Friday, August 17, 2012

Cover Reveal and Excerpt of Perception by Lee Strauss!

I am so excited to be participating in the cover feature of Lee Strauss' latest novel, Perception, the first book in a new Young Adult Science Fiction Series! So, without further ado, behold the gorgeous cover and scintillating synopsis of this new novel! :)

Title: Perception (Perception, #1)
Author: Lee Strauss
Release Date: September 12th, 2012
Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother Liam is missing. Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically. Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn.  She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.  Perception is a Science Fiction, Mystery, and Romance Young Adult Novel that takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions - both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or alliance us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love. Perception is the first book in a planned three book series. 
Wow! If that cover didn't already catch your eye, then the synopsis surely must have! I love science fiction and while the idea of a genetically altered person isn't anything new, I find that Strauss' political and philosophical take on it through class divisions definitely is. Plus, I love the type of romance that starts out as hatred and progresses into something much deeper. Perception is a novel that I can't wait to see on shelves - especially with that eye-popping cover - and that I am looking forward to reading myself. Want a taste of this novel for yourself? I was lucky enough to receive an excerpt of Chapter 1 of this remarkable story and am allowed to share it with you all, so enjoy! :) 

Chapter 1
      I balanced on my surfboard, right thigh burning and salt water stinging my eyes, while the best wave of the early morning carried me like a goddess on a pedestal to shore. My older brother Liam and I shared a friendly competition, and it gave me a certain, blissful satisfaction to catch the same wave and to get to shore first.
      “Beat ya!” I shouted over the noise of the crashing surf.
      Seagulls flocked and circled over us, squawking loudly, adding to the cacophony.
      The sun glistened off Liam’s damp blond curls as he shook them out. His eyes sparkled as his lips tugged up into a grin. “I let you win.”
      “Did not!” I smacked him playfully on the arm. “One more ride?”
      Liam unzipped his wetsuit letting the top half fall down past his waist. He was in fine form, and I understood why all the girls raved about him. He was responsible for a long list of broken hearts.
      “I gotta get going,” he said, lifting his board.
      I fell into stride beside him, my feet sinking into the cold, wet sand. “So soon?”
      He nodded, the glint leaving his eyes. My lips tightened into a frown “You’re taking off with Jackson again?”

      Jackson was my boyfriend but lately he’d been spending more time with my brother than he had with me. It was starting to tick me off.
      Liam stared straight ahead. “Lab stuff.”
      “What are you working on?” I rushed to keep up with my brother’s long, strong strides. He flicked his head, tossing the hair out of his eyes but didn’t answer.
      “Come on,” I knocked into him sideways. “Tell me!”
      “It’s just stuff.”
      “Just stuff? Like what? Top CIA stuff? I know you’re smart but I think the government has been doing a good job without your help.”
      I meant it as a joke, but Liam huffed. “It’s just stuff, okay? So leave it.”
      I stopped short shocked that he’d snapped at me.
      He turned around and exhaled, “Zoe, I’m sorry.”
      “Fine. If you can’t tell me, you can’t tell me.”
      We resumed our trek along the beach, and I pushed back my frustration. Liam used to include me in everything. It was always him and me against everyone else. Him and me against Alison and Paul, aka our mom and dad. Him and me against the surf. We were a team. When did we start keeping secrets from each other? Rather, when did he start keeping secrets from me?
      I re-adjusted my board under my arm. Maybe I could get Jackson to unzip his lips. Especially if I helped him. He could be easily persuaded if I poured on the charm. I hated to go behind my brother’s back for information, but something about all this--this, whatever it was that Liam was doing--made me uneasy. I couldn’t pinpoint why, it just did.
      We reached our home, a massive glass box with two floors of windows facing the Pacific Ocean. It was built after the San Andreas Fault shifted and triggered the Big Quake that, along with the subsequent tsunami, wiped out ten miles of shoreline.
      A nearby white-stucco storage shed housed all our water toys. We stopped there to hang up our wetsuits to dry.
      “Thanks for surfing with me today.” Liam said, smiling at me, back to his jovial self. “I know it was a sacrifice for you to get up so early.”
I smiled in return. “No problem. It was fun.” Surfing with Liam was one of my most favorite things to do.
      “You’re back for dinner?” I asked.
      Liam didn’t know it, but once he left, I’d be spending the rest of the day preparing for his surprise birthday party. He’d turned twenty-one yesterday and had celebrated at a bar with his friends. I couldn’t go because I was underage, and it irked me that Jackson went and that he and Liam had once again shared a significant moment without me. I took consolation in the fact that Alison and Paul gave me free reign to plan this party. My heart beat with excitement, and I couldn’t wait to see his face when he got home and found the house full of his friends.
      “Yeah, I’ll be there,” he answered.
      I bit my cheek to keep my voice even. “Good.We’ll see you, then.”
      Our property tiered twice before connecting with the sandy beach. Three glass doors slid open disappearing into the corner and creating a wall-less view of the stone patio that encased an eternity pool. Its waters slipped over the far edge into a waterfall that was collected again on the second tier.
      Liam strode into the house, through the living room and down the hall to his bedroom at the back, his wet shorts dripping on the glossy white tiles.
      I tightened the towel around my waist and climbed the open-slat staircase to my room.
      As I passed the maid, Saundra something, her brown face blanched. She stumbled slightly before grabbing the rail and catching herself.
      “Excuse me,” she said softly at my astonished look.
      The woman really didn’t look well, and I was thankful for my enhanced immunization. I was glad I didn’t have to worry about diseases brought in from the outside.
      “Are you okay?” I asked.
      She nodded weakly, and proceeded to clean the rails.
      A trill of anticipation reclaimed my thoughts. I couldn’t wait for tonight.
      The door beside my bathroom opened into a second room, a walk-in closet big enough to house another bedroom set. Racks of clothes and shoes lined the walls, a well-lit mirror station was located near the sky light and a cushioned leather bench was placed in the middle for sitting. I stood in my closet and stared at the rows of sundresses, blouses and shorts.
      What to wear?
      I settled on a lace blouse and cotton shorts, then went to take a luxurious shower, rinsing the sea water out of my long, blond hair. I leaned into the built-in seat that was designed specifically for my body height and shape. Laser lights mapped my head and twenty-eight silicon fingers reached out to massage my scalp while shampooing and conditioning my hair.      Most days I had to watch or I’d doze off, but today I was excited. I commanded the water to turn off as soon as the rinse was done.
      When I was dressed and my hair combed out and tied back, I slipped my platinum Communication Ring onto my left middle finger. I tapped it which produced a holographic image of my phone apps on my palm. I touched the clock icon and holographic digital numbers appeared in the air.
      Ten already? Where did the time go? That was the thing with summer holidays; every hour ran languidly into the next.
      I imagined the cook and her crew were busy preparing for the party in the kitchen. I’d requested fresh sea food and simulated roast, fresh fruit and vegetables, an assortment of fancy chocolates and baked items plus a three-tiered, surfer-themed birthday cake.
I skipped down the stairs to check on the progress, but in my hurry to the kitchen, I slammed into a body.
      “Sorry,” a male voice said.
      I stepped back agitated. I recognized the dark-haired boy wearing the white tunic my mother made the male staff wear. He was the maid’s son.
      He held a wet mop in his hand, and I figured he’d been cleaning up Liam’s spotty water trail.
      He stepped politely out of the way, but the expression on his face was stoic. Even though he was clearly from the outside and the help, I still expected some small sign that what he saw when he viewed me was pleasing. A twinkle in the eye, a slight upturning of the lips. These were the responses I got from all the boys. The straight ones, anyway.
      He wasn't especially attractive but I didn't see people with his appearance very often. He had eyes the color of imported coffee beans and skin like caramel candy. His nose was wide and his jaw-line sharp. I was suddenly intrigued by him and surprised myself by thinking he looked exotic.
      “Excuse me, what was your name again?” I asked.
      Right. I remembered now. I waited for him to say something, but he stayed quiet.
      Footsteps echoed from the hall above. My parents spoke together, their muffled voices floating across the high ceilings.
      “Do other maids send their sons to do their work?” Alison's voice had a brassy tone that carried through the cavernous space.
      I felt a flare of red creep up my neck when I realized Alison was talking about Noah. My eyes darted to his, but he kept his averted.
      “He does a good job,” Paul responded. “That's the main thing. Besides you know they need the money.”
      “So we're charity now?”
      “What's wrong with a little charity? Besides, they're not just anybody.”
      “I don't care. I still don't trust him.”
      I was mortified. My feet felt cemented to the floor and I didn’t know what to say. Anything would come off as trite since nothing I could say could undo what Noah had heard.
      “Did you know the Pikes have a household robot now?” Alison, again. “Apparently it’s very efficient, and at least Mary doesn’t have to worry about things going missing.”
      Noah’s jaw tightened and he turned his back to me. He attacked Liam’s dried and dusty water spots aggressively and soon had disappeared around the corner.
      “Zoe?” Alison click-clacked down the wooden stairs. She wore a pale yellow pant suit and high heels even though it was Saturday. She was in-between careers now, having spent the last fifteen years in law. She barely looked thirty years old and with lots of time ahead of her, she could do anything. Probably several things.
      “Mom! You have to keep your voice down. How many times do I have to tell you your voice travels in this glass box?
      “Oh.” She looked mildly shaken. “No matter. Is everything coming together to your satisfaction?”
      “I’m just checking in on things now.”
      “Your father and I are meeting people for lunch. What time is the party again?”
      I blew a frustrated breath. She could at least pretend she cared enough to remember details I’d told her a dozen times already.
      “Right. We’ll see you at seven.”
      Things proceeded throughout the day as planned and I was pleased with my ability to pull off an event like this on my own.
      The decorators showed up at 1:00 as promised.
      The band arrived to set up at 3:00.
      I got dressed at 4:30, having bought a thigh-length mini-dress that sparkled with tiny crystals just for the occasion.
      My hair and makeup girl arrived at 5:00.
      I tapped my ring and called Jackson at 5:30.
      “Where are you?” I said to the three-inch holographic image of him that popped up above my palm. “You said you’d help.”
      “Sorry, Zo. Got tied up at home.”
      “Are you okay? You don’t sound so good.”
      It was odd. No one in Sol City ever got really sick, but it wasn’t unheard of to get run down if you pushed yourself too hard. Jackson had been working a lot lately.
      “I didn’t sleep well last night. Uh, spent most of the day in bed.”
      I felt a little panicky. “You’re still coming, aren’t you?”
      “Of course. I’ll be there soon.”
      Alison and Paul arrived at 6:30 along with all of mine and Liam’s friends.
      I hushed everyone at 6:55, giving instructions on when to shout “Surprise!”
      It was all a wasted effort.
      Liam never showed.
What do you think? I'm quite intrigued by this story already and think the class differences between Noah and Zoe make for an interesting relationship. Plus, aren't you just dying to know about what Liam is working on and where he went?

If you're interested in this novel, be sure to add it on GoodReads here and check out Lee Strauss' Website, Facebook Page, and GoodReads for more information about her upcoming novel!


  1. Replies
    1. I know right? I loved the cover and excerpt of this one, so I can't wait!(:

  2. I've never heard of this book before but love the blue theme of the cover, the infinity symbol and the lightning effect! Zoe and Noah both sound AMAZING and the excerpt is AWESOME too! I adore books about science-fiction, particularly when there's romance too ;) I will definitely have to check this one out too!

    Thank you for sharing the cover reveal and excerpt with us, Keertana! ♥

    1. You're most welcome, Celine! I love the blue theme and symbol on the cover as well - it's very eye-catching, isn't it? I especially like Science Fiction as well, so I'm excited about reading this as well and I'm so glad I was able to introduce you to a new novel! :D

  3. Thank you for sharing such an amazing book with us Keertana! The cover is gorgeous, and it has such an enticing synopsis too, but I think you had me hooked from your extract!! I too want to know what's up Liam! This definitely sounds like a heck of a promising start to a series, and thank god we don;t have to wait too long for it's release! :)

    1. I know, I'm so glad it's releasing soon! I really can't wait to find out more about this novel and I hope it lives up to its promise! *fingers crossed* :)

  4. I've been hearing a lot about this book lately. Thanks for sharing an extract from it! It definitely sounds like a pretty cool book already!

    1. I'm glad that your interest has been piqued by this extract, Erin! I really hope you enjoy it once it releases!(:

  5. Before today, I never had this book on my radar. Thanks for introducing me to it!!!! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt! It sounds like a fantastic book. And I also always love love/hate relationships and class differences romances. LIke in Dirty Dancing. (love that movie)
    The cover is a pretty blue!

    1. I'm so glad I was able to introduce a new book onto your radar, Rachel! I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and I love these types of romances too! :) I actually haven't seen Dirty Dancing yet, so I need to get to that one soon! Thanks for reminding me! ;)

  6. "Plus, I love the type of romance that starts out as hatred and progresses into something much deeper."

    ME TOO KEERTANA! That type of relationship is one of my favorites EVER, I just can't get enough of the antagonism. I think I definitely need to give this book a try, SciFi is hit or miss with me usually, but I have high hopes for this one after that blurb and excerpt!

    1. Yay, I'm so glad you love that type of a romance as well! SciFi tends to be like that with me too, but I'm looking forward to this one for sure! I hope you enjoy it, Jenny!(:

  7. Oooooh, sounds really interesting! Never seen this one before, but I think I'll check it out further. Thanks for sharing the excerpt!

    1. I'm glad you're interested in this novel now, Vivian! I'm definitely looking forward to it myself!(:

  8. This cover is really very nice. And I totally agree with you and Jenny on romances that start off as hatred - great post!

    Hafsah - IceyBooks

    1. Thanks Hafsah!(: I love the cover of this one as well and am really looking forward to the romance! :D

  9. This looks SO good! I love the cover. Definitely going to check this one out when it comes out. Thank you for sharing, Keertana *-*

    1. Yay, I'm so glad you're interested in this now, Beatriz! I love the cover as well and am planning to check it out when it releases too! I can't wait to see what you think of it! :D

  10. Oh wow. That cover. That synopsis. And the writing. This one is definitely a must have. I'm going to go add it to my tbr right now. Sounds right up my alley.

  11. This does sound good, the blue of the cover is pretty & stands out a lot!

  12. Pretty cover! I really like the hate turned to love romance too, it provides tension & change. Yay for sci fi!

  13. That's a very interesting cover, as well as the blurb. I'll admit that I wasn't very familiar with this book until now that you posted about, but... I am intrigued. :) Thaks for sharing the excerpt! I'll definitely check this book out...

  14. Wow this one sounds good! Another story with wide class divides. I too love romances that start as hatred! Thanks for sharing Keertana. :)


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