Tennessee Gunns

Southern Fiction


February 2020, a novel,

The Tobacco Barn Reviews

Tennessee Gunns, the pen name for Pete Lester


While Pete's stories are considered southern fiction, they also contain a healthy dose of witty humor, and romance. The settings paint a picturesque visual and help bring the stories to life. Each character deliberately contributes to the intriguing and often unexpected plot development. 

The Tobacco Barn



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 his life. How far will a man go to keep his promise? The Tobacco Barn is a southern fiction novel that is one part romance, one part conflict, with a sprinkling of witty banter and comedic genius. 


Saddles of Barringer


Gilbert "Doc" Greenway, 50, and professional bull rider Ringo Bare, 21, set out an adventure from Texas to the Big Easy, where meeting up with family is not always welcoming. Doc loves to bet and Ringo discord to drink. The duo decides to setup a saddlery shop in an unknown town, Barringer, North Carolina, where a circle of new friends and foes find his hideaway. Ringo's past changes the course of his life when Mickey Starr steps in. with some news. A budding romance makes Ringo check his heart. The unexpected misadventures of Doc and Ringo will keep you laughing even though tensions are rising about a showdown  and everyone has money riding on it.    

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 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. 



High West Lady

Elaina Gold, a marketing intern, visits North Carolina during a business trip. and succumbs to the hypnotic blue eyes of Terry Hendricks, a renown car expert. His southern charm captures her attention and adventure lands them in the High Country of Utah. While the mountains are majestic, the realities of career and location strain the relationship of these two lovers. 

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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, 2019
  • Saddles of Barringer, 2020
  • When Geese Fly South, 2020
  • High West Lady, 2020
  • Left My Boots in California
  • Desirous 

Tennessee Gunns. Faith. Hope. Love.

The Tobacco barn, a novel, to be PUBLISHED in February 2020.



"Character, big or small, is built on try after try after try...."   

                              -  Tennessee Gunns


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About the Author


 Pete Lester didn't grow up loving books. In fact, as a kid he dreaded reading. It wasn't until later in his life that Pete discovered reading for pleasure. Now, he always has a book in hand, sometime's several at one time. Since developing a love for reading, Pete has also become passionate about telling a few stories of his own. He currently has four separate novels in the works with his debut novel, The Tobacco Barn, is recently signed with famed publisher Debra Funderburk. Pete initially honed his writing skills in grad school including his own published doctoral dissertation on leadership. Inspired by a professor's encouragement, Pete began the journey of writing novels with picturesque settings like Charleston, New Orleans, and the High country of Utah. Further, Pete's gift of developing memorable characters intertwined among emotional plots and intricate twists and turns are the creative genius that drives the development of each story including themes of friendship, attraction, emotional struggle, and faith. 



Learn More

Currently, Pete Lester (pen name Tennessee Gunns) is writing his second novel,  Saddles of Barringer, and a third novel, When Geese Fly South, and next, High West Lady, is slated for 2020.


Great news for the author:  In April of 2019, Pete's debut novel The Tobacco Barn, was accepted by the Romance Writers of America.


Social Media


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2019 Book Signing Event

December 14, 2019

Hickory Grove Library, 

Charlotte, North Carolina 

More book signings to be announced. in 2020.

Romance Writers of America

Tennessee Gunns

is a 

Member of Romance Writers of America, 

Houston, TX and New York City.

Member of the Hemingway Society. 


Dear Readers and Followers,

I am very personable, so feel free to write me and expect me to respondl. Have a blessed year. Please stay in touch. Buy a book and share a book.