Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

So my dear friend, critique partner, fellow RITA nominee, role model, and general inspiration in life, Ms. Courtney Milan, is spending her pre-RT Con weekend at the Chicago Spring Fling conference. And she took with her copies of our new excerpt booklet (You may remember that last year we joined forces to create The Dangerous Book of Excerpts, still available as a PDF download here).

Here’s a pic of the new one, Highlights, snapped by SB Sarah:

Here’s a peek at the back:

Even though Courtney is the one handing these babies out, I want to make sure credit for this masterwork is distributed evenly and appropriately. So here is how the grand collaboration went.

Tessa: Hey, do you want to make some excerpt books again, to put in the RT Bookseller goody bags?
Courtney: Sure!
Tessa: Okay, I’ll tell them we’ll be sending some. Any ideas for a theme this year?
Courtney: No, but something will come to us.

**weeks pass**

Courtney: So, if we’re going to make the deadline, we should make those excerpt books…um, now.
Tessa: OH. And here I forgot to schedule my brainstorm. What’s popular right now that we can riff on? Um. Cupcakes? Can we call it Pride and Prejudice and Hot Lovin’?
Courtney: Uh. Your ideas suck.
Tessa: I know, I know.
Courtney: Here’s one that doesn’t.
Tessa: Oooooh, that’s good!
Courtney: *hours later* Here, I made eight alternate covers. Which do you like best?
Tessa: B, I

Read More »

Next week I’ll be traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to attend my very first RT Booklovers’ Convention, the annual reader/author event sponsored by RT Book Reviews magazine (formerly known as Romantic Times). Some months ago, I learned that my debut, Goddess of the Hunt, was nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice award in the Best First Historical Romance category. I was so honored.

This week, RT published the full list of the nominees and winners. I was even more honored that GotH was chosen to receive the award! I should caution, though — at the moment it says something like “Best Historical” next to my category. Tempting as it is to grab that glory and run with it, I feel the need to clarify that the award is still for “Best First Historical Romance,” which is a tremendous honor and in and of itself, especially considering that I was nominated next to these wonderful authors:

Lavinia Kent, A TALENT FOR SIN
Tina Gabrielle, LADY OF SCANDAL
Lindsay Townsend, A KNIGHT’S CAPTIVE

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners in every category. And to anyone who’ll be in Columbus next week, I look forward to seeing you there! Although I still have no idea what I’ll be wearing to accept this very cool award.

Oh! While I’m posting, I should mention that the new June issue of RT has a 4-1/2 star, Top Pick! review of One Dance with a Read More »

The other day, my friend and fellow author Jennifer Haymore announced on her blog that she’s been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. (You may remember that I hosted a giveaway just a few weeks ago to celebrate the release of her newest book, A Touch of Scandal.) Her prognosis is good and her attitude is fantastic, but I’m sure she’d appreciate all the support, prayers, and well wishes she can get. Whether you’ve read her books or not, if you’d like to send a good thought her way, you can visit her blog to do so, or click on over to Smart Bitches Trashy Books today. SB Sarah is collecting helpful hints and tips for getting through cancer treatment, and giving away several copies of Jennifer’s book.

YA author Rosemary Clement Moore is celebrating the paperback release of Highway to Hell with her wonderful Mosquitoes Suck Contest.

From Rosemary’s blog:

In Africa, the bite of one mosquito can transmit malaria, a disease which kills one person every 30 seconds.

Can you believe that a $10 mosquito net could save someone’s life? It can.

The United Nation Foundation’s Nothing but Nets Campaign is a global, grassroots effort dedicated to saving lives by preventing malaria in Africa. When you make a $10 donation, 100% of your contribution goes directly toward purchasing and distributing an insecticide-treated mosquito net and teaching the recipient to use it properly…

Make any size donation to the Nothing But Nets Campaign, and you will be entered

Read More »

I need to update my bio. I’ve been putting this off for years now. You know, the little bio I have on my “Author” page? I wrote it late one night when I was putting together my very first basic website, when I was an unpublished author with no actual books to mention–let alone any awards or honors or other nifty bragging points. And I was a frazzled mom with a toddler and a tiny infant. Between caring for them and writing, not much else got done. So I let my bio reflect that.

While I still like this bio because it sounds very “me”, it’s getting pretty out of date.

Tessa Dare is a part-time librarian, full-time mommy and swing-shift writer living in Southern California.

Tessa lived a rather nomadic childhood in the Midwest. As a girl, she discovered that no matter how many times she moved, two kinds of friends traveled with her: the friends in books, and the friends in her head. She still converses with both sets daily.

Tessa writes fresh and flirty historical romance, a blog, and the stray magazine article. To the chagrin of her family, Tessa does not write grocery lists, Christmas cards, or timely checks to utility companies. She shares a tiny bungalow with her husband, their two children, a dog, and many dust bunnies.

Tessa enjoys a good book, a good laugh, a good long walk in the woods, a good movie, a good meal, a glass of good wine, and

Read More »

Firstly, winners! Thanks to all who entered the Jennifer Haymore/A Touch of Scandal giveaway! We will have four winners, since Jennifer is kicking in two extra copies. (Thanks, Jennifer!) Winners, as drawn by, are:

Liz (#9)
Liza (#14)
Peggy H (#15)
Hannah (#20)

Winners, please use the contact email form (click contact in top menu) to send me your snail mail address.

While I’m announcing winners, and since I’m still on a little high from the RITA final last week, I think I’ll blog a bit about contests. (If you’re not an aspiring author, this may bore you to tears. Sorry! I will not be hurt if you sneak out the back.)

In the time since I sold my first book, I’ve sometimes been asked by aspiring authors about contests. Did I enter RWA chapter contests as an unpublished writer? Did I find them of benefit?

The answers are yes, and yes–with caveats.

I entered a total of five chapter contests with Goddess of the Hunt, and one with a very early draft of Surrender of a Siren. The entries placed everywhere from first place to “bottom third” (where they mercifully do not reveal your exact ranking). I got something out of each and every contest.

What I got out of contests:

Some helpful feedback
Some unhelpful feedback
The invaluable experience of learning to sort out which is which
A few wonderful networking connections with published author judges
A chance to thicken my skin before dealing … Read More »

I am so jealous of my friend Jennifer Haymore. First, because she gets the most unbelievably beautiful, hawt stepbacks. If you’re a clinch lover like I am, you must visit her website and mouse over the cover of A Touch of Scandal, so you can see this one in all its blond-hero glory.

But my envy of her doesn’t end there, not by a mile. Jennifer is not only a beautiful writer, but she has a gift for creating gut-wrenching, heart-wringing, romantic scenarios for her characters. You know, the kind of books where you wonder halfway through, “How can this possibly end happily?” …and then it does! And the end is so much sweeter for all that angst.

Last year, her debut, A Hint of Wicked, was a runaway success and the talk of Romancelandia. It featured a love triangle between a widow, her new husband, and the first husband thought dead, who returns eight years later. Let me tell you, I still get chills thinking of the first chapter of that book. I’m pretty sure you can read it on Amazon with the “Look Inside” feature.

But of course, with a love triangle, you know someone’s going to get left out in the end (in a mainstream romance, anyhow!), and now this year we have Garrett’s book, so he can have a happy ending of his own! Yay! The blurb for A Touch of Scandal:

The last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while

Read More »

Today, I refer you to a most unique and memorable interview. I’ve been interviewed by the resident were-llama at CJ Redwine’s blog.

You all know the penchant I have for were-creatures, in particular ruminants. So this was great fun. And blogger CJ’s husband even made me a Stud Muffin! Okay, a Stud Cupcake (even better, I say!) Check out the interview to learn the significance of that big, gold stud-emblazoned coin.

The Stud Cupcake
There are prizes to be won!

Oh, and the were-llama also coaxed an excerpt out of me — if you’ve been curious to read more snippets of One Dance with a Duke, click on over!… Read More »

This year, I am adding a new term to my publishing vocabulary: “crash”. As in, “to crash a book.”

Perhaps you already know what this means. I confess, I didn’t. My agent called me a little over a year ago to let me know yes, Ballantine would publish the Stud Club trilogy. I said, “Great!” (Read: OMG, squeeeeeee!). She said they wanted to publish them in May/June/July 2010. I said, “Um, how is that possible?” (Read: massive internal freak-out) And she said, “Well, they will just crash the last book.” And I said, “Oh, okay. I totally know what that means.” (Read: a total lie.)

I still don’t have a hard-and-fast definition for “crash”, but I’ve gathered it means to rush a book through production. Sometimes this is unplanned, because the author for one reason or another turns in a book after deadline. In this case, however, the “crash” was planned in advance, as it was the only way to get the trilogy releasing back-to-back in the summer months. And since having a trilogy release back-to-back in the summer months is pretty awesome, I was down with this “crashing” thing, whatever it meant.

See, before this crashed book, I’ve always worked in my own little bubble between contract and deadline, then turned in the finished manuscript 9+ months before the book’s publication date. Subsequent revisions, copy edits, page proofs have felt almost…leisurely, in retrospect.

But since we knew this third book would be a crashed book, turned in just four … Read More »

Well, I returned from the wedding (um, a week ago, but who’s counting…)! My dareling made a precious flower girl, if I do say it myself. Actually, several other people said so, too! I’m glad she got to have the experience, and it was lovely to see all our family members.

As I look at my schedule for the next few months, I see it filling up with exciting travel and literary events and book signings. If you are anywhere near any of these events, I would love to meet you! Yes, you! (Okay, maybe not you, who stumbled onto this site while searching for topless pics of that Canadian ice dancer).

Saturday, April 10th – I will be appearing on a Romance panel and signing books at the Literary Orange event in Irvine, CA. This is an all-day event with panels, speakers, food, and book signings. The Romance panel will be moderated by Super Librarian Wendy and also features authors HelenKay Dimon and Linda Widsom. So, you could come to see me. Or you could come to see HelenKay and Linda and Wendy, or keynote speakers Dean Koontz and Karen Joy Fowler, and just pretend you also came to see me. Either way, it’s all good!

April 28-May 2nd
– I’ll be in Columbus, Ohio for the RT Booklovers Convention. Woot! My first RT con. Time to see if all the rumors are true… 😉 I’m not on any panels or other official thingys, but I will … Read More »

*carves sixth hashmark on the wall*

I am so happy to report, the manuscript of Three Nights with a Scoundrel is all turned in to my editor. There will be revisions and edits and page proofs to come, but I can say now that I have authored six books. Hooray! I am so thankful to the wonderful friends and critique partners who helped me through this last stretch, and through the whole trilogy. You know you are. 🙂 I could not have done it without your support. Mwah.

Yesterday was a big release day–so many great books hit the shelves! But a special shout out to my pal Erica Ridley on her debut, Too Wicked to Kiss! I can’t wait to find it on the bookstore shelves and buy it for my very own. By the way, I’m giving away copies of Too Wicked to Kiss and Sara Lindsey’s Promise Me Always in my current contest.

This weekend, the dareling daughter and I are headed cross-country for a family wedding. She’s going to be the flower girl! Awwww. Her dress is so precious, and she is so excited. I’m so glad she’s getting the chance to do this before she grows too old. I never was a flower girl, myself.

So, any advice for mother or daughter from those who’ve done this before? … Read More »