Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Get Your Buzz On with Guest Blogger: Liz Crowe
Meet author Liz Crowe today at the Book Boost!
Here's what she had to say...
I have a pretty interesting day job.
I own a craft microbrewery, and handle all sales and marketing for it plus supervise the Tap Room a 100-person beer bar open 7 nights a week. We’ve been open as a commercial microbrewery for a year now and things are going better than we ever thought they would.
When I write, I like for my heroes and heroines to have interesting (read: unique) day jobs too.
I know and I totally get the fascination/fixation with:
Random CEOs/stock brokers
Race Car drivers
Pro sports players
Weres of all make and form
It’s obvious why. There is nothing that screams “Alpha Male” louder than a successful guy who’s Out There making huge amounts of dough, in the public eye, or a “hero” type, saving lives and breaking hearts. And nothing is more “alpha male” jonesin’ than a romance reader (I know I am). I want my men large and in charge, even a little bossy if need be, flawed, perhaps hiding a long-buried hurt that won’t let him open up…at first. Only to be saved by the redeeming power of love.
For my recent very romantic ménage story from Rebel Ink I went in a slightly different direction for my men—career-wise. My two heroes work in the service industry, like me. Ryan Sullivan is a very driven and successful hotel and resort consultant. He’s lived all around the world, travels constantly and is a genius when it comes to successful exclusive resort openings.
He is married to Grace Irwin. She is a writer. A struggling one. Who finally hits it big.
Ryan is a difficult man, although he loves his wife to distraction and would do anything to make her happy. Her suspicions about his manipulation of her career, and his sudden distance that is more than simply physical are making her crazy however.
Then she meets Henri Christophe. He is a celebrity chef who opened his first American-based restaurant at one of Ryan’s most successful Las Vegas resorts.
These folks are not perfect. But they are perfect for each other.
I loved doing my research on large resorts and the ways they market and position themselves against others. And I’m a huge fan of cooking shows. Although I personally despise cooking and avoid it all costs. Somehow watching others (especially men) do it is sort of pornographic for me. Turns me on, I guess. So I wrote myself a guy who soothes ruffled feathers with a quick turn of the skillet, the grill or the mixing bowl. Henri is the calmest of these three, providing a perfect foil for their sometimes volatile relationship.
And of course we can ALL related to a struggling writer, can we not?
I hope you enjoy reading Vegas Miracle as much as I enjoyed creating it. I think Ryan, Grace and Henri’s story is amazingly romantic and realistic.
A Note from the Book Boost: Your job sounds mega cool and I'll bet you're a hit with the fellas! Thanks for joining us today, please share more about your book.
Ryan and Grace Sullivan have all the outward indications of a happy life: money, success, an undeniable physical attraction that quickly evolved from whirlwind relationship to marriage. But lately, Ryan's become moody and distant. As their relationship starts to crumble, Ryan discovers something about himself he can't admit just as Grace realizes the young man she encounters at an invitation only party, Henri Christophe, a celebrity chef with the most successful restaurant in Las Vegas, is her husband's lover. But Henri holds a secret himself. He wants to be more to both of them.
Trying to make their unconventional arrangement work, Ryan's deep-seated fear of relationship failure continues to thwart everyone's happiness. When he finally walks away instead of confronting the emotional connection the trio share, he returns to find their lives flipped inside out. A sought after hotel and resort consultant, Ryan has yet to meet a problem he couldn't solve. But when it comes to his own heart, Ryan may be too late.
Ryan has just walked away from a potential confrontation that will force him to bring everything out in the open with Grace. He had taken her to a “lifestyle” party, ostensibly to help her “research” her new book but also for her to meet Henri. Henri meets her all right, in the bedroom.
Slumped down in the lounge chair, he brooded about his predicament, holding his phone in one hand and toying with the idea of just calling his wife and bringing her to the condo – mere blocks from the one he shared with her—and laying it all out on the table. She wasn’t stupid. The intense moment back at the party was pretty telling, Ryan realized. It wouldn’t take her long to put the pieces together and God only knows what Henri told her after Ryan stomped out instead of facing them together.
Visions of Grace, her sleeping face, her body hunched over a keyboard as she entered her writing zone, biting her lip while she picked out the right bottle of wine for dinner, all flitted through his head. He knew damn good and well he was cheating her. Not just cheating ON her, but cheating her out of his whole self. He was only truly realizing it after several recent arguments over his "emotional constipation" and "aloof, bullshit attitude" about things that mattered to her, like kids. That and Henri’s constant harping about how he should open up to her more.
What he couldn’t tell her or Henri was that he was terrified. Down deep he was petrified at the thought of failing at marriage. But also of her finding out about Henri, and about his own need for the man. She was going to be crushed but he had hoped to ease her into it. To convince her he could love them equally somehow.
"Right," he scoffed to himself. He couldn’t even effectively convince her he felt anything beyond the drive to succeed. She reminded him of this repeatedly. And she was right, on one level. He was driven and successful and enjoyed the trappings and rewards and tried to share them with her. He stood up and leaned on the balcony railing, taking deep breaths of cool night air, trying like hell to calm his wildly spinning brain.
Ryan closed his eyes at the sound of the key in the lock. He didn’t move as Henri entered, made a tsk-tsk sound over the mess in the foyer, grabbed a glass and the bourbon decanter and joined him on the balcony. The sound of liquid splashing into the glass and the hiss of the fabric as Henri eased back into his chair brought no response from Ryan. He remained standing, staring at the night sky, unable to form words as his lover of nearly two years sat and watched him in silence.
"Just what, exactly were you hoping to accomplish by fucking my wife?" He finally asked, keeping his eyes trained on the horizon.