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Beyond The Page & $5 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: “Louder Than Love” by Jessica Topper

Sep 2
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It’s my pleasure to welcome JESSICA TOPPER to the blog today 🙂

She’s answering questions about her wonderful debut novel, LOUDER THAN LOVE, which comes out on September 17

Jessica is also giving away TWO (2) $5 Amazon gift cards to CABR followers 😀


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Hi Jessica 🙂

If you only had ten – 20 words to use, how would you describe the story in “Louder than Love”?

Yikes, that’s tough! “A young, widowed librarian and a jaded, recluse rocker fall into each other’s lives and learn to live (and love) again.”


Tell us about the main characters? What motivates them when they first meet? How does music, the heroine’s child and love change all that?

Katrina Lewis is a levelheaded librarian whose neat and orderly life gets thrown off course after she loses her husband in a tragic accident. She can’t make sense of staying where he existed one day and not the next, so she flees Manhattan with her young daughter back to the town where she existed before she knew him.

It’s four years later and, with the support of her close-knit group of girlfriends, Kat is determined to move on. She hires a man who she thinks is a children’s musician to perform at the library where she volunteers – and all hell breaks loose!


Adrian “Digger” Graves is a recluse rocker who has been burned by the music business. He’s lost the love of his wife, the respect of his daughter, and the camaraderie of his band mates. Although he lives under the radar on tony Central Park West, he has nothing…until Kat’s invitation arrives and morbid curiosity prompts him to accept. In a chuckle-worthy case of ‘mistaken identity’, he stumbles into the lives of this captivating young widow and her comically lovable 5-year old daughter.


Although Adrian is a bit rough around the edges, Kat is impressed with his ability to entertain the kids: especially her daughter Abbey, who basks in his attentions. And through Kat and Abbey, Adrian learns that his music – and his heart – can make a comeback. But both Kat and Adrian have been hurting and hiding for so long. They have to learn to trust the unknown, to “leap into the fountain”, if you will.


Congrats on becoming a published author. 🙂 Was this your first attempt at getting published? What was your journey like?

Thanks! And yes, this is my first foray into the publishing world. Louder Than Love was my first serious attempt at writing a book from start to finish. It took me five years to write, but only three days and exactly one query letter to land my agent. Not your typical publishing journey!

I instantly felt she was the right champion for the book. She shopped it for nine months before it sold to Berkley, and now, nine months later, it’s about to release! I feel like a new parent all over again, bringing this book into the world. It’s scary and exhilarating – a wild ride with no instruction manual!


Do you have another book coming out soon or ‘in the works’?

No set release dates, but I am currently working on two other books in between raising a tween and working for a busy rock band. Summer is very hectic during music festival season, but I try to do a bit of writing each day, no matter what.




Panster or plotter when writing?

I plotted big-time when it came to Louder Than Love: timelines, calendars, and I even drew a map of Lauder Lake, Katrina’s fictional town!

As a former librarian myself, I am a stickler for research. But as I work on new ideas, I have come to appreciate the ‘seat of your pants’ approach too – sometimes a shining moment or an unexpected character pops out when you least expect – or plot – it!


Favourite foods?

I’m a morning person so I live for breakfast foods – eggs, bacon (I was a vegetarian for 20 years but bacon brought me back to the dark side), yogurt, bagels and a good strong cup of coffee. I am in love with the idea of a leisurely weekend brunch with people whose company I enjoy.

In this hectic world, raising kids, it rarely happens…but a girl can dream. Maybe breakfast in bed someday…but my husband likes to sleep till noon! I also have a wicked sweet tooth – anything chocolate will do. Chocolate with sea salt – even better!

Yes! Chocolate with sea salt is fantastic 🙂


Ideal vacation?

Something with a water view. Maybe a luxury bungalow just steps from the beach? (Cabana boy an added bonus!) I would love to be able to do yoga on the sand, write all morning and then sightsee or laze the day away.

Some place that’s remote enough to feel “away from it all” but with the convenience of nice restaurants with outdoor patios, and cute shops to waste time in. Ah, I feel relaxed just thinking about it!


When travelling, you must have?

My Ouidad Climate Control Gel, or my curly hair will frizz!



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 Links:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes |


Jessica Topper photographed in New York, NY June 26, 2012©Jay BlakesbergABOUT 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 in 2001, 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 years old, and Jessica has been working her “full-time, sold-her-soul-for-rock-n-roll job” as Office Manager for veteran jam band moe. in their Buffalo, NY headquarters. She may have traded in books for bookkeeping, but the printed word is never far from her mind, or her heart.

Jessica is a member of the Western New York Romance Writers and a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America.



WebsiteTwitter @jesstopperFacebook | GoodReads |


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