By ALEXI VENICE
I’m proud to announce that The San Francisco Mystery Series books have all been #1 New Releases on Amazon in the LGBTQ Murder Mystery category. This HOT SERIES started with a slow burn in Bourbon Chase. We tiptoed toward a place where we thought Dr. Jen Dawson needed to go and—voila! —after she went there, the pages wrote themselves. She, Amanda and Tommy lead exciting lives individually, but the drama they generate as a triangle—both at work and at home—sizzles with romance, danger and adventure.
Stabscotch is the latest #1 New Release, and is going strong with more downloads per day than we could imagine, especially in Canada, the UK and US. (Come on, Australia, we’re pulling for you to catch up!) Thank you for your enthusiasm! We share it 100%.
Working hard behind the scenes is a fantastic creative team and editors. They’ve contributed tons to this series, elevating the narrative arc, characters and writing. I admit it: I found my #AuthorTribe and I love them hard! I’d like to introduce you to each one:
(Behind me and left to right: Erin, Sherry and Susan. Back row: Reyka and Mik)
Erin (top left) is busy raising two young boys and a very tall husband. She can be found playing Candy Crush on the sofa, sandwiched between the boys, a Bernedoodle puppy on her lap, listening to children’s programming on television. Erin’s hobbies include modeling black V-necks, brainstorming fictional plots and editing, editing, editing until the writer finally succumbs to what she wants.
A woman of divided loyalties, Sherry (center on sofa) pines for the Cornhuskers but lives in the state where Mary Tyler Moore turned the world on with her smile. Coming from a journalism background, one of Sherry’s many strengths is solid writing, whether it’s analytical for her bosses or editing fiction for her colleague. Sherry has a subtle and delicate touch with phrases, giving serious thought to the right word for the right vibe. Secret fact: she’s a closet scrapbooker (not any longer!) who irons perler bead artistry created by her four children. Her favorite actor (celebrity crush) is Denzel Washington.
The Nancy Drew of the group, Mik (back row, right) will sleuth, challenge and doublecheck the storyline of my books for intrigue and accuracy. A wife and mother of two teenagers, Mik is always on the go—pacing at volleyball and baseball games—getting in her Fitbit steps. In addition, Mik has an uncanny ability to store and retrieve pop culture trivia. If you need a hot woman for your tavern trivia team, then Mik is your gal. Her favorite actor is Helen Mirren. Her favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. Her favorite news anchor is Tom Brokaw. (She has an autographed photo of him hiding somewhere in her office.)
Reyka (back row, left) enjoys reading so much that she embraces annual book challenges and completes them in record time. Reyka’s favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (and I’m sure Mik could name the entire cast, the theme song and several quotes from it off the top of her head). Reyka’s goal is to have a glass of wine—with the locals—in each state in the U.S. as well as on every continent. Keep a lookout for Reyka in a pub near you, her face buried in a book. She’s the one yielding the knife in the below pic. (You can already tell she’s the life of the party at the pub!)
(Reyka playing Stabscotch on Erin. This pic will make more sense once you’ve read the book. Warning: You might find yourself sipping a little Scotch, smoking a cigarette and playing five-finger-fillet.)
Susan (second to left in the pub pic—smoking a heater) enjoys reading historical fiction over a glass of wine, but her favorite book is Watership Down. A classic. Susan prides herself on forcing her wife, Kim, and their friends to play cards and board games for hours on end. She looks pretty chill at the pub, though, don’t you think? She also loves musicals, because who doesn’t dream of singing everything they say? Susan is a strong, insightful and opinionated editor who is loyal to the characters’ trajectories, hence keeping me from veering off on tangents.
Boundless energy and enthusiasm for medicine come to mind when describing Dr. Sue. She’s been so generous with her time, teaching me how to remove bullets, set fractures and conduct exams in the clinic. When she isn’t in the Emergency Department, she’s attending one of her three children’s events. She also likes to relax at her lake cabin with a cocktail while playing cribbage with her husband, Dave. Sue couldn’t attend our photo shoot, but here’s a fantastic pic of her and her little doggy, too (because she can’t take a bad pic).
My longtime friend, Dennis, is pictured below with his wife, Pat, in New Zealand. Dennis is a retired health care executive who finds not working for a living much preferred to a life structured by someone else. He’s an Italian from Chicago, so was most insightful when I invented Tommy Vietti. What’s on Dennis’ bookshelf? Science fiction, fantasy, gangster, and espionage-based stories. His favorite actors are Al Pacino and Robert Duvall, which can only mean his favorite movie is The Godfather.
My professional editor, Rob Bignell, owns and runs Inventing Reality Editing Service. Rob is the author of the “7 Minutes a Day…” writing guidebooks, the nonfiction “Hikes with Tykes,” “Hittin’ the Trail,” and Headin’ to the Cabin” book series, the literary novel “Windmill,” and more. Since 2011, six of his hiking guidebooks have topped Amazon.com bestsellers lists. He holds a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s in journalism, and has taught college writing classes. If you need Rob’s expertise, here’s his link: https://inventingrealityediting.wordpress.com/home/editing/
I’m so grateful for the creative, technical and editorial input on my books. We’re always laughing and playing around with the plot, dialogue and characters, hoping you’ll enjoy what we lay down. Here we are, furiously working on the sequel to Stabscotch, Tinted Chapstick, to be released this spring. It might go quicker without the booze. Did I really think that, much less type it?! How silly! We hope you enjoy the series as much as we do!
*Group photos by Kara of Kara & Company Photography