Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Nicole Dennis for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: Treasure Trail
Author: Nicole Dennis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Release Date: 08/24/2016
Owner of Matey’s Tavern, a popular brewpub-tavern in St. Augustine, Florida, Derick Keyes loves his adopted hometown and job. He also harbors a crush on a pirate captain.
Tour guide for the popular Pirate Pub Walking Tour, Christopher Easton portrays a pirate captain as he takes visitors on a guided tour of St. Augustine, stopping at certain taverns for a pint of grog and tales of the golden age of piracy. With a little liquid courage, Chris breaks the endless looping dance and talks to Derick. Things change between them. Derick wants a chance for more with Chris.
During the Annual Pirate Festival, Derick creates a treasure hunt for Chris after “cursing” him. To break the curse, Chris must find four clues before the final battle on Sunday night. Only then can the curse be broken.
States of Love: Stories of Romance that span every corner of the United States.
Recent Release Spotlight with Nicole Dennis
We are here today to talk about Treasure Trail – STATE of Love: Florida. Treasure Trail is part of a special series – State of Love – created by Dreamspinner Press. These will be contemporary romance novellas set in each of the 50 United States to spotlight the unique features and attributes of each state.
Living in Florida, I wanted to show more than beaches, theme parks and the Florida Keys. I chose to set a story in the oldest city in America – St. Augustine. This story includes a tavern, pirates, an annual pirate festival, cats, playful friends, and a pair of guys trying to figure out how to talk to each other. In the end, a special treasure hunt sends an enigmatic pirate captain through the streets and shops of St. Augustine, on a quest to answer clues and find bits of everyday ‘treasure’ to learn more about the creator of the map and remove a ‘curse’.
Please tell us more about our main characters.
The first character is the tavern owner, Derrick Keyes, who worked hard to purchase the tavern from the previous manager/owner. He’s gun shy with relationships after a bad experience. None of this stops him from always looking out for a unique pirate captain who’s leads different groups of people on one of many historic walking tours through St. Augustine. This one is the Pirate Pub Crawl where a Real Pirate regales the guests with adventurous tales from the golden age of piracy while enjoying a pint of grog at each pub or tavern. Derrick believes the captain, Christopher Easton, has is all together and way out of his league, but there is more underneath the crazy costume. Chris isn’t always sure of himself when not in costume. It takes a little bit of liquid courage, decadent chocolate desserts and a playful treasure hunt for these two to sit down and talk. They have more in common then they believe. I’m not just talking about pirates.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Don’t give up. Submission Calls. Don’t knock them down. Keep checking all of those Open Calls for Submissions. You can find these calls on every publisher’s website, newsletter or Facebook page/group. A publisher is telling you what they’re looking for and this is the best way to get your name out there. You can start to create a strong relationship with the publisher.
What part of a new story comes to you first? Characters? Plot? A scene? A theme? Or does it vary from book to book?
For the most part, it varies from book to book. With Southern Charm, I started with the characters and built out from them. With Treasure Trail, the opposite happened – the idea of placing a story in St Augustine came to me first.
What was your inspiration for this story?
Soon as I read about this call, I immediately knew the story had to be in St. Augustine. The beauty and history of St. Augustine became the focus of the story. From the historic district filled with small shops and restaurants to the massive Castillo de San Marcos. The idea of pirates popped in as I studied the history pages and remembered the different Pub Crawls.
Do you ever abandon a draft partly written and just move on? Do you keep a file of plot ideas?
For each story that’s published, I have three extra sitting around, waiting for something. I keep them in multiple folders in my Dropbox or an external HD drive. Some are word documents while others are Scrivener projects. There’s always hope for an abandoned story to return to life.
Do you have a character in your head that you have yet to write a story for?
Yes, his name is Arian Westminster. He pronounces it Ahh-Rye-Ann and is currently a new Lieutenant of the Homicide Division and returning to a former district in the city. A district with a sharp rise of strange murders. The series will be paranormal and told from his POV. I hope to begin his series soon.
If you could have a conversation with any famous author, who would you want to get writing tips from and what skill of theirs would you like to emulate?
Nora Roberts! Oh, I would so love to sit down with her and just talk. I love emulating her stories with the towns and families and strong characters.
If you had to be a cat, dog, or a rat, which would you choose and why?
Oh, I definitely choose a Cat. I would love to laze around with sunshine-filled naps and the occasional pounce on a catnip toy. With such personalities, they don’t give a damn about anything but their next napping spot. Any troubles brushed aside with a swipe of a fluffy paw or tail.
Do you remember a character talking about a particular food and it made you want to eat it RIGHTNOW? and if yes, what was it?
Oh, man, yes – Southern Charm #3 – On the Green. Mal teasing Reece with the decadent chocolate mousse! That’s the problem about including a lot of chefs/foodies in my books.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I caught up with Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne & Griffin series and just started reading Fallow. Not sure what will be next. I have a stack of hardback books and hundreds in my Kindle with 0%.
Rapid Fire Time
- Batman or Superman? Batman, he’s got all the awesome gadgets!
- Neville or Ron? Neville
- Ice Skating or Ice Hockey? Hockey
- Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? Tossed
- Cinnamon or maple? Both? LOL – Maple, dark amber
- Spring or Fall? Fall – can’t beat the beautiful colors
- Rock or Country? Country Rock
- Sex or Chocolate? Chocolate
- Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings? Harry Potter
What are you working on? What is next?
I have a few in progress – can never seem to work on one at a time.
Southern Charm 7 – Saving the Wedding
Connections Matter – A novella combining the characters from Stranded and Whatever it Takes in a special trilogy – Loving the Rainbow – for GRL. All 3 stories will be in a single printed book.
A couple of sooper seekrit projects including Arian’s series.
Thank you so much for having me!!
Winner’s Choice of my Backlist
About the Author
A quiet one, Nicole Dennis curled up with the latest book of a favorite author. Since the beginning, there were these characters in her head, worlds wanting to be built on paper, and stories wanting to be told. She began writing during class and continues to this day. Now she can let others into her imagination and worlds that always celebrate the love between two or more people within LGBT, paranormal, and fantasy.
During the day, she works in a quiet office in Central Florida, where she also makes her home, and enjoys the down time to slip into her imagination. She is owned by a semi-demonic tortie calico, affectionately known as Fat Cat.
Contact & Media Info:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleDennis.Musings/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nicoledennis.author/
GoodreadsQ&A with Nicole Dennis: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/50397-q-a-with-nicole-dennis
Goodreads Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2791975.Nicole_Dennis
Mini Blog Tour
August 18 – MM Good Book Reviews
August 19 – Renee Stevens
August 24 – Prism Book Alliance
August 25 – The Novel Approach
August 26 – Love Bytes
August 30 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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