Friday, September 30, 2022





Social worker Georgia Thayer can balance her own mental illness with the demands of an impossible job. Mostly. But when her sister vanishes in the dead of night, her desperate quest to find Peyton takes her into the tentacles of a human trafficking network—where she encounters a young victim called “Kitten.”
Kitten is determined to escape. She won’t be trapped like the others. She won’t sell her soul like Lillian, victim-turned-madam, feeding the dark appetites of international business moguls and government leaders. But the Estate won’t let her out of its lethal grip, and her attempts at freedom threaten her very life.
Aided by Kitten and, at times, by the voices in her head, Georgia maneuvers to bring down the kingpin of Estate and expose its dark secrets, but her efforts place her—and the few people she allows to get close—in grave danger.

Book Details 

Title: The Orchid Tattoo       

Author: Carla Damron        

Genre: crime fiction 

Publisher: Koehler Books (September 30, 2022)

Print length: 326 pages



A few of your favorite things: CHOCOLATE, autumn, when my husband says “let’s eat out.”
Things you need to throw out: clothes from 1995, that broken pottery plate that I loved but can’t be repaired, the light-up velvet painting of a riverboat from my in-laws’ house, even though it’s pretty cool.

Things you need in order to write: coffee in my favorite mug. The annoying cat contained in another room so he can’t “help” me. 

Things that hamper your writing: negative self-talk, social media (especially those cute panda bear videos people post).

Things you love about writing: I love words. Their shape and texture. The magic of it: scribbles on a page turn into fleshed-out scenes that take place in the reader’s mind.

Things you hate about writing: sometimes I dread the blank page. The drudgery of middles. The business end of the writing life—querying and getting rejected and querying more and wondering if I should take up knitting.

Easiest thing about being a writer: seriously, it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a pen and paper.
Hardest thing about being a writer: once you have that pen and paper, you need to open your soul and let it bleed.

Things you love about where you live: three wonderful seasons! 

Things that make you want to move: in summer, we live in lava.

Things you never want to run out of: coffee, Fresca, and patience.
Things you wish you’d never bought: those stupid grown-up shoes that, when I wear them, prove I’ll never actually be a grown-up.

Words that describe you: empathic, passionate, witty, fun.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: stubborn, self-righteous at times, disorganized.

Favorite foods: hot latte, fried shrimp, rice (the Southerner in me ADORES rice).

Things that make you want to throw up: Feta cheese, mustard, Peeps. I REALLY hate Peeps. 

Favorite music: all things Bonnie Raitt. Also love Ellis Paul, James Taylor, Elton John (yeah, I’m old). 

Music that make your ears bleed: sorry Greek friends, but I’m pretty sure that the music they play at Greek festivals can summon demons.

Favorite beverage: I’m not addicted to Fresca. I can quit anytime. 

Something that gives you a pickle face: Moxie (a carbonated beverage from Maine, where my hub’s family lives).

Favorite smell: fireplace in autumn. Steaks on the grill.
Something that makes you hold your nose: over-applied aftershave.

Something you’re really good at: I’m very conceited about my typing speed. 

Something you’re really bad at: keeping my opinions to myself. Surely everyone wants to hear them, right?

Something you wish you could do: crochet
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: pull weeds.

Something you like to do: go kayaking.

Something you wish you’d never done: agreed to take minutes. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Last best thing you ate: dark chocolate caramel with sea salt. Yum. 

Last thing you regret eating: a soggyish flatbread disaster.

Things you’d walk a mile for: to talk sense into a legislator.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: legislators who won’t listen.

Things you always put in your books: social justice issues.

Things you never put in your books: one-dimensional characters.

Things to say to an author: I bought your book!

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I think you should have changed the ending so that this happens” (then proceeds to tell me what would have been a better ending).

Favorite places you’ve been: Alaska, Switzerland, Maine.

Places you never want to go to again: any crowded airport when lot of flights are cancelled.

Favorite things to do: hug on my animals. 

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: bathe a cat.

Things that make you happy: people who are generous and help others. 
Things that drive you crazy: people who have the resources to help those who need it and don’t.

Proudest moment: winning the WFWA Star Award for Best Novel. 

Most embarrassing moment: there are so many. Recently, I tripped over a bag when I was about to testify at the Statehouse.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: went rappelling.

Something you chickened out from doing: taking a hike through a park in Alaska (we saw a sign that said a grizzly bear had been spotted!)


Carla Damron, a native of South Carolina, is the author of The Orchid Tattoo, crime fiction about human trafficking. She is also a social worker and advocate whose last novel, The Stone Necklace (about grief and addiction) won the 2017 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award for Best Novel. This novel was also selected to be the One Community Read for Columbia SC.  Damron authored the Caleb Knowles mystery novels (Keeping Silent, Spider Blue, and Death in Zooville) and has published numerous short stories, essays, and op-eds. She holds an MSW and an MFA and finds her careers of social worker and writer to be intricately intertwined; all of her novels explore social issues like addiction, homelessness, mental illness, and human trafficking. In her spare time, Damron volunteers with the League of Women Voters, Sisters in Crime, Palmetto Chapter (President), her church, and Mutual Aid Midlands.

Connect with Carla:
WebsiteNewsletter Facebook  |  Twitter   |  Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble  

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