photo of Elizabeth Engstrom by Mary Bartnikowski

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Front cover of Lizard Wine

Lizard Wine

(discussion questions)

Three down-on-their-luck buddies spend their last money on gin and head into the mountains on an ill-equipped, spur of the moment camping trip. Confined to the car by the October weather, they begin to reveal themselves to each other, discovering that perhaps they're not such tight friends after all.

ISBN 0-9666272-1-0

Unfortunately, Lizard Wine is out of print. Please check with your local and online used book stores for a copy.

Now available in audio from, iTunes, and Amazon. Narrated by the incomparable Jim Tedder.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and all other electronic media.

Three co-eds from the local university get fancied up and head to a mountain cowboy bar to generate some interest and perhaps some income, when their car breaks down outside a closed mountain campground. Arguing and unsettled, the girls enter the deserted campground looking for a phone, and find the three heated men instead.

One girl unwisely elects to stay with the men rather than go along with the others' scheme, and a woman in the close confines of that car is exactly what the men don't need. Explosive tension builds with the addition of the sexual energy and the tequila she adds to fuel their fire.

The two girls get their car started and begin their own horrible adventures, and when they eventually run, wounded, scared and dangerous, back to the campground to pick up their friend, what they find is not exactly what they expected.

Critics have said:

"Lizard Wine is the book your mother warned you about, sleek, nasty, perfectly focused, smart as hell, absolutely convincing, and utterly single-minded. This novel wants to buy you a drink, whisper in your ear, coax you into a dark room and there seriously mess you up. Because Elizabeth Engtrom is a magnificiently talented writer, her novel not only actually does these things, it leaves you grateful for the experience. Lizard Wine is the kind of book which enlarges and enriches the genre of the thriller."—Peter Straub

"...Lizard Wine is a book that will make your skin crawl."—John Saul

"...hard! Should carry a health warning: Just reading this could leave you bruised..."—Brian Lumley

"Excruciating suspense!"—Bryce Courtenay

"Lizard Wine is a disturbing vintage... With a true literary voice, Elizabeth Engstrom details the madness of human relationships... It is as if Franz Kafka, Tom Robbins and Shirley Jackson collaborated on a story which only Engstrom could write. A brilliant, page-turning read."—Douglas Clegg

"Reading Lizard Wine is like sitting in a snowbound car with three very dangerous men and three vulnerable (yet-no-less-dangerous) young women, and watching in thrall as the balance of power trades hands through the night. Elizabeth Engstrom involves her readers equally with the pitiful and the pitiless, and as the sun rises on the living and the dead, we close this novel reminded that we can make our lives, or our lives can make us. Lizard Wine is a dark, rough draught, but it goes down as smooth as the grit will allow—and its after-effects are potent and lingering."—Tim Lucas

"Supertaut storytelling..."—Kirkus Reviews

"I often stopped with a low mental whistle of awe at Engstrom's seamless style..."—Paula Guran, DarkEcho

"...Deliverance meets Misery..."—Derek Doran, The Fiction Addiction

"...Don't read this book alone at night."—The Register Guard

"...The message of Lizard Wine is clear. This could be anybody. This could be you."—AmericaOnline

An internationally-acclaimed thriller.