Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder

Please be sure to check out the original post here!


Guns and Smoke
The Fool’s Adventure Series Book Oneby Lauren Sevier and A. Smith
Genre: Dystopian/Western RomancePublisher: Lauren SevierDate of Publication: July 10, 2021ISBN: 978-1734402346ASIN: B08RW6JNGGNumber of pages: 364Word Count: 134,000Cover Artist: Stefanie Saw 
Life should be about more than just surviving. 
In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.
Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.
Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.
Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.
Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/kC821NrfFGs Amazon      BN        More Links on Author Site

Interview with Lauren Sevier and Abbie Smith

Welcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder. Tell us about your newest book.

Guns & Smoke is a Dystopian/Western Romance novel set in what used to be the American Southwest exploring themes of courage and perseverance, redemption, and love. In the first volume of The Fool’s Adventure series, we meet Bonnie and Jesse; two lost souls trying to escape their demons. Their paths collide, sending them on the adventure of a lifetime. Together, they may discover that life is about more than just surviving.

Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing your newest book?

Abbie: Time management has been difficult for me specifically. While we work really well together, sometimes we have time constraints such as family, day jobs, and home life. I have three rescue animals that are quite demanding. As long as I was able to have the time, writing Guns & Smoke wasn’t all that difficult for me. I love this world and the characters, and wish I could spend all day in it!

-Lauren: SAME! Time management by far has been the hardest thing developing this book. The act of writing, editing, marketing, publishing, etc. has just fallen into place so beautifully and naturally for this book. I’m sure mostly due to the fact that we’ve been working on this story in some form since 2012 so we were really grounded in who the characters were and what the stakes should be. Being the mother of a wild and wonderful two-year-old, working full-time in Cardiology, managing publishing deadlines, and running my editing business… it gets chaotic to say the least. If I had four more hours in the day, it would be crazy the amount of things I could get accomplished.

Tell us a little bit about your writing career.

-Abbie: I have always wanted to be a published author. I started writing little fan fiction-esque stories when I was younger. I never had the confidence in myself to believe I could create my own world. It wasn’t until Lauren and I started writing together that I truly thought I could get published. Guns & Smoke is my debut novel, but I have several other projects either in the drafting, editing, or plotting phases. I plan to seek traditional publication for my solo works.

-Lauren:Guns & Smoke is my first co-authored novel, but my second published work. I published my debut novel last year, a YA Fantasy novel titled Songs Of Autumn. It is also the first in a series of books that I am still currently developing and is available platform wide. I had the option to traditionally publish Songs Of Autumn and realized that indie publishing and having complete creative control of my stories felt more natural to me. I think when you decide how you’ll publish you really have to re-evaluate your goals and expectations. I realized that, for me, publishing was less about garnering renown or making money than it was about the act of creation and story. As well as a desire to connect with my readership. I wanted to take the ‘corporate business’ mindset out of developing my books to keep the story and not sales the number one priority in my publishing journey. Of course, everyone’s journey to publication is different and valid, this was just the way I discovered what was important in mine.

They say Hind-sight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?

-Abbie: Just write. Don’t let the pressures you put on yourself or the pressures that others place on you cripple your creative drive. You are an amazing writer.

-Lauren: Whew! Loaded question. I had to think really hard on this one. When I first started to write seriously it was with Abbie as a co-author and I think that actually hurt me a little at first. Abbie’s fantastic and insanely talented, don’t get me wrong. But, the first draft of this novel was back in 2012 and I was really green. I hadn’t gained the confidence to write on my own yet or discovered my own individual author voice as Abbie had and as a result we ended up letting this book languish in a computer file for years before we could come back to it. I tricked myself into thinking that somehow I wasn’t good enough on my own. That I didn’t have anything of real substance or value to bring to the table. Essentially, I was riding on her brilliant coattails. So, I needed to take a break and write solo for a while. After publishing my own work I realized I was, in fact, an author in my own right. With things to say, and a unique way in which to say them. I think in hindsight I would’ve told my younger self to start earlier, do it on my own for a while, and gain that confidence I needed to combat imposter syndrome. Because until I did that, I didn’t think I was a very good writing partner. I was always second guessing any decision I made or the validity of my choices, which didn’t make for very good storytelling overall.

What was your most difficult scene to write?

-Abbie: There’s a moment toward the end of the second act of Guns & Smoke, where Jesse has come to terms with his feelings for Bonnie. They’re so close to admitting their love for one another when they’re faced with the ultimate choice: jump together into the unknown, or certain death. The scene that follows that decision was hard for me to write because Jesse didn’t want to acknowledge a lot of his thoughts or feelings. As we were editing, Lauren kept pointing out the spots where I was writing around the emotions. When I was finally able to nail it all down, the scene became that much deeper and more impactful.

Lauren: The first chapter. I think I rewrote it about a million and a half times. The book has gone through so many iterations and first chapters have to accomplish so many things. You set the stakes, introduce characters, integrate worldbuilding elements that set the scene and tone for the rest of the book. It was really hard for me because I wanted it to be just right. In the end, however, I’m really pleased with the results. All the stress and anxiety, the endless rewrites, it all fueled the chapter that starts the book now and I happen to think it’s pretty great. So, it was worth it, even if it drove me a little crazy. LOL!

Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?

-Abbie: Not intentionally. I write for the sake of telling a good story. I don’t really think about themes while I’m writing them, but when I’m done, the themes usually appear. Lauren is much better at picking out themes and being intentional with them than I am.

-Lauren: Yes! Abbie hit the nail on the head. I’m much more intentional about themes. Not during the initial drafts but more in the developmental editing phase. I work independently as a developmental editor so I got really good at discovering themes from a rough draft so that the authors I work with can edit intentionally and deepen their narrative storylines. I do the same thing in my own written works. Discovering the themes and essentially the heart of this story made it really easy to pinpoint all the little moments that were missing, the scenes readers needed to see to feel satisfied, the ways to make the stakes higher and the tension palpable without becoming melodramatic. I also think this is another good example of why we work so well together as Co-Authors. We bring different things to our writing that help lead to an overall great reader experience.

What are you working on now?

-We just finished up the first/zero draft of Guns & Smoke’s sequel, Leather & Lace. We’re dipping our toes a little into the third book in the series together. Individually, Abbie is working through edits of the project she drafted during NaNoWriMo in 2020, and Lauren is currently working on the sequel to her debut novel, Songs of Autumn published in November of 2020.

Is there a release date planned?

-We anticipate releasing Leather & Lace sometime in 2022.

Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?

-Abbie: In Guns & Smoke, I really adore The Kid. Like Jesse, he’s learning so much about the world that he never knew existed. Being able to get his fresh perspective on things is really great. Also, he is loosely based on one of my nephews, so it’s really fun to see this character on the page.

-Lauren: Bonnie. 100%. She’s so strong and independent. She’s confident in who she is and isn’t afraid to stand up for the things she believes in, even if that means putting herself in harm’s way. I love seeing an example of a character who is completely a product of her environment while still retaining her own individuality. It was a true honor to write her story.

Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?

-Abbie: Hands down, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We are of the generation that grew up with Harry, waiting years between releases just to get the next installment. What I loved about Prisoner of Azkaban was that Voldemort wasn’t the villain behind the conflict. I loved getting to see more about Harry’s family history. Also, the idea of having a godparent out there that could save me from a rough home life was incredibly appealing to me.

-Lauren: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. I read it for the first time when I was in the 4th grade and I remember vividly the descriptions and character motivations. I remember thinking about Captain Ahab and his character flaws obsessively. I didn’t get on the Harry Potter train as early as other kids did when I was growing up, like Abbie, but I really think about Moby Dick a lot now that I’m older and how that shaped my reading preferences when I was young.

What are your plans for future projects?

-We have so so so many! The Fool’s Adventure series is planned to take place over four books. In this world, we already have a prequel duology, two sequel series, two novellas, and one anthology planned to explore life before and after the Culling. We each have our own solo projects, but also intend on writing a dark fantasy romance series as well as a paranormal romance series. Expect lots more to come!

Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?

-Keep your guns loaded and your flasks full!

Good luck with Guns & Smoke, and thank you for being with us today.

-Thank you so much for having us!!

Excerpt

One small change in position and now each of my soft curves was pressed intimately against the tall, hard length of his unyielding body. His blue eyes blazed in the dim light of the alley, reading something on my face that urged him on. This was supposed to be my trap.

His hands were buried in my hair now, a thumb tracing over my cheek to land on my bottom lip. I knew what he wanted. Parting my mouth, I wrapped my lips around the pad of his thumb, my tongue flicking against it before sucking softly. A deep thunderous sound rumbled through his chest to shake me down to my bones. His hand in my hair slid to the back of my head, pulling my mouth closer to his. He wanted me to kiss him. He wanted this to be more than a transaction. He wanted me to want him back.

I brushed my nose against his, and he stilled. All other motion and sensation forgotten as his eyes landed on my mouth, inching closer to his. I drank in the taste of his breath, a faint echo of the taste of his lips from before. My head tilted to the side, and he brushed the hair away from my face to see me more clearly as I angled toward him. He swallowed down whatever desperate words were on the tip of his tongue, and I took his chin in my hand, mouths open and millimeters apart.

Click.

About the Authors:

Lauren Sevier and A. Smith are longtime friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns and Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night.

Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series.

The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia.

Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on TikTok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

https://www.laurensevier.com/

https://www.instagram.com/laurensevier

https://www.youtube.com/c/laurensevier

https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurensevier

https://www.tiktok.com/@lsevier

https://www.laurensevier.com/newsletter

 

http://abbielynnsmith.com/

https://www.instagram.com/abbiewritesx/

https://t.co/30D6MREJxk?amp=1

Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: A Reader’s Book Corner

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

Meet The Authors: Interview with Lauren Sevier and A. Smith

Teresa Beasley

Lauren Sevier & A. Smith are long time friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns & Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night. Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series. The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia. Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on Tiktok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

Q & A with Lauren and A. Smith

Describe your writing style.

Generally speaking, I have a really lyrical and emotionally grounded writing style. It’s more pronounced in my solo works like my debut YA Fantasy novel ‘Songs Of Autumn’, but there’s a definite lyrical quality to the sections I write. I’m a fan of alliteration with purpose and finding almost musical beats in storytelling. I think just like the composition of a great song, story structure is very similar and that probably has something to do with it.

What makes a good story?

Relatable characters with flaws and realistic stakes. I read somewhere that a problem a character can walk away from is a book a reader can put down and I don’t think I’ve ever felt any piece of writing advice so acutely before. The characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable, but they should be relatable. What’s more relatable than a person who isn’t perfect struggling with a problem that seems overwhelming or impossible to solve? I think I’ve felt that way in my own life so often that it just makes sense to me that other people will have too.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?

I am notoriously bad at outlining and having any sort of plan whatsoever when writing. Abbie is actually the one of us who keeps me in line and on track. She usually helps keep timelines on track, and points out when a character’s perspective is missing. Or when we need to accomplish actual plot things in a chapter instead of it being all fluff and nonsense. Honestly, our readers should thank her for the fact that the book isn’t just an absolute mess. LOL! No, but really, drafting for me is all about discovery writing, while editing is where I’m able to tame the story into a believable plot and really make it shine. Abbie helps us to stay on track so that we can draft cleaner and have less overhaul to do in the editing process.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Personally, a bit of both. Just like in life, writing is all about balance. We’re conscious of reader expectations but still make decisions based on what feels right for the characters and the story. Overall, we want readers to be satisfied but sometimes that means making decisions that aren’t exactly what they expect. It’s that moment of ‘Oh, I didn’t see that coming’ that will help them keep turning pages and keep being invested in the tale we’re weaving. But to completely ignore your audience and the genre expectations is really just asking for poor reviews. So, we try to balance both as best as we can to deliver a novel that’s familiar but new at the same time. Something that peaks your interest but you can’t predict where it’s going to end up.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Lauren has always told me that I am really good at writing men. As a CIS woman, I think one of the most difficult things about writing male characters is getting into the little nuances of being a male that aren’t inherently female. For example, Jesse was almost a little too polished, which is because I like to write male characters in how I would like to see a man. So including genitalia jokes isn’t something that comes naturally to me like it would a man, but it’s those little things that really make a character feel real to readers.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Drafting a novel together is actually really quick for Abbie and I. We wrote the first draft of Guns & Smoke (it’s current iteration) in less than a month, and the sequel (which is even longer) we cranked out in 26 days. We’re currently working through the first draft of book #3 in the series so that we can hopefully cut down on time between publications for reader satisfaction.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Ha! I’m going to get some heat for this one. Writer’s block doesn’t exist. I thought it did for a really long time. I thought I was stuck in the throes of it for even longer. What I’ve discovered is that you can suffer from lack of confidence in yourself, or you can have an ‘editing block’ where you stop drafting to edit what you already have, psych yourself out, and end up never finishing. Or you can be struggling with ‘imposter syndrome’. Or you can be suffering from not taking enough breaks and refilling your creative well. But the writing is always there. There’s no block to it other than the obstacles you put in your own way. Once I realized that the thing stopping me wasn’t some concept of a ‘writer’s block’ that I couldn’t escape, it was clear to me how to move forward. I won’t say ‘easy’ because I don’t think it’s easy to get out of your own way. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But, it’s clear what path to take when you realize that the only person stopping you is yourself.

Connect with Lauren and A. Smith

Lauren’s Links:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

A. Smith’s Links:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram  * Amazon * Goodreads

Guns & Smoke

The Fool’s Adventure Series Book 1

by Lauren Sevier & A. Smith

Genre: Dystopian Western Romance

In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.

Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.

Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.

Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.

Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.



TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains depictions of graphic violence, language, sexual violence, attempted rape, depictions of child abuse, and depictions of human trafficking.

Buy Links

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Apple * B&N  * Kobo * Website

Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom (Guest Blog)

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

Lauren Sevier and A. Smith Chat About Juggling Writing and Family


 Writing with Kids… how do you juggle family life and writing? 
Lauren: Poorly. Lol. No, but in all seriousness, juggling a full-time job in Cardiology, being the mother to a wild and wonderful two-year-old little boy, managing my publishing schedule, and editing manuscripts for clients… it gets hard. Really hard. 
The key is to give yourself grace. There are going to be days that dinner is fast food, and that needs to be okay. There are times when those publishing deadlines I’ve been losing sleep over for weeks aren’t met. There will be manuscripts that I have to say no to, even if I feel really passionate about the story. There are even times when you have to accept that you’ll miss social and family events. It’s inevitable. 
When I’m at work, my focus is on my patients. Every person who comes into our clinic has my undivided attention and I give 100% of myself to making sure their needs are met with sincerity and compassion. But, as soon as the clock strikes twelve (or Four, in my case), I turn into a pumpkin and it’s time to put on another hat. 
The real secret to managing a life as hectic as mine is to always keep your priorities straight. For me, my husband and son are the number one priority in my life. Period. Time with them is sacred and everything else comes second, including my full-time job in Cardiology. If I need to take time off because my son is sick, or he has a school program, well… that’s what PTO is for. I’m really lucky that my work family is so understanding and supportive. They really have gone out of their way to let me know how proud they are of my accomplishments, and to encourage my publication journey. I don’t know of many employers who would do that. 
This does mean however, that I won’t ever be able to rapidly release books the way some other authors have been able to. I just don’t have the writing time, editing time, marketing time, etc. built into my day. It takes longer from start to finish for me to put out a really good book, and I never want to sacrifice the quality of the stories I put out for the sake of speed. I hope my readers understand and appreciate that and I think they do overall.  I also have the world’s best husband. We communicate really well and he’s my number one fan. I keep him up to date on all my working tasks and he makes sure to tell me when it’s time to slow down or take a break. He’s an amazing, hands-on father who really loves spending quality time with our son during deadline season. He reassures me constantly when my deadlines are looming and my anxiety is high, that if the worst thing that happens is me missing a deadline… we’re still incredibly blessed. I think everyone needs a Jonathan in their corner. I guess you could say he’s the secret ingredient that makes everything work. 
Abbie: While I’m not married nor do I have human children, I do have three rescue animals. My cat, Sirius, is probably the easiest one to manage since cats are so super independent and don’t require as much. However, my two dogs, Klaus and Bree, require a lot of work. At times, they can be as demanding as human children. I deal with a lot of mom guilt if I have to leave them at home for long periods of time. Trying to find the right balance was much easier when we were still working from home as a result of the pandemic. Now that I’m back to working at the office full time, I know that on days when I work my office job, I have to be home with them at night. 
I work a full time job for the state of Louisiana. While it isn’t nearly as demanding as a busy cardiology clinic like Lauren, it does require expert focus and a lot of time researching since we enforce insurance laws in the state. My day job is the one that pays me, so I tend to tasks there before I ever do any writing. If I find that I have time during the day, I may be able to knock out a task or two for my personal stuff. 
That being said, I make time to write nearly every day. It’s easier for me to come home from work everyday and go right into writing or other work for my writing. I try to make sure that I’m being productive while also tending to my other responsibilities. I am very close with my immediate family, so I try to always be there for the big moments, the little moments, and all of the moments in between. 
The largest thing for me is tending to my mental health. When we really started working through Guns & Smoke, I worried that we might have such a grueling schedule that I wouldn’t be able to take care of me. The thing is, though, writing and working on novels is good for me. It’s the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel like I should be doing anything else. 
Guns and SmokeThe Fool’s Adventure Series Book OneLauren Sevier and A. Smith
Genre: Dystopian/Western RomancePublisher: Lauren SevierDate of Publication: July 10, 2021ISBN: 978-1734402346ASIN: B08RW6JNGGNumber of pages: 364Word Count: 134,000Cover Artist: Stefanie Saw 
Tagline: Life should be about more than just surviving. 
Book Description: 
In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.
Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.
Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.
Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.
Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/kC821NrfFGs Amazon      BN        More Links on Author Site

Excerpt #2

“I didn’t mean what I said earlier, about turning you over to Sixgun. I was just…” He struggled for the words.

“Hurt?” I offered, and he nodded. “I know. I have a talent for pushing people away.”

“I still shouldn’t have said it,” he muttered near my ear, his arm tightening around my shoulders to hold me closer.

“Do you really think I’m stupid?” I asked.

“No, I think you’re the smartest person I’ve ever met,” he said, with all the conviction with which he said everything else. I smiled against his shirt. “Did you really climb into my bed because you thought I was upset about the train?”

“No,” I croaked, hiding my face as best I could. “I don’t have nightmares when you hold me.”

“I don’t have nightmares when I hold you either,” he admitted.

So I let him. I let him hold me all night. We didn’t speak, we just leaned against each other until the sky began to lighten and the shadows of our pasts seemed to fade into the distance.

 

About the Authors:

Lauren Sevier and A. Smith are longtime friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns and Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night.

Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series.

The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia.

Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on TikTok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

https://www.laurensevier.com/

https://www.instagram.com/laurensevier

https://www.youtube.com/c/laurensevier

https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurensevier

https://www.tiktok.com/@lsevier

https://www.laurensevier.com/newsletter

 

http://abbielynnsmith.com/

https://www.instagram.com/abbiewritesx/

https://t.co/30D6MREJxk?amp=1

Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

Guns & SmokeThe Fool’s Adventure Series Book 1by Lauren Sevier & A. SmithGenre: Dystopian Western Romance

In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.
Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.
Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains depictions of graphic violence, language, sexual violence, attempted rape, depictions of child abuse, and depictions of human trafficking.

Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo * Website

Lauren Sevier & A. Smith are long time friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns & Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night. Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series. The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia. Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on Tiktok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!Lauren’s Links:Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

A. Smith’s Links:Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: Silver Dagger Book Tours

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

Picture

Guns & Smoke
The Fool’s Adventure Series Book 1
by Lauren Sevier & A. Smith
Genre: Dystopian Western Romance 

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In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.

Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.

Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.

Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.

Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains depictions of graphic violence, language, sexual violence, attempted rape, depictions of child abuse, and depictions of human trafficking.

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​One small change in position and now each of my soft curves was pressed intimately against the tall, hard length of his unyielding body. His blue eyes blazed in the dim light of the alley, reading something on my face that urged him on. This was supposed to be my trap.

His hands were buried in my hair now, a thumb tracing over my cheek to land on my bottom lip. I knew what he wanted. Parting my mouth, I wrapped my lips around the pad of his thumb, my tongue flicking against it before sucking softly. A deep thunderous sound rumbled through his chest to shake me down to my bones. His hand in my hair slid to the back of my head, pulling my mouth closer to his. He wanted me to kiss him. He wanted this to be more than a transaction. He wanted me to want him back.

I brushed my nose against his, and he stilled. All other motion and sensation forgotten as his eyes landed on my mouth, inching closer to his. I drank in the taste of his breath, a faint echo of the taste of his lips from before. My head tilted to the side, and he brushed the hair away from my face to see me more clearly as I angled toward him. He swallowed down whatever desperate words were on the tip of his tongue, and I took his chin in my hand, mouths open and millimeters apart.

Click.

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Lauren Sevier & A. Smith are long time friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns & Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night. Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series. The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia. Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on Tiktok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

Lauren’s Links:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

A. Smith’s Links:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

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What is something unique/quirky about you?
I collect antique tea cups and saucers, but I don’t drink tea. LOL! I know, it’s really strange. There’s just something delicate and beautiful about them. I love collecting different designs from different periods in history and I have a TON of them. I have one from the late 1600’s that was made in Austria and several that were made in Occupied Japan during WW2. But hey, you can drink coffee (or whiskey) out of teacups the same as anything else, right?

Where were you born/grew up at?
Lauren and I both grew up in a small town north of Baton Rouge, LA. While it is close to the city, when we were growing up, the town was very rural. We spent a lot of time hanging out at each others houses because there was very little to do. Fun fact: we’ve known each other since we were four years old!

What kind of world ruler would you be?
I’d be a terrible world ruler. Completely selfish. Bossy. I really shouldn’t be in charge of other people. The reason my family works so well is that my husband balances out my Type A, way-too-driven, OCD tendency, crazy neurotic personality by being completely and utterly unflappable about anything and having a very Hakunah Matata approach to life. If I literally ruled the world… *shivers* Well, I don’t even want to imagine it.

What are you passionate about these days?
Rescue animals. I have adopted three (two dogs and a cat) within the last two years. I am always trying to get people I know to adopt animal that are in need of homes. I encourage everyone that I know they should adopt instead of shop for a pet, because there are so many rescue animals out there, especially ones that run a chance of being euthanized. I have three of the sweetest animals, including a two year old pitbull who loves every single person she meets, especially kids.

How to find time to write as a parent?
I just don’t sleep anymore! LOL! No, but seriously, having a wild and wonderful little boy who is still in his toddler years can be quite demanding. During naptime, on weekends when my husband is home, and after he’s been put down to bed are prime writing times for me. To be honest, writing isn’t one of my top priorities. That probably sounds pretty blasphemous, but children are only little for a little while and although I try to be an example to him of hardwork and perseverance as I chase after my dreams… My main priority is to spend quality time with him. Children don’t remember if they had the nicest shoes or the most expensive birthday cake. They remember the times when you gave them your utmost attention, when you were at every game cheering them on, or when you took the time to teach them things. I never want my son to look back on life and say ‘Mom was always working’. So, I made peace with the fact that I would never publish more than possibly one or two books a year because I just couldn’t devote enough time to writing, editing, and publishing. I think my readers appreciate my candor on such things, even if several of them have already been banging down my door for sequels. LOL!

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Kind, Organized, Hard Working, Passionate, Empathetic.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer from the time I was 8 years old and started writing little stories. I did a lot of fan fiction writing and text based roleplaying growing up, but I always knew that I wanted to write original, novel length stories of my own. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I allowed myself to really dive into that dream because that voice in the back of my head always told me that I wasn’t good enough to do it, but I fought back against that. I have so many stories that I plan on sharing with the world.

Do you have a favorite movie?
I have had a lifelong love of the 1984 Jim Henson film Labyrinth. I saw it when I was a child, and then rediscovered it when I was in high school. There’s something about David Bowie in tights with 80s hair singing alongside a slew of puppets about stealing a baby that touches my heart. Three of my four office walls are covered in Labyrinth paraphernalia. If you’ve never seen Labyrinth or only ever saw it as a child, I highly recommend rewatching it as an adult. It’s a lot of fun!

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Guns & Smoke. I have always been able to see Bonnie and Jesse in my head as real characters in real locations. Guns & Smoke has a lot of action and adventure, which would appeal to fans of action films, as well as the romance tie in, which would appeal to fans of romance! Could you imagine seeing the dusty streets of gang-filled Vegas in a post-modern world?

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
MERMAID! LOL! I mean, not just as a writer either. I frequently tell people that when I growup I hope to be a mermaid. It’s literally my goal in life to just waste away my days singing on a rock, combing my hair, searching the sea floor for shiny things to collect. Luring men to their deaths. You know, just a typical Tuesday afternoon! LOL! I’ve been obsessed with mermaids since I was little, my husband and I even danced to ‘Part of your world’ at our wedding. So if I have a spirit animal for anything, it’s definitely a mermaid.

What can we expect from you in the future?
So much! Guns & Smoke is the first in a four book series. In addition to those four, we have a couple of sequel series, a prequel series, a few novellas and an anthology set in The Fools Adventure world. We also have plans to write a Victorian-esque fantasy romance as well as a paranormal romance series together. Individually, Lauren is working diligently on the sequel to her YA Fantasy debut, Songs of Autumn, and I’m working on a Fantasy Romance novel with the intention to traditionally publish.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
There is one side character in Guns & Smoke who pops up out of nowhere. It’s someone who was a big part of one of the main characters’ lives.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Love this question! So,because this novel is a Dystopian/Western Romance it’s set in a not-so-distant future where the world has been ravaged by the effects of nuclear warfare. It’s the American Southwest and in a lot of ways, society has reverted back to a time much like the chaos of the Wild West from a not-so-distant past. There are themes in this book about history repeating itself and that’s definitely the case with the names of the characters in this book. Bonnie, for example, is literally name after Bonnie Parker of the infamous Outlaw duo Bonnie & Clyde. She explains in the book how she got her name. Jesse is also literally named after a murderous outlaw from the past. Jesse James. Only in his case, his father thought it would be funny to name him after an outlaw from his childhood and his mother lost a bet. Harry, Jesse’s younger brother, is affectionately coined ‘The Kid’ by Bonnie early on in the novel and this completes the main cast of characters, however, there are several other characters who share their fate with having wonderfully outlaw-inspired names throughout the book and the series as a whole.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Really delving into romance. While all of the projects I’ve written before have been centered around a romance, I’ve never embraced the genre until Lauren proposed it to me. Being able to fully dive into these characters in an adult genre really made them pop off of the page and come to life.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part of the book are the quiet moments, when Bonnie and Jesse aren’t at each other’s throats and they’re actually being vulnerable with one another. There’s just something about two characters that push past their defenses and come together that really touches my heart. There’s this really great scene between Bonnie and Jesse in chapter ten of Guns & Smoke where they’ve just gone through something really terrible. They open up to one another, which leads them farther into the unknown, but also closer together.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
Literally tons. I have a novel that I’ve been working on for fourteen years. I have really terrible depression and anxiety, and I continually get in my head about it. The story has literally changed so many times, and it’s still not ready for the public just yet, but get this: a secret society of witches, New Orleans, and romance. I also have more than a dozen works in various planning stages that I cannot wait to write.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I read almost anything that I can get my hands on! While Fantasy is probably my favorite genre right now, I have always had a soft spot for dystopian literature like Divergent or The Hunger Games. I’m really big into Sarah J Maas right now. I really love her mental health representation, plus Cassian from A Court of Thorns and Roses is basically my one true love.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Silence is the death of my writing! I have to have music. Lauren and I both will find one song when we’re writing a particular scene that encapsulates the mood and listen to it over and over again. When there’s silence or I have background noise, I struggle to focus, so I plug in my earbuds and just go!

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Harry Potter. Because I’d be set for life!

Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. All the way. I’m no good with dictation software and I think I need the textile feel of the keys on the keyboard to get into a good writing rhythm. There are times when I long-hand scenes that I need to sit with and really nurse the words to make them sound exactly right, but that’s when I can take my time with a section. I write a LOT slower than I type, so for initial drafting and not refining or re-writing, it’s always the computer for me.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I feel like people are sick of thisanswer from me, but Kaz Brekker from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo is currently my favorite character. He’s almost like the rebirth of the anti-hero in modern fiction and I’m living for it. I have a soft spot for misanthropes and anti-heroes in literature, I seriously fall way too hard in love with them. The amount of character development Bardugo was able to write into his character is still something that astounds me to this day.

Advice they would give new authors?
I feel like I give this advice so much, but I feel like it is the one thing that has really helped me: read. Read every single thing that you can get your hands on. You have to study the craft of writing, which doesn’t mean just reading non-fiction craft books. It’s important to read what is big in the market and find the things that you enjoy in those novels and figure out how you can incorporate that feeling into your own work.

Describe your writing style.
Generally speaking, I have a really lyrical and emotionally grounded writing style. It’s more pronounced in my solo works like my debut YA Fantasy novel ‘Songs Of Autumn’, but there’s a definite lyrical quality to the sections I write. I’m a fan of alliteration with purpose and finding almost musical beats in storytelling. I think just like the composition of a great song, story structure is very similar and that probably has something to do with it.

What makes a good story?
Relatable characters with flaws and realistic stakes. I read somewhere that a problem a character can walk away from is a book a reader can put down and I don’t think I’ve ever felt any piece of writing advice so acutely before. The characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable, but they should be relatable. What’s more relatable than a person who isn’t perfect struggling with a problem that seems overwhelming or impossible to solve? I think I’ve felt that way in my own life so often that it just makes sense to me that other people will have too.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I am notoriously bad at outlining and having any sort of plan whatsoever when writing. Abbie is actually the one of us who keeps me in line and on track.She usually helps keep timelines on track, and points out when a character’s perspective is missing. Or when we need to accomplish actual plot things in a chapter instead of it being all fluff and nonsense. Honestly, our readers should thank her for the fact that the book isn’t just an absolute mess. LOL! No, but really, drafting for me is all about discovery writing, while editing is where I’m able to tame the story into a believable plot and really make it shine. Abbie helps us to stay on track so that we can draft cleaner and have less overhaul to do in the editing process.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Personally, a bit of both. Just like in life, writing is all about balance. We’re conscious of reader expectations but still make decisions based on what feels right for the characters and the story. Overall, we want readers to be satisfied but sometimes that means making decisions that aren’t exactly what they expect. It’s that moment of ‘Oh, I didn’t see that coming’ that will help them keep turning pages and keep being invested in the tale we’re weaving. But to completely ignore your audience and the genre expectations is really just asking for poor reviews. So, we try to balance both as best as we can to deliver a novel that’s familiar but new at the same time. Something that peaks your interest but you can’t predict where it’s going to end up.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Lauren has always told me that I am really good at writing men. As a CIS woman, I think one of the most difficult things about writing male characters is getting into the little nuances of being a male that aren’t inherently female. For example, Jesse was almost a little too polished, which is because I like to write male characters in how I would like to see a man. So including genitalia jokes isn’t something that comes naturally to me like it would a man, but it’s those little things that really make a character feel real to readers.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Drafting a noveltogether is actually really quick for Abbie and I. We wrote the first draft of Guns & Smoke (it’s current iteration) in less than a month, and the sequel (which is even longer) we cranked out in 26 days. We’re currently working through the first draft of book #3 in the series so that we can hopefully cut down on time between publications for reader satisfaction.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
Ha!I’m going to get some heat for this one. Writer’s block doesn’t exist. I thought it did for a really long time. I thought I was stuck in the throes of it for even longer. What I’ve discovered is that you can suffer from lack of confidence in yourself, or you can have an ‘editing block’ where you stop drafting to edit what you already have, psych yourself out, and end up never finishing. Or you can be struggling with ‘imposter syndrome’. Or you can be suffering from not taking enough breaks and refilling your creative well. But the writing is always there. There’s no block to it other than the obstacles you put in your own way. Once I realized that the thing stopping me wasn’t some concept of a ‘writer’s block’ that I couldn’t escape, it was clear to me how to move forward. I won’t say ‘easy’ because I don’t think it’s easy to get out of your own way. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But, it’s clear what path to take when you realize that the only person stopping you is yourself.

Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: Sadie’s Spotlight

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

Guns and SmokeThe Fool’s Adventure Series Book OneLauren Sevier and A. SmithGenre: Dystopian/Western Romance
Publisher: Lauren SevierDate of Publication: July 10, 2021ISBN: 978-1734402346ASIN: B08RW6JNGGNumber of pages: 364Word Count: 134,000Cover Artist: Stefanie Saw   Life should be about more than just surviving.  In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them. Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits. Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him. Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime. Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.Amazon      BN
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Excerpt

One small change in position and now each of my soft curves was pressed intimately against the tall, hard length of his unyielding body. His blue eyes blazed in the dim light of the alley, reading something on my face that urged him on. This was supposed to be my trap.

His hands were buried in my hair now, a thumb tracing over my cheek to land on my bottom lip. I knew what he wanted. Parting my mouth, I wrapped my lips around the pad of his thumb, my tongue flicking against it before sucking softly. A deep thunderous sound rumbled through his chest to shake me down to my bones. His hand in my hair slid to the back of my head, pulling my mouth closer to his. He wanted me to kiss him. He wanted this to be more than a transaction. He wanted me to want him back.

I brushed my nose against his, and he stilled. All other motion and sensation forgotten as his eyes landed on my mouth, inching closer to his. I drank in the taste of his breath, a faint echo of the taste of his lips from before. My head tilted to the side, and he brushed the hair away from my face to see me more clearly as I angled toward him. He swallowed down whatever desperate words were on the tip of his tongue, and I took his chin in my hand, mouths open and millimeters apart.

Click.


About the Authors:

Lauren Sevier and A. Smith are longtime friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns and Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night.

Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series.

The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia.

Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on TikTok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

Lauren Sevier: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / TikTok / Newsletter

A. Smith: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: Romance Novel Giveaways

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.

Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.

Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.

Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.

Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains depictions of graphic violence, language, sexual violence, attempted rape, depictions of child abuse, and depictions of human trafficking.

What can we expect from you in the future?

So much! Guns & Smoke is the first in a four book series. In addition to those four, we have a couple of sequel series, a prequel series, a few novellas and an anthology set in The Fools Adventure world. We also have plans to write a Victorian-esque fantasy romance as well as a paranormal romance series together. Individually, Lauren is working diligently on the sequel to her YA Fantasy debut, Songs of Autumn, and I’m working on a Fantasy Romance novel with the intention to traditionally publish. 

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? 

There is one side character in Guns & Smoke who pops up out of nowhere. It’s someone who was a big part of one of the main characters’ lives. 

Where did you come up with the names in the story? Love this question! So, because this novel is a Dystopian/Western Romance it’s set in a not-so-distant future where the world has been ravaged by the effects of nuclear warfare. It’s the American Southwest and in a lot of ways, society has reverted back to a time much like the chaos of the Wild West from a not-so-distant past. There are themes in this book about history repeating itself and that’s definitely the case with the names of the characters in this book. Bonnie, for example, is literally name after Bonnie Parker of the infamous Outlaw duo Bonnie & Clyde. She explains in the book how she got her name. Jesse is also literally named after a murderous outlaw from the past. Jesse James. Only in his case, his father thought it would be funny to name him after an outlaw from his childhood and his mother lost a bet. Harry, Jesse’s younger brother, is affectionately coined ‘The Kid’ by Bonnie early on in the novel and this completes the main cast of characters, however, there are several other characters who share their fate with having wonderfully outlaw-inspired names throughout the book and the series as a whole. 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

Really delving into romance. While all of the projects I’ve written before have been centered around a romance, I’ve never embraced the genre until Lauren proposed it to me. Being able to fully dive into these characters in an adult genre really made them pop off of the page and come to life. 

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

My favorite part of the book are the quiet moments, when Bonnie and Jesse aren’t at each other’s throats and they’re actually being vulnerable with one another. There’s just something about two characters that push past their defenses and come together that really touches my heart. There’s this really great scene between Bonnie and Jesse in chapter ten of Guns & Smoke where they’ve just gone through something really terrible. They open up to one another, which leads them farther into the unknown, but also closer together.  

Have you written any other books that are not published? 

Literally tons. I have a novel that I’ve been working on for fourteen years. I have really terrible depression and anxiety, and I continually get in my head about it. The story has literally changed so many times, and it’s still not ready for the public just yet, but get this: a secret society of witches, New Orleans, and romance. I also have more than a dozen works in various planning stages that I cannot wait to write. 

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre? 

I read almost anything that I can get my hands on! While Fantasy is probably my favorite genre right now, I have always had a soft spot for dystopian literature like Divergent or The Hunger Games. I’m really big into Sarah J Maas right now. I really love her mental health representation, plus Cassian from A Court of Thorns and Roses is basically my one true love. 

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why? 

Silence is the death of my writing! I have to have music. Lauren and I both will find one song when we’re writing a particular scene that encapsulates the mood and listen to it over and over again. When there’s silence or I have background noise, I struggle to focus, so I plug in my earbuds and just go!

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Harry Potter. Because I’d be set for life!

Pen or type writer or computer? Computer. All the way. I’m no good with dictation software and I think I need the textile feel of the keys on the keyboard to get into a good writing rhythm. There are times when I long-hand scenes that I need to sit with and really nurse the words to make them sound exactly right, but that’s when I can take my time with a section. I write a LOT slower than I type, so for initial drafting and not refining or re-writing, it’s always the computer for me. 

Tell us about a favorite character from a book. I feel like people are sick of this answer from me, but Kaz Brekker from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo is currently my favorite character. He’s almost like the rebirth of the anti-hero in modern fiction and I’m living for it. I have a soft spot for misanthropes and anti-heroes in literature, I seriously fall way too hard in love with them. The amount of character development Bardugo was able to write into his character is still something that astounds me to this day. 

Advice they would give new authors?

I feel like I give this advice so much, but I feel like it is the one thing that has really helped me: read. Read every single thing that you can get your hands on. You have to study the craft of writing, which doesn’t mean just reading non-fiction craft books. It’s important to read what is big in the market and find the things that you enjoy in those novels and figure out how you can incorporate that feeling into your own work.  

“Those for me?” she asked. I hadn’t realized she was awake. I nodded, once again helping her sit up. I eased off the ruined dress and put the dry clothes on her as carefully as possible. I started to climb from the wagon to let her rest, but she reached out, grabbing my wrist. 

“Please don’t go,” she said, her voice barely a whisper. 

With a nod, I moved behind her, sitting with my back against the stolen crates. She leaned between my legs, resting her head against my chest. I brushed some of her matted hair away, pressing my lips to her temple. I held her, not tight enough to hurt her, but enough to let her know I was there. 

“We can’t stay here,” she said after a while. Her voice startled me into alertness. “Coyotes are gonna come when they catch the scent of that horse.” Suddenly, I had an idea about what to do with the horse. 

“I know,” I said. “But you need to rest.” 

“We need to keep going,” she said. Neither of us moved as I sat there, holding her, lips pressed against her hair.

“Just let me hold you,” I whispered. “Just a little while longer.” 

Lauren Sevier & A. Smith are long time friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns & Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night. Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series. The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia. Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on Tiktok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

Lauren Sevier

A. Smith

Guns & Smoke, Writing

Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: Fabulous and Brunette (Guest Post)

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

Hey, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Lauren Sevier and A. Smith aka Abbie Smith and their new book, “Guns & Smoke,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on their Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Lauren and Abbie and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

Guns & Smoke

by Lauren Sevier and A. Smith

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GENRE: Dystopian/Western Romance

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BLURB:

In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun danger lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.

Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.

Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.

Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.

Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.

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EXCERPT ONE:

One small change in position and now each of my soft curves was pressed intimately against the tall, hard length of his unyielding body. His blue eyes blazed in the dim light of the alley, reading something on my face that urged him on. This was supposed to be my trap.

His hands were buried in my hair now, a thumb tracing over my cheek to land on my bottom lip. I knew what he wanted. Parting my mouth, I wrapped my lips around the pad of his thumb, my tongue flicking against it before sucking softly. A deep thunderous sound rumbled through his chest to shake me down to my bones. His hand in my hair slid to the back of my head, pulling my mouth closer to his. He wanted me to kiss him. He wanted this to be more than a transaction. He wanted me to want him back.

I brushed my nose against his, and he stilled. All other motion and sensation forgotten as his eyes landed on my mouth, inching closer to his. I drank in the taste of his breath, a faint echo of the taste of his lips from before. My head tilted to the side, and he brushed the hair away from my face to see me more clearly as I angled toward him. He swallowed down whatever desperate words were on the tip of his tongue, and I took his chin in my hand, mouths open and millimeters apart.

Click.

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TWO GUEST POSTS:

Check out these intriguing guest posts that both authors, A. Smith aka Abbie and Lauren wrote exclusively for FAB to promote their new book, Guns & Smoke!!!

Making It Believable: Writing Romantic and Intimate Scenes

From Abbie:

Writing romantic and intimate scenes can be a very tricky thing to do. Because I am a woman writing a male character, I wanted to spend a lot of time developing Jesse into the type of man I think a majority of women would be able to relate to. When writing Guns & Smoke, one of the biggest things I pushed to have was consent. I have read a lot of romance novels where consent is not always clear and given. I wanted Jesse to be a character that women wanted to be romantically involved with, sure, but I also wanted to be clear that he respected the boundaries of those women. That unless there is an explicit yes given, the answer is always no. Jesse was taught to be respectful by his parents. Given the astronomical number of women who have been victims of abuse and sexual assault, I always want to ensure that consent is freely given between the characters that I write. I also try not to focus on all the minute details of the action between the characters during intimate scenes. I feel that focusing on the emotions, and what the character is feeling, is far more important and impactful than writing detailed love scenes.

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From Lauren:

For Bonnie, a victim of sexual abuse, it was really important for me to portray her correctly in intimate scenes. When we first meet her, she’s confident, sexually promiscuous, and pretty clear that she doesn’t get attached to sexual partners. This, at least for her, is a coping mechanism. Due to trauma from her past that she’s never really gotten over, she’s afraid to get emotionally close to anyone. That if she gets close to them, they have the potential to hurt her. And even though she’s a very strong-willed, independent character, she’s afraid that she won’t know how to handle that kind of hurt. For Bonnie, it was about the little moments. The moments where Jesse shows that she can trust him, the way he listens to her and makes her feel heard, challenging her worldview time and again, how he’s willing to stick his neck out for her even when she feels she doesn’t deserve it. Until she feels safe with him in a way she’d never allowed herself to feel safe with anyone else. So, when they finally do have intimate scenes it was about capturing those moments, not about the graphic nature of sex. But of human connection, the breaking down of barriers, making promises to each other. Things that last much longer than just one night.

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AUTHOR BIOS:

Lauren Sevier & A. Smith are long time friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns & Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night. Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series. The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia. Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on TikTok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

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CONNECT WITH LAUREN SEVIER:

Website:

http://www.laurensevier.com

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/authorlaurensevier

Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/laurensevier

Pinterest:

Instagram:

http://www.instagram.com/laurensevier

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/c/laurensevier

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19812178.Lauren_Sevier

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56506612-guns-smoke

Amazon Author Page:

https://amzn.to/3z9ZLZ9

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CONNECT WITH ABBIE:

Website:

http://abbielynnsmith.com

Newsletter:

http://abbielynnsmith.com/newsletter

Twitter:

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/abbiewritesx

TikTok:

https://t.co/30D6MREJxk

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21041264.A_Smith

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56506612-guns-smoke

Amazon Author Page:

https://amzn.to/34WthU5

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BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon Kindle eBook:

https://amzn.to/3uWL8VB

Amazon Paperback:

http://amzn.to/2S71RZ9

Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/guns-smoke-lauren-sevier/1138730963?ean=2940165393686

Barnes and Noble Paperback:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/guns-smoke-lauren-sevier/1138730963?ean=9781734402346

The Book Depository Paperback:

https://www.bookdepository.com/Guns–Smoke-Lauren-Sevier-Smith/9781734402346

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Guns-Smoke/Lauren-Sevier/9781734402346

Kobo eBook:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/guns-smoke