Member of the Romance Writers of America

Tennessee Gunns

Southern Fiction.

Member of the Romance Writers of America.

The Tobacco Bar

A journey of faith, resilience, and love through the trials of life. 


The Tobacco Barn

To Pen a Novel


Pete's stories are considered southern fiction, with witty humor, tension, and romance. Geography is vital part of his novels. Expect tug of war battles or subplots to unfold, pointing to conflict and fun. North Carolina, Georgia, Utah, and South Carolina are the locations for the first three novels. Next, Pete's fourth novel, Left My Boots in California, is a cross-country country love story in search of a pair of cowboy boots and, of course, it's a about the complexities of a relationship. 

More revealed later on in the year. 

Find out more

Tennessee Gunns, American writer


The Tobacco Barn  - 

What's the novel about? 


 Define success. Mickey Starr’s achievements are numerous and yet a yearning for something more drives him to the brink of destruction. Friends and family vow to love Mickey through the turbulent and sordid trials of life. How far will a man go to keep his promise? 

The Tobacco Barn is an 79,100-words. 

Southern Fictional.

The anticipated release of The Tobacco Barn and Barringer will launch in 2019.  Follow the author on Twitter @Pete_Media for more details on novel release dates. 

Barringer, North Carolina



Gunns steps away from the coast to the foothills of  scenic North Carolina, to write his next novel, Barringer.  In a small southern town, Tipp Starr discovers life is full of challenges and love heats up on a Carolina horse farm. Tipp's journey to the Piedmont requires more than grit and charm. He  finds himself on his grandfather's horse farm, face to face with beautiful Jackie Baker. The novel does not disappoint, with unexpected misadventures as Mickey schedules a world class poker game that turns the tables for Tipp and Jackie. 

About the Books

Professional Book Review


The Tobacco Barn

Review of novel by 

Holland Webb. 

International Editor and Author.

South Carolina.

 Gunn's debut novel explores a man's relationship with his family, his friends, and his love in a way that is both intimate and masculine. Through distinctive characters like Mickey, Tipp, and Volt, readers find mirrors of their own yearnings, faults, and passions. Gunn's tale is one part southern roughneck, one part bawdy comedy, and one part tear-jerker, leaving his readers entertained, moved, and ultimately hopeful. Readers of Pat Conroy-esque fiction can find a new storyteller with the same sharp wit and earthly humor. 




The Tobacco Barn, classified as Southern Fiction, the novel is about the "Son of the South," Mickey Starr, a seafood tycoon who finds himself in a deep depression. In the fall of 1994, a promise Mickey intends to keep causes his to fund a barn instead of his long-standing company. The decision creates turmoil between his faithful grandson, Tipp, who tries to save the oldest fishing company in America from sinking. Meanwhile,  trusted friend Volt Hendricks, meets stunning Shasta and in helping them with their relationship, Mickey reminisces about his love life as a young man. The novel is an extraordinary journey of resilience, unfolding the power of self-realization and faith.


High West Lady

In High West Lady, Elina Gold, a marketing intern visits North Carolina on business, while covering a story she falls for the blue eyes and shape look of Terry Hendricks, who emerges as a world renown saddle maker. His southern charm captures her attention at a North Carolina horse show. With the prospect on the line for a large ranch contract, Terry goes west with Elina to the High Country of Utah. While the mountains are majestic, the realities of the relationship pulls on the heart strings of love, career, and family. 

The novel will be the third book in the series.

Coming soon. 

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Professional Review

 The Tobacco Barn is a double love story. As one man reminisces about his deceased wife, another man finds love in an unexpected place. The Tobacco Barn is a story of strength, friendships, and kept promises. This book has realistic language of young fishermen and the love scene is handled with a delicate balance of purity and passion.

Those who love southern romance will be thrilled with this story.  Tennessee Gunns has a way with words. I look forward to his next novel.

Cherrilynn Bisbano,

International Editor.

Rhode Island.

Literary Events

North Carolina Writer's Workshop 

April 13, 2019

Charlotte, NC

Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference 

May 19-23, 2019

 Asheville, NC

Romance Writers of America

July 24-27, 2019

New York City, NY 

Upcoming Novels

  • The Tobacco Barn
  • Barringer
  • High West Lady 
  • Left My Boots in California
  • Winter Seeds

Tennessee Gunns. Faith. Hope. Love.

Join our Tennessee Gunns fan club


Savannah, Georgia

When Mickey Starr has an internal battle of faith, he brings together friends that challenge his perspectives on life and business 

Anticipated publication...

Mickey's trip to the famous tobacco barn in Savannah, forces him to make decisions that change his life and through selflessness, he discovers his meaning through -- a promise.  

The action keeps you turning the pages

"Readers will enjoy a great story, one that touches their heart."

"The Tobacco Barn, has the feel of Sparks, coupled with the masculinity and camaraderie of Hemingway." 

This will be a series of books ...

Faith and romance meet at the end of Tobacco Road, where hope and a kept promise build lasting friendships for Mickey, Tipp, Volt, Shasta, and Terry in the heart of the Low Country.

The story takes place in Savannah...

 “Love was the first emotion experienced on earth, the most vital component of shaping who we are and what we can accomplish together,” says the author.


Q:  When can we expect the novel?   

A: If all goes well, it will be available in 2019. 

Q: Why the pen name Tennessee Gunns? 

A: The name was actually developed the main character in the first draft of the novel. Over the past two years in writing, Tennessee Gunns had such a strong ring and memorable impact, it was suggested as a pen name.  Which will be used alongside the author's real name inside the cover of the book.  Good question. 


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About the Author

Pete Lester didn't grew up loving books. He hated to read. He grew up with the desire to be an artist and like most college students do, he changed majors several times, while honing his writing skills. He holds a BA degree in Geography, MA in Theology, MA in Strategic Communication, and a PhD in Leadership.  Decades later,  at Liberty University, Pete 's inspired a profession enough to suggest a film be made of one of his stories. This idea pointed Pete into storytelling . His southern fiction novels unfold Carolina skylines, the scenic Georgia coast, Bluebonnets in Texas  and the High Country of Utah. To drive Highway 5 through scenic California is at the top his bucket list. Places he has visited make for the best locations to write about and include fictional stories that are real, with unforgettable  characters, and painting a picture with words for readers to enjoy. 

                                                                        What to expect inside a Tennessee Gunns novel? 

                                                                               Emotion. Friendships. Attraction. Faith. 

Learn More

At current, Pete Lester (pen name Tennessee Gunns) is writing his second novel,  Barringer, and then his third novel, High West Lady, is scheduled to start in the fall of this year.  

Great news for the author:  

In April of 2019, Pete's debut novel,  

The Tobacco Barn, was accepted by the

 Romance Writers of America,  located in Houston, Texas. 

Books under the name Tennessee Gunns 

will be published in 2019 and 2020.  Follow the series on social media sites for updates and conferences.

Find out more

Social Media Network


Tennesseee Gunns Media International 


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Upcoming Workshops

North Carolina Writers Workshop 

April 13, 2019

Romance Writers of America

Pete Lester pen name 

Tennessee Gunns

is a Member of Romance Writers of America,       based in Houston, TX.