Author Override: Jessica Topper

Posted September 19, 2013 by Under the Covers Book Blog in Author Override, Featured Authors / 33 Comments

Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.

jessicatopper

UNDER THE COVERS with a Rocker’s Tattoos

Here’s a weird fact: When I first moved to New York City in 1993, tattoos were illegal. Yep, tattooing was considered a ‘medical misdemeanor’ and had been banned in 1961 by the City Health Department, apparently due to a series of Hepatitis C outbreaks traced back to Coney Island tattoo parlors.

I was 23 in 1993. Living on my own for the first time, with my first real paycheck burning a hole in my pocket. And I really wanted a tattoo. I was of legal age (finally), but all the tattoo artists I had heard whisper of were operating from secret backrooms, behind double doors of glass and metal that required secret knocks and Black Market-size payments I wasn’t prepared for.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, I got my nose pierced instead. Throw a rock in East Village during the 1990s and you would hit a body piercer – their shops were everywhere, and exempt from the Prohibition. A few years later, while visiting my brother in Portland, Oregon, I finally got a legal tattoo, dirt cheap – my one and only permanent souvenir of indelible ink.

People say it’s addicting – once you get one tattoo, you won’t want to stop. But a platelet disorder put an end to my own quest for creative color. Platelets help your blood clot, and apparently my body destroys its own platelets as fast as it makes them, so tattoos went on my no-no list.

Now I live vicariously through my characters, using words to etch tattooed tapestries strategically across their bodies and to serve, like in Adrian “Digger” Grave’s case, as a colorful chronology of his rise (and fall) as a rock god. When he first meets his love interest, Kat, in LOUDER THAN LOVE, he keeps his tattooed timeline a secret from her, along with his past. But he slowly and seductively reveals them as he opens up to her…and even begins to add new designs to his colorful collection.

I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt from LOUDER THAN LOVE. What better place for Kat to discover Adrian’s latest ink than here, UNDER THE COVERS?

Now the dawn sifted in through a gap in the curtain, motes of dust sparkling in a lone spotlight
leading to the newest tattoo on my lover’s body. So there it was. On his side with his arm thrown over his head in slumber, Adrian provided me a luxurious full view of a beautiful flowering desert cactus that ran from his hipbone to his armpit. The stem was various shades of green and rose up to mid-rib, with spiny clusters—some curving, some straight, projecting out in every direction; some black fading into gray, others yellow into white. Smaller ribs of the plant undulated from the body, and it was then I noticed a slim smooth snake, brown and gray, coiling carefully between the spikes on its mission upward. Its reward was apparent: A lush funnel-shaped bloom fanned up toward his armpit, the colors flaming orange bleeding into dark red. The lower buds harbored a few remaining spikes near its base before changing to smooth and waxy petals. The detail inside was incredible, complete with a thick nectar chamber and dozens of thready pink stamens at the center.  Adrian had once likened me to a desert flower, soon after my Memorial Day purge and clam-up.

“You bristle to keep people at bay,” he had commented. “But your blooms keep them coming back.” I hadn’t taken offense; I knew the quality had mutated in me during those dry and barren years after Pete.

Perhaps Adrian saw himself as the snake, an unlikely suitor stereotypically unequipped to bring solace but determined to do so. Who was more likely to injure the other? I didn’t want to currently contemplate it, not on our first real morning together.

Like a film in reverse mode, I slipped naked out of bed and into one of my new negligees. Marissa and Leanna had tried to sway me away from my choice, saying it was too bordello red with too much black lace, but I had insisted. The bathroom mirror agreed with my choice; I smiled at the way the bottom hem graced my legs, how tiny my waist looked as the red silk ruched up tastefully over my chest, and how the black lace straps flattered as they widened over my ivory shoulders. I brushed my teeth and completed my loop back into bed.

“Oh my . . . my, my, my,” Adrian murmured; he was just stretching and blinking as I eased back
down next to him. “Let me drink you in . . . wow.”

I straddled his sheet-swathed midsection and let him admire the view. “I match your flower,” I
whispered, leaning to kiss the complex corolla of the fresh tattoo.

“You are my flower,” he whispered back, fingers moving along the lacey hem as if to memorize
where it met my flesh. “My Echinocereus triglochidiatus. Yes, big word . . . I know. Trying to impress you.”

I pressed my chest to his bare one, allowing my hands to run over his smooth, strong shoulders.

“Oh yeah? Tell me more.”

“The desert flower takes five to ten years after sowing to bloom.” He ran his fingers around the
lacy straps and down the neckline. “Then the flower only opens for a few days at a time.”

“Sounds like beauty worth waiting for,” I breathed, kissing his cheek and sliding toward his ear.

“Like you and me.”

 

Thanks for having me visit today to celebrate my debut release, Louder Than Love!

louderthanlove

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

BUY NOW: AMAZON

 

Jessica TopperAbout the Author

Jessica Topper is an ex-librarian turned rock n’ roll number cruncher. She can trace her love for the written word back to age three, when she memorized Maurice Sendak’s “Chicken Soup with Rice” in its entirety.

After her daughter was born, Jessica left the Manhattan library world and began working for her husband’s music management company. He offered her a part-time bookkeeping job so she could “stay home for the baby’s first year” and pursue her dream of writing.

The baby is now eleven, and Jessica has been working her full-time, sold-her-soul-for-rock-n-roll job as Office Manager for veteran jam band moe. ever since. She may have traded in books for bookkeeping, but the written word is never far from her mind, or her heart.

Jessica lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter and one ancient cat. You can visit her at www.jessicatopper.com.

 

 

We are giving away a copy of LOUDER THAN LOVE (via Amazon or B&N) to a lucky maiden today!  International.

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A Day in the Month in the Life - Jessica Topper, AuthorAmberDaniel MMary PrestonAmy Pollard Woolard Recent comment authors
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LorettaLynn
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LorettaLynn

LOUDER THAN LOVE! Looks really good, thank you for the chance to win a copy:)

trackback
Going on Tour! - Jessica Topper, Author

[…] GIVEAWAY) 9/18: Crystal Book Reviews (review) & Sarah Says.READ Romance (guest post) 9/19: Under the Covers – Author Override guest feature, plus giveaway! 9/20: Book Hounds 9/23: Babbling About Books […]

Ronda Thayer
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Ronda Thayer

This sounds like a really good book. Can;t wait to read it

Karen G.
Guest
Karen G.

aww what a romantic excerpt! Thank you for the post, I am definitely interested in reading this. =D

Elizabeth H.
Guest
Elizabeth H.

The book is wonderful! I also have a giveaway for two ecopies of Louder Than Love via Amazon! Please stop by and check it out!!

http://heasareus.blogspot.com/2013/09/debut-author-interview-review-giveaway.html

Denise Smith
Guest
Denise Smith

the book sounds good i cant wait to read it i was 20 in 1993

erinf1
Guest
erinf1

looks and sounds awesome!!! I was 13 in 1993 so I don’t think I would have been allowed to listen to rock and roll or get a tattoo 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

Starla Y.
Guest
Starla Y.

It sounds amazing. Will be on my tbr list!

Jessica Topper
Guest
Jessica Topper

Thanks for having me (and the dashing, tattooed Adrian) on your blog today, it was a ton of fun! And best of luck to everyone in the giveaway. UtC, you ladies rock!

Elizabeth P
Guest
Elizabeth P

thank you!

Maria D.
Guest
Maria D.

Thanks for the post – I want a tattoo also but i’m pretty chicken so I have to live vicariously through others…lol…I do have pierced ears but don’t think i’d ever have the guts for a body piercing….lol….Louder than Love sounds really good – love
second chance romance books

Bobbye
Guest
Bobbye

This looks yummy

Mirlou
Guest
Mirlou

This sounds like a really good book. Can’t wait to read it.
Thank you for this giveaway!

Sandy Lion
Guest
Sandy Lion

I love rock novels so this will be added to the tbr list! sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

laura
Guest
laura

Love this book. Cant wait to read it.

Lori Meehan
Guest
Lori Meehan

Jessica Topper is a new author to me. The book sounds really good.

jodi marinich
Guest
jodi marinich

book sounds great

Barrie
Guest
Barrie

Sounds like a great read. Do you make sure when you write a book that at least one character has a tattoo? 🙂

Jenny Dauksa Schaber
Guest
Jenny Dauksa Schaber

I’m glad that Jessica found an outlet for her lack of ink. It looks like this is going to be a good read. Thanks for sharing part of it with us.

lisagk
Guest
lisagk

Such a fresh idea a tattoo timeline? sounds great. Thanks for the post.

Cassie Guest
Guest
Cassie Guest

I love the cover!! It is gorgeous!! I can’t wait to read this book!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

Marie
Guest
Marie

This sounds like a great book! Thank you for the chance to win. Congratulations on your publication!

JenM
Guest
JenM

This sounds great. I love it when the tattoos are actually explained in the story, instead of just being there for “color”.

Kim P
Guest
Kim P

Great excerpt! I love that there are stories behind Adrian’s tattoos and I’m looking forward to reading this. Congrats on the release of your book!

Timitra
Guest
Timitra

Louder Than Love sounds interesting!

Olga
Guest
Olga

Very interesting description of the story.

Jesica
Guest
Jesica

That scene is so swoon worthy! How adorable! And I love the idea of a rocker with a librarian lol

Amy Pollard Woolard
Guest
Amy Pollard Woolard

I cannot imagine tattoos being illegal! That is just messed up!! I happen to love my tattoos & I will be getting more in the future!! Thank you so much for the giveaway & I cannot wait to read your book!!

Mary Preston
Guest
Mary Preston

That is a weird fact. 1993 was such a sort time ago.

Daniel M
Guest
Daniel M

sounds like a fun one!

Amber
Guest
Amber

This sounds really good. Adding it to my list!

trackback
A Day in the Month in the Life - Jessica Topper, Author

[…] Graves’ tour bus and pick his brain with some burning questions. I chatted about Adrian’s tattoos and how I almost had to break the law to get a tattoo of my own over at Under The Covers. West of Mars asked me their famed one-question interview and I got a […]

Elizabeth H.
Guest
Elizabeth H.

Hello!

Jessica Topper is giving me an exclusive interview with Adrian from Louder Than Love on my blog on 11/8! I am collecting interview questions from any and all fans who want to know more about the British rocker that stole our hearts! If you have any burning questions for Adrian, please email them to heasrus at yahoo dot com by Friday, November 1!

Thank you!