How Thrilling!

Haymarket author Juno Rushdan pens a novel of romance and suspense

When I think about authors, I envision them as people who are completely different than me, not someone I might bump into at Target or my kid’s school event. That changed when I had the honor and pleasure of sitting down with Haymarket resident, Juno Rushdan, author of “Every Last Breath,” the first in a series of romantic suspense novels.  Juno is not unlike many people living in Northern Virginia; she’s a veteran, a mom, a wife, and a well-versed traveler. She is also an absolutely fascinating person while still being very down to earth. Her own story is as interesting as the tale she’s woven that landed her a three-book deal from a major publishing house.

Hailing from New York, Juno was bound for Syracuse University on a full-ride to complete her Juris Doctorate degree, where she would graduate with an undergrad and a law degree in six years.  Clearly, she had the grades, ambition and drive to get her there. But while touring the campus, she was approached by an Army recruiter. That fateful conversation put her on a completely different path.  Against the wishes of her family, she enlisted in the Army. It’s not that her family didn’t support her, but any parent understands the hard work it takes to get a scholarship, not to mention the free ride. She didn’t see it as derailing her plans for school though, just the chance to choose the path less traveled. She lost her passion for law, but developed a new one for serving her country, and planned on continuing her academic path via the GI Bill.  

After her enlistment ended, she attended The Ohio State University, graduated with a degree in psychology, and decided to return to the military. She joined the U.S. Air Force, attended officer training school, and spent 11 years traveling the world. She met her husband on one deployment, and started a family.

After her first child was born, Juno decided to explore her passion for writing.  While living in England, she found an agent and wrote a paranormal romance novel. This first foray didn’t go far, but it helped her understand her niche and sharpen her craft.  

Upon returning to the States, Juno joined the Romance Writers of America where she connected with other writers, shared her work, and became a better writer.

“Every Last Breath” came to her one morning, when she suddenly had an image of a female covert operative who was rushed to recruit someone for an important mission.  Because of her knowledge of military intelligence and her sharpened writing skills, publishers felt her book had an authenticity not often found in this genre. Juno understood her characters, the complex issues that come along with being in military intelligence, and the personal dynamics.  She used her background and knowledge of threat scenarios as fodder, and formed the plot.

48 hours
Two covert operatives
One chance to get it right
The clock is ticking.

The narrative came naturally to her, as it wasn’t hard for her to visualize the scenes.  According to Juno, being able to hear the dialogue in her head made it feel authentic. She also credits her editor, who helped clarify the plotlines and craft the story.  Once again, Juno found strength in support from others and recommends that every aspiring writer find a good editor. She completed “Every Last Breath” in 2016 and it hit shelves April 30.

The second book in the series, “Nothing to Fear” comes out August 27. At present, Juno is writing a third book and, while it’s not a trilogy, there are several characters who appear throughout the books which have been likened to a “sexy Jason Bourne” series. Several New York Times best-selling authors have even written rave reviews after reading advance copies of “Nothing to Fear.”

I for one, can’t wait to read it and have already ordered a copy. I’ve never been a thriller or suspense novel reader, but after meeting Juno and learning how these stories came to be, I can’t wait to get her book in my hot little hands!

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About Francine Barnes 14 Articles
Frannie Barnes is a content writer and editor, and the owner of ForWord Communication. She lives in Gainesville with her husband, three active kids, cat, and dog. To contact Frannie, you can e-mail her at franniebarnes@forwordcommunication.com.

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