Leather and Lace
Leather & Lace
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?
“Stop staring at me like that.” I shut the stall door and retrieved my cigarette case to still my twitching fingers. It was smeared with blood, my hands sticky as it dried in thick streaks over my knuckles and palms. If it weren’t for Jesse, I’d have gone back to my apartment. Taken a cold shower. Cold enough to make me feel something again.
I couldn’t stop staring at my hands. The crimson faded into dark rust, settled into the lines of my skin, like a system of rivers. Everything brought me back to the fucking river and the bridge across it.
“Let’s get you cleaned up.” His voice was gruff. I shook my head as he started toward the back house. Seb would be waiting up for me, with dark circles under his disappointment-laced eyes. Just the thought of him seeing me like this, the things he would say . . . my chest tightened uncomfortably. Until I couldn't breathe.
“I can’t—” I said, the words strangled from between my lips, tortured. Jesse seemed to understand, and he changed direction, leading me toward the kitchen instead. My feet were clumsier than they’d been earlier tonight, my exhaustion catching up with me all at once. Jesse glanced at me from the corner of his eye, brows furrowed in concern.
Not that I deserved it.
About the Author:
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!
Q&A With the Author
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Abbie: I think what I enjoyed most about writing this book was how the characters took the story and ran with it on their own. I felt as if I were just some sort of medium they used to tell their stories. I also really enjoyed getting to dive back into Bonnie and Jesse. With so much time between book one and two, we got to explore the changes they've gone through.
Lauren: I enjoyed getting to write it with my best friend. And also, this book was incredibly hard to write for me. I had to get into a pretty dark headspace for one of the characters, and ended up needing a ton of support as I wrote those chapters. It was heavy. It was personal. But the end result is something I’m so proud of. It literally takes my breath away. Abbie was amazing through all of it. Giving me space, listening to me as I worked through some of the harder moments, being respectful as I had to distance myself at times or needed to take breaks in-between. It made me realize how truly special our writing collaboration is. Not just in the industry, but as friends.
Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?
Abbie: Oh boy. So many. Our next project is the third book in The Fool's Adventure series, but we are also working on a dark fantasy romance series, with the first titled Lady of Nightmare and Sorrow. Individually, I am working on a couple of other projects: a paranormal romance set in a speakeasy in 1920s New Orleans, and a fantasy romance novel set in an Arthurian inspired world.
Lauren: What Abbie said! Lol! To add to that, I’m also working on the sequel to my first novel titled Songs of Winter, which is the second in a YA Fantasy series as well as a contemporary paranormal romance standalone (title to be determined) and muddling through the second book of our dark fantasy romance series titled Lady of Fortune and Storms. Honestly though, we have so many projects and series and books in the works it’s hard to know what to talk about next! But I will say, readers of this novel will not have any lack of content in the near future.
Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?
Abbie: Along with publishing books, Lauren and I have plans to open our own press where we not only publish our own books, but provide services to authors and eventually publish other authors' works.
Lauren: YES! I’m so excited to incorporate and get the press up and running. It’s going to be great! I already work as a developmental editor by contract through my website and am excited to open more services for indie and self-published authors. We both have such a love and joy of putting books out in the world and supporting indie authors, and I’m just really happy to be able to help in whatever way I can.
How long have you been writing?
Abbie: I can remember very clearly when I was about nine years old: my mom would bring home these steno notepads. I would spend hours writing stories in them. It's been about twenty-five years since then, and I don't have any plans to stop now.
Lauren: Ugh… I first learned to write as most children do… in kindergarten… LOL! No, but seriously, I remember very clearly one of the first stories I wrote was in middle school. I’d written things here and there before then, nothing seriously, but this particular time in my life stands out. I have a yearbook from middle school. A yearbook that only one person signed. A teacher. I was so alienated and picked on that not a single student asked to sign my yearbook. Out of hundreds of kids. I took this leather notebook my dad got me and would write in it in my freetime. At lunch, between classes, on breaks, because no one would speak to me. I came into the school halfway through the year and no one wanted to bother with the new kid.
I was actively bullied, and I remember the story was about a regular girl who lived in this beautiful enchanted forest growing up with fairies and mermaids and elves as her friends… until one day, a regular person was walking by and befriended her. She showed him all around the forest, half-bored because it was old hat to her at that point, and he was so amazed by her life. And it helped her to see the mundane things she’d taken for granted as special and unique. I remember reading this journal years later and crying thinking about that poor friendless girl who rarely if ever spoke out loud.
I also remember the first person to show me kindness, near the end of the school year. A really popular guy. On the football team, with tons of friends. He was beside me in the lunch line one day and he just asked me what I was writing all the time in my journal. I told him it was a book, and he listened patiently about all the plot points as I excitedly explained. And he told me how cool it was, that I had such a huge imagination, that I could persevere and keep writing it every day. He was genuine and honest and kind. It changed my life. My view of people. And most importantly, the way I viewed myself. We didn’t become best friends or anything, but we did become acquaintances and friends. I still see him and talk to him sometimes. And he has no idea just how impactful he was in my life.
So, middle school. When a well-liked kid told me that my writing was cool and he wanted to know what happened next.
Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Abbie: We hope that you enjoy Leather & Lace! Be sure to keep an eye out for the third installment of The Fools Adventure series in 2023!
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.