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Hey, all – more excitement! I just got the slightly revised covers for my trilogy. As you can see, they decided to make the typography a little more modern and the colors a little more bold. I love the red for GODDESS. Lucy wears red almost all through that book, so it’s perfect!
new-goth-covernew-soas-covernew-alop-cover

The titles will be embossed in foil now, which is very exciting. Well, and most exciting parts (for me) are those quotes. 😉

Does this mean the cover flats I’m giving away in my contest are now a collector’s item?

It’ll probably take me a few days to get the covers replaced all through the website. First priority is finishing the current book!… Read More »

First, I extend the usual apologies for scattershot blogging.  My deadline for the first Stud Club book is May 1st, and I need every (childfree) minute between now and then to finish and polish it up.

But I had to share this – my editor emailed me this morning to let me know that Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren, and A Lady of Persuasion have all sold to the book clubs!  They will be featured alternate selections in July/Aug/Sept respectively, in the Rhapsody, Doubleday, and Book of the Month Clubs!  I am beyond excited.  So far beyond excited, I can’t think of a word for it.

But wait, there’s more!  You may remember that Courtney Milan and Ann Aguirre and Dear Author and I engaged in some werestag-themed April Foolery a few weeks back, regarding were-ruminant trademarks and the infringement thereof.  Well, Ann was good enough to actually read my novella, The Legend of the Werestag (coming May 12th from Samhain!), and give this stunning quote:

“Tessa Dare writes with incandescent emotional ferocity, balancing story and character with knife-edged elegance. This is the best novella I have read all year.”
~Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author of Blue Diablo

I think there is more gorgeous writing in that quote than there is in my whole novella. I’m not sure that’s fair. 🙂 But I’m beside myself with glee about it anyhow.

If you haven’t already bought Blue Diablo, what are you waiting for? I just … Read More »

If you celebrated Easter or Passover, I hope it was great for you and yours!

The Dare family is currently chillin’ at a supremely air-conditioned resort condo in the desert, for our mini Spring Break.  So far I’ve spent most of it working on copy edits of A LADY OF PERSUASION while Mr. Dare and the darelings hang out at the pool.  But this morning we’re off to the desert zoo!

Today is the official release date of the Smart Bitches book, BEYOND HEAVING BOSOMS: A SMART BITCHES GUIDE TO ROMANCE NOVELS.  Congratulations, Sarah and Candy!  Between the release of their awesome book and the recent boost in romance novel sales, the genre is getting some – gasp! – relatively positive publicity!  From such venerated sources as NPR and Nightline!

I never knew that this was what was missing from my life:  Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd reading aloud from romance novels.… Read More »

I can’t believe it…less than four months now until Goddess of the Hunt hits bookstores everywhere!  And in the meantime, I’m busy working away on a whole new trilogy for 2010.  If you’d like to get release-day reminders, please sign up for my mailing list!… Read More »

Enter my contest to win a copy of this movie, and other goodies!

The fastest way I can describe the plot of Goddess of the Hunt (the first half of it, anyway) is like so: Think My Best Friend’s Wedding, set in the Regency–except replace witty, charming, gay Rupert Everett with a brooding, intense, most definitely straight earl.

If you’ve never seen this movie (and you should!), Julia Roberts’ character, Julianne, learns that her best friend of several years, Michael (played by Dermott Mulroney) is getting married.  Julianne is the low-maintenance, wisecracking, hang-with-the-guys type, and Michael’s new fiance is a young, gorgeous, nauseatingly perfect blonde (played by Cameron Diaz). And since Julianne’s been in love with Michael since…oh, forever…she decides to break up the wedding and get him back. Hijinks ensue. Oh man, do they ever ensue. To get her man, Julianne is willing to resort to tactics both ruthless and ridiculous, and her reluctant partner-in-crime, George (played by Rupert Everett), becomes more of a hindrance than a help, as he begins to play the voice of reason, insisting that Julianne wake up and realize it’s just not meant to be.

Aside from the setup, the daring heroine, and the elements of screwball comedy, Goddess shares another quality in common with this film: the “Other Woman” you want to hate…but just can’t. In Goddess, heroine Lucy’s rival is Sophia Hathaway–a young, gorgeous, nauseatingly perfect blonde. And despite all Lucy’s best attempts to despise her, she just can’t do … Read More »

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 »

I’ve been busy the past week trying to work on page proofs of SURRENDER OF A SIREN and make significant progress on my draft of THE DESIRE OF A DUKE (Stud Club, book one).

I’m not sure about the title for this book, btw. If anyone has ideas, shout them out. I pretty much started with the fact that there’s a duke and then the essential Tessa Dare title element – the word “of” – and went from there.

Anyhow, I went away (sorta) to a nearby hotel and worked all weekend there, and got about 10,000 words written on the new book. That was good, because it’s due in a month. Now I’m still behind on page proofs, though – need to mail those by….uh, was it Thursday? Tomorrow? Crud.

Okay, you’re getting the idea why I’m late getting this blog up, and it’s a rambling mess.

The happy thing is, sometime in the last week (and I cross fingers, toes, and everything here, not to jinx it), I passed a milestone with the DUKE book. With every book I write, I start out loving each individual character. I mean, I have to love them. I created them, right? That doesn’t mean they’re especially lovable at all times. But somewhere in the writing of the book comes the moment when I really fall in love with the couple–the way they interact, and what they can mean to one another. I get that warm, mushy feeling inside, and I … Read More »

It’s been ages since I added an entry to this “How I Write a Book” series. I really have been writing a book in the meantime. I just started to get a little superstitious about blogging about it before the book was actually sold. But now that it is (yay again!), I’m gonna back up a few steps and pick up where I left off.

Which was with outlining. I write a long, rambling narrative outline that will not fit into squares.

The next step would be (drumroll, please)….to start writing the book.

By the time I sit down to write chapter one, I’ve been thinking about it for months. I have this elaborate vision of the setting and set-up, and whole chunks of dialogue planned. I sit down to my keyboard, knowing that this opening scene is just going to flow onto the page, and it will be perfect.

Two pages in, I know I’m screwed. It’s not coming out the way I’d thought it would. Characters are saying things on the page they never said before, in all our many pre-writing conversations. Or they may refuse to behave in ways we’ve worked out well in advance. When I express my irritation with them, and tell them that they are being uncooperative and ruining my Perfect Opening Scene, they give me a diffident shrug and say, “Not my problem.”

Thanks, guys. I thought we were friends.

And then there’s the backstory. It’s like a mammoth logic pretzel, figuring … Read More »

I’ve been sitting on the news for a little bit…but whoops, it hatched! I’ve already had a few friends email me to say my new book deal with Ballantine made Publisher’s Marketplace today. Here are the deets. (Okay, they’re super-vague deets, which may make them something other than deets, but here goes.)

Tessa Dare’s next three historical romances (tentatively titled the Stud Club trilogy), in which a duke, a warrior, and a scoundrel are united by chance, divided by suspicion, and brought to their knees by love, to Kate Collins at Ballantine, for publication in 2010, by Helen Breitwieser at Cornerstone Literary (world).

Suffice it to say, I’m floating on air and feeling very warmly toward my agent, my editor, my CPs, my friends, my family, everyone at Ballantine, strangers passing in the street… I’m in love with love right now, but most especially with Spencer, Amelia, Rhys, Meredith, Julian and Lily…all of whom you will meet in mid-2010!

Holy smokes, I have to get writing.

The first rule of Stud Club is: You do not talk about Stud Club.

Talk about it all you want!
ETA: The heroes are all studs of course, but before anyone starts freaking out about anachronistic slang in historicals, the stud in “Stud Club” refers to a horse.

(Side note: Do you know, I get many, many hits a day on this post, from people googling “Brad Pitt Fight Club”? If you want to increase your internet traffic, I highly recommend working those … Read More »