Good morning! Welcome to the Saturday Book Diver where every weekend we dive into fictional worlds for interviews with intriguing characters.
This morning I’m outside a lovely country house in New England talking to landscaper Austin Johnson. He’s tall and lanky with disheveled black hair and gorgeous blue eyes.
Despite his easygoing manner, it’s easy to see that Austin was once a soldier. He has the posture and confidence of a military man.
He and his crew obviously have a lot of work ahead of them, so I jump into the interview.
SBD: Austin, thank you for talking to us today. You’re new in this town, but you seem to have made some friends already.
Austin: It’s a great town. I’ve always liked the country and my new landscaping business is doing well. I also do repairs and stuff like that, so if you know anyone in need of work, I give free estimates.
SBD: [Grins] That’s good to know. I’ll keep that in mind. Right now we’re at the home of Alice Brown. What can you tell us about her?
Austin: Alice. Wow. I don’t want to say too much because she’s a customer and I don’t like to gossip, but she’s great. Talented. Beautiful. Kind. She’s a piano teacher and a tutor. Her students love her and that’s really easy to do.
By the gleam in his eyes when he talks about Alice, it’s obvious he has a major crush on her.
SBD: I’ve heard you’re still single and so is Alice. Do you think there’s a chance of you two getting together?
Austin: I don’t date customers, but once I’m finished with this job, I’m almost hoping she won’t hire me again because I would love to take her out. I’m not exactly sure how she feels about me, though. Sometimes she goes from hot to cold, but I think that’s because she’s a reserved person. I kinda hope she’s as interested in me as I am in her.
SBD: I understand you used to be a soldier?
Austin: Yeah. I’m proud to have served my country, but right now I’m looking forward to expanding my business and hopefully starting a family. Between you and me, I’d love a woman like Alice. She’s smart, sexy and makes a mean lemonade.
I can’t help chuckling. Austin seems like a great guy. It’s hard to believe Alice wouldn’t notice him.
SBD: What three words do you think best describe Alice?
Austin: [His brow furrows as he thinks, then he smiles again.] Classy, mysterious, and sexy.
SBD: Would you share one of your favorite excerpts from Gascon Victors and the Hunky Handyman?
Austin: Sure. Here goes.
The piano music stopped and Austin was about to knock again when the door opened.
A lovely woman with brown eyes and dark, silky hair glanced up at him. A floral print dress in pastel shades draped her curvy figure. Strangely, just looking at her made Austin’s heart skip a beat.
Finding his voice, he shouted above the two howling dogs -- a basset and a beagle -- standing beside her, “Hi. I’m Austin Johnson. My crew and I are ready to start work. I wanted to let you know we’re here.”
“Thank you,” she said and was about to shut the door, but he stopped her, placing his hand on it.
“Gascon said you wanted to talk about a new project.”
“Yes, but right now I’m in the middle of a lesson.” She glanced at the dogs and snapped, “Quiet!”
“Of course. When you’re free just let me know.” He turned and headed toward the truck, but couldn’t resist glancing at her over his shoulder.
To his surprise, she was staring after him as well. When their gazes locked, she quickly shut the door.
That was a great glimpse of Austin and Alice’s first meeting. It’s obvious how much he likes her, so I truly hope she gives him a chance.
If you hope so too and would like to find out what happens to them, visit:
Gascon Victors and the Hunky Handyman