Tattoo Tuesday – Matthew Turner



I’m thrilled to bring you this amazing Tattoo Tuesday Story!

Take it away, Matthew. 

To understand the meaning of my tattoo, requires us to travel back to 2004. You see, as a wayward nineteen-year-old, I drank and partied and did what I liked. I’d also spent four months travelling Australia, and although I saw a great deal and met some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, in hindsight I wasted away my time.

I also wasted a lot of money on endeavours that ultimately lead to the same demise… the dreaded hangover.

But what fun. And if you can’t have fun at nineteen, when the hell can you? But I digress, for my tattoo story stems from another trip after Australia. A trip to Northern Kentucky, and YMCA Camp Ernst. A trip that wasn’t really a trip, rather my first real job.

Anybody who’s worked at a summer camp understands how real a job like this is, as it tests you in every single possible manner. Now, don’t for a second think I transformed into a born again Christian who never drank a drop again. I didn’t. I continued to do immature and wayward things for a long, long, long time.

But Camp Ernst taught me a lot about life… about me… about the true meaning of work and love and others…

Loving it oh-so much, I returned in 2005, and 2006, and 2007, and ended up spending eight summers within the walls of my spiritual home. I have no idea who I’d be without Camp, but I wouldn’t be the me of now. I doubt I’d write, for one. I doubt I’d live a creative life at all. In fact, I doubt a lot of things, but this is a what if I’m glad not to consider.

In 2010, I returned to Camp Ernst for a single week. In my late twenties, I had a real job with real responsibilities, but I couldn’t stay away. Like a drug, June came and sent me scurrying to the phone where I spoke to Eli (The Camp Director), pleading with her, “Can I come for a week? You don’t have to pay me! I just need to be there.”

At this stage, my once-upon-a-time campers were now my colleagues and peers. More important, my friends. Molly decided we should get a tattoo, and capture the moment and the meaning of a place we all hold dear in our hearts (despite the sleep deprivation, frustration, and low pay).

Five of us entered that tattoo parlour, with a simple design in mind: a triangle, because that’s the YMCA’s icon – an icon of strength, love, and equality; and the words, ‘This is goodnight, not goodbye’ – because these were the lyrics of Linger, a song we had all sung around the campfire hundreds of times before.


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And it’s fitting, because I’ll never say goodbye to Camp Ernst, no matter how old I get. Saying goodnight to those we love is like a promise to see you soon. I like this, and so, in many ways, my tattoo not only captures my love for my spiritual oasis, and the meaning it’s brought to my life, but to those I love – those from the past, present, and the ones I’ve yet to meet.

On my right forearm, on Tim’s left, Molly’s side, Saunie’s foot, and Davey’s too, five people with the same tattoo, but in different, yet equally meaningful locations. We all have our reasons for loving camp, and we’ll be forever connected through ink.


And so, that’s my tattoo story. I plan to get many others, too. I like the idea of my arms and back and chest full of words and sentences I adore. Lyrics and quotes and sayings that mean something to me. But that’s for the future, and other stories.

For now, I have one, but it’s an awfully special one.


On the 16th September, TICK to the TOCK is having a Kindle Countdown Deal, so will be a mere $.99 🙂

Thanks so much, Matthew. Click on his book to pick up a copy.

If you want to connect with Matthew Turner, check him out on Goodreads


Tattoo Tuesday – @EmilyRPearson


I’m so excited to present to some, introduce to others Ms. Emily R. Pearson. Her novel Two Steps Back will be released on Friday, July 11, 2014.

Emily, your four questions start now:

1.   How old were you when you got your first tattoo? 
I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday. I actually designed it for my dad who passed away when I was 8. I went to a local shop a couple months in advance with my design and they took it and completely vamped it up for me.
2.     How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more?
I have 4. I have a star on my foot and plan on adding to it. The star is because of the moment in The Lion King when Mufasa and Simba talk about all the kings of the past being stars in the sky. I also have the word ‘inspire’ that matches a close friend of mine’s as well. I have that tattoo for my dad and then I have a tattoo for my writing that I just got last month. It’s the quote I use to sign my books with; “Never let the past get in the way of your future.”
I have plans for many more 🙂
3.     What inspired you to get your first tattoo or favorite tattoo?  Tell me your tattoo story.
My first tattoo is my favorite one. It’s for my daddy and it holds a special place in my heart. If you look at the picture, you’ll see the wings are blue and green. That’s because my dad had a green eye and a blue eye. The antlers are obvious; he was a hunter. The barbed wire is actually a funny story. When I was little, I took a barbed wire fence out with my eye. I still have the scar to prove it. We were out of town because my dad and his friends were putting on a fireworks show and when he saw my battle wound, he tried to take me to the hospital instead of putting on his show. I told him I wanted to see the pretty lights so he cleaned me up and called me his champ. This tattoo means so much to me.

4.     Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike? Explain why?   
Of course I like! Tattoo’s are hot! They aren’t required though. I love that someone can tell a story on their body though. That’s what makes tattoo’s special to me. It’s not just a fashion statement. It’s a story. I love stories, obviously!
I have several more planned myself. 🙂 Thanks so much Emily. 
If you want to learn more about Emily, check out her stuff: 
Check out her work:
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I am hanging out with Emily this Friday for her Two Steps Back Release Day Facebook Party, be sure to stop by. There will be giveaways and prizes all day.
If you have a tattoo story to share, leave me a note in the comments. 

Tattoo Tuesday – @SeasonVining


Season Vining is a talented new author and in celebration of her debut novel, I asked her to be a part of Tattoo Tuesday. Besides, she has a quote from one of my favorite books on the back of her neck. So beautiful. 

Take is away Season. 

My first tattoo is something my best friend and I got together. It’s a ladybug on my shoulder. Everyone kept telling me, “It’s going to hurt like hell.” So, I prepared myself for the worst. When I was finished, I wondered what all the fuss was about. Sure, it was uncomfortable, but the pain wasn’t bad at all. It left me with a burning desire for more ink.


My second tattoo was something I got on my honeymoon. It represents my Louisiana heritage and New Orleans, the place we got married. There is an infinity symbol placed in there to show our love for each other. We walked into a tattoo shop in Reno and asked for a fleur de lis tattoo. They said, “A Florida what?” After a google search and a quick sketch, we were ready to go. This tattoo is on my wrist. It was more than any other tattoo I’ve gotten, but it only took a half hour. What’s 30 minutes of pain for a lifetime of pretty?



Third was the tattoo I’d been wanting for years. Two old school swallows on each side of my chest. I love these birds so hard. I am a fan of the more traditional tattoo flash and these are my tribute to that. They took three hours to complete and are still my favorite.



The last tattoo I got was in Las Vegas on a GIRLS ONLY vacation. It is my only literary tattoo, though I have more planned. My favorite book as a teenager was The Outsiders. It changed my life and touched me in a way that has never faded. On the back of my neck, in swirling script, the words Stay Gold remind me to be my best self, all the time.


Tristan Fallbrook, in my debut novel Beautiful Addictions, is covered in ink. He’s got full sleeves and work on his chest and back. My inspiration for this wasn’t simply the fact that I find tattooed boys sexy–but, let’s be honest, I do. I wanted to represent Tristan’s enormous departure from his sheltered, privileged childhood. I wanted him to be the guy who literally carves into his skin all of the emotions, hardships, and triumphs of his life. They are only a part of his character, but they say so much.

Thanks so much Season.  I love your ink and I can’t wait to talk more ink in the future. 
If you want to learn more about Season, check out her stuff: 
If you have a tattoo story to share, leave me a note in the comments. 

Tattoo Tuesday – Suzanne Van Royen


OtherMeFS-200x300So excited to bring back Tattoo Tuesday and to feature some amazing people who just so happen to be talented writers.

First up, Suzanne Van Royen. Suzanne is not only the music guru for my debut novel coming out in April, but she recently released a YA Contemporary Novel titled, The Other Me.

Suzanne, welcome to Tattoo Tuesday. Your five questions start now:

1. How old were you when you got your first tattoo?

I was 21 and living in Finland on a student exchange. I got my first ink as a way to commemorate the most amazing 5 months of my life.

2.     How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more?

5 and counting 🙂 The guy who did my first tattoo said, this’ll either be your first and last or the first of many. He was right! I definitely think I’ll be adding to my collection in the years to come.

3.     What inspired you to get your first tattoo or favorite tattoo?  Tell me your tattoo story.

A few years ago I watched this film called The Tattooist starring Jason Behr. It wasn’t a great movie but there was a fantastic scene where the MC’s love interest runs her hands over his heavily inked back and chest. As she does so, he tells her where he got each one, his ink reading like a map of his life and all his travels. That scene gave me chills and made me want my own tattoos for similar reasons. Three of my five tattoos were done in Finland, I then have one from South Africa where I grew up and one from Australia (the one on my ankle) where I lived for 7 months. If I got a new tattoo every time I travelled, I’d run out of skin so I’m restricting my ink to places I’ve lived. I’m hoping to add a few more countries to my collection in the next few years. The story behind my first tattoo – other than being from somewhere I’d lived and to commemorate my exchange – is that I wanted something in Finnish. I love the Finnish language and looked at a bunch of quotes from songs and poems before settling on something incredibly simple and totally me: Minä uskon keijukaisiin, which is a tribute to Peter Pan and my determination to never grow up. It means ‘I believe in faeries’. My newest tattoo and first one with colour is of the Druidic symbol known as the awen which means poetic inspiration and is strongly associated with the idea of a muse or that seemingly extrinsic power that fuels our creativity. I like the messy hand-drawn style of my tattoos and never want anything to look too clean or precise, but more like a doodle and spilled ink.

tats s van rooyen

4.     Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike? Explain why?  

Love! I’m not a fan of facial tattoos or random images of tigers and pin-up girls, but I love artistic and meaningful ink. My husband only recently got a tattoo and I love how quintessentially geeky and how totally him it is. His tat is what he considers the most beautiful math equation:

5.     Do the character’s in your books have tattoos? If so, pick a character and tell me his or her tattoo story? Was this story incorporated in the book?  

Oh yes. I wrote a short story for an anthology once where the entire theme was about tattoos. I don’t really have too many tattooed main characters in my YA novels though. In my latest novel The Other Me, my male MC’s best friend Dirk has a tiger tattoo clawing up his ribs because he’s trying to be a hardcore punk-rocker, and my female MC’s best friend Jordan has a tiny butterfly tattoo on her hip. In my soon to be published novel, I Heart Robot, my android MC Quinn has a tattoo on his left forearm. This is his identity code marking him as a certain class of android and is hard-coded into his DNA. He can never get rid of it despite the lengths he goes to trying to have it removed. His best friend also has tattoos, really impressive dragons inked onto her over-sized android skull. I’m starting to see a trend in my writing when it comes to BFFs and tattoos, lol!

ankle tat s van rooyen

To learn more about Suzanne, connect with her on her blog and on Goodreads

If you have a book coming out or just want to tell your tattoo story and want to be featured on Tattoo Tuesday, let me know by leaving me a message in the comments.