From Michelle: Tessa Dare's lovely debut novel, "Goddess of the Hunt," drops July 28, but she returns to RBTB today to introduce the series and get us ready for the Regency Dating Game. Plus, she's talking childhood sweethearts and telling a story I don't quite remember the same way she does. Please DARE to offer her a warm, "I dare you to admit your Screech crush!" Bella buongiorno and toss her a Dating-Game air kiss...mmmwwwah!
From Tessa: Bellas, thank you so much for having me! It’s so exciting to be back here at RBTB.
I can’t even begin to tell you about my debut novel without first sharing what Michelle did for me, once upon a time. Back in early 2007, I was an aspiring author with a half-finished manuscript and a complete ignorance of how the publishing industry works…but by virtue of winning a crazy little contest, I scored Michelle’s invitation to come guest-blog here. Because Michelle is a gracious hostess, she read the excerpt of my then-work-in-progress I’d posted on my website, and she very politely said, “Oh, I can’t wait to read the whole book.”
So I said, “Can I send it to you?”
I still can’t believe I asked that. Really, if I’d known then what I know now, I never would have had the guts. But amazingly enough, Michelle said yes! I sent my manuscript to her, and she read it that very week, and then she sent me an email saying she’d loved it, and invited me to call her. She then talked to me on the phone for almost an hour, giving me all sorts of encouraging praise and much-needed suggestions. I knew then what generous advice she was giving me, but I didn’t realize until much later just how rare it is for anyone to offer that give that kind of time, effort, and encouragement to a completely unknown unpublished author. I will always be grateful to her for that.
Several months later I sold that very book to Ballantine, and now "Goddess of the Hunt" is releasing next month (July 28) as the first in a back-to-back trilogy of Regency-set historical romances.
In "Goddess of the Hunt," Lucy Waltham has been in “love” with one of her brother’s best friends since she was a girl. When the dashingly handsome Sir Toby Aldridge plans to marry another, Lucy snaps into action, determined to snag him first. She might lack for beauty and grace, but no one can match Lucy for determination or daring. When she sets her sights on a target—or a man—she will have him.
There’s just one problem. Toby’s the wrong man for her entirely. And it takes several heated arguments and some very hot interludes with her true hero, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall, before she can let go of that girlhood infatuation and embrace a woman’s desire.
Now, I love a childhood-sweethearts romance just as much as the next girl, but I’d guess most of us are pretty lucky we didn’t choose our life partners in the sixth grade. I can’t help but wonder, if I could have married my dream man at age ten or eleven, who would I be with today? Maybe one of these guys…
Yes, that’s Ricky Schroeder in his "Silver Spoons" days. And Matthew Laborteaux, who played Albert in TV’s "Little House on the Prairie." A year or so later, I developed a powerful fixation on Corey Haim. Obviously I had a clear set of requirements for husband-material in my pre-adolescent imagination, and it began and ended with one word: Dimples.
So who did it for you, back when you barely knew what “it” was? (Yes, this question may date you.) David Cassidy? Elvis? A New Kid on the Block? And just what it is about those dimples?
***"Profiles in Courage: Recovery and Romance" explores novels in which heroes and heroines with addictions work to find intimacy, love and passion while maintaining the emotional balance necessary to remain healthy. Check it out here, please!