If you visit the blog or my website this weekend, you may find it temporarily offline. The fabulous Frauke at CrocoDesigns is helping me sharpen up my WordPress template and make the whole site a little easier to use (for both me and others). I’ve decided to convert the non-blog part of my site to WordPress, too, so the conversion is going to take place this weekend. See you next week, all spiffy and updated!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!… Read More »

Okay, it hasn’t been raining quite that long, but it sure feels like we’re going to float away. Southern California is having what’s being called “our biggest storm of the year”, which to someone who grew up in the Midwest feels odd, because I think of a storm as a quick, crashing downpour accompanied by lightning and scary winds, and a California “storm” is more like…rain. And more rain. And a bit of a break, and then more rain.

Rain is good! (Unless you live in one of those areas where the brushfires were burning a few months ago, so now you’re in danger of mudslides. We don’t.) We always need water here. And once upon a time, I loved a rainy day. Rainy days meant cozying up with my favorite sweatshirt and blankets and tea and a good book. Mmmmm, nice.

At this stage in my life, however, rainy days mean two darelings literally bouncing off the walls with pent-up energy. In recent days, we’ve made cupcakes, done craft projects, used up every last piece of construction paper, and played lots of board and card games the darelings are really too young to understand. (My eldest’s idea of playing crazy eights is to spend ten minutes divvying up the cards so that she gets all the eights. Unsurprisingly, it’s a no-fail strategy!)

So here we are facing yet another rainy day with no school… Um, help? Please? What do I do with these kids?Read More »

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

One of the best things about being a romance writer is that I often feel like I’m living Valentine’s Day all year round.  So setting aside one separate day to celebrate romance seems a little odd, given my profession.  Maybe kinda like being the presidential biographer on Presidents’ Day?  Everyone else is suddenly paying attention to your field, but for you, it’s just another day of business as usual.

But there are all kinds of love stories in the world. Especially after I’ve become a mother, true stories like this one touch my heart in ways no Regency-era courtship can.

Read the full story here--it’s worth your time.

And here are my three favorite Valentine’s Day cards so far: Coverflats arrived this week!

coverflats

When you twist them in the light, those oval medallions shimmer.  I can’t stop looking at them.  Ooooh, shiny.… Read More »

Okay, I promised this post a few weeks ago now.  I’d been holding off, hoping I could get the blurb of my soon-to-be-epubbed novella together, but it’s still in the works.  Darn if that isn’t proving to be the hardest book ever to blurb.

Anyhow, I posted a few weeks ago about my belief that e-publishing is good for the romance genre.  And today I’m posting about why I think it’s a good move for me.   I have a NY print contract and three books coming out this year.  In terms of royalties and readership, realistically speaking, my e-pub novella is not going to come anywhere close to my print figures.  So what’s in it for me?… Read More »

It’s Tuesday, and I try to always blog on Tuesdays.  And usually I blog about something related to writing, because…uh, because I really have no life.  Seriously.  I write, I take care of my kids, I work at the library from time to time, I spend some time with Mr. Dare, and I try to keep the laundry pile from growing large enough to develop sentience.  That’s about it.

But wow – this week, I had a social life!  I went to a movie.  I went to a wine-tasting party on Saturday, and then a Super Bowl party on Sunday.  Whee!!

The movie I saw was Slumdog Millionaire.  And if you only see one movie this year (says the girl who only sees one movie a year), I suggest you make it this one.  Wow.  So gutwrenching and so heartwarming, so awful and wonderful, all at once.  It reminded me of that oft-repeated writing advice:  Make your characters suffer.  (Oops, I’m blogging about writing after all.  Oh, well.)  The protagonist, a Mumbai orphan named Jamal, has to go through so much crap (literally and figuratively) in this movie, by the last half-hour I just wanted to find director Danny Boyle and wring his guts until they felt as knotted as mine did.  But oh, how deeply it made me care.  And ah, how sweet the ending was, after all that pain.  As I left the theater, I felt resolved to put my characters through hell in this next book–and … Read More »

Author Lauren Dane (both e-pubbed and traditionally print-pubbed) has an excellent article on her blog about the differences between the two.  Note: not the superiority of one or the other, just the differences.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an actual blog of my own. 🙂

Wasn’t that a great Super Bowl?… Read More »

Newsflash: Lori Brighton (Lori from FanLit) has a new blog!  And she’s giving away three fab books!

It’s been a busy week!  I just finished the galleys of GODDESS OF THE HUNT last night, and I’ll give them one more quick look before mailing them, likely tomorrow.  I’m wrestling with the blurb for my Samhain novella, though the manuscript itself is all revised and copy edited and in the vault.  (This *%!$ blurb would be part of the reason I’m not blogging more about e-publishing today.  I’d like to be able to tell you what my e-pubbed book is about when I do!)  And I have a few light revisions to tackle on A LADY OF PERSUASION–a task I’m eager to cross off the list.  It’s never a chore to spend more quality time with Toby… 😉

My other goal for the week is to add a new feature to my website, tentatively called “What to Expect in a Tessa Dare Book”.  The cool thing about having 3 novels and 1 novella releasing so close together, is that I can actually offer the reader some quantifiable data about them.  If you pick up a Tessa Dare book at random, for instance, you have a 50% chance of fish, horses, or hounds, but only a 25% chance of goats, stags, or babies.

Um, yeah…I’m going to try to draw some more useful conclusions from the data…but the main idea is to give people who might be thinking about investing their … Read More »

There’s a lot of conversation going on right now, on various loops and blogs, about the RWA’s new rules for the RITA contest, which require entries to be “mass-produced” and effectively exclude most e-books or books published using POD (print-on-demand) technology.

I don’t really want to get into contest rules nitty-gritty–I know those kind of things are by definition arbitrary, and it’s impossible to make everyone happy.  I don’t envy the (hard-working, volunteer!) rule-makers one bit.  I’ve heard the RWA leadership has already committed to looking into the issue further, and that’s good.  What I do want to blog about is something more general.

As the RWA’s current policies are arranged, an author who publishes a work of fiction (over 20K words) with an e-press (even if that press is on the RWA’s list of Non-Subsidy, Non-Vanity Publishers) is no longer considered unpublished for the purposes of entering the Golden Heart.  However, neither is she considered “published” and PAN-eligible unless she can prove earnings of greater than $1000 for that book.  And unless her book meets the (vague, undisclosed) definition of “mass-produced in print”, she cannot enter it in the RITA.  Basically, an author who chooses to e-publish must do so with the knowledge that she’s forfeiting certain valuable RWA benefits without gaining any new ones.  To me, that adds up to an RWA organizational bias against e-publishing.  I’m not saying this was the intention, but it’s the de facto effect.  And this general bias bothers me, more than any … Read More »

You probably think I’m talking about the inauguration.  Yes, that too!  I’ll be forcing the darelings to watch it with me, no matter how they plead for Spongebob instead, and they are going to be completely bored and have no idea what the big deal is – and that is awesome.  Now we just have to deal with the question my eldest burst out with yesterday evening, in the middle of the Lakers game: “Hey!  How come there are no girls?”

But it’s a happy day in the Dare household for yet another reason:

Yes, my ARCs arrived!  But…there are ten of them.  Ten.  Don’t they know I need at least 200?  Ack.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with them, but for the moment I’m holding my preciouses close and just staring at them a lot.  Okay, and fondling them, but we won’t talk about that. 🙂

Hope it’s a happy day for you all as well!… Read More »

The short answer is, because I live it.

Seriously, when my books come out, I expect I’ll get some comments on the fact that they include a fair amount of slapstickyness.  People stumbling, tripping, falling on faces and arses (usually the heroines).  Some people like that kind of comedy in moderation (raises hand) and others don’t–it’s not ALL there is to my books, of course.  But I write it in because…honestly, I don’t know how to write a heroine who doesn’t fall on her face occasionally.  Because I do it all the time.

Right after New Year, for instance, I made a lunging grab for my younger dareling as he took off across the parking lot.  My boot caught on the curb, I fell swiftly and hard, and I ripped a newish pair of jeans and still have yellowing bruises on both knees. *sigh*  Yep, that’s me.  As my grandmother used to say, “Just call me Grace!”

These incidents also factor into my own real-life romance.  It’s astounding that Mr. Dare convinced me to marry him at all, considering that I incurred some serious blunt trauma on one of our first dates.  And it was all his fault. Yes.  It was.

See, we were at the Getty Center in LA (and the man was getting some serious points for taking me to an art museum on one of our first dates.  I’m not sure he’s taken me to an art museum since, but…)  The Getty Center is several galleries, connected … Read More »