T – Tattoo Thief Series by Heidi Joy Tretheway

TThanks so much for asking me to be part of your blog fun! I’m here to spill a couple of secrets (and inspirations) for the tattoos in my Tattoo Thief series.

I’ve been fascinated with tats since I realized the art form was possible. Writing about a fictional rock band Tattoo Thief, in which every member has at least one tattoo, lets me invent wonderful backstories because I believe every bit of ink has (or should have) a story.

My favorite real-life tattoo story is from a friend: “My friend David and I got drunk and made out during Seafair week in Seattle. Then we got anchor tattoos like the sailors and we made out some more. But the next week, my ex-boyfriend and I got back together and now we’ve been married ten years. David’s my son’s godfather now.”

TattooThief1_kindleIn Tattoo Thief, the leading man, Gavin, has a tattoo of the word reckless inked backward along his collarbone, so it’s legible in a mirror. I was inspired by a tattoo I couldn’t immediately read on a guy in the Los Angeles airport.

In the book, a reporter asks Gavin about the origin of his band’s name, but Gavin only says that it’s Tyler’s story to tell. Here is where I confess to you, dear reader, that I had no idea what the name’s backstory should be, so punting that answer to the following book was a cop out on my part.

But somehow inspiration found me. *cue choirs singing from the heavens*TattooThief2_kindlesmall

In Tyler & Stella, the sequel to Tattoo Thief, I chose my cover model early and decided to mold the story around some of his attributes, including the tattoos and nipple piercings. But I had a hard time explaining the gun tattoo on his forearm, which was inconsistent with my character Tyler’s gentle nature and bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold vibe.

Rather than giving you an explanation, I snagged a short excerpt as Tyler tells aspiring music journalist Stella how his band got its name.

Excerpt from Tyler & Stella

[Tyler] “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” His grin is rakish and tempting.

[Stella] “I don’t have any.”

“Yet?” Tyler’s brow lifts—a challenge.

“I don’t want to wear my mistakes. When I get a tattoo, I want it to be about the future.”

“See? You said when, not if. You’ll get one. Then you can show me yours and I’ll show you the rest of mine.”

Unnnh. My mouth goes dry. Is he flirting?

“In one interview, Gavin said you copied someone’s tattoo.”

Tyler frowns. “It’s the only tattoo I regret. I was trying to be tough, you know, when I started the band. Gavin and Dave and Jayce were cool. They had game. They had girlfriends, even when we weren’t famous. I could barely talk to girls.”

My heart warms to the idea of this deliciously muscled man in front of me squirming and striking out with the ladies. “So you decided to get a tattoo?”

“Yeah. There was this guy—he was a senior and I was a freshman in college—and he had this gun on his arm. I thought it looked edgy. So I got one, too, but when he saw mine, he got all pissed that I copied him. A few nights later he spray-painted Tattoo Thief across my mom’s garage door.”

My eyes widen. This isn’t a story I’ve heard before. I scramble to jot down details in the notebook I’d forgotten in my lap, but Tyler touches my wrist lightly. “Can we keep that part off the record?”

I know this bargain: either he’ll tell me more and I can’t write about it, or he won’t tell me. My insides are at war—I love this detail, but I have plenty of other stuff for my story. My curiosity wins.

“OK. So what did you do?”

“My mom came home, and I was freaking out she’d be angry. But she said, ‘Tattoo Thief? That’s a cool name for a band.’ And it stuck.”

I hoot with laughter. “What? Your mom wasn’t pissed about the spray paint?”

“She was at first, but she told me later she wanted me to repaint the garage doors anyway. Gavin begged her to let it stay, like advertising, so she did for almost a year.”

“Your mom is cool.”



The tattoo Stella gets in this book is just the one I crave for my own skin.

Here’s the part where I’d better tell you that Tattoo Thief is free everywhere (KindleNookKoboiBooks), and two more books in the series (all standalones, and each about a different member of the band) are also available on all retailers. Thanks for letting me visit the blog, Sydney!!

Thanks so much Heidi. I just love her and her books are AMAZing!!!! 

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!


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.


photo 2

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 – Jen Greyson


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

  1. How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I was 18
  2. How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more? I only have one, and I’ve always thought I’d get more. I’m a big scuba diver, so I’ve wanted to get a dive flag on my hip….but I kept waiting for my hips to get to that “perfect” size. I need to just do it!Image
  3. What inspired you to get your first tattoo or favorite tattoo?  Tell me your tattoo story. I was very into dragons and I found this wicked image of one. (Fantasy writer, you know 😉 Unfortunately, the parlor I went to had just hired a new artist and instead of getting the guy I wanted, I ended up as this chick’s guinea pig….it’s always looked like a jail tat (nothing against jail tats) but it could have been such a great tat (it looks pretty much nothing like the original image!). Now it’s twenty something years old, and looks awful. I’m secretly hoping someone will hear my story on your blog and want to do a tat makeover *laugh* I learned a very valuable lesson about speaking up for what I want though.
  4. Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike? Explain why?  I wouldn’t mind if he had one. Maybe a nice tribal around his arm (how cliche, I know, but so hot). Funnily enough, out of the four married couples we hang out with, all the girls are tatted, but none of the guys.
  5. Do the character’s in your books have tattoos? If so, pick a character and tell me his or her tattoo story? Why was this story incorporated in the book? Always! I love ink. Love everything about why someone gets one… Because like you said, there’s always a story. My time traveler, Evy, was a custom bike builder before she started fixing history so she had tats before the story started. Now she gets them at the beginning and end of every history alteration. They mark her time since time no longer has meaning for her. The last one she got was from a tattoo artist in ancient Spain.

About Jen:

From the moment she decided on a degree in Equestrian Studies, Jen Greyson’s life has been one unscripted adventure after another. Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming to train show horses in France, Switzerland, and Germany, she’s lived life without much of a plan, but always a book in her suitcase. Now a wife and mom to two young boys, she relies on her adventurous, passionate characters to be the risk- takers.

Her newest release, SHADOW BOXER, was featured in the USA TODAY.


Jen is also a professional ghost and writes everything from billionaire legacies to romance novellas when she’s not enjoying the wilds of the west via wakeboard or snowmobile. She’s a mama writer, unleashing stories.

To learn more about Jen, connect with her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook 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.  

Tattoo Tuesday – Pk Hrezo


Butterman600x900Today on Tattoo Tuesday, I would like to welcome Pk. I got to know Pk when she let me beta reading her book, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. It was my first beta read that turned into a published work of fiction and I even got my name in the Acknowledgements. How cool it that? haha. She is my indie published/writer/amazing person role model. 

Pk, welcome to Tattoo Tuesday. Tell us your tattoo story: 

When I was twenty—way back in ’93, I got my first and only tat. Here it is:

photo (78)

Not very big, about the size of a silver dollar, right on the back of my neck. So this particular era was when the tattoo and piercing craze began. I was in college, and some friends had started getting tats, and I knew I wanted one, but wasn’t sure what. I knew I’d know it when I saw it.

This was also when I discovered I was artsy-phartsy, and drawing all the time. I also had friends who drew all the time. We’d do murals on our apartment walls and pretty much exploded with art anytime and anywhere. We had a distinct underground tribal style and were all about making creative statements.

Romantic relationships back then were a dime a dozen. We had such a vast group of friends, and were always meeting new people. I had heard through the grapevine there was this one guy who was into me. He was known for the tats all over his back. He was into bats, which I thought was cool and different, and had a bat on his back. Anyway, he finally asked me out, and coincidentally I’d just discovered the tattoo I wanted from my friend’s sketch book.

So where did we go on our first date? To get my tat.

Oddly enough, the woman who did my tat wouldn’t put it on the back of my left shoulder where I wanted it. I’m not sure why, but I’m really glad she didn’t. I like it much better on the back of my lower neck.

As for the relationship with “bat guy,” we dated for about a month and then moved on. Just wasn’t in the stars, I guess. But it was still the coolest, most unique first date I ever had. Over the years my tattoo has been a nice reminder of that time in my life when the world was my oyster. I used to get asked what it means and I’d say “Freedom of youth,” which is totally made up, but in a sense, it does mean that to me. Later I got my nose pierced and I’m pretty sure gave my parents some gray hairs with my newfound freedom. Lol

I wanted to get a tattoo this year since I just turned forty, and also because I published my first book, but I decided to wait til my trip to New Zealand and get something warrior-ish over there. Or maybe elvish? Haven’t fully decided yet. But I’ll be sure to share when I do.

Thanks so much for featuring me and my ink here today, Sydney!

Connect with Pk and pick up her latest release, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc.

            *Adventure through fearless creativity *

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.