Rose Senehi: Chasing the dream

Senehi has owned a place in the North Carolina mountains since 2004. She's centered her fourth and newest novel, "In the Shadows of Chimney Rock," around western North Carolina's Hickory Nut Gorge, a suspense centered around the raging battle currently taking place and the struggle by local conservancies to stave off the feverish land grab by developers. The sacrifices people are willing to make to preserve the beauty of these mountains are the backdrop to a touching story of a woman struggling to redeem the legacy of a father she's never known.

"Like the beach, environmental concerns are a major focus in the mountains, with people from all walks of life becoming more and more aware of what's happening to our natural resources," Senehi said.

An heiress to one of the South's lumber dynasties, Hayden Taylor, reaches out to her mountain roots for solace after suffering a life-shattering blow. She starts to heal in the womb of the gorge and the edgy exhilaration of Asheville, never suspecting the man who killed her father might come after her. Football legend, Ben Beckham, is looking for redemption, too, and tries to earn it working for a local conservancy, only to discover he's falling in love with a woman he can't have.

The dream

"I'm looking forward to returning to Cazenovia," Senehi said. "I've always thought of it as one of the nicest places to raise a family."

Senehi will be visiting her son and family and some friends including Dorothy Reister of the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park.

"Dorothy and her husband Bob were such movers and shakers when they were young," she said. "They were always promoting art."

Her life has been a challenge, from farm living to mall building to raising children while writing novels while fighting for causes. She could be a heroine in one of her own books, a mover and a shaker herself.

"I always wanted to be a writer," she said. "It just shows; you always have to chase your dream."

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