"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

COZY WEDNESDAY - With Author Karen E. Olson (Giveaway too!!)

I fell in love with the Tattoo Mysteries when I was sent Driven To Ink last year to review.  I can't just read one book in a series so I quickly got copies of The Missing Ink and Pretty in Ink so that I could get caught up on the series and see the character's development.  While I don't have any tattoos my daughter has several so I thought if I didn't like the books she definitely would.  

Well I LOVED THEM!!!!  I may not be the demographic the publisher had in mind, but I LOVED THEM!!! My daughter loved them too!!!  I was so excited for the next book to come out and asked Karen to guest post here when it did.  Sadly, Ink Flamingos is the last book in this series and I was not ready for it to end.  I am sure a lot of Karen's fans feel the same way.  But the book is great. I will post my full review at the bottom of this post but you already know I LOVED IT!!!

Karen I am so glad you are here!!  I can't wait to hear how the unusual title of this latest book came to be.
Thanks Lori, I am happy to be here today at Dollycas's Thoughts.

Until I started writing the Tattoo Shop Mysteries, I never had a title for a book before I started writing. I always figured I’d write the book and then a title would come to me, something that would be both meaningful and clever at the same time. But as I wrote this series, I had a list of titles that I’d come up with. Before writing each book, I just picked the title off the list and then determined what the books would be about.

I had absolutely no idea what INK FLAMINGOS would be about for the longest time. I loved the title, it’s such a great play on words, and I love flamingos. But what on earth would flamingos have to do with a tattooist? Especially one living in Las Vegas—the desert—where flamingos are clearly not indigenous.

But Vegas does have something that would lend itself nicely to the book: the fabulous Flamingo resort. The last time my family was in Vegas, when I was researching this book, we spent quite a bit of time at this original Vegas landmark. Bugsy Seigel built the Flamingo. I found out some really interesting things about Bugsy’s paranoia: He had a suite of rooms in the resort and while there was only one way in, there were five exits. Just in case someone was coming to take him out (which the mob eventually did, but in L.A., not Vegas). Bugsy’s suite is no longer there; when they renovated the Flamingo, they got rid of it. It’s too bad, but they did erect a plaque in his honor on the grounds.

There are flamingos at the Flamingo. They’ve got a fabulous aviary and all sorts of exotic birds wander around freely. The flamingos have their own little lagoon alcove. It’s possibly one of the only places you can see actual flamingos in the desert. They also have a very cool bronze flamingo that overlooks the casino.

Quite a bit of INK FLAMINGOS takes place at the Flamingo. But that just didn’t seem enough. So after some thought, I decided that there would have to be a flamingo tattoo that would prominently play into the plot. And who was sporting said tattoo? The lead singer for the girl group The Flamingos.

There’s also a plastic pink flamingo that wears a tiara, because I couldn’t help myself.


An Obsidian Mystery
A Division of The Penguin Group

A Tattoo Shop Mystery
4th in the Series
ISBN-10: 0451233794
ISBN-13: 978-0451233790

One of Brett's customers at The Painted Lady, a high class tattoo shop, has been found dead  in a Las Vegas hotel room.  She is found surrounded by several tattoo supplies including needles and ink pots.  A woman matching Brett's description was witnessed leaving the crime scene.

As Brett is been profiled as the prime suspect a blog is found on the internet showcasing the dead clients tattoo.  Then pictures of Brett start showing up on the blog and it even looks like the blogger is Brett herself.

Brett is frantic to find out who is behind this blog because she knows it will lead her to the real killer.  The sooner she does that she can get back to her own life and see where the ink may lead her.

I loved this book so much.  Karen is a wonderful writer and all these stories were pure pleasure to read.  They almost have me convinced to get a tattoo, but no flamingos please.  

The characters have depth and continue to grow, new sides are shown, romance is budding, each character is so overwhelmingly different but fit together so easily.  The scenes are set in your mind clearly through the author's words, I have never been to Vegas but would love to go there now. The plots are well thought through and credible.  The stories are some of the best I have read.

It is a fast paced mystery that will keep you up all night inking together the clues to solve the mystery, but in just four stories readers are emotionally connected to the characters that you are rooting for all of them, even some that may have lost their way.  I for one am very sad that this is the last we will hear from Brett, Joel, Bitsy, Ace, Tim, Sylvia and Jeff.  This is one reader who is having a hard time saying good-bye.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Karen E. Olson is a Shamus award finalist and the winner of the Sara Ann Freed Memorial Award. She lives in Connecticut, where there are no flamingos. You can visit her at her website at 
Would you like to win a copy of the extraordinary book!!!
Thanks to Obsidian I have 2 copies to giveaway!!!
U.S. & Canadian Residents Only!
Followers will receive an extra two entries!
Leave Karen a comment for an additional 5 entries!!!
Contest Will End at 11:59 P.M. CST on June 22nd

Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Tami said...

What an interesting setting for a mystery. I don't have any tattoos and I'm not likely to start at this age, but these sound like great stories. I also love the idea of picking a title and creating a story to go with it. Sounds like a writing class exercise. :)

Pamela Keener said...

You are a new to me author. I love discovering the backgrounds of the books I read and yous does not disappoint. What an intriguing story.
Love & Hugs,

Margaret said...

I love the cover! It instantly makes me think of my niece that I know would love to read this!
I wish you much success!


Maureen said...

What a unique series and I loved the pictures of the flamingos.

Valerie said...

I love the cover! I've never heard of this series before, but I'm going to check it out :)

samantha35 said...

I love Brett and her sexy car and zany friends- cant wait to read this one!
follow via gfc

Lu said...

This sounds like a great series. I am hoping I can find copies of every book in the series since if I know a book is part of a series I MUST read the whole series!!

(entered giveaway with my full name Marilu not Lu- the GFC account the comment posted under!)

Victoria Zumbrum said...

I love reading mysteries. Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read your book. Tore923@aol.com

Yvonne said...

This sounds so good. I love my cozies!

holdenj said...

Karen, congrats on your success with the series! I love the info about the Vegas Flamingo for this story. I have discovered some great new series here with dollycas!

cyn209 said...

Congrats & GoodLuck, Karen!!!

your series has been on my ToBeRead list since i discovered CozyMysteries recently!!

i'm sorry that this series has ended, but i wish you much luck in your future writings!!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!


Charla said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I am a gfc-booktalkwithcharla, network blog follower-charlawilson, email subscr charlawilson@me.com. I tried to put those into your form, but it would only let me mark one thing. Anyway, You have a wonderful blog!

Carol M said...

This sounds like a series I would really enjoy! Thank you for the giveaway!

Carol N Wong said...

I am happy to have the chance to read your book, usually if I love it, I read the whole series. Yes, I love the flamingos at the Flamingo in Las Vegas too.


mamabunny13 said...

Hi Karen! Congrats on the Series! I have three tattoos so far. I think I'm gonna like these books!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

kt said...

Las Vegas and tatoos--sounds interesting--especially since one of my daughter's friends, an art major, dropped out of college to become a tatoo artist!

Gigi Ann said...

Hi Karen, I love meeting new authors, and your book sounds intriguing, and I like cozy mysteries. But about tattoos, I personally would never get one. hee, hee.

Liz V. said...

Came across series by accident in library, then hunted down more. Such fun.

Debi Murray said...

Love this series! Read the first two book but now see I have two more to catch up on....so many book so little time to read. I am seriously thinking of getting a tattoo...it would be my late middle-aged sign of rebellion. LOL!

Stacie said...

Thanks for the great interview. I love the fact that you have a list of titles & then develop your story from there. I have the first two of this series in my TBR pile. Can't wait to add the rest. Sorry to hear this series is coming to an end. It was a really uniques concept. Look forward to your next endevour :)