A Word From Ashley . . .
I’ve lived in Richmond, Virginia, a city I love for its history and traditions, for most of my adult life. I love to travel, garden, try out new recipes, and take pictures of God’s amazing creatures and the beautiful world he created for us. I’m an exercise fanatic. Channeling my restless energy through exercise enables me to settle down and focus on my work. I play tennis and attend a circuit training class three days a week. But my real love is swimming. I plotted most of my novels while swimming laps.
I experienced the fragility of life when my brother Neal died of an accidental drug overdose in 1999, at the age of 37. He touched the lives of many with his wonderful sense of humor, his infectious laugh, and his tortured soul.
I learned a lot during the many years my family suffered the fallout of my brother’s addictions. After Neal’s death, I wanted to share those experiences. I wanted to tell anyone willing to listen how substance abuse and mental illness destroys families. I wanted to counsel groups of students about the dangers of alcohol and drug use. But every time I tried to talk to others about Neal, my voice shook and my eyes filled with tears. So I let the experts do the talking. I chaired education committees at my son’s school to promote alcohol and drug awareness among parents. And I helped to organize a series of leadership symposia where we brought in world-renowned speakers to empower students to become better leaders through honor and integrity and character.
But none of my efforts were enough to fill the hole in my heart created by my brother’s death. So, I turned to writing. My first novel, Saving Ben, January 2013, is a tribute to Neal-the boy I loved, the man I could not save. Saving Ben is not a memoir, but the story of a close bond between brother and sister.
I released Her Sister’s Shoes in June 2015. I spent my summers growing up in the salty marshes of the Lowcountry. The unique way of life inspired me to stage a novel against the backdrop of moss-draped trees. I turned fifty while writing Her Sister’s Shoes. With my youngest headed off to college, I experienced a mini mid-life crisis in 2014. Both Jackie’s and Sam’s characters were outlets for my feelings at the time.
More Books by Ashley . . .
Merry Mary followed Her Sister’s Shoes on October 15, 2015. I love the holidays. Scottie’s experience in Merry Mary reminds us of the importance of family and of giving to others during this often difficult time of year.
Scottie’s adventures continue in Breaking the Story, a political romantic suspense released on March 17, 2016.
Readers fell in love with the Sweeney sisters in Her Sister’s Shoes and begged for more. After Breaking the Story, I continued my saga of the Sweeney family with the following sequels, Lowcountry Stranger, Boots and Bedlam, and Tangle of Strings. I released Sweet Tea Tuesdays, a novel of friendship, family, and forgiveness, in May of 2017, and Magnolia Nights, a romantic suspense, in September of the same year. The fifth and final installment in the Sweeney Sisters Series, Saturdays at Sweeney’s, was released on January 16, 2018, and the Magnolia Nights sequel, Beyond the Garden, in April of 2018. Nell and Lady followed in September, Home for Wounded Hearts in January 2019, and Only One Life in April.
Feel free to drop me a line. I love hearing from readers.
If you enjoyed the Sweeney Sisters series, you're gonna love Palmetto Island!
Birdie Fuller’s new year is off to a bad start. Her husband has mysteriously disappeared, leaving Birdie to cope with their unmarried daughter’s unplanned pregnancy. Birdie and Hannah disagree about the baby. Birdie urges her daughter to consider abortion, but Hannah is determined to see the pregnancy to term. When Hannah returns for her last semester in college, Birdie must face her demons, the problems in her marriage that drove her husband to clean out their bank accounts and run off with another woman.
While struggling to hide her pregnancy from her roommates and ex-boyfriend, Hannah interviews for jobs that will take her and her baby far away from her mother. After graduation, with months to kill before the start of her new job, she returns to Palmetto Island for the summer to await the birth of her baby. Tension mounts between Hannah and Birdie when they move from their waterfront home to a two-bedroom apartment above a bakery. Can mother and daughter mend their relationship? Or will they be lost to each other forever?