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In the way of updates:

The other day I turned in my revisions of SURRENDER OF A SIREN – so that’s one thing crossed off the list! And now I can turn my complete attention toward wrapping up A LADY OF PERSUASION.

To answer a few questions from the comment thread last week – Yes, we are really taking the darelings on a 14-hour plane trip the day after I return from Nationals. Yikes. And the picture I posted last week was taken on the island of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Here’s something on my mind this week: In some conversation on a romance bulletin board (can’t remember exactly where and when), I read someone complaining that she had trouble buying into a book’s Happily Ever After when all the action of a book takes place over an extremely short time – in this case, I think she cited a timeframe of about a week. This reader preferred books where the romance develops over months, because that helped her believe in the HEA.

This got me thinking about my own books and my own reading preferences. It’s funny–on first thought, I would have categorized my books in the “short, intense” column, as opposed to the “get-to-know-you-slowly” group. But when I started thinking about it, I realized they’re not that short. In both GODDESS and SIREN, the action takes place over about five or six weeks, and the hero and heroine of GODDESS have known one … Read More »

I went here this week! Uh, in my imagination. 🙂

Well, that is the cool part of being a writer. Seriously, this my picture was my inspiration for a little scene I wrote this week while revising SURRENDER OF A SIREN. If only I’d planned this better, I could have taken a sweet trip and written it off as research.

I apologize for being a colossally negligent blogger. Really, these days I’m hardly making comments anywhere (but I do visit blogs, even when I don’t comment! Truly!), and barely managing to drag myself over here once a week…you are all too sweet to keep dropping by to read whatever it is I have to say. It’s only going to get worse soon, because conference will be upon us, and the day after conference ends, the entire Dare family will be leaving for a transglobal vacation of epic proportions that may just offer vistas not unlike the one pictured above, although in the opposite hemisphere. The darelings, on a 14-hour plane trip…
**makes note to stock up on Benadryl and Xanax**

And this of course means I *must* make my August 1st deadline for book three, because it is not getting finished on my trip!

So where are you going on summer vacation?

In other news, please join me in wishing Happy Birthday to my dear friend and most excellent critique parter, Amy! Amy (sometimes known as India), you are a wonderful person, an incredibly talented writer, and a true friend, … Read More »


Sorry to be posting late today…we had some minor excitement in the Dare household last night and it threw everything off. And I do mean minor. As in, our washing machine stopped draining, and Mr. Dare and I (okay, mostly Mr. Dare) embarked on fix-it mission that involved much googling, cursing, and mopping of floors, and the eventual recovery of enough spare change to buy a latte. It’s working now. 🙂

It was actually a pretty fitting cap to my week. I have revising for days on end, wrestling my book two (SURRENDER OF A SIREN) manuscript into submission. There has been much googling, cursing, and drinking of lattes involved.

A major revision is not unlike appliance repair, really. When something is just plain not working, sometimes you have no choice but to rip the book open and start fiddling with it. There is that terrifying moment when you’ve pulled the whole darn thing apart and all you see is a mess of spare parts, and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to put it back together. Yeah, I had that moment. But I just kept at it, one piece at a time, and now I think I’ve got it working again. And actually, I think it’s working better than ever.

What about you, are you handy? When something breaks in your house, do you try to fix it yourself, or just speed-dial the repairman? Have you ever torn apart a manuscript and wondered just how the heck you … Read More »

Over at the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn bulletin board, there’s an auction going on through June 27th. There are lots of signed books, ARCs, and goodies to be won. One of the board members recently lost her husband to liver disease, and the money raised will go to help her kids. I can’t even imagine how rough this Father’s Day is going to be for their family…

Read all about it and see the auction items here.

Also, for anyone who participated in that crazy little game known as FanLit…
A little birdie (who may or may not go by Skirbo) told me that the FanLit website is soon to disappear from the Internet. Ack! So if you want to go save files, take screenshots, etc., now is the time.… Read More »

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 »