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Monday, March 18, 2013

Character Interview: Meet Joanna and Colin from Simple Treasures

Hello, Joanna and Colin. Thanks so much for coming by. Please tell us about you: job, hobbies, special talents, and anything else you would want to share.

Joanna: I’m a college student spending a year studying in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was in the US military for four years. When I got out, I kept to a similar exercise plan, so I guess exercising is one of my hobbies. I like watching movie marathons on my couch with a big bowl of popcorn, sodas and blankets.

Colin: (clears his throat.)

Joanna: Oh, and of course I like watching them with my honey.

Colin: Thank you for that. (He grins.) I’m a bodyguard for the International Protective Network based here in Edinburgh. I travel quite a bit. I like sitting back with a beer and watching a football game or two to unwind.

Tell us about the first time you met. 

(Both Colin and Joanna smile.)

Joanna: Do you want to tell it?

Colin: Aye. I had come to Edinburgh to interview with the IPN and they gave me a test job. I had to protect Joanna. She’d witnessed a crime and we weren’t sure if someone would be coming for her. I let myself into her flat.

Joanna: You mean you broke in.

Colin (grinning wider): I’ll never admit to that. Anyway, I was in her flat when she came home. She must have sensed me being there because she grabbed two knives and held one to my throat and one to my private parts.

What drew you to each other?

Joanna: I didn’t like him at first. He was too closed off, too one track minded, and he came across as an unfeeling man. But as we spent more time together, he would do or say something that eased my worry or made me happy or even melted my heart. I began to realize that just because his way of dealing with the world was different than mine, it didn’t make his wrong.

Colin: Her courage and her desire to see justice done no matter what she was going through is what drew me. Not to mention her cute little arse.

What is your favorite part of each other?

Joanna: Yes, he’s got a one-track mind A LOT, but his dedication to that one track is awe-inspiring. When he was working to protect me, he stayed focused and often sensed danger before it came. And when he uses that one-track mind for…other things in other rooms….{{{sigh}}}. Yep, he’s my Scottish hero for sure!

Colin: What’s not to love about her?

(Joanna smiles, leans over and kisses him.)

Colin: Joanna is the most upbeat person I’ve ever met. At times it gets a bit frustrating, but most of the time it’s grand. She can see the good in everything, and she treasures every aspect of life. She reminds me every day of the type of person I want to be.

Care to share future plans?

Joanna: At the moment, we’re taking things day by day. Because he’s new to the IPN, Colin is away a lot. Plus, I’m busy with school. When we’re both in town, we work on getting to know each other even more and spending as much time together as we can.

Colin: To be honest, I can’t imagine my life without her anymore. We may not have detailed plans, but we will be together.

Simple Treasures by
Alexa Bourne

Take-charge bodyguard Colin Munro believes working for the International Protective Network will be the perfect occupation for him. Unfortunately, his trial assignment is protecting a woman who has no intention of blindly following orders. Aye, he’ll bring the bonnie lass in line because there’s no way he’ll allow her to ruin his chance of securing his dream job. 

Physically and emotionally scarred during her stint as a U.S. soldier, Joanna Grainger wants nothing more than to enjoy life. New Year's Eve in Edinburgh marks the beginning of her transformation. But when she witnesses a crime no one believes occurred, her plans come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, her sexy but headstrong bodyguard has no compassion for her or the victim.

As danger hunts them during one of the busiest times of the year, Joanna must convince Colin she's a worthy partner. But first, can she convince herself?


Joanna bolted upright. Darkness wrapped her in its hideous embrace. And silence reigned. Her heart raced. She pressed her hands against the mattress beneath her.

Mattress. Bed. Colin’s hotel room.

Rustling sounds came from the floor. The bedside lamp flickered on. Colin propped himself up, one knee bent and an arm dangling over it. He squinted against the brightness. “Are you all right?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” She brushed her fingers under her eyes. Her skin flamed beneath her touch.

“Don’t be daft, lass.”

“I had a bad dream.” She smoothed her hair back off her face. Moisture beaded at her temples.

“Here we call it a nightmare.” He smiled, and at once she relaxed her shoulders.

“Americans do, too.” After another deep breath, she said, “I’ll be all right.” Once her heart rate slowed to normal. With her forearm, she wiped perspiration from her forehead.

He stood, padded into the bathroom, and ran the faucet. When he returned, he sat beside her, tucked his finger under her chin, and pressed the cloth to her cheek. The cool moisture soothed her burning skin.

She reached up and overtook his hand. “I can do that.”

“I know.” He brushed her fingers away. “But you’ll not.”

After a few seconds, he moved the wet towel across her forehead and to her other cheek.

When he reached her neck, she sighed and closed her eyes for a few valuable seconds.

“Thank you.”

His gentle touch reminded her how much she’d missed simple comfort…from anyone.

“You’re welcome.” The cloth soon disappeared. “Now, will you tell me what you dreamed about?”

“Mark Rawlings. I dreamed I was back in the train car and he was bleeding out on the floor. The guy with him faded into the background, but I could see the man’s hands and lips moving. I couldn’t hear anything, though. Then somebody jabbed me with something, and my blood drained out of my body, but there was nothing I could do. The guy standing stayed in front of me. There was another voice, but the words were garbled.”

“Did you see anyone else?”

“No, but at the end I wasn’t paying attention. I was losing consciousness.” She tilted her head to one side and into her palm. “Colin, what am I going to do if we don’t find the professor’s attacker soon?”

“We’ll take it one day at a time.” Strong, confident, able to leap tall buildings and all…even in the middle of the night.

About the Author:

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She is thrilled to be writing for Decadent Publishing and to have the chance to share her love of Great Britain with readers everywhere. When she's not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She loves to interact with readers, so visit her web page, hang out at her blog, follow her on Twitter or drop her a note at Alexa@alexabourne.com!

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