Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Nightmare Ink" by Marcella Burnard

Nightmare Ink
(A Living Ink Novel)
by Marcella Burnard

Nightmare Ink is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

With the needle of a tattoo gun, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create and destroy. In her shop Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the powers embedded in their Live Ink - the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it. But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists - including her former lover Daniel.
When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink into someone’s skin - something she swore she’d never do again. But breaking her vow soon becomes the least of her problems.
Isa is horrified to discover her friend’s body in the shop, but the real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked against her will. Now, as she seeks retribution from the man who betrayed her, Isa must figure out how to bind her Living Tattoo before it consumes her completely ...

Book Cover Puzzle

Isa refused to let the multiple puncture wounds in her thigh paralyze her. Entirely. Especially not when Troy texted that someone wanted a flat ink tattoo from her.
She hobbled through the snow to Nightmare Ink.
A tall, slender young man with neat black hair and dark eyes opened the shop door as if he’d been watching for her. He wore dress slacks, a crisp white shirt, and a navy sweater.
“Ria,” Isa said. “You look—”
“Like I belong in church with my grandmother?” he interrupted, smiling. “I will be shortly. Your coat. Allow me.”
“Thank you.”
As Ria took her jacket, Isa caught Troy Daschel, a flat ink artist leasing shop space from her, eyeing the pair of them from where he sat behind the reception desk. He rose and held out a hand. “Here. I’ll hang that up.”
Gracias.” Ria gave Troy her coat. “I understand you are injured, seƱora. I am sorry to hear this. You are well enough to do a tattoo for me?”
“It’s nothing serious,” Isa said. “Come on back. We’ll get the paperwork filled out ...”
“Already done,” Troy said over his shoulder as he hung her coat in the back hallway.
“Have a seat,” Isa said, leading Ria around the reception desk to her station. “What are we doing?”
He settled into the chair as she switched on her work light. His gaze on hers, Ria turned his face so the overhead lamp spotlighted his left cheekbone. The light caught the three ink teardrops tattooed there.
“A fourth.”
Isa’s heart bumped down her ribs to her toes.
Teardrop tattoos were supposed to represent a tally of the murders the wearer had committed. It didn’t stop thug wannabes and stars promoting an image from getting teardrops inked on their faces.
But Ria wasn’t a wannabe.
Isa didn’t know what the young gang leader and his gang did in Ballard. Didn’t want to know. It was enough that Ria had been her first customer at Nightmare Ink. He came to her when he wanted tattoos. He brought his people suffering Ink Madness to her for binding.
Still watching her, he put a hand in his pocket and brought forth a gold and onyx ring like the one he wore, like all of his people wore.
“Emilio,” he said. “Tragic, senseless waste. Stupid. His funeral is in two hours.”
Isa rubbed the heel of one hand up her forehead.
“A quarter of the Seattle Police Department is inspecting my basement, Ria,” she whispered. “Do you really want to advertise the fact that you killed one of your own people with cops crawling all over?”
His fist closed on the ring until his knuckles turned white. “Yes. I do. Think of the stories that will be told. Police watch while I get another tattoo for another tool that failed me. A powerful message to the rest of them. Do not tell me you won’t do it.”
Refusing to work on Ria wouldn’t change anything. She turned on her tattoo machine and drew the iridescent black outline of a fourth teardrop into the skin over his cheekbone.
As if she weren’t jabbing him repeatedly with needles, Ria didn’t move a muscle until she finished and handed him a mirror.
Bueno,” he said, inspecting the work. “I will go to the funeral with a warning label written by your hand. You save lives.”
He rose and walked away.
Troy, working not four feet away from Isa’s station, shut off his tattoo machine and straightened.
At the reception desk, Ria pulled a couple of folded bills out of a pocket, counted off three, and tossed them to the counter.
Isa stood.
With a glance back at her, he flicked something else to the countertop. It clinked, hollow and metallic as it hit and rolled.
A bullet casing.

By nelle
Good start to a new paranormal series. I especially like the twist on demonic possession and living tattoos. Heroine learns from her early ignorant behavior, the antagonist tattoo goes from angry and deadly to cooperation and desire...
Isa has a lot on her plate to deal with, yet the strong magical compassion of her youth and teachings shines...
Murmur, the tattoo, has problems of his own and a story that is still unfinished...
Can't wait for the next one!

Interview With the Author
Hi Marcella, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Nightmare Ink.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Adults, definitely. There are some dark themes, one explicit sex scene, and (I hope) a slight horror cast to the story that might not be appropriate for younger audiences.
What sparked the idea for this book?
A snippet of a dream. I don’t even recall the whole thing – the scrap of paper has a single line that became the core driver for the story “You are a work of art. Don’t make me destroy you.”
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
99% of the time, character comes first for me. For this book, the idea for the novel came first, but then waited for a few years for the right characters to present themselves to me.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The ending evaded me for a very long time. It turned out to not be at all what I’d thought it would be when I started the book.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope readers have a great time with it. I think, at its core, part of the theme of this book is acceptance – if the story makes a single reader more accepting of themselves, I’ll be happy.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Nine months.
What is your writing routine?
Every weekday, I cycle to a local tea shop. They bring me caffeine and goodies while I write from 8am to noon. If I get a bit behind on word count targets, I go from 8am to 1am and I add in a few Saturday hours. They haven’t yet painted my name on my preferred seat in the store, but the chair definitely has my butt imprint on it.

How did you get your book published?
I’d worked with my editor before (on my SFR books that she published). We got together at an RWA conference for a brief meeting. She knew I had an urban fantasy kicking around. We talked about it and she asked me to send a proposal. Lucky me, she liked my vaguely coherent description of what I wanted to do and we went to contract.
Fantastic! What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Write like mad. Read. Find a critique group which sounds easy, but it’s REALLY hard. That’s where organizations like RWA shine because you’ll find other writers looking for honest, constructive critique partners. Submit your work and keep submitting your work. It took me over a decade from first rejection letter to the phone call saying, “We have an offer.” Sure, you’ll get dejected and you’ll entertain the notion that you can’t write – that you’re a failure. You’re only a failure if you stop trying.
Great advice, Marcella. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Sailing, cycling, reading, and World of Warcraft.
What does your family think of your writing?
It depends on where I am in the process. When I think I have plenty of time, my family is fine. When I realize I have to turn in a completed product in short order and I become crazed? They tend to roll their eyes and stay out of my way.
Very honest answer! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I’m an Air Force brat. We travelled a bunch. I got to see most of the US from the backseat of a car. We lived in Iceland for two years and I got to see part of Europe from a car as a result. Military kids either become super social or they become really lonely. I was one of the lonely kids. I turned to books for company.
Sounds familiar. I've heard the same story from a number of other writers. So I guess you liked reading when you were a child?
It was my life. Most kids got in trouble for stuff they did – I got in trouble for what I didn’t do because I had my nose in a book all the time.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing to entertain myself when I was in third grade. That just got worse as I got older, but my folks insisted I couldn’t be a writer. I had to do something else to put food on the table. I could write in my spare time. I resented it, but they were wise. Having skills that pay the mortgage until the writing takes off – that’s priceless.
My daughters need to hear that! They won't listen to me. Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Definitely. Most of my books deal with issues of alienation and the urge to belong. Every time we moved, my sister and I were the aliens plunked into the middle of schools were most of the kids had grown up together. Every few years, we had to find our niches all over again. Funny. It hadn’t occurred to me that I’m making my characters do that in most of my stories.
That's interesting. I've actually had other writers say the opposite. Which writers have influenced you the most?
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from my readers most when I make it to conferences with book signings. Categorically, the single theme is “When is book three of the SFR series coming out???” (ANSWER: That book is in progress as I type – I’m hoping to have that out before the end of 2014)
What else can we look forward to from you in the future?
Bound by Ink, the second book in the Living Ink series is out in November [currently available for pre-order]. After that, with any luck, I’ll get to play in Isa’s world a bit more. At the moment, I’m working on another science fiction romance that I hope to have out before the end of the year.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Marcella. Enjoy the rest of your book tour!

About the Author
Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation
Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, was released May 2011.
An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley in April 2012. "Emissary", a sword and sorcery short story released in the Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology: Sword anthology in the second half of 2013.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of Nightmare Ink by Marcella Burnard. Plus everyone can download Tales from the SFR Brigade FREE.