I love talking about the tattoos that my hero and heroine both wear in my gothic urban fantasy series, the House of Comarré. Blood Rights begins the House of Comarré series and the fourth book, Out for Blood, releases today. The same hero and heroine star in every book so readers really get to know them and their tattoos. Here’s a little more about those!
In the case of my heroine, Chrysabelle, her tattoos aren’t actual ink, but sacred gold that’s been melted down and stitched into her skin. These marks are called signum and it’s a very painful process, as you might imagine, but every one of her kind (the comarré) undergoes the procedure to help purify their blood. See, the comarré are blood slaves whose job it is to feed the noble class of vampires so they don’t ravage the human race. Chrysabelle bears a large number of signum, more than many of her comarré siblings, making her one of the most highly prized of her kind.
The comarré are already a status symbol among the vampire nobility, who buy the comarré the way human millionaires buy Bentleys and beach houses. Unlike other material goods, the blood of the comarré actually increases their patron’s power. So the more gold in their skin, the more power they can provide.
My outcast vampire hero, Mal, has ink for an entirely different reason. His came to him by way of a curse and they mark him as an anathema to the rest of the nobility. His ink is actually a body suit of names. Each name belongs to a victim. Someone he drank to death. And because of another curse he’s under which makes it impossible to sink his fangs into someone and let them live, those names number in the thousands. Unlike Chrysabelle’s gilding, Mal’s names aren’t always stationary. Sometimes they merge and flow over him, covering him until he turns into the manifestation of the beast that lives within him. Sometimes, when Chrysabelle touches him, she can feel them moving.
In these ways, the marks of my two characters give the casual observer an idea of who they are. Chrysabelle looks like a sparkling prize, Mal a dark, tortured monster. And while these initial impressions aren’t wrong, they don’t begin to scratch the surface of what lies beneath Chrysabelle and Mal’s expansively distinctly decorated skin.
A little about me: I’m a former college English teacher, but I’ve held a crazy mix of other jobs including maitre’d for Wolfgang Puck, personal trainer, and sales for Christian Dior Bijoux. On the writing side of things, I’m a two-time Golden Heart finalist and have been on the board of three different RWA chapters. What can I say? I like getting involved. I’m not adverse to bossing people around either.
My forays into writing have been as varied as the jobs I’ve held. I’ve written poetry, articles for magazines, short stories, paranormal romances (that include fantasy, contemporary and steampunk genres) and now I’ve found a home with urban fantasy. I love worldbuilding and few genres give you the kind of license urban fantasy does.
I’m also the co-founder of the award-winning writer’s site Romancedivas.com. I blog occasionally at www.fictionistas.blogspot.com and tweet at twitter.com/Kristen_Painter more often than I should. You can also find me on my Facebook author page here: www.facebook.com/KristenPainterAuthor
I live in FL with my retired Air Force husband and a horde of feline dependents. I’m represented by The Knight Agency.
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