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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

{Blog Tour} GUNS by J.A. Huss --- with giveaway, review, and guest post!

This is the end of it, my friends. The finale. The big boom. The last book in the series. /sadface Before you venture further, before you click "Read More", you should know that THIS is not a standalone novel. This brings it all together. This connects the dots. This is where it ends. You need to read up on the team, which means you need to read the novels previous.

The Whole Series:


FORD NOVELLA: SLACK: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston

FORD NOVEL: TAUT: The Ford book

BOMB NOVELLA: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike

If you think you're ready, here's the video trailer. And then you can make the jump for more teasers, a review, JA Huss talking about how she designs her covers, and...a giveaway! 

GUNS:The Spencer BOOK (Rook and Ronin Spinoff) By JA Huss

Published March 31, 2014

Contemporary Romance, New Adult-ish, Suspense



Spencer Shrike is a man with a plan. Get in. Get out. Move on. He loves Ron the Bomb, and her safety is the only thing on his mind these days. But life is a tricky bastard, and conning criminals for the better part of ten years brings its own set of problems. Sure, Rook lied her way out of a sticky situation, covering for crimes Ronin, Ford, and Spencer committed, and getting them all off scot-free in the process.

But not everyone is buying Rook’s story, and Spencer is desperate to figure out who’s in town setting them up for a fall.

Veronica the Bombshell Vaughn has put up with Spencer Shrike’s shit for years and where has it gotten her? A big fat nowhere. No ring, no house, no kids, and no promises. In fact, Spencer is worse than ever—completely distant and moody. She’s done sitting at home, pining over a man she can’t have.

But she’s not opposed to fighting for him.

Ron the Bomb fights hard and she fights dirty, so she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Spencer’s attention.

But now there’s another man in town with his eye on her. He’s got secrets too, but unlike Spencer, Bobby Mansi is more than willing to let Veronica in on them.

The entire Rook and Ronin series comes full circle. Every con, every lie, and every skeleton in the closet is back for one final shot at vengeance and the only way to set it right…  is to get out the guns.


This was one of those books that you dread reading. You are dying to read it because you've read the whole series and you REALLY want the book, but you dread reading it, knowing that it means the series is over. 

I haven't read a book in a while that handles flashbacks in a seamless fashion. As Spencer is desperately trying to keep Veronica out of the shady side of his life, we get him reminiscing about their relationship. It is an incredible juxtaposition of their relationship then and their relationship now. You see this young, tough, sex on a stick man, hellbent on keeping his Ronnie out of harm's way even if it means she hates him forever, and then you see them just a year earlier romancing one another, lusting after one another, taking the utmost care. It's really incredible and gives such insight to this alpha male who has an ooey-gooey center. 

The reason why you need to read the other books in the series: While this is a spinoff, Rook & Ronin's story introduced us to THE TEAM - Ronin the face, Ford the brains, Spencer the brawn. You learn what they do, what they did, and what is currently screwing up their lives. This is what Spencer is protecting Ronnie from; he doesn't want the taint to fall onto the innocent Bombshell who owns his heart. 

J.A. Huss has this knack for writing characters that make you as the reader REACT. You itch to bitchslap some of them, you want to yell at some, you want to cuddle some, you want to kick them in the shins and tell them what's what. These characters POP off the page, so vividly that you are nearly ready to text them to tell them something. 

The action is constantly building, the mystery man will make your brow furrow, you will want to kick Spencer's shins in the very beginning for that schmuck move in the alley, but you know he has good intentions. (And he knows for sure that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and what makes him SO likable is that he's willing to sacrifice his own happiness and desires of being with Ronnie forever in order to make sure that she is healthy, safe, and happy. You have to admire that.) You'll get to the final action sequence and say, son of a gun, that sneaky jerk! 

I recommend this entire series. It is smart, sexy, and full of action and twists. Characters have personalities that are totally formed by their backgrounds and experiences making them multi-dimensional and realistic as you see them struggle to not be so controlling, or so protective, or to get over themselves. The action is intense, the sex between the couples is explosive, and things definitely go BOOM. 

Oh...and that second epilogue? Killer. Absolutely killer! 

JA Huss is the author of the Amazon bestselling Rook and Ronin series, the epic science fiction I Am Just Junco series, and hundreds of kid-friendly science books in subjects such as biology, physics, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, and forensics. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology. She has never taken a creative writing class and she hopes she never will.

So Tiffany asked me to talk about cover design or the internal thoughts of Vic Vaughn when Spencer meets him at Sick Boyz Inc. for his “appointment” with Veronica. And as fun as that would be, I’m gonna talk about cover design. I’ll be honest, Vic does not have a voice in my head yet, so I’m not ready to be him in a story.

But covers goes like this (usually)

I have an idea for a book.

I look for a model who represents the main character (or characters) before I start writing. I often do a cover before I write the book. But that initial cover hardly ever becomes the final cover. With Guns, I did the cover months before I started writing and I never changed a thing. I needed it for the cover reveal in November, but I didn’t start writing that book until after TAUT released in late January.

Once I find the model, I try and think up a tag line. Like Spencer’s tag line is ‘He’s All Business’. Because I need to know where to position it on the cover and how much space it will require.

I almost always cut my model out of the picture he or she is in. Even if the background is plain, I like to cut them out. So I cut them out, put them on a transparent background, and most of the time I put them over a black background layer. I like black backgrounds, you can do a lot with them and they are dramatic.

Then I clean up the cut-out image. The edges are always choppy, so I smooth them over, or paint over them.

Then I have to choose a font. I typically spend more time on fonts than I do images. I think the difference between a good cover and a great cover is the way the fonts interact with the images. For covers I make my fonts in Adobe In Design and then add them into the cover art in Photoshop. I find they have cleaner lines when you paste them in as opposed to creating them with the text tool in Photoshop.

And that’s it. I always make the print version first, the full spread that I send to the printer. Once I have that done, I cut the front cover out and resize it to my standard ebook size, which, if anyone cares, is 1200x1800.

My favorite cover is probably Taut. Ford went through a lot of revisions before I settled on the cover that’s out there now. My least favorite cover is Tragic, but it sold a lot of books, so I got over it. :)

Thanks for having me on the blog and being part of the tour today Tiffany!

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