Friday, July 30, 2021

Author Interview - It Happened on Thunder Road Susan Antony #YAFantasyRomance #Paranormal

- What is your “day” job if you are not a full time author?

I work in an IT department for a hospital by day. I’m a hip-shaker and writer by night, an artist whenever possible, and an Internet addict.

- If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

The Wind Cries Susan

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Finding the time to write while working a fulltime job.

- What is the best thing about being an author?

When my story is finished, and it goes into print.  I’m emotionally attached to all my characters and proud of them, so I love sharing their lives with others.

- Have you ever been star struck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it? 

I haven’t been that lucky. 

- What book changed your life?

We need to make the word“book” plural.  It would have to be The Twilight Series. I had been stuck on Bios, and Stephenie Meyer inspired me to read fiction again. 

- What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I loved THE OUTSIDERS, and other S.E. Hinton stories. I always enjoyed reading stories about troubled teens and outcasts. 

- What books are currently in your to be read pile?

CITY OF GIRLS by Elizabeth Gilbert. I also intend to read Jessica Anya Blau’s book MARY JANE.

- Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audio books?

I’m old skool. I always read print. 

- If you could live inside the world of a book or series which world would it be and why?

I wouldn’t want to be inside someone else’s story. I like the safety of being on the outside looking in. 

It Happened on Thunder Road
Susan Antony 

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Suspense, Paranormal Elements
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 04-24-21
ISBN:  1509235329
Number of pages: 292
Word Count:   72000
Cover Artist: Kim Mendoza

Tagline: Hang on, baby, for the ride of your life.

Book Description: 

When Emmy Russo returns to high school in Moncks Corner, South Carolina after summer break, she discovers some changes. First: Mom has a boyfriend. Second: the cute new student, Charlie Fields, is a Rockabilly greaser with a gang who obeys his every command. Third: attractive Keir Harper wants to be more than just her best friend. And fourth: a perplexed Emmy soon finds herself drawn to two extremely different boys. How do you choose between sweet and smoldering? 

Then tragedy strikes on desolate Thunder Road. Strange things start happening, with Emmy in the middle of it all. Intent on finding the truth, she must fight for her heart, her life, maybe even her soul. Because someone wants to possess all of Emmy. And they will be together, no matter what the cost. For eternity.

Amazon     BN       Bookbub      Target        Kobo

Excerpt 1


We faced each other for a beat or two. Then he placed his arm around my shoulder and took my hand in his, positioning his body a respectable distance away. We danced, slow and reserved at first, but as the singer’s wails intensified, so did Charlie’s moves. His hips swayed from side to side, and he inched closer to me, smidgen by smidgen, until his pelvis ground against my hipbones.

Our bodies melded, moving together in perfect synchronicity. Side to side. Back and forth. He moved his hand to my lower back and pulled me closer. I took in a quick, sharp breath. He

“You know, baby,” he murmured, “You and me have more than chemistry. We have fire. Not the easy kind of fire you can make from a box of matches, but the kind of fire you get when you rub two sticks together. I’m all yours if you want me.”

The world around me blurred as if I were watching it through thick lenses. I imagined Charlie’s lips against mine. I imagined him shirtless, propped above me, his triceps bulging as he slowly lowered his chest—mine rising toward his, beckoning him closer. He groaned a low animal-like sound. It drew me to him.

And I wanted him bad.

I wanted our bodies to burn in Hell together for all eternity.

What was happening? Had I lost my mind? I wasn’t ready. Was I?


Spasms of panic surged from my loins to the deepest recesses in my brain. In a sharp snap, the imaginary lenses cracked, and through the broken glass was a clear image of a boy with kind eyes and a halo of yellow hair.

Keir was my angel, and I was dancing with the devil. A devil who would betray his brother. A devil who would convince me to betray him as well.

I shuddered and pressed my free hand, fiercely against his shoulder. He clutched me tighter.

“Charlie, please. We can’t do this.”

“Why not?” he demanded.

I took in a long, ragged breath. “Because I don’t want to hurt Keir. He likes me.”

He forced a laugh and loosened his grip. My hand slipped from his, and he leaned toward me. His chin brushed against my cheek, and flesh bumps shimmied down my spine.

“That was the right answer, New Jersey,” he whispered in a throaty voice. “Welcome to the gang.”

About the Author:

Susan Antony, an aspiring Renaissance woman, never shies from a challenge. Not only does she have a degree in the Liberal Arts, she has a degree in Automotive Technology. She currently works in the IT department at a local Charleston hospital. Susan lives with her teenaged son and two behaviorally-challenged Cairn Terriers. To maintain her sanity, she cherishes her Friday evenings dancing the night away!






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Monday, July 26, 2021

Author Interview - Cold Queen by K Webster #DarkFantasyRomance #Fantasy #Romance #AuthorInterview

- What is your “day” job if you are not a full-time author?

This is my day job! I loveeee writing. It’s my favorite job I’ve ever had! 

- If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

What All Can I Manage Without Getting Up From My Recliner? (LOL)

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Marketing by far is the hardest thing. It’s a constant struggle and I feel like I’m always learning. 

- What is the best thing about being an author?

Getting to make up stories that other people not only want to read, but stories that touch their hearts in some way. 

- Have you ever been star-struck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it? 

Pepper Winters for sure. I just gushed when I met her one day at a book signing in Arkansas.

- What book changed your life?

All of them. Every book changes my life in some way. Books ARE my life. 

- What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I loved Baby-Sitters Club and anything by R.L. Stine. 

- What books are currently in your to-be-read pile?

Lots of MM books as they’re my favorite! 

- Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audiobooks?

I used to be strictly an ebook reader, but recently I’ve found a love for audiobooks. I enjoy paperbacks if it’s a writing craft book that I can highlight and mark up.

- If you could live inside the world of a book or series which world would it be and why?

All for the Game series by Nora Sakovic. I love this series and all the characters in it. I’d love to go to a Foxes exy game! 

Cold Queen
K Webster

Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance
Publisher: K Webster
Date of Publication: October 29th, 2019
ISBN: 1703117751
Number of pages: 201
Word Count: 43k
Cover Artist: All by Design

Tagline: Is your heart frozen, cruel one?

Book Description:

From USA Today Bestselling Author K Webster, comes a dark, fantasy romance standalone novel!

In a cold, empty castle, a young queen is dying.
Weak. Fragile. Disgraced.
But Queen Whitestone is not alone in her final days.
She has her beloved sister.

Until a wicked king rides onto her land.
Arrogant. Insufferable. Demanding.
King Bloodsun has come with an offer…peace in trade for a bride.
He wants the princess.

The fiery king won’t take no for an answer.
He vows to keep the cold queen captive until she gives in to his demands.

A queen bows for no one, though.
Not even when she’s frail and fading away.
She’ll tap into her strength, protecting the only family she has left.

The king is about to learn why they call her the cruel one…

Amazon     Amazon International     BN     Apple

KOBO      Eden Books      Signed Paperback

Spicy Excerpt:

“Shhh, my lover,” he whispers against the place that aches for him. “I want to make you scream.”

The burn of his finger as it reaches into my depths has hot tears rolling down my temples.

Despite the pain he’s causing, he’s not doing it cruelly. I soon learn his probing has purpose. Within me, he finds a place that seems to throb for his touch. When he presses against it, I lose all sense of reality. I jolt off the bed, let out a scream of pleasure, and spin in the dark fog of ecstasy. It isn’t until I hear him chuckling that I come to. I blink open my eyes to see that his hair is dusted in snow and the entire room glows light blue. The fire has been snuffed out of the fireplace.

“Don’t go anywhere,” he says, sliding his finger from within me and giving me a playful wink that has my womb clenching with need.

Instead of replying to his remark, knowing I’m not going anywhere until he allows it, I track him as he makes his way over to the fireplace. Both of his hands glow orange-red and he kneels at the hearth. A hot flash bursts through the room as he ignites the fire again. Then, he stands and begins shedding his clothes. I can’t help but drink in his perfect form.

Broad shoulders. Muscular chest. Strong arms.

He pushes his trousers down and his cock bobs out eagerly. I’m fixated on it. I’ve never seen one up close. Sure, I’ve seen the Eyes of the White men pissing outside before, but never have I seen one that looks like this. It bounces as he prowls my way, a bead of wetness glistening from the tip. His balls hang heavy beneath his impressive length.

“What, snowflake?” he teases as he crawls onto the bed. “Would you like to take a closer look?”

He knows me better than I know myself.

Rather than denying it, I simply nod. His eyes widen a fraction before he straddles my naked body with his powerful thighs. Slowly, he makes his way up the bed until he’s practically sitting on my breasts. He grabs his cock with one of his strong hands and leans forward. His other hand clutches my bound ones, his thumb caressing me gently.

“Care for a taste, Cold Queen?”

I lick my lips. “Don’t tease.”

He arches a brow and chuckles. “As you wish.”

The tip of his cock is brought to my lips and he runs it back and forth along my bottom one. I dart out my tongue and seek out the wetness to see what he tastes like. Salty and masculine. My tongue circles the soft crown of his cock, eager to learn more of him. He groans in a way that makes me ache for him. I don’t understand his power over me, but I’d gladly yield to him over and over again. I crave to be at his will. Desperate to taste more of him, I wrap my lips around him, loving the hiss that escapes him.

“You’ve earned the title of Punisher,” he growls. “You’ll tease me to madness, my queen.”

My queen.

I run my tongue along the underside of his length, craving to make him weak for me despite me being the one bound and beneath him. He allows me to taste him a moment longer before he jerks away from me.

Pure fury contorts his handsome face.

Did I do something wrong?

A chill races down my spine as he slowly slides back down the bed, his angry eyes never leaving mine.

“What did I do wrong?” I demand in a whisper.

The fierce look softens. “Absolutely nothing.”

“What then?”

He wrenches my thighs apart. “You were about to finish things early and I’d like to be deep inside you when that happens.”

My erratic heart slows at his words. I didn’t do anything wrong because I did it exactly right. Pride has confidence returning as he settles between my legs. I dig my heels into his back, urging him closer to me. His hot cock slides through the fine hair of my sex, teasing me.

“Will you do this with my sister once you’ve had your fill?” I mutter, trying and failing to keep the hurt from my voice.

Instead of answering me, he leans forward to take my mouth with his. I taste the muskiness of myself. I’m curious and distracted from what he’s doing down south until his thickness is pushing into me brutally. A loud sob rips from me as he drives deep inside. The singe of hair can be smelled as he releases me from my bindings. His fingers dive into my hair and he doesn’t move an inch.

“Look at me, my beautiful, sweet queen,” he commands, his voice gruff.

I blink away tears and find his intense, amber stare. My bottom lip wobbles and he presses a soft kiss to it.

“Hear me and hear me well.” His brows furrow as he regards me. “I only want you.”

My heart flutters in my chest. “This hurts, Ryke.”

“I’ve taken your innocence, snowflake. It’s a brutal matter. But soon, your body will adjust to mine. You’ll realize we fit together perfectly.” His lips urge mine to part and he kisses me deeply, his tongue sliding against mine in a gentle way. “The ache will fade and the fire will ignite. Burn with me, my queen.”

He distracts me with another kiss as he slides out of me. Then, with another hard thrust of his hips, he drives back into me. I moan against his mouth. The pain is contorting into an unusual sense of pleasure. Even though he hurts me, I like being impaled by him. I’ve never been this close to another person. It’s surreal. Bordering on magical. I fear I might wake from a dream at any moment and this entire encounter with Ryke will have been a dream.

Then I’d be back to the lonely cold.

Sad and fading.

A dying queen.

About the Author:

K Webster is a USA Today Bestselling author.  Her titles have claimed many bestseller tags in numerous categories, are translated in multiple languages, and have been adapted into audiobooks.  She lives in “Tornado Alley” with her husband, two children, and her baby dog named Blue. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and researching aliens.




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Thursday, July 22, 2021

E.C Hinrichs Talks About Energy Vampires #PNR #EnergyVampires

I get the question about energy vampires often. Vampires are a tried-and-true villain troupe that changes all the time. I think the primal fear of something that is strictly yours being taken away and eaten is something that has haunted mankind for ages. Vampires went from being the most feared creatures bathing blood to misunderstood romantic interests.

How did this happen? Look at two hundred years ago. It was a chilling thought that something could take your life without your permission or control. It was if yielding to the seduction of blood letting was a flaw of character. Giving in presented the moralist dilemma of throwing away something that was given to you by God. 

It was horrific. In the same sense, there was a hidden gothic delight of surrendering to release. I believe that as people started empathizing with one another and society grew closer, that our perception of villainy changed. Over a millennia ago small villages banded together to fend off warlords or raiders. There we find the us versus them mentality. Understanding the enemy was not on the menu. Time marched on and society grew closer to one another and understanding a person became more acceptable to do.

So how do energy vampires figure into this? Ultimately, it comes down to lifeforce and therefore energy. Blood was valued as life and now the idea of power and energy being taken is the new horror. I like to compare it to people and their cell phone. We completely lose it when our phones are dying. How many times have you met someone trying to hunt for a phone charger because their phone is on 1%? Right now, not being connected or in the loop is straight up horrifying to people and they straight up lose their minds. I’ve seen people have a full-blown meltdown.

The idea of horror changes with each generation. Over the last decade I’ve noticed an up tick of horror movies surrounding technology. So now things have changed. Where we once valued blood now, we value energy. I always thought it was interesting to apply vampirism to modern issues. 

We all have people in our lives who are draining to be around. You get finished with them and you are down for the count. You just want to stream some hulu, eat some snacks and decompress. So, what if you couldn’t say no? Would there be anything left of you? What if they took any and all your identity of self? I think that would be the most horrific thing one could do to do taking the parts of your that make you, you. 

With that being said, I say fight those vampires, set healthy boundaries and always remember to take care of yourself. 

There Will Be Blood
Trinity Smith 
Book One
E.C Hinrichs

Genre: Supernatural thriller, paranormal romance
Publisher: Beyond the Fray publishing 
Date of Publication: June 2021
ISBN 13: 9781954528079
Number of pages: 258
Word Count: 72,602
Cover Artist:  L. Douglas Hogan 

Tagline: A riveting and seductive novel…

Book Description:  

Evil threatens the world, but a secret organization stands united to stop it. 

Trinity Smith, a sentinel agent for H.A.L.O, protects the world from energy vampires. 

She may have met her match in her next target, Frank Tennorman, a self-described reverend with a high body count. Distracted by juggling her work and personal life, Trinity must take Frank down before she becomes caught in his crosshairs. 

The only thing certain in Trinity’s future is there will be blood.



I looked down at my Batman vintage watch that was always 3 minutes behind and
noticed that the middle man was late- again. His name was Phipps. No one knew where he came from or why he chose to watch over people or deliver these “S.O.S messages” to people like me. Despite what I had said to Damon, I knew I couldn’t quit. Well, quit that easily. Maybe start slowly- I requested that my next assignment be kept quiet and make everyone think that I had quit. Would that even work? No, maybe not. All I wanted to do was find my journal and write it out but I hadn’t been able to find the darn thing for a few days. I tried to forget about it and turned my attention to the agent I was going to see. He could keep my quitting a secret, right?

And who was the most quiet in all of our underground society? Phipps. No last name that I know of. They said he was a seer. They said that his superpower was to see issues a head of time and to bring the news to the chosen. I always hated being called that, almost as if we are permanently marked away from society. Good bye normal life. I flicked my cigarette as if to spite that cosmos that cursed me with this bloodied affliction.

“Curses… why do you always refer to everything as curses?” Phipps appeared behind me and startled my calm and cool fa├žade. He crossed his long tan arms theatrically as the wind bustled through his silver hair. “It must be the Hungarian blood in you.” I glanced back at him gathering the last reminisces of my calm and cool and gazed into the clear blue of his eyes.

“Of course a German would say that,” I scoffed while I turned fully to face him. “And for God sakes.” I shouted. “Would you make some noise? Or at the very least put a fucking bell around your neck.” He sported a smirk that proved to him that yes- he had indeed gotten under my skin. A thing I knew he had to relish. “So, what’s the story, morning glory?”

“His name is Frank Tennorman. He is 41 years old and he is a sucker.” Phipps started to pace around me; another theatrical trait he indulged himself in. “He moves in younger circles, and singles out the most impressionable. Then he enchants them into believing in him and his “healing” ability. After which he starts to feed off of their energy until they are of no more use to him. Then he discards them when there is nothing left to take. He prefers to feed on the addicted, the mentally unstable and children. Think of it, as his own personal all you can eat buffet.”

“Is he aware that he is doing it?”

“That is questionable, but given his age and the number of offenses it is highly likely.”

“Number of offenses? So, this is defiantly not his first time.”

“Yes,” he said with a thoughtful pause. “He has… a history.”

“So, why didn’t you send one of us before?” His smirk dropped and the icy seriousness of the situation draped his eyes making his face look like the mask of death. Something told me that here was something different about this assignment. Something dangerous- why else send the one with the savior complex?

“We did, and they couldn’t handle it.” I looked up into his face with questioning gaze.

“If they couldn’t handle it why not sic a Reaper on him and end the problem altogether?”

I saw him shift uncomfortably.

“It’s not that simple,” his eyebrows gathered together. “We can’t just sic a Reaper on him. If we do that the Reaper turns into a Sucker and then we have a Reaper-Sucker on our hands.” I hated it when he made sense. He sensed my caving, “And would you want an assassin who can suck life out of people on the loose?”

“No, I guess not.” I chewed on the thoughts that were spinning through my head.Why would you not dispose of someone so dangerous? Why not find some ‘natural’ accident for them to get into? Reapers are the psychic assassins of H.A.L.O. I have only seen them have to kill 7 times and in their rose-scented attack, they were their scariest. I could never figure out why the smell of roses accompanied a Reaper’s attack but it did. Lord knows Reapers aren’t very dependable but the Impressers are. They could make him get into a habit that could kill him. “Okay, why couldn’t you get an Impresser to take care of him?”

“Your assignment isn’t changing.” He said with a forceful glare. “Your assignment
remains the same: infiltrate, watch and end the Sucker’s damage.” He said with a gilded eye roll.

“End it? End it so he can try to torture people in a physical sense? C’mon Phipps.” He shook his head and I could tell he didn’t feel like talking about this anymore.

“Do you still take pictures and write?” He said attempting not to answer.

“Okay, now I’m scared… what are you intending on doing with me?” His eyes sparkled
with a good humored delight.

About the Author:

E.C Hinrichs born in Canada and moved to the United States. She spent most of her college career writing and studying literature. After her college, she spent her time working in different careers before settling into human services. She has spent the last seven years working with children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

E.C Hinrichs spends her free time reading Tudor history, paranormal nonfiction and fiction.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Author Advice with Chad Musick #LitFic #OwnVoices #AuthorAdvice

In marketing Not My Ruckus, I’ve come across quite a few readers who have disagreed with me about what type of book it is. At first, this was distressing to me. Why can’t they see what I’ve written?

I’ve switched to embracing their ideas as ways to get the book seen by new audiences. It’s not a paranormal book in the traditional sense, but it’s about a girl haunted by the past. She hears ghosts at night. She dresses as a witch. She visits the graveyard on a regular basis.

These little things didn’t seem like much to me when I was writing the story. They’re just how Clare experiences the world, and because we see the world through her eyes, that’s how we experience it, too. 

Along the same lines, I hadn’t thought I was writing a romance, but many readers have connected with it in that way.

Where people see magic, there’s probably magic. Even as the author, who am I to disagree?

Early readers will tell you what book they read, and I’ve learned it’s best to listen, then sharpen those aspects of the writing.

Not My Ruckus
Chad Musick

Genre: Literary
Publisher: Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
Date of Publication:  16 February 2021
ISBN: 978-1-953971-00-5
Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 86,000
Cover Artist: Nada Backovic

Tagline: Clare knows only bad girls shoot people and set fires. But being good won’t save her best friend.

Book Description:

Folks know 14-year-old Clare isn't normal, even for a tomboy. She runs too much, talks too little, carries a gun too often, and holds a grudge forever. Only her papa's job at the bank keeps gossip quiet. It's unwise to risk the cold anger of the man who knows everyone's secrets.

Clare feels prepared for everything from fire, to flood, to what her momma calls demon attacks. When her neighbor Esther kisses her, though, Clare has no ready script. Maybe she could write one, given time she doesn't have. At the moment of that first kiss, Esther's mom is bleeding out from a gunshot wound.

Clare can read the signs everyone else is determined to ignore. A murder was only the beginning. Esther needs protection, whether she wants it or not, and Clare won't abandon her friend just because things are hard.

Maybe one day she'll be forgiven for doing what's needed.

Amazon     Bookshop     Audible


Esther kissed me once for free, when we were both just girls. We were sitting watching the Rangers play baseball—not the Olympics, because it was the summer of 1980 and Carter was choosing to hide in a boycott rather than fight the communists who were running it—and Gunnar went to the fridge to get a fresh bottle of beer.

“Daddy,” Esther called, “can we have some sandwiches?”

He grunted back, and we heard his breathing punctuated by the clatter of the silverware drawer and the rattle of the jam jar.

Esther swayed back and forth, making fun of how Gunnar had staggered as he walked to the kitchen.

“Usually I get his beers, or mom does, but you’re company.” She winked at me.

I wasn’t allowed at Esther’s house often, even though we should have been best friends all along. We were both 14, we lived across the street from each other, and we would go to high school together the next year, just like we’d always gone to school together. But her family wasn’t our kind of people.

On the day Esther kissed me, though, momma’d had a vision of her and Esther’s mom going shopping together.

When momma had a vision, you didn’t stand in the way, and so she had dropped me off and taken Esther’s mom in the big car to go shopping.

Gunnar came back with a paper plate of peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches for us, and a pair of beers for himself. He eased back down into his lounger with the creak of springs and scritch of leather on denim, and opened a beer. He let it dangle from his fingers, and it wasn’t long before he was snoring.

Esther crept up on him and eased the bottle from him.

She held it out, for me to drink. This was one of the reasons they weren’t our kind of people, and I shook my head no at her.

“I’ll scream,” she whispered, and held it out again. “It’s gross. He’s already drank off it.”

Esther pushed her finger into the neck of the bottle and wiped it, just a little pop of sound when her finger came out, then wiped the outside of the top. She made me take the bottle.

I drank some, of course I did. Not much, just a swallow, so she wouldn’t scream, and then I gave it back to her.

She finished the bottle, and then laid it down beneath Gunnar’s fingertips. There hadn’t been much left anyway, I told myself.

We sat on the floor in the Texas summer heat and leaned our backs against the new couch. The plastic on the seats got sticky and uncomfortable when the sun shone on it, but the unglazed terra cotta floor was cool, and her hand was warm when she put it in mine.

She was swaying again, and when she swayed my way, her head rested on my shoulder and stayed there.

“Esther,” I told her. She looked up.

“We’re best friends now.” She nodded.

Good. It was good to have a friend. Even if next year she didn’t join me in softball and running and volleyball and all the other sports I’d been denied in junior high because there were only intramurals, I’d still have a friend. Frank didn’t let me play with him anymore, because he was older and it wasn’t “cool” to have your little sister around, especially if she was better at baseball than you. He could get the bat on the ball sometimes, smash it high in the air with the powerful arms that he’d once used to hoist me on his wide shoulders, but he lacked control. Just about every hit was a foul or a pop fly. Even when he hit it well, he was never ready to run.

I’ve always been ready to run.

Esther didn’t care about baseball, even if she’d watch it on the tv with me. At school, I’d used to watch her when she double- dutched with the other girls, who called me boy like it was a curse word and stopped their ropes when I came around.

“I have a secret,” she said, without lifting her head. “I want to tell it to you.”

About the Author: 

Chad Musick grew up in Utah, California, Washington, Texas, and (most of all) Alaska. He fell in love in California and then moved with his family to Japan, where he's found happiness. He earned a PhD in Mathematical Science but loves art and science equally.

Despite a tendency for electronic devices to burst into flame after Chad handles them, he persists in working in various technical and technology-related roles. 

Chad makes no secret of being epileptic, autistic, and arthritic, facts that inform how he approaches both science and the arts.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Top Ten Favorite Dystopian Couples with Lauren Sevier and A. Smith #Dystopian #WesternRomance

Top Ten Favorite Dystopian Couples


As Guns & Smoke is a Dystopian/Western Romance novel, we thought it would be fun to come up with a list of our top ten favorite Dystopian couples.


1.    Tris Prior & Tobias “Four” Eaton from Divergent.

-Anytime I think of my favorite Dystopian stories, Divergent is one of the first that comes to mind. The romance between Tris and Four isn’t apparent in the beginning of the story. I love that it is a story that builds slowly with time. I also love that they don’t realize just how much they have in common until much later. I feel like they really got to know each other as they were in Dauntless, before realizing that their histories intertwined so much.

2.    Katniss Everdeen & Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games:

-In the beginning of The Hunger Games, I struggled with the love triangle. I wasn’t sure who I would have preferred Katniss to end up with. Then, in Catching Fire, Peeta stole my heart with “...but the baby” and I was done. What I love so much about Peeta and Katniss is that they learned to love each other despite their flaws. Two seemingly different people from different parts of town that are thrust into an arena to fight for the death, only to find that they can come together to break down the system? Yes. Absolutely. Still hate the mind jacking they did on Peeta!

3.    Clarke Griffin & Bellamy Blake from The 100:

-Well, my son’s name is Bellamy if that’s any indication of how much I love this couple. LOL! Actually, he wasn’t named for the character in this book series but, it’s a pretty great segue into all the reasons I really loved this couple. I loved how much they complemented each other, and regardless of all the things they had to overcome, or morals they had to bend… they stood by each other. In the end I’m really happy they got their HEA in the book series, I was so disappointed that it never happened in the TV Series!

4.    June Iparis & Daniel "Day" Altan Wing from Legend:

-I have so many thoughts on this couple. They go from enemies to lovers in book one, to uncomfortable allies with a sizzling attraction in book two, then in book three… it’s heartbreaking. To see how broken and battered they both were, how sick Day was, literally dying, and by the end of book three… God! It was so bittersweet my heart was left aching after reading this trilogy. The epilogue did a really good job of leaving it open-ended enough, with a happily-for-now that I really believed they would find a way to each other again. Marie Lu wrote a fourth book called Rebel in which June didn’t get a perspective (which… I mean… I get it. It wasn’t June & Day’s book but still…) I wrote about it on my Goodreads, how I really only read the fourth one to see if June and Day got their HEA finally, and they did… but without June’s perspective it fell really flat. So I was pretty disappointed. I kind of wish I’d left it off at the trilogy, because their romance was beautiful. 

5.    Cassia Reyes & Ky Markham from Matched:

-When I first read Matched, I remember how in love I was with this series. It was such a surprise to me. I always wished that this series would have gotten more popular. The thing I like the most is an unexpected love story. One that even surprises the main character. This is definitely what happens with Cassia and Ky! I love that once they realize the spark is between them, they go to whatever lengths possible to get back to one another.

6.    Lilac LaRoux & Tarver Merendsen from These Broken Stars:

-Ah! This book has not gotten the acclaim that it deserves. It beautifully melds a futuristic, world-hopping adventure into a Dystopian world. Seeing these two characters from two different classes literally forced to survive on a hostile and strange deserted planet together screamed Robinson Family Crusoe in space to me. The black moment in this book had me in literal tears. They didn’t deserve it. Not one bit. I’ve shamelessly re-read this book at least twelve times.

7.    Thomas & Teresa from The Maze Runner:

-Do they love each other? Do they hate each other? Are the motivations real or are they using each other? These two characters from The Maze Runner series really had my head wound up. I could never quite figure them out, but amidst the backdrop of the intense, action-packed plotline and dire stakes… it kept me reeling for more from them. Definitely a good dystopian couple if I ever saw one.

8.    America Singer & Prince Maxon from The Selection:

-This was another Dystopian story that I wasn’t sure where the main character would end up. I genuinely thought America would end up with her childhood best friend, but I was incredibly surprised by the fake dating to surprise lovers trope. I had never really liked it before reading this. Maxon is just such a good hearted person, and I think he knew from the start that he was lost to America.

9.    Mare Barrow & Tiberias "Cal" Calore VII from Red Queen:

-I have some feelings about this one. Namely, that this pair didn’t get a Happily Ever After in War Storm. It was obvious from the first time Mare and Cal met (before the arena) that they were completely into each other. They had amazing chemistry, as evidenced by their private meetings in Red Queen all of the way through War Storm. I love Cal because he was one of those good hearted guys that genuinely thought the best of people, only to have it come back on him. They deserved a HEA!

10. Bonnie & Jesse James from Guns & Smoke:

-Ah! My favorite dystopian couple of all time! Bonnie and Jesse are two broken, grieving people desperately trying to survive in a harsh and unyielding world. Where any slip up no matter how small can see you stripped of your freedom or your life. I think what’s really beautiful about their romance is that it’s intimate before it’s ever really physical. It’s about the little moments of earning trust, confiding in one another, standing up for each other. It’s about how they edge toward each other and make each other feel safe in a world that is categorically unsafe all the time. It’s heart-pounding, awe-inspiring, and healing in all the ways that feel real and necessary in a relationship. I can’t wait for the world to indulge in their romance and hopefully they’ll be wanting more after book one… because there’s a lot more to come!


Guns and Smoke
The Fool’s Adventure Series 
Book One
Lauren Sevier and A. Smith

Genre: Dystopian/Western Romance
Publisher: Lauren Sevier
Date of Publication: July 10, 2021
ISBN: 978-1734402346
Number of pages: 364
Word Count: 134,000
Cover 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.

Book Trailer: 

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Excerpt #1

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.


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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