Monday, January 1, 2018

Rebel by @Rhys_Ford @dreamspinners #BLOGTOUR

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 $20USD gift certificate to the online retailer of your choice! Make a comment to enter!

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


Los Angeles — Cole McGinnis and Ichi Tokugawa 

Part Two of Two

The Little Tokyo top-floor apartment I shared with my husband Bobby would’ve been the smart choice to go get cleaned up but there were two reasons why my Hollywood tattoo shop was a better option. Bobby had a tendency to say I-told-you-so even if he hadn’t actually warned me off of doing something. In this instance, I went in knowing Cole was bad news to any plan, and yet I’d persisted, asking my brother for his help.

It was a staggeringly humbling experience to have one’s husband look up from what he was doing, his jaded smoky gaze raking over me and then glancing behind me to my brother — his best friend — when we both look like we had gone more than a couple of rounds with an Ent.

I knew how that conversation would go. I’d had it more times than I cared to count. There were variations, mostly situational, depending upon what Cole and I had gotten into but still… humbling. There was a certain way Bobby snickered silently. I’d never met a man who could with a curl of his lip and a lift of an eyebrow communicate so much mockery he didn’t have to say anything for me to know he was laughing at me inside.

And sometimes, he even laughed out loud.

This was going to be one of those times. Because my crew working the shop that night certainly busted out in an uproarious thunderstorm of applause and guffaws when Cole and I walked through the front door.

“Laugh while you can, monkey boy.” Cole muttered at Susan, one of my lead artists, quoting from a movie he loved. “Although, I suppose in your case it would be girl but that’s not what Bigboote says.”

“Oh, I’ll take the boy part,” Susan said through her giggles. Her round face dimpled as she chuckled, making a big show out of circling around me to inspect the damage. Normally, I liked the Seoul-born and raised woman but today I wasn’t feeling much love. “You have leaves coming out of your ears, oppa.”

“What the hell happened to the two of you?” Trey, the second artists on shift that night, was a child born to a generation of hippies, his long blonde hair twisted into thin dreads and held back by a chromatic scarf he’d woven himself. “I thought you two were just going to pick up the old man’s punch tools.”

“I got them… thanks to hyung but we ran into a small complication,” I started.

“We had to fight off the yakuza for them.” Cole nodded when Susan’s eyes widened in amazement. “Well if by fight, you mean runaway then we did a mighty battle. One minute we were standing around at a memorial — which was kind of awkward — and the next second, his friends were throwing punches on us.”

“You really need to work on your Japanese,” I muttered at my brother. “They were debating whether or not to remove his tattoos and donate them to a museum in Japan, which was what he wanted but his wife did not. They thought we were there to stop them.”

“And did you?” Trey cocked his head. “Because I’m not sure I’d want to be skinned and taxidermized like a jackalope. I mean how would you even display —”

My Japanese-ness reared its oddly ritualized head at the strangest times and apparently, it appeared consigning the dead’s skin offended some deeply rooted traditional thread in my being because I cut Trey off with a shake of my head then stalked into the large full bathroom at the back of the shop.

Cole joined me five minutes later to find me sitting on the bench near the showers with a towel wrapped around my waist and picking a few pebbles out from my right elbow. The grit was in deep and it stung when I sluiced cold water over the area, and I couldn’t tell if I was going to have to repair any of my ink.

“Hey, you’re bleeding.” Cole frowned, then dug his wallet out of his jeans’ back pocket. “Hold on, I have some antiseptic wipes.”

“In your wallet?” I eyed him suspiciously. “Although I suppose you no longer need the space for condoms.”

“I’ve never kept condoms in my wallet.” He tsked at me, straddling the bench and motioning me to turn so he could look at my arm. “Before…” Cole took a breath, his voice cracking. “Anyway, when Jae came along, most of our fun times were in the house so I didn’t need to have anything in my wallet. Unlike Bobby…”

I would’ve objected to Cole calling Bobby… ready for sexual intimacy at the drop of a dime but I knew my husband’s past. I knew my own. Monogamy was something neither one of us was looking for, but it found us. Actually, it did more than find us. It grabbed both of us by the balls, dragged us over in front of a priest with all of our friends around us, and we’d somehow found the words to promise each other a lifetime of fidelity and love.

There were times when I woke up and was shocked to see the gold wedding band on my finger, but I had no regrets.

Okay, a couple of regrets but they have nothing to do with Bobby and everything to do with us hiding our relationship from Cole only to have him find out because Bobby couldn’t keep his mouth shut. It made for a couple of awkward dinners and then eventually, Cole’s good nature took over.

Bobby wasn’t who Cole would’ve wanted for me to fall in love with. He wasn’t wrong. Bobby had been a volatile, loose, sarcastic bundle of contradictions… that I’d wanted to push down into a bed and fuck him silly from the moment I saw him. Even during the times that I hated him, he’d been there for me and now, always would be.

“You know, I was just teasing,” Cole murmured, gently scraping the sidewalk debris out of my skin. “I’m glad the two of you are together.”

The antiseptic stung, and I grabbed at the bench, knocking Cole’s wallet over. It tumbled open, falling to the floor and an old folded piece of paper slid out of one of the card slots. Cole and I both reached for it, knocking our heads together, and I almost lost my towel when my fingers closed over the edge of the paper. He’d grab the wallet then held his hand out for the note.

I’d been an only child for most of my life, and I still had problems with the camaraderie of brotherhood. For all of their squabbling, Mike and Cole were staunch in their support for each other, but it took me a while to figure out their bickering was mostly hot air and ego. I struggled with it myself. Mostly, because I’m Japanese and they are American, but also it requires a lot of faith that the other person won’t get angry at being poked at. I could tease my friends but somehow teasing the son of my mother was fraught with emotional danger.

Or at least that’s how I thought of Mike. Cole I could tease the fuck out of.

“It’s Korean.” I grimaced because I realized how stupid that sounded as soon as I said it but I was shocked to see it wasn’t in English for some reason. I recognize the handwriting. I knew Jae’s strong block printing well. “When did he write this?”

“About three months after we’d met.” Cole’s eyes always went soft whenever he spoke of Jae. The sentimentality of his expression lasted for about a second then he grinned at me, turning into the charismatic charmer he normally showed the world. “You know, he said I love you first. Or at least, I like to think so. I didn’t know it at the time because I don’t speak Korean, but he said something and when I asked him what it meant, he told me I needed to learn Korean.

“Later on, I realized he’d said saranghae-yo.” Cole chuckled, spreading out the paper so I could see those exact words written in Jae’s distinctive handwriting. “He wrote this at the bottom of a long note telling me where he was going to be on a shoot junket and when I asked him what it meant, he told me… I needed to learn Korean. So, I knew exactly what it meant.”

“And you carried with you? Always?” I asked gently. The paper was creased and torn, obviously handled in million and one times before.

“Always. I will never not carry it,” Cole replied. “There were times when I thought he would slip away from me but we fought so hard to be together, I will never take that for granted. I will never take him for granted.”

“So then, hyung, let me put that on you so you can carry it forever. Let me put it on your wrist so you could see it all the time.” I couldn’t breathe through the hug Cole gave me, but it didn’t matter. My effusive, golden retriever of a brother loved me enough… trusted me enough… to ink his lover’s words on his skin.

“That is a fucking fantastic idea,” Cole said, kissing my forehead noisily. “But first, for all that is holy, put on some pants.”

Rebel: 415 Ink, Book One
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 years of 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 break-up three 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 onto. 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.

Purchase 415 Ink: Rebel at…
Dreamspinner Press

Catch up with the stories and be sure to hit up each of these blogs for a chance to win at every stop! Check out the pairings preview and plan your visit!

12.26    Joyfully Jay (Kane, Part One)
12.27    Sinfully Gay Romance (Kane, Part Two)
12.28    It’s About The Book (Damien and Miki, Part One)
12.29    The Novel Approach (Damien and Miki, Part Two)
12.31    Boy Meets Boy Reviews (Cole and Ichi, Part One)
1.1        Ndulgent Bloggers (Cole and Ichi, Part Two)
1.2        Smexy Books (Gus and Bear)
1.3        The Blogger Girls (Kane and Miki)

About Rhys Ford
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. 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 Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Harley, an off-kilter flower-faced grey and white cat-dog , 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’ Blog:

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (, DSP Publications ( and all major online book stores.

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