Get Lost in a New Spindle Cove Novella from Tessa Dare.

Once Upon a Winter’s Eve

Tessa Dare

Samhain Publishing

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.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful read, Tessa!

    I would crash a Victorian Christmas; all the decorating preparation, gathering the tree, caroling, finding the yule log, wassailing. As long as I didn't have to be in charge of the elaborate festivities, it would be great fun to participate.

    Great interview, Jillian.

  2. Welcome to GLIAS, Tessa!

    Well, assuming I wasn't going to be thrown immediately in the pokey....let's go with Hugh Jackman or maybe Jude Law. Or maybe it should be someone fictional so I never really know them and become disappointed. Hmmm...too late to think much. LOL

    Have a great time today!

  3. Hi Tessa,

    Your book sounds great. I would like to crash Gerard Butler's party. He is one sexy Scot!

    Tammy Y

  4. Hi Tessa!

    I can't wait to read ONCE UPON A WINTER'S EVE!

    Since I live a large part of every day in the late 1880's (!) I would love to crash a number of Christmas celebrations in that era. A sumptuous Mayfair gala event, a middle-class family gathering and a humble DIckens style Christmas dinner in the East End.

  5. I loved Once Upon A Winter's Eve! It was such a great novella :)

    I think I would love to crash a holiday party hosted by Hugh Jackman or Ed Westwick; I have a soft spot for boys with accents. :)

  6. Great interview, Tessa and Jillian.

    What a gorgeous cover!

  7. I would have to say that I would crash into Hugh Jackman's party. I just love him!

  8. I would crash a party attended by Mr.Darcy, hoping to get to him before Elizabeth! ;-)

  9. I have been seeing this book around and would love to read it, sounds really good!

  10. Hey, all! Thanks so much for having me here today.

    Wow, lots of us want to crash Hugh Jackman's party! I think I have to jump on that bandwagon. I mean, there are so many reasons:
    1) the pretty.
    2) he might sing.
    3) his kids are ADORABLE.

    Dress him up as Santa, and I am on that lap. ;)

  11. I would totally crash a party at Fitzwilliam Darcy's. Though Hugh Jackman is a great choice, too.

  12. Great question! I have so many I'd love to crash... how about Beauty and the Beast's ball? That is my favorite movie - I cried like a baby for years every time the Beast dies.

  13. Hi Tessa!
    There are so many characters whose party I would want to crash. I would love to crash Cinderella's ball (image it's a festive one) and meet all the little helpful teacups.