by Lauren Sevier & A. Smith
GENRE: Dystopian/Western Romance
Three years wandering the desert is enough to drive anyone insane, and the limits of Bonnie and Jesse’s minds and hearts will be put to the ultimate test.
A deadly showdown with a murderous outlaw ripped Bonnie away from the relative peace and ragtag family she’d built at the end of Guns & Smoke. In the thrilling next chapter in The Fool’s Adventure series, we finally get the answer to the biggest question: What happened to Bonnie?
After three years of fighting to get her back, literally, Jesse James finds her in the most unlikely of places– New Orleans high society. With the help of his rival-turned-friend Will Ellis, and a sassy staff member, Jesse’s tasked with infiltrating the house of the man he believes was responsible for killing his parents in order to get her back. Jesse’s biggest challenge yet will be learning to fight for Bonnie in a way he never expected before: by fitting in.
Mired in high society politics and scheming, Bonnie is at the epicenter of one of the most ruthless gangs in the world. Years trapped in a gilded cage of wealth and lies has irrevocably changed her from a crass outlaw into a southern debutante. Gone is the dangerous glint in her eyes, replaced with suspicion when the devilishly handsome street fighter named Montana suddenly joins her father’s staff.
Can Jesse remind Bonnie of who she really is in time to keep her from giving her heart and hand away or will he discover that the wild, beautiful outlaw he fell in love with is truly gone?
Staring at her now, knowing that I’d desperately fallen for her all over again sent a stark jolt through me. This feeling between us wasn’t some average infatuation. Most people could live a lifetime and never experience the raging, all-consuming need to be close to another person, no matter whether you knew why.
My soul called out, and hers answered.
Everything that I’d lost three years ago was suddenly before me. In the span of a breath, I closed the distance. I clutched her hips, a smile curling over my lips at the little gasp she let out as her back met the steel door and my mouth covered hers. I reached behind her, flicking the lock. Too many times we’d been interrupted. I’d be damned if I let it happen now. Not when she loved me again.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
Lauren: From a little town (not so little now) about half an hour north of Baton Rouge, called Zachary, Louisiana. I love to garden and grow my own food, I’m also a toddler mom so… you know, certifiably insane on the good days. LOL! I work part-time in Cardiology and yet love to cook super unhealthy but delicious food. Haha. No, there’s nothing super interesting about me, I’m a regular person who likes to read, write, spend time with my friends… that’s about it.
Abbie: The same little town as Lauren! We grew up together and have both moved to a town nearby (we live about ten minutes apart!). I have always had a love of reading and writing, since I was a young teenager. I read over 50 books a year. My other big passions are my rescue dogs and mental health care. I believe that therapy can change lives; it definitely changed mine!
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Abbie: To speak of Leather & Lace, we really have to go back to Guns & Smoke. For Christmas one year, Lauren gave me a set of inspiration dice. This was around the time that I started to believe I could be an author. We hadn’t yet decided to work on anything together. One ladies’ night, Lauren said “Let’s write a short story.” That was the beginning of Guns & Smoke, and the rest is history. Leather & Lace picks up three years after the cliffhanger ending of Guns & Smoke–where our young lovers (Bonnie & Jesse) have been torn apart by a murderous outlaw. When Jesse finally finds where Bonnie is, he has to infiltrate New Orleans high society to find a way to get her back. What I really love about this book is that we added two character perspectives in addition to Bonnie & Jesse: Will Ellis and Savannah Beauregard. Adding these characters was a challenge, but I really think it helped to make the story better.
Lauren: You know, a big part of Leather & Lace that is different from the first novel in the series is that they stay in one place throughout the book. So we get to see the hierarchy and societal ecosystem of the household in the novel. This was partially brought on from something my mom said after reading Guns & Smoke, that she really wanted them to stop running and see what it would be like living day to day in the world we created. So, a part of the structure of this novel was about exploring that. The day to day. The little details of living your life in this dark, tortured world we’d built. I love that about this book.
How do you create your characters?
Lauren: Ah, the age old question. Honestly, I think Bonnie came out of me as a fully formed person. She’s so different from myself in so many ways that it’s hard to pinpoint an inspiration. She’s broken, but so strong it’s unreal. With Will it was harder for me. I had to deconstruct a lot about him. On the surface he seems so carefree and lackadaisical but that’s just the tip of the iceberg with him. I was discovering things about him until the moment we hit ‘publish’. And there’s still so much more to discover. He’s guarded, even from me, and it’s the most fascinating process to pull back layers of him one at a time.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
Lauren: I think I’ve said this before but, I’m at heart a storyteller, my medium however has changed several times in my life. My stories are all really character driven, because it’s that human element I think people relate to. So it’s part psychology, but a big part of it comes from my days as an actor. Understanding the subtext in dialogue (much like an actor reading a play) has been incredibly beneficial in crafting realistic and root-worthy characters. And telling their stories in their own words, it was just too addictive not to obsess over. I think for me this started with fanfiction. Writing about characters that were overlooked in popular media and dissecting them made me realize I could tell stories of my own, from characters of my own design. It’s a bit of catharsis and self-expression and a bit sadistic joy at watching them overcome suffering I’ve put them through and come out stronger and more resilient by default.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
Abbie: I can write just about anywhere, but I prefer to write in an office setting. When I sit down at my desk, I am able to move into writer mode. I like to have coffee while I write, and I absolutely have to have music. In fact, I have a soundtrack for each of my projects.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Abbie: My ideas usually begin with a single scene. I take that scene and expand on it, figuring out the characters, the locations, and what I think would make for an interesting story. After all, novels are really just a string of scenes one into the next.
What do you like to read?
Abbie: I read just about everything, but I have to say that I’m partial to anything with a good romance plotline. It doesn’t have to be the main plot, but it definitely has to be there. Otherwise, I lose interest. I especially enjoy stories that fall into niche categories like Guns & Smoke and Leather & Lace, which are dystopian/western novels.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Lauren: I hate giving writing advice. Honestly. There’s so much of it already out there, and none of it is universal. My piece of advice would be that it’s good to listen to advice as an aspiring author, but at the end of the day you are the creator. So think of generalized writing advice like tools in a toolbox. Some of it will be useful to you and other opinions won’t be. Not every project, writing style, writing process, editing process, etc. is the same. So not all advice should be believed or adhered to on face value. Play around, change things, figure out what you like and go from there. Just don’t ever let the opinions of others make you feel as if you should stop. Writing is an artform and you have to find your own voice. Just because no one has ever written like you, or about the same things you do, doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. Art is at its core a self expression, so as long as you love it… someone else out there will too.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Lauren: Yes! I’m so incredibly proud of this book. In a lot of ways, I needed this book just as much as it needed me to write it. And I am so incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to build this world and this story with my best friend. Abbie is not only intelligent, caring, kind, funny, but also an endless source of support and encouragement. She makes this fun and surprising and gives so much of herself to these novels. It may seem silly to wax poetic, but I am really grateful to share these milestones with her. And yes, we still have girl’s nights, with or without wine but usually with a TON of book brainstorming involved. Filled with laughter, tears, crazy realizations and plot twists… and LOADS of snacks. It’s amazing to be seen and appreciated and celebrated by another person with the same interests. And I just love her to pieces!
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!
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION :
Lauren Sevier and A. Smith will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.