Today I’m thrilled to host lesfic mystery author Alexi Venice.
She’s giving away 4 copies of Tinted Chapstick, the latest in the San Francisco mystery series. More details are below.
I want to thank the talented author and editor of I Heart Lesfic, T.B. Markinson, for hosting such a great website and newsletter to spread the word about lesbian fiction and events. Thanks for inviting me to do a guest post, T.B.!
Today’s post highlights The San Francisco Mystery Series: Bourbon Chase, Amanda’s Dragonfly, Stabscotch and Tinted Chapstick (new release). You can read them in any order. Jump in wherever. These aren’t the dry murder mysteries that your parents read. These are hot and steamy mysteries with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end.
I love writing a lesbian murder mystery series because the conflict is clear—catch the killer. The stakes are high—lives are at risk. And, the emotions can run even higher among the core group of characters who drive this series: Dr. Jen Dawson—an emergency room physician; District Attorney Amanda Hawthorne—a tough prosecutor; and Detective Tommy Vietti—a romantic Italian who solves homicides quicker than anyone else in the SFPD.
These mysteries are full of romance, so when I write a love scene, I want it to be vivid, sensuous and intensely erotic. A heart-pounding experience that gets the reader’s blood flowing. As such, my choice of terminology for a love scene is crucial. Is the sex delicate and slow or desperate and rushed?
For example, men have dozens of names for their you-know-what. You see these slang terms used in books all the time.
However, after reading tons of lesbian fiction, I found two words used so much that I felt they drained creativity from the sex scenes. I thought, “We can do better, ladies. And, why shouldn’t we?!”
After playing around a bit, my creative team and I invented, and assembled, some fun words for that oh-so-special-place. Contemporary gems that I can’t list here. (Don’t get me wrong, I still use salt and pepper, but I like other spices, too.) I have the privilege of creating an intimate experience that’s the climax of two women celebrating their love and bodies. I want each encounter to be unique and special, so I’m as intentional about word choice as I am about mood, place, touch and pace.
Nestled among the murder mysteries, Tinted Chapstick is an introspective romance from Dr. Jen’s perspective. She’s presented with some tempting, but gut-wrenching, choices. As she explores her chemistry with three potential lovers, she learns as much about herself as she does about them. She can’t help it if she likes pretty women, can she? But she also likes to glam up once in a while herself. Hmm. Would it be appropriate to label her? Is she even capable of being labeled? After sampling a few bites, the time comes for Jen to decide on dessert.
I love Jen’s perspective because I get to write about her being a mother (drawing from my own experience), a caring physician (using twists on stories from my career), an athlete (which I work at every day), and her struggle with her identity and new journey as a lesbian (which endears her to me).
I originally thought that Amanda, the other female lead in this series, was going to be easier to write about because she’s a lawyer (like me) and she struggles with addictive and manipulative tendencies (with which I can too easily identify). Amanda comes off as a ruthless trial attorney who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. But, when it comes to matters of the heart, she’s powerless over her feelings for Jen. She may have a long list of old girlfriends—and a weakness for powerful women—but there’s something about Jen that makes Amanda want to settle down.
We can’t leave out Detective Tommy. He’s an important part of Jen and Amanda’s lives. The third book in the series, Stabscotch, is from Tommy’s point of view. (Don’t write it off so quickly, ladies.) In it, we learn what he really thinks about Jen and Amanda. Just when they’ve figured out their triangular vibe, a third woman enters the fray—the secretive and mysterious Roxy McNeil—creating romantic tensions between Amanda and Jen. Stabscotch is full of naughty seduction and drama that you won’t want to miss.
I hope you enjoy reading Tinted Chapstick, and the other books in The San Francisco Mystery Series, as much as I did writing them.
Release date: March 15, 2018
A suspenseful romance nestled in The San Francisco Mystery Series.
Temporarily living with Detective Tommy Vietti, Dr. Jen Dawson is frustrated with her love life. She’s interested in someone at the CrossFit box, but wonders why she keeps thinking about her ex-lover, District Attorney Amanda Hawthorne, while cultivating a relationship with the CrossFit goddess.
As Jen works through her conflicted feelings, she also must manage the expectations of her irritated boss-Dr. Melissa Cohen-and the daily drama served up by angry patients, wild animals and confidential information made public at the Cohen Clinic.
Even worse, Jen is asked by Amanda’s campaign manager to defend Amanda after her HEA-hellish ending to an affair-with Roxy. Jen will be damned before she’ll turn into the abused political wife, standing by “her woman” after Amanda fooled around on her. Yet, with just a short TV interview, Jen could clear up a mischaracterization of Amanda….
And, why won’t Roxy MacNeil, the Scottish MI-6 agent, leave San Francisco? Why must she continue working at the Hall of Justice, so close to Amanda?
To make matters worse, Tommy expresses his true feelings to Jen late one night, upsetting the emotional equilibrium in their co-parenting relationship.
Jen has been patient with Tommy, Amanda and Roxy’s dangerous jobs-and the way they bleed into her clinic and home life-but when all hell breaks loose, she’s forced to make some tough choices.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Writer * Dog Lover * Shameless Blogger * Biker * Water Enthusiast
Venice delights in offering readers the chance to escape the absurdities of reality for the sanity of fiction. Her San Francisco Mystery Series features a unique and tender triangle among Jen, Amanda and Tommy, who are as committed to each other as they are to solving murders.
Venice is a writer and attorney. Her exciting, 29-year legal career informs much of her writing, especially the medical murder mysteries.
Venice personally researches many of the scenes in her books, including flying a jet, shooting fancy handguns named “Dragonfly,” wake-boarding in the Caribbean, walking in the Dyke March in San Francisco, testing her strength at Cross Fit, and getting the crap beat out of her boxing.
Venice, who used to live near San Francisco, now spends most of her time in Wisconsin. During the summer, she can be found water skiing with her girlfriends in the “Hot Mama Water Ski Club.”
If you need a laugh or a reality check, hit up Venice’s blog at www.alexiveniceblog.com.
CONNECT WITH ALEXI VENICE
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Thanks so much for stopping by today.
Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.