I Am Just Junco Series,#1
Science Future Press
In 2152 the avian race is on Earth looking for something stolen from them decades ago – their genetics. At the center of the search lies the Rural Republic; a small backwards farming country with high hopes of military domination and a penchant for illegal bioengineering.
19 year old Junco Coot is the daughter of the Rural Republic’s ranking commander. She’s the most foul-mouthed, wildly unpredictable and ruthless sniper the Rural Republic has ever trained. But when her father’s death sparks a trip into forbidden places, she triggers events that will change everything she knows to be true.
As an elite avian military officer, Tier’s mission is to destroy the bioengineering projects, kill Commander Coot’s daughter, and return home immediately. There’s just one problem. Junco isn’t who she claims to be.
With no one to trust, not even herself, Junco must confront the secrets of her past and accept her place in the future, or risk losing herself completely.
I Am Just Junco Series,#2
Science Future Press
Junco Coot can’t even remember her trip off Earth; she was too busy being morphed into her new avian body. But reality hits her hard when she wakes up to find her new life is not what she expected. Not even close. Tier is on trial for disobeying his commander’s kill order and only Junco seems to care.
In most places the avian coming-of-age Fledge ritual would be nothing more than mass murder, but here in the capital city of Amelia, it’s called growing up. Junco has no choice; either fight to the death to prove her worth or get sent back to Earth in the hands of her enemies.
Her new military team is hostile, her body is being taken over by an illicit artificial intelligence, the avian president wants her dead, and her only friend is a ten-year old throwaway boy.
On a foreign habitat, in a foreign culture, and surrounded by people she can’t trust or count on, Junco must find a way to save herself and Tier without losing her immortal soul in the process.
I Am Just Junco Series,#3
Science Future Press
Escape from Earth. Check.
Morph into an avian body. Check.
Survive Fledge and Deliverance, soul intact. Check.
Bring her Siblings back to Amelia and restore the avian race? Not so fast, darlin’.
There’s a new twist on an old prophecy and this one brings the End of Days. Junco must make a choice, but the choices all confirm her only worth is tied up in killing.
Lucan has secrets. Secrets that will make the Stag Camp look like playschool. And the lies are flowing like a mountain river during spring thaw. But he needs Junco to cooperate just a little bit longer or it all falls apart.
The Siblings on Earth are waiting for the Seventh to return and pull their clutch together. But Earth has secrets too — secrets that change everything.
Junco has survived against impossible odds, but the cost of survival is higher than she ever imagined. Luck is about to catch up with Junco Coot and her debt must be paid.
The Story Behind The Stories
Have you ever finished a book or a series and wanted to understand more about the details behind the story? If the book is a series you can get this from the next book, but sometimes you get to the last book (or the book was a stand-alone) and you’re still left wondering about certain things.
Take my series for instance. The I Am Just Junco series (Clutch, Fledge, Flight) are speculative fiction stories set in a futuristic America. Or what’s left of America. It’s not a dystopian, people seem fairly content with how the whole break-up shook out, but it is a different world than the one we live in today.
I get lots of questions about this world, mostly where are each of the Republics or Utopias located. This is easily remedied – I made a map! You can find that at my website in a blog post by Gideon. (www.iamjustjunco.com)
But what of the actual setting? The first book is easy – I live in rural Colorado. Not the mountains. Most people think all of Colorado is mountainous, but it’s not. In fact, one half of the state is high prairie and this is where I live and where most of the first book in my series (Clutch) takes place.
My main character is a soldier, a trained sniper in fact, named Junco. Junco is nineteen, she’s a bit psycho and emotional, and she’s wild and unpredictable. This makes her perfect as far as characters go because she can be manipulated in so many believable ways, and she is a joy to write.
I got the idea for Junco by reading Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan. This book is the last in a trilogy about a man who comes back to his home planet after hundreds of years of crime and soldiering and gets sucked back into local politics as he carries out a personal revenge agenda.
I love this book because it’s a deep character-driven novel disguised in an awesome twisty plot and filled with just about every science fiction element you can think of. This is a story about people more than anything, and lots of readers never got that about the book. I try to make my stories the same way in that they are always about the characters, not the action going on in the plot – even though there is a lot of action and a lot of twistiness in my books as well.
Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs series was a major influence on the creation of Junco Coot, the main character in my I Am Just Junco books. I wanted to explore what it would be like to be a soldier who was as hard and ruthless as Kovacs, except from a young female perspective. I think Junco’s secret past illustrates what it takes to turn a nineteen year-old girl into a ruthless killer. It’s not easy to get that jaded before you’re twenty, and it takes many horrible experiences over many years to make killing just another day at the office.
Thankfully, like Kovacs, Junco is a quick learner. But unlike Kovacs, she has a support team there to help her process who she is and what she does. I think this is the biggest difference between the two characters. Yes, her life is horrible, yes, she’s done bad things, but people still love her. She still has hope.
Even so, Junco is conflicted about her skills as an assassin, she’s psychologically damaged because of her training, and she wants more than anything to be “normal”.
In book two she’s in a team meeting and her military conditioning compels her to be compliant and agreeable with her commanding officer. This prompts him to tell her: “You make a much better soldier than you do a woman, Junco.”
Talk about an insult! That was the absolute last thing she wanted to hear! This sets off a whole series of introspective questions inside her head. Can she be something other than a killer? Can she ever hope to have a family? Can she live with herself?
While all the Junco books have action – lots and lots of action – the theme running through each and every one of them is one of belonging and finding one’s place in the world.
You can start reading about Junco’s journey today by checking out Clutch, the first book in the I Am Just Junco series, at Amazon for only 99 cents. When you’re done, leave a review on Amazon and let me know whether or not you think Junco’s soldiering career should be put aside for more – domestic things!
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway contest – each autographed copy of Clutch will come with some cool swag, too!
J. A. Huss
About The Author:
. A. Huss never took a creative writing class in her life. Some would say it shows. Others might cut her some slack. She did however, get educated and graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Equine Science. She had grand dreams of getting a Ph.D. but while she loves science, she hated academia and settled for a M.S. in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Florida.
She went on to write science curriculum for homeschoolers and now runs a successful home business that creates and offers online science unit studies. When she’s not writing science curriculum or fiction, she works as a farm inspector, traveling the Eastern Plains of Colorado in variety of environmentally friendly vehicles that never have four-wheel drive, so when she gets stuck in the mud in said vehicles, she has to beg for assistance from anyone who will help her. She is not bitter about that at all.
She’s always packing heat and she is owned by two donkeys, five dogs, more chickens and ducks than she can count, and of course, the real filthy animals, her kids. The I Am Just Junco series was born after falling in love with the ugliest part of Colorado and the Rural Republic is based on the area of the state she currently resides in, minus the mutants, of course.
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