I'm excited to have Liz Crowe, award-winning author and fellow Rose, with me today, chatting about herself and her newest book What Happens in Denver. Plus, she shared a tantalizing excerpt. So without further delay, please help me welcome Liz.
Hi Liz! We'd love to hear what inspired you to write What Happens in Denver?
The heroine’s inciting incident (being “fired” From both her marriage and her job owning and running a bar that was just voted The Best Beer Bar in America) came from a situation I found myself in. While I wasn’t married to my business partners, the whole thing felt like a messy divorce. So I channeled my feelings that I’m just now getting past on some levels to create Andi Rigby’s experience with her bar that launches her into her new life as part of What Happens in Denver.
My experience owning a brewery and running all aspects of sales, marketing, and distribution for it, plus I ran the small tap room bar that become so popular we had to expand inside of our first year. It was all-consuming and I learned everything I didn’t know about beer. I’m now a certified expert.
What are you reading?
I’m currently reading CIRCE by Madeline Miller. I’m a huge fan of hers and really enjoyed The Song of Achilles. This one is even better as it really digs into the myth of a much-reviled “witch” who, it turns out, could’ve been merely misunderstood.
I read across genres, and usually alternate them. Since I’m about to finish this, I’ll turn to a romance novel next. I’ve got a backlist Beverly Jenkins novel and a new-to-me author to try Sarah Adams and her book The Off Limit Rule. Then I’ll probably turn to Stephen King’s Billy Summer.
What are you passionate about?
Animals. I am a marketing and fundraising consultant to a regional humane society which allows me to use my skills to help shelter pets find homes. I have such respect for the animal care staff that works with our pets every day, it’s emotionally draining for them but they come back every day to make sure the fur babies are fed, socialized, walked, and loved. I just raise money to make sure their salaries get paid but I love it.
And now for a quick speed round...
Favorite song? La Vie En Rose
Chicken or steak? Chicken (I haven’t eaten red meat in years for health reasons)
Cake, cookies, or pie? PIE especially apple!
Favorite junk food? Anything salty but especially salt and vinegar chips.
Favorite thing to do to relax? Reading while drinking a delicious IPA
About the book
What Happens in Denver
by Liz Crowe
Genre: Rom Com
Meet Andi Rigby. She and her husband own a famous bar. Andi can mix a cocktail, change a beer keg, soothe ruffled customers, and drink you under the table. Life is good until the day she finds herself divorced and unemployed. After a suitable period of ice-cream and whiskey infused mourning, she heads to a beer conference in Denver on a mission to rediscover her joy and find a new job.
Between fielding gossip, saving a drunk woman from herself, and dodging a hot but ill-advised boozy hookup, the weekend leads to a few surprises. She ends up employed with an unexpected bonus—a new friend. Oh, and the guy she kissed? Turns out her new job includes selling his brewery's beer. No big deal. Except the bit about him being practically perfect for her at a moment she's determined to focus on her own success.
A story of new friends, fresh starts, and a side order of romance served up with a nice cold pint.
Read it today
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Peek between the pages
“May I join you?”
I opened one eye, already knowing who it was and figuring it for some kind of effed-up karma. “If you must.”
I moved my shoes down to the sidewalk and shifted as far to the left armrest as I could. James Burke plunked himself right in the middle of the thing.
“Do you mind?” I crossed my legs to avoid having our thighs touch. I wasn’t in the mood for flirting or otherwise. I’d just done something great for myself for the first time in over a year and didn’t feel like sharing the victory.
No matter how good-looking said potential victory- sharer might be.
Or how close he was sitting to me.
“Don’t you have a Burke Brothers beer dinner to handle?” He didn’t. I knew, thanks to my new-found stalkerish behavior. I’d discovered the brothers weren’t hosting one this year. Odd. This would have been a great way to showcase their new quality-problem- solved brews to their fellow professionals. But it was their brewery, not mine.
“Nope,” he said, putting his hands behind his head and stretching out his long legs.
“Nice manspreading, dude,” I said in my prissiest voice.
“Nah, not really.” He glanced at me, then bent his knees and opened his legs out to each side, jamming me even farther into my corner. “Now this is nice manspreading.”
Without even thinking about it—and thanks to my three martinis—I twisted around and plopped my legs on his lap. He grinned, grabbed my left foot and dug his knuckle into my arch. I tensed, until my poor battered foot relaxed.
“Oh...my God...yes.” I closed my eyes and let him do what he would, no longer caring that we were making a spectacle of ourselves.
After a few moments, he switched to my other foot. I shivered and sighed again, stretching out like a cat until I realized my hips were practically on his lap.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, shifting away until only my feet were there. He shot me a look that made my face flush hot. “Okay, I’m good. Thanks much.” I rotated and put my feet back on the sidewalk where they belonged.
“My pleasure,” he said, his voice soft and low.
I glared at him. “Don’t flirt with me, pal. I’m not in the mood. And you’re not my type.”
“So quick to judge,” he said, stretching his arms back and his legs out again.
When he closed his eyes, I allowed myself a quick, up-close assessment, which was a bad idea, in my weakened state. I’ve established that the guy could pass for an NFL player with his wingspan, immense shoulders, and ever-so-long legs. His beard was neatly trimmed off his neck and cheeks. The matching dark brown hair was thick and a bit on the long side, which made me have to curl my fingers into fists to keep from touching it.
Oh boy. Where did that come from?
It came from the bottom of your third martini glass, you silly girl.
I jumped to my feet. James opened his eyes, slow and easy, as if knowing I was about to make a panicky bolt for it and figuring he should go slow, to treat me as if I were a rabid animal trapped under his front porch. Forcing myself to relax and smile, because I was in control of this, after all, I picked up my shoes and made a point to look at my phone screen.
“Don’t stare. It’s rude,” I said, my finger poised to call for a ride.
“Can I buy you a beer?”
I sighed and looked at the darkening sky, never more aware of how badly I did want to sit with him, to have a beer and a chat. But I was determined not to develop bad habits, like the one that had landed me with Matt in my post-grad years.
I would not—could not—allow myself to do anything more than drink and enjoy his company, then I’d get my sorry tail back to my hotel and pack. I had a lot of things to do after all. I had a move to plan.
I flinched. I’d been standing here too long, not answering him. My inner polite young lady kicked in. “Sorry. Um, sure. Okay.”
“Don’t get too excited about it.”
I glared at him. “Fine. I won’t. Catch you on the flip side, Jimmy.”
I was a solid fifty steps down the sidewalk before he caught up and fell into step with me. He kept his hands to himself, which I appreciated. I was too jumpy by half and needed my personal space honored. I gave him a mental half-point. He stuck his fingers in his jeans pockets, and we walked a while in comfortable silence.
Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in Central Illinois. She's spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a social media consultant and humane society development director, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and always linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Connect with Liz
thanks so much for having me on your blog, Cherie!ReplyDelete
It's my pleasure!Delete
Fun premise for a story, and I can tell you know your stuff! Cheers to a new release!ReplyDelete
What an engaging story. I wish you the best with it!ReplyDelete
Great way to start the day!ReplyDelete
Thanks everyone, for stopping by!ReplyDelete
Love the excerpt. I'm adding What Happens in Denver to my TBR list.ReplyDelete