Welcome to my bar Claudia! What can I pour for you to start?

Thanks, I’d love a decent glass of Napa Cabernet!

You’re practically my neighbor! We met at a multi-author signing event in metro Detroit. Have you done many of those? What did you think of that one? Going to try any more of them?

Overheard at the Detroit Indie Author Mashup in March: "No I don't think we can sneak out for a beer, yet..."


My favorite multi-author event is Printers Row in Chicago. I’ve been three times and would definitely go again if time and finances allowed. I’ve also done Kerrytown and the Detroit Mashup tour where I met you. Author events are a great place to meet other authors and industry folks, and most importantly, readers, so yes, I’m a fan.


Tell Liz fans about your journey to publication—hard? easy? long? short? any advice for newbies?

The journey to publication is grueling, just in terms of nerves. I was fortunate enough to be picked up by a boutique publisher fairly quickly, but the experience was disappointing on many levels. I’ve experienced two small publishers in my short career and am now completely indie. I love the freedom that allows me!

Newbies must “DO THEIR HOMEWORK.” I can’t emphasize that enough. Listen to seasoned authors, editors, conference chairs, agents, etc. when making your decisions. And don’t expect to sell thousands of books out of the gate. Unrealistic expectations can discourage newbies. Also, hire a professional editor. There’s nothing worse than tossing your poorly edited book into the mix. It’s a sure recipe for failure. I could teach an entire class on this, as could you! There are so many “don’ts” to be aware of. There are many traps and many mistakes to be made. Nothing you can’t climb out of, but holding on to more of your dollars is an essential step for authors.

Huh, I'm pretty sure I don't have a whole lot to offer by way of advice other than "don't do all the dumb sh*t I've done (and continue to do)" but you know, it's been "one of those" weeks in my Liz-land. Oh look, empty glass. What’s next for you?

I try to keep my glass half full, so I’ll have more wine, please!


Tell us about your latest book. It’s on my TBR but I have read The Wrong Guy (see below for my thoughts).


Here’s the back cover blurb:

Hattie Percha is crushed when the riots start on her tenth birthday, and when she must move away from her treasured childhood home and friends, attending public school for the first time, she’s afraid her life is over. Then, she meets Beverly Jo Nichols, her first black friend, and Crackers, a fearless tomboy. Despite opposition from Hattie’s mother and a racist teacher, the unlikely friends join forces. As the self-proclaimed Dream Girls, they challenge bigotry and intolerance, willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto what’s most precious to them all, their friendship.

What stands out about this middle grades book is that I’ve been visiting schools since its March release and have presented to over 3,000 students. Teachers can contact me through my website, www.claudiawhitsitt.com if they are interested in having me talk to their students about the book and the writing process. I can’t even describe the high we all have after talking writing for an hour!

What inspired you to start writing? What did you do before that?

Since I was a fifth grader, I’ve wanted to write books. I love the complete escape a good story allows and thought it would be entirely cool to be able to give that gift to a reader. My fifth grade stories were short though, I had no idea how conflict pushed a story forward, so wrote mostly Cinderella tales, hoping my own Prince Charming would show up while I was writing! (Liz: He did, by the way and he is one awesome coffee-fetcher!)

When I was raising my family, I wrote my kids letters all the time, on their birthdays, their first days of school, their graduations, their marriages.

Friends always told me I should write a novel, partly because I’ve led such a crazy life, but when an incident arose twenty years ago, I knew I’d eventually sit down and get a story on paper—the story was just too good to ignore. The bizarre situation began with my husband’s identity theft. Years after having his passport stolen, a woman showed up at parent-teacher conferences (I was a teacher for 37 years before becoming a full-time author!) and claimed I was married to her husband. I fictionalized the story and the result was my first mystery/suspense, Identity Issues.

And a nightcap—what’s your poison?

You’re a great bartender! I’ll have a Bailey’s on the rocks, please!







Bio: Award-winning author Claudia Whitsitt began publishing her work in 2011. She loves writing as much as anything and believes that everyone should find their passion and spend time doing what they love. When she isn't reading or writing, you can find her outdoors—walking with her BFF, swimming laps, pulling weeds, sitting with her hubby on the deck and enjoying a quiet evening. She's also happiest when she's spending time with her grown children, doing the things they did so many years ago--playing board games, cooking, eating, and laughing together.



Buy Links for

Between The Lines:
Print
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1I6fs2d

Identity Issues, Intimacy Issues, and Internal Issues are only available on Amazon. 

Identity Issues:

Intimacy Issues:

Internal Issues:

The Wrong Guy:
Ebook
Print



Facebook: Claudia Whitsitt, Author

Twitter:
@claudiawhitsitt

Pinterest:
Claudia Whitsitt

Website:


Blog Tour Link and contest entry:



And now....A Liz Review of "The Wrong Guy," By Claudia Whitsitt:
(I purchased a copy of this book from the author at the Detroit Indie Author Mashup)

I love reading (and writing) books set in places where I've lived. I think it gives a story more bite or backbone and allows me to relate more to what's happening to the characters. The Wrong Guy is set in Ypsilanti, Michigan, home to Eastern Michigan University. I live about equa-distant between Ann Arbor and Ypsi now that I've downsized and spend just as much time there as I do/did in A2. Ms. Whitsitt does a lovely job creating a realistic setting for this re-telling of a true story about a campus murder. 

Her way of re-telling is through the eyes of a young co-ed, Katie, who's trying to navigate the choppy waters of high school to college transition and all that represents to a girl with a firm Catholic background. When she finds herself caught in the middle of not only her first romantic relationship but the investigation when another co-ed is murdered, even though the supposed perpetrator of the first murder is behind bars, her world is turned inside out.

It's an incredibly creative way to give perspective on a story that I know rocked a community to its core in the late sixties. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes mysteries, or just a plain-old, well-crafted novel. Congrats on this one! I'm off  to grab another Claudia Whitsitt novel!

Liz gives The Wrong Guy her highest rating: 5 Cheers!







Greetings Liz Fans Plus All The Rest Of You.

It's the 3rd Tuesday of May. Mad Man is over. The Voice is almost over (go JOSHUA DAVIS!). Game Of Thrones jumped one too many sharks on the rape-o-meter. I went to bed last night sweaty with windows open and fans on and awoke huddled under covers with the heat on. Pure Michigan.



Recently, I got to spend some quality time with a very talented local photographer and graphic/cover artist, Lindee Robinson as we prepare to re-boot the 3-book BLACK JACK GENTLEMEN series, that will have a fourth book to go along with this compelling set of novels set in the fictional world of a Detroit Pro soccer team.

The thing about "cover art" as an indie author (and even as an author with small publishers) is ... it's harder than you might think to get the image you want dragged out of your mind into some kind of physical iteration. I've been lucky in that most of the artists I've worked with are excellent at transferring my concepts to reality. But I almost always have a firm idea of exactly what I want by the time I'm working with an artist. 

What I don't like? Meeting MY cover at the party with someone else's name and title on it. That happens a fair bit as there are a finite number of stock images out there--a couple of dudes are so pretty and compelling they've been everything from the latest hot vampire to a hometown football coach.

What I'm doing about it: when I can justify it/find someone willing to work with me and my pickiness I go for custom covers. I have several already. The publisher of the Black Jacks (Tri Destiny) did custom photos for both Essence of Time and Good Faith and those are 2 amazingly compelling covers. I did an entire photo shoot with one of my favorite models and part-time Hans the Muse Scott Nova for The Love Brothers and thanks to Taria Reed (photography) and Fiona Jade (cover artist/trailer genius) they really look great.
Oh Hans, you really wore me out this week, naughty, naughty boy....

While at the Detroit Indie Author Mashup I overheard Lindee giving a cover art pitch to the author next to me and snagged her, wondering if she'd be willing to help me rebrand this series via photos/new covers.

Not only was she, she found a couple of locally-based models for it.

Hence....The Black Jack Gentlemen: The Photo Shoot was born!
I hate it when the girl nutmegs me....



We had a blast and are picking through the many gorgeous shots Lindee got so she can put together 3 PLUS 1 covers and some fun promotional graphics for our big reveal.
"With my left leg?"




Overheard: "positioning my Barbie dolls!"


Garrett Thierry and Nichole Kathren are too much fun for words! They are currently locally based models (he's also an actor) but are headed west soon. So I can say someday that super famous actor in that blockbuster movie graces the covers of my books!
overheard: "Is shirtless within your boundries?"



Lindee gives Garrett a method acting refresher....




Any blogger interested in participating in the cover reveal/new release fun--just click here


Overheard: "Go pump up. It's shirtless time."

Shpritzing for sweat....

Overheard: "Here just pull this down a little."


THE BLACK JACK GENTLEMEN: THE SOCCER TEAM OF DETROIT 
All new covers for Man On, Red Card, Shut Out and coming JULY 7 ---- HAT TRICK! 

Overheard: "Say no to Man Nip Book Covers!"


AUTHORS: be sure to check out Lindee Robinson Photography especially if you want to participate in a Detroit-area shoot. She's Capital A-AWESOME! It was such a blast to have a PURE MICHIGAN photo shoot for a series that is also exactly that!


Can we do this on Amazon? Better check....


RANDOM LIZ UPDATES: 
I have the oldest Wenchling hovering about, in between days as it were which is all fine but for the fact that I forget how many more groceries are required when provisioning the Crowe's Nest when he's in house. Plus we have reduced our housing footprint and in lieu of the Massive Overhaul of said footprint, are piece-mealing the process. I.e. the place is in vintage condition and we are upgrading as needs/funds arise.

Future Lady Engineer Wenchling is still on walkabout in Wales. Last I heard she was alive. But that's about all I know.

S.W. has hit "finals week dread build up panic" that we know comes twice a year but that wallops us all upside the head with a cup of cold coffee and a crying jag every time. Hopefully we will get the whole "playing soccer in college" thing sorted by the time her Senior year starts--but we may not. It's a crappy process. I hate it. But hopefully it will yield good for all concerned, especially for the lucky coach that finally appreciates her value.

Make it a great Memorial Day Weekend. I'll be undergoing the Great Cardboard Purge of 2015 and ignoring that it's the so-sad anniversary of my biggest WTF moment ever---> while at the same time glad to be well over it enough to start my memoir: Headache Pay--A BeerWench Tells All.
p.s. JK
p.p.s. Nope
p.p.p.s. Not at all.





Welcome to the TGIF post in which you will learn how you can win a pack 'o prizes in exchange for finding a new favorite book.

No, really, it's that simple.

I'm Liz and I write Unconventional Romance. Worth the Risk. Allow me to offer you a chance to check out one of my books, write a review and be entered to win some cool sh*t!
Oh and if you keep on scrollin' you'll discover something SMOKING HOT and NEW from me.....

STARTING TODAY!
Every time I get 30 NEW reviews on ANY Liz book I'll give away a surprise prize pack to one lucky NEW reviewer/Liz Crowe fan.

Prizes include:
Signed book copies
Gift Cards
EXTRA Scenes uploaded for everyone to read
NEW SCENES from a Love Brothers book

And so much more!

How do you enter?

Simple.
1. Pick a Liz Book. I've got several.
2. Post your NEW review on Amazon and Goodreads.
3. Click here and fill out the form that appears.

Baseline numbers of reviews have been recorded. I'll be keeping a close eye on any new reviews posted. Once we hit the magic number on ANY BOOK, I'll pick a winner and announce on the Liz Crowe Facebook Fan Page ("like" it and make sure you hit the "receive notifications" using the drop-down menu below the large cover photo right now or you risk not getting notified if you win!) If more than one book gets 30 new reviews between now & July 10 I'll keep giving away prizes! No cheating. Your new review must be that: "new" and not a copy of someone else's. I promise you'll enjoy your Liz Crowe reading experience.

IF YOU ARE A LOYAL LIZ FAN AND HAVE ALREADY POSTED REVIEWS PLEASE HEAD OVER TO MY FACEBOOK CHAT GROUP. Just ask to join if you're not already a member. I have NOT forgotten about you! There is a pinned post at the top with YOUR special instructions.

BOTH contests (for new fans and for all you wonderful and amazing existing ones) will run through July 10, 2015.

Check me out. I'll make it worth your while.

(don't stop reading....the HOTNESS is below this little handy informational set of links)

In the interest of making it super easy for you to find, procure, read and review your LIZ BOOK, here are handy-dandy links:
NOTE: You don't have to read an entire series to post a review of one book (but you will get hooked on them, guaranteed).
NOTE: Some of these books are FREE and/or WAY CHEAP right now.
NOTE: All the links take you to Amazon but every book except The Love Brothers series is available on B&N/Smashwords and some on Kobo and Ibooks.
BOOKS IN SERIES:
The Love Brothers (3.5 books)
Stewart Realty (8.5 books)
Black Jack Gentlemen (3 books)
Turkish Delights (5 books--some are very short)
STAND ALONES
Vegas Miracle (newly re-released)
Paradise Hops
Honey Red
Cheeky Blonde
Caught Offside 

Healing Hearts
 



And now.....for your reward (as if me giving you prizes for posting new reviews isn't enough!) some Liz "Quick Words" (i.e. they are Unedited and fresh from my fevered imagination and over-eager Muse) from FireBrew, an upcoming release as part of a kick ass bundle of BRAND NEW BOOKS from some of your favorite, best selling authors! I've never tried a "fire fighter story" so I put my Liz spin on it and it's gonna rock your world (kind of like George Lattimer III will do)!

NSFW/Over 18 only/rated XX this is your only warning!


From: "FireBrew," The Liz Style Firefighter Romance, coming soon
All rights reserved.


I made it all the way down to the bathroom and back into my slinky seductress dress and heels before he honored me with his presence. He loomed in the doorway, shirt still unbuttoned, pondering me with a flat expression. “Excuse me,” I said, shouldering past him. He took my hand but I pulled it free. “I’m not in the mood anymore, George. But thanks anyway.”
“Listen to me a minute, will you?”
“Why?” I crossed my arms over my chest. “I’m here to get laid, get my world rocked, snap off a piece.” I snapped my fingers, which made him flinch. “I don’t want to marry you. Hell you don’t even have to make me coffee in the morning. I’d be gone before you wake up. I’m like, your god damned dream date.” I passed my hands over my breasts to my waist. Watching his eyes darken, I lifted my skirt and put a finger to my uncovered, still damp, sex. “I like to fuck. Something wrong with that?”
For some odd reason, a tear slipped down my cheek. I swiped it away, dropped my skirt and headed for the stairs. “I don’t have to beg for it though, doll. I know when I’ve worn out my welcome.”
As my foot touched the first step, he tugged me back, turned me and held me close, pressing his lips to my hair and forcing more stupid tears from my burning hot eyes.  The smoke smell soothed me, then pissed me off. I struggled out of his embrace and stared up at him.
“You don’t have to do this,” he whispered, letting me run my thumb over his full lower lip. “And you haven’t worn out your welcome. I’m..I’m just…” He stopped and moved back from me, hands on his hips. “Stop trying so hard, god damn it.”
 I laughed but was not really amused. “Hard? Oh honey, I don’t have to try at all. That’s why I’m leaving. I don’t need this drama or whatever the fuck it is you’re slinging. I’ll email you the sales agreement. Sign it and agree to his closing date and we’re done.” My heart was whamming against my ribcage, hurting me in way I’d never experienced.
“Are we?” He stepped in front of me as I tried to head upstairs. “Are we really?”
His kiss shut out everything even the rising fury at his behavior. I felt…consumed by it, held close, protected, and at the same time more turned on than ever. Fumbling and unwilling to take no for an answer, I unbuttoned and unzipped his trousers, gripping his length and drawing a sigh from him against my mouth. Dropping to my knees, I took him into my mouth as deep as possible—I have a decent skill set in this area—but found myself actually enjoying it, cupping his balls, with one hand and moaning when he buried his fingers in his my hair.
“Stop. Wait,” he said, loudly and obviously not meaning it. I rose, swiped my lips with the back of my hand and pushed him so he dropped onto the bed. His eyes seemed almost haunted, as he watched me drop to the floor again and resume my position.  His hips moved, up, shoving more into my mouth, gagging me a little but at that moment, all I wanted was one thing. I pulled out all the stops. The light scrapes of my short fingernails along his balls, the stealthy finger tip towards his ass. My body was on high alert and I thought I might very well join him I was so intent on this mission towards a single goal. Which I achieved within a few minutes. His roar of satisfaction made me shiver all over as I swallowed, then sat back on my heels, admiring everything about him from his broad shoulders, closed eyes, and long, wet dick still pulsing and twitching from my efforts.
I got up, towering over him in a way that seemed strange to me. He opened his eyes, then narrowed them when I smiled. “Now we’re done.” I snagged a tissue from a box at his bedside, touched it to my lips and tossed it onto his heaving chest. “I’m a giver, don’t you ever deny it. Watch your email George and thanks for the interesting times this week. Have a nice life.” Not giving him a chance to reply, I ran up the stairs to the deck, swallowed my urge to panic, and climbed up onto the dock.
After sending a quick text to a cab company I trusted, I leaned against his SUV, shaking and bawling like a baby, willing him to come out here and take me back inside while at the same time, praying he would not. He didn’t. 

Permanent Spring Showers
by Scott D. Southard



BLURB:

Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is having a very bad season.  The ramifications of one torrid evening with one of the great upcoming painters of his generation, will not only be felt across her life but over the entire art world. Sexy, funny, and very surprising, Permanent Spring Showers is the tale of one very memorable springtime and how it impacts a group of unique artists and dreamers. From the the hopeful Olympian with the failing marriage to the writer who is creating a new literary movement (through outright manipulation) to the romantic wondering what he did wrong to drive away the love of his life, each tale walks the line between reality and fantasy. And waiting at the end of the line is a very important painting... and possibly the revolver used in the Lincoln Assassination.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Excerpt:

“What are you thinking? She’s an escort!”

“I’m in love, Steve. After sitting through the first twenty minutes of this lunch, it’s obvious you certainly still remember what that feeling is like.” He pushed his plate forward.

"But Clark…” I began.

He interrupted, “And it’s not like she wants to do that her entire life, Steve, if that is what is troubling you. She is doing it to pay for college.”
           
I stopped, the car of my mind shifting gears again. “Wait, did you say ‘is’? Do you mean she is still doing it?”

“Well, times are tough all over,” Clark replied far too calmly for my taste. “Have you seen college tuition rates this year?”

“And she’s really in college?” I asked, shocked. I began to wonder if I was on one of those TV shows and a camera was hidden in a bush nearby me.

My shock was perfectly mirrored by the opposite reflection of the casualness of my brother.

“You didn’t think I would marry an idiot did you, Steve? I need to be mentally challenged, you know that. She is studying education; her dream’s to teach third graders.”

“You’re engaged to a hooker…”

“Escort,” he corrected quickly for a third time.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said sarcastically. “You are engaged to an active escort who wants to be an elementary school teacher?”


“Yes,” Clark said with a dramatic point across the table at me. “And Steve, this is where you come in. You need to help me introduce her to mom and dad.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Scott D. Southard is the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors, Megan, 3 Days in Rome and Me Stuff in addition to his latest release, Permanent Spring Showers. His eclectic writing has also found its way into radio, as Scott was the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog “The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" where he writes on topics ranging from writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. His blog can be found at http://sdsouthard.com. Scott is also the fiction book reviewer for WKAR's daily radio show Current State.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Scott D. Southard will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

RAFFLECOPTER CODE: