Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Happy National Poetry Month!
(And thank you Janga, for the lovely reminder!)

In THE DESIRE OF A DUKE (you all convinced me not to mess with the title just yet), I’ve given my heroine a much-cherished family home on the banks of the River Wye, not far from Tintern Abbey. And I’ve been reading and re-reading Wordsworth’s famed description of the area for inspiration:

The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
‘Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!

(From Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey)

Of course, Tintern Abbey itself never appears in the poem, but this 1794 watercolor by Turner captures the ruins as they might have looked to my heroine, in her youthful rambles.

One thing I love about writing romance set in the Regency period is that the period overlaps with the beginnings of true Romanticism, as an artistic, literary, and musical era. I don’t know that it’s especially historically probable, but I love imagining my characters to be influenced, subtly or overtly, by the capital-R Romantics of the day, Wordsworth and Turner among them. In the case of this … Read More »

I have returned from a morning offline to find my forthcoming Samhain novella, The Legend of the Werestag, embroiled in a legal battle.

The issue started with this announcement.

To which my, ahem, zealous legal counsel replied here. And the debate continued here.

I would like to publicly state that I have immediately fired Courtney Milan from her (unpaid, unsolicited) position as my legal adviser, and I make my profound apologies to Ms. Ann Aguirre and her representatives at the Dear Author Literary Agencies. Ms. Milan’s conduct in this matter has been appalling. She has made false claims based on an unregistered trademark, and besides — as anyone who has read the blurb or excerpt of my novella (releasing May 12th from Samhain) would realize, there are no actual wereruminants appearing in the story. Any references to

“four-legged beasts having four-chambered stomachs, with or without prongs, capable of shifting into one or more forms upon application of sufficient quantities of moonlight.”

are strictly hypothetical, and roundly derided by several of the characters.

As readers of this blog will no doubt know, I am a librarian and an advocate of intellectual freedom and unrestricted access. Far be it from me to restrict the loving satire of shifter stories by monopolizing the use of wereruminants in fiction. Ms. Aguirre and her weredeer trilogy have my best wishes for success.… Read More »

Is it just me, or is Facebook getting exponentially more daunting?

I got tagged a while ago to tell 8 interesting things about myself – that alone sounded difficult.  So I put it off…and then put it off some more.  Then someone else tagged me, and it had become 16 interesting things!  A week later…25!  Now I’ve been tagged by a few different friends for a survey–and the number of questions is up to 48!  Egads.  And I really was going to take a stab at it (before I got tagged for the 96-question round, you know), but then I looked at the questions and so many of them are variations on “What is your favorite_____?”

I don’t know what it is, but I can’t choose favorites.  Ice cream flavor, music, color, movie…heaven forfend, book!   If you ask me what my favorite ____ is, I just squirm.  Inside I’m thinking, Well, I love X…but then I love Y, for entirely different reasons…which do I love more?…I don’t know!…And then there’s Z!…What about Z??….Why must I choose?…I can’t handle this much cognitive dissonance within my fragile psyche! *tessa implodes*

So if you have been sweet enough to tag me lately, and I have not responded…this may be why.  Sorry!  It’s not you, it’s me.… Read More »

Wow!  Look, here I am on my new site!  I’m still figuring out how this works, so this is basically a test post.

Isn’t the diary page cool?  See the “Styles” feature at the left?  If you choose the different couples, the colors of the site change to match the respective book covers! How cool is that?  Courtesy of CrocoDesigns, folks.  Frauke, you’re amazing!… Read More »

If you visit the blog or my website this weekend, you may find it temporarily offline. The fabulous Frauke at CrocoDesigns is helping me sharpen up my WordPress template and make the whole site a little easier to use (for both me and others). I’ve decided to convert the non-blog part of my site to WordPress, too, so the conversion is going to take place this weekend. See you next week, all spiffy and updated!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!… Read More »

Okay, it hasn’t been raining quite that long, but it sure feels like we’re going to float away. Southern California is having what’s being called “our biggest storm of the year”, which to someone who grew up in the Midwest feels odd, because I think of a storm as a quick, crashing downpour accompanied by lightning and scary winds, and a California “storm” is more like…rain. And more rain. And a bit of a break, and then more rain.

Rain is good! (Unless you live in one of those areas where the brushfires were burning a few months ago, so now you’re in danger of mudslides. We don’t.) We always need water here. And once upon a time, I loved a rainy day. Rainy days meant cozying up with my favorite sweatshirt and blankets and tea and a good book. Mmmmm, nice.

At this stage in my life, however, rainy days mean two darelings literally bouncing off the walls with pent-up energy. In recent days, we’ve made cupcakes, done craft projects, used up every last piece of construction paper, and played lots of board and card games the darelings are really too young to understand. (My eldest’s idea of playing crazy eights is to spend ten minutes divvying up the cards so that she gets all the eights. Unsurprisingly, it’s a no-fail strategy!)

So here we are facing yet another rainy day with no school… Um, help? Please? What do I do with these kids?Read More »

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

One of the best things about being a romance writer is that I often feel like I’m living Valentine’s Day all year round.  So setting aside one separate day to celebrate romance seems a little odd, given my profession.  Maybe kinda like being the presidential biographer on Presidents’ Day?  Everyone else is suddenly paying attention to your field, but for you, it’s just another day of business as usual.

But there are all kinds of love stories in the world. Especially after I’ve become a mother, true stories like this one touch my heart in ways no Regency-era courtship can.

Read the full story here--it’s worth your time.

And here are my three favorite Valentine’s Day cards so far: Coverflats arrived this week!

coverflats

When you twist them in the light, those oval medallions shimmer.  I can’t stop looking at them.  Ooooh, shiny.… Read More »

It’s Tuesday, and I try to always blog on Tuesdays.  And usually I blog about something related to writing, because…uh, because I really have no life.  Seriously.  I write, I take care of my kids, I work at the library from time to time, I spend some time with Mr. Dare, and I try to keep the laundry pile from growing large enough to develop sentience.  That’s about it.

But wow – this week, I had a social life!  I went to a movie.  I went to a wine-tasting party on Saturday, and then a Super Bowl party on Sunday.  Whee!!

The movie I saw was Slumdog Millionaire.  And if you only see one movie this year (says the girl who only sees one movie a year), I suggest you make it this one.  Wow.  So gutwrenching and so heartwarming, so awful and wonderful, all at once.  It reminded me of that oft-repeated writing advice:  Make your characters suffer.  (Oops, I’m blogging about writing after all.  Oh, well.)  The protagonist, a Mumbai orphan named Jamal, has to go through so much crap (literally and figuratively) in this movie, by the last half-hour I just wanted to find director Danny Boyle and wring his guts until they felt as knotted as mine did.  But oh, how deeply it made me care.  And ah, how sweet the ending was, after all that pain.  As I left the theater, I felt resolved to put my characters through hell in this next book–and … Read More »

Author Lauren Dane (both e-pubbed and traditionally print-pubbed) has an excellent article on her blog about the differences between the two.  Note: not the superiority of one or the other, just the differences.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an actual blog of my own. 🙂

Wasn’t that a great Super Bowl?… Read More »

The blog will be on holiday for a few weeks, as the Dare family gathers ’round to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.  Grandma and Grandpa Dare will be arriving for a visit, to the delight of all.  The darelings are all aflutter with excitement for Santa’s arrival.  And I got the lovely Christmas gift of copy edits for SURRENDER OF A SIREN, which I must complete before the year’s out.  It’s appropriate, because SURRENDER is the only of the three books which actually includes a Christmas!

Oh, and I’ve seen the mockup for that cover…it’s beautiful!  And I still can’t show it to you. 🙂

One of my New Year’s Resolutions will be to be a more consistent blogger.  But until then, I wish you all a very Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and more!… Read More »