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, August 25, 2016

An Open Letter to Shonda Rhimes

Ok, so there is this show.... you might have heard of it...it's called:

Grey's Anatomy.

I was always aware of it. I mean the whole "McDreamy" v. "McSteamy" thing was practically required pop culture reading for a period of time, was it not?

But I'm not a huge fan of TV series watching. Until a little something came along...called "NETFLIX."

"NETFLIX" allows you to watch binge consume TV shows in a way that makes eating an entire takeout pepperoni pizza and downing a bottle of cheap wine by yourself seem healthy.

Not that I've done this.

Ok. I have.

A lot.

But I digress.

I have watched a bunch of shows a few years too late. Until recently the most noteworthy obsession I had was with something called "Breaking Bad." I flipping could NOT stop watching that train wreck. The twisted author in me adored the way the writers would wring those characters out, hang them on the clothesline, give them a hard whap on the ass with a broom, then set them back down to resume their lives in a way that gave many mortal viewers the vapors. I am still 100% OBSESSED with the Jessie Pinkman character and the adorable actor who plays him. I was recently thrilled to discover his voice on another NETFLIX obsession of mine: BoJack Horseman. But that is for another post.

After my Breaking Bad obsession unhealthy binge experience, I sort of swore off that sort of thing. I mean, I was like a zombie--no worse than a zombie--staggering around, grabbing total strangers by the collar and asking them if they really (really) thought that Skyler was that much of a bitch,  was Marie OCD about the color purple, and if Walt was justified killing people by continuing to claim it was "for the family?"

And they were all...."lady, that was, like, seven years ago!"

I mean I get like that when I'm in the middle of writing too but this was ... eerie.

So I went a solid year and a half declaring myself free of the TV show binge thing. I watched movies and yes, I did swallow an entire season of House of Cards in one disgusting bolus but you are SUPPOSED to watch it that way. Geez.

Until this summer and Grey's Anatomy. My youngest, the afore and oft-mentioned Soccer Wenchling began this one after she watched all of The Office and Parks & Rec, 2 shows I half paid attention to as background noise. But Grey's....I'll admit to being a "doctor procedural junkie." I cut my teeth on that show "Emergency" ("ringers and lactate" all over the place on that one!) and of course the George Clooney show, a.k.a. "e.r."

But as soon as the medical background noise caught my ear on this one, I figured, what the hell. It's summer. I could use a brain rest.

I can safely say that I dropped into that world and barely emerged. I watched 12 entire seasons (#elevenyearstoolate) over the course of 2.5 months. I think I could easily snip an aneurysm while doing a liver transplant and 3-D printing an artificial heart right now, no sweat.

All in all, I was enthralled and obsessed yet again. But something about it bugged me from time to time. I mean, I have caught many rashes of shit over writing books where in the characters f*ck, cheat on each other, get back together and die. And really, were I to write my own two sentence NETFLIX blurb for this show it would be exactly that: Watch a chick with a lisp move from raw rookie intern to bossy-pants bitchy attending on show where everyone is f*cking everyone else, or cheating on their significant others, or dying.

Do not get me wrong. I LOVED it. Well, okay most of it. Which leads me to the point of this blog.

Dear Shonda Rhimes,

thank you so very (very) much for creating the Grey's Anatomy series. I was constantly entertained by the fast-moving medical drama surrounding all the f*cking, cheating and dying. Also, well done on creating such an ingrained iconoclast name and locale with all those location-setting shots ("Grey's" and "Seattle"). There was an entire kingdom of marginal erotic fiction built on those easily recognizable two things. I hope you got a cut of it.

But no, really, I was entertained. I write that way too. We should talk. But I have a top ten list of things that bugged the crap out of me or that I loved (sometimes one and the same. See: "Christina Yang.") throughout my Summer of Grey's I want to share with you:

Liz's Top Ten Things that Consistently Bugged the Crap Out of Her/She Loved about Grey's Anatomy:

10. Get Botox for Owen Hunt. And while you're at it, write him a storyline where he is NOT getting his adorable, ginger, funky forehead-ed self shafted by some chick. Gawd. But seriously he is at his best when he's being confounded and bamboozled by the chicks in his life, am I right? 

9.  Surely amongst all breathtakingly HOT doctor/firefighter lesbians in Seattle there are two hot doctor/nurse/EMT dudes who might feature as a couple too?

8.  Speaking of lesbians: Arizona lost her leg, yes (and she screamed so loud Christina had to yell at her) but she was really beyond the pale, selfish speaking---UNTIL (until...) you made her give Sophia back. Well played. Miz Rhimes. Well played.

7.  Christina. Christina. Christina. I loved her. I hated her. I wanted to be her. I wanted to throw her out a window. I think it could have been "Yang's Anatomy" for all that. Honestly. I liked her better than Meredith.

6. Honestly, if these people ACTUALLY ATE as much as they pretended to eat, they would all (for the most part with a few notable, normally-sized exceptions and thank you for that) be bulimic. Oh. Wait. Maybe they are.

5.  Oh Lord help any patient an intern/resident/attending would fall for. Seriously it was (a somewhat predictable) Kiss Of Death. The hot guy from That Seventies Show and poor, poor, pitiful Stephanie Edwards being the most brutal of these predictable deaths. But I'll add this photo because I can't even on how annoying THAT storyline was....seriously. 

4.  MATTHEW THE HOT, VIRGINAL PARAMEDIC WITH THE KILLER PROPOSAL SKILLS.... WHAT THE EVER LOVING F*CK WAS THAT ABOUT???????? I am sorry April but you are goin' to HELL for that one. You didn't deserve a sick, dead baby but having a C-section without pain meds later? Maybe. Deal with it.

3.  I value and appreciate the legitimate dilemma you presented when Derek was ready to head to Washington at the bloody personal behest of the President of the United State of America to run his Generic Brain Research Thing. I mean, yeah, all of Meredith's "friends" (one of whom left for f*cking ZURICH) were there. Her "house" was there--who owns that house anyway? That whole Karev buying it storyline was a dead end. Her "job" was there. But I have a news flash: Her "job" at George Mason or wherever it was being arranged for her would be great. Her new life in D.C. would rival the soggy Seattle existence. And her whining about it was the most grating thing I have ever experienced in my life. Not to say she deserved losing McDreamy but, um, darlin' you looked that gift horse right in the damn mouth and he spit that semi truck right back at you.

2.  NO ONE KISSES BY GRABBING PEOPLE FACES THE WAY PEOPLE IN THIS SHOW DO. I write romance and people kiss a lot and I will never, ever, ever, EVER forget an editor saying to me:
"This guy 'cradles her face in his hands' WAY too much."  Seriously. There is too much fakey, cheesy face cradling going on at this hospital.

1. Death. Death. And more Death. Of all the horrific deaths--of children, of moms, of dads, of brothers, sisters and lovers that goes on in a busy, Level 1 Trauma facility--there was one that nearly made me stop watching. And it wasn't McSteamy (although I am a fairly reliable plot predictor and I did NOT see that coming. But I'll admit to a "good riddance" feeling to Lexi. She annoyed me. What? Sue me.) It was George O'Malley. Adorable, sick-crush-on-Meredith-rush-into-marraige-with-a-lesbian-lose-your-dad-in-your-hospital George! That was one episode that I will give the highest possible compliment one writer can give another: I wish I'd written it. It killed me. Dead.

And I have not even touched on my Official Favorite Characters:

1. Christina Mother-f*cking Yang (I hear she's coming BACK! Yay! Legit cynical selfishness returns!)
2. Alex Karev. God. He rocks. Jo does not deserve him.
3. Miranda Bailey. I wish she were my friend/sister/mom/boss
4. Owen Hunt. 'Nuff Said.
5. Callie Torrez although I know she's riding off into the sunset with that DEREK KILLER chick....

So, if someone wants to get Shonda on the phone for me, I have a bunch of books we should talk about that would make killer "Shonda And Liz Land" TV shows!

I am feeling bereft now that I don't have the comfort of my Grey+Sloane Memorial Family every night. And I understand I must WAIT like a PEASANT to watch it WEEK TO WEEK starting this fall (Gawd). So what's next? I'm thinking......Scandal. (but I see she hasn't let go of the "hands on the face kissing thing" yet. And yeah: F*cking. Cheating. Death. SIGN ME UP!!)

Love ya, LizLand Fans and others.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Real Sweetheart of a Hero

Welcome to Kindle World Release Day #2!!

Allow me to introduce you to Joey Preston, Omega Team member, and super sweetheart of a hero in LOVE: CLASSIFIED,  a Desiree Holt Omega Team Kindle World Novella.

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. Preoccupied 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 DiFerrari 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.

“You do realize,” the voice on the phone said to Joey, “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. 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 sunshine, 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 to 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 of 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 ithe had a secret crush on her. No healthy man who liked his women tall, strong, and sexy could not have a crush on her.
“Give me that fucking phone,” she said. There was a rustling, a few more curses, and 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 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 Michigan’ Upper Peninsula and sleeping for ten or twelve hours a day. God knows he could use it. 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 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 said, trying not to lose it. “That’s my seat. I was just stretching.”
The kid stared up at him in silence. When he looked back down at the computer tablet in his hand, Joey tapped him none too 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. 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 get hurt 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 spat 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 Army 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 a 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 canceled 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 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.

Ya know....this Joey kid is something pretty damn special. I like him and Paige so much I may just write them another book!

And remember, authors Love reviews!

Check out the other 4 Omega Team world releases today:

AND don't miss this killer trailer....courtesy The Book Chick Blog!

BONUS! Free books from a bunch of authors in another Kindle World I'm participating in: Dallas Fire & Rescue. You'll all have a chance to choose from Three Different Genres... Contemporary, PNR, and Historical Romance
How do you get free books? Simple, you just need to sign up for the newsletter of one of the fabulous Authors, or all of them. It's totally up to you! You are in control of your ever-growing, TBR pile! Please click the links below, one by one. You can pick more than one, and it will take you to a rafflecopter where you can click on the link of the Author(s) Newsletter.
Once you sign up, said wonderful author(s) will contact you via email, and you'll receive an e-copy of the book they are giving away.
           This promotion will end on August 19th. 

Sign me up for:




         Woo Hoo! Woo Hoo! Woo .....ok you get the idea......FREE BOOKS!

Ok now, go grab your copy of LOVE: Classified. I double dog DARE you not to fall hard for Joey Preston!!!