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Last night, Mr. Dare and I (and like a billion other screaming people) rocked out with the Foo-Fighters at The Forum, and it was amazing. So today, I’m all about the rockstars. Here’s a little Friday footage for your viewing pleasure. (I like to do these fangirl photo spreads in black-and-white, ’cause it all feels a bit classier and less adolescent that way. Yeah, that’s what I tell myself.)

Here we have the one-man foo-fighting force that is Dave Grohl. (I think he wore that shirt last night!)

And here, a new addition to my crush collection – the Florida punk power of Against Me! (They played the first set last night and were flippin’ awesome.)

My current pretty-boy altrock obsession would be Brandon Boyd of Incubus. (And he’s really not that much younger than me, I swear!)

But before all these, there was Bruce. I sigh for Bruce. He’s still the hottest of them all.

I’ve heard that you can’t sell a contemporary romance with a rockstar hero? Why the heck not? Are there any out there anyhow?
Who’s your rockstar crush, past or present?
Read More »

Toby, the hero of my current book (oh, and right now I think I’m leaning toward A Lady of Persuasion as a working title, in case you’re wondering) has something most romance heroes don’t – a mother. And she’s a mother who isn’t vindictive, backstabbing, jealous, drug-addicted, murderous, manipulative or otherwise evil… she’s just a very strong, intelligent woman who cares deeply for all her children, and she and Toby have a very close, affectionate relationship.

So be honest – is this an automatic turn-off?

I mean, there are reasons I need my hero to have this relationship, both for his characterization and plot. And he’s not overly dependent on her–she doesn’t meddle in his romantic attachments or ever come between him and the heroine. I want to make sure I walk the line without crossing it, though. So I’m trying to think of other romances where the heroes have strong-yet-affectionate mothers who actually play a role in their lives…and I’m coming up kinda empty. There are the Bridgertons, of course. And the Carsingtons have both parents living, right? Any others?

And what do you prefer? Do you love a RL guy who’s close to his mom, or does it make you suspicious he’ll always put you second? Any particular incidents that crossed the line from Responsible Son territory to Relationship Reject? I’m looking back on my own relationships, and I’m realizing all my bf’s have always been pretty close to their moms…interesting.Read More »

Here’s my life lately:

Dareling One: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Dareling One: Banana.
Me: Banana who?
Dareling One: Banana apple. Hahahahaha!!! Laugh, Mommy, laugh!
Me: (laughing feebly) Okay…
Dareling One: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Dareling One: Apple.
Me: Apple who?
Dareling One: Apple orange. Hahahahahahahahhah!! Laugh, Mommy!
Me: Sigh…
Dareling One: Knock knock. Knock knock. KNOCK KNOCK!!!

Yes, Dareling One has entered that golden age of child development where she can grasp the structure of the knock-knock joke, but not the humor. When do kids figure that part out?

Please say soon.… Read More »

So here I go – all this week I’ve been researching and outlining book three. (Yes, I am actually a plotter, despite my aversion to storyboards and worksheets and notecards. I just write it all out in narrative form in one big file.) I’m so excited about this book. It brings all the characters from my previous books back into the mix: Lucy, Jeremy, Sophia, and Gray all have minor parts to play. There’s going to be a secondary romance, which is a new challenge for me. Therefore, this one requires a bit more plotting and (erp) organization before I even begin.

What it’s missing is a working title.
To recap, the titles of books one and two are:
Goddess of the Hunt
Surrender of a Siren

So from this pattern, the third should ideally include:
a) The word “of”
b) Some sort of mythological or divine reference.

Here’s the blurb:

All Isabel Grayson wants is to save the world. Is that too much to ask? Ashamed of inheriting her family’s ill-gotten wealth and her mother’s exotic, sensual beauty, Bel has decided to redeem both by trading them for influence. She’s come to London to marry a nobleman—ideally one who shares her passion for social justice, but any gentleman with a seat in the House of Lords will do. She’s looking for Lord Honorable; she’ll settle for Lord Malleable. But she falls in love with Sir Toby.

Sir Toby Aldridge just wants his life back. Before his fiancé jilted him

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So way back before I got really ill the other week, I blogged about my difficulty talking about my books and how this Toastmasters guy was coming to my chapter meeting. And I did go to that meeting, even though I was running a fever and hoarse from coughing. After his talk, I asked him – if I’m a nervous speaker, what should I tell myself to get over that? I was expecting one of those “picture the audience in their underwear” type things. But what he said was, “Remind yourself that you have something important to share, something that will have meaning to the people you’re addressing.”

Well. That was sort of a light-bulb moment for me. Because I realized that a lot of my shyness in talking about my books probably stems from insecurity – my fear that what I have to say isn’timportant to the listener, especially if s/he doesn’t read romance novels. And yeah, that’s something I need to get over.

Because this genre is important, to a lot of people. If you attended RWA National Conference in Dallas last year, you heard Lisa Kleypas give that great speech about how she and her mother went to buy “essentials” at Wal-Mart after her home was devastated by a flood…and how, for each of them, a romance novel counted as an essential. My friend Deb Mullins told me that she’d had a fan letter from a reader whose husband was deployed with the armed forces. The … Read More »

Just a note to say, Goats on a Boat Surrender of a Siren is now revised and complete and sent in to my editor.

I’m going to Disneyland!
(Really.)

More on book three this coming week…it’s in desperate need of a title.… Read More »

I think it was Keira Soleore who asked in the comment trail the other day what movie Mr. Dare and I went to see for our annual outing – we went to see Juno. Which is wonderful, if you haven’t seen it, and the end made me cry and cry. I’m not even sure why…It was a happy sort of ending, for the most part. But in a way, I guess I felt that the movie captured something essential of my 16-year-old self and my 32-year-old self and then smashed them together with a bunch of pregnancy hormones, and it was just about impossible not to cry. But I didn’t notice anyone else getting weepy. I guess sometimes a book or movie just hits me in exactly the right way (or wrong way) at the right time (or wrong time) and turns on the faucet. And of course, it would usually happen when I’m in public.

The best example I can remember of this was reading Summer of My German Soldier in eighth grade life science class. I often read through science class. I often read through a lot of my classes, but it was particularly easy to read through science. My science textbook was big enough to swallow a paperback whole, I sat in the very last row, and I had a particularly oblivious teacher–this big, round jolly guy named Mr. Ploof. Really.

So on this particular day, I was nearing the end of SOMGS and could not … Read More »

Check one:

___Yes
___No
___Maybe

Okay, I finally got a MySpace page. If you’re on MySpace, please come friend me! And tell me what you think of my gorgeous-looking page. Manda (of Romance Vagabonds) got me started. I love the look and colors, and this has been a great experiment as I start working with my web designer to redo my tessadare.com site. Till now, I’ve been a fan of the red/parchment/sepia look, as there’s no doubt it looks “historical”…but now I’m thinking a bold, energetic, colorful look might suit my books better. Any thoughts? Which do you prefer?

In other news, today is my wedding anniversary. On an unseasonably warm February day (mumble) years ago, Mr. Dare and I tied the knot. Several years, two kids, three pets, one house, and countless viewings of P&P later, that knot is tighter than ever. (Gee, that sounds kinda kinky. I didn’t mean it that way, swear.) We will celebrate by going to our first movie alone together since before dareling #2 was born…a year and a half ago. Seriously.

Mr. Dare, you’re my real-life romantic hero. I love you!
XOXOXOXOXOXO… Read More »

As many of you know, I am allergic to storyboards, character worksheets, index cards, multi-tabbed notebooks and all examples of an organized writing process. I’ve tried to do them all, I really have. They make me break out in hives. I think they’re wonderful–for other people. But for me, they feel like forcing a square peg into a round hole…where the square peg is my brain, and the round hole is one of those gnawing little mouths on a cheese grater. Just. Can’t.

But a few weeks ago, I was reading a wonderful new historical, The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke, and something kind of cool happened. I had to put it down. No, that’s not the cool part…hang on. When I came back to it, of course I had not marked my place with a bookmark (that would smack of organization! *sigh* how I became a librarian is beyond me). So I thumbed through the scene I’d been reading to find my place. It was a looooong scene. A loooong conversation, in fact, between the hero and heroine, and it went on for pages and pages and pages. But I realized that…when I was reading, it hadn’t felt long at all. LLG had me so caught up in the scene, it could have gone on for fifty pages, and I would have been delighted.

Which made me think about Goats on a Boat Surrender of a Siren. You see, in Goddess of the Hunt, … Read More »

I’m sorry, guys. I am really under the weather – have been ever since Saturday. I’d describe it more detail, but that would really be TMI of the not-amusing sort. It’s a flu-ish thing, I guess. I promise to be back just as soon as I’m feeling better. If anyone has a fun topic to dish about, please go ahead and post in the comments and talk amongst yourselves!… Read More »