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I have a teetering stack of new and recent historicals which I have purchased, but not yet read.

They include, but are not limited to:
Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Taste Temptation
Julia Quinn’s The Lost Duke of Wyndham
Meredith Duran’s The Duke of Shadows
Loretta Chase’s Your Scandalous Ways
Emily Bryan’s Distracting the Duchess

and on…and on…

Each of these books has received glowing, marvelous reviews. I’m pretty much salivating to read every one of them. But right now, the TBR pile has taken on a whole new meaning:

To Be Resisted.

I could blame it on my schedule. To meet my goal of completing revisions on book two and finishing the draft of book three by the end of this month, I can’t afford to spend much time swept up in great book. I need to write a lot, and quickly. And ideally well. But some days, I’ll settle for a lot, and quickly.

But really, it’s not that. I can afford to spend an hour or two, now and then, lost in the pages of a wonderful historical romance. I’ve found time to read other books during the last month–contemporaries, mostly. The problem is, I can’t afford to spend two or three days after reading each one, curled up like a pillbug, questioning who I am and just what in the world I think I’m doing writing in the same genre. I’ve started several of these books – but the moment they start getting really, and I mean realllllly … Read More »


As we forge ahead into summer blockbuster season, I’ve noticed something about the movies I’m psyched to see. They’re all action movies — and they all star very atypical action-movie heroes.

We’ve got Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man.

And then we have Ed Norton as The Incredible Hulk.

And oh-my-stars, am I desperate to see James McAvoy star opposite Angelina Jolie in Wanted.

None of them are especially brawny guys, or for that matter, even particularly tall. Charisma and quick wits are their secret weapons. They bring the human factor to the superhero formula. And I’d take any of them over a ‘roided-out titan any day.

Possibly because these guys remind me so much of my own real-life hero, my husband. No, he’s not 6’4″ with tree-trunks for thighs, but he’s lean and quick and packed with explosive energy that comes in handy during life’s little crises. Seriously, I’ve seen him leap picket fences in a single bound, to break up dogs fighting down the block. I’ve watched him soar into trees to retrieve stuck toys, while small children look on in awe. I’ve seen him dash to a hotel room and back in tropical heat, in under two minutes (yes, I timed him), to fetch my grandmother’s scarf. And when he brought back the wrong one, he did it again. Faster.

And now, thanks to my writing career, he has a pretty spiffy superhero name: Mr. Dare.

We’re working on the costume.

Who are your … Read More »

Well, at least the T.

Some of you are probably wondering why I don’t call it TMI Tuesday anymore. Well, there are a couple of reasons. One is because I discovered there is an actual TMI Tuesday blog somewhere with weekly memes for people to post on their own blogs. A bigger reason is because, as I work on upgrading my website and blog, I’m trying to make the transition from blogging for my friends to blogging for a wider readership. But mostly it’s because I seem to be falling into a weekly blog pattern, and if I’m only blogging one day a week, I don’t want my whole blog to be TMI!

But just to prove I haven’t lost my heart for it all, today I’m blogging about breasts.

Last week, I told you a bit about Isabel, the heroine of A Lady of Persuasion, and I mentioned that she’s self-conscious about her body. Well, a lot of her self-conscious stems from her breasts, which she thinks are too large and indecent and just magnets for unwelcome attention. She’s a very modest, moral person, and she feels trapped in a figure that embodies sensuality and excess.

I took a lot of inspiration for this part of her character from my own adolescence – and now those of you who’ve met me are going to be saying to yourselves, “Um, Tessa, hate to break it to you – but they’re not that big. Nothing special, sweetie.” I know, I … Read More »

Gina Black tagged me over a week ago now. The rules are something like this:

Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules in your blog.
Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Okay, so my first quirk would be this:
When tagged, I like to change the rules.

Seriously, I’ve been thinking all week about my quirks, and quirkiness in general. Somehow I’ve had a really hard time coming up with six “unspectacular quirks” for this meme. Which is odd, because most of the time I just feel like a mass of quirks, none of them spectacular. Maybe it’s just that by now, anyone who has been reading this blog knows just about all the quirks I plan to share. 😉

But I have been thinking a lot about Isabel, my current heroine, and her quirkiness. So I thought I would share with you six of hers.

1. She doesn’t eat sugar. And this has nothing to do following some Regency version of the Atkins Diet. It’s political.
2. Her idea of a hot date is dragging her suitor to visit orphans. Not just any orphans, but sickly ones.
3. Despite her charitable nature, she’s not really an animal lover – larger animals, like horses and dog, make her uneasy. Cats are too disloyal for her to identify with. She does like God’s smallest creatures … Read More »

Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Last Saturday, I attended a workshop in LA with Julia Quinn, which included lots of wonderful advice on writing dialogue and much helpful insight on career issues…but there was one thing JQ said that just about chilled the blood in my veins.

Starbucks is moving to free Internet.

Oh dear. Can I pretend I didn’t hear that?
*sticking fingers in ears*
LA LA LA LA LA!

Didn’t work. Hmph.

Man oh man. What will I do? Starbucks has become my go-to place when I really, really need to just write with no distractions. (Amazing, isn’t it, that I can ignore noisy espresso grinders and Joss Stone soundtracks more easily than I can ignore the siren song of the Internet?)

Why is it, that it’s easier to do just about ANYTHING than write? I find myself folding laundry to procrastinate sometimes. Every time I open up my WIP file and sit down to work on it, it feels like this monumental act of courage for which I surely deserve some sort of gold-plated award–or at the very least, a merit badge. Failing those, I *know* I’ve earned my latte and scone, which is why Starbucks is so perfect.

It’s a source of comfort, though, to know that most authors go through the same thing. So kindly make me feel better.

Do you play little mind games with yourself, to get motivated to write? Where do you go when you just really have to get things done, without distractions? … Read More »

First, thanks to everyone who gave me encouragement over the weekend – I was able to make a big jump forward on the novel-in-progress, and I and the kitties feel much, much better. I’ll have to try that again someday.

Well, last night I thought, “Tomorrow’s Tuesday – what shall I blog about?” And no ideas came to me, so I just went to sleep, figuring something would occur to me this morning.

Nope.

But then I decided, it’s been a while since I just gave a thorough update on all the stuff that I’ve been doing lately, to further my nascent writing career. While many of you know some of this, or most of this, not everyone is up-to-date on everything, I’m sure. And I’m also curious how all of you are doing, as we get closer to conference time.

So here’s the scoop.

At the moment (and this is not set in stone – more like inscribed on a stick of rapidly melting butter), my trilogy is set to release in May/June/July 2009. The dates have changed a couple of times already, so don’t anyone go making vacation plans around them.

The first book, Goddess of the Hunt (GOTH), has been through the revisions process – line and copy edits are still to come.

I turned in the second manuscript, Surrender of a Siren (SOAS), at the end of February. It’s been accepted, and I’ve been chatting with my editor about it. I’m expecting a revision letter sometime … Read More »

A romantic hero, no matter how flawed, should always be willing to run into a burning building to rescue a basket of kittens.
~Teresa Medeiros

Okay, so I have been a wee bit stalled on the novel-in-progress, due to the rethinking and refocusing issue I mentioned last post. And I really need to just plunge back into it this weekend and make a big leap ahead in word count.

I’ve set a goal: 7200 words in 72 hours. Quite realistic, if I focus. So by 8 p.m. PST on Monday, I must write 7200 new words on this manuscript.

And now I need some external motivation, to make things interesting. The other day, a friend said goodbye to a sweet, much loved kitty. And this has had me thinking a lot about my own two kitties who passed away in recent years. So in honor of them all, if I make my goal, I get to donate $72.00 to Kitten Rescue, a local SoCal nonprofit (unsurprisingly) dedicated to rescuing kittens and cats from local shelters.

If I do not make my goal, I have to donate that $72.00 to an organization I despise. I’ll tell a few people privately to keep myself honest, but I won’t name it here for fear of offending anyone (or inviting flame). Suffice it to say, I believe this organization to be a true force of Eeeeevil. And I would hate giving them 72 cents, let alone 72 of my hard-earned dollars. Plus, how … Read More »


Well, the CM-TD-IC critique trio is back from our whirlwind tour of Las Vegas, which was anchored in our lovely suite at the Venetian. We ate, we drank, we gambled away all of $20. (No high roller upgrades for our party, sadly.) We saw Phantom – squee! We toasted Courtney Milan’s Golden Heart final at a very, very fine restaurant that serves yuzu cocktails and expertly stroked beef (you’ll have to ask CM about that one).

And we fixed some books. On Saturday, we sat down with a bunch of sticky notes and hashed out Amy’s scare-a-minute plot of her sexy thriller, Black Box Warning. Let me tell you, I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about that book. It’s so awesome. It has bestseller written all over it. I can’t wait until all of you can read it, too.

Then on Sunday, we did some work on refocusing on my current book, A Lady of Persuasion. I’ve actually written about 34,000 words on it. And about 20,000 of those are now going to have to change. But it’s good. It’s all good. (Can you hear me trying not to stress?)

Vegas – like any tourist destination – is a great place for people-watching. You really see all kinds, from the rich-and-famous to the cheap-and-tawdry. I love the spectacle, the excess of it all – but I really get itchy in the casinos. Part of that is from all the smoke. And part of it is because gambling just … Read More »

So this weekend, we’re having a CP summit in Vegas, baby! Woot!

And as part of the festivities, we’re going to see Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. I have never seen Phantom, so I’m psyched. But I know it means I’ll be singing it for weeks and weeks to come. Showtunes are mental peanut butter, aren’t they? They just stick in there forever. I saw Les Mis for the first time when I was in high school, and I think I still know good parts of that musical by heart. If anyone’s interested, we can have a sing-off in SF:

Before I became bizarrely shy, I used to sing in front of people, back in the day. (By this, I mean in high school concerts and church choirs and stuff – nothing actually good or impressive.) Now I just sing around my house, and in the shower – but it’s still those same songs. My go-to showtune is the song “Sailor of My Dreams” from the little-known and less-performed screwball musical Dames at Sea. I was in a civic theater production of it in high school (although I did not have this, or any, solo). It’s the dippiest song ever, but it is in my brain like peanut butter:

Side note: How fun is You Tube?

So, fess up. What do you sing in the shower? Which songs are permanently embedded in your gray matter?
Read More »

Was it really less than a year ago we were still hearing “Historicals are dead”? On this week’s New York Times bestseller list, 4 of the top 20 mass market paperbacks in the country are historical romances. (And 2 of those 4 are Ballantine releases – woot!) A few weeks ago, Victoria Alexander’s The Perfect Wife was number one on that list.

It’s a good time for historicals. Any theories why? (Despite, of course, the general awesomeness of the subgenre.) I’m guessing the recent success of books and films like The Other Boleyn Girl and the Jane Austen marathon on Masterpiece Theatre are part of the reason. Period romance is doing well, in all media. I only hope the trend doesn’t fade before mid 2009!

But speaking of future historical romance authors who’ll help keep it healthy–

Some squeeing is overdue.

First, for Courtney Milan, who is now not only a Golden Heart finalist, but a double finalist in the Chicago North RWA Fire & Ice Contest! Yep, she is 2 of the 3 finalists. Her odds look good. 🙂

And second, for Jackie Barbosa, (and former fanlitter Guavaln) who has some very, very exciting news today on the Manuscript Mavens blog!

SQUEEEEEE!… Read More »