Storm Moon Press - Written in Flesh Untitled Page

Written in Flesh

Anthology

Out of Print

For many people, there's nothing hotter than a man with tattoos. He might get them to commemorate a lost loved one, celebrate an event, or just to look bad-ass, but there's no doubt the man enjoys showing off his ink. Tribal, classic black and white, or elaborate colored artwork spanning the entire back, each mark has a story, an indelible reminder of the past etched onto the human canvas with care and precision. We're showcasing four of those stories in Written in Flesh.

Key is Bound by Ink to a woman he does not—cannot—love. He runs to escape his fate, but finds Dax, another fugitive, and learns that some bonds go deeper than skin. In the heyday of the 1980's, Ian Grothe's club is about to discover the Next Big Thing, but Ian only has eyes for the lead singer. But as the band's star rises, Ian gets left behind, his hopes turning to Powder.

Then, in Helotry, Rontak is an escaped slave who wears the mark of his service beneath his skin. While on the run, he is sheltered by Tréy, an artist with a heavy secret of his own. Finally, Ellis comes to the Sui Generis Protection Agency bearing the Mark of the Familiar, magical animal tattoos granting him remarkable shapeshifting abilities. When he feels a True Bond to William, the Wardsman of the agency, he has to convince William of the truth or risk losing his sanctuary, and perhaps even his life.

Tap. Tap. Tap. A withered hand forced the ink into Key's skin. The stylus pierced and then moved; pierced and then moved. The discomfort in his arm was nothing compared to the pain in his chest. He gazed down to watch the sky-colored ink bleed into his flesh. It formed a thick band around his right upper arm.

"How many have you placed, witch?"

"How many?" The old crone, Betta, chortled and spittle flew from her dry lips. "One cannot count the marriage binds I have placed. These crimped hands have sealed more unions than you can imagine, young one."

Key ruminated. He pictured the decrepit woman hammering ink into thousands of arms. Male with female. Female with male. Tonight, the blue band would be paired with the black scroll of his bond-mate's family name, marking his status forever. Tonight, he would lay with Kaya and seal the union. Tonight, a piece of his being would wither and die, lost forever to the mandates of convention.

"How did Kaya take it?"

Key felt a drop of perspiration roll slowly down the valley between his shoulder blades. It was sweltering, due to a fire blazing in the center of the tent. Blue-black smoke coiled up and out of the opening at the top of the structure and the flames cast shadow specters that writhed against the animal-skin walls.

The tattooing stung, but the continuous piercing of flesh was made more torturous by his feelings of uncertainty about this union. Perhaps Kaya felt similarly.

-- from "Bound By Ink" by K. Vale

4 - Pat at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"I really loved reading this book. Written in Flesh is a wonderfully written collection of stories that explores how tattoos can express myriad meanings, depending on who does the marking, why it's done, and who sees them."

4 - Jenre at Well Read
"Overall, three out of the four stories worked well for me, with one not so well. That's pretty good going for an anthology of only four stories and I would recommend Written in Flesh... to those who like the theme of tattoos and who also like a range of different genres within a set theme."

4 - Jay at Joyfully Jay
"As usual, Storm Moon Press has pulled together an interesting collection of stories for their anthology and I was impressed that it was more than just the expected leather and tattoo stories. I am also in love with the cover and I think it makes a beautiful set along with its companion anthology, Carved in Flesh."

4 - Monika at World of Diversity Fiction
"I did like the story I just wish it were longer just enough to make the last half flow better. The HEA ending was perfect though. One of the sweetest moments for me was when Ian sees a new tattoo that Apollo has and realizes what that tattoo represents. This world was fascinating but the one negative was the story wasn’t long enough to explore that world in very much depth. Overall this was an enjoyable read with a great mix of stories. **Note-this rating applies to the anthology as a whole."

Series

Written in Flesh

Length

46,000 words
117 pages

Release Date

Book Type

Anthology

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-937058-61-6

Cover Art

Nathie Block

Keywords

M/M, tattoo, fetish, 1980s, rockstars, science fiction, fantasy, slavery, interspecies, violence

Contributors

Alex Whitehall
Alina Ray
Kimber Vale
Suzanne van Rooyen