Meet the Characters: Dane & Shana

TheBeachcombers- Twitter-RevisedMeet Dane Blaise & Shana George, partners in Beachcomber Investigations on Martha’s Vineyard and two of my favorite people. This charismatic couple—or non-couple as the case may be—will answer some probing questions to help us get to know them.

Then maybe you can help them decide whether they ought to be a couple—or not. They are NOT having success figuring this out on their own. Here’s the Q&A for our intrepid characters from the world of fiction:

Q: What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?

DANE: I’ll be the gentleman and let Shana answer first.

SHANA: (scoffs) You’re a prince. That’s what I always say.

DANE: Answer the question, girlie. Honestly. Is it the action, the dialogue or, my favorite, the romance?

SHANA: (eye-roll) You mean your favorite is the sex, not the romance.

DANE: Then you agree—

SHANA: Honestly, my favorite scenes are the action scenes. That’s when I’m in control and in my element and doing what I love and was meant to do. Putting up with on-again, off-again romance with Dane is the hard part. It drives me crazy. But working with him, well, he is the best.

Q:  What do you do for a living?

DANE: Didn’t we say? We’re private investigators. We specialize in big cases—missions—often sent our way by the governor, my old special ops commander.

Q:  What is your greatest fear?

SHANA: This I want to hear—what is it Dane?

DANE: You. I’m afraid of you, Shana.

SHANA: (eye-roll again) You mean you’re afraid of yourself. I’m nothing to you but a pain in the butt except when I’m covering your butt.

DANE: (silence)

SHANA: Okay. I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of—never getting back home to Sydney, Australia, never visiting my Dad’s grave again…

DANE: Heavy.

Q:  What turns you on?

DANE: (looks at Shana)

SHANA: (yet another eye-roll)

Q:  What do you like most about where you live?

DANE: We live on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. It’s mostly a summer vacation place, but I like the solitariness of the winter months all the people are gone and it’s you against Mother Nature. The excitement summer crowd… (shrugs) It’s the cleansing ocean air that I need most.

SHANA: What I like most is living where Dane lives.

DANE: (raises one brow)

SHANA: No sense pretending otherwise. Why else would I stay? It’s the heart-hammering excitement of not knowing what will happen next, but knowing surely that something will happen.

DANE: Oh. That. None of that in Sydney or London? None of that with Scotland Yard where you worked when I found you?

SHANA: Where you found me? You didn’t find me.

DANE: Figure of speech, girlie.

SHANA: Don’t call me that in front of—

And that concludes the interview—before they come to blows. Or something else. You can see Dane and Shana in action all through the Beachcomber Investigations series beginning with The Beachcombers which is currently $.99. The newest book in the series, Beachcomber Test is available now.

Do you think Dane & Shana should stay together or fall apart?

Blurb for Beachcomber Test:BeachTest Teaser

The biggest test of Dane’s life comes down to this: Can he give Shana everything she wants from him?
Ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise is staking his life on passing every one of Shana’s tests for him. Desperation to keep her with him made him crazy enough to agree to take a divorce case.
He’d sworn never to take a follow-the-cheating-spouse case since the day they’d started Beachcomber Investigations together.

She was tough and gorgeous, but Shana George never expected much from men romantically speaking. Then again, she never thought she’d quit her dream job at Scotland Yard to work as a private-eye on Martha’s Vineyard. There was no explaining how Dane made her crazy enough to hope. Too many times she came close to leaving. Now she can’t live through another round of dashed hope without leaving for good. This case could be her last.

But Even a simple divorce case turns dangerous for Beachcomber Investigations while Dane & Shana’s resolve to stay together is tested to the end.

Excerpt: 

Chapter 1

It had seemed like a simple case. A case Dane had agreed to take because he would do anything for Shana. Now that he was shamelessly in love with her and in full-on convincing-her-to-stay-with-him mode after he almost lost her on Christmas Day.

Shana didn’t trust him yet. She was in full-on test-the-bastard mode to make sure he was for real.

Her first test had been to suggest a trip to Australia to visit her family. He’d agreed. They’d planned it for the fall. They were coming into spring and summer season so it didn’t make sense to leave now. They would wait for the cold weather to travel down under where it would be warm. She had booked their flight and the tic of uneasiness that Dane felt was almost imperceptible.

Her second test had been to accept a divorce case without asking him. He’d vowed never to take follow-the-cheating-spouse cases and she knew it. The muscle clench between his shoulder blades was mild, so he soldiered through.

Now they would be following some nasty middle-aged man around the island for half the season to work up an irrefutable file on him for the wronged wife so she could work the pre-nup infidelity clause and wring every penny out of the sap—or scum, depending on your view—in the divorce. Dane tried hard not to have any view in the matter.

His view was to pray to hell that the man dropped his pants on his first night on island.

No such luck.

Instead, the poor sap—or scum—got himself killed.

This wasn’t any routine divorce case anymore, but Dane wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

*****

He stood in the small kitchen looking at Shana over his coffee cup. The sun shone through the window and glinted off her golden hair so that she looked like she had sparks flying from her. She wore her usual gorgeous scowl.

“Didn’t you do a background check on our client before you agreed to the case?”

He smiled when she narrowed her eyes at him.

“No.” She stood with her hands on her hips, daring him to shoot her down. That, Dane figured, was test number three.

He nodded and walked past her, brushing a hand over the waves of her long soft mane of hair and inhaling the scent of her.

“Where are you going?”

“To the secure phone.”

“What are you? Batman?” She followed after him. She always followed after him. Almost always.

He laughed.

“I’m calling in Acer.”

“Not that I have anything against Acer, but we don’t need him. We can handle this ourselves.”

She’d gotten the call from Captain Colin Lynch at six that morning about the murder victim. Dane knew it was bad when she came back to bed and wouldn’t tell him what the call was about.

He stopped at his old metal desk, the feature piece in his office, which should have been a living room. Shana had brought in a couch, but he mostly used it for a shelf where he threw all the files, papers, mail, books, and any other paraphernalia that got collected during an investigation. Or any other time. He looked at the pile of crap and took a deep breath. Then he smiled at her like he meant it, because he did.

“I’ll do whatever you want, sugar bun.”

“Stop that.”

“You don’t want me to call you sugar bun?”

“I don’t want you doing whatever I want—”

“Can I quote you on that?”

“Don’t patronize me.”

“I’m not. I’m trying to be agreeable.”

“Well, stop. It’ s not you and it’s creeping me out.”

He reached out and pulled her in and held her tight against him. He was hard and she was soft—in all the strategic places—and he let that feeling, of her pressed against him, simmer through his body, hit every nerve, and settle in his head and deep in his soul. She stirred and he reflexively tightened his hold.

“It’s okay, Dane. I’m not going to run out the door if you disagree with me.”

“Of course not. Why would you? I mean, look what you have here.”

He spread his arms. It was half-hearted sarcasm because he wasn’t used to feeling vulnerable, but he’d been feeling a lot of that lately. It was as if he were reliving his teenage years, only inside a forty-year-old body which made the fun parts not nearly as fun.

“I’m looking at who I have.” She sighed deeply and then leaned in and grabbed his lips with her teeth and sucked in, giving him a hair-raising—and other-body-part-raising—kiss. Deep and juicy and thorough.

“You want to go back to bed?” It was a stupid question and he should have grabbed her by the hair and dragged her—figuratively speaking. Maybe another time he would have.

She smiled, moving her hands over his chest. It was a strong, well-muscled chest because in his line of work staying in good shape was a matter of life and death. Evidently even when his line of work was a divorce case.

“Always. I always want you.”

“Then we have something in common—I always want you.”

He moved, holding her in his arms, half dragging her in the direction of the hall to the bedroom. Until she dug in her heels.

“We have a murder case,” she said.  Then she really smiled.

 

 

 

Small Town Christmas Baby – An Excerpt

Small Town Christmas Baby Cover Twins Bow-2I’m very excited for the upcoming Authors of Main Street Christmas box set! It’s scheduled to be released in October and we’ll keep you posted. We’ll have over ten novellas about the warmth of Christmas, romance and BABIES!

My story in the anthology is set in the small (quasi) fictional town of Hamlin, New Hampshire. This is the fourth book in my Small Town Romance series.

To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s an excerpt from Small Town Christmas Baby:

Chapter 1

Lumberjacks adore New Hampshire. Trees grow faster here than Usain Bolt runs the 40-meter sprint. Julie, not being a lumberjack, had little appreciation for the giant trees with their enormous branches overhanging the Stillwater Inn. They’d need to call the tree chopper guy in again and it would cost thousands. Again.

She turned away from the window and vowed there was no way she would ask her husband for the money this time. She’d find it in the Inn’s budget if she had to make beds herself to save money.

Running her hand over her disappointingly small rounded belly, she turned her attention back to the cupcake frosting. One way to get a bunch of cash quick would be to win the Bake-off in Boston next month. She shoved aside the thought of rumblings from Jack about her needing to take care of herself and concentrate on the arrival of their first baby in a few months. Surely she could do two—maybe three or four—things at once. Lots of women did.

But as of today, Julie officially hated cupcakes. It was a shame because she was starving and she was staring at racks filled with all kinds of gems. But even the smell of her fresh-baked specials didn’t tempt her any more. These days she craved chocolate covered potato chips and hot dogs.

As she squeezed the bursts of frosting on the hundred and twelfth cupcake, the back door slammed and she looked up. It had to be Tammy. Only her oldest and best friend slammed the door open like that. It had always been Tam’s way to announce her arrival.

“You’re in time to help me.”

“You must be desperate. You know how I am with cake and icing—“

Julie waved her tube of icing.

“Not with that. I wouldn’t want your drool to contaminate the cake-lets. I need help with something far more important.”

“What the heck could that possibly be?”

Shoving aside the issue of tree-chopping money—because she knew deep down Jack would talk Uncle Billy into letting him pay on the grounds that Jack was part owner of the family Inn now since he was part of the family—she lasered in on the real gut-twister.

“I need to come up with a show-stopper of a Christmas gift for Jack.” She paused a beat while Tammy predictably rolled her eyes.

“Something I can afford on my own.”

* * * *

More to come when the entire set of Christmas Babies on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street will be available in a few short weeks.

In the meantime, look for the cover reveal soon!

A New Author of Main Street: Magdalena Scott

 

Hello! I’m thrilled to be a new member here on Authors of Main Street. When I was invited to write a guest post for February, I immediately felt at home. Imagine my pleasure at being asked to become part of this wonderful group of writers!

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Since you may not have “met” me before, I thought I should do a little intro today. I’m a lifelong “small town girl,” having grown up in a corner of the Midwest that most people have never heard of, let alone visited. I’m also a USA Today Bestselling author of small town sweet romance and women’s fiction.

If each of our lives is a book, I’m in the second chapter of mine.

In the first chapter, I grew up in a loving family, made lifelong friendships starting at age one year, two months, and three days old–when the next girl cousin was born. I fell in love with writing stories as soon as I learned cursive. My first publishing credit was in second grade–a haiku in a national Sunday school magazine.

I was blessed to live my own small town love story, and during 30 years of marriage to the smartest, most unique man I’ve ever met, became Mom to a wonderful son. The end of chapter one was becoming a widow when my husband died from a brain tumor.

Rose On Wood BW

Add Minimalist-in-Training to my Resume

My second chapter has included downsizing from the big family home to a studio apartment, writing full-time,  and becoming mother-in-law to an amazing young woman. I also found a second chance romance. (Good to know those don’t just happen in novels!)

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I love to travel, and in autumn 2015 took an unexpected, dream-come-true trip to Ireland with one of those lifelong friends I mentioned. But my fulltime residence is still in small town America, where life in the slow lane includes plenty of heartwarming, simple pleasures–concerts, plays, festivals, street fairs, and old-fashioned family recipes shared at reunions or backyard barbecues. I’ve seen my town be at its best when family, friends, and often the entire community pull together as life’s challenges threaten.

I currently have two small town contemporary romance series available for readers. All the books are wholesome romance (also known as clean, or sweet).

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The heartwarming stories of SERENDIPITY, INDIANA: This series is set in, and around, the Standish family Christmas tree farm. Each Serendipity story includes one or more instances of the life-changing magic of Love. (More concrete thinkers may see these as random coincidences.) The Serendipity series contains sweet romance, and also romantic women’s fiction (Emily’s Dreams, The Blank Book). The Blank Book and A Piece of Her Soul also have a light paranormal element. Seven books are available now, with the eighth scheduled to release on June 1st.

The McClains of Legend, Tennesee

The small town charm of THE McCLAINS OF LEGEND, TENNESSEE: This series invites readers into the lives and loves of the large, sometimes exasperating, and always entertaining McClain family, to whom Legend has been home for generations.

If you want to learn more about me, please visit my blog and/or my website. To get all the latest news, and the occasional nifty perk, sign up for my monthly-ish newsletter.

Until we meet again–happy reading!

Magdalena