Ashantay Peters and Death Stretch

DSC_6704Today, I welcome debut author Ashantay Peters to the Tearoom. Ashantay, tell us about you and your book.

I’ve been creating stories since my first set of paper dolls.  Poor dolls.  They often suffered sad fates like car accidents and fatal diseases.  Guess I had an instinctive knowledge that torturing characters is a good thing.  Then I attended school and learned to be nice.  Sometimes I wonder how many stories I lost due to my grade school teachers.

The idea for Death Stretch came from my friend and critique partner, Robin Weaver.  She was describing her first yoga lesson, which reminded me of my many failed experiments with the exercise.  We brainstormed about whether the class should be killed off or just one person.  Sweet, huh?  I truly hope no one taped our phone conversation.

I love that your story was based on a yoga class discussion! How did you get the call for Death Stretch?

Three full-length manuscripts are hiding among the dust bunnies under my bed, along with a few short stories.  Death Stretch was my first attempt at writing a mystery/suspense, but I’ve been reading the genre since my first Nancy Drew.  Luckily, The Wild Rose Press offered a contract after I pitched Rhonda Penders at a Carolina Romance Writers meeting.  If you aren’t in a writer’s group – find one and join. The support is invaluable.

What other advice do you have for us not-yet published authors?

Besides reading and using the book Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, have fun with your craft.  Death Stretch came about because I hadn’t succeeded with contemporary romance.  Switching genres with no expectation other than having fun helped me find my voice.  So above all, enjoy what you write.

What’s next? Is this a series? Tell us what your new readers can expect.

0Death Stretch will be free on Amazon September 10-14.  I hope you download and enjoy the read!  I also have a shorter Christmas story releasing this year – Death Under the Mistletoe.  The next book in what I’ve mentally dubbed the Granville Falls Mysteries is Death Rub, featuring a massage therapist.  That’s in the final first draft stages.

As this is a tearoom, what kind of tea do you prefer?

Herbal!  I love Egyptian Licorice and Peach Detox – both Yogi brands.  Oh, and Twining’s Lady Grey.  Bergamot – yum.

Finally, we ask this of all our guests: what five books are your all time favorite or what books would you grab if the house were on fire.

Seriously?  Only five?  Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility for sure.  Jane Austen rocks!  After that, I’d grab my laptop, put my I-Mac under my arm and head for the door/window.

Here’s an excerpt from Death Stretch:

I watched him inhale, like he held in a rant. Shame on me, but pissing off the man held a certain appeal.

He inhaled through his nose, his gaze lifted for divine inspiration, or perhaps patience. “Break-ins are common these days, so maybe you should use the lock.

“How do you know I don’t?”

“The lock didn’t tumble before you opened your door.”

“Oh.” It’s hard to be sarcastic to a guy whose job is to “protect and serve.” Speaking of serve, those lips could offer… no, I wouldn’t go there.

“So, Detective Johnson, what does bring you by?”

“I have a few more questions. Mind if I come in?”

My brain stopped at the word come. Silly, but have I mentioned it’s been awhile since I’ve dated?

He grabbed my arm. “Ms. Sheridan? Katie?”

The sizzle of his touch jolted me back to life. “Um, sure. Sorry, I haven’t cleaned yet today.” Or last week, but who’s keeping count? And why apologize?

I closed the woman’s magazine I’d left open to an article on Giving Good Head and shoved it under a pile of papers, hoping Detective Johnson hadn’t noticed my reading preference. His smirk suggested he probably had.

My attention shifted into hostess mode. I might be a slut wanna-be, but my Mama raised me right.

“Something to drink? I have iced tea, bottled water, Pepsi.” I stopped before adding “wine and beer.”

The smirk disappeared and his jaw tightened. “All I want are answers.”

Ashantay, thank you for joining us today. If you’re interested in finding out more about Death Stretch and Ashantay, check out her website.  You can purchase her book at Amazon.

0Death Stretch by Ashantay Peters

She’s leery of overprotective men—he’s sworn to protect and serve.

When Katie Sheridan’s best friend is blackmailed over an affair with a yoga instructor, Katie stuffs herself into workout togs to help identify suspects. Instead of getting fit, she learns yoga can be a killer when the instructor winds up dead. Worse, Katie is a suspect, and finds herself tangling with the sexy, commanding cop investigating the case.

Detective Dirk Johnson knows getting involved with a material witness—especially one as reckless as Katie—means trouble, but his heart and protective instincts aren’t logical. More than once, she rescues herself just before he arrives to save the day. Dirk’s not sure he can keep up with her, but he’ll go down trying.

Blackmail, murder, and adultery teach Katie and Dirk that love obeys its own laws. With passion as the final reward, they find fighting temptation is highly overrated.

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18 thoughts on “Ashantay Peters and Death Stretch

  1. Amy, thanks for having me as a guest on Teatime Romance! I’m excited to visit and to meet your readers.

    Today I’m traveling to the Writer’s Police Academy. I’m hoping I’ll learn more about killing people and nabbing villains. Grin. I’ll check back for comments, though I ask for patience on replies.

    Have a romantic day! If you don’t have romance, write it. :>)

  2. I love that you connect your story-telling to paper dolls. I still cite the sweeping epics I played out with my stuffed animals as a child as the first sign my parents should have had that they were raising a writer.

  3. Yay debut! So many congratulations, Ashantay. We’re so happy to have you in the Tearoom. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I have manuscripts gathering dusty bunnies just like you (but shhh, don’t tell Erica). I’m going to put a task in to shout out that Amazon link starting on the 10th. What a great opportunity for people to try a new read. And romantic suspense? A girl after my own heart.

    Care for a scone? I made them myself. 🙂

    • Yes, Jenelle, I love scones! Especially if they are made with cranberries and walnuts. Yum! But I’ll take one of yours no matter what the flavor. :>)

      Thanks for your congrats! Much appreciated!

      I hope you bring those dusty manuscripts into the light of day, soon –

  4. Hi Ashantay,
    I loved my paper dolls when I was a kid. I loved them even more when the doll figures started being made out of hard, sturdy cardboard. My young nieces look at me like, “huh? what?” when I mention paper dolls. They don’t know what they’re missing.

    Your excerpt is great. I can’t wait to read Death Stretch. Best wishes for lots of sales.

    • Thanks, Katherine! I also remember the heavy duty paper dolls. Maybe I learned patience by having to punch out the lighter weight dolls without tearing them all to heck and back – not sure! But yes, the cardboard dolls were a vast improvement!

  5. Ashantay, I feel like we would get along … my mom and I have been planning (writing, cough) the perfect murder for years. Once we were loading bags of potting soil into our minivan and some nice man asked if we needed help and we answered “no, we are practicing for when we need to move the body.” Poor man.

  6. Ashantay, I’ve read Death Stretch and I highly recommend it. Perfect blend of mystery, humor and romance. Plus, of course, allowing us to kill of a show-off with a perfect body and the flexibility of a pretzel. Your tortured paper dolls would approve.

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