Hey, I’m a guest Maven today! Sooooo exciting. Click over and read me trying to sound erudite … or something. Seriously, I just re-read it, and I don’t even understand me. That is what happens when you write with a toddler hanging around your neck and spinning your swivel chair. Gives new meaning to the phrase “dizzying intellect.”

Anyhow, speaking of phrases – I’m starting to think about expanding my website, and I’m thinking about my Tessa Dare “brand.” I need come up with a catch phrase that describes my voice. This is hard. That’s why I’m bribing you to do it for me. Yes, there will be prizes!

Right now I have something about “blending light wit and rich passion into delicious historical romance” — which is not bad, but it A) is too long, and B) seems to imply that I can cook. Heh.

So kindly post any suggestions you might have. I realize this will probably be easier for those of you who have read my book. For those who haven’t, here are some words and phrases that (I dearly hope) describe my voice and books:

*light and fresh
*humorous, often tongue-in-cheek
*fast-paced, dynamic
*H/H focused (no spies, stolen jewels, or blackmail subplots)
*subtle twisting of romance cliches
*historical romance with a modern edge
*sexy but not graphic
*fun to read

Let the brainstorming begin!

I’ll draw a random winner from everyone who posts to receive 3 current Ballantine releases of her choosing (gotta plug my new publisher!). If someone comes up with a catch phrase that I eventually use, she’ll win a prize, too!

33 comments to “Brand me! …. (a contest!)”

  1. CM
    · October 19th, 2007 at 6:21 am · Link

    (CM Stream-of-Consciousness warning.)

    Why not just truncate?

    Light wit, rich passion.

    Hm. One problem is that “light wit” sounds precariously like both “lightweight” and “nitwit.” And it could be read to imply that you’re light on wit and rich on passion.

    Okay. New plan. Assuming the number of words is capped at six, and that two of those words must be “historical romance,” and that one of those words must catch the whimsical, lyrical wit that is Tessa Dare and the other must capture the powerful, lyrical passion that is Tessa Dare . . . then . . . ah . . . . I’m seeing the word “lyrical” a lot, even though it is not on your list.

    So, pick one of:

    Lyrical, Beautiful

    Witty, Clever, Intelligent

    Sensual, Passionate, Sexy

    and then add Historical Romance?

    Or…. better idea. Replace the “lyrical” with something closer to “Celestial” (thus working in the titles of your first series).

    And then imply wit with a counterpoint–just as you have goddeses being linked with a naughty book. Yup.

    Here’s my final vote.

    Tessa Dare: Diabolically Divine.

  2. CM
    · October 19th, 2007 at 6:22 am · Link

    Note that I usually CAN actually spell “Goddesses.” Just not today.

  3. Maggie Robinson
    · October 19th, 2007 at 6:47 am · Link

    Tessa Dare, totally delicious historical romance

    I have been alliterating like mad in Maine this morning, but beyond ‘sparkling seduction’ I’m stumped.

  4. Tessa Dare
    · October 19th, 2007 at 7:54 am · Link

    Whoa, CM – I like your stream of consciousness! Hmm. “Diabolically Divine” is definitely a contender. Didn’t we have this discussion about ‘lyrical’ in Dallas – how it sort of fits, but it also implies a sophistication that my books, uh, lack? Whimsical, for sure.

    Oh, and Maggie, I love “Sparkling Seduction” too! How could I forget the supreme importance of working in alliteration if at all possible?

  5. Santa
    · October 19th, 2007 at 9:08 am · Link

    How about ‘witty, sensual historical romance’?

    Ye gads, that’s awful. Where’s Sara Mangel when you need her?

  6. Renee Lynn Scott
    · October 19th, 2007 at 10:02 am · Link

    I love Diabolically Divine.

    I’m going to give it a go, just so I’m in the running. 🙂

    Tessa Dare History with a Flare.

    I know cheesy, but hey, I gave it a try.

  7. Darcy Burke
    · October 19th, 2007 at 10:36 am · Link

    I love the thesaurus! And I like alliteration. So, going with the something something something something historical romance template, I came up with:

    Deliciously diverting, something sensual historical romance

    Now, I wanted that something to be an s word preferably. An s word that means stunning or beautiful. And it has to be an ly to match the first bit. So:

    smashingly (meh) sensual
    strikingly (sounds violent) sensual
    stunningly (makes my mouth trip)sensual
    devastatingly sensual (not an s word, but my favorite)

    Deliciously diverting, devastatingly sensual historical romance

    Hmmm, might be a bit longish. I so love the word diverting. One of the best movie lines ever (from Cold Comfort Farm) spoken by an older woman (played by Joanna Lumley who can deliver deadpan better than almost anyone) counseling a very young girl on her first visit to London. I usually botch it but it’s something like: “Things are always amusing or diverting, never ‘such fun.'” Gee, that was a sideways tour, a diversion even. Gah. I’ll stop.

  8. Tessa Dare
    · October 19th, 2007 at 10:50 am · Link

    OMG, Darcy! I looooove that movie. “I saw something nasty in the woodshed.” “Yeah, baby, but did it see you?” I am so putting that in my Netflix queue and knocking Mr. Dare’s samurai movies all down a peg. And I love the word ‘diverting,’ too! Although, if one is not already a historical reader, the meaning might be a bit lost.

  9. Keira Soleore
    · October 19th, 2007 at 10:55 am · Link

    Tessa Dare: Dishing up history with wit, verve, and passion

    Tessa Dare: Seducing history with wit, verve, and sparkle

  10. Jacqueline Barbour
    · October 19th, 2007 at 11:45 am · Link

    Would it be awful to repeat your pen name in your tag line? Something like “Delightfully daring historical romance?”

  11. Darcy Burke
    · October 19th, 2007 at 11:55 am · Link

    Tessa, my best friend and I howled at that movie in the theatre until we cried. “There’s no butter in hell!” All the best lines (except the diverting one, drat) are on imdb.

    Speaking of movies that make you howl until you cry, I saw the Jane Austen Book Club last night and laughed out loud through most of it. Hysterical.

  12. Tessa Dare
    · October 19th, 2007 at 11:58 am · Link

    Ooh, we are getting some good stuff here!

    I love “dishing” and “seducing” history, Keira!

    And Jacqueline makes a good point about the “Dare”

    Wonder if it could be made into an action statement? “Dare to”… what? I’m blanking.

  13. Tessa Dare
    · October 19th, 2007 at 12:16 pm · Link

    Alliteration alert!

    What do you guys think of “page-turning passion”??

  14. Keira Soleore
    · October 19th, 2007 at 12:48 pm · Link

    Tessa, “page-turning passion” might seem more like a romantica novel.

  15. CM
    · October 19th, 2007 at 12:55 pm · Link

    Enh. Page-turning passion sounds both purple and cliche. I really like the “Dare to…” idea though.

  16. Jacqueline Barbour
    · October 19th, 2007 at 1:10 pm · Link

    Yeah, I started out thinking along the “Dare to” line, but then I couldn’t figure out how to end it. Which is why I resorted to the participle instead.

  17. Tessa Dare
    · October 19th, 2007 at 1:13 pm · Link

    Okay, so no page-turning passion…

    But the thing is – sounding a bit purple and cliche is okay, as long as people get the joke. I mean, I have lots of cliched elements in my book, but hopefully given a fresh and/or funny spin.

  18. Sara Lindsey
    · October 19th, 2007 at 1:21 pm · Link

    I was thinking that the monthly contests on the website (there will be monthly contests, right?) could be called Tessa’s Dares. I dare you to read an excerpt and come up with the right answer sort of thing…

    My brain isn’t functioning all that well today, but I want someone’s cover quote for you to be: “Historical Romance has a new goddess!” (Yes, I think that is the quote I put on the fake cover of GOTH that I made way back when.)

    Undeniably Seductive
    T words: Teasing, Terrific, Touching, Tender, Thrilling, Titillating

    D words: Delicious, Delectable, Divine, Daring, Diverting, Droll, Delightful, Dynamic, Dreamy

    Let’s mix-and-match:

    Tessa Dare: Utterly Delightful, Undeniably Divine

    Totally Delectable
    Terrifically Diverting

    Funny, sexy and touching

    Too good to miss

    Dare to be Seduced

    I’ll come up with better ones later, but (I can’t resist):

    Bigger, Sexier and a Lot More Fun

  19. Jacqueline Barbour
    · October 19th, 2007 at 2:23 pm · Link

    Sara wins.

    It has to be Tessa Dare: Undeniably Delightful, Utterly Divine.

    Although Dare to Be Seduced is also much better than any of the “dare to’s” I came up with.

  20. Keira Soleore
    · October 19th, 2007 at 5:13 pm · Link

    Sara, I loved the cover quote, “Historical Romance has a new goddess!” Now, you and Tessa (and HelenB and Tessa’s editor) just need to get someone really famous to agree to say it. 🙂

  21. susan w.
    · October 19th, 2007 at 6:21 pm · Link

    A writer of such splendid gifts, you’d want to read her work in any genre.

    As for romantic fiction:

    Her prose sizzles, and it’s not all from the sex!

    Goddess of the hunt for a good read!

    Sizzling seductress of romance reading…..

    Oh, I don’t know; I just wanted to join the fray.

  22. Tessa Dare
    · October 19th, 2007 at 6:57 pm · Link

    Awww, Susan, how sweet of you to join! LOL, “not just the sex!”

    Sara Lindsey, as always, you are a font of ideas. I *love* that cover quote… and I know just the person we could talk into providing it. 😉

  23. Sara Lindsey
    · October 19th, 2007 at 7:31 pm · Link

    Indeed! I can actually think of a few authors who would do it! 😉

    Dare to be Diverted is also fun.


    Excessively Diverting (if you want the Jane reference)

    And I think the website should have a huge banner reading “Prepare to be Dared” with a countdown to publication below it.

  24. Santa
    · October 19th, 2007 at 8:52 pm · Link

    See, I knew Sara would come through. Everyone’s had such great ideas and a lukewarm one (moi). That was a lot of fun!

    I do like ‘Tessa’s Dares’ for your contest page.

  25. Elyssa Papa
    · October 19th, 2007 at 9:20 pm · Link

    Dare to fall in love with Tessa Dare.

    Or does that sound too much like an online personal ad?

    Tessa Dare: Bringing historical romance to life. (too zombieish)

    Witty, passionate romances—dare to be seduced.

    Not that this fits anywhere, but for some reason I think it speaks to romance writers:

    But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.
    Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

    Obviously, I’m not the best one at these things. Sara L and others offer much better suggestions!

  26. India Carolina
    · October 20th, 2007 at 6:54 pm · Link

    Wicked, witty and wonderfully romantic…

    Dude, those are some good suggestions. Sorry I’m late to the party!

  27. Lenora Bell
    · October 21st, 2007 at 1:39 am · Link

    So many great ideas. Sorry I’m late. I like “Dare to Be Seduced” and “Undeniably Delightful, Utterly Divine.”

    I don’t mind Page-Turning Passion either.

    Dare to be swept away.

    Sparkling wit and ravishing passion.

    Brimming with wit and lush sensuality.

    This is tough. I bet you’ll think up one on your own, goddess.

  28. Sara Lindsey
    · October 21st, 2007 at 4:34 am · Link

    Smart, Sexy, Satisfying, Sparkling, Seductive… some wonderfully alliterative combination of these words

    Tantalizing, diverting romance.

    (For the cover of GOTH: Being wrong has never felt so right…)

    Indulge your inner goddess.

    Fresh, funny and full of passion.

    Lust, love and lots of laughter.

    Apparently I like alliteration in the morning…

  29. Tessa Dare
    · October 21st, 2007 at 9:37 am · Link

    Wow! So many fabulous ideas… now narrowing it down will be the hard part. Keep them coming, though – contest deadline will be Monday.

  30. doglady
    · October 21st, 2007 at 11:16 am · Link

    Fresh, witty romps to the heart of romance. Okay, that is just a first thought!

  31. terrio
    · October 22nd, 2007 at 6:26 am · Link

    I’m late late late but wanted to say you all have some great ideas. I love the “Dare to” ideas. And that Utterly Divine one is wonderful.

    I’ll try just one…
    Tessa Dare: Wildly entertaining and undeniably addictive historical romance.

    No alliteration and probably too long but I was shooting for something that hadn’t been mentioned. *g*

    Can’t wait for the countdown!

  32. skirbo
    · October 22nd, 2007 at 10:14 am · Link

    I love playing at things like this.

    Lively. Flowing. History that Dares to be Romance.

    TESSA (Centered, bold and in a flowery font)
    “Dare to be Romance.”

    Just some quick thoughts.


  33. terrio
    · October 22nd, 2007 at 12:02 pm · Link

    Dare to join the Hunt.

    Though, admittedly, that would only work for the first book. Camo corsets that say that would be so cool. Or not. LOL!