Once Upon a Winter’s Eve
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.
Excerpt available at: http://tessadare.com/bookshelf/once-upon-a-winters-eve/
Tessa Dare is the award-winning author of seven historical romance novels and two novellas.
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.”
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.
Q & A with Tessa
Jillian: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Tessa: It’s not really a fairy tale, but it occupies a fairy-tale niche in my imagination: Alice in Wonderland (and Through the Looking Glass). My father bought me a secondhand copy when I was 6 or 7 years old, and I read it countless times. Alice appealed to me for her daring, her cleverness, and her curiosity.
Jillian: Describe your favorite kind of hero to read/write?
Tessa: My favorite hero to write is the sexy, charming rake. I just love to think up dialogue for those types of guys, so the writing is so much fun. However, the heroes who really get into my heart and stay there… they tend to be the strong, silent, tortured types.
Jillian: What was the first story you remember writing?
Tessa: It was a story I wrote over holiday vacation, while staying at my grandmother’s house. It was called “Martha the Cranberry.” She was a lonely, under appreciated cranberry, callously tossed aside by someone preparing a holiday meal. Then a little girl found her, saw her inner beauty, and they became best friends—until poor Martha got lost and nearly eaten by a squirrel. (I think my grandmother still has this story somewhere.)
Jillian: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Tessa: Sleep! And then I usually treat myself to a massage. Then, for the next week or so, I go on a romance reading binge (because when I’m nearing deadline, I try to avoid reading books that might mess with my own story.)
Jillian: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
Tessa: Gosh, that’s so hard to say. The easy answer would be the English Regency, so I could see for myself just what life was like during the time period. But another part of me thinks it would be great fun to go back in time and get answers to one of history’s unsolved mysteries. Just how were the pyramids built?, for example. What really did happen to the lost colony of Roanoke? And then some days, I look around my sunny homeland of Southern California and wish I could go back and time and see how it looked hundreds of years ago, before all the smog and urban development.
Jillian: What does it mean to love someone?
Tessa: My own little theory of romantic love is that we’re each looking for the person who accepts us for our worst self, but empowers us to be our best self.
Jillian: What’s your favorite kid joke?
Tessa: Q: What did the snail say when he rode on the turtle’s back? A: Wheeee!
Jill's got ask Tessa: You write the best, quirky, funny, outrageously hot love scenes! And they’re talky! I love talky love scenes, they seem more intimate to me. Is that weird? Love to hear your thoughts on this!
Tessa's Answer: Well first, thank you! I love talky love scenes, too. I really believe that dialogue is a big part of what makes a love scene “hot.” For me, it’s all about getting at the characters’ vulnerabilities—their deepest fears, desires, needs.
Tessa has a question for readers: My new novella, Once Upon a Winter’s Eve, starts out with a wounded stranger crashing into a Christmas ball. If you could crash someone’s holiday party (a fictional character, a celebrity, anyone!), whose would you choose? I have a print copy of A Night to Surrender and an e-copy of Once Upon a Winter’s Eve to one lucky commenter!
For more about Tessa Dare:
***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.