Tessa Dare | New York Times Bestselling Author
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Thursday, May 13th, 2010
A very beastly birthday, on which Tessa reveals all…

Note: I meant to post this yesterday, but realized I was missing some data. I have remedied that, and now it’s complete.

The Werestag is having his birthday! My e-novella The Legend of the Werestag was released from Samhain Publishing exactly one year ago this week.

Digital publishing is changing rapidly (understatement alert!), and has changed a great deal even in the past year. At RWA National Conference this summer, I’ll be on a panel titled “Digital Publishing for the Print Published Author” with some Samhain editors and authors. I think one of the themes of our panel will be that digital and traditional print publishing can mesh together as two parts of a viable, growing career.

One stumbling block authors run up against, however, is that it can be very hard to get sales information for digital publishing. How much can a writer reasonably expect to earn, if she decides to e-publish?

In many ways, this is an impossible question to answer. Because most digital publishers pay only a nominal advance or no advance, most compensation comes in the form of royalties–and there’s simply no way of knowing how well an e-book (or any book) will sell. In addition, there’s no such thing as an “average” performing e-book. They can sell copies in the thousands or in the teens.

In the hopes that it might help other authors considering digital publishing, I am going to publicly post my sales and royalty information for TLOTW, to date. (Below the fold, because it’s long)

Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Interview and giveaway

If you entered my “First Chance” contest last week and didn’t win, here’s your Second Chance. :)

The lovely folks at All About Romance invited me to participate in their “Books with Buzz” feature. On the AAR blog today, there’s an interview with me about the new series, and commenters will be entered to win one of ten copies of One Dance with a Duke!

The link is here. Go comment and win!

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
First Chance winners!

Sorry to be posting so late – this was my evening to work at the library. But I am home, and I have spent several minutes on Random.org, cross-matching with preferences and such, and lo — I have winners.

Let me just say – I wish I could send each and every one of you a copy of One Dance with a Duke. But if you didn’t win it this time, do not despair. I will be receiving more copies, and there are some other online giveaways planned. This is just the first chance, but not your last chance. :)


Winners of my two copies of One Dance (yes, I’m parting with both *sniff*) are:

Ann Marie – #36
Catie James – #45

Other prizes go to:
Takyra Morgan – #62 – Lessons Learned
Aimee Marie – #12 – Catch Me If You Can
Thalia – #21 – Servicing Rafferty
Rachie G – #43 – Beauty Tempts the Beast
Sarah – #5 – Jazz Baby
Kelly S – #37 – The Legend of the Werestag
etirv – #58 – $10 gift cert for My Bookstore and More
iokijo – #28 – $10 gift cert for My Bookstore and More

So if you won something, please shoot me a message from my Contact form. If it’s an ebook or gift certificate you won, I’ll just need the email address you want me to send it to. If you’ve won a print book, of course I’ll need the snail mail addy.

To all the rest – If you haven’t done so already, you can use this form to request free bookmarks as a consolation prize. :)

Thank you all so very much for playing!

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Giveaway! First chance to read ONE DANCE…

Warning: Loooong post ahead. But so worth reading to the end. :)

I returned from RT on Sunday – and what did I find awaiting me? My first two print copies of One Dance with a Duke!
There is something so special about seeing your book in its bound form for the very first time. A big part of me just wants to clutch my preciouses to my chest, but instead I’m going to give at least one of them away. Today! Here! But that’s not all!

You see, I worked very hard on One Dance with a Duke, and I am so proud of it–as I am of all the books I’ve written for Ballantine. But while I was at RT, it also hit hard for me how very proud I am to be a Samhain author. It was just about a year ago that my very first published work, a tongue-in-cheek novella called The Legend of the Werestag, was unleashed on the world as an ebook from Samhain Publishing. As a small press, Samhain is on the cutting edge of innovative romance. I tell you, the editors and authors were everywhere at RT, just bubbling over with excitement about new titles, print programs, awards.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with Kate Davies, who won the 2009 RT Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Indie Press Contemporary Romance, for Lessons Learned. Kate (pictured left, next to author Wendi Darlin) was kind enough to sign a copy for me at the Bookfair. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but hello–it’s an RT Reviewer’s Choice winner, which means it must be fabulous. (And I am so not saying that because I also won an RT award.)

While in Ohio, I also had the pleasure of having lunch with Janie Mason (and why didn’t I take her picture?), the author of one of my favorite Samhain titles, Servicing Rafferty. This is a sexy, charming friends-to-lovers romance featuring characters who have stuck with me ever since that first read.

Blogger Lisabea, who writes m/m (male/male) romance as L.B. Gregg, was my partner-in-crime for the champagne reception and Mr. Romance pageant. (The champagne would be responsible for our “rosy glow” in this picture, I think!) After leaving RT, I bought her Samhain release, Catch Me if You Can, figuring if Lisabea was even one-tenth as entertaining in prose as she is in person, I knew I would in for a treat – and I was sooo right.

Then yesterday, Leslie Dicken‘s fabulous Beauty Tempts the Beast came out in a print edition. I read this last year as an e-book, and I loved it. It’s a sexy, gothic historical romance–think Daphne duMaurier, only scorching hot. A funny coincidence is that her hero is named Lord Ashworth. That’s the title of my own scarred, tortured hero in Twice Tempted by a Rogue, so I felt an immediate kinship. :)

And I can’t forget Lorelie Brown‘s amazing Jazz Baby! What could be more sultry and smoldering than a romance set in the Prohibition era? Jazz, gin, a speakeasy, bootleggers, and a hot undercover agent. Oh, yeah. 8)

I could go on and on. So many good books!

So to recap, here are the books I’ll be giving away:

One Dance with a Duke (print, exclusive early copy!)
Lessons Learned (print or ebook, winner’s choice)
Servicing Rafferty (ebook)
Catch Me if You Can (ebook)
Beauty Tempts the Beast (print or ebook, winner’s choice)
Jazz Baby (ebook)
The Legend of the Werestag (ebook)

To enter, just comment and list the three titles that most tickle your fancy. Clicking on the titles above will give you blurbs and excerpts. (And no, you will not be disqualified if One Dance with a Duke is not in your top three. :) ) Using Random.org and some kind of alchemy, I will create a list of winners. Because these are but a fraction of the awesome titles Samhain has to offer, there will also be two $10 gift certificates to My Bookstore and More in the pot.

This is a one-day contest. For serious. Entries will close at noon Pacific time on Thursday, and I will post winners Thursday night so I can get to mailing prizes on Friday. So get the word out and get your entries in!

(Note: Please don’t hesitate to enter if you don’t have a special e-reading device. All Samhain titles are available in DRM-free HTML and PDF formats, which means they can easily be read on any computer. If you’re reading this post, you can read a Samhain ebook.)

Friday, April 30th, 2010
Winners! (Not a mistake)

Thanks for your patience. I’m here at RT in Columbus–and shockingly not online 24/7, as I usually am! But I figured out the hotel wi-fi this morning and Random.org kindly gave me two winners for Maggie Robinson’s fab Mistress by Mistake (which, by the way, received a very nice review at Dear Author yesterday!)

Winners are:

#9 – Danielle Yockman
#16 – Cecilia Grant

Congratulations, ladies! Please use the contact form to send me your snail mail addresses, so I can send you the book.

Speaking of prizes, I was very honored to receive the RT Reviewer’s Choice award for Best First Historical Romance yesterday evening! I was so very honored. It’s a beautiful award–very clear and shiny and therefore difficult to photograph, but here’s an attempt.

Of course, I have no pictures of me holding it, but I’ll try to get some from a friend.

I’ve been having a great time, meeting readers and booksellers and fellow authors from around the country. If anyone at RT is reading this, please come find me at the book signing and say hi! I should have some of the new excerpt books I made with Courtney Milan. :)

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Monday, April 26th, 2010
Make no mistake — it’s a debut giveaway!

It’s another banner day in Romancelandia! Another dear friend is celebrating her print debut. Today’s toast is for Maggie Robinson. I met Maggie online over three years ago now, and I’ve been a fan of her writing from day one. She’s since signed contracts with two different publishers, and the world’s going to be treated with several of her smart, sexy stories over the next few years.

I’m so excited to spread the word of her first novel to release, Mistress by Mistake, which is in stories today. In the words of Anna Campbell, it is “a marvelously sexy romp!”

Here’s the blurb:

Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once—and she’s paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she’d never succumb to men’s desires again. But even a village spinster’s life miles from temptation can’t save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost…

Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He’d fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn’t expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them…

A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society’s judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love…

I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book, and this is part of the babbling, gushing fan letter I sent Maggie when I was through:

Maggie, it’s wonderful. I loved Bay and Charlie so much. They felt so real to me, and their physical and intellectual chemistry was just palpable on every page… Your prose is just so stunning. All those beautiful details of setting and the senses, and the dialogue is just sparkling… I could feel you having fun writing it, and I had so much fun reading it.

Don’t you want to have fun reading it, too? Of course you do!

So, it’s a contest! Comment to enter; two lucky people will win copies of Mistress by Mistake. Entries are open until midnight EST, Thursday.

Since Mistress by Mistake begins with the hero, Bay, mistaking the heroine, Charlotte, for his newly acquired mistress–the topic is mistaken identity. Name a favorite book or movie that deals with mistaken identity (mine’s While You Were Sleeping!), or if you have one, tell a real-life story of mistaken identity.

Here’s mine. Once, many years ago, I was out at a crowded club with my then-boyfriend. He’d been standing just behind me, and slightly to the side. I took a step back and laid my head on his shoulder…only to hear some strange voice say, “Uh, you got the wrong guy.” Yes, my then-boyfriend had moved away to look at something else, and I’d unwittingly cozied up to a complete stranger. If the embarrassment wasn’t bad enough, this guy had the nerve to act offended about it. “Dude,” I wanted to say,”come on. You could do worse.” :D

Let the mistakes begin!

Monday, April 26th, 2010
Der squee!

Thanks to Melanie, a very alert reader in Austria, I’ve got my first foreign cover!

Goddess of the Hunt will be released in German translation on October 18, 2010.  I’m told the German title, Der Kuss der Jagerin (so sorry, don’t know how to do the umlaut in WordPress), translates as “Kiss of the Huntress.”  I love that. Isn’t that an awesome title?

And I love this cover!  Love the colors, and lush, verdant setting and the flowers in her hair.  I just adore clinch covers, and I’m not ashamed to say it.

Also, I cannot help but notice that my name is way bigger on this cover than it has been on any of my North American covers to date.  Like, bigger than than the title.  Woohoo!  Awesomeness, all around.

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
The making of an excerpt booklet

So my dear friend, critique partner, fellow RITA nominee, role model, and general inspiration in life, Ms. Courtney Milan, is spending her pre-RT Con weekend at the Chicago Spring Fling conference. And she took with her copies of our new excerpt booklet (You may remember that last year we joined forces to create The Dangerous Book of Excerpts, still available as a PDF download here).

Here’s a pic of the new one, Highlights, snapped by SB Sarah:

Here’s a peek at the back:

Even though Courtney is the one handing these babies out, I want to make sure credit for this masterwork is distributed evenly and appropriately. So here is how the grand collaboration went.

Tessa: Hey, do you want to make some excerpt books again, to put in the RT Bookseller goody bags?
Courtney: Sure!
Tessa: Okay, I’ll tell them we’ll be sending some. Any ideas for a theme this year?
Courtney: No, but something will come to us.

**weeks pass**

Courtney: So, if we’re going to make the deadline, we should make those excerpt books…um, now.
Tessa: OH. And here I forgot to schedule my brainstorm. What’s popular right now that we can riff on? Um. Cupcakes? Can we call it Pride and Prejudice and Hot Lovin’?
Courtney: Uh. Your ideas suck.
Tessa: I know, I know.
Courtney: Here’s one that doesn’t.
Tessa: Oooooh, that’s good!
Courtney: *hours later* Here, I made eight alternate covers. Which do you like best?
Tessa: B, I think. Or maybe C. D is also good.
Courtney: *sighing* Great. Can you send me your files, so I can do all the layout and all the formatting, because you, Tessa, are completely useless with desktop publishing and image software?
Tessa: (10 minutes later) Sure, here!

**a day or two later**

Courtney: *panting* Here is the product of my many, many hours of work, stolen from my precious deadline-meeting efforts. What do you think?
Tessa: Can my name be bigger? And golden?
Courtney: *grumble*
Tessa: Oh, and pay for everything, will you? And I’ll cut you a check at RT. Sweet. You’re a peach.

So it’s an equal partnership, obviously. For the record, I did try to convince her to take top billing. But she had some problem with that, design-wise. It apparently didn’t look symmetrical. *shrug*

This is a limited print run, so if you’ll be at the Spring Fling or RT, look sharp! But who knows, maybe we (read: Courtney) will do another downloadable PDF.

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
Cat’s out of the bag

Next week I’ll be traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to attend my very first RT Booklovers’ Convention, the annual reader/author event sponsored by RT Book Reviews magazine (formerly known as Romantic Times). Some months ago, I learned that my debut, Goddess of the Hunt, was nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice award in the Best First Historical Romance category. I was so honored.

This week, RT published the full list of the nominees and winners. I was even more honored that GotH was chosen to receive the award! I should caution, though — at the moment it says something like “Best Historical” next to my category. Tempting as it is to grab that glory and run with it, I feel the need to clarify that the award is still for “Best First Historical Romance,” which is a tremendous honor and in and of itself, especially considering that I was nominated next to these wonderful authors:

Lavinia Kent, A TALENT FOR SIN
Tina Gabrielle, LADY OF SCANDAL
Lindsay Townsend, A KNIGHT’S CAPTIVE

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners in every category. And to anyone who’ll be in Columbus next week, I look forward to seeing you there! Although I still have no idea what I’ll be wearing to accept this very cool award.

Oh! While I’m posting, I should mention that the new June issue of RT has a 4-1/2 star, Top Pick! review of One Dance with a Duke!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Two easy ways to do good today

The other day, my friend and fellow author Jennifer Haymore announced on her blog that she’s been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. (You may remember that I hosted a giveaway just a few weeks ago to celebrate the release of her newest book, A Touch of Scandal.) Her prognosis is good and her attitude is fantastic, but I’m sure she’d appreciate all the support, prayers, and well wishes she can get. Whether you’ve read her books or not, if you’d like to send a good thought her way, you can visit her blog to do so, or click on over to Smart Bitches Trashy Books today. SB Sarah is collecting helpful hints and tips for getting through cancer treatment, and giving away several copies of Jennifer’s book.

YA author Rosemary Clement Moore is celebrating the paperback release of Highway to Hell with her wonderful Mosquitoes Suck Contest.

From Rosemary’s blog:

In Africa, the bite of one mosquito can transmit malaria, a disease which kills one person every 30 seconds.

Can you believe that a $10 mosquito net could save someone’s life? It can.

The United Nation Foundation’s Nothing but Nets Campaign is a global, grassroots effort dedicated to saving lives by preventing malaria in Africa. When you make a $10 donation, 100% of your contribution goes directly toward purchasing and distributing an insecticide-treated mosquito net and teaching the recipient to use it properly…

Make any size donation to the Nothing But Nets Campaign, and you will be entered in a drawing to win one of a growing list of prizes.

Included in that “growing list of prizes” is a gift certificate donated by yours truly, as well as gift cards and books from a whole slew of authors. Any donation – even one dollar – will enter you in the drawing. All the rules and easy-to-follow instructions are here. This is one of those wonderful opportunities where the amount you might spend on a book or a movie can make a real, lasting life-changing — make that life-saving — difference for someone else.

I’m so inspired by Jennifer and Rosemary’s courage and conviction, and I hope you can find the time to support them both.

Anyone want to share a way to do good today?