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Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: Serena Synn

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What’s your one line pitch or teaser for the book? Grab a reader’s attention with one line. -In a world where safety is a luxury and honor can be found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them. Tell readers a little about your main character or characters? -Abbie: Jesse James is a pretty naive character. At the beginning of Guns & Smoke, he’s too trusting and gets himself into a bind because he didn’t know to expect deceit. He was one of the few lucky people to have grown up outside of the lawless chaos that erupted after the Culling. His parents escaped to the isolated backcountry of Montana, where they raised their family near a small community of other like minded individuals. Though he is naive, Jesse relies heavily on the values he was raised with, such as doing the right thing. -Lauren: Bonnie’s a badass. LOL! No, but really. She’s completely a product of her environment. Which is harsh and unyielding. She’s strong and independent with a soft side she rarely shows anyone. She stands up for the things she believes in, and isn’t afraid to rush headlong into danger if necessary. She’s loyal and though she doesn’t always do things that are considered ‘good’ she has a unique type of honor that makes her worth rooting for. I absolutely adore her and hope that audiences do too. Where do you like to write? Do you have an office or writing nook? -Abbie: I have a library in my house. Surrounded by books, movie posters, and inspirational quotes, I write at my desk, which is positioned in front of the window overlooking my backyard. I sometimes write in coffee shops, but for the most part, I use my office. -Lauren: I have a writing room in my house. It has antique bookcases, a double desk for ‘in-person’ work days when Abbie comes over, and a set of double french doors that let in a ton of natural light. I also have all my film equipment in there for Youtube, livestreams, and TikToks. Mostly I love it because I can shut the door and focus, which can be hard with a toddler. LOL! What is one of your best marketing tips for other authors? -Abbie: Marketing is one of my weaker skills, honestly. I lean on Lauren a lot when it comes to marketing. I will say, however, that having good graphics and visual representation can help. I’m lucky that I’m a decent graphic designer. I do the designs, and Lauren makes the marketing plans. -Lauren: I could wax poetic on this subject, picking just one tip is actually pretty hard for me. I think the first thing is to find your audience. Research who your audience is and where to find them. This is going to be key when developing a successful marketing strategy. You don’t just want to sell books, you want to sell books to readers who are going to love it. Who will want to review it, share it, buy the next one, follow your career. So if you get that part right, you’ll be successful. What websites or tools have you found that offer the best results? -Abbie: One of the biggest game changers for me was investing time in story structure. Reading Save the Cat Writes a Novel absolutely changed me from being a pantser to a plotter. I work really well when I have a nice organized structure, and being able to see the structure of a story on a single page changed the way I thought about writing forever. I used to write on a discovery basis, never really knowing where to go next. That has resulted in not being able to accomplish the many things I have planned. -Lauren: Google Docs. Google Sheets. Google Hangouts. Google Calendar. Pretty much the whole Google Suite of programs. I’m able to take all my writing, editing, marketing, administrative, etc. things with me on my phone, sync everything to my laptop, and can log in remotely. Abbie and I can have scheduled meetings. I’ve been able to integrate my personal calendar, my work calendar, my writing calendar, and my editing business into this as well. It helps keep me organized and efficient. Abbie and I can be writing in the same document at the same time, chatting in real time about plot points or dialogue issues as we’re drafting. It’s really a game-changer, not just for co-authors but for writers in general. Any advice for aspiring writers? -Abbie: Don’t expect perfection. There will always be something that you want to improve, whether it’s the first draft or the tenth. Allow yourself to not be perfect. I’ve gotten into my own head so many times, and it wasn’t until I gave myself a little grace to realize that perfection is unattainable that I was able to push past that overwhelming imposter syndrome. -Lauren: Imposters don’t get imposter syndrome. This was a big turning point for me when I realized this. True imposters don’t fuss and fret and worry over comma placement and how unique the narrative voice is in their book. They don’t want every plot point to be perfect and realistic. They don’t compare or read craft books, seek editors, or do a hundred drafts of the same chapter until it’s just right. Only real authors do that. So, stop feeling like you aren’t good enough. Stop feeling like you don’t belong among other authors. You do. You aren’t an imposter. You’re brilliant and brave. It takes an incredible amount of courage to write a book and put it out into the world. You are already winning. And I’m proud of you. 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.

Excerpt #3 “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.”

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!


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