Ever since I heard of this upcoming release, it has been one that I’ve been greatly looking forward to and it’s finally here!
Post-Apocalyptic Romantic Suspense
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Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.
Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?
“One more night,” I said, not looking at her. “Give me one more night and I’ll get you out of this city.” All I could see in front of me was the scenario: I’d wait until very late, after most of the city was sleeping, and then I’d dress her in my military clothes, make her pin up her hair underneath a cap, strap a rifle to her shoulder, a backpack full of goods on her back, and set her atop the mare waiting at the stables.
“But there’s nothing for me anymore,” Thais said, wiping away the lingering tears on her cheeks. “There’s nowhere for me to go, and no one waiting for me there if by some miracle I make it alive. My mother and father are dead. My sister”—she looked up at me, and although I didn’t meet her gaze, I could feel her eyes on me—“my whole family is dead, and this world is dead and my soul is dead and everything that was once good and beautiful and right, is dead.”
I looked at her then, her words stirring me.
“That’s not true,” I said, and got up from the chair and crouched in front of her. “You may be the only good thing left in this world, and I’ll be goddamned if I let your light fade.”
Tears tumbled down Thais’ cheeks.
I took the gun that had fallen from her hand, tucked it into the back of my pants.
“Promise me you won’t try anything,” I said as I went toward the door. “Promise me on your sister’s soul, that you’ll stay in this room and wait for me.”
“Where are you going?”
“To get your supplies.” I placed my hand on the doorknob. “Don’t open this door for anyone.” I opened it to blackness; the candles that had been lit in the hallway had burned down.
“Wait,” Thais called out, and I stopped.
She stood up on wobbly legs.
“You said to get my supplies—are you sending me away alone?”
I thought on it for a moment. I’d never had any intention of going with her. I couldn’t. Not if I was going to keep others from following her.
“No,” I finally said. “You’re not going alone. I’ll go with you, at least until I can get you somewhere safe.”
“Is there anywhere safe, Atticus?” Her voice was soft, hopeless, and hearing her say my name like that did something to my heart. “Do you know where you’re taking me?”
I sighed. And I looked at the wall.
“Yes,” I lied, and then stepped out into the hallway.
Just before I closed the door I added, “Promise me.”
“I promise,” she said. “I’ll wait for you.”
Check out the interview below to learn a bit about Jessica’s writing, her life, her In the Company of Killers series and more!
How do you plot your novels? Do you outline?
I never outline because I like to let the story and the characters take me where they want to go. Some authors can outline very well and it works for them, but I can’t do it. It has always felt more natural to me to just go along for the ride and see where it takes me, kind of like in real life, I guess. Some scenes in my books were figured out ahead of time, but not ‘planned out’ ahead of time, and there’s a big difference. The only exception to this method is that I do always know my ending before I begin. (Except with my book DIRTY EDEN)
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m impatient. Very impatient. It’s challenging for me to get through the first 2‐3 chapters of every book because I have a bad habit of looking at how much I have left to go. I just want to be done with it already so that my readers can enjoy!
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The last sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love getting into the story, living out my character’s lives, but there’s nothing like a finished manuscript. It’s a huge accomplishment and I doubt I’ll ever tire of it.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have a favorite – I have several! Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman I have admired for many years. I love Rice’s deep, descriptive style and Gaiman’s unique ideas. But I also love Paullina Simons and Cormac McCarthy – there are just so many! And, of course, there’s J.K. Rowling, but I don’t really have to name her, do I? Isn’t she everybody’s favorite by default? 😊
Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?
That would be THE VAMPIRE ARMAND by Anne Rice. It’s a book that I’ve read four or five times and the one that really inspired me to try to become a published author.
Tell us your favorite quote.
“Love is a trick that Nature plays on us to get us to reproduce.” – Callisto – Xena Warrior Princess. I’m not against love, I’ve always just been awed by that quote. Not to mention, Callisto was awesome!
If the Earth suddenly became uninhabitable, would you rather live under the sea or in space?
In space! I’m obsessed with the Universe. Besides, the thought of living in the ocean sort of terrifies me.
Can you provide a few self‐publishing best practices you believe brought you literary success?
Some of what I’ve already mentioned are good practices, but also, I’d like to point out two things that I believe contributed to my success: kindness and professionalism. I’ve read a lot of horror stories from book reviewers who were verbally attacked by authors because they turned away a review request or gave a bad review, and similar stories about authors and agents. Know in advance that no matter how hard you worked to write your book that it’s not the next bestseller (until it is), that it isn’t better than J.K. Rowling or Stephen King and that you have absolutely no right to make these statements out loud to anyone. Period. And lastly, no matter how much it hurts your feelings or pisses you off, never reply to a bad review. Ever. Not even if something the reviewer said was 100% wrong. Just don’t do it.
Fans of your In the Company of Killers series are wanting to know why it’s taking so long to release book #7. Can you give us some information on it?
I do get this question everyday it seems, but it’s so hard to reply to everybody. I’ll do my best to explain what’s going on with book 7 right here. So here goes! I’m 100% dedicated to that series, and I know it’s frustrating that after six books, it’s taking a longer-than-average time to publish the seventh. But I need everyone to understand that not only have I been going through a lot of personal things the past year-and-a-half that prevented me from writing much of anything, but also, I just needed to take a step back and finish EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN before I tried to tackle any other book. EUtS has been a work-in-progress going on, I think, almost three years now. No matter what else I tried to write, EUtS kept looming in the back of my mind, and it was affecting my current works-in-progress (book 7 included). I knew that if I didn’t just put everything else aside and finish EUtS that my other books would, quite honestly, be shit. Not all writers are the same, of course, but I’m one of the ones who absolutely must work on the book that’s taking up the most space in my heart and mind, instead of the one everybody is waiting on. But I promise, I’ll be back to work on SPIDERS IN THE GROVE soon! Just please be patient with me. 😊
You stated that you were going to write Lily’s book (from THE EDGE OF NEVER) – is that still a certainty?
I do still intend to write Lily’s book, but at this time I can’t estimate when that might be.
♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦
J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is an international bestselling author and award winner who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have so far been translated into twenty languages.
Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. The Portuguese rights to her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, have been picked up by one of Brazil’s largest publishers – Suma de Letras; Paikese Kirjastus in Estonia; Ephesus in Turkey; Konyvmolykepzob in Hungary. The series has been optioned for television by William Levy.
EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN is Jessica’s newest love story.
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