“I wanted Christopher. I wanted him in my corner when shit was rough. I wanted him in my bed, holding me. I wanted his sun to shine on me. I wanted to soak up his light like a moon, and glow with it.”
Welcome to the blog tour for Small Change, the latest book in Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere series. This M/F romance follows bisexual tattoo artist Ginger as she struggles to balance her shop, her art, and romance. Ginger has been a fan favorite since she first appeared in the series, so we’re thrilled to see that she has her own book!
Today we have an exclusive excerpt to share, so keep reading and check it out!
Small Change, by Roan Parrish
Series: Small Change (Book 1); In the Middle of Somewhere (Book 4)
Release Date: June 1, 2017
Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.
Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.
When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger … isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.
Small Change is the first book in a series that will include M/F and M/M romances.
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Christopher’s gaze gave me goose bumps, raising the hairs not only on my arms but at the back of my neck, like my body was imagining what it might be like to feel his breath there.
“How’d you get into tattooing?”
“As a kid I drew constantly. I copied the characters on cereal boxes, drew portraits of my classmates, doodled in the margins of…well, everything. Freshman year of high school, I was in art class and this guy, this senior, had a little tattoo on his arm. I saw it when he pushed up his sleeve to wash his hands. It was this crude little star. Probably supposed to be a pentagram but it was kind of fucked up. I asked him where he got it and he said he just used a safety pin and the ink from a ballpoint pen.”
“Christ, that doesn’t sound sanitary.”
I grinned at him. “Definitely not. So of course I tried it that night.”
“No way. Do you still have it?”
I pulled up the other sleeve of my T-shirt and pointed to my left upper arm where, just visible in between the paws of a wolf and above the crown of a pinecone, was a small, wavery tattoo, faded with time.
“Oh, that’s…uh. What is that?”
“Did you ever read Sideways Stories From Wayside School?” He shook his head. “It’s brilliant, for real. It’s about this bonkers elementary school—super absurdist and hilarious. Anyway, one of the kids’ dads lets him get a tattoo. The kid’s, like, ten or something. And he’s all excited because his classmates are jealous and they think it makes him cool and hardcore, but he won’t tell anyone what he’s going to get because he can’t decide. He agonizes over it. Then the next day when he comes in, everyone gathers around him to see the big reveal.”
Christopher leaned in toward me, eyes wide. “And? What’d he get?”
I tapped my arm. “A potato.”
Christopher burst out laughing. He had a fantastic laugh—loud and rich and from the belly, and it terminated in a kind of chuckle, like he wasn’t quite ready to stop yet. It was the kind of laugh that made you feel lucky that you said something he thought was funny.
“Oh, man.” He wiped his eyes with his sleeve. “That’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.”
He waited on a customer, still chuckling when he glanced over at me.
“See, that’s something I always wondered about,” he said, picking the conversation right back up. “So many people with lots of tattoos seem to have stuff like that, that’s just a joke or whatever. But doesn’t it feel kind of serious putting something on your skin forever? Or once you have so many does it not matter any more?”
“But that’s the thing. It isn’t a joke. The potato. I mean, yes, I know what you mean. Lots of tattoo artists and folks who are heavily inked don’t care so specifically about each individual piece. It stops being about each tattoo as a work of art and starts being about an approach to life where you carry your history with you. You wear it. It’s visible for the world to see, but more importantly so you can’t forget any of it. So yeah, you might get a tattoo from a friend to commemorate an event and not care so much what it looks like as you do that every time you see it you’ll remember the moment you shared. And the more you have, the more possible that is because they blend together into just…you. Your past made present on your body.”
Christopher’s eyes scanned my visible ink like he was trying to read that past. My arms, my hands. When he lingered on my neck, my breath hitched.
“It…confronts you with yourself. With the things you’ve thought, felt, done. You can’t pretend something didn’t happen if it’s on your skin. You can’t forget. And they’re also a way to retell the story, I guess. You know, like, if something bad happens, a lot of people get a tattoo. Not because they want to remember the bad thing, but because once they’ve lived through it, or figured it out, then every time they look at the tattoo they remember that process. Tattoos are the scars you can choose.”
He was staring at me intently, then he cleared his throat. His eyebrows drew together and he bit his lip as he reached out and touched my arm, covering the potato with the pad of one finger. “That’s really damned beautiful, actually,” he said.
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.