Friday, September 5, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library - Jesse Pearle

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. 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.

What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

My mother read Lord of the Rings to me as a child, which I remember vividly. She also read a lot of Kipling to me, because we have South African roots. So my writing as a result contains a lot of fantasy and adventure in it.

What are you reading right now?

Two audio books: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon and Shift by Hugh Howey. The first is my third re­read of the series as a lead­up to her latest installment (I still consider it “reading” even though I’m listening). The second is a book my husband and I listen to together when we take weekend road trips.

Do you have any bad book habits?

I have a bad habit of starting and not finishing because I get distracted, either with my writing or with another book or beta project. The last book I managed to finish reading was Going Under by Jeffe Kennedy, and it was mostly because I was traveling while I read it.

E­Reader or print? and why?

E­reader because I can access my library on multiple platforms and carry all my books with me at once. This might be contributing to my inability to stick with one book, however. Dog­ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

If I’m reading a print book, I prefer to bookmark if I can. I will only dog­ear as a last result. I would prefer to re­read parts to find where I left off rather than crease the page.

When do you do most of your reading?

In the car with my audio books... Though I am trying to structure a routine of reading into my daily writing schedule.

Favorite book to recommend?

One of the ones that has always stuck with me, and that I have re­read many times, is Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. I love the depth of her characters and how vivid her settings are. Having come of age in the Appalachian Mountains, I also felt a kinship with the characters and their lives.

Re­reader or not?

I’m generally not a re­reader. There are a select few books that I have read more than once. One is Prodigal Summer. I’ve also read the Outlander series many times. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is another I never get tired of re­reading.

What would make you not finish a book?

Overly ontrived or uninteresting characters and situations will turn me off almost immediately.

Lack of basic research is another thing. I recently read a book that featured a main character who was an English grad student, but her inner dialog was ripe with grammatical errors, and really basic ones, too. I quit reading right there, but I’d already been rolling my eyes at some of the contrived situations present in the book. I don’t mind books that employ popular tropes to tell a story. We all relate to those kinds of things, but the story needs to be crafted around them well enough that it isn’t blatantly obvious they’re being used.

Keep books or give them away?

I give most of my physical books away when I’m finished, unless they have particular sentimental value to me. Right now I only have about one small bookshelf’s worth of print books, since I moved recently and one of the first things I tend to do is pack up the books I no longer want to read and donate them to the local library. My digital library would probably fill a couple rooms, however...

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...


(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.

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.

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