Tessa Dare | New York Times Bestselling Author
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Monday, November 16th, 2015
Ripping the bodice

Today I want to share an excerpt from my December novella. But first, some backstory.

About a month ago, two romance-reading sisters in Southern California emailed to say they were planning to open a new bookstore, and raising seed money for furnishings and inventory on Kickstarter.

When I first heard about Bea and Leah’s business plan, I was thrilled for two main reasons.

First: A new all-romance bookstore in Los Angeles? Yes, please!!!

Second: I loved the name they’ve chosen: The Ripped Bodice.

See, I’ve been hiding a little Easter egg in my books ever since Goddess of the Hunt, my debut.  All my books (or at least most of them, if I’ve missed one or two… I should really make a list one of these days!) include a scene with… yes, a ripped bodice.

Sometimes the bodice-ripping is accidental, rather than intentional. Occasionally, it’s just fantasy. Sometimes the ripped garment is not actually a bodice, but rather a petticoat or a gentleman’s shirt. In at least one book (Three Nights with a Scoundrel), the heroine rips her own bodice, and quite shamelessly at that. For me, it’s become a nod to the history of my favorite genre, a little wink to the reader, and a reminder to myself that romance tropes are ours to embrace, celebrate, and subvert as we wish. Plus, I’m not ashamed to admit–during an encounter between two enthusiastic participants, I think a bit of ripping fabric can be sexy as anything!

Cover of Lord Dashwood Missed Out But I’ve never had more fun with the trope than I did in writing my next novella, Lord Dashwood Missed Out. And it’s undoubtedly my most historically accurate bodice-ripping yet.

So in honor of Bea and Leah and The Ripped Bodice kickstarter (which ends in just two days), I thought I’d share the excerpt.

In this scene, the quarreling hero and heroine have found themselves locked out of their tiny cottage—at night, in the falling snow, while they’re dressed in…nothing much at all.

From Lord Dashwood Missed Out, releasing December 8th:

The tips of his ears had gone numb, and frost stung at his nose and lips. He pulled her head tight to his chest and buried his face in her hair.

“Be calm,” he whispered.

“I can’t be calm. We have to do something.” She perked with a sudden surge of energy. “I’m not going to go easily.”

No, my darling. You never would.

“We were always best at solving problems as a team.” She turned to investigate the window and its frame. “Of course the hinges would be inside. We can’t remove it altogether.”

“And it’s too high for me to try battering it in. If I had an axe, I could break through.” He pushed at the seam of the two wooden panels, testing the latch. “If we could manage a slender lever of some sort, perhaps we could ease it through the gap and lift the hook.”

She tugged at his sleeve. “My c-corset. There’s a whalebone busk down the center, just here.”

She drew a line from the midpoint of her sternum to her navel, tracing the shape of a narrow bar.

He framed her rib cage in his hands, running a thumb down the inch-wide spur of whalebone. “That just might do the trick. We only have to get it out.”

He curled his fingers under the two cups of her corset and pulled them in opposite directions.

“You mean to rip it in half?”

“I’ll have it in a moment.” He braced his feet, took a stronger grip, and tried again. “This stitching . . . is remarkably . . . strong.” He let go and stood back, breathing hard. “How do pirates manage their plundering?”

She giggled. “I don’t know about pirates, but I know seamstresses sew these with a little p-pocket.” She guided his fingers to the valley between her breasts. “Just here. To slide the busk in and out.”

His fingers took hold of the pale, thin divider, and out it slid. “Ah. I see. That does make more sense.”

“I would have thought you’d know your way around a lady’s undergarments.”

Dash shook his head. There wasn’t time to discuss this now. Nor was there time to contemplate the exquisite softness of her breasts.

“I’ll boost you.” Lunging one boot forward, he made his knee into a stepstool. “Like so. You’ll have to wedge the shutters apart with your shoulder and sneak the busk through.”

“I know.” Her teeth chattered.

“Are your hands warm? Because if you bobble that thing and drop it inside before the shutter’s unlatched, we’re finished.”

“I know. But I’m not getting any warmer.”

Dash wasn’t convinced. He took the busk from her shaking grip and caught it in his teeth. Then he yanked up the hem of his shirt and pulled her chilled hands flat against his abdomen before drawing their two bodies close.

I know, I know… it’s cruel of me to cut off the scene just as things were heating up. **insert wicked laughter here**

If you’d like to kick in a few dollars to help make this new romance bookstore a reality, I invite you check out The Ripped Bodice’s kickstarter page in the next 48 hours. As I write this, they’re soooo close to fully funding the store’s start-up costs, and they’re offering an abundance of cute rewards to supporters, from totebags to tank tops and more.

Ripped Bodice tote bag

And yes, my name is on the tote bags! And yes, I was ridiculously flattered by that. And yes, of course it made me feel even more warmly toward the booksellers. But really, they had me at “Ripped Bodice.” :)

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
What’s coming next, you ask?

I am back from a fantastic October full of traveling to meet readers in Dallas, Portland, and in-between! And one question I heard several times was…

Tessa, what’s coming out next?

Two things! And both of them are related to Spindle Cove. As astute readers have reminded me lately, we have a few loose ends to tie up in that world! I am delighted to be back in that charmingly subversive village, sipping doctored tea at the Bull and Blossom and scribbling away.

December 8, 2015: Lord Dashwood Missed Out, a novella

This fun little story came from a plot bunny that had been hopping around my head for a few years. It features an outraged lord, a scorned spinster, and an inconvenient snowstorm. I love a good snowed-in story for the holidays, don’t you? Dash and Nora are an entirely new couple, but the novella features quite a bit of action in Spindle Cove and you’ll see appearances from many of the previous characters.

Coming mid-2016: Do You Want to Start a Scandal?

This will be the oft-asked-for Charlotte Highwood book. I’m working on it right now. As you may recall, in Charlotte’s own words, if Diana is the beauty of the Highwood family and Minerva is the brains, Charlotte is the spirit. She needs a strong, confident hero to balance her, and I think I’ve found just the man who needs her desperately in return–but you’ll have to wait a a bit longer to find out more about him. 😉

More info and excerpts will be coming soon. Until then, happy autumn!




Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
On the road again!

Check out these events! If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you!

October 3 & 4th -Richardson, TX (Dallas area)

  • Book Signing October 3rd at 2pm,  Barnes and Noble Firewheel,190 Cedar Sage Dr., Garland, TX. Authors signing: Tessa Dare, Katharine Ashe, D. D. Ayres, Linda Broday, HelenKay Dimon, Shana Galen, Barb Han, Sophie Jordan, Diane Kelly, Lizbeth Selvig, Tracy Solheim, Kay Thomas, J. D. Tyler, Becky Wade, Lori Wilde
  • Buns and Roses Romance Tea for Literacy, October 4th, 3-6PM at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson. I’m honored to be the keynote speaker!

October 10th – Solvang, CA

  • Solvang Public Library: 2-3pm.-1745 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA, 93463
    Eva Leigh and I will be giving a talk and reading from our books. Signing & informal reception afterward.

October 24th – Portland, OR

  • Avon Romance KISSCON -Co-hosted by Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
    3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005 -VIP Reception ($35): 4pm-5pm, Public Event (free): 5:30-7:30pm TICKETS here!
    Public Book Signing: 5:30pm-7:30pm
    Featured Authors: Darcy Burke, Gayle Callen, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas, Eva Leigh, Julie Anne Long, Julia Quinn, Candis Terry
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
NYT and USA Today Bestseller!

I am so thrilled to report that When a Scot Ties the Knot is a bestseller!
When a Scot Ties the Knot cover art

  • #15 on the New York Times  mass-market fiction list
  • #19 on the New York Times combined print/e-book list
  • #30 on the USA Today bestselling books list
  • #15 on the Barnes and Noble mass-market bestsellers list

I promise, no lobsters were harmed in the celebration. I might have killed a pint of ice cream, though. 😉

Thank you so, so much to everyone who read the book, recommended it to a friend, requested it from their library, blogged about it, or posted a review. I’m just so grateful for all the love you’ve shown Maddie and Logan.

And if you haven’t read it yet… What are you waiting for?


Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
When a Scot Ties the Knot is on sale!

I love release day!

When a Scot Ties the Knot, the third book in my bestselling Castles Ever After series, is on sale now in e-book, paperbook, audio, and large print formats.

Ever since I read my first Julie Garwood romance, I’ve always longed to write a Highlander hero. This year, I finally got my chance! The heroine, Madeline, has inherited a castle in the most lonely, untamed corner of the Highlands—a castle she occupies in peace, until she is joined by a certain lonely, untamed Highlander. :) I hope you enjoy Maddie and Logan’s story.

Read reviews here, or the first chapter here. Order links for all formats are here.

Many readers have been asking what comes next. Well, I am thrilled to announce a return to Spindle Cove!

Look for Lord Dashwood Missed Out, an all-new Christmas novella, in e-book on December 8 (paperback release to follow). LDMO features an all-new couple, but there will be appearances from many favorite Spindle Cove characters.

And in 2016, the lively Miss Charlotte Highwood (Diana and Minerva’s younger sister) will be getting her own romance in a full-length novel. Title, release date, and more information to come!

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
All sorts of good news!

Congratulations RITA Award Winner Historical Romance: Short

RITA statue

RITA herself!

It’s been a busy summer for the Dare family, with a good deal of travel and excitement going on. I’ve just come home from the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City, and I was so thrilled to be bringing a shiny new friend home with me.

Romancing the Duke won the RITA® award for Best Historical Romance: Short! What an honor and thrill. (And if you haven’t read it yet, the book is currently on sale for $2.99 at most retailers!)

Now I’m getting so excited for the release of the next Castles Ever After installment, When a Scot Ties the Knot. Release day is August 25–less than a month away! Logan and Maddie’s story is already garnering some lovely reviews, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. And if you’re eager to start reading, I’ve just added a nice long look at Chapter One right here on the website. Enjoy!

Preorder links are available for your use, too. :)

Sunday, May 31st, 2015
Tessa’s on the move!

I’m gearing up for an exciting summer! Check out my “Upcoming Appearances” for information about book signings and events in Manila, Philippines (June 27th), New York City (July 22nd), and Dallas, TX (October 4th).

Other news:

Release day for When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, book 3) is less than 3 months away! Get your first sneak peek and find pre-order links here.

Three Nights with a Scoundrel is now available as an audiobook!

Last but not least, don’t miss The Best of Romance Summer Giveaway, ongoing through July 15th! Great prizes, including a Samsung tablet and a $200 gift card.

Best of Romance Summer giveaway banner

Friday, April 17th, 2015
2015 RITA Finalist


Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, announces the finalists for the 2015 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards. The RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. 

2015 RITA Finalist

Historical Romance: Short


Romancing the Duke
by Tessa Dare
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Tessa Woodward, editor


Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
California Dreamin…


If you’re in SoCal this weekend, you can find me at the California Dreamin’ Writers Conference. http://caldreaminwritersconf.org/




Thursday, January 8th, 2015
Coming events!

First, thank you so much to all my wonderful readers for putting Say Yes to the Marquess on the USA Today bestseller list!

Second, I’m excited about some upcoming events and wanted to spread the word!

On January 12th, I’ll be reading from and signing copies of my latest book at Lady Jane’s Salon in Orange County (Anaheim). See this link for details!

On February 8th, I’ll be part of the “Romance and Perfume” program at the Beverly Hills Public Library, along with author Denise Hamilton. More information here.

And on March 29th, I’ll be signing books at the California Dreamin’ writers conference in Brea, California. The book signing is open to the public, from 2-4 pm at the Embassy Suites Brea.

Later this spring and summer, I’ll be in Dallas for the RT Convention and NYC for Romance Writers of America – I’m even planning to do a few bookstore visits in the Philippines! More info to come. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and making new friends at all of these events!