Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Special Guest - Liz Crowe

First let's learn a little 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.  If you want a beer education follow her:  For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to:

I'm pretty lucky.  I actually LIVED in several different countries, during a "life stage" where writing was not on my agenda.  We moved to Japan when I had a 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter and was pregnant with my 3rd (VERY MUCH A SURPRISE) baby.

Japan was a blur of culture shock, extreme politeness, being stared at while being so hugely pregnant and newborn issues.  By the time we got to Turkey I was less dazed and ready to take in the incredible histories all around me.

Turkey, which is the basis for my series, and Istanbul in particular boasts a melting pot culture among the oldest in the world.  During its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital of the Roman Empire (330–395), the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). When the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed on 29 October 1923, Ankara, which had previously served as the headquarters of the Turkish national movement during the Turkish War of Independence, was chosen as the new Turkish State's capital.

I won't even get into the vast area of the country outside of Istanbul, but can tell you that my trips to four of the seven locations of the churches of Paul were some of the most amazing, moving and spiritual events of my life.  Ephesus in particular is beautifully preserved, as a Roman city with paved streets, plumbing and "suburbs" continually being unearthed by eager scholars.

I dedicated Blue Cruise, the second of the Turkish Delights books to Cimen (pronounced "Jee-min" as "C's" are like "J's" in Turkish) who owned a boutique travel agency, was a history scholar and the most amazing tour guide on the planet.  Once she figured out my obsession with the city's history she made a point to take me to hidden, out of the way wonders, and could sneak me past guards into formerly forbidden areas of major tourist attractions like Topaki Palace and the Haia Sofia.   I worked a bit of that into a story that serves as a prequel to this entire series.

When I lived in England I made friends with a history teacher whose daughter attended school with mine.  She let me go along on their field trips to some of the coolest London sites AND got a history lesson with them all.  My favorite experience there included our Yeoman Warder night at the Tower of London.  The Crown Jewels reside within its walls and every night the "Beefeaters" (the guys in the funny red coats and black hats) do a formal "exchange of keys" then retire to their private pub on site for a beer--I got to see the exchange AND drink beer with them.  They are all, to a man, retired military, mostly MI6, and can drink like very few I've seen since. muse just smacked me upside my head with a story idea...anyways....

So I got first hand, ground level, sometimes scary experience with foreign lands (I'm saving my brush with the Turkish Gendarme for another day....).  However, I would venture that is not necessary for writing about any country, no more than being and actual practitioner of BDSM or gay a prerequesite for writing about those topics.

However---you must talk to people who've been there, done that, or read every last thing you can get your hands on about your locale.  Orhan Pamuk is a Turkish Pulitzer Prize winning author who wrote the most beautiful book about growing up in 1960s Istanbul that was perfect for me to use to round out my actual experiences there.  If possible interview people (and record them) who are natives as well, to get a bit of firsthand knowledge.  And of course, what better tax write off than a little jaunt overseas?  You know, with all that money you make, writing!

Adem climbed up from the hull of the boat. It was hard not to take over the kitchen. But the the current chef and captain kept pushing him out, gently reminding him that he was the client now, that this was a 1Night Stand event, and he needed to go meet his date. He laughed and took the steps two at a time. Determined to enjoy it, not to feel guilty about buying himself the good time he deserved, Adem looked up and saw the American Adonis that haunted his dreams. Ray Bans covered his eyes, and he appeared utterly dejected by the sight of the boat.
 Weak kneed was a new sensation to him, but Adem gripped the ropes along the stairwell from the galley and tried not to gape. He cleared his throat and stepped out onto the hot asphalt, the four steps he needed to reach his dream date the longest he’d ever taken. Sweat trickled between his shoulder blades, but he squared his shoulders and smiled. The sad, beautiful smile that greeted him in return rolled over his heart like a wave.
 “Hello, um, English okay?” The tall man held out a large hand. Adem noticed the distinct lack of the ring he’d watched him accept from the Turkish man on this very boat. Was it two or three years ago?
 “Yes, it’s fine,” Adem croaked. “I can speak English, Turkish or French, if you prefer.”
 “Oh, I’ll stick to English, thanks.”
The man’s soft blue dress shirt fit his torso like a glove. His jeans were worn, nice and tight, cupping his ass perfectly. Adem gulped. The memory of that cock he’d watched and dreamed about, encased in the denim within his reach, nearly overpowered him.
 “Good, good,” Adem ran a hand through his long hair. Damn, I should have gotten it cut. This man probably preferred his dates a bit less…shaggy. “So, we can board if you like.” He gestured toward the boat, unsure what else to say.
The blond god spoke. “I’m Caleb, by the way. Caleb Blessing.”
 Adem blushed. “Oh, sorry. Let’s start over.” He turned and stuck out his hand again. “I’m Adem. Adem Broussard.”
 He watched as Caleb clenched his jaw.
 “I know. I remember you.”
 “Oh, well, then….” Adem didn’t understand the emotions flitting over the tall man’s face. When Caleb pulled his sunglasses off and rubbed his eyes, Adem would swear his fingers came away wet. He resisted the extreme urge to pull him into an embrace. Putting his hands in his pockets instead, he stood, letting the silence swirl around them.
 “Well, let’s go, shall we?” the gorgeous, obviously unhappy man snapped, as he stomped toward the boat.
 Adem’s gut clenched. This was not turning out like he’d hoped. Not at all.

Lisa will be 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 please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Thanks Liz for stopping by, your books sound incredible.



  1. Hey it is "Liz" not Lisa but whatever! thanks for having me!

  2. Sorry Liz, I must of had a brain cramp. Thanks so much for being on my blog today. And your books sound hot.

  3. This is a great series! I've read all three and highly recommend them. :)

  4. This is one AWESOME series that if you miss it, you will kick yourself. Run, don't walk to read it. You will not be sorry. Highly recommend them.

    Bring tissues...


  5. I loved the picture of the guards, sweet!!