Guest Post & Giveaway: 415 Ink: Hellion by Rhys Ford

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!


Comment to enter to win a $20 USD Amazon gift certificate at each blog post! Five stops on the tour! Five gift certificates to win!

Today’s Post

Ivo, 16 • Part Two

The lines weren’t pulling straight and Ivo closed his eyes, pushing away the tendrils of anger threatening to shove through his concentration. The pigskin was hard to work with. It slid around under his fingers, refusing to absorb any of the Vaseline he rubbed in it to soften up its tough texture. This was his second attempt at the fairly simplistic flash art Bear pulled out the portfolio for him to practice. American Traditional was not a style he particularly cared for but it was the bread and butter of a lot of shops and a foundation block for contemporary tattooing. There were bits and pieces of style that he did like. The punch of blacks to push forward the art’s basic colors and the tricky-to-learn peppering techniques that Bear seemed to do as easily as he breathed.

“Push down on your fingertips then spread them out,” Gus murmured, sliding onto the dining room chair next Ivo. “You need to stretch the skin out a little bit to tighten it up. If you don’t hold it taut, you’re going to have problems.”

As much as Ivo wanted to tell Gus to fuck off, he knew his older brother was right. There was also the fact that Gus had been tattooing for several years now, plunging himself into the community with as much swagger as a heavily-dicked bulldog. They’d been competing for years, mostly as artists trying to produce easily tattooed flash for the shop to use but Gus always seem to have an edge over him.

Ivo was going to have to come up with his own style. That much was certain and as much as he loved Traditional Japanese there were too many engraved in stone rules to follow. And if there’s one thing he knew for certain, it was that he hated being constrained by rules.

“Pretty ballsy of you to do it in a pin-up. Those are a bitch and a half. The faces are so fucking small and you’ve got to use that thick outline.” It wasn’t that Gus’s commentary wasn’t unwelcome because it was. It was that his older brother was to him as if he were… as experienced as Bear. “Give me Japanese or New School any day.”

“If you really look at it, Traditional Japanese as the same kind of rules as American Traditional. Not a lot of dimension and no shadowing.” Ivo frowned at the length of his line. The key to drawing a curve was to keep his hand steady while lightly moving the machine across the canvas. “I think I’m lifting my wrist up too much. I just can’t seem to get this shit right.”

He braced himself for Gus’ teasing but it never came. Instead, his older brother edged in even closer, pressing his thumb against the back of Ivo’s hand until its heel rested on the pig skin. It felt cool underneath his skin, even through the latex glove. That was going to be something he had to get used to until he was allowed to tattoo someone for real but the texture and chill gave him goosebumps.

“You got to put your hand down. Don’t treat this anything different then you would a piece of paper. Don’t change how you are drawing. It’s just a different type of canvas. That’s the only thing you need to adjust to.” Gus gave Ivo a little bit of room to try another line. “Pigskin is like tattooing a back piece on somebody who is older and spent a lot of time in the sun. Then the next piece you do might be thinner and more supple. It might take the stencil better but it might not hold the ink as well.

“As soon as you get one thing down, Bear is going to change things up. He’s going to get you pieces of skin that are different tones so you can see what works and doesn’t work for certain colors of skin. Right now, just need to work on lines and packing in color.” Gus shook his head at Ivo’s skeptical look. “There’s going to be plenty of time for technique and styles later but not until you can pull a straight line. And even then, no matter how good you are, someone’s skin is going to screw you up and you’ll have a blowout you can’t fix. Go in knowing as much as you can about the technical shit, and you will ink circles around everybody else in any shop. Because you’re that good of an artist.”

“That circle include you?” Ivo challenged, smirking at Gus’s snort.

“You can try, little brother,” he said, slapping Ivo on the shoulder, making his skin sting beneath his shirt. “But just remember, I’ll always be older. And I sure as hell always be two steps ahead of you.”

Hellion by Rhys Ford

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.

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Blog Tour

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

About Rhys Ford

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:

Twitter: @Rhys_Ford
On Your Alexa device on the Alexa Skills at:

12 thoughts on “Guest Post & Giveaway: 415 Ink: Hellion by Rhys Ford”

  1. I enjoyed the post, Ivo is getting his wish but obviously it’s not easy to learn the art of Tattooing. I didn’t know myself how much it takes to become a tattoo artist

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