Turkey. And Not the One on your Thanksgiving Table Either

If you have been following along so far on my Turkish Delights Trilogy Tour, you know a few things about me.

1. I own a brewery
2. I’ve lived overseas

My husband is an auto exec and most of the major companies have huge overseas interests. As a young family, we took the plunge, left Ann Arbor, Michigan in early 1998 with a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and bun-in-the-oven in tow, headed for Hiroshima Japan. From there we dragged a 7-year-old, 5-year-old and 1.5-year-old to Istanbul, Turkey.

We had a brief American interlude in Overland Park Kansas. During that one single year of Extreme Surburbia (curing me of a need for THAT scene ever again) we were faced with a choice: Sao Paulo, Brazil or Istanbul. This was a very serious decision as you might imagine. The kids were small, I wasn’t working other than, you know, the 24/7 under appreciated drudge work done by so many of us. Brazil was a “compound living/armed guard and driver” sort of arrangement with all sorts of caveats about children and safety.

Istanbul had none of those warnings. All we got was a: be prepared to bribe to get things done otherwise, enjoy! Pep talk.

It was all of that and some more. Our entrance was, as they say in ex-pat parlance: Hard. As opposed to Soft which I will tell you about another day as relates to our exit. It was August. No decent Istanbulu was in town having decamped for the month to points more beautiful along the coast. Our plane had been delayed in Chicago over night. The driver was late and spoke exactly zero words of English. All he had was the address of the flat we had rented sight unseen thanks to the first flat we wanted being rented out from under us (see: be prepared to bribe).

It was hotter than seven hells. We had no food, no a/c, no fans, and no one to help us. For about four hours I sat on my suitcases, sweating and ignoring the absolutely amazing view of the Bosporus from my patio, sulking and ready to go back home. Then help arrived in the form of a couple of guys who would be working for the a**hole who’d dragged me to this Godforsaken country.

They piled us all in a van, took us to the Turkish equivalent of Super Walmart (Carrefour—a French chain that actually INVENTED The “hypermart” concept), and we were stocked, with food, drinks, and friends for life. The place is full of beauty, history, frustration, aggravation on a high scale (just TRY driving there: the roundabout etiquette is not “he who is to the right goes” it is more like “he who has the biggest gonads goes”), lovely people, amazing food, and a dichotomy of life that I personally had never encountered before and never have since.

We went from there to Essex, England. I was always amused by ex-pats there who’d never been anywhere else screeching and moaning about “culture shock.” Please. Driving on the wrong side of the road in the most annoyingly polite society on the planet (don’t get me wrong. England was great in its own way—another story) is nothing compared to facing brown outs, the gendarme harassing me over not having my passport. And I still want to move back there. It just gets in your soul and digs in.

I wrote a series of semi-short stories set in Istanbul around the OneNightStand premise from Decadent Publishing. I loved delving back into the world I’d inhabited, sometimes reluctantly, many times whole heartedly, even at moments angrily. It did that to you, Turkey did. I HIGHLY recommend it. Hell, I may retire there. Many many many Ex-pats have done so.

Just gotta remember to bribe the post man. We went a solid 2 years without mail. Whoopsie.



The fifteen year age difference between Elle Kensington, ex-patriat American executive and Emre Deniz, son of Istanbul's most successful businessman, has not kept them from becoming fast friends as they tour Istanbul together. But the time has come for him to return to the U.S. to finish his master's degree and she has just been named CEO of the pharmaceutical company that brought her to Turkey in the first place. Elle adores her adopted country, and is alarmed to find herself falling in love with the young man who's been her impromptu guide for the last few months. But she knows they can never be. She will return home to California within a month, leaving behind all she loves about the ancient city. In a rare fit of spontaneity, Elle has contracted with Madame Eve's OneNightStand dating service to hopefully find a way to forget the dark, handsome young man who has captured her heart. Little does she know what awaits her in the ancient recesses of the Ottoman palace turned luxury hotel under the hands of her one night stand masseur.


Caleb and Tarkan were an odd couple, men from two different cultures, but so in love they were determined to overcome any obstacles. Fate had different plans. Two years after tragedy strikes, Caleb is still a hollow shell of himself, alone and miserable. Adem Broussard is happy enough, as owner and chef of his restaurant on the Turkish southern coast. But a tall, American Adonis he saw once, years ago on a Turkish Blue Cruise haunts his most erotic dreams and he hopes contracting with Madame Eve's 1NightStand service for an unconventional date will help him forget. When Caleb caves in to his friend Elle's insistence that he return to Turkey and exorcise some of the demons that haunt him, he reluctantly climbs on board a private yacht for a special 1NightStand Blue Cruise. There he comes face to face with the man who remembers him well, and wants to help him heal.


Lale Deniz, young, drifting and prone to wildness that her Turkish family doesn't understand is seeking something to help her reestablish control over her life. Her beloved brother Tarkan has exited her life. His twin, Emre lives far away in America with his growing family. When Elle, Emre's American wife has a scary brush with death giving birth, Lale is dispatched to California to help with their five-year old daughter. But a recovering Elle has plans for Lale that involve a magical 1NightStand. Andreas Michos, Greek former NFL star, now athletic director at UNLV also floats through life, unsuccessfully seeking satisfaction. His former wife and sexual sub left him when he took away the limelight of football stardom. He doubts his own abilities anymore and has given up finding an outlet for his natural Dom. Set against a backdrop of ancient cultural clashes and Mediterranean family dynamics, Lale and Andreas do meet in Las Vegas at the famous Castillos resort for a date. But it seems destined to fail. Unless they are both willing to relinquish control and discover what can be found inside the soul of another.

Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly. If you want a beer education 
Follow her: www.a2beerwench.com
For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to: www.brewingpassion.com.

To be given away Three Turkish themed prize packages to randomly drawn commenters which may include, but aren't limited to:
* a holiday stocking made from authentic Turkish kilim rug
* a mug with the Turkish "evil eye", meant to ward off said evil
* a pewter dish, that is traditionally used to hold "lokum" or the actual Turkish delight confection/candy
* a box of traditional lokum
* a small Turkish kilim rug (reversible--authentic)
 Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/10/virtual-book-tour-turkish-delights-by.html


Liz said…
thanks for having me!!
Thank you for hosting Liz today.
Shanon Grey said…
I thoroughly enjoyed the post! Having never been to those areas I could have kept on reading. I have been faced with the "ugly American" syndrome and know what it's like to be unwanted in a country. I have to say, I can't imagine what it took with children in tow. Great fodder for many, many books! They sound intriguing.
Jane Rochester said…
Nice! I always wanted to visit Turkey, especially after working with a couple people from Istanbul during my summer job. Sounds like your experience gave you all the high and low lights! :)
Lynne said…
Loved this post! Sounds like you had the "worst of times and the best of times" Love your books
Harlie Reader said…
Hi Liz. I want to go to Turkey now. You have woven so much knowledge and descriptions in this series that I seriously need to hop a plane and go. For nothing else a Blue Cruise and the spice markets. Thanks and congratulations on the releases.

Jessica Subject said…
Bribing the post man? Wow! All the best, Liz! :)
Leanne109 said…
I'm so glad you decided to share this post with us! I am also happy that you were my guest today. Thank you so much! May you sell many many books :D

Leanne of Books Read 'N' Makeup Done
Wicked Leanore said…
I love Leanne's unique site, I've been a member for a while now. I also am becoming a huge fan of Liz's books. I really like the Tulip Princess.Fun post and I loved learning about the author here.I'm gonna share it to my FB wall.
AKA: Bonnie Lea Elliott
Krysykat said…
"Be prepared to bribe" wow, that's crazy. Thanks for the post!


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