Friday, August 28, 2015

Blog Tour: Singularity by Susan Kaye Quinn @susankayequinn

Sigularity  

Legacy Human Cover  The Legacy Human by Susan Kay Quinn What would you give to live forever? Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is. The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.
Praise for The Legacy Human “This book is Hunger Games (without the violence or controversy) meets Divergent.” “This story is so intense I felt I couldn’t get a proper breath.” “Science fiction with philosophical depth!”

Brooke's Review:

I want to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I'm a huge fan of Quinn and love everything she writes. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

I'm always up for some sci-fi. and Quinn writes really great sci-fi. So when offered this book, I jumped right in. and of course I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Eli is an artist. But he's only human. And he wants badly to become an ascender because that would mean he could get the medical care his mother so badly needs. So when given the chance to compete in the olympics, he jumps at it, despite others who think he should hold back. But Eli is more than he appears to be, and those who want to win will stop at nothing to try and get him disqualified.

Of course, Quinn builds her story around Eli, but we also meet several other characters who play key roles in the story. I really loved how Quinn shaped them and made them all so very different, each personality coming out off the page. Cyrus is the tough best friend, who will ultimately do anything for Eli. Kamali and Basha lend the girl side to the story, and just a bit of romance. But for me, the secondary character who stole the show was Delphina. Such great sass in that character, and I truly love some sass!

I really like Eli. He's got this vulnerability about him that drew me right to him. But he's also not afraid to do what needs to be done. And the love he has for his mother is beyond anything that you can imagine. He would do anything for her.

I love the world Quinn builds for us with this book. A world where humans are no longer the dominant species. Where something other has come to be of higher intelligence and being and the humans are treated as mere slaves or worse. I will say that I had some trouble picturing the world outside of the buildings the characters were in. I wanted badly to know what it looked like. But I also understood where most of the plot too place, kind of an indoor city of it's own.

And there's nothing rushed about this plot. Quinn gives us a slow rise to the epiphany, building on what we know from the chapters before. But the book is by no means slow. The plot moves along at a good pace, keeping you interested from beginning to end. And of course Quinn throws in some great plot twists, keeping you on your toes, as well. Never really knowing who you can trust and who could be the enemy. I especially love that part of the book!

And I truly love how Quinn builds her book, insinuating some slight romance, but not relying on it to keep people intrigued and wanting more. Sure, you want for there to be something to happen, but you're also good with how the plot is interesting and can stand all on it's own with all the kissing and such you see in so many YA books these days. This is not to say that I don't want more, or want to see the characters take this on in the future (hint hint Susan).

Overall I was in no way disappointed with the first book in this series. It left me wanting more. Left me with questions I know will be answered in the future while still completing the arc of the storyline. Anyone who is a fan of Quinn's previous Mindjack series will be pulled into this and won't want to turn back. A true sci-fi tale that keeps you hooked from beginning to end!


Duality Bridge The Duality Bridge What does it mean to be human? Elijah Brighton is the face of the Human Resistance Movement. He’s the Olympic-level painter who refused an offer of immortality from the ascenders—the human/machine hybrids who run the world—in solidarity with the legacy humans who will never get a chance to live forever. Too bad it’s all a complicated web of lies. Worse, Eli’s not even entirely human. Few know about the ascenders’ genetic experiments that left him… different. Fewer know about the unearthly fugue state that creates his transcendent art—as well as a bridge that lets him speak to the dead. But the Resistance is the one place he can hide from the ascender who knows everything the fugue can do. Because if Marcus finds him, he’ll either use Eli for his own nefarious purposes… or destroy him once and for all. The Duality Bridge is the second book in the Singularity series and the sequel to The Legacy Human. This thrilling new young adult science fiction series explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world.
Susan  Author Susan Kay Quinn Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.
  legacy human   $25 Blog Tour giveaway 
  $25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/6/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Wanderers by Kate Ormand @kateormand

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thewanderersko.jpgA Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.

In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?
BOOK LINKS:
Amazon paperbackhttp://amzn.to/1W7T3df
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
kate ormandtw.jpgKATE ORMAND is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also a member of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. 

You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).

AUTHOR LINKS:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Release Day Blast: Capture by Rachel Van Dyken @RachVD @InkSlingerPR




Losing your ability to speak at the age of seventeen; it’s not normal or fair.
But trauma, has a way of throwing normality out the window.

Dani lives anything but a normal life.
Her sister is married to one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Her best friends are rockstar duo AD2.
And she has more love around her than most people experience in a lifetime.
But that doesn't change the fact their parents are dead.
Or that it's her fault.

It seems her new normal is being a mute, living on the inside, unable to actually communicate on the outside.
That is until Hollywood’s newest heartthrob Lincoln Greene hires her as his assistant for the summer.
He's gorgeous, completely unavailable, and unobtainable.
But that doesn't stop her from wondering...if things were different...would he want her?
If she was whole, would he be the other half? 








EXCERPT

“Finally!” Jaymeson pointed at both of us. “Lincoln, show her to her mark. Dani, for this scene you’re simply staring at him like you want to eat him. Think you can do that?”
I nodded.
Any woman could do that.
Most men too.
“Cue music!” Jaymeson called out. “Action.”
A techno mix of AD2’s latest song filled the air as the extras started dancing around us. I stayed glued to the wall while Lincoln delivered his lines to Pris, and then he lifted his head, meeting my gaze.
It’s just a movie. It’s just a movie.
The breath left my chest on one slow exhale as he moved toward me, his body making fluid purposeful movements through the crowd.
My lips parted; my entire body felt heavy as he approached.
He stopped in front of me, his forehead grazing mine as he leaned in a few inches. Our breath mingled as the music and scene faded around me.
“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled.
Holy crap on a cracker. I almost experienced my first stroke — at seventeen.
“You okay?” Lincoln’s eyebrows knit together in concern.
I licked the lipstick from my lips and nodded quickly.
Jaymeson approached. “Time for the kiss, remember kissing, not hockey. Clearly, you were confused earlier.”
Lincoln gritted his teeth and let out a little groan.
I patted his arm and grinned, my way of encouraging him. He seemed to pale more.
My stomach sank.
Maybe it was me.
I was the problem.
Not the kiss, but me. If he’d had trouble kissing my gorgeous sister, how was he going to be able to kiss me?
“Hey…” Lincoln cupped my cheek. “… focus on me, nothing else, alright? It’s only us.”
I nodded.
“You ever been to a party?”
I rolled my eyes.
“Ever made out with a guy at a party that wasn’t your boyfriend?”
I thought about it then slowly shook my head.
“So that’s what this scene is about. It’s about a guy seeing a girl from across the room and wanting her so badly that he’s willing to cheat on his own girlfriend for just one taste. Granted, he’s supposedly drunk and high, but that just takes the romance out of it, doesn’t it?”
He released my cheek and stepped back. “Imagine you’re trying to attract me, make your body as inviting as possible. Hell, just stand there and look at me, and you’ll sell it.”
Sell it. I repeated the words in my mind.
I could do that.
Because I wanted him to kiss me.
It made my heart beat faster.
My blood pump harder.
And for the first time since my parents’ death, I was actually excited about something. Nervous, but excited.
“Okay,” I mouthed.
I must have surprised him again because his eyes darkened, and then he grinned. “One day, Dani. One day I’m going to hear my name coming from that gorgeous mouth of yours, and I’m not going to be held responsible for my actions… damn the consequences.”
My breath hitched.
“Quiet on set! And action!”
There was no warning. Suddenly, Lincoln’s mouth was fused against mine, no teeth, just his soft lips pushing, prodding, moving slowly back and forth until his tongue slid through and made contact with mine.
Heart racing, I opened my mouth enough to deepen the kiss as heat washed over me.
He groaned and dug his fingers into my shoulders then slid his hands down my back and gripped my butt. I let out a squeak of surprise as I flicked his tongue with mine.
“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled.
I kept kissing.
So did Lincoln.
His chest brushed roughly against mine; my breasts ached at the sharp contact. I let out a little hiss at the exact time Linc let out a groan and nudged his knee between my legs.
“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled again.
Slowly, Lincoln pried himself away from me, chest heaving.
“Good enough,” said Jaymeson.
“No,” Lincoln argued without taking his wild grey eyes off me, “I went off script. We need to do it again.”
“The hell you do,” someone mumbled. I wasn’t surprised to see Demetri glaring daggers at Lincoln’s back. Alec was next to Jaymeson, giving him an earful. I noted the strong tick in his jaw.
“Fine.” Jaymeson waved them both off. “We’ll do it again.”
“Take two, and action!”
This time the kiss was slow, languid in its movements. Hot waves of pleasure coursed through my body as his tongue slid seductively pass my lips. His taste, the feel of his mouth was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Greedily, I moaned, desperate for more of him as I reached for his shirt then fisting it with my hands and tugging him tighter against my body, wanting more contact with him. I felt every plane of muscle as he slowly turned us so his back was semi facing the camera. His knee nudged my legs apart as pressure increased down the middle of my body. I hadn’t really looked long at the script, but I was pretty sure that this wasn’t part of it.
Not that I was complaining.
He rocked into me, my back connected with the wall. With a possessive growl, he nipped my lower lip then started kissing down my neck. Kissing in public had never been my thing — but maybe that was because I’d never kissed Lincoln.
I would kiss him anywhere.
All he needed to do was ask.
Body humming with pleasure, I let out a little gasp as his warm lips met the pulse on my neck. Then his tongue licked where his lips had just been.
His knee rose higher and higher as my body sank onto his; the first contact of his leg had my body screaming with pleasure — just a little higher, just a little more.
“Cut!” someone shouted, though it didn’t sound like Jaymeson.
Suddenly, Demetri was pulling Lincoln away from me and glaring daggers at both of us. “I think you guys got the scene.”
Embarrassed, I looked down, tucking my silky hair behind my ear. Did I really almost just dry hump Lincoln Greene’s leg? In front of about twenty people, including my sister?
“You sure?” Lincoln asked, voice hoarse. I glanced up at him, his chest was heaving with exertion, his lips swollen. “Because I could have sworn I messed up my lines.”
“There are no lines, you bastard,” Demetri muttered under his breath.
“Damn it!” Jaymeson shouted. “Hey, guys, I’m going to need you to shoot it one more time. Remember, Lincoln, you’re supposed to proposition her.”
Lincoln grinned smugly at Demetri.

Demetri didn’t move.





Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken  or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blog Tour: Pepper Jones by Ali Dean @alideanfiction

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Pepper Jones Series by Ali Dean 

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis Book 1 - Pepped Up:
Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? That’s an entirely different challenge.

Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town — and he has. Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).

That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.

When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.

Synopsis Book 2 - All Pepped Up:
Pepper Jones knew that being Jace Wilder’s girlfriend wouldn’t be simple. But she didn’t predict just how many complications would arise from his past. Jealous girls? That she expected. Family secrets? Not so much. At least Pepper can always hit the trails to clear her head… except when it comes to racing. The high expectations from her phenomenal cross country season haunt her, and she can’t seem to get psyched up for track season. Pepper’s junior year at Brockton Public is full of challenges on and off the track, but she’s not afraid to face them.

Synopsis Book 3 - Pepped Up & Ready:
Pepper is finally a senior, and she’s determined to defend her national cross-country title. Although Jace is busy with the demands of college football, he’s still at Pepper’s side, supporting her goals. But is she taking her renewed enthusiasm for training too far?

As Jace and Pepper focus on their athletic ambitions, they discover that Jace’s social status has followed him to college, despite his attempt to keep a low profile. With her boyfriend as an idol on campus, Pepper discovers that she might just be a target to those who find Jace threatening.

Are Jace and Pepper strong enough to withstand the pressure from those who want something from them? It won’t be easy fighting for her title and her boyfriend, but nothing easy is worth winning… or keeping.


Crush. Do you remember your first crush? Was it unrequited? If so, did you ever think about making yourself known? If not, did you ever have a time when you had a crush and it was never known to that person? Why did you hold back?

I wasn’t very loyal with my crushes… at least, I had a new one every school year it seems, looking back on it. I’m not sure if that’s normal or if most girls keep the same crush for years, but I do remember one of my first was a boy who moved to town in the fifth grade named Will. He probably knew I had a crush on him, I’ve never been good at hiding my emotions, but unfortunately, he had a crush on my friend and his friend had a crush on me. In fact, Will’s friend, Nick, was my first “boyfriend” if you could even call it that. I knew Nick had a crush on me, and I felt too bad saying “no” when he “asked me out.” Asking someone out in fifth grade, at least at my school, meant that you were boyfriend-girlfriend, which, essentially, meant nothing. Sometimes we sat next to each other at the lunch table, and I remember clearly that he got me a Christmas present. I think it was a gift certificate to a sports store. I will never forget what happened after that, though. It was Christmas vacation, and I decided to break up with him, because, well, I had a crush on his friend Will, who had a really cute bowl-cut. My friend was over for a sleepover and she helped me write out an entire page of words to break up with him, which is ridiculous because we never even went on a date. I called him up, read the page for five minutes, and he said his phone wasn’t working right and he couldn’t hear me, so I had to do it all over again. It was brutal. The next day, I went to a Christmas party and his mom was there. She hadn’t heard about the breakup yet. She went on and on about how much Nick liked me, and that she had him doing all kinds of chores around the house to save up for my Christmas gift. I felt terrible. So I asked him out again before the break ended, hoping no one would even find out we broke up. Unfortunately, everyone had heard the entire story, and it was the talk of school. Everyone gave me a hard time. As for Will, he ended up “going out” with my friend who he liked, and by the sixth grade, we all had new crushes. I’ve lost track of Will who moved away sometime in junior high, but Nick and I are still Facebook friends and hung out with a lot of the same friends in high school. I should add, though… I’ve seen photos of my husband in middle school (I didn’t meet him until college) and he was adorable. I have no doubt I would have had a huge crush on him. He was totally my type even back then! 


AUTHOR BIO:
Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.

Author links:
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Waiting on Wednesday #72: HELLO? by Liza M. Wiemer @SpencerHillP @LizaWiemer

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting!

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Title: HELLO?
Author: Liza Wiemer
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication Date: November 10, 2015

Blurb:
Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma's death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens' stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian)


Pre-Order Here!

433276.jpgI am the author of two non-fiction adult books, short stories, and newspaper and magazine articles. A pre-school to high school educator now writing YA fiction full time, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! And I'm a diehard Green Bay Packers fan.

For my author posts on writing and my upcoming YA novel HELLO?: http://www.LizaWiemer.com
Unique "job" experiences: I spent a summer selling popcorn in a Koepsell's popcorn wagon while listening to awesome music on the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee. I also know my way around a fender and a quarter panel and under the hood of a car. I spent a few years driving to accident scenes, scrapyards, hospitals, auto repair shops as a claims adjuster for an insurance company. 

I started WhoRuBlog to address YA issues and share my passion for reading. http://www.whoRuBlog.com 
Besides articles that address tough issues facing young adults, I have author interviews and book giveaways. Check them out. :D

Happy reading, Liza

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Blast: #Poser (Hashtag series #5) by Cambria Hebert @cambriahebert

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Poser_Final-ebooksm.jpg#Poser 
Cambria Hebert 
(Hashtag #5) 
This is not a standalone
Publication date: August 18th 2015 
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:

Posers gonna pose
I am a man who had nothing, but found everything.
I’ll never go back to nothing ever again.
I vowed to protect her, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.
The pictures I stumbled upon haunt me still, the secret I shoulder is heavy.
They say secrets put distance between two people, but the truth is far more destructive than keeping it will ever be.
I won’t ever tell. She can’t ever know.
When I look in the mirror my reflection is of who I’m afraid I’ll become and not the man I am.
It makes me feel like a poser, no better than all the others pretending to be exactly who they aren’t.
How does a man keep it together when everything is unraveling right here in his hands?
I didn’t start any of this.
I never asked for it.
But it came knocking at my door.
When secrets and threats knock, I don’t hide.
I open the door.
Because the best way to take down a poser is to be one.

Barnes & Noble http://tinyurl.com/p5zsvmt 

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for blogs-2.jpgCambria Hebert is a bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently resides in North Carolina with her children (human and furry) and her husband, who is a United States Marine. 

Beside’s writing Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (because her dog runs her house). 

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: Text, Torch, Tryst, Masquerade and Recalled.

You can find out more about Cambria and her titles by visiting her website: http://www.cambriahebert.com 

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC
You can contact her at: cambriahebert@rocketmail.com
Like her on Facebook: http://smarturl.co/CambriaHebertFanpage 
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cambriahebert 
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/cambriahebert/pins/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5298677.Cambria_Hebert a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cover Reveal: Built by Jay Crownover @JayCrownover @InkSlingerPR

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Cover Reveal and Prologue for BUILT by Jay Crownover! BUILT is the first novel in her upcoming Saints of Denver Series, a spinoff of her Marked Men Series, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. BUILT is releasing on January 5, 2016! This is a definite one click, friends!

Check out the cover of BUILT!

  Studio portrait of young bearded man --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

Preorder BUILT Today!

Amazon US ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo

  About BUILT: From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series,Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about. Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel. Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior. But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.

And don’t miss this sneak peek of BUILT! Check out the prologue here!


Prologue

I met her at a bar. She had a beer bottle in her hand even though she looked like she should be sipping champagne out of an expensive flute, and that inexplicably turned me on. She was pretty and looked completely out of place in the no-name bar sitting across from one of my longtime friends who also happened to be her long-lost brother. He was the reason she was here. In that split second that I laid my eyes on her I wanted to be the reason she stayed. I knew it was rude and that the two of them needed some time together, some time to figure out what they were to each other now that she had blasted into his life unannounced. If I was a better friend I would have left them alone. As it was, I made my way over to the tiny table and sat down. I was covered in sawdust and had drywall mud caked in the hair on my head and on my face, but she didn’t flinch or bat an eyelash when I purposely broke up their party of two and placed myself as close to her as I could without actually touching her. My buddy Rowdy St. James lifted his eyebrows at me as I stared at her while he introduced us. Sayer Cole. Even her name was elegant and sophisticated sounding. She was an enigma, this pretty woman that seemed like she should be in any place but this bar with the two of us. She’d showed up out of the blue a couple of months ago claiming to be Rowdy’s half sister, claiming that they shared a father, claiming that all she wanted was to be in his life and have some kind of family of her own. She looked too delicate to be that brave. Came across as way too proper to have said “fuck it all” and picked up her life to move it someplace unknown without being sure of her welcome. She looked like silk, but if my guess was right about her, it was silk wrapped around steel. Luckily Rowdy was a good guy. After the shock of discovering he wasn’t alone in the world, and once he realized he had someone tied to him by blood forever and ever, he had warmed up to the idea of having a sister and appreciated that the sister was Sayer. I liked Rowdy a lot. He was a stand-up guy and a good friend, but I had a feeling I was going to like his newly found big sister even more. In my usual tactless way I asked him without looking directly at the knockout blonde, “So you have a sister? A hot, classy sister?” A sister that was also a lawyer, so beautiful and smart. I expected a giggle from her or an eye roll at the outlandish compliment, but what I got was a wide-eyed stare of disbelief as eyes bluer than anything I had ever seen on earth danced between me and her brother like she wasn’t sure what to do with herself or with my overt interest in her. I thought that I had gone too far, pushed the beautiful stranger too far out of her comfort zone. I was a big guy and knew I looked far wilder and rougher than I actually was. I figured it might be too much for a woman already obviously out of her element and depth to take. Instead, Sayer surprised me and I could see by the way he stiffened that she surprised Rowdy, too. While she wasn’t exactly overflowing with welcome and warmth, she did ask me about the current project I was working on after Rowdy explained I was a general contractor and had rebuilt the new tattoo shop he worked in. She seemed genuinely interested, and when I told her that my specialty was rehabbing old houses and giving them new life, her eyes practically glowed at me. I wanted to touch her to see if she felt as smooth and polished as she looked. I wanted to leave streaks of dirt on her perfect face to mark the fact that I had touched her, that she had let me touch her. It was a primal and visceral reaction that I couldn’t explain and I liked the way it felt. Liked the weight and heft of it in my blood even if I knew the feeling wasn’t likely to be returned. She told me all about a fantastic but crumbling Victorian she had purchased that was falling down around her. She asked me for a business card and I saw Rowdy stiffen across the table. I sighed and rubbed a hand over my already messy hair. I watched her eyes follow the light cloud of dust that escaped the strands. I was great at my job, loved what I did, but I couldn’t do anything with her or for her without laying everything on the line. Especially not with Rowdy giving me the death glare from just a few feet away. I dug the card out of my wallet, and when I handed it over our fingers touched. I saw her eyes widen and her lips part, just barely. She looked a little dazed when I grinned at her. “You take that card, but understand that the man giving it to you has a past.” She blinked at me and cleared her throat. “What kind of past?” It wasn’t something I liked to tell a beautiful woman when I first met her. It was something I liked to work up to, liked to prove it was behind me, but with this one it seemed like I wouldn’t get that chance. “I tell everyone that I do any kind of work for or that considers hiring me on for a project that I have a criminal history. I spent time locked up for a few years, and while I’m not proud of it I can’t deny it happened. I was a hotheaded kid and it got me in trouble, but I’m the best at what I do, so I hope that doesn’t discourage you from giving me a call.” Hopefully for more than some construction. Usually I got a concerned frown followed by a hundred questions about what had led me to serving time. I got none of that from the stunning blonde. She tilted her head to the side and considered me silently for a long moment before reaching down and slipping my card in her purse. If anything, I could have sworn she was wearing a look of sympathy when she told me softly, “I see it every day from the inside. Sometimes the system simply gets it wrong.” A slight grin turned her mouth up at the corners, and I wanted to lean over and kiss it. “People make mistakes. Hopefully they learn from them.” I don’t know that “wrong” was accurate in my case so much as misguided, but the complete lack of judgment or censure coming from her made me want to pull her into my arms and hold on to her even more. I had made a mistake, a huge one, one that I was forever going to have to carry around with me, but I had learned from it, was still learning from it. That kind of understanding from a total stranger was so rare, especially coming from someone in the legal field. I wasn’t accustomed to someone looking at me and seeing me, just me, not an ex-con loser after I explained where I had been. It was wildly refreshing and attractive. I couldn’t quite get a handle on what made the woman tick, but I would welcome any opportunity she gave me to figure it out. I found her outwardly flawless and pristine demeanor tempting to taint with my dirty hands and ways, and there was something about the way she watched me, the way she turned toward me like she was drawn to me, that made me think maybe I wasn’t alone in the inexplicable pull department. Rowdy left and she stayed. We had a couple more beers and talked some more about her house and what she wanted done with it. She already hired one contractor but felt like the guy was ripping her off. It happened a lot in the industry, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy was taking her for a ride. Spending time with her was easy. She was fun to talk to and really fun to look at. I really wanted to get my hands on her house and of course on her, and I felt like she was maybe, kind of, slightly leaning in the same direction when I made the mistake of asking her about her past. I asked about where she had been before she found out about Rowdy and decided to move to Denver so that she could get to know him. I was curious what kind of life she had where she could leave everything behind and not be missed. Really I wanted to know if she had a boyfriend or husband stashed somewhere, but the simple inquiry must have touched a nerve. The next thing I knew she had paid out the tab for both of us and disappeared into the night. She went from glowing and bright to frigid and untouchable in the span of a heartbeat. I figured I blew my shot by being too blunt, as always. I assumed she probably did have someone else in the picture and had been friendly and polite only because I was good friends with her brother. I thought I would never hear from her again and was baffled why the thought of that made my chest ache and my heart feel like it weighed two tons. Imagine my surprise when she called me and hired me to renovate her house a week later without a bid, without a contract, without even knowing if I was half as good as I claimed to be. Of course I accepted, but I knew once I was inside I would need to knock down and rearrange more than just the walls of the house, in order to get at something beautiful and lasting.

Jay CrownoverAbout Jay Crownover: Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.        

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