Today I am so pleased to welcome Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn to Joyfully Jay. Avon and Piper have come to share an excerpt from their latest release, Permanent Ink. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving them a big welcome!
“Sissies shouldn’t get tattoos, it fucking ruins it for the rest of us,” the guy said, pen moving over the paper.
Seriously? Fucking asshole thought he was gonna waltz into my shop and go all homophobe tough guy in here? Hell no. I walked over and yanked the clipboard out of his hands. “Out.”
He looked up, blinked, then got to his feet. He was about three inches shorter than me. “What the fuck, dude? Give that back!” He reached for the clipboard.
I held it up like you’d do if you were playing keep-away with a child. “I don’t think so. I said, get out.”
“I have an appointment,” dude started, huffy, and I cut him off.
“Yeah, well, it’s been canceled. So get the fuck out.”
“I’m going to leave you a one-star review on Google!” the guy snapped.
“Oooh,” said the girl on the couch.
He glared at her, but I took a threatening step forward. “You’ve got two seconds before I throw your ass out.”
The guy looked briefly like he was contemplating arguing, but apparently my frame—and my glower—was enough to convince him that was a bad idea. He muttered under his breath and turned to slam out of the shop.
“I bet he can’t figure out how to leave a review on Google,” the girl said. As if she were trying to make me feel better. “Besides, I’m going to leave you a five-star review for throwing that guy out. On Google and Yelp.”
I smiled briefly and reached out for her completed paperwork. On it, I wrote give her a ten percent discount, and tell Pete I’ll pay him the difference and handed it to Harriet.
She smiled at me and went to enter the information in the database.
I noticed Poe was giving me a look as I headed back into my room to get ready for my next client. “You got something to say?” I didn’t think he would. Landon knew I was gay, though I had no idea if he’d mentioned it to Poe. Most of my artists knew, and if they cared at all, I’d never gotten a whiff of it. I had a pretty firm nondiscrimination clause in my new-hire paperwork that made it clear I wouldn’t put up with any of that shit.
“Nope. That guy was a dick. He wanted Tim McGraw lyrics anyway,” Poe scoffed. “Like, dude, there’s country music that doesn’t suck. Listen to that.”
I smiled despite myself. “True. But I wouldn’t tattoo any of that on him, either. That guy’s never getting back on the books.”
“Good,” said Poe. “I wouldn’t want to tattoo that douche canoe, either.” He was still looking at me strangely, and I wondered if I was going to get the but you don’t look gay thing from him. It wouldn’t be the first time. Hell, it wouldn’t be the eighth or tenth or twentieth time.
But Poe didn’t say that, which made me glad, because I couldn’t stand that kind of shit. I’d known I was gay since I was twelve, maybe before that, and for some reason people took one look at me and thought just because I was a big guy with tattoos and drove a motorcycle, I was more likely to make comments like that asshole in the lobby than suck dick. Stupid.
It was maybe one of the few times I could remember Poe looking curious—not about me as a tattoo artist or his boss, but me as a person. And there was something in it I recognized, a brief spark of awareness, and ah. Is that how it was? I kept up our eye contact, and eventually Poe looked away, a light flush on his face.
Huh. I was almost sure Landon had referred to Poe being on a date with a girl once or twice, so maybe he didn’t know. Or, shit, maybe Poe was bisexual. All I knew was, he couldn’t be looking at me like this. Shouldn’t be. Because now I wasn’t thinking about Callum’s naked, tattooed body spread out in bed, but Poe’s, all that skin begging for ink and for my—
“Why don’t you go out and get us some lunch,” I said, shutting the door on that particular fantasy. Bad idea, Jericho. Bad idea. And I was probably misreading the situation anyway. Callum’s presence had reminded me how long it’d been since I’d gotten off with anyone but my right hand, that’s all. And Poe was attractive. It was simple transference. And completely inappropriate. “Take some cash from the drawer from Harriet.”
I didn’t usually make Poe get us lunch, but if the thought rankled, he didn’t let it show. “Okay, sure,” he said, and then he smiled at me.
Poe had smiled before, of course. At me, even. But not like this, with this sudden openness, like he was trying to tell me something. Something I definitely didn’t want to hear.
“Jimmy John’s,” I said. “Get me a Hunter’s Club, extra cheese.” My voice was a little gruffer than normal.
“Whatever you want,” said Poe, and I hoped to God I was imagining the invitation in there. I had to be. And I had to stop. Also, if Poe was into men, why in the fuck would he be into me? Half the time, I was sure he didn’t like me all that much.
Landon’s son. Your apprentice. Sulky millennial who is way too young for you. Get it together, idiot. Also you’re probably making all of this up anyway.
I went into my room and left him standing in the hallway, then pulled my phone out. Callum had left me a message.
I think I made your apprentice jealous *winky face emoji*
At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.
Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.
Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Connect with Avon:
- Website: www.avongalewrites.com
- Blog: www.avongalewrites.com/category/blog/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/avongalewrites
- Twitter: @avongalewrites
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/avongalewrites/
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/avongale/
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.
As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.
Connect with Piper:
- Website: http://pipervaughn.com/
- Blog: https://pipervaughn.wordpress.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pipervaughn
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipervaughn
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pipervaughn7/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piper.vaughn/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104698982870458063898
To celebrate the release of Permanent Ink, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card and a “Poe” coffee mug! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 12, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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