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Notes from a Romantic’s Heart is pleased to welcome authors Lauren Sevier and A. Smith to the blog today to talk about their new book, Guns & Smoke. You can find all the stops for this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Remember to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $20 gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.
GENRE: Dystopian/Western Romance
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Is the setting for your book real? If so, have you been there? If it’s fictitious, is there somewhere real that you’ve used as a model?
While the settings for Guns & Smoke are real places in the American southwest, a lot of the elements of the story are fictitious. At the beginning of the novel, the characters are in Vegas, which has managed to survive after the end of the world, but sometimes it feels as if the desert is trying to reclaim the city. Run down casinos, brothels, and gangs are the real rulers of this new iteration of Vegas. Even though the characters don’t stay there long, I really enjoyed imagining the Vegas strip as being a dusty, dangerous place reminiscent of the old west. When it came time to choose a destination for Jesse and The Kid, neither of us hesitated: Roswell. There’s a show that came out in the late ‘90s called Roswell, and it’s my favorite. I have never been to any of the locations in Guns & Smoke, but google has been a valuable tool. We spent a lot of time researching maps of the southwest in order to figure out which places the characters would stop and developing the new versions of them to be like memories of the old west. My grandfather is a huge fan of westerns, so I grew up watching them with him. It was a lot of fun to use that knowledge in building The Fool’s Adventure world.
Do you like to read in the genre in which you write? Or, are you adventurous?
I will read just about anything. While I prefer stories that are dystopian, fantasy, or paranormal, I read all over the place including literary, mystery, and romance. I’ve only recently got into the romance genre, so now I spend my days devouring just about any romance that I can get my hands on. I still adore the YA dystopian boom of the early 2010s because they produced some of my favorite titles. These days, I read a lot of Fantasy, from YA to Adult, and I am a huge Sarah J Maas fan, especially of her most recent publication. I will always stop to read a good dystopian, though. It’s absolutely one of my favorite genres.
If you listen to music while you write, what are the top three songs on your playlist?
I make a playlist for each of my novels. My spotify account is all over the place. For my Guns & Smoke playlist, the top three songs are: 99 Problems by Hugo, Poison & Wine by the Civil Wars, and I Know Places by Taylor Swift. All three of those really encapsulate the emotions of Guns & Smoke.
About the Book
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.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“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.
Meet the Authors
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!