I am sooooo excited to welcome Tessa Dare to my blog today! I’m a huge fan of Tessa’s historical romances. As you can tell from my Pinterest board titled “Historical Romance Junkie” this genre is my favorite for pleasure reading, and I’m a demanding reader. I want fantastic characters in a story, and a terrific plot, something that’s fresh, and interesting. I want emotion, I want passion, but I don’t want to see the author…I’m not interested in author while reading. I just want great story. And that’s what Tessa Dare does.
So, back in mid March when I met Tessa at the So Cal RWA conference in March, I gushed about her writing, and her books, and told her I was a massive fan. And Tessa (the lovely, lovely girl!) had her publicist send me an advanced reading copy of Any Duchess Will Do, her brand new historical that releases today.
I devoured my ARC of Any Duchess Will Do over my Spring Break, and it was one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I’ve been dancing about, waiting for May 28th to arrive, to share Tessa Dare with all of you.
Today is the official release day for Any Duchess Will Do, and I’m thrilled Tessa made time to be featured on my blog. Everyone, please join me in welcoming the fabulous Tessa Dare!
Tessa, welcome! So happy today is the big release day of Any Duchess Will Do. I know you’re very busy, so thank you for agreeing to answer my questions.
Here we go: name five items sitting on your desk right now.
- My trusty MacBook Air.
- Blue-ink Papermate Profile pens (I’m picky about my pens) and a red Moleskin notebook
- Fossils from my trip to Sussex, England (setting of my Spindle Cove series)
- A candle with a Jane Austen quote, given to me by a lovely reader
- An enormous book about English castles. I swear, it weighs ten pounds.
What’s your astrological sign?
Scorpio – which is supposed to mean intense, mysterious, passionate. I guess maybe the “passionate” part is somewhat accurate, since I write romance novels. As for “mysterious”? All I can say is that once when I was a teenager, a cute, slightly older guy said to me, “You seem like the kind of person who would like to imagine she’s mysterious. But you’re really not.” Ha! Sadly, I think he was spot-on. I’d like to imagine I’m mysterious, but I’m really not.
Most of my spare time is devoted to hanging out with my husband and two kids. We do the usual family stuff—parks, video games, trips to zoos and museums. Disneyland is practically in our backyard, so it’s a family favorite. When I’m not with the family, I love enjoying our California scenery on long walks and hikes, or getting together with friends for dinner or a movie.
Rock or country music?
I definitely grew up more of a rock music girl—I tend toward alternative rock/pop, mostly. Songs in heavy rotation on my iTunes playlist this month include tracks from Imagine Dragons, Foo Fighters (perennial favorite!), the Neighbourhood, and Capital Cities. But I’m gaining more and more appreciation for country music lately, especially since so many country songs tell a story.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Haagen-Dazs chocolate peanut butter. No hesitation.
Drama or comedy?
My favorite books, movies, and TV shows always combine both. I love a story that can make me laugh out loud, but also feel deep emotions. Those are the kinds of stories I try to write.
Tell us what your new book is about, in 2 or 3 sentences.
The hero of Any Duchess Will Do is Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, who’s been the quintessential Regency rake, or playboy. His mother, desperate for grandchildren, kidnaps him to Spindle Cove—a village full of unmarried, unconventional women—and tells him just pick a girl, any girl, and she will make that girl into a duchess. Annoyed, Griff decides to call his interfering mother’s bluff—he chooses the serving girl, Pauline Simms, who is impoverished, smart-mouthed, and the furthest thing from elegant. If you’ve ever seen My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, or Cinderella…you can guess where this is going!
Was there anyone or anything that helped inspire you to be a writer?
I grew up reading anything I could get my hands on, and my family moved a lot. I spent a lot of time in libraries, and as I got older, bookstores. Those book-filled places were a second home to me, and I know I wouldn’t be a writer today without them. That’s why I made Pauline an aspiring bookshop-owner in Any Duchess Will Do, and I wrote this dedication: “To librarians and booksellers everywhere, who gather books and build shelters for tender souls.” Mine was a tender soul, and I owe a lot to the people who offered me shelter.
Since books have always been so important in my life—I’ve been a reader, a bookseller, an editor, and a librarian—I love being able to complete that circle and be part of the creation of new stories. It’s a privilege. The best part of the job is hearing from readers. Even if they just write to tell me a book made them laugh when they needed a laugh, or entertained them while they waited for a flight delay. I never get over the thrill. My characters get to be a part of someone else’s life? So. Cool.
Friends and readers, do check out Tessa’s website for more information on her new release and also look for her exciting new novella, Beauty and the Blacksmith! In honor of Tessa’s release day, I’ve got a fun giveaway for you, which includes 2 Tessa Dare novels, a $10 Barnes & Noble card, a $5 Starbucks drink card and lots more fun goodies tucked into a JP reader bag. If you love great historical romances, enter to win this giveaway. The contest runs through Friday, with the winner announced Saturday morning, June 1st.