Interview & Giveaway: Concussion and Contentment by Vivian Chastain

Concussion and Contentment - Liz Faraim

Liz Faraim has a new ff contemporary book out, Vivian Chastain series book 3: Concussion and Contentment. And there's a giveaway!

Vivian, an adrenaline junkie and U.S. Army veteran, goes about her life as a bartender, avid runner, and polyamorous lesbian. Life in Sacramento, California is going well until she is blindsided by unforeseen financial issues which lead her to consider a new career.

In an attempt to recharge and take a break, she visits her best friend, Jared, only to be sidetracked by a motorcycle trip with her other best friend, Bear. The adventure does not turn out to be the carefree break Vivian had hoped for. A mess, she returns to Sacramento where her partner, Ang, tries to push her down, rather than help her pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, Vivian takes big steps with her other partner, Audre, which fills a void in Vivian’s life left behind by her dysfunctional and abusive childhood.

While out on a day trip to her favorite hiking trails, Vivian has an epiphany about what line of work she wants to pursue, and chases after it head first while also beginning to mend fences with her brother, Joey.

As things start to stabilize, one of Vivian’s partners commits an act of grave violence, resulting in life-changing consequences for all concerned.

Surrounded by friends, Vivian turns over a new leaf and finally finds the contentment she has sought for a lifetime.

Warnings: This book contains violence, attempted murder, homophobic slurs, alcohol/drug use, references to suicide, abuse of a child by a parent, abuse of a child by an adult, attempted suicide, racism

Publisher | Amazon | Universal Buy Link

Guest Interview with Liz Faraim

Thanks for letting me stop by and share a guest post with your readers! I’m Liz Faraim and am pleased to announce the release of the third novel in my Vivian Chastain series, titled Concussion and Contentment.

When speaking with readers, bloggers, and podcasters I get asked a lot of questions. I’d like to share some of those with your readers.

Q; What character gave you fits and fought against you?

A: My most challenging character in Concussion and Contentment was Angela “Ang” Sorenson. She was a hard nut to crack for the entire series. Vivian is the main character of the series, and Ang is her partner. They each show up to the relationship in very different ways. Ang is a bit of a wild card and she really was difficult to write.

Q: What inspired you to write this particular story? What were the challenges in bringing it to life?

A: I’d had the idea of Vivian Chastain kicking around in my head for many years, but it wasn’t until I really got serious about writing that I decided to try to write her story. The challenge in the beginning was actually figuring out how to write a full-length novel. By the time I sat down to write the third book, Concussion and Contentment, that challenge shifted more to the dynamics between the characters and helping them all evolve and grow.

Q: What secondary character would you like to explore more? Tell me about him or her.

A: I would love to explore Buck more. She is the rock-steady security guard at the nightclub in which Vivian works. Buck is a strong presence through all three books and while she is the silent, watchful type, I know there is a lot of depth there.

Q: Who has been your favorite character to write and why?

A: I really enjoyed writing Bear, who was inspired by my real life friend of the same name. Unfortunately, Bear passed away before my books were published, so she wasn’t able to see herself mirrored in my stories. It was fun to memorialize her quirky, larger than life personality in my writing.

Q: What was the weirdest thing you had to Google for your story?

A: Light-rail train accidents. I won’t say any more than that, because I don’t want to leave any spoilers.

Q: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?

A: I am putting the finishing touches on a novel titled Pinned. It is based on a character named Randy Cox who is trying to coast into retirement but gets wrapped up in a scandal at work that shakes up her whole life. I don’t have a contract for it yet but hope it will release in early 2022.

You can purchase Canopy (book one) here, Stitches and Sepsis (book two) here, and Concussion and Contentment (book three) here.


Liz is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link:


This excerpt is from Chapter One of Concussion and Contentment:

Sweat dripped and bass pulsed as hundreds of women writhed and bumped to the music. Tick, the club DJ, was killing it. The vibe was so good that I was high on it. There was a line at my station ten people deep, customers jostling for position while dancing and shuffling forward each time I finished a drink order. One of my regulars stepped up and waved a twenty-dollar bill at me. She was in her forties, sporting a bowler hat and forearm tats.

“Viv, show me them titties and tats!” she shouted over the thumping and chatter.

I had already stripped down to my sports bra, with my beater hanging from the back pocket of my Dickies. It was hot for April, and the press of sweating, dancing bodies had made the nightclub a sauna.

“Aw, Tig, you know I can’t do that,” I said with a smirk and turned my back to the crowd. Behind the bar was a wall-to-wall mirror. I gyrated my hips to Bubba Sparxxx’s “Ms. New Booty,” which had become a club favorite. I made eye contact with Tig in the mirror as she jumped to the beat, still waving the twenty-dollar bill at me. Shoving down the shyness that crept up, I slapped on the fa├žade of the confident butch barkeep I wore to work. I pulled my sports bra up, just a bit.

She hollered to her friends, “She’s doing it, she’s doing it!”

Amidst the chaos, they leaned to the side to see my reflection in the mirror, their mouths agape, eyes laser focused on me. I kept the tease up for a minute, dancing to the song, pulling my bra up a bit and lowering it again. Each time I lowered it, there was a chorus of “Awwwww’s” behind me. I finally relented and pulled my sports bra completely off. Their hoots and hollers made me grin, and I continued dancing for myself in the mirror.

Just as the song was ending, a bright light flashed in the mirror, reflecting straight into my eyes. I traced the light back along the mirror and saw it was coming from near the front door. Buck, our bouncer, stood on the rungs of her barstool by the door, flashing her Maglite at me. When we made eye contact, she tapped the top of her head three times, which was the sign that the cops were coming. I shimmied back into my sweaty sports bra, which was no easy feat, and turned back to my customers.

Tig pulled me into a hug across the bar. She tucked the bill into my waistband, her rough fingers lingering far too long on my skin. “Thanks, Viv. Looking good. Those tits and tats, you are so fucking hot. If I weren’t married, things’d be different.”

I patted her cheek and ended the hug, doing my best to keep my cool and stay in my role.

“Good to see you, Tig. The usual?”

She nodded and I poured her an Irish Car Bomb. She slapped some more cash on the bar, dropped the shot glass of whiskey and Bailey’s into her pint of Guinness, and chugged the whole frothing mess while her crew cheered her on. She slammed the pint glass down, wiped her mouth on her bare arm, belched, and disappeared into the fray.

Jen, the barback, bounced up to me with her usual level of cheer, and began unloading glasses fresh from the washer. “Tig still trying to get into your pants?” Her voice dripped with disgust as she fingered the American Spirit cigarette tucked behind her ear.

“Always.” I uncapped some beer bottles and rang up my next customer. “You know, I’ve been doing this job a few years now, and know that there’s a certain level of shit we have to put up with if we want those tips. And I need those tips. But it’s getting less amusing when people forget we are human and not a piece of meat.”

Author Bio

Liz 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

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