Today I am so pleased to welcome Rhys Ford to Joyfully Jay. Rhys has come to talk to us about her latest release, Hellion, Book 3 of the 415 Ink series. She has also brought along a great giveaway! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Welcome to the 415 Ink Hellion Tour! My name’s Rhys Ford and thank you for stopping by! First off, thank you to all the blogs who participated in this tour and also, a huge shout out to all of the readers who wanted to hear Ivo’s story. It was great being able to write something about the baby of the 415 Ink crew and well, he probably turned out to be the biggest surprise while writing him. So sit back, grab a bit of Ivo’s past on this tour and I hope you’re ready for his debut on Sept 17th!
Ivo • Age 15
Childhood shouldn’t be a warzone. Or at least that’s what Ivo had been told.
So far, he hadn’t seen any evidence of it being otherwise but then again, his life hadn’t been normal since the day his mother’d gave birth to him in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant after a night of clubbing and drugs.
Or so he’d been told. God only knew what the truth was. Everything he knew about the woman came from Child Protective Services and the few bits his older brothers Gus and Bear squeezed out from between their tight lips. There’d been visits when he was younger but they’d been few and far between and most of what Ivo remembered was… horrific. Their visits had been confined to a single room, either at a police station or a social services office, a depressing wasteland contained in four walls. And those were the times when she’d bothered to show up.
CPS was probably going to have his ass but he wasn’t going to stay in that foster home for one more day. Some idiot down at social services decided his house of brothers wasn’t good place for him to be and while Ivo disagreed, Bear told him it was better to go along for the ride until the court system straightened things out.
He was damned sick and tired of someone wearing judge’s robes to get around to putting him back home. It was a long-established dance. Ivo would be placed into Bear’s custody and then he would be assigned a new social worker they would eventually decide Ivo shouldn’t live with a family of gay men or be around tattoo artists. The last one assigned to him was a suburban soccer mom who’d taken one look at the house they’d been renovating since Bear purchased it and declared Ivo’s living arrangements unsuitable. She stuck around long enough to plop Ivo into a Evangelical nuclear family, brushed her hands off, and transferred out of the district.
The Metro bus let him off at the bottom of the hill so Ivo slogged the rest of the way, hefting his two duffel bags on his back. He hadn’t taken much. There was no need to. Just the clothes he needed to wear and some shoes. Everything else he left behind because he knew he’d be back. No matter what CPS said or did, he was always going to return home. The partially renovated house was where his family lived and no amount of paperwork or social drone was going to keep him from his brothers.
Especially since it seemed like they needed him so much. Or at least that’s what he told himself because… Ivo understood one thing about himself, he wanted to be a part of the family Bear built and the only way to do that was to make himself to everyone who lived under that roof.
Thankfully his key worked and Ivo swallowed the small bundle of anxiety living his throat that it wouldn’t.
“Did you run away again?” Luke called out from the kitchen. Even though Ivo couldn’t see the Hispanic teenager Gus adopted as his twin, he heard the smile in Luke’s voice. “I’m microwaving frozen burritos. Do you want a couple?”
“What kind?” Ivo slung his duffel bags onto the stairs, deciding to take them up to his room after he had lunch.
“The ones in the green package. Beef and bean. The ten for three dollar kind.” Luke didn’t even look up when Ivo came into the kitchen. He simply continued to unwrap the pale rectangular burritos and arrange them on a paper plate. “I’m having three. You want the same?”
“Yeah. Thanks.” He got a strange look from Luke as he gathered up the discarded wrappers. “Hey, it’s the house rules. Someone cooks, somebody else cleans.”
“Sit down in the living room and I’ll bring them in,” his older brother ordered in that soft Luke way no one argued with. “Then you can tell me why you split from the foster home so I can back you up when CPS arrives.”
“Can’t wait to tell you that story,” Ivo muttered, heading to the family room. “I didn’t know if I time traveled back to the 1950s or San Francisco has a Stepford community nobody ever talks about.”
The burritos were molten and despite knowing better, Ivo burnt the roof of his mouth biting down on the first one. He didn’t realize until the first mouthful how hungry he was. He’d been sent to bed without his dinner the night before and there’d been no offer of breakfast from the helmet-haired woman who’d introduced herself as his new mother when he’d been dropped off by is now absent social worker. Luke could probably seen his hunger because instead of the three he’d been promised, there were five steaming hot small burritos and a massive handful of spicy tortilla chips on his paper plate.
It took half of the chips and two burritos before the edge came off Ivo’s hunger and he slowed down, nibbling on a habanero corn triangle, fully aware of Luke’s assessing stare. All four of his brothers — even the laid-back Gus — were bossy in their own way, but Luke had a special stillness to himself, endlessly patient with a slight dash of dangerous darkness beneath, a trapdoor spider armed with fangs dipped in rational poison.
“They told me I couldn’t come see you guys on Saturday. Actually, they told me it would be better if I didn’t see you guys again.” The whisper crawling out of Ivo’s mouth seemed to sting his throat. “So I told the guy to fuck off and he took off his belt and hit me with it.”
He didn’t see the anger flare up in Luke’s eyes. Not at first. Not until he looked up with tears threatening to spill over, every single one of the bruised stripes running down his ribs and across his back throbbing every time he took a breath. It hurt to move. Or least it hurt to twist around and it wasn’t until he sat down the old sectional with its soft cushions he felt safe and comfortable.
“I’m not going to go back there,” Ivo swore, chewing through a mouthful of soft beef slop and warm beans. “They can’t make me. And if they try, I’m just going to keep leaving and this time I’m going to hide out until I’m old enough to live here on my own. But I’m not fucking going back.”
“You’re not going back,” Luke replied, his voice low and silky. The thread of glittering shadow in his words held more than a promise and Ivo knew in his guts, Luke would stand by him. Just like his other brothers would once they got him and saw Ivo sitting on the couch. “You’re home now, mijo and no one — no one — is going to take you away from us again.”
Catch the rest of the tour here. And be sure to enter at each tour stop’s giveaway!
12 Joyfully Jay
13 Love Bytes
14 (Breathe! It’s almost release day!)
15 The Blogger Girls
16 Boy Meets Boy
17 It’s About the Book
From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knows the tattoo artist is going to bring chaos to his neat, orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand, he’s not even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky, and arrogant, and Ruan wants no part of him.
Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.
For Ivo Rogers, life revolves around two things—his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care, but their brotherhood is tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he falls apart.
Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on how a man looks and acts. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have, but their clashing perspectives threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood, yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.
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:
- Blog: www.rhysford.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author
- Twitter: @Rhys_Ford
- On Your Alexa device on the Alexa Skills at: https://www.amazon.com/Witlingo-Rhys-Ford-Casting/dp/B07N7MJ7C8/
Rhys has brought a $20 USD gift card to any Amazon site of their choice for one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, September 17th at 11:59 pm ET.
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