How To Say “The End?”
The Tap Room—A Brewing Passion Novella
Release date: September 30. 2011
It began with a series of short stories about the three owners of the Winter Street Brewing Company, a newly successful craft microbrewery in a mid west college town. Trent Franklin, the founder and already successful restaurateur and his friend Owen Maxwell have asked Erin Brady, an old friend of Trent’s to take their company to the next level with her marketing and public relations expertise. It works. Their company grows by leaps and bounds during the six years prior and now they are on the cusp of expansion and making tough decisions about where to go next.
But Erin’s life seems to spiral downward in spite of her successes with the brewery. Having recently discovered that her husband of twenty years, Bradley Jefferson III has channeled his frustrations with Erin’s new busy life into a young mistress, she now faces the reality of one business partner (Owen) who has nurtured an obsession with her from the beginning and wants to prove he can fill the void in her life.
Of course, expansion requires New Staff. Enter Jeff Thornton, one of the hottest young commodities on the brewery market—a legitimate “Brew Master” having trained in Germany and as second brewer for a large brewery in California. He may solve their production dilemmas with his expertise but he is going to throw a serious cog in the machine of Erin’s heart. Jeff’s hotness extends beyond brewing. He’s a licensed personal trainer and physical therapist whose first weekend with Erin at a beer festival becomes something much more than just work (Jockey Box)—and is complicated by the fact that Owen has chosen that moment to surprise her with his own confessions.
And then there is Landon Hannover, a craft beer rock star, writer and consultant who invites Erin out to a conference on the West coast, and has more than just simple consultation in mind when they come face to face.
Whew—lucky gal? Maybe not. Trying to hold together a small business is difficult enough, but add in all the drama that she has seemingly elicited amongst her partners and employees and Erin’s world gets more complex by the minute. When Bradley re-emerges, contrite and with his usual Super Alpha charm, she is knocked for yet another loop. Luckily, in the meantime, Trent, her old friend and other business partner remains one of Erin’s strongest and most trusted friends through her journey of self-discovery. By the time the Winter Street Brewing Company is to receive an award as “Most Promising New Start Up” from Inc. Magazine, Erin must make a choice.
The thing is: YOU (the reader) will make the choice for her.
Once all of Erin’s men are introduced, at a pivotal moment, she realizes she must choose. At that point, readers will choose path 1, 2, or three and follow the story to the end depending on which man they think is right for her. Of course, each path has its own challenges, twists, turns and steaminess and by the end you may be as torn as she is. But each man has a distinct personality, pluses and minuses, and I believe readers will feel strongly about one or the other by the time the choice must be made.
Writing this project was one of the hardest things I’ve done yet as an author. I began the book knowing what man Erin would end with. But when my publisher approached me about pursuing it as a “choose your adventure” style format I jumped on board, not fully realizing how difficult it might be to create plot lines for characters I did not think belonged together. However, by the time I typed “The End” I will admit, I could see her making a different choice. Talk about exercising that writing muscle! It was exhausting and exhilarating and trust me when I say edits are excruciating, they are. But I can’t wait for everyone to jump into her life and help her sort it ou.
The three short stories:
Are all available at www.breathlesspress.org OR at Goodreads, Amazon and ARe (search by author name: Liz Crowe)
I blog at:
www.a2beerwench.com AND every Friday (“Liz’s F#@!ing Fridays”) at
Cheers! Drink Craft Beer!