Hey, I’m a guest Maven today! Sooooo exciting. Click over and read me trying to sound erudite … or something. Seriously, I just re-read it, and I don’t even understand me. That is what happens when you write with a toddler hanging around your neck and spinning your swivel chair. Gives new meaning to the phrase “dizzying intellect.”

Anyhow, speaking of phrases – I’m starting to think about expanding my website, and I’m thinking about my Tessa Dare “brand.” I need come up with a catch phrase that describes my voice. This is hard. That’s why I’m bribing you to do it for me. Yes, there will be prizes!

Right now I have something about “blending light wit and rich passion into delicious historical romance” — which is not bad, but it A) is too long, and B) seems to imply that I can cook. Heh.

So kindly post any suggestions you might have. I realize this will probably be easier for those of you who have read my book. For those who haven’t, here are some words and phrases that (I dearly hope) describe my voice and books:

*light and fresh
*humorous, often tongue-in-cheek
*fast-paced, dynamic
*H/H focused (no spies, stolen jewels, or blackmail subplots)
*subtle twisting of romance cliches
*historical romance with a modern edge
*sexy but not graphic
*fun to read

Let the brainstorming begin!

I’ll draw a random winner from everyone who posts to receive 3 current Ballantine releases of her choosing (gotta plug my new … Read More »


I’ve posted this pic of Clive today because… well, do I really need a reason?

No, I would contend. But I did have one anyway. You see, for a while Mr. Dare and I had this running joke that in every one of his movies, Clive had some variation on the line, “If you touch her, I will kill you.” Similar to the ubiquitous “Whoa” in Keanu Reeves flicks.

And while Mr. Dare and I had a good chuckle over this little joke of ours, I think it came to my attention in the first place because – damn, is it ever hot when he says that! That deep voice, that intense look … *shivers*

It seems that most romance novels feature hero jealousy to some degree. So it must be something that works for a lot of us – that the mere suggestion of another man skimming a single finger over his beloved’s pale, satiny shoulder will compel the hero to drive his fist into walls, or his rapier into expendable characters. Of course, nothing turns me off as a reader faster than completely irrational jealousy, especially when the hero turns his anger on the girl instead of the shoulder-skimmer or repeatedly refuses to believe perfectly good explanations. (“Truly I tell you, he was only flicking an aphid off my shoulder!”, etc.) But in general, for me at least, fictional jealousy = hawt.

Real life male jealousy … not so much. That must be why I’ve never ended … Read More »

Here comes the Oscar speech….don’t say I didn’t warn you…

I’m so paranoid that I will leave someone out of this post. Please forgive me if it’s you! I didn’t mean to, I swear… I reserve the right to keep adding to the list. I have so many people to thank for helping me with this book. I think the only way to do this is sort of chronologically.

Thank you to:

  • My parents, for always reading to me when I was little, and for listening to my own bizarre stories with a minimum of eye-rolling.
  • My grandparents, for asking for several years now “when I’m going to write my book.” This probably isn’t the book they’d envisioned showing around the church potluck, but I guess we’ll deal with that in 2009.
  • Mr. Dare, for teaching me the meaning of whirlwind romance and happily-ever-after love.
  • The Darelings, for putting up with a highly distracted mother for the past year.
  • Jane Austen, for being my inspiration and for writing the greatest h/h ever!
  • Susan, Pamela, and Barbara, for supporting my dabblings in the realm of Jane Austen fanfic – which could technically be called my first attempts at Regency romance. Special thanks to Susan for her beta-reading prowess and for being such a warm, generous soul.
  • Everyone I met through FanLit (and here there are too many to name!) – for keeping me perky postpartum and inspiring me and giving me the confidence to go forward.
  • All the wonderful groups that
Read More »

Well, lots of calls. And emails. This has been one crazy week. But this afternoon I finally got THE call (which I missed) from my new editor! I’ll be replaying that voicemail message all weekend, let me tell you…

I am extremely excited to tell you all that Goddess of the Hunt and two other books will be released as a trilogy in 2009, from Ballantine!

There are so many people I have to thank. I think I’ll be spreading the thank-yous out over the coming week. First and foremost, I have to thank the wonderful Mr. Dare, who has supported me financially, emotionally, and in every other possible way over the past year. Some of you may remember that almost exactly a year ago, he totaled his car. Instead of buying a new one, he’s been driving an 18-year-old VW for the past year so we could use the money to pay bills. He’s worked overtime on weekends to make ends meet. And never once would he let me entertain the idea of giving up writing to go back to a ‘paying’ job. He is truly my hero.

Second, I must thank my amazing CPs, CM and India. These are two of the most brilliant, talented, and kind-hearted women I have ever known, and I am so proud to count them as friends and critique partners. None of this of would be happening without them. Many of you have helped me and supported me and critiqued for me over … Read More »

I’m kind of short on time and inspiration this morning, but let’s just try a little experiment, shall we?

Complete the following sentence (anonymously, if you wish) –

Everyone else seems to rave about it. I really feel like I should like it, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit I don’t. But honestly, I just can’t understand the appeal of __________.

Feel free to interpret the question in whatever context you wish.… Read More »

I strive to include sensory detail in my writing, to evoke that sense of time and place that is so important when writing historicals, but I think I have the most difficulty incorporating period-appropriate sounds.

Visual detail is fairly simple to come by. We have period paintings and illustrations to study, current photographs of the landscape.

Smell is always easy to evoke, because it’s so basic and strong a sense. If I write, “he approached a pine tree,” one hundred readers will picture one hundred different pine trees. If I say, “he smelled pine,” one hundred readers will all know exactly the scent I mean.

As for taste and touch… information on 19th-century cookery and fabrics is readily available. And many essentials – like skin and hair and rain and grass – feel pretty much the same now as they did then.

But it’s difficult to find descriptions of how the Regency sounded. Compared to our modern society, I’d imagine I’d find it unbearably noisy at times, and uncomfortably silent at others. But that would be my modern perspective. One of the things I love about my town is the lovely variety of ambient sounds. As I sit and listen to the sounds that filter through my open window throughout the day, I will hear freight trains passing, small airplanes headed for our local airport, the bells from the church downtown, even the dull pop-popping of a nightly fireworks show at the nearby theme park. All this in addition to … Read More »

I sent the Smart Bitches a Banned Book review, and they posted it today… I hereby excuse myself from writing a post of my own.

Check it out.

What’s everyone up to this weekend? Just another quiet few days around the Dare household…… Read More »

This is the American Librarian Association’s annual Banned Books Week, and as an American librarian, I feel duty-bound to make note of the occasion. Boo on censorship!

Although, I must admit, I’d be rather pleased to one day become a banned author…. what cachet! Is that terribly hypocritical of me?

In Goddess of the Hunt, Lucy (like many a historical romance heroine) has a naughty book. In the course of the novel, she discovers some limitations of book learning and she passes The Book to her friend, who is the heroine of my novel-in-progress.

Isn’t this how a lot of us learned about the facts of life – passing dogeared books from friend to friend? I know I learned a lot more from novels than from health class or “the talk.” (Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever got “the talk.”)

I’ve been trying to remember my first naughty book. I think it must have been Wifey, by Judy Blume, which I’d imagine many of us stumbled across accidentally while looking for the sequel to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. But at the time I read it – probably 10 or 11 – I had no clue what any of it meant. It all went right over my head. From there, I think I graduated to the VC Andrews books in 7th grade. I remember reading a passage that went something like, “She put her hand where she thought it … Read More »

This just in from Moonlight and Magnolias…

India received Honorable Mention in Single Title category, and Darcy got 2nd place in Historical!!!

Way to go, ladies! I’m so proud of you both. *wipes tear*

Can’t wait to hear all the juicy details.… Read More »

Hey, this sounds like fun:

Starting Oct. 1 over at RNTV Kathryn Caskie is hosting a Scary Story contest! Each week will be a new contest with a new theme. 2 prizes per week. Box of halloween chocolates to one winner AND a 10 page critique by a published author for aspiring authors entering! Each week will be a new author offering the critique.

I wonder if I could use my Crazy Glue dream…..
I got to meet Kathy Caskie several times in Dallas – she was tall, gorgeous and completely gracious when I made a nitwit of myself in the elevator.

And speaking of contests, the finalists were finally posted for the Reveal Your Inner Vixen contest. You know, in case you thought I was making it up.

Have a great weekend, everyone!… Read More »