Ireland Finds Gold by Reneé Nicole Genre: Romantic Suspense
Ireland Deckland may be a feisty probation officer with a tough exterior, but regularly putting handcuffs on perps has her view of people trending down. She’s been single for so long that she’s starting to think it’s a permanent status.
Xavier Gold may be the city’s most eligible CEO bachelor with a sexy as sin face, but the wannabe models who vie for his attention don’t have him looking to settle down. He’s played the game so many years, he’s starting to think no one will ever catch his eye.
When an unexpected meeting brings these two together, tough exteriors crack and sparks fly. But danger is never far from probation officers nor billionaires. After a bad business deal brings the Russian mob to the door, they have to fight to save their heads…or lose their hearts.
Reneé Nicole grew up just north of Raleigh, North Carolina, in the very small town of Franklinton. Nicole, as her family and friends call her, is a middle child and the best aunt ever (there’s even a mug that says so). She has lived in a few different cities throughout the United States, but for now calls Richmond, Virginia her home. Nicole graduated from college with a degree in Criminal Justice, and received her master’s degree in Justice Studies. Since then, she has worked for over a decade in the criminal justice field. Specifically, community corrections: first as a state probation and parole officer, and now as a federal probation officer. Since no one calls her mom or wife, she holds her ‘auntie’ title with pride. Nicole spends her nights in front of a computer screen writing about fictional men who do naughty things that would make anyone blush, and badass women who both want it and love it.
Nicole’s love of books developed later in life, after she was dragged into reading one of the best trilogies of all time. This led her to fall in love with writing. In particular, the process of using the power of words and imagination to entertain. She decided to write what she knows – but with lots and lots of steam. Nicole is excited to change her career path and provide entertainment to every person who picks up her book. Criminal Justice degree and author: sounds about right.
These days you can find Nicole working as a federal probation officer. A day job, as some may call it. But it’s not her only day job: she’s also a certified florist and small business owner of a flower shop, Petals of Color, with her sister and business partner. Nicole loves traveling, good rum, good wine, and spending time with her parents, siblings, and family.
Check out Nicole’s author pages on Instagram and Facebook, where you can like and follow to receive updates about her upcoming writing projects.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was raised in a small town, Franklinton, NC. I am a middle child. My parents are very supportive, loving and all together AWESOME. I am blessed with the most loving family. I graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a BA in criminal justice. I have a Master’s degree in Homeland Security with a focus on Terrorism. I have lived in North Carolina, California, North Carolina, Florida and now Virginia. I work as a federal probation officer. I decided on January 1, 2015, I wanted to write a book (I will never forget that date). I have always had a vivid imagination and so many story ideas in my head. When midnight struck on the new year’s eve, it clicked and I made the decision. I sat down over a three week period and just poured, what is now, ‘Ireland Finds Gold’ onto my computer screen. I literally just sat and typed all day for three weekends straight. I was so nervous about my writing, but the story just came straight out of me and onto the blank pages. I never claimed to be the best writer so, when I finished the final page, the first thing out of my mouth was, “I just wrote a fucking book. Seriously.” I was so proud of myself. My first draft was crazy/stupid long for a romance novel, so after doing some research I started taking the steps to edit my first manuscript. I read, re-read and then read my book again before I hired an editor. I was so scared I didn’t tell anyone I wrote the book or what I was doing. I was so worried about what other people would think. After reaching out to a few friends I know with editing and/or writing backgrounds, I found my first editor and sent him the manuscript. I think I told him five times in the email. I was not a writer, but this was in my head and I had to get it out. All the edits were BRUTAL and I was like, ‘oh wow Nicole maybe this is not for you.’ I was discouraged because of all the corrections, but I knew he was only trying to make the book better, because from the first editing pass, he told me there was a store there. Truthfully after the 3rd editing pass when he sent me the correction, there was still so much work to do that I lost my drive and put the book on the shelf/computer drive for 5 years and didn’t look back. Over dinner and drinks with one of my “forever friends,” I admitted to writing the book and told her how discouraged I was by the corrections and how hard it was to get to the next phase. She listened to me and eventually told me to suck it up, life can be hard, but I did something and I needed to see it through. I heard her, but of course I didn’t listen (smirk face). I eventually told my mom and other friends about writing the book and all the editing that had to be done and they encouraged me to stick with it and see this idea through. In 2021, I completed my vision board to include being a published author. I set deadlines, missed deadlines, set more deadlines and eventually finished all the edits and went on with my publishing process. After some much needed personal and mental growth, I came to the point that I had no reason not to publish my book. I no longer wanted to be nervous or worried about what others would think, so as Drake says, “YOLO”, and I published. I said all that to say: that just because something is really hard and you get knocked down from time to time, it doesn’t mean you stay down. Get up, wipe yourself off and fucking try again. That is what I did and I am so happy, ecstatic, joyous, delighted and proud to say that I am a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I am a certified florist.
What are some of your pet peeves?
People who ask me a question, I give them an answer, but then they go ask someone else the same question, only to get the same answer I just gave. Seriously!!!!!
Where were you born/grew up at?
Born in Raleigh, NC. Grew up in Franklinton, NC
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Praying. Spending time with my family. Eating all the oreo’s I want.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Compassionate, too involved, very stressed, and overwhelmed. I am not president material. First Lady material, yes, I could totally do that job. Using my office to support a cause that is near to my heart and would hopefully change the lives of the people for the better. Inspire a nation with my goals and generosity. Being the support system for my husband as he was the world leader, I can be the best support system.
What are you passionate about these days?
I am passionate about becoming a best selling author and building my florist business into a successful small-business.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Read a book. Beige watch TV. Drink Wine, Vodka, or Rum (not all at the same time).
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Loyal. Educated. Beautiful. Resilient. Loveable.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got the final draft of the book cover for Ireland Finds Gold.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I have a few. I love movies. Huge Marvel fan. Love Rom-Coms. All Action films are amazing. Naming some classics that I love, Save the Last Dance, Bring It On, ATL, Black Panther, Avengers (all of them), Home Alone, Green Mile, Step-Mom, Man on Fire, Saving Private Ryan, Remember the Titans, Blackhawk Down so many more.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Ireland Finds Gold
What inspired you to write this book?
I had a goal and I wanted to achieve it, so I worked until I did.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More romance novels. More probation officer romances and possibly other law enforcement related romance novels. I want to write the things that everyday women can relate to.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Ireland Finds Gold?
Ireland is a probation officer who has seen too much of the dark side of people's character. She has a jaded world view and works hard not to project that on every person she meets. Ireland says what she means and means what she says. She is definitely a “not for everyone” type of woman. Xavier is a billionaire who didn’t see Ireland coming. He has never been challenged by a woman the way Ireland challenges him. Kelly is the best friend and secret mob daughter to Ireland. She has no filter and a strong personality. Lulu is the best friend and corporate boss beauty that is shy when it comes to her personal life, but dominates in a corporate setting.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I have been a probation officer for 13 years, first state and then federal, I have seen and heard some crazy shit. I draw from crazy experiences and then build them to be action packed to keep the reader engaged. Who doesn’t love a sexy billionaire, but Xavier has levels and he is not just your “average” billionaire.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The action scenes and the sex scenes. They both got hot and dangerous.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
The title was very hard to come to. It took so many nights of writing down titles that popped in my head. Ultimately, I made a play on the old saying about the luck of the Irish. So, I changed the last name of Xavier, and made it “Ireland Finds Gold.”
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change anything. I believe that God and prayer put me in the right place, mentally, physically and financially to finally self-publish my book. Life happens on God’s timing and right now is the time for Ireland Finds Gold.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Read my book. It is a great book. It is a quick read. It is fun, sexy, funny and action packed. It is a page turner and you will not be able to put it down.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
When Ireland and Xavier meet for the first time. That was so much fun to write. I love the idea of meeting the guy you didn’t know you needed in a nightclub. The looks he gave her, the flirting talk, the nerves Ireland had, the first glances, the first time they danced together, when she notices how sexy his shoulders are, (love a man with nice shoulders). It was just a hot, fun scene to write.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
What did you edit out of this book?
So much. So much. This book was really, really long when I first finished. It had to be cut down to trim all the unnecessary chatter and underdeveloped scenes.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
D.B. Reynolds EVERYTHING she writes, especially Vampires in America.
Christina Lauren, Beautiful Bastard Series
Kristen Proby, With Me in Seattle Series
Julia Quinn, I love the Bridgerton Series
Gary John Bishop
Kathi S Barton
I can keep going but I won't.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Vampires in America Series by D.B. Reynolds. That book series needs to be a TV or Movie ASAP.
How long have you been writing?
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
The main character comes to me in full view at once. The other characters come to me as I write.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I am striving, manifesting and praying to be able to become a full time writer.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
Yes. I love reading. I am all about Vampire Romance and/or Sci-fi romance. But I also love contemporary romance, sports romance, enemies to lovers, mob romance. Romance is my jam. I would read them all if I had the time in the day. I also enjoy reading personal growth books and books about financial investment.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
No more than 2 books at a time. But I will outline or write down new ideas I have that I can develop later.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Game of Thrones Series. That book series and TV series is beyond epic.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Do you have any advice to offer for new authors?
Keep Going. You got this. It is hard, but keep going.
Describe your writing style.
Drama, funny, dirty, lots of cuss words and lots of sarcasm.
What are you currently reading?
Book 15 in Vampires in America Series, Vampires in Europe, by D.B. Reynolds
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I just sit down and write. I put it all on the page. Then I go back, read and add to the scenes written to fill them out more until they are completely developed.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start writing sooner. You love it. It will be your future.