Since I posted last week, I had about a dozen really wonderful things happen to me, and one minor tragedy.

CM and India flew out this weekend to help celebrate my birthday, my sale, and just the general awesomeness of life. We had an amazing time, and on Saturday we attended my local chapter meeting. I not only got my first-sale roses, but I also learned that I’d placed first in our chapter contest, the Orange Rose! It was really wonderful to have CM and India there to share the moment – I wouldn’t have accomplished any of this without them, and I can’t thank them enough. We had delicious meals and good wine and a lovely spa day to complete the weekend, and we hashed out all our plotting problems. It was a fabulous few days.

Plus, it marked the happy end of my contest career. What a relief…

But of course, life has a way of balancing good and bad. Last week, my kitty died very unexpectedly and tragically. My website bio says, “[Tessa] shares a tiny bungalow with her husband, their two children, a dog, a cat, and many dust bunnies.” And I can’t bring myself to edit it yet. *sniff* He is missed.

Sleep well, sweet kitty.

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I’m guest-blogging at Romance Roundtable. Please stop by!… Read More »

Help! Maybe some of you who have children, or were once children, or still act a bit childish from time to time can give me some advice.

Dareling #1 has picked up on boy/girl differences. Not the anatomical differences- I’m still waiting for that conversation – but the (dubious) social differences. The things a kid learns at part-time daycare! Now every time we see a toy on TV or in the store, her immediate reaction is “That’s for girls!” or “That’s for boys!” Other commonly heard pronouncements: “Only girls like pink.” or “Princesses are only for girls.”

Now, I don’t know whether to make a big deal of this or not. I mean, obviously most of those things are more popular with girls than with boys, and the toys are certainly marketed to one or the other. It’s only natural she’d pick up on the cues. Is this just part of the learning process, as she starts to become aware of gender and identify with other girls? That’s not a bad thing, right? But how do I stop this before it becomes “Girls can’t be doctors” or “Only boys like power tools”?

Any thoughts?
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Just wanted to say a quick huzzah for all of you who are taking on NaNoWriMo this year! I’m in awe of your commitment and I’ll be jealous of your progress. And I’ll be cheering you on and prepared to crack the whip when necessary, so write your little hearts out!

And…this is a very sweet sort of anniversary for me. I began writing GOTH exactly a year ago today. Happy birthday, Jeremy and Lucy!… Read More »

Okay, maybe it’s the fact that Halloween is tomorrow. Maybe it’s the ongoing bloodbath/brain buffet going on over at the Mavens’. Maybe it’s because my own characters are 3 weeks out from land with only weevil-infested hardtack and rancid salt-beef to eat. Maybe it’s the stomach flu from which I recently recovered… (TMI?)

But with today’s topic, we’re getting nasty.

I remember watching this Saturday Night Live sketch years and years and years ago, where a guy dies and goes to heaven, and he starts pestering the angels with all these ridiculous questions about his life. Things like, “What was the grossest thing I ever ate without knowing?” To which the angel wisely replied, “You don’t want to know.”

I think this has stuck with me for years and years and years for a few reasons. First, because I know I wouldn’t want the answer to that question myself. But also because if I ever get to a heaven with all-knowing angels, I expect to spend a good millenium asking similarly inane and inconsequential questions. (Alternatively, I want to see a big album with all the photographs ever taken with me in the background – you know, the ones taken by Japanese tourists at Disneyland, Norwegians on holiday at the Golden Gate Bridge, etc. Doesn’t that sound way cooler than looking at your own photo album? Okay, back on topic…)

So, gross stuff to eat.

What’s the grossest (or most adventurous) thing you’ve ever eaten? That you’re aware of, of
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Over at Manuscript Mavens, they’ve been doing a Halloween-themed round robin story, where each day the readers get to vote on the twist for the next installment. I wrote today’s chapter (zombiessss!), so pop on over and vote for your favorite ending! Kalen Hughes is up to bat tomorrow.

People have been asking what’s going on, since The Call. I talked with my new editor, Kate Collins, last week. She is just lovely, and I’m expecting her edits on GOTH in early November. In the meantime, I’m plugging away at the book now tentatively titled Surrender of a Siren. You haven’t seen that pagemeter move much because I’ve been rewriting big chunks – stuff I skipped ahead and wrote a while ago, then needed to completely do-over once I actually connected the dots. Ballantine likes my pen name, evidently, so Tessa Dare is here to stay. And so far, they plan to keep GOTH’s title as-is. How cool is that? I thought it would be changed to The Earl’s Mostly Wicked Slightly Secret Obsession or something.

That’s all the news I’ve got right now… but I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend, everyone!… Read More »


Congratulations, Elyssa!!!
You’re the random winner of the brand-a-thon sweepstakes. Snail-mail me, and I’ll hook you up with some books. Thank you so much to everyone who brainstormed such fabulous ideas. I’m going to think them all over a bit, but you’ll know when I pick one for sure.

It’s birthday time! The Romance Vagabonds are celebrating their one-year birthday all this week, and FanLit Forever is coming up on theirs. They have a huge birthday celebration planned, from Oct. 29th to November… 7th, I believe? The party keeps getting longer, because they keep getting more fabulous guest bloggers! Who, you ask? Oh, just some amazing authors like Eloisa James. Toni Blake, Anna Campbell, Jenna Peterson, Michelle Willingham, Victoria Alexander, Harris Channing, Ericka Scott, Larissa Ione, and Sherry Thomas. I get to wrap up the whole to-do on the 7th – I’m so honored.

Anyhow, happy birthday to both groups! My own birthday is fast approaching, too. So today I got to thinking about age.

Here in the US, we get prickly about admitting to our real age. When I lived overseas for a bit, I experienced a culture where “How old are you?” was one of the first questions inquisitive strangers would just up and ask me. Along with “Are you married?”, “How many siblings do you have?”, and “What is your religion?” And then they might compliment me by saying, “I think you’re getting fat.”

At first, I was shocked to be asked such “personal” questions by complete … Read More »

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
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