Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Joyathon: Interview + Giveaway with Tessa Dare

Meet Tessa:
Tessa Dare is the award-winning author of seven historical romance novels and one novella. She has twice been awarded the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award, and has twice been a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award. Her books have been contracted for translation in nine languages. Recently, Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance.”
coming 2012
Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa strives to write Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her new “Spindle Cove” series, she’s had great fun creating a fictional seaside community populated by women who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in such unladylike pursuits as medicine, geology, and artillery. And she’s had even more fun dreaming up the strong-willed, unsuspecting men who’ll find their hearts ensnared by these “spinster” heroines. The first Spindle Cove book, A Night to Surrender, is currently available from Avon Books.
A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa takes great pride and pleasure in continuing to work part-part-time at her local public library. She makes her home in Southern California, where she shares a cozy, cluttered bungalow with her husband, their two children, and a big brown dog. (source)

Where to Find Tessa: Facebook | Twitter | Author Site | The Ballroom Blog

Kati: Who is Tessa during the holidays? (author, gift giver, last minute shopper, baker)
Chronically Behind. The holidays always seem to sneak up on me. I try to do a lot of shopping online and strive to keep it simple. We generally save the baking for the actual holidays and make it a family activity with the kids – you need things to do in all those days between Christmas and New Year's!
click to read Ch.1

K: What is your favorite thing about the holidays?
T: Just the general atmosphere of anticipation and that warm, fuzzy glow. And the music. I love Christmas music. Oh, and the lights. There's a street near ours lined with tall, arching trees, and all the neighbors hang these giant, twinkling balls from them at Christmastime. My kids beg to drive down the street every evening, because the effect is so magical. (Ooo...I love driving through my neighborhood with the car lights off. It is magical.)

K: Do you write more or less during the holidays?
Depends on how near the deadline is!

K: If you’ve written a holiday themed/titled book, what is it about? If you have not, would you write a holiday themed/titled book in the future?
Yes, I have written a holiday-themed book – a novella that just released on November 15, from Samhain Publishing, called Once Upon a Winter's Eve. It features Violet, a wallflower who is nursing a secret disappointment at the Spindle Cove Christmas ball. When a strange, handsome, wounded man invades the ballroom and collapses at her feet, she must stay up all night with him and try to learn his true identity. Is he a madman, a spy, or someone known to her from her past...? To find out, Violet has to marshal all her wit and courage—oh, and withstand his roguish flirtation. (It's a fabulous story.)
click to read Ch.1

K: Real tree or fake tree?
We used to get real trees, but switched to fake several years ago. They're just much more child- and pet-friendly.

K: Specific gifts or gift cards?
I think there's a place for both! It's always so meaningful if someone who knows you well buys something personal and chosen just for you. But when it comes to things like teacher gifts and hard-to-shop-for people, I'm all for gift cards.

K: Fruit cake or gingerbread?
Believe it or not, I actually LIKE fruitcake. I'm weird that way. Something about those irrationally colored bits of candied fruit peel, I guess. (I like the taste of the bread but not the bits of fruit in it.)

K: Just enough decorations or “every tree lighted, blow up snowglobe, snow man in the
yard” decorations?

T: Just enough decorations. We do a tree, bring out a few knick-knacks, hang a few strings of lights on the porch. But we're not “together” enough to go all-out.

K: Home for the holidays or visiting relatives?
This year, we'll be visiting relatives in Florida – we'll have four generations together! (Wow!) We're all really looking forward to it, but of course the darelings are a little worried about how Santa's going to find us there. We're assuring them Santa can find us ANYwhere.
click to read Ch.1

K: Gifts under the tree throughout the month or Santa delivering all on Christmas Eve?
I used to wrap gifts as I bought them and tuck them under the tree. But now the darelings (my kids) are getting older and it's harder to keep them from peeking. So mostly it gets done last-minute.

K: Regifting: Tacky or is there a sneaky way to do it?
I think passing a gift along to someone who might use it or enjoy it more than you would is a smart use of resources—but re-wrapping it like you bought it yourself...? To me, that's a little harder to pull off.

K: What are you looking forward to in the new year?
When I turn in the book I'm working on now, I'll be at the end of my three-book contract, so from there I get to stretch my creativity and come up with something new. To me, that's always exciting.

K: Authors choice.
What's your favorite kind of Christmas cookie? My mom makes a unique family recipe every year that has eggwhites and anise...the cookies get a puffy, delicate eggshell-like crust on the top and taste delicious! I've never seen those cookies anywhere else. (That sounds delicious!)
K: Thank you for participating in the Joyathon!
Thank you so much for having me!

Some wallflowers bloom at night...
Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.
Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.
Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems.
She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers—and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.
Where To Buy: Kindle | Nook | Samhain | Sony
Book Extras: Read the 1st Chapter | My Review

Tessa is giving away a copy of her novella, ONCE UPON A WINTER'S EVE, to one (1) lucky reader along with a copy of A NIGHT TO SURRENDER. Please note that ONCE UPON A WINTER'S EVE is in e-book format only. Soooo, here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment answering Tessa's question along with your email, ninja style: yourname at gmail dot com.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must answer Tessa's question. All other entries are optional. (But following Tessa on Twitter has its benefits. Sneak peaks and such )
Easy peasy right? Don't forget to enter for the awesome super secret prize here.

A huge thank you to Tessa for participating in the Joyathon and for giving away ONCE UPON A WINTER'S EVE and A NIGHT TO SURRENDER. 

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