Second Skin, #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Etopia Press
Date of Publication: June 4, 2014
Number of pages: 333
Word Count: 107,990
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…
The small plane touched down on the runway of the airfield outside Los Angeles. After taxiing to the hangar, Leo powered down the engines and pulled off his headset. He felt like a weight had been lifted, but anxiety twisted in his gut as he worked through his explanation to the old man.
Gustavo had needed to be taken care of, that fact had been clear to him for months. The only reason he hadn’t gone to Arturo Flores about Gustavo’s consistent series of fuckups was because of his promise to Pilar to leave her father out of it.
The deed was done, the memory of the corpse he’d left behind in the little shack in the Sonoran desert still left him ice cold to his core. He’d had to ignore the spark of memory of another pair of eyes whose light the same gun had extinguished two years earlier. Two years to the day, he thought.
Leo no longer regretted any of those bullets, starting with the very first one from his brother’s gun that had pierced his own chest. Each had brought him closer to her. Now all he had to do was claim what was his.
The phone at his hip buzzed as he made his way across the tarmac to the parking lot. He settled in his car and started the engine, turning the AC on full blast while he checked his messages.
911! Call me when you land!
It was from Pilar. Goosebumps rose up on his arms in spite of the hot August air that baked the interior of his car.
Today, we welcome Jesse Pearle to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a great big Geeky welcome!
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We weill finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
1. Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
I’m about 90 percent pantser. 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.
2. When is your favorite time/place to write? Do you write structured or patchworked?
I almost always write at my corner desk in my house that I refer to as “command central”. Early in the morning or late at night are the most productive times for me. Mid-day seems to be filled with more distractions. My writing is actually relatively structured once I’m sitting down to write. I do have days when an idea has struck me for a different project I have planned and I might write a few notes or do some research, but generally I will see a single project through until it is 100% complete before digging in and focusing on a new one. I use a Pomodoro timer to segment my actual writing and to remind me when to take breaks.
3. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I’m actually a big computer nerd and love video games. I built my own gaming rig, but it’s been gathering dust since I started focusing more on writing this year. I have a separate laptop dedicated to writing, so I don’t get distracted. I will absolutely be taking a break from writing for two games during the next several months, though—Dragon Age: Inquisition, and The Witcher III, the two sequels to the games that inspired me to start writing via fan fiction. That “first really ambitions piece of fiction” mentioned in my bio was actually a crossover fan fiction between those two games (also partly inspired by Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels). I also play tabletop Dungeons and Dragons every weekend with my husband and a group of close friends, and I have an alter-ego pen name that I write dragon erotica under. I am a little gay for dragons—there is even a dragon easter egg in Second Skin. See if you can find it!
4. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Play tabletop and video RPGs, catch up on my favorite shows with my husband, or read.
5. How did you choose the genres you write in?
I have always been a huge fan of fantasy, but also of romance. The contemporary angle for Second Skin happened by accident, though. Normally I prefer fantasy or paranormal, a category that most of my other projects fall into. Second Skin actually started out as a science fiction novel, but it wasn’t very science fictiony, so I took those elements out and it worked just fine.
1. What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
How to Train Your Dragon II. I did mention I was gay for dragons?
2. What was the name of the last book you read?
I just finished a book called Going Under, by Jeffe Kennedy. It’s a hot erotic romance that takes place in the San Juan islands. It’s a love story between a reclusive female video game designer and an investigative journalist seeking out the elusive designer (who he believes is a man based on the designer’s internet personas). I couldn’t put it down. I loved the gaming aspect of it (because I am a gamer), but the “games” that happen in the book aren’t strictly the digital variety. It has some very well written BDSM sex scenes, but my favorite part is how well-written the dynamic is between the two characters and their struggle to work up to an honest, open, mature relationship.
I’m also on my third listen of the audio books of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Looking forward to finally getting to her new one, but I have to hear the entire series again first. [Oh. Sounds fabulous!]
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
I have a weird confession: I have a crush on Gordon Ramsay that started after I had a sort of dirty dream about him. He’d never been on my radar before (I don’t even watch cooking shows), but ever since that dream I love watching his shows—particularly the UK version that is uncensored (hearing him curse is a huge turn-on). He could definitely cook me dinner!
4. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Books! Probably Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel—the three books in my library that I can reread over and over without getting tired of them. Oh, and maybe an iPod with my favorite tunes (as long as I can have a solar charger, too).
5. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Red Bull and wine (writing juice, as my husband refers to it - no I don’t mix the two, at least not in the same glass).
2. AM or PM? PM
3. Mountains or Sea? Mountains
6. Summer or Winter? Winter
8. Cake or Pie? Pie
10. Print or Electronic? Electronic
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
The best thing I did for my writing career was to find a great community of fellow writers to work with, either as crit partners, beta readers, or general moral support. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as about four different online writing communities and every single one has helped facilitate my career in some way. Now, most of my best friends are fellow writers.
Jesse will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.
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