Why Be Epic?
I love a good long story. I mean something wherein I see growth, stumbles, falls, recoveries and real changes—the kind real people go through in their journey through life.
Don’t get me wrong. A really well-constructed little trifle of erotica is hot. But unfortunately the really good ones are few and far between. And at the end of the day I will reach for the novel so I can feel something for the characters.
The Realtors started life as a really big novel (over 100k words) with a single sequel. But through a series of learning processes and stages of critique I inserted an ending in the middle of the original story and changed several elements of the main characters’ connections and viola! A trilogy was born.
I am a notorious seat-of-the-pants writer so I inevitably have to go back and make sure all my facts and figures line up. Making sure when I say “six months later” and I have a character suddenly stomping around on a Michigan snowy day when “six months earlier” it was snowing too…that gets fixed. But I’m a marathoner, and don’t stop for much when a story has me in its grip so all those sorts of details get dealt with later.
Funnily enough, with this project, it was my amazing editor who sent me an email at one point during the process with Sweat Equity (2nd of the trilogy) saying, “um we have a timeline problem. Go back and map the timing and fix it.”
So I did.
A good editor will do that, if you miss that whole 12 months worth of snow thing.
But with longer stories you do have to watch yourself. Making sure months, and years box around the larger arc itself is a huge part of the process. I added a crucial character in the 3rd story whose age I had to keep adjusting in order to keep things in line. But that’s the beauty of being the author—I can do that!
The Realtors: Life in the House Lane
Love is an easy word to use, a hard one to demonstrate, and sometimes impossible to trust.
The Realtors is a sweeping epic, encompassing over ten years in the lives of two people who know how to love with their bodies, how to please and get pleasure, to control and be controlled. When it comes to the deeper meaning of the one word they both need however, their strong personalities get in the way. While their physical connection sizzles they continue to disappoint one another emotionally.
Jack Gordon has it all–money, success, a string of women—but sustains a deep longing for something more. When he thinks he finds it with Sara Jane Thornton, his world is never the same again. Sara releases his natural Dom, a side of him he’d thought buried out of frustration and unhappiness. Sara learns a true submissive must trust implicitly, something she cannot associate with him, no matter how many times she tries, and he fails.
With a rich cast of secondary characters, including a young man who presents a near-perfect foil to Jack’s intensity, and who falls hard for Sara; The Realtors series is a romantic saga with an emphasis on contemporary life and love, with a healthy dose of white-hot eroticism. Modern, busy, driven characters living lives of purpose and real-time stress, seek the ever-elusive and highly coveted combination –a friend, lover and trusted advisor who will be there for the long haul.
Jack Gordon is Ann Arbor’s most delectable bachelor. At age thirty-five, he’s made millions as a top-selling Ann Arbor real estate broker and has the right connections to close a deal by any means necessary. With his rugged good looks and compelling personality, he has a virtual black book most men would kill for and he uses it often, never settling for one woman for very long.
While his D/s past remains buried, exactly where he wants it, an undercurrent of boredom and dissatisfaction runs through his life now. A disastrous experience years earlier made him swear off the whole scene, but the more Jack suppresses his natural Dom, the more his frustration grows.
Sara Thornton, a rookie in the real estate game, has fast-tracked herself to the top of the Ann Arbor market. Her life reflects a disciplined and focused routine, exactly the way she wants it. However, as her career takes off, the fulfillment she seeks remains inexplicably out of reach. The one thing she knows for sure, she will not join the Jack Gordon groupies in her company, no matter how tempting that might seem.
Jack Gordon thought he’d finally made it. He had a wildly successful career, money in the bank and even returned to his life as Dom, putting an end to a string of unfulfilling sexual encounters. Now that he’s made the ultimate commitment to Sara Thornton, he believes all is right in their world. However, a series of misunderstandings and a dose of self-fulfilling prophesy bring his perfectly crafted house of cards tumbling down around him, forcing him to confront lingering misgivings about marriage and trust. Could those be the only two things he can never achieve?
Sara struggles with her intense need for Jack and her desire for less volatility in her busy life, two goals which appear to be mutually exclusive. Although willing to put in the time and emotional effort to make their relationship work, she finds it futile and frustrating, littered with clashes thanks to near-identical personalities and temperaments. Given Sara’s history, easing back into the comfortable status quo becomes easier than fighting a war with the one person who should be her safe haven. But will the easier choice satisfy her the way only Jack can? Is her “war” one that comes from without or within?
Buffeted by circumstance, temptation and distraction, Jack and Sara’s tenuous relationship crumbles, sparking a continuous quest for the ever elusive: trust, love and acceptance. By the time they rebuild a foundation for renewal, fate has other plans. This leaves them both reeling, once again questioning their destiny.
Love conquers all? Not likely, according to Sara Thornton. She’s spent eight years coming to terms with the new parameters of her life while resigning herself to the idea that “happily ever afters” are best left to fairytales. Sales manager for her successful real estate office and juggling an added element of responsibility she never thought she’d face, Sara continues to struggle with the men in her life. Love, for her, has only meant hurt, broken trust and anger; all of which she’s completely banished from her life, so she claims.
Jack Gordon has come a long way since his early days of obsession with Sara. As the general manager of Stewart Realty, his own level of responsibility for the well-being of others has ramped up. He’s even honed his caretaking skills, now that he has someone who loves him unconditionally.
Continuing to invest effort and rebuild their relationship, he and Sara grow close as friends. Despite this, his ultimate question remains unanswered; the one he keeps asking, no matter how many times she says no. Sara isn’t prepared for the keen focus of his need–to have her back, once and for all. Her stubborn resistance nearly rips both lives apart
The epic conclusion to The Realtors series, Closing Costs brings Jack and Sara truly full circle. Proving that the heat of lust and obsession; the need for control and to be mastered in many areas of life can lead to love —surprising you when you least expect it – if you will only allow it.
Microbrewery owner, multi-published author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz brings 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) to her 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.
Otherwise, look for her doing pounds of laundry for her athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn’t any decent sports on the telly (like during “golf season”). 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.
COMMENT TO WIN!
One random commenter at each stop will win either one of five $10 Amazon gift cards, one of three winner’s choice of a book from Liz’s backlist, or one of two $20 Zinterman’s gift certificates. Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor institution, world famous for its gourmet deli items, breads and desserts all of which can be ordered and shipped ANYWHERE in the world. www.Zingermans.com.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/01/virtual-book-tour-realtors-series-by.html.