Publication date: November 4th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult, Science Fiction
Nineteen year old Rural Republic sniper, Junco Coot, has been lied to. Not once or twice, but pretty much everyone she ever trusted is totally full of sh*t. And now her father is dead, she’s on the run, and everyone wants a piece of her—including one winged alien warrior named Tier.
But the truth always catches up and Junco has to choose who she should trust. The people who have lied and trained her to kill since she was a small child? Or the warriors who want to steal her away and use her as the catalyst in a plot to fight the final battle in an ancient war?
It’s a choice that will change her fate forever. And once it’s made—there’s no turning back. Life becomes nothing but brutal killing in the name of vengeance. But everything requires sacrifice—everything has a price. And Junco is about to find out what it means to dedicate herself to saving someone else.
Junco is not young adult. She has a foul mouth and violent tendencies.
I swing the shotgun on the strap so it’s out in front of me, brace it on my thigh to compensate for my injured shoulder, cycle the next round into the chamber, and then point it straight at his chest. I strain to prevent the wince that really wants to spread across my face. "Look, I don’t know who you are, or why you’re here, but as a Farm Family Representative of Council 3, I’m asking you to leave under Regulation V.1.b – Aliens are not permitted in the Rural Republic under any circumstances. I have the authority to shoot and if you doubt me, I apologize ahead of time for taking your life. You are hereby legally warned."
I squeeze back and the round blasts out of the chamber but he’s high above me in the air as the shot passes into the trees. The leaves rustle and the birds are wild once again. The recoil pain isn’t as bad from the standing position, but I feel the blood leaking out under the skin on my hip, creating a bruise. I push the pain down. "I’ve been shooting since I could walk, sweetheart, and I’ve had a really shitty day. Do not fuck with me."
He flies off over the trees about a dozen yards away and I can just barely make him out as he lands in the cover of the brush.
"Is that how ya treat someone who saves yer life? Shoot them?"
"Except ya weren’t sleeping, Junco. You were unconscious."
It isn’t often that I get stunned into silence, but an alien knowing my name in the middle of nowhere can do it. "How the hell do you know my name?"
Silence from him now.
The glimmer of light that was previously there is gone, and so is he.
I take stock of the mountaintop meadow. Where are you, where are you?
I pivot on my heel, gun braced one-armed against my stomach to catch the recoil, and do a proper survey of the area. My good arm is tiring quick after all the adrenaline I’ve used up and it begins to shake. I force the bravado. "Guess you decided to take my–"
Then he is behind me, the gun is flying across the field, and he’s twisted my bad shoulder just enough to make me scream out. His lips touch my cheek as he whispers, "Look, I’m not usually the type of person who abuses little girls, but you’ve shot at me two times now and I’m not going to stand for it. I’m here for the moment and yer just gonna to have to deal with it. Ya got it?"
He eases up on my shoulder and pushes me away from him.
I rub the flaming tissue and wince. "Did you just insult me?"
He tilts his head at me. "What? Me? Ya tried ta shoot me – twice!"
"I might be little, but the way you said it implied I’m insignificant. Which I assure you, I am not. And besides, you’re the one who’s trespassing, right? That’s you." I point my finger up at him. "I have every right to tell you to leave, I’m a fucking representative of Council–"
"3, yeah, I heard ya the first time. Who gives a shit? I’m here. Get over it."
I stare at him in the dim moonlight and quite frankly, I don’t care for what I see.And now for the character interview with Junco (disclaimer: I didn't make up the questions)
Junco Abigail Coot
Born: September 3, 2133
OK, I’m short. But don’t underestimate me because that never stopped me from kicking someone’s ass. Most of the time my hair is auburn brown, my eyes are hazel and my body has a little more muscle than most girls should. But don’t count on me staying this way forever…I have secrets…secrets that have giant consequences!
Actress who could play you in a movie:
Cameron Phillips - the reprogrammed Terminator from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. She’s awesome.
Job: Professional soldier, assassin, and Seventh Sibling.
Favorite gun: Ohhh, that’s a hard one. It’s a draw between the TZi .357 and the RM Elite sniper rifle.
Favorite MMA move: Shit, how does one choose? I guess it would be the tornado kick. They never see that coming, plus I got all that acrobatic stuff behind me, so I really catch some air when I make contact. TMI? Sorry!
Favorite Sibling: LOL...that question is so unfair, but it definitely isn’t Irin. She’s a total bitch.
Favorite member of the 039: Nooooo…I can’t do that to them. They are all my favorites!
Favorite vaca spot: Well, it’s not a vaca spot, but I do love when Lucan takes me to see the stars. It’s beyond Heaven.
Favorite food: Blueberry pancakes
Age: In Clutch, Fledge, and Flight I am 19 (it was a pretty big year for me)…Range takes place when I’m 22.
Birthday: September 3, 2133
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Favorite Color: Yellow
Favorite Song: Road to Paradise by Tat
Words to live by: Do the job you’re trained for, and if you’re not trained for the job at hand, shut up and stay the fuck out of the way.
Perfect Saturday Night: At home with Tier, or shooting with Gideon, or watching horror screens with Ashur, or letting Selia treat me like a Barbie head, or playing cards with Braun, or…well you get the picture. I enjoy all of them!
Three words that best describe me:
Feisty, powerful, relentless.
What did you want to be when you grew up:
A mother. :)
Day or night: DAY! Although I do enjoy a good stargaze, I could go a million years and never see another nightdog and die happy.
J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).
She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.
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