Today I am so pleased to welcome Liz Faraim to Joyfully Jay. Liz has come to talk to us about her latest release, Stitches and Sepsis. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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People sometimes ask me where I get my inspiration for the stories I write. As a true “pantser,” meaning I do not plot my stories out in advance, it isn’t so much what inspires the entire story as what inspires individual scenes.

Here is a short excerpt from Stitches and Sepsis, which is book two of the Vivian Chastain series. In this excerpt Vivian has returned home to rest after a violent altercation. I won’t say more about that because I am trying to avoid spoilers. Read on after the excerpt to see what inspired it.


I woke to someone pounding on my door. As I came up from the depths of a deep sleep, I recognized that the sound needed attention. I kicked the sheet and blanket off and rolled to stand up but realized in time that my cheek and temple wounds were stuck to the pillowcase. I had forgotten to put a towel over the pillow before bed. With gentle fingertips I tenderly pulled the pillowcase away from my wounds, which had oozed in my sleep.

“Coming,” I hollered, which thankfully stopped the knocking. I threw a sweatshirt on over my T-shirt and strode to the door. Peering out through the peephole, I saw that it was Paul, my landlord. I gritted my teeth and stifled a growl as I unlocked the door and opened it a crack. Icy air seeped in from the corridor.

“Hey. Hey, Vivian. It’s Paul.”

“Hello, Paul. What time is it?”

“Uh, let’s see. It’s 7:45 a.m.”

“Paul, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that I work nights.”

“Oh, right, right, right,” he said rapidly, shifting back and forth on his feet. He smelled horrible. Like a combination of rancid body odor and chemicals. Meth.

“What is it, Paul. How can I help you?”

“Well, it’s about your friend Ang. The gal from #101.” He paused, scratching noisily at the stubble on his jowls. I stood there in the cracked door and waited for him to go on. “Uhhh, so, Ang. Right. Her rent has been on auto-deposit forever, but the money for February didn’t come through.” He scratched at his jowls some more. I ran my hand along the back of my neck, surprised to find that my long hair was gone.

“I can’t help you there, dude. I can barely afford the rent for this studio. I sure as hell can’t afford Ang’s rent for her one-bedroom apartment.”

“Oh…no, no, no. I didn’t mean that. Um, but can you get ahold of her?”

“Actually, no. I can’t. Like I told you before, she is out of town. And as far as I know, she doesn’t have her cell phone.”

Worry lines creased his greasy face, and he ran his fingers through his thinning hair.

“Paul! Jesus Christ. Pull her file and call her emergency contact. Talk to them. I can’t help you.”

I locked the door and growled. I paced from the door to the window, annoyed at being woken up by my incompetent landlord, annoyed that I was up for the day because being annoyed had me wide awake. I ran my hands through my hair and accidently scraped the wound on my temple, giving me a zing of pain, which reminded me I had crusty wounds that needed tending to. Paul hadn’t mentioned my short hair or the horror show that was probably my face. “Drugs are bad, kiddies,” I said to my fish tank and went to the bathroom to shower and tend to my wounds.


This scene was inspired by a studio I used to live in, as well as one of the other residents that lived on my floor. Much like me, Vivian doesn’t have the patience for her landlord’s ineptitude. Pick up a copy of Stitches and Sepsis to see who gave Vivian her wounds, as well as what happened with her partner Ang.


stitches and sepsis coverAdrenaline addicted veteran, Vivian Chastain, confronts the man who has been following her for days, only to find he has a message of dire consequence for her. Spurred into action by his news, she barrels head on into a tumultuous and violent series of events. Stoic and stubborn, Vivian lands in the hospital, fighting for her life.

During Vivian’s lengthy recovery, her partner is released from jail and the two reconnect, stoking up the flames of their toxic union all while Vivian dives into a blossoming relationship with a new love interest who offers fulfillment and love, if only Vivian can figure out how to allow it all in.

Still on the mend, she learns that the coast is not clear as former threats return and continue to endanger her. While she cannot rest easy; friends, her work crew, and customers at the night club where she tends bar provide her with much needed fun, comradery, and support.

Vivian wrestles with her temper, her penchant for physical violence, and her overwhelming emotional baggage. Struggles from within and without threaten her existence, and in the moment when death is just a breath away, Vivian’s brother shows up and changes everything.


liz faraim bio photoLiz has a full plate between balancing a day job, parenting, writing, and finding some semblance of a social life. In past lives she has been a soldier, a bartender, a shoe salesperson, an assistant museum curator, and even a driving instructor. She focuses her writing on strong, queer, female leads who don’t back down.

Liz transplanted to California from New York over thirty years ago, and now lives in the East Bay. She enjoys exploring nature with her wife and son.

Pronouns: She/Her


Liz is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.

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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post
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