Title: “Get Nailed (MM), Cedar Falls #15”
Author: Shea Balik
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Welcome to Cedar Falls, a small North Carolina town nestled amongst the Smokey Mountains where the people are friendly and the men are hot.
Danton Pixler has traveled all over the world, refusing to stay in one place for more than a few weeks. When he realizes something is missing in his life, he decides to settle down and move to Cedar Falls.
Kale Driggs has lived in Cedar Falls for nearly a year. He loves the quaint town but fears he will never find the man of his dreams. At a crossroads, Kale must decide if he is going to stay in Cedar Falls or move on.
Fate has a way of arranging a chance meeting for two people who are meant to be together. But will the connection that flares brightly between the two be enough? Or will health problems and family drama keep them from finding their happily ever after?
Shea sits down with Danton Pixler
As someone who always loves a good mani-pedi, I decided go with the theme of this book and Get Nailed. Get your minds out of the gutter. I meant I went to Danton’s nail salon, Get Nailed and got a mani-pedi.
That I was able to return to Cedar Falls was an added bonus, especially if it meant a stop at Sweet Buns for one of their delicious cinnamon rolls. Damn, my mouth is already watering just thinking about getting one of those gooey pastries slathered with creamy frosting.
Excitement at getting to once more see the characters who live in my head filled me when I saw the sign for Cedar Falls. Turning onto Peachtree, I drove to the light and turned left on Main Street. A parking spot just a couple of spots from Sweet Buns was open, welcoming me as if knowing I was coming.
“Shea,” someone squealed before I was even fully out of the car. “You’re here.”
Looking across the street, I watched in amusement as Jesse came running, sort of, across Main street with his arms flung out to welcome me. Those platform boots of his were slowing him down, but eventually Jesse made it and threw himself, or maybe he stumbled and fell into my arms for a bone crushing hug.
“Shea,” another shouted but with Jesse still hugging me, I couldn’t see who it was until they joined the hug.
“Flynn, it’s so good to see you.” And it was. I loved getting to talk to all of the Cedar Falls men. Not that they didn’t talk to me all the time in my head, but sometimes it got really crowded and I would end up with a headache. So seeing them face to face where they can speak out loud was much nicer.
“The others are in the bakery,” Flynn said when he and Jesse pulled back from the hug. “We were excited to hear you were coming.”
Touched that these men appreciated seeing me as much as I did them, I followed Flynn and Jesse into Sweet Buns. Stunned to see, not just several of them, but all of them, even the ones who were still clamoring for their story to be told. “Wow, guys. It’s so good to see you.”
Bram strode forward and pulled me in for a hug. “We hardly get to see you, so when you get the chance to come here, we didn’t want to miss seeing you.”
Tears pricked my eyes as I struggled not to cry. It was hard, as I was so moved by their gesture of love. These men have become my family as much as my own brothers and sister were.
By the time I’d finished my cinnamon roll, which was so good I was tempted to get another, I hadn’t begun to have the chance to talk to each of them, but time didn’t allow for me to linger any longer.
“As much as I’d like to stay all day and catch up, I just can’t.” I hated having to say that when they had gone out of their way to make time for me. Just to prove their generous hearts, none of them complained, they just gave me another hug and went back to their lives as I, with Danton next to me, went across the street to Get Nailed.
“Do you want to start with the manicure or pedicure?” Danton asked as he opened the door.
“Manicure, if you don’t mind.” I’ve found if I get the manicure last, I will ruin my nails by the time I make it to the car. By allowing my nails the time to dry during the pedicure I don’t have that problem.
Danton smiled. “It would be my pleasure.” That was Danton, full of positive attitude.
Getting out the recorder I brought since I knew I wouldn’t be able to write with my nails being done, I pushed record.
SHEA: You are a very positive person, even though your mother tends to quite negative. Where did you get your happy outlook on life?
DANTON: Once he had everything set up to start, Danton sat down and placed one of my hands in the bowl of water while taking the other in his. Honestly, I think it was growing up with all that criticism and negativity that made me realize I could be like my mother, hating everything in life, or I could embrace life and enjoy every minute of it. He looked up from putting oil on my cuticles to give me a million watt smile. Being happy is much more fun, don’t you think?
SHEA: I had to agree with Danton. Life is too short to let yourself be miserable all the time. Recently, you ended up in the hospital. How do you keep the bad things from getting you down?
DANTON: It’s not always easy. I mean, sure life tends to throw a wrench in the plans but I feel we still have a choice of how we react to them. At first, it upset me to have Kale see me like that, but in the end, it brought us even closer together. Danton’s eyes sparkled with happiness. It’s not like we can change what happens to us. But by turning it into a positive, we may end up in the arms of the one we love. What could be a better reason than that to embrace life?
SHEA: So true. Danton’s attitude was infectious. I found that true when writing his story. No matter what happened, he took it in stride and made the best of a bad situation. When he finished painting my nails, we headed over to the pedicure chairs, where I was able to lean back and relax while he went to work. How has living in Cedar Falls compared with the traveling you had done before?
DANTON: It is so much better. Don’t get me wrong, I had loved traveling, seeing new places and experiencing new things. And the people I met along the way, made it all worthwhile. At first, I had worried I wouldn’t be able to stay in one place for more than a few weeks. That I would get bored. He grinned up at me. But that’s the thing with Cedar Falls, it is never boring. My friends here make sure of that. Well, and Kale, who could make living in a cardboard box enjoyable, just by being there.
SHEA: You really love him, don’t you?
DANTON: If I thought his smile was bright before, it was like looking in the sun at the mention of his partner. Kale is like my birthday and Christmas all rolled up in one. I couldn’t have asked to end up with a better man. He’s caring, protective and yet loves to have a good time with me. That he didn’t blink an eye when I had to take in my nephew only shows how special he truly is.
As he finished painting my toes, I regretted that it was time to go. It always made me sad to leave. But life didn’t allow me more time. As Danton would say, I needed to embrace the time I did get. I wish I could spend more time with you, but the next story won’t write itself. I laughed.
Danton hugged me, then waved off my attempt to pay him for the mani-pedi. “Are you kidding? This was on me.” I wasn’t so sure I should accept but then he said, “Consider it thanks for telling my story. The small cost of a mani-pedi can’t begin to compare with my ending up with Kale.”
I still wasn’t sure, but I also didn’t want to offend him by insisting, so I nodded my agreement. One last hug and a teary goodbye and I was heading back to my car.
It was as I was passing the sign thanking me for visiting Cedar Falls that I considered moving to the quirky little town. It would give me more time with my favorite men. Then again, it might make it more challenging when I try to write for the many other series clamoring to be told.
Deciding it would be best to visit as often as I could, I continued driving. At least I wouldn’t have to wait long to return. I do have another book coming soon after all.
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