The Ink Me Tour with Sidney Bristol


Hello Smutty Kitties!! Thanks so much to Kelly for hosting me today. I’m celebrating the release of my second So Inked book, The Harder He Falls, and touring the blogesphere talking about one of my favorite topics.


Bet you never saw that one coming.

InkedLogoThe So Inked series focuses on female tattoo artists doing their thing, taking on the real world and falling in love. It just so happens that the heroine in The Harder He Falls has a specialty of Japanese and Asian tattoos. So what better theme to do this tour with than talking about tattoos and Japanese art?

When Kelly and I scheduled this blog, I knew what I had to talk about. What would be more appropriate than talking about traditional Japanese tiger tattoos? It’s all about the kitties!

It’s actually kind of peculiar that tigers became such a huge part of the Japanese culture and mythos because it’s very rare to find them on the island nation. Even then, it’s suspected that the large cats were brought over and went feral. As a result, most Japanese artists never even got to see a real tiger, just the skins and artwork brought over from China. As a result they imagined large, rounded animals with exaggerated features, which is why the Japanese tiger is so unique and easy to identify.

The tiger actually takes the place of the lion in Asian symbolism. Where Europe viewed the lion as the King of Beasts, in Asia, the tiger was the most fearsome creature around. It’s the tiger that has the ability to take on the dragon, yielding the popular depiction of tiger and dragon seen in tattoos and art.

With Japanese tattoos and art, everything has a meaning. The way something is positioned, the combination of elements and even the placement on the body can give the tiger new meaning.

Some of the meanings associated with the tiger are:

  • ·         Dominance and power
  • ·         Sensitivity and love
  • ·         Stubbornness
  • ·         Short temper
  • ·         Invincibility
  • ·         Ferocity
  • ·         Sensuality
  • ·         Speed
  • ·         Beauty
  • ·         Regal
  • ·         Self-centered

A tiger depicted in different movements or simply being still can also mean different things. For example, a tiger lashing out with its ears flattened can mean aggressiveness, willing to take charge in a situation or the tendency to protect others. A tiger sitting serenely over a rock, for example, depicts dominance or bossiness. Then a tiger leaping towards prey or a foe shows focus and goal orientation or forcefulness.

Tattoos are a language in and of themselves. If you were going to get a tiger tattoo, what would you want it to say about you?

Sidney Bristol 03It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life.  She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

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theharderhefalls_msrThe Harder He Falls, So Inked #2   Ellora’s Cave | Amazon | ARe

A woman who doesn’t have time for love…

A hot night full of hotel-destroying sex was all Kellie wanted from her client-turned-sex god. Between family and work, there isn’t room for love, just hot, sweaty lust. An arrangement for mutual gratification is exactly what Kellie wants, but every kiss, each mind-blowing orgasm twines her heart around a man she cannot have.

A man building a new life…

Quinton’s assumptions about the So Inked shop owner are turned on their head after one session under her tattoo machine. Kellie’s not the vandal he’s looking for, but she’s the woman he wants. In his bed, on the desk or under the stars, he’ll take her any way he can get her. But Quin has secrets and someone is out to destroy him. Someone who has their sights set on Kellie now.


Kellie  shifted on the wooden bench, still restless. The evening breeze was cooler than normal thanks to a cold front blowing in. It was ridiculous that dropping into the nineties was considered a cool spell, but in the height of Texas summer, you took what you got. She swept her hair up into a knot and tipped her head back. The slight dampness of her skin, courtesy of the ever-present humidity, was a small price to pay for being able to sit outside. She’d shed the formfitting dress for jeans and a tank top and felt more like herself for it.

“How hot does it get here?” Quin plunked down their dinner and sat on his side of the picnic table. Behind him the food truck was starting to pack up.

“Can’t handle the heat?” It was too much to ask that the man be able to cope with everything. He’d sat through the tattoo yesterday without complaint, being a heat weenie wasn’t terrible.

His brilliant blue eyes stood out in the dim illumination of the parking lot light. “When you have A/C, why should you?”

“You do realize that it’s going to get at least ten degrees hotter and stay there, don’t you?” She unwrapped the tacos and inhaled the spicy aroma of peppers and onions mixed with tender beef.

Quin made a show of wiping his forehead with a napkin. “I’m going to melt.”

“Why the hell are you still here then?”

He hefted his burrito and wrapped the tortilla tighter. “Family.”

She nodded, understanding that reason above all others.

They descended into companionable silence while they ate. The garbled sounds of a Tejano station melded with the distant sounds of Highway 75 and the light street traffic up and down Greenville Avenue.

“What are you so wound up about, doll?”

Her head snapped around. Quin watched her with one brow arched.

“What?” she asked.

“Your knees are bouncing and you keep looking around. Are you expecting someone I don’t know about?” He glanced over each shoulder.

The bubble of anger swelling in her breast burst. It wasn’t Quin’s fault she was suffering from a case of bitchitis.

Instead of snapping at him, she put her taco down and massaged her temples. “No, I’m just sitting on too much energy and not enough time to expend it.”

“Ah.” He nodded as if he understood. “We used to call that the fight or fuck stage.”

It was her turn to quirk a brow at him. She shivered despite the heat. He had a point; one or the other would help. “Fight or fuck stage? What did you used to do?”

“First I was in the Marines, then I used to fight MMA, semipro.”

Her eyebrows crept upward. Mixed martial arts? She saw Quin in a whole new light, and when she looked at him in this proverbial light, he looked damn good. Fighters came with their own set of issues, but as an MMA hobbyist herself, Kellie had to admit that her bad boy draw was sitting across from her. Growing up around the gym meant she’d become more than competent in a few martial art forms. As an adult, branching out into the grappling, wrestling and more violent aspects had given her a much needed outlet.

Kellie grabbed her drink, the cup covered in condensation, and gulped it down to get moisture back in her dry mouth.

“Why’d you stop?”

“I got hurt. Fractured a few vertebrae. Everyone was amazed I could walk after that. Realized there was little to no chance of me coming back from the injury, so I switched over to training. I like it.”

“Do you train around here?” An invisible fist clenched her heart. There had been a time when she would have known the different gyms, who trained where, which ones were worth going to and so forth.

Quin didn’t answer immediately. He chewed his food without haste and took a drink before replying. “I’m transitioning locations. Parting with someone. It’s a little messy.”

Her nose wrinkled. “Yeah, I’ve been there. I’m lucky to have Mary as my co-owner. The guy I worked with before her was a man-child.”

He snorted. “Man-child?”

“Yeah, you know. Frat boy types.”

He tilted his head back and laughed. “That’s a good one, doll. Man-child. I’ll have to remember that.”

The pet name slid over her nerves as if it were sandpaper. “Do you have to call me that?”

“What?” He blinked as if he had no clue what she was talking about.

“Lay off the doll crap already.”

He shrugged. “You look like a doll.”

Her scalp itched and her hand balled into a fist. “You think I look like a whore?” she growled. Moments like these she felt as if she were a passenger in her own body. The urge to do something, or even the man across from her, had her muscles too tense and her nerves strung too tight.

Quin jerked his face away from his cup. “What? No. That’s not what I meant. You’re attractive and exotic-looking. You look more like a doll than a real person.”

Heat crawled up her neck and she was thankful the parking light was their only illumination. It was the most convoluted compliment anyone had ever paid her, and it turned her on even more. She folded her taco wrapper into a neat square.

“You realize the term china doll is what men called Asian prostitutes and war brides?”

“The fuck—no. No, that’s definitely not what I meant. Hey, guys probably hit on you all the time. I figured I had to be a little creative.”

She rolled her eyes. “At least you don’t talk to my boobs.”

His gaze dipped to her chest and her nipples perked up at his inspection. She squeezed her thighs together. This was ridiculous. She was not an animal in heat ready to throw herself at some random guy.

“Well, in their defense, most guys probably only come up to your chest, so it’s not entirely their fault.” One side of his mouth kicked up in a roguish smile.

She chuckled and rolled her eyes. “Yeah, blame it on me because I’m tall.”

“It’s not your fault you’re tall. It’s their fault they’re short.”

Her phone buzzed against her hip. Conversation forgotten, Kellie dug it out of her pocket and unlocked the screen. The home-care provider always texted her when Grandma finally went to bed. She breathed a sigh of relief when nothing else was mentioned, which meant the day had passed without incident. She had all night before she would need to go home and face those troubles. For now she was her own woman.

“Everything okay?”

She glanced up from the phone. “Yeah.”


“So you moved here for family. Wife? Girlfriend?”

“None of the above.”

He was unattached and available. She went very still, the possibilities running through her head.

Quin cleared his throat. “My schedule right now doesn’t lend itself to dating.”

Even better. She laid her palms on the rough wooden surface of the table. “Neither does mine.”

His stillness echoed hers. A predatory awareness came over him, but she wasn’t prey. “That’s a shame.”

She looked him over, even as he did the same. He wouldn’t be the first client she slept with, she wasn’t a saint. But neither did she know him.

“Excuse me.” The food truck cook had walked up on them without either noticing. “I need to load the table, sorry.” He smiled and wiped his hands on the dirty apron.

Kellie swiped the napkin across her face. Had she really inhaled the burrito? Judging by the sad remnants left, yes she had.

“That’s fine. Thanks for the food.”

She rose, gathered up her trash and tossed it in a recycling bin, then leaned against the front of Quin’s truck, out of the way while Quin lent a hand to their cook and helped load the table. Too many thoughts spun around in her head, she needed a minute to get her head screwed on straight, but she wasted those watching Quin’s arms and the way his t-shirt stretched across his back. She pretended she hadn’t been staring when he headed for her, perching her elbows on the hood  and leaning back. The truck’s grille pressed into her back but with her elbows perched on the edge, it thrust her breasts out. As if she needed to draw any more attention to them.

Quin’s gaze roved freely over her body and she could already anticipate his strong touch. He would be an energetic lover, but would he be gentle? Or rough? Did he always have to stay in control? Because sometimes she liked to put a man through his paces.

“I can’t tell what you’re thinking and I’m dying to know.” He stopped less than a foot away.

She smiled slowly, already having a pretty good idea what his answer to her question would be. “I was wondering if you would like to get a room?”

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17 thoughts on “The Ink Me Tour with Sidney Bristol

  1. Rawr! I love my ink and I love books that have characters who have ink! It is a part of who I am, so I would hope it is the same with these characters! I cannot wait until I can afford a copy and see for myself! Rawr!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kimberly! Tattoos are very much a big part of the character’s identity. It’s been a lot of fun to write characters who are as tattooed as I am!

  2. If I were to get a tiger tattoo, it would be a South China tiger, in honor of my great-great grandfather, who was Chinese. It would be a symbol of confidence and power, but also respect and fearlessness. However, it is doubtful I would ever get a big cat tattoo, because I’m not a fan of cats and was born in the Year of the Goat/Sheep. (Don’t want to tempt bad luck!)

    My next tattoo will commemorate passing the NCLEX (RN boards, early next year), but I haven’t decided what it will be, yet.

    • Sidney

      The Japanese tiger owes a lot of it’s creation to the Chinese! It was visiting Chinese merchants and dignitaries who brought the pelts into Japan. There are some stylistic differences for sure, but they’re both beautiful animals.

    • Sidney

      Also, BIG congrats on passing the NCLEX!!!!!!!

      • I haven’t passed, yet. If everything goes, as planned, I’ll take it sometime between February and March, next year. Wish me luck! 🙂

        • Sidney

          Ooooh, good luck! I could never be a nurse. a) I have the weakest stomach ever. b) I haaaate needles. Yeah, I know, but tattoo needles are so different!!

          • I thought so, too. Plus, I really don’t like people, especially sick people. But, as odd as it sounds, it’s “easier” to poke, prod, and clean up people I don’t know. LOL

  3. I have tattoo already of a tiger (kind of) from the Chinese zodiac, it’s a symbol representing my birth year, the year of the Tiger.

  4. Maria D.

    Never thought of a tiger tattoo but if I did get one it would say that I am fierce and loyal….great post about the Asian Tiger…had never read any of that before. Thanks for the spotlight on this book – sounds good!

    • Sidney

      I love the symbolism, but I’m not sure that a tiger tattoo is right for me, either!

  5. Great excerpt Sid!!!

  6. Julianne

    A tiger is one of the tattoos I’ve considered, but I never really gave much thought to any symbolism. I just like the colors and look of it.
    I’d like it to show that I am a fighter and I don’t give up.
    Great excerpt.

    • I see NOTHING wrong with getting a tattoo just because you like it. I did it! 😀

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