I just posted the review of this book today! Such an incredible book, highly recommended to those who love BDSM Erotica but also those who love a good coming of age story, about love, trust, forgiveness… tragic but with a lot of sunshine in the end. Read my review of Mutual Release HERE.
We have the author here with us, she’s answering some questions and has an incredible giveaway planned! Also don’t forget to read the steamy excerpt below 😉
Jessy: Welcome Liz! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Liz: Hello. I’m Liz. That is my real name (well, it’s “Elizabeth” but only my mom calls me that anymore. I’m “E.T.” to almost everyone else, which are my initials and what I was christened in college Oh So Many Years Ago). And I am a published author. It’s an addiction like many others.
I have 20 books published, am currently represented by 3 publishers, Ellora’s Cave, Decadent Publishing and Tri-Destiny Publishing.
I am a soccer fanatic, have 2 standard poodles, 3 kids (well, they’re aren’t kids so much really at 21, 18 and 14 I guess), a house, and a brewery.
I drink too much, tend to go on serious yo-yo exercise programs like Oprah, am addicted to the show Shameless and wish my house were cleaner and that someone else made it that way.
Oh, and I hate shopping, and am a preacher’s kid although my dad has been dead for 6 years now.
Jessy: I LOVE beer and I LOVE books. How do you balance two of what I assume are very demanding jobs?
Liz: 2 great things to love! And as for balance I guess I focus on what demands my focus on a day-to-day basis. My real trouble comes when I launch into a new writing project. I tend to be a marathon writer. Once something grabs me and I commit to getting it down on the screen I tend to be a bit of a zombie—I’m always thinking about the book, when I’m not writing the book, which I sneak in at literally all hours that I can (it’s sleep deprivation time for certain). This does allow me to crank out a somewhat astonishing amount of words at a time, sometimes 10 or 20k per day. But everything else suffers.
The brewery thing takes a lot of energy without a doubt, creative and physical (and emotional—anytime you are “the boss” it’s an emotional thing). And there are days that I have a sort of Holly Hunter in Broadcast New moment—you know where she just unplugs the phone and cries her heart out, wipes her eyes and then rallies to do her job.
One thing that helps me (when I’m on the “motivated” swing of the yo-yo exercise program thing) is Bikram Yoga. If I force myself to go several times a week it truly does give me some inner balance. They call it “yoga for type A personalities” and it is—for sure.
Jessy: I should have asked when you find time to sleep! 🙂 Let’s talk Mutual Release. What was your inspiration for the story?
Liz: Evan and Julie were introduced in Floor Time, the first Stewart Realty novel. I somehow always knew that Evan, while a “Dom” like Jack was something slightly different. While Jack Gordon is the sort of “every man” – the dude we love to hate, then love to love, the solid rock that ends up losing nearly everything he loves by the end—Evan has dealt with evil in his life, has grown and by the time he meets Julie truly is ready to Be That Couple.
Julie sort of leapt to life for me once I finished fleshing out Evan in part one of the novel. I take both of them back to their teenage years and let them be the self-centered, annoying creatures that teenagers are but we experience the traumas they live through that shape them into the adults they become. She is hands down my favorite heroine ever.
Jessy: Their story is truly one I will not forget. Tragic doesn’t even begin to cover it! Are the characters Julie and Evan based on anyone you know? Or an amalgamation of people? Or pure fiction?
Liz: I’d say they are “pure fiction” but that they have traits of people I know. One of the things I pride myself on is keeping my books and storylines and characters as real as humanly possible. I have had many reader fans say “wow, I felt like I knew those people—that I could actually see those things actually happening.” And even that they thought I might have modeled such and such character after someone they really knew.
I let my characters show their bad sides, a lot. And I think that helps readers relate to them—and conversely turns off many (most?) “traditional romance” readers. But I honestly believe that I write “fiction,” with all the elements of a solid story in place—and I keep the situations, and the characters’ reactions to them, as real as possible. Oh, and the sex is there, yes, without a doubt.
Jessy: That’s something I noticed and even mentioned in my review. The realness of it all, their coming together, their fights…
How much of your characteristics do you put in your female characters?
Liz: Lots of them, including the crappy ones—there is a line in Mutual Release where Julie is trying to convince Evan to leave her alone (although it’s not what she really wants) where she makes a bunch of excuses like, “I snore, I’m a show off, I’m obsessive/compulsive, and drinking wine give me hiccups.”
I channeled a lot of myself into Julie. While I did not go through what she did as a teenager, I did do enough early compartmentalization to form myself into a somewhat brittle adult female.
But there is a bit of me in pretty much all my female protagonists—there has to be, otherwise I’m not being faithful to my muse.
Jessy: Ha! I loved Evan’s answer to that!
You wrote on your Facebook Page that this is probably your best book yet. Why is that?
Liz: I think it is a combination of going so far back in the lives of both main characters, digging very, very deep and bringing them forward to the split second they meet and all the trauma, all the horrors, even all the good they’ve been through coalesce. I am also really impressed by how much the 2 of them resist each other, at various times, while the whole time getting closer and closer and finally, truly being the person each of them needs to be—thanks to each other. It’s a very emotional book on many levels: funny, sexy, poignant, and ultimately, happy but …. With a tinge of sadness. You know, like real life?
Jessy: Definitely two people made for each other though one can definitely understand why they were both wary about it all.
Do you plan on writing any other genres?
Liz: I have a mainstream project in mind, and hope to get to it by the end of this year. It’s a fairly ambitious project—a kind of psycho-sexual thriller, set in Ann Arbor in the not too distant future but a bit of a “speculative fiction” thing.
Jessy: What can your fans expect next?
But in the meantime I have a killer trilogy coming out this fall—the Black Jack Gentlemen, a soccer based side series to the Stewart Realty one that will be way fun. Plus, of course, the final Stewart novel: Good Faith, which will be something else….all together. A novel of addiction, and how it ruins lives and families, and the healing power of true love.
Jessy: I can’t wait! Though first I have to catch up with the rest of the Stewart Realty books!
A coming of age novel about trust…on the long road to love
BLURB: Can two dark souls ever make a light?
As president of her own distribution company, Julie Dawson has all she ever wanted — money, power, and respect. But her carefully crafted façade conceals a torment of abuse and helplessness. After years remaining emotionally aloof, she is finally independent, but alone. Because she refuses to rely on anyone but herself ever again.
Evan Adams is no stranger to success, or personal demons. The horrific trauma that destroyed his twin sister, and tore his family apart, forced him to craft a new life from the ashes of the old. He’s content enough, focusing ahead and not dwelling on his murky past. But something important is missing. He knows what that thing is but refuses to acknowledge it.
When a chance encounter brings these two strong-willed but damaged people together , what seems like a long, erotic journey through hell could lead them to a match made in heaven.
A leather chair appeared from the gloom. Evan looked around, then took the seat, disappointed but intrigued. He could hear Jack’s voice, his laughter low and inviting. What the fuck? Was Gordon getting in on action while he had to watch? Then he heard Jenna’s annoying giggle and realized the club must be making her watch too, only she got to do it with her date. He sighed, leaned back, and prepared himself to be underwhelmed.
“No,” a sexy, rough female voice broke through the clamor in his head. It must have surprised everyone because all the people on the couches glanced up. “I want him. Out here.” Evan looked straight at her and saw the hot-as-shit Domme point her bullwhip right at him. He gulped, actually looked around like a dork, thinking there must be someone behind him. He was no sub.
She crooked her finger, her ruby-red moist lips drawing his gaze and making him feel positively hypnotized. His cock kept up its painful pressure along the inside of his zipper. A drop of sweat formed on his temple but he couldn’t move his arms to brush it away. All he knew… was her.
“Mr. Adams,” the disembodied voice said. “Your presence has been requested by our Mistress. Please. Do not make her wait.” The sheer curtain separating him from the crowd parted as he stood. Shoving his hands in his pockets and no longer aware of anything at all but what he wanted right now, he took the few steps down to the main floor.
“Stop!” She held up a hand. “Do not come any closer until I tell you.” She snapped her fingers. A tall man dressed only in leather pants emerged from somewhere to her left. A woman approached him, smiling and holding out a tray filled with… He stared, then shook his head, backing away, his brain on fire and his body in flight mode. “Where are you going, slave?” The woman cracked her whip. Evan sensed its bite near his cheek.
“I am no one’s slave,” he croaked out, sounding like a whiney kid.
“Perhaps. But I am not just anyone.” Before he could catch a breath, the woman was in his space. He kept his hands at his sides, knowing if he touched her he would be punished. Her full lips were inches from his. She leaned in, placed a tender kiss on his cheek, then stepped back.
“The Mistress has chosen!” the voice boomed and the room heaved a collective sigh. Evan whipped his head around, suddenly terrified and hornier than he had been in his entire existence. He closed his eyes as a loud whooshing sound started echoing around in his head in perfect time with his heartbeat. He held his ground, biting the inside of his cheek raw to keep from falling to his knees and kissing his way up her shiny patent leather shoe. The woman stood, the cape-like cloak draped around her tall, perfect body. He couldn’t move and had no idea what to do now anyway.
She took two long steps and was back in his space, tugging his tie, lifting it free of his collar and letting her lips linger over his, tempting, teasing, and bringing his body to full attention from his scalp to his toes. What in the hell was going on here? He was a sub? But the whooshing sound would not stop; it deafened him and he started to shake. The woman put her hands on his shoulders and kept kissing him just enough to make him insane. Disembodied hands removed his suit coat. Then, with a powerful jerk, She ripped his dress shirt into two scraps of expensive cotton that hung from his wrists.
His nipples hardened, his skin broke out in goose bumps. More bodiless hands unfastened his cuffs and took what remained of his shirt away. The woman kept smiling, trailing her fingertip down his chest. Evan’s lungs hurt he was breathing so hard.
“You are very…” She leaned in and touched her tongue to a nipple, making him gasp. “In need of…” She licked her way across his chest to the other hardened nub of flesh and bit, hard, making him yelp and grunt to distract himself from coming in his trousers. “A lesson in what it means to wield control.”
She unfurled the whip, keeping her lips on his skin, licking and nibbling her way up his neck as he stood, fists clenched and teeth grinding. Then she bit down on his lower lip, bringing tears to his eyes and yet more urgency to fuck. What was happening to him?
“Sit.” She shoved him down. Evan dropped, hoping someone had put a chair there. His ass hit leather and wood. Watching mesmerized as she dug a sharp heel into his still-covered thigh. The pulsing behind his zipper had reached a level he’d never experienced. It was as if he were already coming, in his head, trying to relieve the pressure without actually ejaculating. This was a total goddamn trip. He sighed, looked up at the ceiling.
“Don’t look away from me, slave.” Her rough voice made the whooshing sound return between his ears. She snapped her fingers. Two nearly naked women scuttled to his side, undid his belt, unzipped his pants, and pulled off his shoes while removing his trousers, leaving only his tie and boxers.
“Holy fucking mother of… ah!” he cried out, unable to stop when the woman stood over him, her warm, inviting sex right at his eye level. Other hands rubbed, teased him through his underwear. But he kept his eyes trained up as he sucked in a lungful of her heady scent.
“You think this is all there is, don’t you, boy?” The woman’s voice filled his head. “Your giant cock and what you can do with it.” She stepped away from him, flicking her whip at his inner thighs, breaking up the pleasure with a bite of pain that made him curse and lean forward. The lovely, soft hands that had been on his aching shaft disappeared. “Oh no you don’t. You sit; you take, and you do not come. For any reason. If you do, I will make you very,” she slid the handle of the whip along his reddened inner leg, “very sorry. Are we clear? Dear?”
All you have to do is comment below for your chance to win!
Grand Prize: Paperwhite Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008GEKXUO/ref=fs_cl)
1st Prize: Signed set of first 6 books (Includes all books in the series *except for* Mutual Release)
2nd Prize: boxed set of first 3 Stewart Realty ebooks (Floor Time, Sweat Equity, Closing Costs)
3rd Prize: Zazzle store Stewart swag pack (including canvas tote bag, mug, t-shirt, keychain)