Title: Red Card (Black Jack Gentlemen #2)Author: Liz Crowe
Genre: General Fiction, Adult
Publication Date: August 14, 2013
Cover Design: Mina Carter
Publisher: Tri Destiny Publishing
Event organized by: Literati Author Services
Choice makes us individuals.
Choice makes us individuals.
Love makes us unique.
Metin Sevim has it all. At the pinnacle of international soccer playing success, he has managed to craft a perfect world for himself along the way.
When fate strips him of free will and the ability to choose his own path, he retreats from everyone and everything, destroying his hard-won career in the process.
Dragged back from the brink by his desperate family, Metin reluctantly agrees to coach the Black Jack Gentlemen Detroit soccer team but remains debilitated by memories and loss. When a surprising friendship emerges, it renews his passion for life, providing much needed solace… and extreme complications.
A saga of family dynamics and gender politics that cuts across cultures and circumstance, Red Card illustrates the human capacity for forgiveness through the life of one man as he attempts to rebuild his shattered existence.
The Black Jack Gentlemen
The newest series by Liz Crowe
Book 1: Man On (August 2013)
Book 2: Red Card (August 2013)
Book 3: Shut Out (September 2013)
And Coming Soon…
Book 4: Set Piece
Book 5: Hat Trick
Red Card Excerpt
Metin studied the attractive woman sitting across from him at the huge kitchen island. Musing that she probably would just as soon pour him a lovely glass of cyanide as sit and drink red wine with him, he smiled, trying not to overreact to her unsubtle hostility.
“So,” she said, sipping and staring at him. “How is Graciella?”
He forced an ever-wider smile. “Fine, I am assuming. She is on a photo shoot in Italy for a month. I haven’t talked to her in…a while.” He lifted the glass to his lips, not breaking eye contact.
Melanie Matthews Miller could be a model herself. Something he was sure she’d heard plenty of times. Her dark brown hair was thick, curly, barely contained by a headband. Dark eyes shone in her angular, handsome face. He noticed that her hand shook when she put her glass on the granite surface. Unable to resist, he reached for it. She yanked it back as if he’d touched a lit match to her flesh. “Your mother must have been a stunning woman.” He said, softly, as if to a cornered, frightened animal.
“Yeah. She was,” Mel polished off her first glass. Metin poured her some more. “Spare me the lecture. I’m not an alcoholic.”
He looked up, shocked. “I wouldn’t think of calling you that.”
“Sure you would. I see it in your eyes.”
“The only thing in my eyes right now is terror.”
She scoffed, left the newly refilled glass on the counter and propped her chin on her hands. The defeated slump of her shoulders made the natural caretaker in him want to soothe. But he knew better than to comfort her, at least at that moment. He took another drink of his wine, and the silence took on a life of its own. Clearing his throat, he put his glass down, deciding if anyone could take him being straightforward, it was this woman.
“I love your sister,” he said.
Mel just stared at him, her face betraying nothing. “No you don’t. You’re just a collector of women. And Alicia is something new and exotic to you. Get over yourself.” Her hard voice fit her. It was as if she had sharp edges he would wound himself on if he were not careful. Her face was nearly perfect—high cheekbones, large expressive eyes. In a different situation, she would be his type. “I won’t let you hurt her, soccer boy. We clear on that?”
He nodded, believing silence was the better part of valor at the moment. “Tell me about him,” he finally said, unable to stop himself. “This man. Your… husband. Who hurt you and made you into this….”
“Bitch?” Her laughter hurt his ears.
“No, that is not what—”
“Yes, it was. It’s okay. I’m getting use to it now. Scott was the guy who swept me off my feet, knocked me up, installed me in a house while he went to work at the bank. I caught him fucking his secretary one day, right in that very house, when I was supposed to be volunteering at Zach’s school.” She gripped her glass, gazing into the middle distance. “I left. Came home to my father’s house with my son. Told him we were through. And started going out, to clubs, bars… you name it. I was a total slut. As I’m sure you will confirm, being the traditionalist that you are. Men can stick their dicks in however many women they want and they are super studs. I go out a few nights, let a few strange men do that to me, and I’m a whore.”
He gulped, forcing away that very reaction, reminding himself that this woman’s life was absolutely none of his business. She glared at him, holding the stem of her wine glass in a death grip. “And then, bam, I was pregnant again. And Scott said he’d take me back, wanted me back, needed me back. Blah blah. Whatever.”
“Oh, um, Tanner is not…”
“No, Metin. I don’t know who Tanner’s father is. How about that for your traditional principals? Shocked enough by me yet?” Her eyes darkened.
He sat up straighter his ire rising at her seeming need to prove how bad she was for some reason. “I don’t shock that easily.”
“Sure you do.” She got up to pace. Her wild, curly hair kept escaping from the headband and haloed her flushed face. In an instant, he saw what appeal she did hold, when she was not being so bitter.
He glanced around. The giant house was freezing, empty, positively cavernous. He couldn’t fathom it. His family was huge, loud, and annoying, but that was a whole hell of a lot better than this empty, echoing space filled with nothing but unhappy people.
“Mom!” An older boy stomped into the kitchen from the laundry room, slamming the garage door behind him. “I thought you were… oh, hello there.”
Metin stood and held out his hand. “Hi. I’m….”
“I know who you are. My mom and aunt have been doing nothing but argue about you lately.”
“Oh, well.” Metin ran a hand through his hair, watching the boy’s body language around his mother. “Sorry, I guess.”
“Nah, it’s cool. They don’t need much excuse to fight.” He dropped his soccer bag to the floor of the kitchen. Metin fought his inner neat freak. His mother never tolerated his soccer kit anywhere but out in their garage. And a cuff to the head was all it took for him to remember it. He and his three brothers had all played, which made for a pretty smelly garage.
“Mom, where’s dinner.”
“Order out,” she said, her voice low and distant.
“Whatever, I’m going out anyway.”
Metin stared as they did their non-communication dance for a few more minutes then got up before the urge to smack the smartass kid upside the head got too strong.
“Sorry, Metin.” Mel’s voice was soft. “We’re hardly the exemplary family. I have no business being mad at you for judging us.”
“I am not judging…. Oh, thank god,” he said when Alicia strode in, her gorgeous face dusted with makeup, amazing curves draped in a silky black dress. “You are beautiful.”
“Thanks.” She blushed, which he loved. “You guys getting along okay? Zach, are you being your usual teenager jerkish self?”
“Sure thing, Auntie.” The kid grabbed a few cookies from the jar and walked out without another word to his own mother.
Metin shook his head.
“Okay, stud. Let’s go to dinner. Or whatever.” She shot a worried glance at her sister, but the other woman kept her back to them. By the time Metin realized Melanie shoulders shook from crying, Alicia was pulling him out of the room.
The Romance of Soccer
In Europe (And in South America and Africa as well) “soccer” is the primary sport played—from streets and sidewalks, to back yards and professional fields. Hands down it is the most popular sport despite the popularity of baseball in Central America, and rugby or cricket in the United Kingdom.
It’s a simple concept and takes minimal equipment. In sort of the same way that “basketball” was invented as a response to the expensive sport of “American football” in Indiana and Kentucky which, for the most part, did not have schools with the resources to field a football team, soccer’s rise in popularity early in poorer countries makes sense. You need a ball (and I have seen “balls” made of everything from leather to duct tape so essentially you need a “round sphere to kick around that will roll”). And something to kick it over (a line in sand, or a stick) or into (a bucket, a trash bin, or just pre-designated space). You can play alone and work on your “juggling” (the process of keeping the ball aloft using your feet and knees only) or your goal scoring, or you can play with 2 people. And of course you can play just about any “small sided” or “full sided” game. The pro game is played with 11 players on each team, including a goal keeper.
The rise of soccer players as super celebrities in some countries also makes sense. These guys are, for the most part, attractive, competitive, outgoing and in many cases as rich as any super NBA or NFL Star in the States. Since there are no NBA, NFL, MLB or hockey stars to fawn over, soccer stars fill the gap nicely for folks looking to latch onto someone who has worked very very (very) hard to achieve the sort of status enjoyed by players like Christiano Renaldo, Gerard Pique, Wayne Rooney, Clint Dempsey and many others. The popularity of fan sites like “kickette.com” and others do their part to show soccer playing men as the ultimate romance heroes.
Their “WAGs” (wives and girlfriends) are always big news too—most of them are (like they are in the states) models or actresses or socialites of some sort or another.
In my new book RED CARD, Metin Sevim is a Turkish man who ends up skipping college in favor of being recruited to play at the highest levels in the Spanish National League (some would argue the second best in the world after the English Premier League—I argue that it is even better). He has it all—loads of money, women at his beck and call, he has his own girlfriend he has decided to make a wife for lack of anything better because he wants kids. But after a falling out with his team in Madrid he shocks his agent by signing on for an exhibition tour of America playing in some major cities to bring some of the Eruo-glamor to a sport that is just gaining a toehold in American sport hearts and minds.
And everything change for him when he meets Alicia Matthews, an all-American soccer star in her own right, but by the nature of her gender, not able to advance to the level of his play. Which she very much resents.
The Black Jack Gentlemen soccer team of Detroit is a work of fiction but I present an organization dedicated to making “romantic heroes” out of all of their players, similar to their European and South American counterparts. Metin Sevim is a tragic hero when he agrees to coach the fledgling team. And the epitome of all the club hopes to bring to their city with their new soccer project: glamor, raw athletic ability, and a tinge of romantic mystery.
About the Author
Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. While working as a successful Realtor, Liz made the leap into writing novels about the same time she agreed to take on marketing and sales for the Wolverine State Brewing Company.
Most days find her sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, unless she’s writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more “character-driven fiction,” while remaining very much “real life.”
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and many times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate, and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
If you are in the Ann Arbor area, be sure and stop into the Wolverine State Brewing Co. Tap Room—but don’t ask her for anything “like” a Bud Light, or risk serious injury.
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