Posts Tagged With: Series – 415 Ink

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Tattoo Symbolism + Giveaway!

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Tattoo Symbolism

by Rhys Ford

Well, I want to thank everyone for following the blog tour for 415 Ink: Savior! I’m going to use the same intro for every piece in case someone jumps in midway because that way everyone starts off on the same page. So if you’re joining midway, be sure to backtrack and catch the other posts because we’ll be exploring tattoos. Be sure to catch Savior, a second book in the 415 Ink series, on its release date of September 18!

This has been a crazy series to write and as much as I enjoyed it, it’s always a challenge to bring a fully fleshed character with very real problems to the page. I hope that when you read Savior you will fall in love with Mace and be with him on his journey as he in turn falls in love with Rob.

Since the tattoo shop, 415 Ink, is such a central heart of the series, I wanted to talk about tattoo symbolism very briefly because there’s a lot of opinions and cultural attachments to certain tattoos. What could be presented on this tour is just a small sampling of what people believe certain images mean and how they connect to the people who choose to wear them on their skin.

I’m going to say that tattoos are not for everyone but I do have a hard-core cultural association with them so I’m very fond of tattoos. I feel it is a very personal thing and should be taken seriously because you are going to wear it for the rest of your life. But, I also do believe even the tiniest flash tattoo means something to someone and everyone getting ink should be respected for their choices. Someone’s little flower on an ankle could mean their experiment into pushing themselves to fearlessness or capture memory of something they shared with someone. Not every tattoo needs to be huge or an artistic rendering of the Sistine Chapel. But they should have meaning.

I believe a tattoo should be a piece of yourself the inker draws out of your soul and embellishes on your skin. It should rise up from some part of you to realize its existence.

Much like love. And very much like falling in love.

So let’s talk about ink.

Traditional – Sailor Tattoos

Inspired by the ink they saw on the skin of the people they met on their travels around the Pacific, sailors began to mark their own bodies for luck and as badges of honor for milestones they’d passed in their journeys. The life of a sailor was dangerous, and the accomplishments they made had a great deal of meaning for them. Their tattoos were proof they’d sailed thousands of miles, crossed the equator, and survived storms and other dangers of the deep.

Norman Keith Collins aka Sailor Jerry had one of the first tattoo shops in the Western world, established many of the customary designs we see today’s flash art including: anchors, daggers, serpents, mermaids, and more. Collins has since passed away but his family and friends continue his Old School Traditional tattoo styles at Old Ironside, a tattoo shop that stands in the original spot of Sailor Jerry’s O’ahu shop.

Each had its own meaning. Some of the most common sailor tattoos are:

Anchor: An anchor placed anywhere on the body represented that a sailor had completed a voyage that crossed the Atlantic. It also was thought to bring steadiness.

Compass: A compass was so a sailor would always be able to find his way home.

Dice: A set of dice was often chosen by a sailor to show that he was a fearless risk taker. It was also chosen by sailors that enjoyed gambling.

Dragon: A dragon symbolized that a sailor had been to China.

Harpoon: A harpoon was a mark of having belonged to a fishing or whaling fleet.

Hula Girl: A symbol that signified that a sailor had been to Hawaii.

Lighthouse: A symbol of guiding light and protection against a ship crashing against the rocks. It was also known to represent home and shelter.

Mermaid/Siren: The call of the siren was a superstition. It was thought that the beautiful lure of a siren’s voice would misguide a ship, and cause it to wreck, or pull a sailor into the sea to find her where he would drown. Having a mermaid tattoo protected against the dangers of the sea.

Nautical Star: A nautical star was a popular emblem sailors would get to be sure they would be guided home safely.

Pig & Rooster: Both pigs and roosters were kept on board in crates that floated, so a pig on one foot and a rooster on the other was thought to protect a sailor from drowning.

Rope: A rope around the wrist meant that the sailor had served as a deckhand.

Rose & Dagger: Showing bravery and a willingness to fight, a dagger through a rose symbolized a fearlessness of conflict or confrontation.

Ship: A ship with full sails marked a sailor’s voyage around Cape Horn, which is where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.

Swallow: One of the most well-known of nautical tattoos, a swallow represented every 5000 miles a sailor voyaged. A swallow will always find their way home, and it was thought that the swallow would bring luck and mean that the sailor would return safely home.

Turtle: A hardback turtle was a symbol of passing the equator.

So there’s also giveaway! Enter to win a $20 USD gift certificate to an e-tailer of your choice which can include Dreamspinner, Amazon, Starbucks or any place I can send a gift certificate without having to sacrifice a chicken. Just follow the blog’s contest rules to enter!

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 50 Comments

Book Review: Savior by Rhys Ford

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Savior
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: 415 Ink #2
Heroes: Mace & Rob
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: A savior lies in the heart of every good man, but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside the savior.

The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.

It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love, and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.

Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life, much less his heart, but the brash Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies and saving the man he’s too scared to love.

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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Kane & Miki + Giveaway!

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415 Ink: Rebel

by Rhys Ford

Hello and welcome to the 415 Ink: Rebel Blog Tour. I’d like to say I’m Rhys Ford, your host but the truth is, I am merely a stealer of space and time. Their space, your time. BUT I hope I can make it worth your while.

Because dudes, I’ve got a book I want to tell you about.

If you know me at all, you know I have a few tattoos and well, have a hardcore love for art. Skin art to be exact. It’s a difficult medium and well, there’s a culture surrounding it as well. Being a tattoo artist is more than a profession, it truly is a calling, or it is for the great artists, the ones who push at the boundaries of skin and ink and do fantastical things on a living canvas.

The 415 Ink series hopefully will capture a part of that culture and also showcase five foster brothers who have made their own family. Set in San Francisco, I will introduce you to each of the five in a series of books where they find love and in some cases, their true path in life. The first, Rebel, is about Gus, the true middle kid in the bunch, and the man whose love he’d won, lost and hopefully will love again.

As all of my blog tours, I want to present you with something unique at each stop as well as a giveaway. So, for each blog, I will give you a story (or part of a story as I’ve split most into two pieces) about a tattoo… involving a character from one of my series. Check out the blog stop list to get a sneak peek at the characters!

The giveaway? You’ll be entering to win a $20 USD gift certificate to the online retailer of your choice!

Now, onto the tales of tattoos and where you can find Rebel, on sale December 29th through Dreamspinner, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

*****

San Francisco — Kane Morgan and Miki St. John

There were very few times in his life when Miki was by his side as he strolled past the Fisherman’s Wharf sign. That path was usually reserved for Rafe, Sionn and Connor, especially when they were on a run or hitting up the old crab shack for lunch. It seemed odd to have his rangy, too-pretty rock star of a lover walking next to him in bright daylight and not be headed to Finnegan’s.

Even stranger were the stares Miki pulled in as he walked by small crowds of people. He knew Miki was famous. He couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing Miki’s voice rotating through a song list, and there’d been more than a few times when they were out and someone approached cautiously, eager to get Miki’s attention but reluctant to interrupt.

That was when Kane remembered he shared Miki with the world. It wasn’t a bad thing, especially when he watched his prickly lover turn bashful and shy. He could talk music for hours — and had, blowing their reservations at a dinner once — but just like the star Kane wore, Miki had a calling and enthusiastic fans were simply part of it.

Even if Miki hated the attention, he always stopped and listened, smiling when Kane knew he wanted to die a little bit inside when all eyes were on him, and he could see their faces. It’d taken a long time for Kane to understand the difference. Up close and personal was hard but on stage, Miki saw nothing but heard their voices, a chorus chanting back the band’s words, filling in the silence Miki often nursed inside of himself. Performing was a way for Miki to bathe in the music and touch the stars.

“You always stop. You have to stop.” Miki snorted with disgust when Connor innocently suggested the band excused themselves from fan encounters. “They’re the reason we’re up there. Somebody worked at a shitty job so they could see us up on stage. They might have eaten ramen for month for those tickets or even that album. Yeah, they don’t own us but they’ve invested in us. And all I’ve got to invest in them is time so I’m always gonna stop.”

While Kane agreed with the sentiment, today he hoped no one reached out to touch his rock star. Today was a long day coming, a gift he’d promised himself years before. Today was the day he would finally become a Morgan cop.

“It’s shitty the parking structure so far away.” Miki shivered a bit, ducking his head down when the light turned green, and they had to dash across the street through the chilly rain. “’Course I guess I should just be fucking glad there’s a parking structure. Remember when you had to circle around a lot? And we used to have this beat-up old van that was bigger than a Cadillac so we’d have gigs down here at eight but came down to park in the afternoon and feed the meter just so we had a spot.”

“You know, that’s one of my biggest regrets… not seeing you guys play before.” Kane snuck a look at Miki’s pale face, worried that he was setting too hard of a pace for Miki’s blown out knee. “You must have had some really kick ass shows.”

Miki wrinkled his nose as if he’d just been served a large helping of bitter melon stew. “Not back then. I mean there are a lot of places down here that have good music but the ones that hired us were just looking for some background noise while everybody drank. We played covers mostly and there were some nights we drank more than what we were paid but it was fun. Mostly. Sometimes, not so much but that’s what happens when you’re in a band. This is the same place that we went to for Ichi, right? They’ve got a dog named… Earl.” Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | 66 Comments

Book Review: Rebel by Rhys Ford

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Rebel
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: 415 Ink #1
Heroes: Gus & Rey
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 29, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something—it’s standing up for himself.

Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After Gus spends years running from his past, present, and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on: a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating breakup a few years ago.

Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.

For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold on to. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt, but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.

When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream. Continue reading

Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment