What kind of music do you like?
I enjoy everything from classical to dubstep, but what I listen to while I write depends on the mood of the story and the characters in the scene. The musical inspiration for Second Skin included a lot of heavy, masculine music, like The Black Keys, due to the characters in it. Leo’s and the Los Leones music has a more Latino beat. Sam’s has a a heavier, bluesy feel, and Pilar’s is more feminine, a little sultry sometimes, and a little bittersweet at others.
Describe your dream home…
I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina with an amazing view from my bedroom window. My dream home would be similar to the house I grew up in. A Craftsman style home with a long porch and lots of windows overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountain range or someplace with equally beautiful vistas.
Favorite literary hero & heroine?
Jamie & Claire Fraser (I’m a huge Outlander fan).
What are you reading now?
Besides re-reading all the Outlander books for the third time, I’m working my way through the collection of books I picked up at the RWA National Conference. I just started Afterburn by Sylvia Day.
What did you do on your last birthday?
I avoided thinking about getting older. My husband also took me out to a fancy restaurant where the waiters set your dessert on fire.
What comes first, plot or characters?
Characters almost always come first for me. Even in my current project I have a cast of characters who I know have to get from point A to point B. I’m just writing along, letting them show me how they need to get there. The plot tends to emerge in the process of me discovering what the characters’ true goals and conflicts are, and what will motivate them to overcome their conflicts to reach their goals.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Not strictly speaking, no. I do go through phases where I either lack focus or inspiration, but I always have ideas or scenes to work out. They may not result in me moving forward with the particular story I’m working on, but I can always find something worthwhile to write down.
Do you ever want to be someone else? Who?
Nope. I could say I want to be the person I will be in ten years, but the journey to get there is the fun part. I enjoy adventures.
Tell us about your latest book?
Second Skin is part love story and part coming-of-age story. It’s a love triangle, and there are three main characters. Pilar Flores is the daughter of a drug lord, eighteen at the beginning of the story and trying to find her place in her father’s business. Leo Reyes is one of her father’s employees and the leader of an LA street gang who becomes her father’s right hand later in the story. Sam Blanco is a boy in the neighborhood Leo’s gang holds dominion over whose goal is to make enoug money selling tattoos after high school to get the hell out of dodge and away from his abusive father. The three characters’ worlds collide in unexpected ways, from Pilar’s first encounter with the tragic hero, Leo, to the complicated entanglements that occur when the young tattoo artist, Sam, comes into the picture. While the love story is most definitely between Pilar and Leo, every love story has its obstacles to overcome. Sam is one of those obstacles for Pilar and Leo, but in truth he may be the catalyst that allows the two lovers to understand each other more. At its heart, it is Sam’s story, even though the “happily ever after” isn’t his. At least not yet.
What’s next for you?
I have too many projects coming next. The sequel to Second Skin is just one (there will be five in the series), along with a Motorcycle Club romance trilogy that features a female biker protagonist. I also write erotica novellas under a different pen name (it’s sort of secret, but you can find it on my website if you look hard enough).
by Jesse Pearl
Obsession is never just skin deep.
Sam Blanco’s greatest desire is to escape his abusive father and violent neighborhood the only way he can—by earning money as a tattoo artist for a street gang. He’s befriended their leader, the deadly Leo Reyes, and gained a measure of safety under their protection. But just when things are going right for the first time in Sam’s life, Leo’s girlfriend, Pilar Flores, walks in and requests a tattoo in an unusual location. Sam obliges, but the experience leaves them both reeling. Unable to focus for days, Sam finds himself craving Pilar’s touch, but she’s exactly the kind of trouble he doesn’t need.
Pilar Flores is her father’s daughter. Being the daughter of a drug lord is not an easy role to fill, but she aspires to live up to the title and make her father proud. But her father has no plans to allow her into the business, and Pilar hates being sidelined. She hates that Leo is away for days on end, and she especially hates being treated like an incompetent female by every man she sees. Except for Sam. She decides to take control of her life the only way she knows how—through seduction. But she’s not prepared for how eager and passionate a lover Sam is, or how deeply she’s drawn to him. Even though she knows their ill-fated affair can’t possibly end well…
“So you just leave the pictures in here until they’re done or what?” Benny asked, flipping through the loose-leaf leather-bound book that Sam always kept with him wherever he went.
“Yeah, if I’m finished working on them I might take them out, give them away or what not. But it’s hard to know when I’m done. Some take a while.”
Sam set out the pieces of his machine in the usual, methodical order to begin assembling it once his client arrived. Something niggled at the back of his mind, however—somewhere behind the image of Pilar tied to her bed, her sweet dimples challenging him to do exactly the thing he planned to do as soon as he finished his drawing.
“Motherfucker,” Benny muttered under his breath.
A hot rush of panic infused Sam at the same instant he realized what he’d done…or failed to do.
“Like this one?” Benny turned the sketchbook around.
Sam’s stomach lurched when he saw the detailed nude sketch he’d made of Pilar Sunday morning. He’d spent enough time rendering her face that there was no mistaking who she was.
“Tell me you just drew her face from memory on some other girl’s body.”
Sam was sure he had a deer-in-the-headlights look when he said, “Not exactly…”
Benny gaped at him then looked back at the drawing. After a second more of studying it he just shook his head.
“Man, you are something else. I seriously think you must have a death wish. Or one huge pair of cojones.”
Sam had lost the ability to speak. His brain frantically attempted to process the implications of his friend seeing the picture of Pilar. Fuck, fuck, fuck, this wasn’t supposed to happen. You’re a fucking idiot, Sam.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jesse Pearle grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a place where there was no danger in dancing naked in the moonlight at the top of a mountain. Always possessed of a creative mind, but never quite the right amount of focus, she wandered for decades. She received a degree in fine art which she put to poor use working an uneventful desk job for an engineering company when she started writing her first really ambitious piece of fiction. She lives in sunny Southern California with her ever supportive husband and four attention-whoring cats.
Jesse will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: