Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Author Interview with Ashantay Peters || DEATH STRETCH

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.
* * * *
Hi Ashantasy!  Do you have a process for coming up with character names and book titles?

I love double entrendres, probably because I grew up watching Rocky & Bullwinkle and reading MAD magazine.  Death Stretch’s hero, Dirk Johnson’s name was inspired by the old detective show, Peter Gunn.  Because sex couldn’t be portrayed on the screen then, some of the dialogue written was actually pretty racy. View Hitchcock’s movie, To Catch A Thief, for example.

What inspired your current book? 

My books are inspired by what I know and like to read. I’m kind of an old hippie though I no longer wear tie-dyed shirts, and I like writing about alternative cultures and quirky people. Plus, not too many others write that niche, so my stories are a bit unique.

Please tell us about your current work in progress. 

I’m completing the first round edits on Death Rub, a sequel to Death Stretch.  Contracted by The Wild Rose Press, I’m hoping it’ll release this year.  The heroine is a massage therapist, Maggie Jenkins. Maggie finds her client dead with no one else in the building. Besides a murder investigation, Maggie faces money problems, a high school reunion, an old boyfriend returns to town and she’s being pressured for a deeper relationship by her new love—a man seven years younger than her. Trouble, lots of trouble.

Do you write with music going in the background? What are some of your favorite types/bands?

I rarely listen to music when I write, but I did play Led Zeppelin when I was stuck writing a sex scene for Death Under the Mistletoe. After hearing Stairway to Heaven five times in a row, I nailed the scene. (Grin)  

Name one person, living or dead, you'd most like to meet.

I’d have liked to meet Katherine Hepburn. Her forthright personality has always appealed to me, and I like to think she was unconventional and ahead of her time in many ways.

What is your favorite book genre? Who are your favorite authors?

I write about the contemporary era, but I read mostly Regency and Victorian romances. However, when I want a break from the carriage set, I choose contemporary romance, mysteries, steampunk and light paranormal. My favorite authors include many from The Wild Rose Press lines and Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick.

Quick quiz:
  • Favorite food? Whatever is available when I’m hungry.
  • Favorite color? The rainbow – too hard to pick just one!
  • Favorite animal? Dolphins.  And birds, I love birds.
  •  Biggest pet peeve? Greedy people. Actually, that’s more a disgust than a peeve.
  • Dream car? A Tesla, but I’d also like a hovercraft.  Whoosh!

* * * * 
“I told you earlier. You need to be careful.” He released my shoulders but watched me.
“I can take care of myself.”
Dirk snorted, somehow making his honk sound sexy. “Right.”
“Yeah, right, I can.”
He shook his head. “You're one hard-headed woman.” He motioned to Pulaski. “Let's get the bike loaded.”
“Hey, where do you think you're going with my bicycle?”
He pointed to the mangled frame and flat front tire. “You really think you can ride this?”
“No,” I muttered.
“Sorry, I didn't hear you.”
I raised my voice to just under a shout. “I said, no.”
“We'll give you a ride home.”
“I can walk. I've gotten scraped up before.”
“Hey, Matt, you ever see such a stubborn woman?”
“Yeah, my mother, my sisters, my ex.”
Dirk turned to me. “You're coming with us. No arguments.”
Available for purchase:


Ashantay Peters loves escaping into a well-written book. Her reading addiction also has her perusing magazines, Internet articles and even food labels. The last is often feebly excused as an attempt to maintain health, but her friends know the truth. She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina, a happy transplant from the much colder (and flatter) Midwest.  She loves to hear from readers!  Give her a holler via one of the links below.

Connect with Ashantay:

Email: ashantay.peters at gmail.com



  1. Ashantay, Were we twins in a past life? I, too, am an aging hippie who grew up delighting over the tongue-in-cheek humor of Rocky and Bullwinkle. (I used to torment the people around me by quoting all the puns.) And I, too, have used the incomparable Robert Plant to stir up a mood! Read Death Stretch and loved it! Recommend to anyone who wants a fun and fascinating read.

  2. I knew I was attracted to your writing for a reason, Laura! Now I know why. While Bullwinkle is suspiciously absent from Sherwood, I detected hints of Jimmy Page played on lute...

    And speaking of fascinating reads, Daughter of Sherwood is a must! Thanks for stopping by, Laura.

    1. No moose in Sherwood, just plenty of deer. And I guess if Jimmy Page showed up, he'd be playing a DOUBLE lute! Looking forward to your next book ...

    2. You ar right, Laura - double lute, it is!

  3. Good morning, Ashantay,
    I'm still swimming in my first cup of coffee or I'd probably have something insightful to contribute to the convo.

    I loved Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius. R&B was too slapstick for me. :-D

  4. Thank you, Melissa, for another opportunity to visit Snarkology! Thanks for adding the photo of the hovercraft. (grin)

  5. I don't listen to music when I write, but I must admit "Stairway to Heaven" does things for me! Great interview, ladies!

    1. Thanks, Liz! That song has a certain something...

  6. No Laura - I AM Ashantay's twin - wait, maybe we are triplets! I loved Death Stretch and now I'm super excited for book 2!!! ps - I do a mean Katherine Hepburn (I sang Happy Birthday - ala On Golden Pond as a senior in high school)- LOL

    1. Oh, I wish I could have heard that rendition! Huh, guess that's why you married a musician?

      And yes, we are triplets of different mothers. Kinda reminds me of that album by, was it Tim Weisberg?

  7. OMG!!! I found my real family!!! I too am an aging hippie. My kids and grandkids wear tie-dye and listen to LZ. That's what they grew up on. Kate Hepburn - my favorite movie is Philadelphia Story. I already have a twin, but I'm taking you all as my sisters. I'm buying Death Stretch now! Good luck and great sales Ashantay.

    1. I love that Mrs. Snark brought us together! Wish I could meet all of you in person. We could have a Roses version of Woodstock. Ha, ha, ha... Oh, wait! That reminds me of a Crosby, Stills, Nash tune. The music is flowing in my head today! Thanks for stopping by, Sandra!

  8. Aging hippies are some of the quirkiest people I know, and so fun!! I'd love to have tea with both you and Katherine Hepburn, she was such an amazing actress. Best of success with Death Stretch and your upcoming release too.
    The Ocean Between – Romance for the True Romantic

    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Lynda! We actually share the first same name, spelled identically, but I use Ashantay for a variety of all good reasons. I'd love to have tea with you and Kate also. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Enjoyed Death Stretch, and the slow seduction of the heroine. I can see why you like Jayne Ann Krentz. You have lots in common in theme. Looking forward to the next one. When?

  10. Thanks, Maggie! Just completed first round edits and am hoping for a late summer release of Death Rub. How's the sequel to Spittin' Grits coming along?

  11. Hi Ashantay,
    Loved your interview. Death Stretch is next in line on my Kindle. From all the reviews and great stuff I've heard about it, I can't wait to start it.

  12. Thank you, Katherine! I appreciate your comments and hope you enjoy the read!

  13. That blurb would lure even the most diehard of historical authors to take time out for a read--like me.:) I have it waiting on my Kindle and I'm looking forward to finishing edits so I can start it! barb bettis

    1. I hope you enjoy the read, and thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  14. Another aging hippie here. I should use the photo of me in a mirrored dress as my head shot perhaps. Loved Katherine Hepburn, too, Ashantay. Good luck with the book!

  15. Thanks, Ande - so nice to know some of us survived and prospered!