elle, a woman 15 years his senior, an American recently named CEO for a pharmaceutical company that had her stationed in Istanbul as VP of Eastern European operations for the last six years. Tarkan's lover is Elle's personal assistant Caleb. Their story ends tragically in Blue Cruise.
As Hero of Blue Cruise, Caleb Blessing is classic California handsome, fit and whip smart, (as Elle says: "well worth the money I overpay him.") He comes to terms with Tarkan's exit from his life and finds new love in this story. I don't want to give away much more except to say "bring the tissue box."
Lale (pronounced "Lah-Lay"--which means "beautiful tulip" in Turkish) is their younger sister. She's wild, and wildly unhappy now that Tarkan has exited her life. She was very close to him, and never got along with Emre who was the "mature" (read: boring and bossy) brother to her. She's borderline out of control when her parents send her to California to live with Emre and Elle after a medical scare that leaves Elle unable to care for her daughter for a while.
Andreas Michos, Greek former NFL star is her hero, but only after a difficult, sexy and sometimes funny journey to happiness for them both.
Let's just say Madame Eve works overtime for this family!
All the stories are part of the popular OneNightStand series wherein Madame Eve's high end private dating services comes to the rescue--or not, as the case may be.
What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them back to the drawing board?
I just walk away. I own a microbrewery and have plenty of other stuff I need to be doing anyway! He usually shows back up after a good long pout because I've ignored him to do promotional stuff.
Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?
Having music on and a hot pot of coffee in the mornings and a few cold craft beers at night….that's all I need!
Does travel play a part in your stories? Have you ever traveled for research purposes for a book?
These stories are set overseas mostly. I lived in Istanbul for two years, England for two and Japan for another two. And, I've traveled all over so I use my experiences as ex-pat American a lot!
Are there any authors who have influenced your work?
Margaret Mitchell, Stephen King, JR Ward (currently), Jonathan Franzen, Anne Patchett, Ann Tyler, Charles Dickens
If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your main character(s)?
HA! Noomi Rapace (Swedish actress) would definitely be Lale. I have a couple of hot Turkish actors in mind for Emre/Tarkan and Adem (Caleb's new love) and Matthew Morrison is most definitely Caleb while Elizabeth Moss will play Elle.
What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?
I have a prequel to the Turkish Delights series under consideration at Decadent. It's more of a novella with lots of Istanbul in the 1960's scenery and concepts. Turns out their mom was as wild child herself as a diplomat's daughter. And I, like all of us, have a couple of Big Projects sitting around being considered by some Big Publishers. Fingers crossed!
And I was recently inspired to ponder a time travel story…lovely female brewer is in Germany touring some of the original lagering caves and early breweries. Meets one of the hottest, bossiest, talented German brewers---for some reason dressed in period costume when she emerges. They have a Seriously Hot Night. She wakes up and he is….still acting like it's the early 1900's. Because it is.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
WHEN IN DOUBT, HAND HER A THE HOPPIEST IPA YOU CAN FIND. THEN WALK AWAY.
What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I love to create stories that reflect real people in real lives, with real jobs having real sex. It's not always romance formula and you won't always like my characters all the time. But I promise to write a story you won't soon forget.
Where can we find you on the web?
How about an excerpt from one of your stories?
“I miss you already,” Emre said, with his usual candor. “I can’t believe I just met you and now we must part.” He finished his tea and signaled the waiter for another. Before she could lean back, he reached over the tiny table and captured her hand, putting it to his mouth. Elle’s entire body zinged. His lips were gentle, soft but with a firmness that spoke of his potential talents with them. Exactly as she thought they would be, even if only pressed to her hand. She bit her lip, no longer caring what the gawkers around them thought, as she pressed her thighs together to ease the ache building between them.
“I know.” Her voice was a whisper. “It’s been…nice getting to know you.” Lame, her brain screamed. Just kiss him, for crying out loud. You are the newly-named CEO of a major pharmaceutical company. You eat fear for breakfast. What the hell is your problem?
She stood, pulling up her bag. Emre remained seated, staring at her.
“I’m not what you think,” he said, as he stretched long legs out in front of him.
Her face flushed with anger. Good. Now I’m on familiar ground. Mad at a man for assuming things about what I think.
“Just what do I think, if you don’t mind sharing.” She used her coolest-cucumber voice, and it pleased her to see the young man frown. Anger she could cope with. Besotted was beyond her, especially since she felt the same damn way about this boy nearly fifteen years her junior.
“Never mind.” He stood, towering over her even as she stood in her highest heels. “Let’s not fight. It’s our last day together, no?”
The urge to run a finger down his strong, stubbled jaw was intense. She clenched her hands together so hard they hurt. He put a familiar arm around her shoulder, nearly bringing her to her knees with lust. The smell of his subtle cologne, mixed with the exotic manliness she’d come to associate with him in his element at his grandfather’s spice booth nearly sent her over the edge. She shut her eyes, leaning into his strong torso ever so slightly. Was it her imagination, or did he flinch? She drew away, ashamed at herself.
“I should get back,” Gesturing in the general vicinity of where her car and driver waited, she gasped when Emre held her close then dropped to one knee right onto the cobblestones. Embarrassment and excitement fought for her brain. He took her hand, kissed it, held it to his heart.
“You are the most amazing woman in the universe. It has been my honor to know you. I wish….” He blinked, and she used the opportunity to pull her hand away. “I just wish we’d known each other sooner.”
About Liz: Microbrewery owner, 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 beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly.