An interview with Lauren Sevier and A. Smith, authors of dystopian/western romance Guns and Smoke
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.
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.
* My Favorite Scene in This Book…
Abbie: My favorite scene in Guns & Smoke comes around the one-third mark. After Bonnie, Jesse, and The Kid suffer through near dying of thirst, starvation, and the heat of the desert, they’re granted a small reprieve in the town of Flagstaff. The momentary peace can only last so long as the bad guys start to close in. Sixgun attacks them, and they narrowly escape. While Jesse has been struggling with his feelings toward Bonnie, after seeing what Sixgun did to her on the train, the animosity and bitter attitude he’s had fade away. Instead, he realizes their journey is about to end, since they’re close to their destination. While still reeling from the events with Sixgun, Jesse finds himself opening up to Bonnie about the things he’s been through, and she shares more of herself. What I love the most about this scene is the tenderness between them. Instead of harping on hurt feelings and what the other person has done wrong, they’re able to come together and really see one another, when they weren’t able to before.
Lauren: This is also a favorite scene of mine, we call it the ‘after the train scene’ and reference it often in conversation. It’s this really beautiful moment between two people who are almost constantly at odds. Yes, there’s an initial attraction between the two, but beyond that they spend most of their time trying not to succumb to the elements or sniping at each other. This is the moment when, after surviving a brutal attack, they find themselves on the same side finally. In a quiet moment, Jesse asks Bonnie about herself and for the first time… she doesn’t feel the need to hide behind sarcasm or lashing out to deflect. Instead, these two broken people recognize the brokenness in each other and begin the process of healing. It’s beautiful and intimate in a way that almost can’t be explained. Because they’re each sharing something that they’d been afraid to even speak of before. Allowing the other person to see their wounds and know that they won’t be used against them. This is part of the heart of this story. Seeing two survivors band together not just against outside forces, but from the dark things threatening to destroy them from within.
About 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!
Find Lauren online:
Find Abbie online:
Lauren Sevier and A. Smith will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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