Juno came onto the market in November 2006 with books offered in oversize trade paperback only, but they broke into the mass market paperback arena with their title Blood Magic, which was released this month. Juno, an imprint of Prime Books and Wildside Press, takes its name from a Roman goddess who was connected to all aspects of a woman’s life — marriage, fertility, pregnancy and childbirth. Juno’s logo, the stylized peacock feather, is used because the peacock was sacred to the goddess Juno.
So with that kind of thought put into their logo and name, what are their books like? Juno specializes in fantasy featuring strong female characters. This is fiction meant to take the reader beyond the ordinary, something to empower the reader as well as transport them.
Something else that has caught my eye about Juno is their cover artwork. Everyone knows that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But half the battle is designing something that will make someone pick it up and read the back. Timothy Lantz has done the covers for Juno so far and each one is more beautiful and exotic than the last. If you were in the book store wouldn’t you pick one of these up? I sure would.
Besides the novels that Juno publishes they also do short story collections which are edited by Paula Guran. Best New Paranormal Fantasy released last year and Best New Romantic Fantasy released this year. Tia, over at Fantasy Debut recently got a chance to ask Paula questions about Juno, publishing, and the new books Juno is putting out.
Some of this years releases also include Blood Magic by Matthew Cook, the first in a new trilogy as well as being Cook’s first published novel. He is also the first male author to be published by Juno as well as writing Juno’s first mass market paperback. Lots of firsts for this guy and a lot of pressure. Fortunately Blood Magic delivers. I loved this one and I even got to pick Matthew Cook's brain about his writing process and the follow-up to Blood Magic, Nights of Sin.
Windfollower by Carole McDonell is another novel that Fantasy Debut spotlighted in October as “A literary fantasy that makes you feel like you are absolutely steeped in another culture.” Tia had nothing but glowing words for this debut author and got the chance to ask her some questions about her novel.
Unveiling the Sorceress is Saskia Walker's second novel with Juno. Exotic as well as erotic, Walker takes you on a journey through a land full of intrigue and magic. I enjoyed this one a lot — the images that are painted by the author are haunting, and the characters just make it a hard book to put down. Read an excerpt and find out for yourself.
I have three Juno titles sitting in my to-be-read pile at the moment, including Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas, in which all the things that go bump in the night are real and living in Las Vegas. It’s the first in the author’s new series, Delilah Street: Paranormal Investigator. Read an excerpt.
Then I’ve got Dark Maiden by Norma Lehr which is a dark fantasy about a grieving mother and a demonic force that killed her baby. This is Lehr’s first adult novel, having already been published in the young adult field. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. Read an excerpt.
Then last but not least there's a romantic fantasy entitled Master of the Shadows by Janet Lorimer. This one sounds a bit like a retelling of "Beauty and the Beast." I’ve always been such a sucker for fairy tales and I’m looking forward to starting this one. Read an excerpt.
Some of last year's titles include Beyond the Hedge by Roby James, a modern day Brigadoon, which was a lot of fun; The Bone Whistle by Eva Swan, a solid debut that has a strong background in American Indian mythology; The Strangeling by Saskia Walker, which is a short erotic fantasy; and Jade Tiger by Jenn Reese, a kick-butt take-no-prisoners read with a protagonist that will put you in mind of Lara Croft. Then we have Matters of the Blood by Maria Lima, which is being re-released in mass market paperback in 2008.