• Alex Lopez

Ink in the Blood

When a thin black line appears on your skin, your destiny becomes intertwined with the Divine. In Profeta, there is a higher calling to be an inkling who can use tattoo magic to transfer images, or symbols, to reflect the will of the Divine to citizens lest they all fall astray to the fallen ways of Diavala. While believers follow the temple of the Divine and the High Mistico - who holds the ear of the Divine - after years of service, inkling Celia Sand knows better than to place her faith in the Divine.

Although she might be deemed as a heretic and cruelly punished for her lack of belief, the reality of the temple's brutal ways to tattoo people in accordance to their own ambitions leaves Celia and her best friend, Anya Bartoni, with clear eyes beyond the temple's institution. At any chance, they seize the opportunity to rebel against the system they're forced to maintain whether that be an image open to different interpretations, an incomplete tattoo, or initials hidden in designs .....anything to take arms against the Divine's dominance over their lives until they can escape.

When the opportunity to leave Profeta presents itself in the form of the traveling theatrical troupe, the Rabble Mob of Minos, Celia and Anya must put on a performance like no other in order to claim a place among the theater family. What they end up creating is the ultimate way to free themselves: the Devil in the Bell Jar.

Even though the Rabble Mob follows the style of a traditional Commedia Follia, Celia and Anya's act turns the foundation of their society sideways. Audiences begin to question what makes an angel or a devil and if the one wearing an angel's wings is in fact a devil in disguise while the bell jar traps the ugly truth of humanity.

Just when life seems to settle with the traveling ways of the Rabble Mob, the Divine pays a visit to Celia. A far cry from her benevolent portrayal, the Divine is an angry being who does not take kindly to Celia's rebellion. However, there is a road to redemption by using the Devil in the Bell Jar - and the Rebel Mob - to elevate the name of the Divine.

For Celia, family is everything and she'll stop at nothing, not even Diavala herself, to protect those she holds dear.

Prepare to set forth on the stage of Profeta and onto a colorful world where plague doctors hide themselves behind their mask, the Divine and Diavala dance hand in hand, and a young woman holds onto her steadfast spirit.

See what happens to the world when the true Devil in the Bell Jar is let loose.

In this work, author Kim Smejkal uses the ink in her blood to weave a story that makes your bones hum. Line by line, the pages of Ink in the Blood that paint Celia's world are shaded with vibrant imagination that pushes beyond the boundaries of the page's borders. For me, Ink in the Blood was a fantastic read that weaves the bonds of friendship with a red thread and raises the curtain of the theater's magic to create a memorable world that will leave you reeling for the sequel.

Tattoo Magic

In the land of Profeta, tattoos guide you as a compass for your life. Ready to learn the power of your tattoo?

Answer the following question to see if your power lies with A, B, or C!

Which do you feel reflects your personality best?

A) Family is my everything and I'll stop at nothing to protect those I hold dear.

B) Throughout my life, I've done my best to help others...but when my good intentions fail and I'm treated badly, sometimes another side of me comes out.

C) I put on a smile for the world to see, but there is more behind my mask than meets the eye.


Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood #1)

by Kim Smejkal

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: February 11th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy


A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.








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Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, Ink in the Blood, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.











Win (1) of (2) finished copies of

Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

and temporary tattoos

(US Only)

Starts: 5th February 2020

Ends: 19th February 2020


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