A – The Artist

mmbWelcome to the 2015 A to Z Blog Challenge. Since this is my 4th challenge, I received special status. Please, feel free to call me Special Agent, Sydney (Thanks Nicole). It’s not weird, that I printed this out and carry it with me at all times. You never know when you need to show your credentials.

The A to Z Blog Challenge is the brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out. We post every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

My theme:  Books & Tattoos

AA is for the Artist. The tattoo artist is the most important person in the tattoo process. Pick your artist carefully. I have been fortunate to get inked by some amazing artist who understood my ideas and made them better and tattooable (I make up tattoo words all the time. Deal with it.).

I’ve been tattooed by Shane (Greenich Village, New York), Jason (Dallas, Texas), Gabe Shum (Hong Kong), Coco (Shenzhen, China), Vincent (Hong Kong), Manny (Dallas, Texas) & Michael (Brooklyn, New York).

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Gabe Shum is an amazing artist in Hong Kong. He is responsible for two of my tattoos. He is the first artist who drew my tattoos freehand directly on my skin. celeb_david-beckham_350x500He created my favorite tattoo – Chinese Bull. CJ (yes, I name my tattoos) is holding three picked of bamboo, which represent happiness, long life and wealth. This tattoo was the catalyst for me pursuing my dream of becoming a writer.

Gabe has also tattooed David Beckham & NBA player Carmelo Anthony.

(Gabe did those Chinese characters. It means ‘Death and life have pre-determined appointments; riches and honor are from heaven.’

Pretty cool, huh!

I’ll share more of my ink over the month and share stories from other inked up authors. I will also introduce you to some of my favorite writer inspired tattoos and inked themed novels.

Do you have a tattoo? How important was your tattoo artist to the process? 

If you have a tattoo story and want to be featured on #tattoootuesday, let me know in the comments. SydTattooTuesday

Six Years by Stephanie Witter – Cover Reveal

I was told this story is HOT, HOT, Too HOT to Handle! I love Stephanie’s books, they are always interesting with a unique twist. I’m sure this one will be no different. – Sydney Aaliyah Michelle 
Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Standalone novel
Cover Designer: Jo Raven
Release Date: June 9th
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Blurb:

They hadn’t seen each other in six years. 

She’d always had a crush on him. 

He’d only ever seen her like a little sister. 

And now…he’s back.

Brooklyn

I thought that he was a part of a distant past. I thought I didn’t feel anything for him now, but I was not so sure anymore. Having him back in my life, for however long it was, was making me see things differently. So many things had changed in the last six years and somehow I’d lost myself and forgotten all about my dreams.

My home life was still a mess, my personal life was nothing to boast about and when I see how successful he is, how everything he’d always wanted came true, I couldn’t help but feel lacking in a lot of ways. But he’s back and he needed me. I knew I was the only one who understood that part of his life, the only one he’s willing to share it with. My heart is still beating too hard and too fast for him and this time around, I was as much an adult as he was.

Having a six year age gap didn’t mean shit.

Nolan

Being back in Riverdale was harder than I thought. I’d turned my back on that life, but there had always been that one girl in my head. Little B. Now she’s nothing like the twelve year old girl I’d last seen. She’s a young woman, gorgeous and sexy. I couldn’t stay away. There’s something drawing me to her and it goes beyond my need to reconnect with her, to have her back in my life and fill the hollow part of my chest. But I couldn’t forget the little girl she had been; I shouldn’t forget the little girl she used to be.

Growing up with a junkie mother and nobody else, my neighbor, Brooklyn, had been my only happy place. I had taken care of her, and when I had left, I had to leave behind a huge part of me. I couldn’t do it again. I needed her. Once again, she’s the only person I want in my life, but I wasn’t sure if it was for all the right reasons.

Were there too many obstacles in the way?

About the author:

Stephanie Witter is a French dreamer. She started learning English at three, and fell in love with the language. Always with a book, or two close by, she started reading in English when she couldn’t wait any longer for Harry Potter to be translated in French. After a while, reading wasn’t enough. She started writing Young Adult and New Adult Contemporary novels and PATCH UP is her first New Adult Contemporary novel.

Would you like to receive an email to let you know when SIX YEARS is available?
If you do, fill out this form. 

The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest

atoz-theme-reveal-2015This will be my third A to Z. I have a blast every year, but this I am extra excited. I have begged my fellow authors to share, open up, and reveal things about themselves. I’ve asked them to tell me about their ink. Yes. My Theme is Writers and Tattoos.

I’ll have some inked authors, some authors who write about inked characters. I’ll reveal a few of my favorite tattoo themed books and tell you about my own ink and perhaps share a bit about my tattooed themed series set for publication in November of 2015.

And, if you are an inked up author or love inked characters, or a even better, an inked up reader and want to tell me about your ink, let me know in the comments. I have a few letters left. I can fit you in. 

Have a great A to Z Challenge everyone!

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Ignition (The Redline Series, 1) by Skye Callahan – Release Day

Do  you know Skye Callahan? If you don’t, you really, really, really need to get to know her. She writes dark and twisted and sexy as hell books. Check out the first in her new series, Ignition. – Sydney Aaliyah Michelleredline2

Now available!
IGNITION (The Redline Series, 1)
Skye Callahan

Redline Final medWhen you’re this close to the redline, there’s no room for error
—or second chances.

A sought after car thief for hire, Colt will do anything for a high—anything for the deafening rush of blood and chemicals that tames the ongoing anarchy in his mind. Fast cars, pain, alcohol, women… his vices come in many flavors, but one woman tempts him closer to the line he can never come back from. She’ll be his hardest theft yet—an action that will set the looming conflict with his brother on a new and violent path.

Aubrey has two choices. The first she knows too well: the alluring businessman who entwined her in his deceptive plots. The second is a stranger. He makes his promises not with a silver tongue but with harsh, blunt observations that Aubrey can’t ignore. Either way, she’s caught between two brothers each seeking the other’s downfall—and neither has a problem taking her down in the process

Add it on Goodreads
Spotify Playlist: Redline

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Excerpt

The last song of the night faded while the bartender cleared up after final orders, and I watched Aubrey stumble back toward the employee only door.
Damn, naive thing had no idea what she’d gotten into—or did she?
I popped a piece of gum in my mouth to get rid of the stale taste. I knew exactly what Devlin had in mind. I’d watched it happen—and it never ended well. He backed them into a corner, teased and taunted until they’d do just about anything to be free from him. This time, he’d gone a little heavy on the drugs, meaning she was more sensitive than he anticipated, or he had big plans for the evening.
Why did I care?
Why did I look into those clouded grey eyes and feel a pang of desire? Desire to have her bent over a table, taking my cock—a desire to keep my brother from getting there first.
It wasn’t as if I was leading any moral high ground. The things I wanted to do to women, well, that was an entirely different matter—one that didn’t require drugs or sweet talk.
One that propelled me toward the employee door. No one would stop me—they all knew better. Backstage had already erupted into the traditional post-closing party. Most days, I was shocked that anyone survived working at Addiction. Not that I was one to talk, but I wondered if any of the employees experienced a sober moment inside the building. The club lived up to its name—a constant stream of debauched activity even when doors were closed to the public. Devlin found ways to get medical records of every single employee since there wasn’t a damn thing they were above sharing.
And that’s why I never touched the girls.
Until now.
I told myself it didn’t count if I got there first.

Keep reading…

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Changing Tides by Sarah Darlington – Blog Tour

I always say how excited I am for a release, but I am beyond excited about this one. I love Sarah. She is a talented writer with a great imagination. Check out her newest release. -Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
CHANGING TIDES by Sarah Darlington
“Nate West. Hollywood bad-boy. Television megastar. Womanizer. Basically everything I hate about the male species rolled into one handsome package. And yet…I want him.”
 
Ellie Turner is a lesbian. She has tattoos, short hair, and a ‘don’t-mess-with-me-attitude.’ She knows who she is, loves who she is, and couldn’t care less what the rest of the world thinks of her. And since she has the most kick-ass best friend on the planet, Noah Clark, even when family drama gets in the way, nothing can offset her happy-go-lucky demeanor.
 
Until television star Nate West comes along. All thick muscle and alpha-male testosterone. When Ellie meets him on an airplane the only thing Nate West should be good for is a brand new profile picture on Facebook. Right? Wrong. Turns out he’s good for so much more.
 
This man is going to flip everything Ellie thought she knew about herself upside down.

***NA Romance. This novel is the second book in the Kill Devil Hills series, however it can be read as a standalone. Recommended for 18+

PURCHASE NOW:
$0.99 for release day!


Other novels in the Kill Devil Hills Series:

KILL DEVIL HILLS

Noah is determined to escape his past and keep his life under control. Then he saves the life of his best friend’s little sister, Georgina Turner — who is battling her own demons. He can’t get her out of his head, even if Georgina tears down the emotional walls he so carefully built.

Read chapter 1 and 2 here

Author Bio:

Sarah Darlington lives in Virginia with her husband and two-year-old son. She’s a former flight attendant, navy brat, constant day-dreamer, wannabe photographer, and an avid scrapbooker. She loves to travel and is working on visiting all 50 states.

Sarah Darlington Online:
 

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It Will Always Be You by Tina Ness – Blog Tour

Sweet cover, with a  steamy, violent premise in the blurb. That’s what good drama is all about. – Sydney Aaliyah MichelleYou1

It Will Always Be You by Tina Ness (You #1) Publication date: October 26th 2014 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Excerpt:  I’m still reveling in my sweet release when he shifts back. He hovers over me, finding my eyes. “Shh.” He brings a finger to his mouth. “My mind-reading skills are telling me something …” His eyes teasingly shoot open as he pretends to be listening to something. “What was that? You want me to make you squirm some more?”
Could he be any cuter? “Warning. Reading my mind could be detrimental to your health,” I say with weighted breath.
“Shit, woman, just when I think there’s no way I could possibly find you sexier, you open that sweet mouth of yours.” He kisses me hard, eating my mouth like he’s starving and I’m the first taste of food he’s had in weeks.
He enters me with a slow and steady rhythm like he did last time, and I love it. But right now, I want more—I need more. I take a tight grip of his firm ass and drive him into me more forcefully, telling him what I want. I find his eyes, and they’re blazing with an unleashed passion I want him to set free. I still get the sense that he is trying to be gentle, but I want him to know that that is not what I need right now. I need him to take me like he needs me, like he can’t live without me. I have to have this from him right now.

He grabs ahold of my hips, thrusting hard and deep inside me. Our breathing turns to ragged bursts as the sound of flesh against flesh fills the air, a sound I have never respected until now, here with Marshall.
Another orgasm builds in my belly, another sweet release even more intense than the last.
“Marshall,” I cry as he releases inside me and collapses around me, breathing into my hair. I wrap my legs around him, holding him there inside me, a connection I need for just a few more sweet moments.

Synopsis: It Will Always Be You can be read as a stand-alone After surviving four years with a commitment-phobic boyfriend, Elizabeth wants nothing more than to settle down. Too bad the man she desires, Marshall Roderick, leaves her flustered, trembling, and unable to utter a single word when he’s near. Assuming he’s the very definition of a womanizing bachelor, Elizabeth relegates him to fantasyland and makes no move to get to know him. That is, until a chance encounter along the shores of Lake Superior leads to drinks and a steamy romance. Confident, successful, and freakishly handsome, Marshall is everything Elizabeth has been looking for. But when an unthinkable act of violence shakes them both to the core, she discovers that Marshall isn’t as carefree and put-together as he led her to believe. Now it’s up to Marshall and Elizabeth to figure out if their love can heal the scars of the past and turn them into the people they’ve always wanted to be.

Giveaway!!

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble

AUTHOR BIO: TinaTina is a contemporary Romance Author from Minnesota where she was born and raised and still resides with her wonderful husband, two girls and two crazy boxer dogs. Tina ran her own photography business for eight years before finally deciding to pursue her dream of becoming an author and she hasn’t regretted that decision for a single second since. Tina’s a romance junkie with a love for food, wine, fitness, nutrition, photography, music, boating on Lake Minnetonka, cross-country skiing and anything that inspires her or makes her laugh. Her first novel It Will Always Be You launched on October 26, 2014 and I’m currently working on book two of three of my You Series. Book #1 can be read as a stand-alone however.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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The Hurricane by R.J. Scott – Special Tattoo Thursday Edition

Yummy! Need I say more. Ok, now that I got that out of the way. I am obsessed with tattooed character at the moment. When I had the chance to ask R.J. about O’Connell and his ink, I jumped at the chance. Check out his tattoo story below. -Sydney Aaliyah Michelle

Hurricane

The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott
Publication date: February 16th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

O’Connell’s Tattoo Story:

As any reader will probably guess from the book, I LOVE tattoos. When they are meaningful I think that they can be a really beautiful form of art. That having been said, I don’t have any tattoos. Not a single one. Why? Not because I’m afraid of needles, but because I’m incredibly fickle. What I like one month, I know I’d regret another month. My husband doesn’t have any of these issues. Like O’Connell, he knows what he wants, makes up his mind and goes for it. He recently finished his full sleeve tattoo which goes from his wrist, up and over his shoulder. I watched him for months consider what he’d have, design it out, and then sit for hours in the chair while they painstakingly created this beautiful sleeve.
A sleeve tattoo requires a huge commitment. It’s so prominent and visible, that you need to truly love the design to live with it forever. O’Connell’s sleeve is a celtic design. Being Irish is a really important part of who he is and I think he’s proud to show that part of himself, to literally wear his nationality on his sleeve. When Em first sees it, she doesn’t see the ink as adding an element of intimidation to his demeanour. She sees the beauty in the artwork.
His other tattoo is so much more personal. In the early stages of their friendship, O’Connell reaches a low point. He is struggling not to get dragged down by his past dealings with an alcoholic mother, and his lack of tangible prospects to offer Em. At this point Em grabs a pen and writes a quote across O’Connell’s pectorals.

“A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t-
-Jack Dempsey”

She tells him that anyone can be a champion if they can get back up and keep fighting when they’ve hit rock bottom. It’s kind of a revelation to O’Connell that the only way is up. She has given him the hope and drive to lift himself up and try to make something of himself. It’s only fitting then that he captures the memory the only way he knows how, by having the words tattooed exactly where she wrote them.

O’Connell suggests when something meaningful happens that he feels a tattoo coming on. It seems he likes the idea of using his body as a human scrapbook and preserving, by tattoo, the very best of his memories. It’s a pretty good bet then that they’ll be more tattoos to come by the end of the sequel!

Synopsis:

Emily McCarthy is living in fear of a dark and dangerous past. A gifted mathematician, she is little more than a hollow, broken shell, trying desperately to make ends meet long enough to finish her degree.

Through an unlikely friendship with the aging, cantankerous owner of an old boxing gym, Em is thrown into the path of the most dangerous man that she has ever met.

Cormac “the Hurricane” O’Connell is cut, tattooed and dangerous. He is a lethal weapon with no safety and everyone is waiting for the mis-fire. He’s never been knocked out before, but when he meet Em he falls, HARD. Unlike any other girl he’s ever met, she doesn’t want anything from him. Just being around her makes him want to be a better person.
They are polar opposites who were never meant to find each other, but some things are just worth the fight.

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GIVEAWAY!

AUTHOR BIO:

Bio PicI was born in Cardiff, South Wales although I left to study law at the University of Bristol, England. Four weeks before graduation I fell in love, and stayed. Ten years later I convinced my crazy, wonderful fire fighter husband to move back to Cardiff with me where we live with our two equally crazy sons. Juggling work, writing and family doesn’t leave a lot of time, but curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a bar of chocolate for family movie night is definitely the best part of my week. “The Hurricane” is my debut New Adult Novel.

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