Thursday, May 16, 2024

A neighborly visit from Liz a special giveaway

We are pleased to welcome Liz Crowe to CLC today. Her latest novel, Cul-de-Sac, is a domestic suspense that you won't want to miss! It's hitting shelves in about a month from now. We had a great time chatting with her and enjoyed reading her answers to our questions. We hope you will enjoy them too. Liz has one signed copy, along with a $50 Amazon gift card, to share with a lucky reader!

Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in South Carolina. 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 digital marketing and fundraising consultant, in addition to being an award-winning author.

The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Her favorite things to do when she’s not scrolling social media for cute animal videos is walk her dogs, cuddle her cats, and watch her favorite sports teams while scrolling social media for cute animal videos.

Visit Liz online:
Website * Facebook * Instagram

Welcome to Connelly Court. A secluded, old money neighborhood, harboring a web of desires and deceit behind pristine facades and manicured lawns, where the lives of a group of neighbors, bound by their shared secrets and unconventional lifestyle, are about to unravel.

Michael and Amelia Ross move into their dream home, and get drawn into the seductive allure. But their house once belonged to a family whose lives were seemingly ruined by their participation, which leads Amelia to question everything about her new-found friends. Suspicions run rampant as the close-knit group turns on each other. Lies, betrayals, and hidden agendas are revealed, ripping apart the fabric that once bound the group together.

Cul-de-Sac is a dark tale of marriage, friendship, desire, and betrayal, where nothing is as it seems, and the truth may be more shocking than anyone could have imagined. Discover the twisted secrets of Connelly Court in this chilling domestic suspense novel that will leave you questioning just how well you truly know—or should know—your neighbors. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is something you learned from writing your previous novels that you applied to Cul-de-Sac?
I’ve got 30 romance novels (+/-) under my belt and in my backlist in various forms of “still available” and “about to be available again.” One of the most important things I’ve learned from my experiences in the romance genre is that relationships drive story. Character rules over plot. The characters ARE the plot—their lives, their histories, their traumas and daily dramas. I love creating stories like that…hence the massive backlist, I guess.

It allowed me to approach my first suspense/thriller project from a “character rules” perspective. Mind you, the first iteration(s) of this book were not exactly what you’d call great, at least from a thriller/suspense genre rules standpoint. Yes, there are rules in all genres, including thrillers and they are on the opposite end of the spectrum from what I like to write. PLOT drives things. The story is the story, not the characters and their various successes and failures and messy nonsense.

So I worked with a manuscript developer I trust who had me watch a bunch of movies, and read a bunch more books, none of which was a hardship for me. And with this help, plus all that research, I was able to let the plot be the driver, but at the same time, I allowed my characters set up the plot in ways that a lot of thriller/suspense novels don’t. 

Learning is all I do, every time I write a new book, whether it’s the research I’ll do for a romance, or in this case, a careful picking apart of my first iteration of Cul-de-Sac to formulate it into a more organized, thriller-style set of plot beats….also known as an “outline” which was my first ever use of one. 

What is one thing you would tell the debut novelist version of yourself?
To give yourself some grace, some space to learn and grow, and never trust anyone offering to do something for you that seems like it will only benefit you, not them.

Yes, I’ve been burned, but that’s okay. I learned from that experience the same way I learn something new every time I have a book edited or critiqued or reviewed. 

I’d also say that the aphorism: It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon is something to take pretty seriously. To win a marathon you can’t just stop in the middle, throw up your hands and say “This is too hard. I quit.” Then hope that you can simply jump back in at that same point along the course and expect things to be still waiting for you to return without changing while you gone. It’s not to say that I recommend never taking a break because this can be a brutal job on your ego, emotions, and psyche. I’d just say to newbie Liz: It’s a Marathon. Bring water and snacks, and expect it to last about as long as you’d think it will last, but don’t give up in the middle if you can help it. Stick it out and you’ll make it, at least to a point where you feel like you’ve accomplished something.

If Cul-de-Sac were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Oh that’s easy. I tend to write with people in mind or sometimes even with cut outs of movie stars or models for my characters stuck around my work area so…here we go:

Amelia Ross: Ana Taylor Joy
Michael Ross: LaKeith Stanfield

Melissa Murphy: Kaley Cuoco
Ryan Murphy:  Ryan Gosling

Cassie LeBlanc: Florence Pugh
Barrett LeBlanc: Matthew McConaughey

Janice Cooper: Allison Janney
Allen Cooper: George Clooney

Emily Arya: Elizabeth Olsen
Sai Arya: Maulik Pancholy

It would be a star-studded affair, without a doubt.

If your life was a TV series, which celebrity would you want to narrate it?
That would be a tie between Meryl Streep and Tina Fey and I think Tina would win the arm wrestling contest for it.

If we were to visit you right now, what are some places you would take us to see?
I’m in Greenville, South Carolina, which is the “Upstate” of SC, which is close to a lot of things, including Atlanta GA and Charlotte NC. But here in Greenville we would definitely head to the Swamp Rabbit CafĂ© for coffee and breakfast, take a short walk along the Swamp Rabbit Trail into downtown GVL to check out the Falls at the Reedy and the Liberty Bridge before we dip into one of my fav French style cafes for lunch. Then we might hop in the car and head to Asheville NC, about an hour away to go to some of my favorite breweries like Hi Wire and Wicked Weed.

What is the last movie you saw that you would recommend?
Like many of you, I reserve the actual “going to the movies” thing for special occasions and stream most of my entertainment these days. But the last two movies I saw at the theater were Barbie and Dune 2 and I can’t recommend either of them loudly enough.

I’ll also throw in a plug for a couple of shows I loved recently, Resident Alien on Netflix, Shogun on Hulu/FX, Man in Full (Jeff Daniels was totally amazing in it) on Netflix, and I just did a rewatch of Deadwood (HBO/Max), one of my all-time favs.

Thanks to Liz for visiting with us and for sharing her book and a gift card with our readers. Thanks to Author Marketing Experts for arranging this interview.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends May 21st at midnight EST.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.

Listen to these books on Speechify!


TinaB said...

Sounds like a great read!! Thanks for the chance to win!

Jeanna said...

we used to have a neighbor that just did not care about their home. They would have abandoned vehicles and were constantly "building" additions along our privacy fence.

Jess R said...

I used to have a neighbor who stood at her window and watched all the happenings in the neighborhood, we called her Nosy Nancy. She didn't really bother anyone, but it was comical to see her standing in her window.

Rita Wray said...

I had a rabbit that would run around my backyard. The neighbor would let her cat out and it would jump the fence to attack my rabbit. I told her about it and she said I shouldn't let my rabbit in the yard. I was so angry. Her husband came over and apologized for his wife's stupidity.

traveler said...

A neighbor whose 3 dogs barked continuously. Arrogant and inconsiderate.

Mary C said...

I live in a townhouse complex. The neighbor's children were always leaving their toys and bikes in the pathways. Politely requested that the children keep their toys and bikes on the patio or grass and not block the pathways. The
landlord got involved when other neighbors complained.

Toni Laliberte said...

I've never really had any difficult neighbors, thank God, but I do live next door to a doggy daycare and it can get quite noisy, especially on a nice day.

Amy said...

Apartment neighbors consistently not caring about how loud they are at all times of the day.

Amy said...

Apartment neighbors consistently not caring about how loud they are at all times of the day.

Susan Smith said...

We had a neighbor who's dog would dig under our fence and I kept having to fill up the hole he dug. I told my neighbor what his dog was doing but he didn't seem to care.

PC IT Back said...

We have a neighbor with 3 dogs that bark all the time and one is a rag doll and a nasty little turd. Should spray them with a hole, but I did at least move something over to cover fence and all. Not sure which I cant stand more babies crying all the time or dogs yapping way too much.

diannekc said...

I've had the same neighbors for years and everyone in the neighborhood gets along.

bn100 said...


David Hollingsworth said...

We have neighbors with very noisy and annoying kids.

clc408 said...

No problems at all with my neighbors, they're great!

Mary Preston said...

Loud music blaring through the apartment complex.

Michael Law said...

I had a neighbor that stomped the floor above me for music being played. I ended up moving out.

Burma Turner said...

I had neighbors who would steal our kids toys if we left them out.

Suburban prep said...

Living in an attached unit (condo) there are neighbors on both sides. But only one side is of issue. Play music at all hours of the night sometimes.

LV said...

I had a crazy neighbor who reported my yard for xeriscaping. She hated the cactus in the middle. The county guy just laughed, but for some reason came back 4 times. Ugh. What a hassle because your neighbor is anti-cactus.

Anita Yancey said...

We once had a neighbor who broke into our house while we were on vacation and stole the food from our freezer.

Ann Fantom said...

We have a neighbor that thinks that everyone gets up at 4:30AM and doesn't think anything about running power tools before 6:30AM

abfantom at yahoo dot com

Jessica said...

I used to have a neighbor that played loud annoying! Thankfully they have moved away.

Jamie N. said...

My neighbor bought a junk car to park in front her her house just so I couldn't park there (I had been parking there for years before she moved in)

Brad Marquis said...

My neighbor complains about everything!

Deborah Wellenstein said...

I've had pretty great neighbors. I think we were the difficult neighbors!

Xia Lee said...

I had a neighbor that was anti-social

Nancy P said...

Typical nosy neighbor who bombards you with gossip & doesn't understand boundaries. I completely ignore him now or otherwise he would be at front door every day like we never covered this.

freakdujour said...

You remember Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation? We had neighbors across the street EXACTLY like that for years, until blessedly they moved away a few months ago. We're talking RV parked in the yard, No Trespassing signs stapled to the trees, car parts everywhere, etc.

billwinsbig said...

Had a neighbor boy that was always stealing my bike

Lindsey said...

I had a neighbor that was snotty and rude, who was also my co-worker, so I felt like I could never escape her.

miriama said...

We had a neighbor that had parties all the time and we live in a duplex so you heard everything. There were lots of people in and out all the time; we suspected drug dealing. We had our car broken into and were sure it was their friends since we live on a dead end street.

Betty Curran said...

I only had a problem with one neighbor who complained about everything. But I found out she was terminally ill so I didn't let the complaints bother me.