Why Are You Here Anyway?

Welcome to the Wench's World--the A2 Beer Wench to be exact. I once owned a brewery. Also once learned a lesson from that! If you've stumbled upon me, cool. What follows may or may not be directly related to real estate, the publishing biz, craft beer, Ann Arbor, or sports, but it sure will be fun and many times profane as the circumstances warrant! Enjoy (or not) at your own risk!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Holding Out for a Hero?

Well, I have got you covered this year, Liz fans, followers & others!

I have four (4) brand new Liz-style heroes that will part of 4 different Kindle Worlds beginning today with MARKING MARIAH, a novella for Susan Stoker's Special Forces Kindle World.

You can only get these books on Amazon ("Kindle" Worlds, duh) but there are a bunch of them for this particular release so I hope you snag Marking Mariah, which is tied to The Love Brothers, my Amazon best-selling family saga/romance series, then a bunch of the other books. They all look amazing!

New York Times Best Selling Author Susan Stoker gave me my first opportunity to write "fan fiction" which has been a total blast, both in the writing of something totally new to me (military romance) but also finding new friends, fans and readers amongst her legion of hard-core fans.

Here's a taste of MARKING MARIAH:
When a severe concussion sustained on a mission in Egypt equals a discharge for one-time soccer super star turned Delta Force IT expert, Terrance “Trigger” O'Leary, he spends half a year drunk, and in more strange beds than even he is willing to admit.
After wandering back home to Lucasville, Kentucky, he’s hired by his old friend, now the principal of the local high school. Honestly believing that his new job as soccer coach and part time bartender will be all he needs to fix himself, he’s determined to leave everything about his old life behind.
But a chance encounter at a karaoke bar turns into a smoking hot hook-up with a woman whose deep mocha skin and hypnotic singing voice turns him inside out. A woman he’s a little surprised to meet again the next day—Mariah Bailey, recent winner of “Singers,” a national talent competition, and the high school’s new music teacher.

When terrifying, inexplicable violence rips the sleepy community apart, Trigger must leap back into action— which forces Mariah to accept his feelings about her, and the fact that even he can’t always save the day.

EXCERPT 1 (Rated R for language):
The smoke filled his lungs like a noxious fog. Panic lit the edges of his consciousness. But he fixated on the voice calling his name—or more precisely his Delta Force nickname.
You’re okay, Terry. Stay calm. This is what you trained for. Don’t panic. Drop below the smoke and crawl. Get behind the desk. Your fellow Operators are all around you.
But something had gone wrong.
Horribly wrong.
“Trigger,” the voice called again in a whisper-yell.
He blinked, but otherwise sat as still as a statue, allowing his mind to clear from the explosion and take in the pertinent details. It had been something like two in the morning. He’d been in the middle of encrypting cell phone conversations, preparing to transfer them via a secure backdoor connection to the satellite before they bounced back to a target computer.
Easy. The computer stuff was his specialty. That and sharp-shooting and hostage negotiation.
Putting a hand over his mouth to stifle the urge to cough, to clear his lungs before the acrid smoke consumed them, he squeezed his eyes shut and counted to twenty until the urge passed. The room remained eerily silent. Or maybe he’d been deafened by the explosion.
“Trigger! Goddamn it, get over here.”
He opened his eyes and flopped over onto his belly, using his arm muscles to tug the rest of him as quietly as possible toward his commanding officer’s voice. A hand closed around one of his biceps and hauled him forward as if he were not a six-foot-five-inch, one-hundred-ninety-five-pound slab of pure muscle. But if anyone could yank him around like a toddler, it would be Keane Bryson, “Ghost” to his Delta Force subordinates and friends.
“Fuck me runnin’,” Ghost muttered under his breath as the two men sat with their backs to the huge metal desk. “What happened?”
“I…I’m not sure,” Trigger said, digging his fingertips into his ears in a desperate attempt to clear them. Ghost’s voice seemed to come from far away, as if from the bottom of a deep well. “I was encrypting and about to shut it down for the night.”
Ghost pinned him with an evil glare. Their makeshift tent city was in the middle of the desert where they’d been dropped, tasked with a simple listen and learn mission near Cairo. They’d been stuck here for going on a week, under strict orders to stay dark—literally—while monitoring and transmitting the chatter from a recently activated terrorist cell in the middle of the nearby, teeming city.
Boring as hell, as far as he was concerned, but vital, as always.
Boring—until tonight when apparently someone or several someones had targeted them directly. That in and of itself was alarming as his Delta Force squadron had never been discovered by any of the whack-ass terrorists they were tasked to surveil or, at times, take down.
It’d been almost a year since his squadron had been called on to do anything that dramatic. Their collective, pent up, testosterone-fueled tedium had hit a breaking point, resulting in some loud, steam-blowing fights and other BS that Ghost had been forced to break up, as recently as mid-day yesterday. But Terry would take the tedium at this point—since he still couldn’t take a full breath and his damn ears were ringing so loud it felt like someone had his noggin between their marching band cymbals.

Excerpt 2: 
“That guy is starin’ straight at you,” Lindee reminded her with a poke to her upper arm. “He’s hot.”
Mariah’s face burned as she sipped her beer—something local, she’d been informed, from The Love Brothers Brewing Company. “That Love family,” Lindee had said with an eye roll as they were served. But she hadn’t clarified herself any further so Mariah hadn’t asked.
In truth, she wasn’t sure she’d made the right decision to come here with these two women, to be on their “karaoke team” or whatever. But she was stuck now. So she sipped and snuck glances at the indeed very hot guy with the military short hair, broad shoulders and nice smile.
“That’s Kieran Love he’s drinkin’ with,” Patty enlightened her.
Mariah sucked in a breath at the wrong time, sending beer down her windpipe. As the two women smacked her back while she spluttered and choked, she couldn’t help but notice the guy, sitting, she now realized, with her new boss—whose back was to their table thank the Lord—studying her, his eyes in a half closed position. His “come hither” look, she figured, not liking him at all in that split second.
Once she had control of herself again, she turned all the way around so her back was to the two men. “The principal, eh?” she asked, wondering how she might escape.
“Yep, sure enough,” Lindee said, giving the two men a frank appraisal. “No idea who that is with him. I’m not from here, though, so I wouldn’t know. Patty is.” She elbowed the other woman at the table. “Who is that tall, dark, ‘n handsome over there eyeballing our karaoke ringer like she was a hot breakfast?”
Patti dug glasses out of her purse, then leaned forward, staring so obviously it made Mariah want to jump up and run out the front door. “Oh, that’s just Terry O’Leary, one of the twins. His daddy’s the bank owner—or whatever he is now that the big Lexington bank bought him out.”
“Rich as God,” Lindee surmised.
“Oh, he was already that. His family had some money, but he married up, big time. His wife, she’s dead now, been that way for a while, she was from serious money—horse farm money that sold out, kinda like Lindsay Love’s did. I told you ‘bout her. She’s mama to that passel of rowdy kids, all of ‘em back around now, raising families and whatnot right here in this old town.”
She squinted over at the men once more, then took off her glasses and picked up her glass of orange juice and vodka. “Yep. That’s Terry all right. He ‘n Kieran Love have been friends since God was a boy. We haven’t seen him around for ages. I heard he’d joined the army, after…” She hesitated and sipped her drink.
“After what? Lord, woman don’t leave us hangin’,” Lindee insisted.
“He was a twin, one a them not identical kinds. He and his brother Quentin were the cutest…my friend dated Quentin in high school. They were soccer players and got scholarships to play somewhere, Ohio maybe? Anyway, the O’Leary’s tried to keep it under wraps but this town is full of gossips so we heard about it.” She nodded and sipped. Lindee snorted and rolled her eyes. Mariah tried not to smile as she snuck another look at the man in question, who was, to her alarm, staring right at her.
“We’re gettin’ old over here Patty,” Lindee said.
Patty leaned forward. The other two women did the same. “He killed himself, up at that college. They found him hanging from something in his dorm room, or maybe the locker room? I don’t know but it sure was awful. Terry dropped out and took off for the Army, like I said. I haven’t seen or heard tell of him since. That was…” She counted on her fingers. “Had to be over eight years ago now.”
“How old is he?” Mariah asked, honestly curious.
“He’d be thirty-three or four I guess.”
The women fell silent. Thankfully, the Karaoke Smackdown started, forcing her to think about what she might be singing, and almost forgetting the man sitting behind her. But it was as if she could feel his gaze boring into the back of her neck. It made her shivery, and horny in a way she thought she’d forgotten.
Then, it was time for her to sing. “Hello,” she told the DJ. He raised an eyebrow, then did a double take when he realized who she was.
“You got it,” he said, queuing up the Adele song.

Check out the killer video trailer courtesy The Book Chick:

AND as a bonus....here is your first peek at LOVE: CLASSIFIED, a Desiree Holt Omega Team Kindle World novella that's releasing right around the corner on Tuesday, August, 2!!

When a spring morning fog shuts down the Detroit Metro airport, Omega Team member Joey Preston is stranded along with thousands of others—including one harried young woman trying to get home to Kentucky.
Paige DiFerrari thanks fate for keeping her on the ground in Detroit, since all she really has waiting for her back home are disapproving parents and a wedding weekend her prettier, more successful, younger sister has planned. Pre-occupied with thoughts of escaping the ordeal completely thanks to the weather, she turns a corner of the crowded airport, gets coffee dumped down her front thanks to Joey, and her life changes forever.
What starts as a trick to convince her parents she has a cute, private security employed boyfriend, ends in a way neither Joey nor Paige expect once they get home and encounter the full force of the DeFerriari family dysfunction in the face of a stressful weekend. Before Joey leaves Kentucky for his next assignment, he must confront his feelings about Paige—the good and the bad—as well as reveal the truth about himself.

AND your exclusive excerpt:
Meet Joey Preston, your 2nd new favorite Hero of 2016!
“You do realize,” the voice on the phone said to Joey, “that we put you on a month’s leave. You don’t have to keep checking in for new assignments. Actually,” the voice continued, “we’d prefer it if you actually take a damn vacation. Consider it a gift. One you’re under strict orders to accept and implement. Got it?”
Joey Preston frowned and slumped farther down in the molded plastic airport seat. His elbow bumped the lady to his left, and she shot him an evil glare that he ignored as he stared down at his civilian-appropriate, unobtrusive, fit-in-anywhere dark jeans and tan work boots. “Do you hear me, Preston? Or do I need to meet you somewhere and beat it into you?”
“Yes, I hear you, sir. No, you don’t have to beat anything into me. I was just . . . I don’t know. I don’t like vacations. I never have.”
The sound of Grey Holden heaving a huge sigh from hundreds of miles away made Joey wince. “I’m sorry, sir. Consider the vacation on board and currently downloading.” He dropped his backpack to the floor in front of him and propped his aching feet on it.
“Go someplace with lots of sun, beer, and hot chicks,” Grey suggested helpfully. Joey grunted by way of reply. “You have to decompress, Joey. You’ve taken on three back-to-back assignments that put you in the line of fire. I can’t have you going into overload on this. We need you sharp. And if I have to remind you of your stay in the hospital—”
“No, you don’t have remind me of anything. I get it. I know you talked them out of making me see a therapist. But shit, Grey . . . I mean, uh, sir, I had that asshole in my grasp, literally, in his kitchen, surrounded by all the fucking kiddie porn and those . . . little girls in the basement.” He groaned and leaned forward on his knees, willing the images out of his brain. “That monster didn’t deserve to draw another breath. I still don’t get why you stopped me from—”
“Enough,” Grey barked so loudly, the two people crammed in on either side of him must have heard it. Joey sat up ramrod straight, his innate, years-honed instincts to obey orders kicking in. “Let it go, Preston. I had to arm wrestle Athena to keep from slapping you in front of a therapist instead of sending you on vacation, so do not—I mean, do not—prove me wrong.”
Joey smiled when he heard Athena Madero, Grey’s partner in the Omega Team, talking in the background. He’d admit it, he had a secret crush on her. No healthy man who liked his women tall, strong and sexy wouldn’t have one. “Give me that fucking phone,” she said. There was a rustling, a few more curses, then Athena’s voice hit his ear. “Get your ass on a beach, with a beer in your hand and a beautiful woman on the chair next to you in the next five hours, Preston, or I will hunt you down, drag you back here, and slap you in front of a psychologist so fast—”
“Point made, Athena, thanks,” he said, shifting from one butt cheek to the other, attempting to find a comfortable position in the torture-worthy chair. “I’m gonna close my eyes and point at the departures board. I’ll let you know where I am, just in case, once I get there. Deal?”
“Deal.” He heard a soft sigh before she continued. “Joey, you know we only want you refreshed and ready for the next assignment. We’re not banishing you from the Team. But even you have to admit that the last one . . . it took something out of you. With good reason. It was God awful. You need a break.”
“Yeah, okay, I got it.” His head pounded with stress at the thought of an entire month to himself, with nothing but the sun’s rising and setting to structure his days. He toyed with the concept of staying where he was in Michigan, renting a remote cabin somewhere in the UP and sleeping for ten or twelve hours a day. God knows he could use that. But the few days he’d spent with his aunt and uncle in their retirement community condo had made every inch of his skin crawl. He loved what was left of his family, but since his parents’ death, he’d kept himself distant from them and visits were awkward. His own doing, he knew. Why he’d even come here, he couldn’t explain to himself.
So here he sat, in the Delta terminal of the Detroit Metro Airport, along with what felt like approximately three quarters of the world’s population, being told to take a vacation by his boss, or else. “Gotta go, Athena. Thanks.” He ended the call before either of them could say anything else.
He spotted a woman with a toddler on her hip, and a pile of carry-on luggage, looking exhausted. Shouldering his backpack, he waved at her to get her attention, then stood so she could take his seat. But before she could gather her stuff, some punk kid with a spray of zits across his nose, earbuds jammed in his ears, and in sore need of a decent haircut, , slid into the vacated space.
“Excuse me,” Joey growled, trying not to lose it. “That’s my seat. I was just stretching.”
The kid stared up at him and didn’t respond. When he looked back down at the computer tablet in his hand, Joey tapped him none to gently on the shoulder, then tugged one of the buds from his ear. Tinny sounds of crappy, profanity-laden rap music made Joey want to throw things. The kid made a bleat of protest, not exactly a recognizable word, and started to stick the thing back in his ear. Joey reached down and lifted the kid up by the front of his thin T-shirt in a matter-of-fact manner, as if he were moving a box out of his way.
“Hey,” the kid blurted. “What the fuck, asshole?”
“Watch your mouth,” Joey said, as calmly as he could manage as he moved the kid a few feet away and encouraged him to take a seat on the floor against a large pillar, where several other people were already sitting and charging their devices. This encouragement involved kicking his feet out from under him, but Joey didn’t let him hurt himself, since he kept his grip on the T-shirt, which allowed him to lower the kid down, more or less gently. “Sit. Stay. Good boy,” he said, holding up a hand and smiling.
“Fuck off, you fascist army prick,” the kid spit out. But Joey kept smiling at him. Using what were no doubt vast powers of deduction that to further antagonize the large, muscular man in the jeans, work boots and Ranger T-shirt could put a crimp in his style, the kid dropped his gaze and slumped over his tablet, still seated on the floor.
He turned to see the people on either side of his former seat giving him thumbs up and grinning. He re-shouldered his pack and motioned for the young woman with the little kid asleep on her shoulder to take the seat. He moved away from the tableau before anyone tried to engage him in conversation. He was not in the mood. Not at all.
His brain boiled with aggravation at his enforced month-long banishment from the only job he’d found he truly loved, that of special agent for the Omega Team—the guys you called in when regular cops were too corrupt or incompetent, or the target was too big for any government agencies to want to dirty their hands over. It used all his years of Army Ranger and Special Ops training but, as a bonus, it actually allowed him some leeway when it came to methodology—all in the name of giving the bad guys what they deserved.
As he pretended to study the outgoing flight board, all the computerized lines went blank. Confused, he turned around to see all the boards had done the same thing. A voice pierced the cacophony of noise around them:
“Ladies and gentlemen, due to severe fog conditions, all flights in and out of Detroit Metro Airport are cancelled for the next three hours. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”
A collective groan rose from the crowd. Joey raised an eyebrow, his mind already working through the problem. He grabbed his phone and sent a quick text to Grey to let him know about the delay and to assure him that once the fog cleared, he’d be making his way to Hawaii on the first available flight—something he could now afford, thanks to the bonus he’d gotten from Omega Team for taking that last assignment. Even though, for many reasons, that one had nearly killed him.
He decided to find some coffee, because one thing he did know was that a good cup of java put almost everything in perspective. Whistling, he headed through the irritated crowd of humanity, the chaos having its usual calming effect on his psyche.

I'll have 2 others releasing this year as well:
LOVE & LAGERS, a Cat Johnson Hot SEAL novella--September 20,2016
LOVE TRIAGE, a Paige Tyler Dallas Fire & Rescue novella--October 13, 2016

Wanna know more about these? AND get a start on my free Real Estate Romance series today? Just sign up for the once-a-month, spam-free-guaranteed Liz Newz here:

I'm pondering a few sports romance Kindle Worlds next....hey! If you leave a comment below suggesting a name for a new Hero and his Heroine, I'll enter you in my Huge August Contest!
Grand Prize: First three print novels in the Love Brothers series SIGNED **
2nd prize: Liz Tote bag with Keychain PLUS audio downloads of Love Garage, Coach Love & Love Brewing!**
3rd prize:  Audio Downloads of all 3 of the first Love Brothers series OR ebook copies of them (winner's choice)!
4th prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card!
**Physical prizes are available in the U.S. ONLY. Audio books, ebooks & gift cards are available internationally.

FINALLY you have exactly 10 days left to get the entire LOVE BROTHERS SERIES for just $3.00 on SMASHWORDS!
Go to my author page and click on each book. 
Coach Love & Love Brewing are only $1.50 each.
Just use the "coupon code" indicated on each book's page at check out.
BONUS: FIreBrew, my unique take on a firefigther romance is also free!
Sale ends: July 31, 2016

Here's a pic of all the titles in today's Susan Stoker Special Forces Kindle World Release!!!

Cheers and happy reading ya'll!