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Monday 23 January 2023

ℚ♫ Leather & Lace: The Fool's Adventure [2] - Lauren Sevier, Abbie Lynn Smith

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with authors to talk about Leather & Lace (, Lauren Sevier, 650 pages), a Dystopian Western Romance, book 2 in the The Fool's Adventure series.

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Authors Q&A || About the Authors || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Lauren Sevier and Abbie Lynn Smith, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Lauren and Lynn have shared with us their awesome music playlist for Leather & Lace - enjoy!
What was the inspiration for Leather & Lace?
Abbie: "Leather & Lace was inspired mainly by the old south. The Fool's Adventure series takes place over twenty years after a nuclear holocaust destroyed the world. When the power grids went down and civilization collapsed, the old west rose again.

While Guns & Smoke took place in many locations across the southwest, Leather & Lace is set in a New Orleans that is very reminiscent of southern belles, debutantes, and tea parties. We really wanted to capture how resilient the city of New Orleans is and how it always comes back from times of trouble or hardship. "
How much of yourselves is reflected in this book, and how?
"Abbie: In Leather & Lace, we added two perspective characters in addition to Bonnie & Jesse who were featured in Guns & Smoke.

Savannah Beauregard is very much a reflection of myself. She is caring and fierce. She protects the people she cares about while battling her own inner demons. Being able to see Savannah grow was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to explore that further in the next book.

In addition, we are both from southern Louisiana. We grew up visiting New Orleans. It's a city full of rich character and history, and we wanted to capture that in the world we've built in The Fool's Adventure series.

Lauren: I write the characters of Bonnie and Will Ellis, and an advanced reader literally reached out to ask if I was mentally okay… I hope there’s not much of me that I’ve written into them. LOL! No, seriously, I write some pretty damaged and broken characters with an incredible amount of fortitude and compassion.

There are big parts of them that are nothing like me, but a few things that are very similar. With Bonnie, in this book especially, her character is struggling with a traumatic event (no spoilers) that she blames herself for. I’ve been through the exact same experience, several times over unfortunately, and it was incredibly difficult to write about and at the same time quite cathartic.

Will is a character that I think everyone wants to root for, and part of the hope for his redemption comes into play with the fact that at one point he wanted to become a doctor or a medic and help people. With my background in healthcare that’s definitely something that bled into developing his character."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Leather & Lace - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Abbie: Our cover artist is Stefanie Saw of SeventhStar Art. When she showed us her work on Guns & Smoke, I immediately knew what I wanted for Leather & Lace.

This series of books takes place in a gritty, hard world. Given that Leather & Lace is set in New Orleans, we wanted to use the fleur-de-lis (a historical symbol of French royalty, but also adopted all over southern Louisiana due to French influence) as the centerpiece. We added some hints of lace to the cover to add in some of the softness of the romance genre."
Why should we read Leather & Lace and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
"Abbie: My most and least favorite thing about this series is the genre. Favorite because it is such a fun mashup of dystopian, western, and romance. It's my least favorite from a marketing standpoint because it is such a niche genre, but I really feel like we've done a really great job of mashing up the genres where we have a little bit of everything that a reader enjoys: action filled adventures, exploration of deep themes, and sizzling romance!

Lauren: Abbie said it best! This book and series is super unique because of the blend of genres. Think Rip Wheeler/Beth Dutton from Yellowstone meets The Hunger Games. It’s crazy how well the genres complement each other.

But I think the thing that most readers would agree make this book series worthwhile are the characters. We focus a lot on things when developing them that really seem to speak with readers. Specifically when it comes to mental health awareness.

We consider their attachment styles growing up, what traumas they’ve experienced, how they’re handling those things (whether in a healthy or unhealthy way), how they navigate the world we built that is made to constantly reinforce those traumas and work towards overcoming those shortcomings and do the work of healing. It’s the characters I think that really make this series shine and Abbie is AMAZING at really making sure we’re sensitive and consistent with several hard issues we tackle throughout the series.

(NOTE TO POTENTIAL READERS: Please check trigger warnings. Your mental health matters.)"
Can you tell us something quirky about Leather & Lace, its story and characters?
"Abbie: There are several Western influences throughout this series. Because it is a dystopian world with heavy western influences, we really leaned into using names reminiscent of the old west: Jesse James, Bonnie, The Kid, Will Ellis. But since it is a dystopian novel and not purely a western, we get to make fun of those historical references.

One of the more dystopian elements are the crater beasts--creatures that formed in the bomb sites left behind after the Culling. In Leather & Lace, we introduce one in particular that I think readers may want to see more of: Ponchartrain Patty."
Who would you recommend Leather & Lace to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Abbie: We would recommend this book to readers who enjoy action packed stories with heavy romantic elements.

It's hard to wrap this up into one or two sentences because there are so many things we feel appeal to different readers: antiheroes, bromances, snarky sidekicks, and bare knuckle brawls, all while characters are falling in love! BUT, If you’re a fan of the following you may want to check it out!
  • Yellowstone (Rip Wheeler/Beth Dutton Dynamic) 
  • John Wayne
  • Clint Eastwood 
  • The Hunger Games 
  • Divergent 
  • Maze Runner 
  • Westerns, Dystopians, or Romances in general 
We have included a list of trigger warnings within the novel which include graphic violence, language, sexual violence, infant/pregnancy loss, depictions of human trafficking, and substance use disorder."
If you could / wished to turn Leather & Lace and the The Fool's Adventure series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Abbie: I write for Jesse and Savannah. It took me a really long time to find an actor I thought was just right for Jesse, but I think Taylor John Smith (Where the Crawdads Sing) would be perfect. For Savannah, I've always imagined Jessica Lucas (The Resident, The Covenant).

Lauren: My answer isn’t as fun. I love that in this Darwinistic society that we’ve built, certain social constructs have crumbled since the main imperative of everyone at large is survival of the fittest. So things like, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity… People aren’t judged or really worried about those things at all.

There are no negatives about who’s in your bed or what you look like or want to be called. It’s all pretty fluid and quite frankly all anyone is worried about is surviving to the next day. So, therefore, almost all of our characters are bi-racial and diverse. Bonnie is half-Korean and I’d love to see a Korean actress play the part. Will is half-Latinx and again… I want to see someone get the part that would be culturally appropriate, super authentic, and give opportunities to diverse actors.

A boring answer probably, but a truthful one."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Abbie: I like to write about love. I like to write about love in historical periods, modern day, fantasy worlds, and dystopian wastelands. I like to explore how love changes and evolves when placed in different circumstances.

I'll read just about anything, but for me to truly enjoy it, it has to have romance.

Lauren: I like to push genre limits and blend genres. I’ve found I’m a bit rebellious that way. Anything straight forward seems a little too easy, I guess? Lol. Or maybe I just like to torture myself.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to find readers when you blend genres, but I’m hoping that as readers discover our books and series, they’ll come to love the unique twists our books offer on genres they already love.

Also, romance. I LOVE to have a love story included. Even if it’s just a sub-plot. "
What is your writing process?
"Abbie: Sit. Write. Repeat. No, but really, it can be hard at times, as I'm not one of those who "writes every day." I have mental health concerns and tend to put a lot of weight on myself. If I set an unrealistic goal like that, I'll only set myself up for failure.

I have two modes: writing on deadline (when you have to get it done) and writing when inspired (if a particular scene pops into my head, I'll take that and run with it).

Lauren: Sit at my computer and complain until Abbie kicks me in the butt and forces me to wrangle my chaotic musings into words… I’m literally a chaos gremlin and without Abbie I don’t know that I would have any other process than just… vomit incoherent thoughts onto the page. She really helps to keep me motivated and on task. All praise goes to her! "
What is in store next?
"Abbie: Book three in The Fool's Adventure series is expected to publish in 2023! Lauren and I have also planned multiple other series, including a dark fantasy romance that is scheduled to come out in the near future!

I also have a couple of paranormal romance series that I'm working on and hoping to have more info on soon.

Lauren: YES! Book #3 in The Fool’s Adventure series is going to be a real nail biter and readers discovering Leather & Lace are already chomping at the bit for it. It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN!

Abbie, as always, is able to put things so succinctly. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get the sequel to my YA Fantasy series out at some point, titled Songs of Winter. It’s been stuck in limbo between drafts for a while because I just haven’t had the time to complete re-writes, but I’d love to get it out into the world.

I’m also working on a Paranormal/Contemporary Romance standalone novel and have a Sci-Fi/Fairytale Retelling series in the works. But that’s all I can say for now, don’t want to spoil the fun *wink, wink*. "
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
Abbie: Y'all don't want to get me started on my pets! But, since you asked, I will.

I am very passionate about rescue animals. I have two pups: Klaus and Mama. Klaus is a three year old terrier mix, and Mama is a three year old pitbull mix. They are the sweetest babies, and I adore them!
Klaus and Mama
Lauren: Well, my family has a red Border Collie named Lily… though I’m just a glorified feeder living in her world on most days. She is definitely more my husband’s dog than anyone else’s. She adores him and glares at me anytime he dares to pay attention to me instead of her. LOL!

Seriously, crazy girlfriend eyes and everything, just ask Abbie. We originally got her as a therapy dog after my husband’s first hip replacement when he was 27, which worked wonderfully, and when he had his second hip replaced at 30 she really did wonders in helping him rehab. She’s also been trained by Urban Search and Rescue, and LOVES to chase squirrels, get pets, and is the sweetest most well-mannered dog I’ve ever seen. And Abbie gets to babysit anytime we go out of town.
Lauren & Lily
Wonderful pictures and stories; thank you for sharing them with us! (We have a huge soft-spot for animals over here ;-) )

It's been a pleasure having you here today; you've been brilliant. We hope you're enjoying the tour and look forward to reading Leather & Lace

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.

Leather & Lace
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Rita Wray said...

Sounds good, thank you.