Thursday, August 14, 2014

Second Skin by Jesse Pearl Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Second Skin
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…


Excerpt One:

(Pilar’s POV)

During the service she spied him and her heart skipped a beat. His broad shoulders and beautiful black hair were unmistakable in the front pew of the church. A middle-aged woman with striking features and thick, jet-black hair worn in a chignon sat beside him, stoic and erect, with a grim expression on her face. A young woman sat on the other side of him. She clutched his hand with a tissue held tightly in her other fist. Her nose was slightly pink from crying.

Pilar’s stomach clenched at the sight of the woman. Her face tightened, a crawling sensation spreading over her skin.

He’d said he didn’t have a girlfriend, so who was she? She was beautiful, whoever she was, with perfect fair skin and sleek, straight hair that fell in a sheet down her back and shone blue black in the sunlight streaming through the high windows.

She was exceedingly modest, too, judging from the expensive black suit she wore, no skin exposed aside from her hands and her head. Pilar felt like nothing more than a Mexican whore after looking at the pretty young woman for a moment. Pilar had worn her own hair down in its golden-brown waves, and with her low-cut dress and lack of undergarments, she felt shamed by the perfect beauty that clung to Leo’s arm.

Forget Leo’s worth in her father’s eyes, she wasn’t worthy of him in her own eyes. Tears welled up in her eyes. She tried to hold them back but was unable to, and was abstractly grateful that she was at a funeral where no one would question their cause.


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.

Where are you from?
I grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina. My parents were back-to-the-land hippies at the time (1970s) and believed cottage industry was the way to go. Mom was always a horsewoman, so I grew up on a horse. My best friend and I would ride constantly from the time we met (I think I was about 10), through the back woods of our farm, regardless of weather. I always loved riding bareback in the winter and seeing the tufts of snow falling from the pine trees onto the horse’s rump. My horse’s name was Sahara—she was a palomino, half Morgan horse, so she was big and good-natured and I loved her!

Tell us your latest news?
I just returned from the RWA National Conference in San Antonio. It was my first conference. I’m mostly an indie writer so I attended pretty much every Indie workshop I could find. I even managed to bump elbows with Hugh Howey (he was super nice).
In writing news, I’m madly trying to finish my latest indie novella, which is completely unrelated to the novel this blog tour is about.
I will say that one of the main characters of the novel, Sam, has a bit of a fan club. He is the quintessential big brother. He is completely sweet, loves his mom and sis, has smarts but doesn’t use them (he’s more instinctual, I think), and effortlessly endears himself to every woman he meets because he loves women. He’s a one of those introspective tough guys who’s still a knucklehead and gets himself into tough spots he could get out of if he tried to. Perfect balance, right? Except the poor guy can’t find a girlfriend to last in spite of being sweet as hell. Maybe he’s destined for something greater. ;)

When and why did you begin writing?
I was writing in second grade because I had a story to tell. But over the years it went by the wayside. More recently I started writing for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign my husband was running. I got the urge to flesh out the back story of my character. But when I was done with that, I still had an idea in my head for something unrelated, so I kept writing. That story (a fanfic) turned into an epic that I still haven’t finished because I got horribly and unforgivably distracted with Sam, one of the main characters in Second Skin.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The answer is pretty ambiguous, I think the honest answer is when I got my advance from Second Skin’s publisher. That was when I felt like I could call myself a writer. But in my soul I was a writer long before that.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote a fan fiction story back in 2012 that needed a fresh, original character to play a small role—the role of a rough and world-weary tattoo artist approaching his 50s. The character sprang to life so vividly in my mind at the time that I just had to know what his life story was, so I began writing it. The teen-aged Sam came first, then the other characters gradually began to evolve out of my imagining of the story of this young artist who aspires to be a famous tattoo artist like his idol. Sam’s little sister, Celie, came next, followed by Pilar and Leo, then Benny, then the rest of the cast of characters came to life, one by one. They each told me their stories as they evolved.
My plan for the Second Skin series follows Sam through significant milestones in his life, every event shaping him into that older, wiser, but still rough around the edges and incredibly sexy man.

Listen to good music and pay close attention to the things that inspire you. Maybe it’s a book, maybe not. Inspiration can be so fleeting so hold on to the things that do it for you.




All Romance:


  1. I like learning more about the author.

    1. It was a fun interview. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by to read it and comment!

  3. Thank you so much for hosting Second Skin today!

  4. I really enjoyed discovering a new author and book in a genre that is outside my comfort zone :) Thank you for the post and the giveaway!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for posting. :)

  5. Interesting blurb with difficult paths for both of them being tied to a street gang and a drug lord.

  6. I really enjoyed the interview :) thanks for the chance to win!

  7. It catches my attention and sounds very intriguing.