Hi Erin, thanks for inviting me today. It's always a pleasure to stop by and chat with you. Especially about men. But not just any men, hunky heroes at that. And the one in my newest release is definitely one of those. He's stopped by so I could ask him a few questions and he actually agreed to answer them.
- Cole Preston tell me one interesting fact about you? I love to cook. If I hadn't gotten into home renovation, I probably would have become a chef. Just between you and me, though I love to watch the cooking shows. But don't tell anyone or it will ruin my manly image.
- What do you like to do in your down time? I've always enjoyed working with my hands. Even as a kid I loved going to workshops at the local hardware store and building things. That's probably why I'm in construction. Now I've been given a chance to teach these workshops and I'm looking forward to spending time with the next generation of kids.
- What's the one thing you dreaded doing but had to? Going back to the place where I grew up. I had a rough childhood and got into trouble. The residents of Dynamite Creek hold grudges, and it's been tough ignoring the stares and hearing the whispers. I made mistakes. Everyone has. Those people are not giving me credit for trying to atone for my past. The only one that is giving me a chance is the one woman who has the biggest reason not to.
- What makes you afraid? Nothing. But I don't like dealing with rejection.
- What is the most important thing to you? My reputation. Since I'm a contractor, my reputation is everything. It took years to build and only a few weeks to tear apart because of my ex-partner. I can only pray that once I finish this last job, I can move forward and start rebuilding my reputation and put my past behind me.
Home Sweet Home.
Somewhere to belong....
Finally ready to settle down, Abby Bancroft has just inherited a place to put down roots. But her hopes for a successful bed-and breakfast are placed on hold when she learns that her grandparents’ run-down inn is in serious need of TLC. So is Cole Preston, the handsome contractor who offers to help make her dream a reality. His past mistakes won’t let him consider settling in the close knit town. Yet as he and Abby work together to repair the house, they also begin to mend each other’s hearts. And they just may find that consulting their hearts is what creating a home is all about.
"This is it?" Wide-eyed and a little confused, Abby Bancroft stared out the passenger side window of the Ford Escort parked in front of the large Victorian house. Her stomach churned as her gaze flipped between the obviously outdated brochure in her cold hand and the three-story wooden structure to her right in need of a new paint job and some other cosmetic work. If the outside reflected the inside, her vision of reopening the Bancroft Bed-and-Breakfast by the Founder's Day Festival the first weekend in May died a quick and painful death.
Disappointment pooled around her shoulders and matched the dismal early March skies. Puffy gray clouds threatened more snow in the sleepy town of Dynamite Creek in northern Arizona. The bare limbs of the tree standing guard by the long porch running along the front of the house looked more inviting than the empty windows that stared back at her. She should have guessed the house would be as welcoming as the people who once lived inside.
"Yep. This is it. We're here." Delia Wentworth, the receptionist from her late grandmother's attorney's office unbuckled her seat belt and opened the driver's side door. Frigid air blew through the interior, making Abby shiver inside her inadequate jacket and miss the warm Southern California weather. Here wasn't exactly the picture perfect place she'd expected to find as she sat frozen inside the car.
"It's really a great house. It just needs a little TLC," Delia responded enthusiastically before leaving the car.
"A little?" Abby's skepticism showed in her voice. She knew nothing about general construction, but she had eyes, unless something in her brain had gone haywire in the long drive between Los Angeles and Dynamite Creek. Maybe she needed a pair of rose-colored glasses like Delia wore because Abby didn't quite see the old Victorian in the same way.
Pulling her collar around her neck, Abby grabbed her purse, exited the car and walked to where the young woman stood. Abby held up the brochure and compared it with the house. Then she flipped the piece of paper over. The photo credit was from 1987. Figures. Over the years, beautiful and welcoming had morphed into dismal and uninviting. The yellow paint had faded over time and had begun to peel in several places and some of the porch railing sagged. And that was just what she could see.
A gust of wind frosted her legs and whipped a loose strand of hair into her eyes. Abby should have waited until May to collect her inheritance, but the letter from the attorney's office hadn't really given her much choice and she wasn't fool enough to walk away from a place she could finally call home. If she found a way to fit into Dynamite Creek.
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