Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Real Life 'Research' Behind My Inked in the Steel City Series

I love a good tattoo, whether it be on a man or a woman. Okay, so I may be especially partial to those on men. ;) 

Believe it or not, back when I wrote Hot Ink, tattoo artists hadn't made that many appearances as heroes in romance novels (something the romance community would soon correct -- luckily! I mean, I think we can all agree we'd be missing out on a good thing if all those tattooed heroes weren't out there posing on book covers). 

I couldn't resist the appeal of the idea though. I mean, what if a woman's tattoo artist was super hot? And conveniently, if she was having a large tattoo done, he'd have to keep seeing her and have his hands on her for hours... I could just imagine the tension that situation could generate if the artist and client were attracted to each other.

Thus, Hot Ink, the first book in my Inked in the Steel City Series, was born. The book stars Mina, a woman seeking to turn a special piece of art into a beautiful tattoo, and her hottie of an artist, Eric.

Of course, I don't have a picture of the beautiful floral sidepiece Eric does for Mina in Hot Ink. However, one of the questions I'm often asked by Inked in the Steel City Series readers is whether I'm tattooed, and how I researched the book if I'm not.

Well, of course I am. ;) And my favorite tattoo is a floral sidepiece that covers the same area on my body that Mina's does on hers. It's not an identical tattoo by any means, but here it is:

Sadly, Eric was not my tattoo artist (although I'm very happy with the job mine did).

Around the time I wrote Hot Ink, I also got my first tattoo on that area of my body (it's on my other side), so I knew exactly how Mina felt getting hers. Should I have deducted my artist's fees from my taxes? I don't know about that one. LOL But there's my 'research' for this series.

The story of how I got that side tattoo (in a nutshell: 6.5 hours of watching my favorite show, The Office) is much less interesting than how Mina got hers, so I'll focus on Mina's story:

Hot Ink
(Inked in the Steel City, #1)

Mina never meant to fall for her sexy tattoo artist, Eric, or to become a model. But when she’s asked to pose in a photo shoot for the Hot Ink tattoo studio, she can’t say no. She finally gets a look at Eric’s tattoos when they’re cajoled into posing together, and in a few breathtaking moments, an on-camera kiss turns the passion they’re asked to fake into something very real, leaving them both wanting more. The only problem is that Mina’s not the glamour girl she looks like on the Hot Ink posters, or even in a tattoo magazine. She’s only twenty-four, but being the sole guardian of her disabled younger sister has left her feeling much older. Will Eric still be interested when he gets to know the girl behind the ink and the make-up and finds out that she and her little sister are a package deal?

Hot Ink is newly available as part of a $0.99 box set! You can stop by your favorite bookseller and get Eric and Mina's story, plus 10 other steamy books, for less than a dollar. A total steal. ;)

                                              AMAZON      B&N      APPLE     KOBO

Hot Ink is Book 1 in my Inked in the Steel City Series. You didn't think I was going to let the other artists and staff at the Hot Ink Tattoo Studio go without a HEA, did you? You can check out my entire series here.


  1. I love learning the background of where stories began. LOVE your tattoo!