Saturday, August 26, 2017

Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski


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?


REVIEW
4 Hardships, Heroes, Hearts and Love Stars
I love JA Redmerski. I’m not sure why she’s going as Jessica Redmerski under this book, maybe because this one isn’t like her other books?

I read her books blindly. When I started Everything Under the Sun I soon realized this wasn’t your typical JA Redmerski book. Okay, In the company of killers series isn’t fluffy stuff either, but who knew this would be a dystopian read?

I read some of the reviews on Goodreads and I was disappointed in how many spoilers I read. I will not do that to you. I wouldn’t say it hindered my experience, but I knew what to expect and I kind of wanted the unexpected.

When I opened the book I was shocked to see that the average read time for the book would be 12 hours. I did a double take and I even asked my friends, but it was right. This is a long book. A lot of the reviewers will say the book was too long, too repetitive and needed editing. I’m not sure if I agree with that. The Bronze Horseman was a long book and it was just like Everything Under the Sun, an EPIC love story.

Let me say it again, Everything under the Sun is an EPIC Love story. It’s about hardships, perseverance and love. It’s the I-can’t-live-without-you kind of love and that’s the stuff I crave for in books.

The book is about two people, Thais (Heroine) and Atticus (Hero). It’s set up in a dystopian society where only a small percentage of the population has survived. I really jived with this storyline. Maybe because I love dramatic books and I love reading zombie books. This is not a zombie book, but it mirrors a lot of stuff that happens in zombie books.

Thais and Atticus don’t know each other, but they soon are thrown into each other’s lives and everything becomes, dramatic, emotional and a little crazy.

The thing I really loved about this story was that it was kind of like Thais and Atticus against the world. I love that kind of storyline. I like them working out problems and trying to simply survive. A lot gets thrown their way.

They are not perfect adults. Atticus struggles a lot with his past and inner guilt and Thais struggles being a female in a male dominated world. There will be a lot of highs and lows in the book. I felt like Jessica Redmerski had the perfect balance of high and low. The highs keep me reading the book and the lows kept the book interesting and flowing.

Yes, the book is over the top and dramatic, but it kind of has to be. This is the kind of book you need to take a chance on. It might not be a book you finish in one sitting, but it’s the kind of book you don’t want to put down.

Overall, I was on the edge of my seat the entire ride. I was happy, I screamed and I swooned.




AMAZON


Excerpt
  
“Why are you so angry, Atticus?” My voice was soft and concerned now.
He blinked, but offered no response.

“I’ve seen men fight before,” I went on, “but I’ve never seen a man as angry at the world as you are. The way you beat that man in your room”—I shook my head with despondency—“the one just now; Atticus, you’re just so full of rage and hate. Why?”

He snorted, as if he’d found my question ridiculous.

Why?” he mocked incredulously, holding out his hands, palms up. “I’ll tell you why, Thais: at every turn someone wants to rob or maim or kill us; we can’t sleep, night or day, without the thought in our heads as we close our fucking eyes that we might not wake up.” He gestured his arms wildly, his features constricted with indignation. “We’re covering our shit up like animals, sleeping in ditches, watching over our shoulder every second of every day for the chaos to grab us by the ankles and pull us down with it—and you ask why?”

I sat against my quilt, unable to stand to hear this truth. And as if his movements depended on mine, Atticus fell into a crouch in front of me, bouncing on the toes of his boots. I never looked away from the pull of his gaze, trapped by the intensity of it.

“I haven’t slept since you arrived in Lexington City,” he went on. “When I saw you that day, clutching your sister as she was ripped away from you; when you lay on the sidewalk, begging me to help you—it did two things to me, Thais”—he held up two fingers, and then dropped them between his legs—“it fucking killed me; the things I had to do, the part I had to play in not only your fate, but the fate of every girl in those ropes—it fucking killed me! It killed what little was left of my humanity!” His voice had risen with his heated words, his memories, but then he paused to calm himself, lowering his head but for a moment.

I remained motionless, speechless, but my heart began to ache and fill up at the same time. I listened raptly to every word, my heart breaking as he spoke them.

“It killed me,” he repeated. “But then something reached into Hell, grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back. I died that day in the street, Thais Fenwick; I died and then there I was, looking down at you with the eyes of the man I used to be, and I wanted to help you. I still fought with myself after that, but I wasn’t going to let you die or be raped or forced to marry a man you didn’t love—I didn’t know what to do, but I was going to do something, goddammit.”

I sighed. I wanted to hold him, but all I could do was sigh.

INTERVIEW
ON WRITING:

Tell us a little about why you write in so many different genres. Does it work for you?

I can’t stick to one genre. I love writing all types of stories. Does it work for me? Yes and no. Yes, because I’d start to feel claustrophobic if I had to write in the same genre all the time. No, because I think it confuses my readers that I write everything under the same author name. I regret that decision to this day. My advice to authors considering it: Don’t make this mistake!

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 23 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.

What would you like for readers to take away from your
novels?

I just want readers to be able to connect on some level with the characters I create, and take with them an experience rather than just a story.

When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I started my first novel at the age of thirteen and I’ve been writing ever since. Writing has been the one consistent thing throughout my life and I can’t imagine life without it.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I never stop writing for the day at the end of a scene or sentence, but instead right in the middle of them. This helps me prevent writer’s block and keeps my mind fresh.

Do you have a routine that you use to get into the writing frame-of-mind?

Coffee.

Do you think children are more encouraged these days to read and/or write?

I think more than ever children are encouraged to read and write and I LOVE it. I know Harry Potter had A LOT to do with this and that’s just another reason why I have so much love and respect for J.K. Rowling.

When it comes to writing, what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?

I love to write dialogue. It feels and flows more natural to me. I feel like I struggle a little more with description, because I’m impatient and sometimes it feels like the description is slowing me down. But I pace myself! If I didn’t, the entire novel would be one giant conversation.


PERSONAL STUFF:

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? 😊

Which do you prefer: ebook, hardback or paperback?

Definitely paperback, hands down. I have a Kindle and it’s just not the same. Hardbacks can’t be held comfortably (yes, I bend the spines! I’m totally guilty!). I can’t imagine a world without physical books. It’s depressing to imagine, actually.

What is your favorite type of food?

Mexican!

Who is your favorite book boyfriend?

Shura. πŸ˜‰

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

Of course, I love to read. I also love the outdoors (hiking, swimming, biking, tennis, etc.), and binge-watching television series’.

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.

What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

Playing in the wooded creek at my grandparents’ house in Greer’s Ferry, Arkansas.


On SelfPublishing:


Do you believe that many novelists choose to selfpublish out of frustration with trying to publish traditionally?

When selfpublishing on Amazon first became a thing, I do think most of those going it on their own were doing it out of frustration. I was one of them! Even though I selfpublished my first book a short time after it was becoming the thing to do, I totally did it because I tried for almost three years to land an agent, but to no avail. But now, I think more and more authors are doing it because they feel it’s the better route for them, and are bypassing the queryreject method altogether. Personally, I like both!

How important is it to understand the basics of publishing before delving into selfpublishing?

Writers need to understand that selfpublishing is not easy. Sure, you can write a book and upload it and start selling, but there is so much more to it than that. If a writer chooses to selfpublish they must commit to some hardcore selfpromoting and spending a lot of their own money (professional editing, giveaways, review copies, cover art, advertisements, etc.). Bypassing all of this stuff can leave your book buried beneath the avalanche of millions of other books competing for the same exposure.

Can you provide a few selfpublishing 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.

OTHER BOOKS

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. 

In the Company of Killer SERIES
 

Killing Sarai #1 REVIEW (AUDIO) |  AMAZON
Reviving Izabel #2 REVIEW | AMAZON
The Swan & the Jackal #3 REVIEW | AMAZON
Seeds of Iniquity # 4 REVIEW | AMAZON
The Black Wolf #5 AMAZON | REVIEW
Behind the Hands that Kill #6 AMAZON | REVIEW

#1 - KILLING SARAI - > Victor and Sarai’s Story
#2 - REVIVING IZABEL – > Continues Victor and Sarai’s Story
#3 - THE SWAN & THE JACKAL - > Fredrik and Cassia’s Story. Fredrik is the torturer, he can break anyone except for his wife.  
#4 - SEEDS OF INIQUITY - > Victor, Sarai, Fredrik, Nikolas, Nora story. This is mainly Victor and Sari’s, but there are equal parts of the other characters, it also introduces Nora.
#5 - THE BLACK WOLF - > Nikolas’ story
#6 BEHIND THE HANDS THAT KILL - > Victor and Sarai's story

The Edge of Never Series

The Edge of Never #1 REVIEW | AMAZON
The Edge of Always #2 REVIEWAMAZON


AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PAPERBACK)


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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