Juno Rushdan is a former Air-Force Intelligence Officer turned romantic suspense author of Every last Breath. Her debut book (out April 30) was called "a heart-pounding, James Bond-ian adventure" by Kirkus Reviews and has been blurbed by FOUR New York Times bestselling authors—Steve Berry, Laura Griffin, Lexi Blake, and Steve Berry. We are really excited to share this book with you in just a few short weeks, but first, we wanted to introduce you to the badass behind the book—Juno!
Pitch Every Last Breath in 2 sentences or less.
Two covert operatives form a strained alliance to stop an imminent attack, but the former lovers find themselves on a deadly collision course with a world-class assassin in this sexy Jason Bourne-esque novel.
What one thing do you have to have by you as you write?
A large cup of hot black coffee.
What’s your favorite romance novel of all time?
There are way too many to choose one, but the first romance novel I read I snuck out of my grandmother’s bedroom. It was Thurston House by Danielle Steel. To this day when I think about it I can feel all of the emotions it raised in my heart and in the pit of my stomach. Coincidentally, the second book I borrowed was The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. I guess I have my grandma to thank for my interest in writing romantic thrillers.
What would you do in your final hour?
Hold my children and tell my husband how much he means to me.
What kind of research did you do to write Every Last Breath?
The concept for the story is a by-product of my background as a military Intelligence Officer. I’d love to tell you more about my history, but it’s classified. What I didn’t know I researched online. I’m pretty certain the National Security Agency has me on some watch list for the keywords I used and they’re monitoring me. We disabled the microphone on our Smart TV to prevent “hackers” from eavesdropping. The voice recognition function has to be enabled, but the mic is always listening unless you deactivate it. If you do enable voice command, please be aware that every word is being captured and sent over the Internet.
STOP—Everything below is classified
BIO: Juno Rushdan enlisted in the U.S. Army at seventeen, passing up a scholarship to Syracuse University. She went through Airborne school, became a 98G SIGINT Voice Interceptor, and did multiple deployments to Panama and Honduras for counter-narcotics missions. After finishing her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, at The Ohio State University, she became an Air Force Intelligence Officer. Her first duty station was Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where she led Eagle Vision-1, a satellite imagery ground station unit and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Her team received a letter from the Secretary of the Air Force for their efforts in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction and aiding the Special Operations Forces incursion into Iraq. Juno was later assigned to three more Combatant Commands: CENTCOM, AFRICOM, and NORTHCOM’s Joint Task Force (JTF). She was appointed the Intelligence Action Officer (IAO) for the JTF, where the mission was to provide command and control of Department of Defense forces managing the consequences of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRN) incident in the United States. As the IAO, she evaluated likely threats and war-gamed response plans based on the most probable and hazardous scenarios.
DEBRIEFING: A Personal Look at Juno Rushdan
For me, it was an honor to put on both uniforms. Supporting special forces and poring over CBRN threat assessments day after day definitely shaped the foundation for the Final Hour series and Every Last Breath. When I was at intelligence school as an officer in Texas, I watched the Twin Towers fall on TV. That horrific act of terrorism changed me as a New Yorker, as an American, and only reinforced my sense of purpose. I tried to convey what it means to be called to serve and the sacrifices one makes through my characters. Readers will find themes that are dear to my heart: service before self, fighting for the greater good and the preservation of our way of life. Another similarity is in the military you become a part of a powerful community, but you’re also taken into a smaller tribe that’ll have your back and protect you without question. My characters also forge a family and find a sense of belonging with each other.
2 covert operatives
1 chance to get it right
Maddox Kinkade is an expert at managing the impossible. Tasked with neutralizing a lethal bioweapon, she turns to the one person capable of helping her stop the threat of pandemic in time: the love of her life, back from the dead and mad as hell at her supposed betrayal. Recruiting Cole to save millions of lives may be harder than resisting the weight of their shared past, but Maddox will do whatever it takes…even if it destroys her.
When Maddox crashes back into Cole Matthews’ life, he wants to fight back. He wants to hate her. But the crisis is too strong to ignore, and soon the two former lovers find themselves working side-by-side in a breakneck race to stop a world-class killer with a secret that could end everything.
The clock is ticking.