By JA Huss
Series: I AM JUST JUNCO
Published on 2012 Genres: Dark, Dystopia, New Adult, Science Fiction, urban fantasy
Picture yourself standing at the edge of a dock.
Now picture being lost in your own head, utterly unsure of yourself, surrounded by people who want to use you, take you away, or simply kill you.
This is Junco Coot, aged 19, year 2152, daughter of the Rural Republic’s ranking commander. Assassin, semi-famous athlete, and on the run.
In front of you is your future...
A future filled with secrets so heinous and truths so outrageous, it will push you past the edge of sanity.
…and behind you is a life of lies.
Lies that will rip apart the threads of reality barely holding you together.
Congratulations, soldier. Your life is over, but your mission has only just begun.
Welcome to my twisted, messed-up life. No one’s getting out alive, so we might as well kick some ass on the way down.
I Am Just Junco is a dark, epic SF/fantasy that spans five full-length novels and one novella. It is NOT young adult.
The final book in the series, RETURN, will be released on December 2, 2013.
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT OF BOOK FIVE – RETURN
Expected publication date: December 2, 2013
“Junco?” Tier’s voice whispers next to my ear. “Junco? Ya awake, darlin’?”
I tuck my head into my chest and whisper, “No,” so softly, even I barely hear it.
His arm slides underneath me and then pulls me towards him. He lets out the longest sigh I’ve ever heard and then kisses me on the back of the head. “I love you, Junco.”
My chest hitches as the tears build. “No, you don’t. You’re going to leave me.”
He stays silent and this is when it all becomes real for me. He’s leaving. I’m not sure where he’s going or how it will happen, but he’s leaving. He’s not staying, there’s no happy ending for me.
“No,” I say back quickly. “I’m tired of listening to all the bad things people want to tell me. I’m done listening. I wish I’d never come out of the Pillar. I wish I was dead. I wish someone would slice me into little bits and make it all go away. I wish my parents would’ve killed me as a child. I wish I would’ve just let Matthew do it on the sniper range. I wish—”
“I wish I could stay, Junco.”
I say nothing. It’s the final straw for me, to have Tier admit that he’s leaving and there’s no way to stop him is the end of my sanity. I pull away from him and slide over to the wall.
“When I was a boy I lived in the clutch with Ashur.”
My interest picks up with this sentence.
“It was a small clutch, just us.” His chest shakes a little with a laugh. “We’re twins, did ya know that?”
“I could sorta tell. You know, since you actually look almost identical.”
“Yeah, but not enough to be mistaken for one another, though, right? Not twins like that. We’re twins in that we’re Lucan’s made sons.”
“What’s that mean?” I ask with a sniffle to try and get my nose under control.
“We were engineered by Gib. One of many warriors who are made special. But I was the one picked out of the womb. Me. Ashur was chosen for something else, I’m not sure what. He has no idea what I’m doing here, I have no idea what he’s doing. Lucan makes it that way on purpose, just in case the High Order comes and tries to see our minds.”
He stops to let me think about this for a few seconds.
“But I’ve always known, Junco. I was never lied to, or forced, or asked to give more than I was willing. I’ve always been willing. This is my one true purpose, to save Lucan’s life, to end his punishment cycle, and to give this world a second chance once it’s all said and done. And I never knew that you’d be so…so… well, lovable. I’ve had—” he stops to think of a word, “—girls. I’ve had that, but I’ve never had anything like you. I never even knew these feelings were possible. I love my brothers, and I miss Braun so much it hurts me inside to think about him. So I suppose that’s the closest I’ve come. But when you walked away from me out there in the mountains, I thought I died Junco. That’s how much it hurt to watch you disappear. And then I had this little spark of hope, for the briefest of moments when Arel said you dissipated Inanna. I thought, she’s coming back, it’ll be OK.”
I swallow and then turn to face him. His eyes are a little bit watery and his mouth is just one long frown. I reach out and touch his lips and then lift my eyes to meet his. “I’m sorry,” I whisper softly.
“I know how you feel, Junco. Because that’s how I felt when you left. I understand that it hurts so much you just want to lie down and die.” He stops again and his eyes dart back and forth between mine. “But you just have to trust that Lucan knows what’s best.”
I turn away angry. “Fuck Lucan. He’s only out for himself. He used me, he’s using you!” I turn back. “He’s using us, Tier.”
Tier nods. “Yes, Junco. He is.”
I whimper a little as the tears build up to fast they are rolling down my cheeks before I can stop them. “Then why are we doing this?”
“Because I gave him permission, Junco. He’s planned for this day for thousands of years. He’s got an end beyond the ending in mind and you just have to have faith.”
“But that end beyond doesn’t include you?”
He shakes his head. “No, darlin’. It doesn’t.”
“Why?” I whine. “Why do you do it then?”
“Because Junco, there are more important things in this universe than me.”
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