I am so excited because today I convinced two of my favorite romance authors, Desiree Holt and Liz Crowe, to appear on N. N. Light’s Book Heaven for an interview. They both sat down with me and let me tell you, you’re going to love their insight into writing, publishing, and marketing, plus some fun personal facts, too. So, grab your favorite beverage and join us. Desiree and Liz, take it away:
What is your writing process?
DES: My characters and the theme come to me first so I develop details character profiles and create the plot from there. I write during the day and make notes at night.
LIZ: Characters and conflict (and usually setting) first. Then I start on page one and go from there. No outlining or other plotting. When I hit a snag, I go back and make any necessary changes.
What book do you wish you could have written?
DES: Cry No More by Linda Howard.
LIZ: The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood, with Made for Love by Alissa Nutting a darn close second.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
DES: Linda Howard, Allison Brennan, Marie Force
LIZ: Margaret Atwood, Alissa Nutting, Desiree Holt (no lie, why do you think I was dying to write with her!)
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
DES: Winning the Holt Medallion for Joy Ride and appearing on CBS Sunday Morning.
LIZ: I have to say every time I get a 4 star or better review it makes me glow. However, recently I felt pretty accomplished when Desiree agreed to write this book with me!
Have you always liked to write?
DES: Yes. Even when I was very very young.
LIZ: No, although I did a fair bit of it in college and beyond for public relations and marketing. I am a voracious and super-fast reader, since my mom used me as her master’s degree guinea pig and taught me to read when I was four years old using Montessori methods. This also make me an atrocious speller.
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
DES: Sports reporter. I love it. I was the first female sports reporter for the (University of) Michigan Daily.
LIZ: Dream job? Press secretary for a government executive. I love to manage things like people and the message.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
DES and LIZ: Pantser.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
DES: Editing, hands down!
LIZ: the last moment—when the book releases into the world!
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any)?
DES: No, I have written 274 books and novellas, although many of them are not currently available. I think I have 167 active titles.
LIZ: No, I have 57 books and novellas, not all of which are available. I have 37 active titles.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
DES: Book #3 in the Galaxy Series, Book #5 in the Protecting Series and Book #7 in Heroes Rising.
LIZ: Books#9 in the Stewart Realty series (BACKUP OFFER), book 4 in the Detroit Sports Network series (G.O.A.T.), and an as-yet unnamed psychological thriller.
Do you write naked?
Des: Nope although it sounds like fun!
What is your biggest failure?
LIZ: gaining and then losing an agent.
What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?
Des: I really like that dress on you.
Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Des: No, but it might have helped me in some of my books if I had!
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Des: No. I’m a coward!
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
LIZ: I was arrested by the Turkish Gendarme once. It’s kind of a long story, but I cursed and yelled and scared them a lot. But they made me go with them anyway because I didn’t have my passport at a place where I guess I was supposed to have it.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
DES: No nicotine, no booze, but I love cookies.
LIZ: I founded a brewery several years ago and sold beer and wine for a while and now I write a booze column for a magazine. My alcohol tolerance is embarrassingly high.
What is your biggest fear?
DES: Doing something to hurt someone.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
DES: She loved people and they loved her.
LIZ: If you didn’t get to have a drink with her, that is your loss.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
LIZ: The power to eliminate prejudice and hate and ignorance. And my name would be “EQUALITY WOMAN!”
What secret talents do you have?
LIZ: I can play some piano, but like to think I’m a class-A kid wrangler since I raised my 3 in 4 different counties while they were small.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Liz: Spoiled rotten housecat because, have you seen a spoiled rotten housecat??
What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?
Des: Sky dive and ride in a hot air v=balloon.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
LIZ: Only emotional ones, lol.
What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
Des: I have romantic dreams that I hope stay with me for my stories.
LIZ: I’ve been taking melatonin since 2020 to help me relax and sleep and those are some of the craziest dreams I have ever had. Extraordinarily vivid and reality-based, a lot of it from my days as a brewery owner/bar manager/beer wrangler.
A great big round of applause to Des and Liz for the great interview and for sharing a little bit of yourselves. Readers, please scroll down to see their new release. I personally cannot wait to read it.
Title: Numbers Game
Authors: Liz Crowe & Desiree Holt
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Former pro football player and coach Duncan "Hatch" Hatcher fumbled his career and marriage. Now divorced and ready to tackle his future, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as coach of his college alma mater's football team. But how can he turn the team's losing streak around and keep the secret of his downfall buried when the school agrees to a documentary that will allow a lovely journalist to dig her way into his past...and into his heart?
Olivia Grant's ex-husband almost wrecked her journalism career while he definitely did a number on her self-esteem. The documentary on Duncan Hatcher is the perfect way to rebuild both. As a freshman in college, she'd had a crush on the senior football hero, but he hadn't known she existed. She never expects the sparks that fly between them as they work on the project nor the struggles they must face if they both want to win.
Since we wrote in alternating points of view (Des had Olivia’s I had Hatch’s) I’ve got 2 of them, one from each POV:
The air between them vibrated with the electricity sparking back and forth. By the time he paid the check and they left the restaurant, every pulse in her body pounded, her breasts ached, and her teeny tiny thong was soaked. She wanted to hurry home and take a cold shower before she did something really stupid.
In the truck, he turned on the radio and found a station playing oldies rock music that he tuned low. They rode in a silence that was more electric than uncomfortable, especially when he reached over and took her hand in his, giving it a gentle squeeze. When they reached her townhouse, he again lifted her from the cab and walked her to the door, holding her hand. When she had the door open, he turned her to face him and studied her face for a long time. She waited, wondering if she had the willpower not to cross that line from professional to personal and how much damage she’d do if she did.
“You have to be the sexiest sports reporter I’ve ever met. I would really like to kiss you. Would that be okay with you?”
She should have turned away, but she couldn’t find the willpower. The kiss was soft and gentle, a mere brush of lips, a touch of flesh. Then it was over, but she wanted more. A lot more. She could feel this spinning out of control, and she was powerless to stop it.
“If you invite me in, I’m not going to turn you down.”
Hatch winced at the memory of how goofy he must have sounded to the lovely woman he was going to be having a fair bit of contact with this season. Olivia Grant was, without a doubt, beautiful, not to mention sexy as hell. She was a natural reporter, putting him at ease, even in the face of his high-school-ish reaction to her at first. But dear Lord, the crap he’d said? That shit about her being “better than she thought” at the race? And “looking for a foot in the door”? He’d sounded about as slick as the grandpas he’d been named for.
He groaned and pressed his forehead to the leather blotter on his new desk. After his divorce, he’d made a point not to notice women, something that was a bit of a self-imposed penalty. But there was no not noticing Olivia. Her soft, dark blonde hair that kept dropping over one of her deep green eyes as she’d look down at her notes, then back up at him. That smile, and those full, barely lip-sticked lips. And there was no denying she had a body that would be hard to shake out of his brain. Scott had told him she used to play soccer here, a few years behind him as an undergrad. How he’d not known her… Granted, he hadn’t been a big partier then, kept mostly to himself and his close group of friends and, as always, focused on the game.
But damn. He’d missed out on something then, without a doubt. He felt his face flush red and his entire body begin to react in ways that didn’t really serve him well as a fully grown man, with plenty of experience under his belt, so to speak.
Thankfully, she’d left before he could embarrass himself any more.
Home. Shower. Beer. Stare at a string of old movies on the giant television screen. Anything to get the lovely Olivia Grant and all her many attributes out of his head. She was, after all, the media. And everyone knew how he felt about the media.
It was get a grip time—on all parts of himself.
This was his chance at redemption. The opportunity was a godsend, considering the sorry state he’d left his life in on the west coast, and he didn’t intend to do anything to screw it up. He couldn’t afford to get distracted by a single thing. But how the hell was he going to do that when Olivia Grant might prove to be the biggest distraction of all?
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)
Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/NumbersGame
Desiree Holt bio:
USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and contemporary on a variety of heat levels up to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.
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Liz Crowe bio:
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.