Today I am so pleased to welcome Rhys Ford to Joyfully Jay. Rhys has come to talk to us about her latest release, 415 Ink: Savior. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

 

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 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 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!

So let’s talk about ink.

The Love and Loyalty of Swallow Tattoos

Some swallows travel great distances yet return home each year like the Swallows of Capistrano who build their nests in the eaves of the San Juan Mission. Their migration has made the town and mission famous. Thousands of orange-tailed swallows fly into the town reclaim their old nests in the ancient arches and walls of the Mission, and to raise their young in the valley.

The bird is associated with freedom and family. They can fly away, but they will always come home. The birds are also associated with spring and renewal because of their travel and nesting patterns. Before the days of advanced navigation systems, sailors would only know they were near land once they spotted swallows in the skies.

The placement of the swallow changes the meaning of the tattoo. On the hand, it is a sign of patriotism, loyalty, and travel. On the shoulder it stands for adventurous travel. Near the heart and lungs, they were meant as protection from danger (and drowning). It is also said that if the sailor drowns, the swallows will carry their soul to heaven. Some British sailors would tattoo a swallow on each wrist to show they’d been on a successful mission.

Sailor Jerry’s swallow tattoo design is an iconic American tattoo with smooth, elegant lines and an expressive pose. The colors used in Sailor Jerry swallow tattoos are generally true to the blue, red and white of the Barn Swallow’s plumage, but sometimes greens or browns are added. The red, white and blue version of the Sailor Jerry swallow tattoo are popular with people from America, England, France and other countries which have these three colors in their national flag.

Sailors saw swallows as a sign of smooth sailing and good weather, the passing of winter storms, and a coming of calmer seas. They would often tattoo a swallow for every 5000 miles they traveled over the seas. It meant the sailor was successful and trustworthy and a good crewmember. They were also thought of as lucky charms and helped them sail home. Many modern day military personnel wear swallows for the same meaning. They need that luck to get safely home again.

Sparrows are often confused with swallows in tattoos with mingles the meanings between them and swallows. Sparrows are usually shades of brown with shorter tails.  Sparrows are symbols of happiness, determination, and assertiveness. They are also often featured in city scenes for some reason.


Blurb

A savior lies in the heart of every good man but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside a 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 or saving the man he’s too scared to love.


Bio

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is also a 2017 Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards for her novels Ink and Shadows and Hanging the Stars. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, a grey tuxedo with a flower on her face, Badger, a disgruntled alley cat who isn’t sure living inside is a step up the social ladder as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys can be found at the following locations:


Giveaway

Rhys has brought a $20 online gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, September 16th at 11:59 pm ET.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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