Tessa Dare | New York Times Bestselling Author
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Monday, November 14th, 2011
Available now!

It’s release day for Once Upon a Winter’s Eve!  

This all-new novella in the Spindle Cove series is yours for just $0.99 this holiday season. If you’d like a preview, the first chapter is available here.

I have to confess, this story wouldn’t have come about without my friends. The entire plot was hatched out of a comment I made on The Ballroom Blog several months ago, while chatting with pal and fellow author Sara Lindsey late one night. I happened to say, “Some wallflowers bloom at night,” and she wrote back, “That would make a great story.” The wheels began turning in my mind (Are those mental gears are supposed to resemble big industrial-strength cogs? Because I imagine mine to look like hamster wheels.), and Violet’s story was born.

I’m indebted to several other friends for helping me with the manuscript and the publication process, and as Thanksgiving approaches, I am very thankful for them all. And I am endlessly thankful for my readers. I wish you all enjoyable holidays with your loved ones.

And although it turned out well for Violet, I hope that no one crashes into your Christmas party, collapses at your feet, and ruins your best gown.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Available for pre-order!

Just two weeks until the release date for Once Upon a Winter’s Eve!  I have three great bits of news on that front.

Pre-order available!   You can pre-order it for Kindle here.  Other formats (including HTML and PDF) are available for pre-order directly from the Samhain store.  That’s just the beginning.  By November 15th, the novella will also be available for purchase directly from Nook, Sony, Kobo, Apple, and other e-book vendors.

New excerpt!  I have uploaded the entire first chapter for your reading pleasure here.

Great price!  And I’ve saved the best news for last – for the holiday season, Samhain is making the novella available for a promotional price of just $0.99!

I’m excited.  Can you tell?  :)

Violet’s story was a joy to write, and I’m so glad that this novella will be available in time for the holidays, at a very affordable price.  And isn’t the cover beautiful?

Remember, even if you don’t have an e-reader, you can use one of the free Kindle apps to read it on your computer or phone, or you can purchase the book from Samhain in html or PDF format and read it in your browser.


Friday, October 7th, 2011
Exciting News from Spindle Cove!

In the last month or so, readers have said a lot of very kind things about A Night to Surrender. Several have told me they’re eager for Colin and Minerva’s story in A Week to be Wicked, releasing March 27, 2012.

And some have even been so kind as to say, “I can’t believe we have to wait another six months to revisit Spindle Cove!”

So it’s with great joy that I say to all you wonderful readers today:

You don’t!

You don’t even have to wait six weeks!

You see, I just couldn’t wait six months to revisit Spindle Cove, either. So I am thrilled to announce that Once Upon a Winter’s Eve, a Spindle Cove Christmas novella, will be releasing digitally from Samhain Publishing on November 15, 2011. Barely a month away!

I’m just so excited. I hope to have a cover and official blurb to share very soon. But in the meantime, just know that it’s a story packed with romance, passion, and intrigue. There’s a Christmas ball! There are ladies with weapons! It’s Spindle Cove, through and through. I’m so excited for you to read it, and I’m glad you’ll be able to do so very soon. :)

Edited to Add:
Please don’t feel left out if you don’t own a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader! One of the reasons I’m glad to be publishing with Samhain is that they make their books available in a wide variety of formats, including PDF and html. If you can read this web page, you can read the novella – I promise! And I’ll have more specific information when it comes out.

Friday, September 30th, 2011
New contest! New publisher!

Thank you to everyone who entered the KISS and Teal bundle contest last month, and congratulations to winner Linda M.! I’ve just posted a new contest for October. One lucky reader will rake in three gorgeous new historical romances, all taking place in times and settings other than the English Regency. If you enjoy variety in your historical romances, this is the contest for you!

In other exciting news, please join me in welcoming Rouge Romance to the world! This new UK-based digital imprint is part of the Random House family. Rouge just launched on September 29th, with all three of my Stud Club books in their catalog. My other trilogy (Goddess of the Hunt, et al) will be forthcoming, as well. Until now, my first six books not been available as e-books in the UK. The sheer fact of their availability pleases me tremendously, but pretty new covers make it all the more exciting! Aren’t they lovely?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Shop Teal this Holiday Season

First, a huge thank you to everyone who’s been reading A Night to Surrender, writing me with their thoughts about it, and recommending it to their friends! I’m so grateful, and pleased by the warm reception readers have given Bram and Susanna’s story.

As I’m sure you know, if you’ve followed my site at all or seen the logo on the book, this book is part of Avon’s wonderful KISS and Teal campaign to promote awareness of ovarian cancer signs and symptoms.

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk about the campaign on a local news program:If you’re wondering what else can be done to promote ovarian cancer awareness and support the OCNA, I have a fabulous, easy suggestion. We usually think about red and green, silver and blue at holiday time. This year, why not shop teal?

A few simple clicks, and you could be helping OCNA spread its vital message for women’s health every time you shop online:

This app is so easy to download – it took about two clicks and thirty seconds on my computer. You don’t have to do anything further, except go about your everyday online shopping. Whenever you make a purchase from one of dozens of participating retailers, a percentage of your total will be donated to OCNA. And we’re not talking about small, obscure retailers, either! These are biggies like Target, Nordstrom, eBay, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Expedia, Travelocity, and more.

So please take a minute to download the app, and know you’re helping spread a life-saving message–just by shopping!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
Release Day!

Huzzah! A Night to Surrender is in stores today! (And available from every online outlet, too!)

Nice reviews of the book keep coming in… Just yesterday, May at SmexyBooks had this to say:

The story was fast paced, full of memorable moments and characters, and utter romance gold.

And over at The Book Binge, Rowena also gave the book a very nice recommendation!

My fabulous publisher partnered with the lovely people of Goddessfish Promotions to plan a weeklong blog tour to celebrate A Night to Surrender‘s launch. I should have posted the schedule yesterday, but I was so busy… the darelings had their first day of school (and for my youngest, it was his first first day of school!), and then I headed to the local NBC station in Los Angeles to be interviewed about the KISS and Teal campaign. (I’ll post video of that when it’s available.)

Here’s the lineup of interviews and guest posts:

August 29: Among the Muses

August 30: What Book is That?

August 31: Ramblings from this Chick

September 1: Reading Romances

September 2: Brazen Bookworm

There’s a $25 Amazon gift card prize that will be drawn from all commenters on all the posts – so the more stops you visit, the better your chances to win.

I hope all my readers enjoy this first visit to Spindle Cove. Thank you so much for reading!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
New Reviews and Videos

I can’t believe it’s less than a week until the release of A Night to Surrender! The book has been getting some very exciting reviews. Yes, that sound you hear is me tooting my own horn. Toot. Ahem.

(you can click the links to read the full reviews)

Library Journal weighed in with this lovely recommendation:

“Lively and sexy, this funny, enjoyable battle of the sexes ensnares readers in a delightful adventure.”

All About Romance gave the book its coveted “Desert Isle Keeper” rating, and reviewer Wendy Clyde said:

If you love strong but vulnerable heroes and and smart, wounded heroines, you’ll love this book. If you like humor in your romance, you’ll love this book. If you like a well-written historical romance, you’ll love this book. Whatever your preference, when you read the last page you’ll undoubtedly clutch the book to your chest and sigh.

I siiighed at the end of that review!

Night Owl Reviews gave the book 5 stars and a Top Pick, calling ANTS

“one of the best historical romances I’ve ever read. It’s humorous and light-hearted, steamy and seductive, filled with intriguing characters and wonderful dialogue.”

And at Reader-to-Reader reviews, Joyce Greenfield had this to say:

From the very first page, this story seduces the reader, drawing you in and refusing to let go till the last page is turned.

Hmm. I’m now a little afraid of over-tooting. But I’m just so glad readers are enjoying Spindle Cove in general, and Susanna and Bram’s story in particular. I hope you enjoy it, too!


Sadly, I don’t have time to make a dareling room toy video for A Night to Surrender. Or I should say, I could possibly find time to make a kind of boring, uninspired video. But I don’t want to subject you to that, after the special effects extravaganza that was the Maya Banks Highlander project.

However, here are some other videos!

Here I am chatting with the lovely and gracious Whitney Sullivan of RT Book Reviews magazine, about Spindle Cove and the new book:

Here’s me again, talking about the importance of Avon’s KISS and Teal campaign:

As you can see from these videos, Tessa likes to change her hair color! A lot.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
It’s here! The Maya Banks dareling room video

Some of you may remember that last summer, I made a little low-budget video for my Stud Club series, using toys from my children’s bedroom. The response to the video was great, and I had so much fun making it.

So last March, as part of Operation Auction, I offered up a similar homemade book video as an auction item. A whole slew of kindly bloggers pledged to post the winner’s video, thus sweetening the deal and driving up the bidding.

The amazing Maya Banks was the generous top bidder, and when she told me what she had in mind…oh, it made me so happy. This video was a truly family project, with the darelings working props and Mr. Dare providing the special effects. I hope you enjoy it! And if you do, please feel free to tweet, link, embed, and Facebook it to your heart’s content. ;)

I also want to say, one of the best parts of the experience was getting to read In Bed with a Highlander early. It was fabulous. Took me straight back to my formative years as a romance reader, falling in love with Julie Garwood’s Scots. If you like a passionate, tender read with an endearing heroine and strong Highlander hero, be sure to pick this one up on August 30.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
KISS and Teal

Psst! On the contest page, I’ve posted winners of the coverflat contest – who will be receiving their prizes in the mail soon – and posted a new “KISS and Teal” giveaway.

What’s “KISS and Teal,” you ask?

I am thrilled that A Night to Surrender is part of the “K.I.S.S. and Teal” campaign, a partnership between Avon Books and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

The “K.I.S.S.” stands for “Know the Important Signs and Symptoms,” and teal is the designated color for ovarian cancer awareness. There’s a money component to this partnership—Avon has donated $25,000 to the OCNA and will donate up to $25,000 more, based on sales of the labeled books—but the other important part of the campaign is raising awareness.

There’s no routine test for detecting ovarian cancer, such as the mammogram and Pap smear for breast and cervical cancers, and the symptoms of ovarian cancer are easy to miss until the cancer is in an advanced stage. That’s why is so important for all women to know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer (K.I.S.S.) and discuss them with their friends and family (“teal”/tell).

From the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance website:

For years, women have known that ovarian cancer was not the silent killer it was said to be. Over the past decade, science has confirmed what women have long known: ovarian cancer has symptoms.

The symptoms are

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)

If women experience these symptoms almost every day, over a period of two weeks or longer, they are urged to visit their gynecologist.

You can visit www.ovariancancer.org for more information, downloadable factsheets, and a symptom diary.

Here are the books that will carry the KISS and Teal burst. For each copy sold (print or E), Avon will donate another $.25 to the OCNA, up to $25,000.

Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue, by Stephanie Laurens
The Deed, by Lynsay Sands (reissue)
The Seduction of Scandal, by Cathy Maxwell
A Night to Surrender, by Tessa Dare
In the Arms of a Marquess, by Katharine Ashe
One Night in London, by Caroline Linden
Star-Crossed Seduction, by Jenny Brown

At the KISSandTeal.com, you can find more information about all of these books and view videos taped by several of the participating authors, including yours truly.

There are several other ways to help the cause and promote awareness, and I’ll be posting more about them as we move into September. I can’t say what an honor it is to be part of this special effort.

Saturday, July 30th, 2011
To house a hero

On The Ballroom Blog today, Miranda Neville has a fabulous post about Regency Real Estate, with gorgeous photographs of lavish English country estates with gardens to die for.

I must confess–her post made me laugh, because while Miranda’s hero is getting this:

Poor Bram, my hero in A Night to Surrender, is getting something like this:Hastings Castle

That’s Hastings Castle, one of the first castles William the Conqueror built after the Normans invaded England in 1066. In the beginning of ANTS, Bram is gifted a revived medieval earldom, which comes along with no real lands or money–just the similarly crumbling (and fictional) Rycliff Castle.

(You can click on any of these photos for a better look.)

My imaginary Rycliff Castle was mostly inspired by Hastings-especially the setting, on a cliff overlooking the English Channel. But I did feel Bram should have a bit more of a place to call home. He’s a military man and used to roughing it, but I did want him to have a bit of shelter. A standing few walls, you know, to keep out the elements: wind, rain, sheep.

So I added in a bit of this place, Ypres Tower:

Ypres Tower was an early medieval fortress built to protect the then-bustling port of Rye. In later years, it was used as a jail. Nowadays, it’s a museum. Changes to the coastline over the centuries mean Rye is now situated a good mile or two back from the sea. So Ypres Tower looks out over farmland and delta, instead of the harbor it was constructed to protect. But it was from a historically plausible era, and it did have walls!

I decided Rycliff Castle would have a keep (inner castle) added a few centuries after its original construction, and I envisioned it something like Ypres–a cloverleaf of four stone turrets.

So now Bram had a few walls. But still…it’s not terribly romantic, now is it?

Fortunately, this place was an hour’s bus ride away:

Bodiam Castle

Ahhh, that’s more like it! Bodiam Castle, constructed in the late 1300s. That date puts it well after the time Rycliff Castle should have been completed, so the architecture style is a little off, but wandering the ruins was lovely inspiration nonetheless. Now I could form a nice idea of what those four stone turrets looked like from the inside.

There. Nice and cozy, right? :D I know, I know. It’s no country estate with lavishly-appointed rooms and manicured gardens. You’d have to visit the heroine’s home, Summerfield, for that.

But Rycliff Castle does have one more selling point–PARAPETS.

How could one not feel romantic up there, hm? Everyone knows that when it comes to castles, the ramparts are where all the action happens. Ahem. Yes. ;)

So what do you think? Which do you find more romantic, mansions or castles? Did I manage to make Rycliff Castle into suitable (temporary) digs for a Regency romance hero?

Speaking of The Ballroom Blog, be sure to pop over on Monday, when it’s my turn to blog. I’ll be chatting with Miss Susanna Finch and posting an exclusive excerpt from A Night to Surrender!