Got A Life
You know, that thing you’re supposed to be doing while planning something else?
My very new publishing career has taken on a life of its own as of late. I have 2 novels, 2 shorts, a trilogy releasing before the end of the year, with three different publishers. And was just asked to write a prequel to the as-yet-unpublished trilogy. I have a major novel project I’m pulling out of the cobwebbed box called “Old WIPs” and dusting it off for a major submission. And in spite of all my outward nonchalance, every single day I check email obsessively waiting for an Answer to my Big Sub that is now 3 weeks, 2 days, and 17 hours old.
On top of that, I own a beer company and am charged with marketing, sales, promotions and all manner of employee improvement, constant beer learning and blogging for same.
I have never been the sort of person who took a lot of stock in “down time.” Perhaps because I used to have a plethora of it. Now, every single moment of family and beer-free quiet it used furiously editing, revising, prepping submissions and promoting my ass off.
I have managed to jump into a couple of markets in their apparent infancy but that are crowded with all manner of posers and half-assers. Both craft beer and romance e-publishing could be called growth areas – and then some. Everybody’s jumping onto the apparent gravy train with no real sense of how hard both of them are. Sort of like how everybody’s stay home mom, maiden aunt, math teacher, registered nurse and attorney got their real estate license back in 2000. Yeah. I had one of those too. I must be one of the naïve ones.
But I take everything I do very seriously, with intent and purpose. I don’t give up easily. Hence, my kids go many nights with cereal for dinner (hey, it’s healthy) and I’m averaging 4.5 hours of sleep a night. But I am so revved up and excited it hasn’t hit me too hard.
Writing the story is the easy part. You’ve heard this before. For what it is worth, here is my advice: If you are not prepared to deal with rejection, brutal editing processes that make you question your very existence, dumb ass reviewers and pirate e-book jerk offs, the major successes of authors that in your opinion can barely write a coherent Facebook update, my advice is to stay very far away from this world.
I could easily translate that to my beer life. If you (starry-eyed home brewer) aren’t prepared to deal with rejection, brutal brew days that make you question your very existence, dumb ass beer dork reviewers and knock offs of your most treasured recipes, and can’t find anyone to support your venture with ginomrous injections of Cold Hard Cash, my advice is to stay very far away from this world.
It’s a buzz. I’ve channeled one into the other with my upcoming release The Tap Room.
Erin Brady is having a seriously bad year.
Her Alpha banker husband, Bradley, has left, claiming she pays more attention to her microbrewery than to him and their two sons.
One business partner, Trent, is attempting to re-kindle an old flame between them.
Their amazing success has demanded they hire a new brewer, Jeff, who takes one look at his new boss and is determined to be something more than an employee.
The daily stresses of running a small business, plus the ongoing turmoil in her personal life are more than she can take. Escaping to Denver for an industry event, she meets Landon, a brewery rock star turned consultant who has been watching her company--and her-- for a while.
When family trauma requires an early return to Michigan, Erin is faced with even harder realities plus a thoroughly contrite Bradley, wishing for a reunion. Then, the ultimate sign of success: a buy out offer is tendered from a much larger brewery, just as the owners of Winter Street Brewing are about to be honored by Inc. Magazine as Top Entrepreneurs.
Finally, Erin turns to her other partner, Owen, who has watched the woman he loves suffer long enough and is determined to step in and be the one.
WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE????
Guess what? YOU get to decide.....September 30, 2011.
For more in depth descriptions of Erin’s options check out:
She blogs at:
Liz’s buy links for:
The Rookie: www.breathlesspress.org/Book/178
Jockey Box: www.breathlesspress.org/Book/287
XXXMas Ale: www.breathlesspress.org/Book/284
Excerpt from The Tap Room:
Erin and her business partner Owen, dance around a new angle to their six-year relationship.
Tears blurred her vision. She started re-shelving glassware, not sensing Owen’s presence until he put a hand on her shoulder. She jumped and stepped away. He put his phone down on the bar top.
"Yeah, um, about that grinder." He ran his fingers through his thick blond hair and down his now-stubbled face. Erin kept herself from launching into his arms, running her tongue across his rough cheeks and kissing his full lips.
"What about it?" She heard the sharpness in her tone. She didn’t understand herself, nor did she like the emotions this man seemed to draw from her.
"Well, I mean, I think it has to be a capital expense this month otherwise we are gonna get behind on the brew schedule," he muttered, not looking at her.
That made her even more angry. Erin, emboldened by the two beers she’d had on an empty stomach, closed the gap between them. She put a tentative hand on Owen’s shoulder just as his phone rang again. Surprising her, he quickly pulled her to him and possessed her with his mouth, his phone forgotten on the bar top. Owen buried both hands in her hair as his tongue swept into her mouth, making her weak in the knees. She wrapped her arms around him and leaned on the bar.
Erin broke free of his amazing lips and reveled in the sensation of his tongue on her neck. Her heart fluttered at the press of his erection against her hip. "Owen...I..." she murmured, unable to finish a coherent thought.
"Shhh..." He brushed his lips against her forehead, once, twice, and then kissed down her cheeks. "Don’t talk," he whispered as he took her earlobe between his teeth. She moaned and arched into him. His strong hands trailed down and cupped her ass as his mouth settled over her insistent yet gentle. She gripped his shoulders.
Suddenly, without warning, he broke completely away, leaving her gasping for breath. Owen looked down at the floor, then up at her, his eyes shining with pure desire.
"Erin, I won’t do this," he said, as her brain processed what was happening.
"Um, do what?" She had a sinking feeling. What was it about her that made men act like this?
"I don’t want to just fuck you," he said, running a hand through his hair. "I mean...shit...I do want to—it’s just..."
Erin clenched her fists against the need to reach out and touch his face, to wrap herself around him once more. Her very soul was crying out for his touch, but her stubborn nature won out. She yanked her hair up in a tight knot and resolved control the situation.
"I’m sorry," she said, sorry for many reasons, but unable to articulate them coherently.
Owen frowned. "You have no reason to be sorry." His voice angry, he walked toward her as she gripped the edge of the bar behind her, unable to move. He cradled her face between his hands and kissed her again, with a passion she had not felt in years. Her fingernails dug into the bar. She would be nobody’s mercy fuck. Not even Owen’s. He broke off before she could, his lips trailing along her jawline.
"You are amazing. You make every man in the room want to know you, to hold you, kiss you, and more..." He smiled and her heart lifted. "But..." He lowered his eyes. "I just can’t do this, not here."
Rage and hurt surged through her as her mind spun. Her formerly simple life—one filled with a busy, successful husband and two active and healthy sons—slipped free of its final mooring and floated away. A somewhat misplaced anger at Bradley made her grit her teeth. The stay-at-home mom thing had consumed her for years, and she’d been damn good at it. She took pride her organization, clean house, elaborate, balanced meals. Bradley had been all she needed, albeit a little on the selfish side but she handled it. He’d professed support for the "beer venture" at first. Except the last three years had been a whirlwind of arguments and unhappiness. Now everything could change. This gentle, kind, creative man standing across from her could possibly be exactly what she needed.
She made a decision right then. One she hoped she wouldn’t regret. Letting her heart lead, Erin reached out for him and he offered little resistance. Pressing her lips to his she sighed, feeling more at home in a man’s arms than she had felt in years. He kissed her, softly at first then with purpose, as his passion reasserted itself. Owen yanked at her flimsy T-shirt, shoving it up so he could get her bra clasp. She had to have his hands on her, all over her, right now, never mind the bar lights still shone and the windows reflected their images to anyone walking by outside. Erin was nearly in tears by the time Owen flipped open her bra and leaned in to take her rock hard nipple between his lips. She ran her hands through his thick hair, holding him in place as her clit throbbed, and she gasped for air.
He broke away and refocused on her mouth, moaning and muttering her name. Erin unzipped his shorts and reached in to release his straining cock. He groaned as she stroked his length, lingering on the thick, uncut head, relishing the release of fluid, using it to lubricate her palm. Owen plunged a hand down the front of her jeans, his fingers touching her, making her whimper. Erin’s head was spinning. How they had progressed from "we can’t do this" to groping like teenagers was beyond her, but she wasn’t about to stop now.
Erin tilted her hips, keeping her lips on his, needing him more than she’d remembered needing any man in her life. He kept his thumb pressed against the hard nub of enervated flesh and shoved two fingers deep inside. She felt an orgasm on the horizon, racing toward her, as Owen increased the pressure against her sex, providing just the perfect amount against her clit, and finally stroking her G-spot. She shuddered in climax and bit into his shoulder to keep from crying out.
His cock was thick in her hand, smooth and hot. She dropped into a tall bar chair, her eyes locking on his before leaning down to taste him. Her tongue flicked at his exposed slit and drank down the salty evidence of his passion. Owen put his hands in her hair, halting her movements.
"Wait." His voice was raspy as he brought her up to standing again. His eyes sparkled with desire. Erin kept her hand on his shaft, stroking him with a slow rhythm.
He kissed her so hard she could hear herself mumbling, begging him never to stop. Erin had never felt so complete, so utterly at peace and eager to please a man as she did at this moment. It was perfect, and she knew it was the start of something that could bring her true happiness. But Owen jerked away, and Erin opened her eyes in surprise. He was staring at the door.
She looked up at Trent. His face was filled with surprise, and she thought in her lust-fogged state, hurt. "I, uh, forgot my laptop. Left it here the other night," he muttered, standing with his hand still on the open door.