House
Rules: The Jack Gordon Story
By Liz Crowe
It takes a wealth of collected
experiences, emotions, successes and failures to craft the personality of a
true Alpha Male
Jack Gordon, real estate broker, licensed builder, Juris
Doctorate, has had his fair share of strife. His ability to cope, to fall down
and pick himself back up has lead him to a place where he believes he has it
all. Friends, money, cars, more women than he can count, and a club in Detroit
where he can exorcise his inner demons, fill his days and his nights.
When he walks up to a penthouse door on a hot Ann Arbor
summer afternoon, frustrated, exasperated and ready to call it quits after
hours of condo shopping with a wealthy couple, the last thing on his mind is
meeting his destiny.
House Rules: The Jack Gordon Story. A prequel novella of
the Stewart Realty Series.
Excerpt:
Chapter
One
The
young boy was only on the cusp of manhood that day. The day he wandered into
his kitchen, hung over, hungry, mad at the girl who’d teased him all night yet
wouldn’t let him past second base no matter how hard he begged. Plus as a
bonus, he was already late for basketball practice.
It
was also the day his mother died. On this day, he stepped into the room lit
only by weak sunlight, rubbing his face and wondering if he could squeeze in a
shower, or if he should just go straight to the high school gym and beg his
coach’s forgiveness.
When
his foot met something that was not a chair leg or anything else that made
logical sense on the floor he stopped, looked down, and saw her. His brain
quickly flipped through events even as it attempted to process what he saw.
He
dropped to his knees and rolled her over, his lovely, quiet, smart and creative
mother—the first woman he ever loved and would always, as is the way of boys,
despite his frustration at her willingness to put up with his father. Her eyes
were open, face drained of all color but for the dried vomit on her cheek.
The
boy’s hands shook as anger swelled in his chest. He brushed at the crustiness
on her face. Raw fury made his vision dim. How dare she? What the hell was she
thinking?  How could she give up on
herself, on him, on their family?
His
eyes burned. He felt wetness on his cheeks. His entire body shivered as he
picked up the phone and called the ambulance. When they arrived he backed up,
fast, then sat on the floor, tears streaming down as he watched the paramedics
try to revive her.
They
kept asking him how long she’d been like this, as if he knew. As if he could
have known, sunk so deep into his own selfish bullshit the night before.  No one knew how long she’d lain face down in
her own puke.
He
swiped at his face, embarrassed, but unable to stop crying. His mother was
dead. On her own scrupulously clean kitchen floor she’d lain while he fucked
around, got drunk, tried to get in some girl’s panties. He had let her down
when she needed him. Not that she would ever ask for help. No, that was not her
way. Silence, stoicism, extreme organization, and tidiness—that was her method against
the madness that had become her marriage.
His
chest hurt so bad it frightened him. He heard a sob, and when one of the
paramedics glanced over at him, he realized it had burst from his own lips.
He
looked up when the front door flew open, revealing his father’s shocked
face.  Fresh fury shimmered down the
boy’s spine, coalesced in his freezing cold fingertips when he saw it–that
horrified look. The asshole had the nerve to actually be surprised by his
wife’s condition.
 “You did this,” he growled, not even
recognizing his own voice. His hands formed fists of their own accord and he
leapt across the kitchen, his finely-tuned athlete’s body giving him strength
and his rage motivation.  He could hear
his father’s sharp voice, angry and demanding. Saw the fear in the man’s eyes
as he looked down at his already dead wife. He barely registered the sight of
his sister, standing slightly behind the man in the doorway.
When
the man looked over and met his son’s gaze. The sickeningly familiar sneer was
all it took to turn what could have been a simple punch thrown by an unhappy
teenaged boy into a beating that it would take John Gordon Senior weeks to
fully recover from.
“Jack!
Stop it! Daddy!” The young girl jumped onto her brother’s back, yanked at his
hair, scratched at his face. “Stop it! Please!”
 There was no stopping Jack. The grown man now
no longer fought back, but cowered and tried to cover his face with his arms.
He made no sounds, didn’t beg for his son to stop, but his hard blue gaze said
it all, reminded the young man of all he hated about his father from the time
he could remember having feelings about him.
He
kept hitting. Finally, one of the paramedics yanked the boy off, threw him
halfway across the room to get him to stop. 
He
sat, chest heaving, staring at the utter fucked-up mess that was his
family—dead, puke-covered mother; bloody-faced father groaning in pain in the
opposite corner of the room. A small sob caught his ear, making his inner
caretaker jump to the surface. Tamping down the anger, he stood and went to his
sister who stood gripping the doorframe.
He
glared at them all, took her hand, and walked out of the room, soothing her
while swearing on all he held holy that he would never speak to his father
again.

There are no buy links yet – it’ll be available from http://www.sizzlinbooks.com as well as on Amazon, B&N, ARe and Kobo sites on June 16. 



Author Bio:  Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger
and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great
Midwest, 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 a
successful author. 

When she isn’t sweating
inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing
or implementing promotions for her latest publications.  Her groundbreaking literary fiction subgenre,
“reality fiction,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are
interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)

Her beer blog a2beerwench.com is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider
views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds
of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices.
Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.
For more information on Liz
Crowe, please visit her website www.lizcrowe.com or www.brewingpassion.com (her author
blog).  She enjoys interacting with her fans on her Facebook author page www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor. Information for all of her books, including eBook
and print formats (where available), can be found on her Amazon author page.
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