Today we welcome Liz Crowe as she celebrates her new book Mutual Release – the 7th book in the Stewart Realty Series!
Read an behind the scenes interview between Liz and Jack Gordon and Evan Adams below.
Liz will be giving away some great prizes at the end of her tour – see more information below.
Disclaimer: This is an 18+ book with erotic BDSM scenes and explicit language.
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 coming of age novel about trust…on the long road to love.
*Please note this book can be read Stand Alone or as part of her Stewart series.
Mutual Release the latest release from author Liz Crowe and is a wonderful well written story.
Mutual Release tells the story of Evan Adams and Julie Dawson. Ms Crow provides these two characters with well developed backstories that are told in vivid detail to the reader, allowing them to see how deeply these two souls have been wounded by events and circumstances of their lives prior to meeting each other.
Mutual Release starts by the telling of Evan’s story. This first part of the book was really really well done!! Evan’s experience with the death of someone close to him was very powerful and will touch you deeply, yes have tissues near by. My heart broke for Evan and the use of this incident to craft the more adult Evan was character development at it finest. I truly felt Evan’s conflict, his pain, his desires, his torment, and his personal journey to find himself. I throughly enjoyed the construction of Evan, the Dom.
Evan does not take entering the lifestyle easy, he struggles with what it means, he struggles to find his own acceptance of his needs and a balance that works for him. I adored Evan as a switch learning and interacting with two Dommes. These scenes for me were some of the hotness and most telling in the book.
I also really like how Evan’s good friend Jack Gordon was not judgmental, it truly felt real to the Jack Ms. Crowe created in the prior books (again you do not need to have read those books for this friendship to touch your heart). Jack’s lack of judgement was true to the Jack developed and bonds their friendship at a deeper level.
When Evan and Julie meet you can feel the chemistry. The banter these two engage in put a smile on my face and their email exchanges early on were both fun and felt true for two professionally focused and driven individuals.
As Evan pursues Julie you will fall in love with him all over again, Evan knows what he wants and is determined to show Julie what he can offer her.
Evan and Julie opening up to each other will pull at your heart strings and have to rooting for them to find a way to be what the other needs.
Ms Crowe built a wonderful and pivotal secondary character in Damien. The nature of his dark soul plays into keys scenes and events in this story. Evil affects those around it and Damien’s character became a contrast to the love around him.
When the evil that has surrounds Evan returns with a vengeance, will love survive?
Well, No I am not going to tell you. You are going to have to read Mutual Release to find out!
The epilogue to this book was heart warming, it brings the family full circle and provides the reader with huge range of emotions in just a few pages; it was truly masterful and will leave fans of the series wanting Good Faith the next book in the series. And will leave those new to series likely wanting to pick up more Liz Crowe.
If you are reader who chose to read this book as a stand alone, I think it is a wonderful introduction to Ms Crowe’s work.
Though be warned you will likely be one-clicking Floor Time, Sweat Equiry and Closing Costs to get an inside view of Jack Gordon and Sara’s story.
Behind the Scenes at the Stewart Realty Series
Jack Gordon and Evan Adams—an Interview
LIZ: Welcome gentlemen. Please, take a seat. (snaps fingers in front of Jack’s face as he argues with someone on the phone. Evan rolls his eyes and loosens his tie before sitting.) Okay guys we are gonna talk a little about the lifestyle choice you have made.
EVAN: (hold up a hand as he removes his cufflinks and rolls up sleeves. Liz tries hard not to stare) Let’s start with that, Liz. Calling it a “lifestyle” is probably a step farther than we are willing to go, eh Jack?
JACK: (slipping phone into pocket and draping his long lean frame over a chair that suddenly seems too small) I think I’d even venture to say that the word “choice” is a misnomer.
LIZ: Okay, fine. So let’s start at the beginning. How and when did you decide this was how you preferred to…um… have sex?
EVAN: (leaning forward, elbows on knees) I figured it out early, and resisted it, tried to compartmentalize it, went vanilla, even in an attempt to deny it. But the key, for me, finally was to find a club scene that wasn’t threatening, that showed me it was okay to have my particular fetish, or kink or whatever you want to call it. It’s a part of me. It’s not what defines me but is how I prefer to … get off, I guess. (he blushes adorably)
JACK: (crosses an ankle over his knee, pulls phone out of pocket then puts it back after a dark look from Liz) For me it was more about curiosity at first. While I did like it on the rough side while I was young, I never really explored that part of my psyche until I got invited to a small club by a girl I met the summer between college graduation and law school. I was home in Ann Arbor as usual, working at my dad’s construction company. Had thrown a party, that ended in the usual manner, if you know what I mean. One of the girls liked it when I smacked her ass a few times and left me a note to call her…that she had “something she wanted to introduce me to.” (he leans back, his face pensive) Then I hit law school and met this freak-show! (he smiles and smacks Evan’s shoulder)
EVAN: (shrugs He convinced me to get back into it, and together we learned a lot about that side of ourselves. Not the “choice” we were making but the way we preferred to have sex. (he leans forward and pins Liz with his mesmerizing hazel eyed stare) But don’t get me wrong, Liz, I’m not rough, not anymore. There are ways to control the bedroom scene that don’t even involve pain, if you know what you’re doing. (he leans back, quiet, while Liz ponders the possibilities) I like to prove to my partner that while I control the scene, she ultimately reaps the reward. And there are just certain personalities that beg for a little….
JACK: (grinning) Domination
EVAN: Yes, but it’s more than that and you know it Gordon. Denise and Christine are looking for serious answers here.
JACK: Sorry. Listen (leans forward and makes Liz slightly breathless by grabbing her hand) I know that BDSM Lite is sort of a big deal right now. And what Evan and I want to emphasize is that it is absolutely not about degradation, or whatever the fuck people who don’t understand the psychology are calling it. That really pisses me off. It is in no way “approved abuse” either. You are into this, or you aren’t. I’ve had plenty of sex with women who aren’t, and that was fine (Evan rolls his eyes). What? Dude, Mr. Vanilla over here has too don’t let him fool you. We have to try it all, to know what we truly enjoy.
EVAN: Yeah, and neither Jack nor I were abused as boys either, which made us turn to this as some kind of answer to our problems. We want to play this way. And that’s exactly what it is: play. Nothing more or less. At least for us. The only reason my wife would call me “Sir” outside the bedroom would be to warn me she was about to lose her temper. (he chuckles)
LIZ: All right, so it’s “play” and not about degrading women or consensual abuse anything. So what IS it about for you?
JACK: (blows out a puff of air) I’m probably not the best to answer this (runs his hand through his hair) but I’ll try. For me it’s about pleasing a woman. Really, truly pleasing her by understanding what makes her tick. Be it ordering for her at dinner because I can sense what she is looking for. Planning an entire weekend away down to the last detail, and putting a airplane ticket in her hand and ordering her to just “show up.” Fulfilling what she needs that way. All the way through to the bedroom. Pushing boundaries. Bring an edge of pain with the pleasure at just the right moments. Not all women are into it mind you. But the ones that are a fucking lot of fun to figure out I assure you.
EVAN: For me, it’s about trust. And I’m pretty sure it is for my friend here too. No woman who lies there, bound, blindfolded, gagged, whatever and ready to be spanked, whipped, caned or anything by someone she just “met” should ever worry that the man (or woman) about to fulfill her fantasy can’t be trusted. I have seen the abuse side of this shit…. (he trails off, looks up at the ceiling as if trying to get himself under control).
JACK: It’s okay. You don’t have to say any more.
EVAN: No, I want to be totally honest for Liz and her readers. I saw first hand a man posing as a “Dom” literally abuse women under the guise of it, pretending to be the one a woman could trust while actually being the exact opposite. I saw it happen to people I cared about, I loved. And…well…it’s what brought on my vanilla years, I guess.
LIZ: “Trust” is what you hear for submissives I thought. That they had to learn to trust you, their Dom. Otherwise the relationship wouldn’t work. How is it about trust for you?
JACK: (puts a hand on his friend’s arm and pins Liz with a deep blue stare. She tries not to drool.) Let me take this one. I had a quick initiation into this whole thing. Jumped in with both feet as it were, possibly a little too young. But it was such a buzz, you know? Women who wanted me to, ah, spank them, tie them up, that kind of thing. (Evan stares at him a minute) Evan has always been a lot more level headed about it, more thoughtful, careful and that is something I always admired. He helped me out when I was out of my league. Except once (he shakes his head). Jenna…my first “official sub.” She really threw me.
EVAN: Dude, you had to learn that lesson for yourself. (Jack nods but stays silent) Look, Liz, I guess what we want to impress on you and your readers is that our psychology, our very make up drives our need to fulfill the sorts of sexual fantasies many people find unappealing, even abhorrent. But I’m not asking any of them to participate with me, merely not to judge me. My need to play this way has nothing to do with some kind of perversion. It’s a…requirement…I guess. I don’t feel a need to be cured of anything either. My wife Julie was my submissive for years. She even wore a collar.
LIZ: Collar? Better clarify that one pal. I can hear women all over the blogosphere sucking in a collective breath.
EVAN: (chuckles) Yeah. I get you. Okay. So we got to a certain point in our relationship where we wanted to make a statement about it. So I “collared” her. That is she wore a solid platinum chain around her neck, signifying that she was mine. And not for sharing or open to any other sort of relationship with anyone else. It was a statement we wanted to make, and one I may have rushed into, in hindsight….but it worked.
LIZ: Sounds an awful lot like a wedding ring to me. A “statement” to the public about your relationships status via the wearing of a piece of jewelry?
JACK: Yes, well it is but it’s more to those who understand its significance. It’s hard to explain.
LIZ: Have you have bestowed a collar, Jack?
JACK: (shifts, obviously uncomfortable) Yes. Once.
EVAN: Didn’t work out. Wrong woman. Live and learn.
LIZ: Do all Dom/sub relationships involve a collar?
EVAN: No. It’s just a step Julie and I chose to take.
LIZ: Does she still wear it?
EVAN: (smiles) Yes. In addition to her wedding ring.
JACK: The important thing to remember here Liz is that Evan and I had to take our sexual lives on a path that involved the complete and ultimate pleasure of our partners in a way that involved our complete control. It was more or less required, given our psychological make up. But I would never ask for approval of it. I got my own approval finally, when I met my wife. (he smiles). For many women, believe it or not, that is the ultimate buzz. Letting GO of control. Both of the women in our lives are Super Type-A successful women—used to being in charge, making decisions for others all day long. It’s like a…um…
EVAN: It’s like a break in their lives. To allow us (points to himself and Jack) to take total control in one aspect. One room really. We just “play” when having sex. I don’t have control of all aspects of our lives trust me. If I thought that I’d be seriously kidding myself. I know some couples extend the whole “control” thing into all parts of their relationship. I don’t. It would feel fake to me somehow.
JACK: You mean you “can’t.”
EVAN: (gives Jack the one-fingered salute but stays focused on Liz) No, I don’t want to, actually. Julie and I have been together long enough now that it’s a release really. And no, we don’t always do it either. And yeah, I like her on top sometimes. Physically though. Not emotionally. And don’t even get me started on how we are both whipped, in our own way, and we fucking love it. Being a “slave” emotionally to the one person you truly love is a buzz, no matter what side of the equation you are on.
LIZ: there is a lot of buzz around now about some Doms who need “healing” from their “sickness,” that it is a way to overcome their own lack of control by taking it in the bedroom.
JACK: That’s ignorance and misrepresentation. Don’t get me wrong. There are a shit load of sickos out there who use this as an excuse to abuse. Evan and I both know that first hand. But I assure you that I am in control in pretty much every aspect of my life and always have been. I am driven, successful, have all the money I require to live the way I want to and provide for my family. I’m not compensating for anything. But I need to be needed. I know that. I get off on a woman looking to me for her complete satisfaction. Frankly, I don’t know how I would handle it any other way. And the odd thing is, women who like that are drawn to me..to us, really. Although as Evan said, these women are very strong personalities looking for someone or something to take over a portion of their lives that is safe for them to give up. They trust us—and it was not easy to get either of our significant others to that point, believe me.
LIZ: You’ve told me a lot about what your partners get from it. Now I want a completely honest answer as to what you get out of it. Evan?
EVAN: (runs a finger under his collar and glances at Jack). I will be completely honest with you Liz, I actually was a sub, twice.
JACK: man, I thought you weren’t gonna…
EVAN: (holds up a hand). No, it’s okay. I want people to understand this and stop thinking it’s some kind of mental illness. (pins Liz with a look that leaves her weak in the knee area) During law school I hooked up with a woman who was one of my professors. Well, she gave me my first and crucial lesson in the psychology of Domination. By topping me. Big time. (he sighs) I learned to let go, to trust, to give myself over to another person fully for the first time in my life, sexually. A buzz. I loved it. But she and I both knew it for what it was. A little experiment, one designed to make me a better Dom ultimately. And she got to where she let me top her, which was a “switch” and one we both enjoyed. I did it again with another woman, later, after law school—but she was…well…never mind.
LIZ: (open mouthed with imagination running wild) Um. Okay. So…
JACK: So he got it. He understood the need, and being needed. How to bring pain and pleasure–the full circle experience. I’ve never done it. Probably to my detriment. But he and Julie are more into it over all than Sara and I are. Oh, and that “other woman later,” she was a bitch on wheels, man.
EVAN: Yeah. Well, you hired her to run the legal side of your soccer team so what does that make you?
JACK: A brilliant businessman, what else? She is a bitch. On Wheels. Who whipped the player contracts side of things into shape, big time. Not sure what or who else she’s whipping on … but whatever, I don’t ask.
EVAN: (laughs loudly). Okay, I can see Sophie as that sort of an addition to the team. (shakes his head). But as for being more “into it” than you, I think that it was more about Julie’s psychological make up, thanks to what she went through as a young woman—she needed something a little more from me I guess. But I would not say she is any more….
JACK: Stubborn than my lovely bride?
EVAN: (laughs) No, that’s not the right word at all. I would not put those two into a stubborn contest and expect a clear winner.
Both men laugh…
EVAN: Great example of Julie’s stubbornness: when it came to starting a family. I didn’t want to, was dead set against it. She did. Guess what? We have twins now.
LIZ: So it’s just a sex thing then, Jack? Something to use at night and wake up in the morning and let go of?
JACK: No, not exactly. It’s like a compulsion. For both of us. Chemistry, if you will. A mutual need that can only be met by one person. Controlling her pleasure is how I get off. I guess. (he shrugs.). It’s gotten out of hand a little, I won’t kid you. But that is was a safeword is for. Right? (claps Evan on the back. He startles a little, as if lost in thought)
EVAN: Julie and I were pretty hardcore for a few years. Clubs, resorts, the collar. Then it shifted, once we made our deeper, emotional connection, and it became more about or mutual need to trust and be trusted, to give and receive. And now…(he smiles) our lifestyle involves too much kid stuff to be terribly concerned about “topping.” Our priorities have shifted but we still keep it hot.
JACK: (laughs) Yeah. I get you there. Truly Liz, people talk about “the one” a lot. When you have a D/s mindset, even if you don’t realize it yet, “the one” has a hell of a lot more significance for you. That “one” is the only one you can either control, or be controlled by, in a way that brings satisfaction to you both.
LIZ: You were both called “Masters” at one time. Where did that come from?
JACK: The club scene. We would show, and the people (women) who had been approved at submissives for that night or weekend would then choose, usually blindfolded or otherwise passively restrained. We would-be masters would present ourselves and they would choose. Evan and I got chosen a lot. Those were some wild ass years, my friend, were they not? (punches Evan’s shoulder)
EVAN: Yeah. Wild. But interestingly enough, neither of us settled with any of the women we met there, although you (he punches Jack even harder, making a point) came fucking close, if I’m not mistaken.
JACK: (Rubs his shoulder) Too close, my friend. Way too close. No, the women we ended up with as life partners we found elsewhere, introduced them to the playtime concept. They didn’t balk but I wouldn’t necessarily call either of us hard core lifestyle couples. Not anymore.
LIZ: So…bedtime is vanilla time now that there are kids in the picture?
JACK: Maybe for him.
EVAN: Fuck you.
JACK: Nope. Now Julie, on the other hand….
EVAN: (ignoring Jack for the moment) We play. We make a point to keep it hot. We go on trips to resorts that are BDSM only once a year, just “mom and dad.” It’s important to us to keep that part of our relationship going.
JACK: And please, Liz, if you and your readers take away anything from this little chat I hope it is that a BDSM or Dom/sub fantasy is one that does not automatically imply perversion, or degradation, or anything even remotely illegal or abusive. It’s fulfilling certain fantasies that many people have that involve a rougher set of parameters for sex. It’s adding pain to the pleasure principal and more importantly, trust. For everyone concerned. I trust my partner, my submissive, the love of my life, to let me take control. She trusts me to do so. Anyone who hurts a women using being a “dom” as an excuse deserves to be castrated, with a rusty blade. Likewise though, anyone who thinks it’s an illness needing to be cured just hasn’t been doing it the right way.
LIZ: Thanks guys. (fans herself) See you soon.
About the Author
Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, 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 inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)
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.
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)