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Part One

Welcome, dear and gentle reader and devoted reviewer of books.

I'm Liz. I write books. I also read a fair few and also write reviews, unless I hate a book and then I typically just set it aside and let the author keep laughing at those of us who bought it all the way to their giant bank account.

But I also am a Beer Wench. What that means to you, sweetie, is this: I am gonna take off my Nice Reviewer Hat exactly once a month and stop reading all those annoying "helpful" posts about "ignoring the trolls" and "not feeding them" or whatever the hell you do with jerks who wish they'd written a book and take it out on you by being assholes on your goodreads page.



Lost the train there for a second.

Ok, so, by way of example, I'm gonna take a few books I have enjoyed and read their 1 and 2-star reviews, and respond with my own either dissection of said review or counter it with my own, much more positive one, with my BEER GOGGLES firmly in place.

Reviews, for an author are such a pain in the ass. I mean, let's be honest. You want them all to rave. But the bottom line is no matter what you write, There Will Be Haters.

So I'm gonna take a look at some of the more ridiculous ones (subjectively speaking), strap on my Beer Goggles and make some poor author's day.


I'll start today with a Big Time Author Novel, "What Alice Forgot," by Lianne Moriarty. It's One of THOSE, about to be a movie, with a Big Girl Publisher…the usual. But I loved it. So I went and found this review:
"Everyone was happy and life was perfect at the end of the book. That's It. If that's what you care about, then this is the perfect book for you, no loose ends, no unhappiness, no remembrance of the heartache or pain the book was supposed to be based on. It's cardboard characters with a cardboard life. (P.S. Harlequin Books can give you the same type of story, and they're cheaper.)"

Liz's Beer Goggle Review:

First of all, let me start by saying this person obviously read some OTHER book and mistakenly wrote this review on this page. It is, hands down, one of THE most honestly rendered depictions of vampire-like friendships between women, frustration with a stagnant marriage, and a woman's psychotic break when a friend who is sort of, not really, a friend is killed by a freak accident, leaving her dangling, emotionally speaking. I despise cardboard characters. These were flesh and blood and maybe they used sentences too long or something for this particular reviewer.

Harlequin? Seriously? Go read one, lady and leave the Big Girl Books to the rest of us.

There, see? Wasn't that FUN?

So, if you know I've read and enjoyed your book, or a book you loved, and can toss me a really ridiculously bad review (not a legit one, those exist) shoot me an email and I'll take it under consideration for the October Edition of: BEER GOGGLE BOOK REVIEWS!
Help spread the word, and pass the craft beer with a tweet:

Liz's Beer Goggle Reviews. Strapping on realism in the world of trolls and haters! #BGBR

Editorial note: If you are the person who WROTE the review above, be sure and check your ego at the bloggy door. We are allowed to disagree with each other, literarily speaking.

Cheers y'all

Heads up! GOOD FAITH is on sale for just .99. 'Tis a stand along 500+ page novel within the best selling Stewart Realty series. Get yours now! I hit a particular sales target and you get a sequel.
Links below are, as we say, Live.

by Sarah Ballance



Her past is back to haunt her—and this time, it’s got a gun.

When Gage Lawton finds his brother shot to death on his back porch, every shred of evidence points to one person: Gage’s ex-lover, Riley Beckett. The only gun in town that fires a bullet of that caliber belongs to her.

Certain the shooting is payback for his part in the loss of her parents, he abandons his promise to stay out of her life and confronts her, his rage backed up with a revolver. Yet when she steps through the door, all thoughts of revenge burn to ashes.

A year after Riley unwillingly walked away from Gage, she enters her home to find him sitting in the dark, gun pointed at her head. One look into those achingly familiar blue eyes reminds her how wrong she was to let him go. But now there’s more standing between them than their heated past.

A twist of fate—and a hail of sniper bullets—puts them in the cross hairs of a killer, leaving Riley with just two slim options: trust her greatest betrayer, or face a murderer alone.

This book has been previously published.

Warning: Prepare to get caught in a crossfire of profanity, danger, and desire. Intense violence may trigger the desire to wear body armor…and take it off. Very, very slowly.



“Gage?” Her voice broke on the single syllable. Riley’s grip on the keys tightened, her blood raging hot and cold all at once.

A creak sounded from the corner chair. Her eyes refused to adjust in the darkness, but not even the faint light kept the blond streaks in his russet hair from giving him away. Like rays of sunshine, she used to tease, and her words never failed to draw a scowl across his rugged face.


God help her, her name on his lips sounded as it always had. Coarse. Dangerous. Forbidden. Even before… The memory surged, hot and vivid, leaving a metallic taste in her mouth. White heat assaulted her from every corner of the room.

The keys fell to the floor with a dull clink.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids.) When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or in search of that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.  To learn more about her work in contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense, please stalk accordingly.

Buy Links:

Sarah will be awarding a $50 Amazon 
or Barnes & Noble gift card 
to a randomly drawn winner 
via rafflecopter during the tour.

Today I open up the bar to Ben Hennessy, fantasy author...

Welcome to my bar Ben, what can I pour for you to start?
Hmm… Quite the selection here! I’m usually a pretty straightforward lager drinker, but I’ll defer to your superior knowledge here. What would you recommend?

Lagers are my speciality some would say….let's see, how about this nice "big one" from Founder's Brewing in Grand Rapids Michigan: The Dissenter, it's a double IPL….

You and I "met" on Twitter. Is that a platform you use for promoting your books or do you find it a great way to interact with the world?

A little of both. I’m not a frequent Twitter user, but I understand the massive power it has for getting people to interact on various subjects. I’ve met a whole host of great writers there using various hashtags such as #amwriting or #writetip. Plenty of readers have contacted me through tweets as well, and it’s nice to chat with readers and get feedback about my books.

What are you reading right now and why?

Right now I’m actually reading a graphic novel, The Long Halloween by Jeff Loeb. It’s a Batman story in a very noir style, with artwork by Tim Sale who is one of my favourite artists. I’ve been a huge comic fan for as long as I can remember, and this graphic novel is one of the classics in my mind, up there with work by Frank Miller and Alan Moore. Definitely recommended!

Whoops! empty glass. You're a fast drinker. What can I pour for you next?

That was pretty good. I’d take a pale ale from your selection next, if you have one?

Well, then you must try this one: 

Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin, an internationally famous brewery right here in Michigan. It's a Belgian style pale ale

Tell me about your book Queen of the World (something not the blurb). What inspired you to write it? How was your publishing journey.

Queen of the World is a fantasy novel about a mute young girl, Sarene, who finds herself being pulled into an adventure that could potentially change her world. She’s been brought up to believe that a group named the Four, men of absolutely power with the ability to do anything they can think of, have forced the leaders of every nation to look after their people and ensure peace instead of wasting resources and lives on war and conflict. It’s been five centuries since the Four were last seen, however, and some nations are starting to think they are nothing more than legends. The risk of a nation breaking the rules is increasing. Sarene heads out on her own to see more of her country, Tamir, and it’s there that she discovers things aren’t quite as peaceful as she’s been led to understand.

As for inspiration, I’ve always wanted to write a full novel. It was one of life goals everyone has, and I was never convinced I had the patience to sit down and write a manuscript of this length. I started the thing on my travels, the first words being set to the page in Hanoi, Vietnam. Over the course of the next eight months I kept at it, with a few thousand words here and there, eventually completing the first draft in Porsgrunn, Norway. I grew up reading books my father owned, by writers like David Gemmell, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, David Eddings and Robert E. Howard, and that’s the genre of fiction that I came to love. Fantasy is a great platform for expression, as you can get away with bending the rules of reality and science with a little bit of magic sprinkled through your words.

I was lucky enough to find my publisher, Inspired Quill, very early on after completing the manuscript. I got talking to the owner, Sara-Jayne, after a chance meeting on the literary website Litopia. We exchanged messages and I eventually submitted, and was delighted when they offered me a contract. They’re a small UK press, and they’ve been nothing but beneficial for both me and my work ever since.

What took you to all those exotic countries?

I quit my job in Ireland back in 2010, and left with my partner at the time to go exploring the world. We chose South East Asia, just for an entirely new experience. After spending several months working in Hanoi, we then travelled clockwise through Cambodia and Thailand. I think it’s important to broaden one’s horizons and see other cultures and landscapes. It’s a big world out there with so much to see, and I’ve have hated to feel like I missed out by spending all my time in my home town. I would definitely recommend travelling to anyone, even if it’s just for a week or two with a backpack and a tour guide. It’ll change your perception of the world, believe me.

Any new releases or fun writing projects on your horizon?

My second novel, The Whisper of Dreams, was released August 24th, so I’ve been handling the promotion of that during the past couple of weeks. I’m about to start work on the third novel in the series, which is intended to be four books long. Aside from that I’ve got a couple of shorter stories in the works, maybe a novella or something in a different setting that the Queen of the Worlduniverse. I’ve also been dabbling in a script with a friend of mine who writes screenplays, which is a new and interesting challenge. I guess we’ll see where that goes!

And now for a nightcap..what's your poison?

If it’s the last round of the night, definitely a single malt whiskey with ice. However, since we’re in a nice respectable beer establishment with polite company, I’ll let you suggest something good to send me off home. 

Let's go with this, from New Holland Brewing, it's a "Beer Barrel Aged Bourbon" (you heard me correctly). They are one of the best craft distillers in the Great Beer State! And I am a bourbon connoisseur if I do say so myself, being a native Kentuckian and all….cheers!

When All the Balls Drop - The Upside of Losing Everything
by Heidi Siefkas



The true story of a survivor

who through losing everything,

redefined having it all

Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly “had it all”—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies about her husband’s double life.

She had lost all that mattered, but she was a survivor. She fought to restore her health, repair her broken heart, and rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity about her core values, ultimately coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to have it all.

Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. Heidi’s memoir--rich with hope and humor, inspires anyone who’s had to confront tragedy and reassess their life in the wake of life-altering events.



Putting the Pieces Together

I awoke feeling cold in a stark, square hospital room. I tried to look around as I heard familiar voices. I was lying in a bed covered with a flimsy, white herringbone blanket. Both my mother and my husband were sitting to my right. I heard the beeping of a monitor and several unfamiliar voices. Why was I here? How did I get here?

A nurse with a long, blond ponytail, glasses, and blue scrubs came in and approached my bed to check my vitals and IV bag. Looking up from her clipboard, she asked, “How’s your pain?”

I tried to nod, but I couldn’t. My neck was in a brace. Scared, I said, “I’m okay. I think?” I looked at my mother’s face. She was crying. I passed my hand over my face, which was tender and swollen. I was in a hospital gown with tubes coming out of my arms and plastic cups around my calves. Every few minutes the cups would inflate and deflate. Combined with the dissonant mixture of rhythmic beeps from my monitor, the buzzing of the overhead fluorescent lights, telephones ringing, intercom crackling, and staff talking, my already-high levels of anxiety and fear rose.

Although I do not remember the few days prior to my waking up, my mother and my husband, AJ, had been by my side continually. My mother came closer to my bed, carefully touched my hand, and said, “Heidi, you arrived at the emergency room via ambulance after being struck by a tree limb outside your apartment.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently crafting a sequel to this memoir, embracing both her wanderlust and love of writing by documenting her many travels. You can connect with Heidi at, Facebook, and Twitter.

Heidi will be awarding an autographed copy of When All Balls Drop to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour (US ONLY). 

A Grand Prize of a $50 Amazon/BN GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.