It’s time to interview another intriguing character. Let’s meet Daphne Bleau from Andrea Hintz’s action-adventure novel “Tesoro”.
Here’s a little information about the story.
What would you do if your wild, thrill-seeking cousin who is known for deceiving you into going on disastrous road trips and “disadventures” asked you for a ride? Daphne Bleau (that’s right, like the color) is not the kind to be tricked easily. She’s conservative, boring, and has a tremendous fear of trying anything new and exciting. She’s also brilliant, but her consideration and concern for her mischievous cousin causes her to fall for another one of her cousin’s antics. But this time, her cousin is caught up in something different...
The Tesoro project is one that requires solving difficult riddles and puzzles in order to track down artifacts left behind by a dangerous pirate group known as Tesoro who lived back in the late 1600s. What starts off as more of a leisure activity ultimately takes over and seems to permanently captivate whoever joins in on the search, making the people involved take extreme measures to stay ahead of each other. The clues start off simple, and gradually become more dangerous. By the end, their lives are at stake. To make matters more complicated, Daphne and her teammates have run into an uncle who has been almost completely absent for the past fifteen years. Her family has been secretive of the reasoning behind his whereabouts. The story begins in the beautiful Hamptons and unexpectedly transitions to Rome, Italy.
Throughout, there are flashbacks focusing on the story of Johnny Higgins; a rebellious, teenaged pirate who has been trapped in the Tesoro crew for years. His attempts to escape have failed him, and he feels as though he is living in a world not his own.
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Daphne Bleau. I’m twenty-two years old and have sort of a hard time trying new things, but I am incredibly smart (or so my cousin/best friend, Bailey, says). I had just finished college and was taking one last summer off when my cousin gave me a call to help her with a special project. Now I’m involved in a dangerous treasure hunt left behind the notorious Tesoro pirate crew. I never thought I would’ve gotten caught up in something like this.
How did your background get you involved in this novel?
It was my close relationship with my cousin, Bailey. We both grew up as the only child in each of our families, so we were basically sisters. Bailey is more thrill-seeking than I am, so she is always ready to go on another adventure. She’s the reason I am caught up in this treasure hunt now.
Who came first, you or the author?
I would say the author as Andrea was working on other stories before mine.
What’s your greatest strength? And of course, we want to know the opposite,
your greatest weakness.
My greatest strength is that I am intelligent. I can solve the difficult riddles that Bailey presents to me, which is why she needs me. My greatest weakness is that I am afraid of heights, which seems to challenge me in my story repetitively.
What is it about this story that sets it apart from the others?
One thing that sets my story apart is the fact that I am a woman and that I am so young. I believe in the advanced capabilities of women and young people (man or woman) and that they can do anything they set their minds to.
Tell us something about your background that may or may not be revealed in
My uncle was one of my closest friends as a child. He helped take care of me before he suddenly disappeared. Now that we’ve found him, and he can’t explain what made him leave, I’m having a hard time trusting him again.
Are you the type of person who always seeks out the company of others?
I usually keep to myself and only seek out the company of those closest to me.
What do you do to relax after a day’s work?
I love to sit outside when the weather is beautiful and read a book or visit with Bailey.
Which do you prefer, music or television?
It depends on my mood!
Who’s your best friend and what influence have they had on your life?
You will probably be able to guess at this point. Bailey is. But since you already know her background, I will tell you about my other best friend, Jack. He is Bailey’s intern she hired to help her with the Tesoro project. She introduced us and we have really hit it off. He is smart, kind, comforting, and level-headed, which helps me to keep Bailey’s antics reeled in during this trip.
What has been the most romantic thing you’ve ever done or instigated?
Honestly, I’m still waiting for my prince charming. We will see how things go. Bailey keeps telling me I should spend more time with Jack…
An excerpt from the story:
Daphne had been so shocked at his sudden appearance, she didn’t even realize that the rest of his cronies had joined in standing behind him. Except one of them was missing.
Which one? The scary guy. Was it Demetri?
“I don’t have anything,” Daphne replied.
“Ok, let’s come to an understanding,” Harold said. “You don’t want to have to deal with me, and you won’t have to if you work with us.”
“We’re not going to work with you,” Bailey said.
“Really?” Harold said. “Then you’ll have to deal with me.”
Harold reached for something that was hooked around his belt. Daphne’s eyes grew wide when she realized it was a holster. He pulled out the gun and pointed it at them.
The threat made Daphne step back, but she felt someone snatch the paper out of her hand.
She whirled around to see what had happened.
It was Demetri. His rough face showed a sly grin. And he was holding their clue.
“Got it,” Demetri said, holding it up.
Daphne realized his face was scarred up, which unnerved her even more.
But Demetri’s sly facial expression turned to one of surprise as someone snatched the paper out of his hand.
It was Mikey. He looked just as surprised.
Daphne’s uncle stood there for a moment, his eyes wide. “Go!”
Daphne had never run that fast before in her entire life. She could hear Harold and the others still chasing them, not that far behind.
Mikey did something that horrified Daphne. He took the paper they hadn’t even read yet, unrolled it, and tore it in half right down the middle. He kept one half and shoved the other in Daphne’s hand.
“Split up! Bailey, come with me,” Mikey said, grabbing Bailey’s arm. “You two stick together.”
Jack and Daphne turned and ran in the opposite direction.
Splitting was a good idea. That would mean Harold’s group would have to split too, which would mean less people chasing them. It definitely delayed their competitors because they slowed down for a moment and frantically tried to figure out who was supposed to go after who.
But they weren’t delayed for long. Harold shouted something at his teammates, and the chase continued.
Daphne was not about to turn around to see who was after her and Jack, but she could tell they were being closed in on.
She heard a sudden thud, like a person hitting the ground. Daphne finally turned her head around long enough to see what had happened.
Jill, the woman with the long, jet black hair, had gotten her foot caught in a root and was still on the ground trying to free herself. The odd guy with the dark facial hair, Max, stopped to help her. But Demetri continued chasing them. And he wasn’t about to slow down to help his teammates.
Daphne quickly folded up the page and held it tight to keep it safe.
When she turned around again a few moments later, Demetri was a lot farther behind. It looked like he was getting tired. But he wasn’t going to give up. She wasn’t looking where she was going, so she was surprised when Jack yelled, “Stop!”
Jack put his arm out to fence Daphne from going any further.
She looked down to see a steep, fifteen foot slope that would have resulted in a nasty fall. She’d completely missed it because the edge was covered in foliage and trees. Daphne checked behind her, and Demetri was getting awfully close.
“There’s a cave down there,” Jack said, pointing down.
There was no other option.
“Then that’s where we need to go,” Daphne answered quickly. “We need to get down there.”
Jack and Daphne tried to ease their way down the extremely steep slope, but there were no footholds. They both lost their footing and rapidly slid down the rest of the way.
Daphne closed her eyes, hoping she’d forget that she was falling. She really hoped she and Jack wouldn’t fall into one of the many jagged rocks and get injured.
Daphne opened her eyes when she felt herself land at the bottom of the mini cliff. The landing wasn’t as rough as she thought it would be because the grassy grounds were still soft from a morning mist.
She felt a little stunned, but was quickly re-aware of what was going on when Jack quickly grabbed her arm and pulled her up.
They ran over to the dark cave, hoping Demetri wouldn’t see where they went.
Jack let go of Daphne once they were in the cold, damp space. She could hear the voices of the other two catching up with Demetri.
“Where’d they go?” she heard Max ask.
“They went down this slope. I lost them after that,” Demetri said, sounding angry.
“Get down there and look around,” Max demanded.
Uh-oh. That was bad. Daphne looked to the back of the cave to see if there was an exit in the back. She could tell Jack was looking for the same thing. It was so dark that Daphne couldn’t even see the back of the cave.
She suddenly heard the thuds of their competitors landing on the ground nearby.
Daphne looked at Jack for what to do next. He glanced at her and looked as clueless as she did. The fact that she could hear the voices getting closer added to the stress. Daphne and Jack stepped back further until the light from the opening of the cave faded greatly.
“I bet they’re in there,” she heard Demetri say.
Daphne’s heart was starting to pound much harder than it already was.
Then she saw a way.
“Follow me,” Daphne said, starting to turn left into a new hallway.
Jack sounded confused. “Where?”
Daphne turned back around and struggled to find him. She couldn’t see Jack in the darkness. That meant he probably couldn’t see her either. She reached out in the direction of his voice and touched his shoulder.
He automatically reached up and touched her hand.
“This way,” Daphne said. She grabbed Jack’s arm and pulled him further into the cave. Daphne’s lack of vision forced her to depend on other senses. She held her free hand outward to feel for the walls. At one point, she touched something that she hoped was just growing moss. It was cold, wet, and mushy.
She kept going and continued sliding her hand across the wall as she walked. Daphne was determined to find a way out or a place to hide.
The cave wall suddenly disappeared from her hand, and she could feel an opening. Daphne turned in and walked until she touched a back wall. It was a nook of some sort that was only about six or seven feet deep. This would be a good place to hide.
Daphne and Jack both stayed silent as they pressed their backs against the wall. They remained there, trying to stay as far out of view as possible. The only sound they could hear now was the whistling breeze that curved its way through the cave’s halls.
For a moment, Daphne actually thought their competitors were gone until the daunting voice of Demetri calling down the cave jolted Daphne on the inside.
“Hello? Anyone home?” he called.
Daphne hoped their discreet hiding place would make it impossible for Demetri to find them. She had never tried so hard to stay silent. She was holding her breath, keeping her body still, and trying everything in her power to reduce her presence to nothing.
Daphne looked ahead, down at the cave floor, and saw a flashlight beam glide across. She pressed her back even harder against the back of the cave wall. Someone was very close to them.
About the Author
Andrea Hintz has loved writing her whole life. She began college at the age of thirteen and graduated at seventeen with a Bachelor's in Public Management and Administration. Having endless stacks of books, she has a particular interest in fiction genres that contain lots of adventure and take her to other places of the world. She has written many books including the books in The Tesoro Series, the Perception and Deception series, additional short stories, guest articles for writing blogs and literary magazines, as well as a short guide for beginning authors. Andrea also plays the guitar, sings, and has written notebooks and notebooks full of songs and book ideas. Her favorite books were very special to her growing up, and she believes that if at least one reader feels that way about her work, she will have successfully done her job as an author.
Links to her sites
Barnes and Noble:
A little music can tie it all together.
The excerpt I shared is a chase scene, so let’s go with some great chase scene music!