ABOUT PIPE DREAMS:
Abigail Stephens left her past behind or did she? When she moved to Blue Peak, she expected to find sanctuary and a new start. Instead, her new home includes a hippie, a ghost with a mission, and a sexy coffee house owner who undermines her plans.
Carlos Young quit teaching when his fiancée left him for another professor. He’s avoided dating, but his mother’s demand for grandchildren is unceasing and more attractive once he meets Abby.
She resists his overtures...for now. Can an intrusive mother, a reticent ghost, and a run-down house bring Abby and Carlos together or will they continue to live pipe dreams?
“So are you the new owner of this wreck?”
Her hands clenched, along with her jaw. “I’m the proud owner of what will soon be a lovely home.”He snorted. “You planning to have this in shape any time before winter? Because from where I’m standing, you’ll need more than a mop.”
Abigail’s ears heard echoes of Rich. “I have power tools, and I know how to use them. You have an issue with that?”
“No, I don’t have an issue. You’ve got work ahead of you. Just sayin’. I guess you’ll be hiring a crew for the big stuff, right?”
Abigail threw her shoulders back. This guy sounded exactly like Rich. Bossy. “I can handle it.” She’d already sub-contracted the larger jobs, but that wasn’t his business.
His mouth drew into a tight line, his hands fisted on his hips. “Sorry to bother you. I stopped because it looked like you might need a hand. Guess I misunderstood.”
Dropping his hands, Carlos turned to leave, looking back with a frown. “Good luck with this place. Come on, Henry, we’re not needed here.”
Henry paused, allowing her to ruffle his fur. He broke into a run, following the pissed-off man. An imp on her shoulder prodded her to call after him, “Bye, Henry. You can come visit anytime.” Sotto voce she added, “But leave your human home.”
The dog’s owner kept walking with his shoulders up around his chin.
“Men,” she huffed under her breath. “Just a bunch of know-it-all jackasses. And the good-looking ones are the worst.”
DONNELL: Ashantay, welcome. What an intriguing blurb and excerpt, and why are the good-looking ones the worst ;) I love that we’re in your heroine’s point of view and we see she’s comparing Carlos to Rich. I immediately felt sympathy for Abigail. These two are going to have their work cut out for them to get to the happily ever after. Conflict is hard for some writers. How about you?
ASHANTAY: Hmm. Okay, I’ll fess up. My first books were way too nice. Bo-ring, right? Then I learned to do nasty things to my characters for their own good. Ha! Now, late at night after putting my protagonists through the wringer, I rub my hands together and cackle.
DONNELL: Blue Peak. I take it this is fictional? Is this based in North Carolina? You live in such beautiful country. Is this where Blue Peak is based?
ASHANTAY: Good guess, Donnell. Blue Peak is a fictional town filled with quirky, down-to-earth folks, and based on a small town in my area. I live south of Asheville, North Carolina, not far from a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Appalachians aren’t as rugged as the Rockies, but are truly “purple mountain majesties” at dusk.
DONNELL: What is your favorite thing about writing? Do you love the first draft, the revision process, creating the characters…? Do you outline or plot?
ASHANTAY: I enjoy the whole writing process, though sometimes I’d like to throw my keyboard through the front window. You know, those times when nothing seems to work and the 30k words you’ve sweated out seem meant for the waste basket. Then I take a break and fewer words meet the delete key than expected. Do I outline? I’m one of those strange hybrids of pantser and plotter. I start with a general story line then allow the characters to flesh it out themselves. Ooh, yes, I hear voices. Insistent voices.
DONNELL: When you’re not writing, where will we find you?
ASHANTAY: In the garden. I love to play in the dirt. If I’m not there, you’ll find me volunteering at the local library or reading. Or eating. Eating is good.
DONNELL: What is the most interesting thing you have in your closet?
ASHANTAY: Hang on, I’ll have to look. Oof! Ouch! Clatter. Bang! Let’s see. I’ve got some cool shoes, a handmade pieced and painted silk tunic, and two etched cranberry glass vases that came to me from my mother. (Yes, I cheated and listed more than one thing.) (I am not ashamed.)
DONNELL: Who inspired you to write, and do you have a book you’ve read over and over again?
ASHANTAY: Gosh, that’s a difficult question. Agatha Christie was an early inspiration, along with Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew stories. I’ve read many--let me stress many--books more than once. Sometimes a girl just wants to curl up with an old friend.
I LOVE THAT, ASHANTAY. I REREAD BOOKS TOO FOR THE SAME REASON. READERS, ASHANTAY WILL BE ENTERING COMMENTERS IN A DRAWING TO WIN PIPE DREAMS. AND HOW ABOUT ANSWERING THIS QUESTION: DO YOU READ BOOKS MORE THAN ONCE?
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