Animals aren’t just companions to me — they’re inspiration. Since launching my writing career, I’ve made it my tradition to include one of my real-life feline rescues as fictional “characters” in my books. Check out my feature in today’s USA TODAY HEA blog, duly shared with my rescue tabby cat, Daisy (“Forget belly rubs, Hope Tarr’s kitties get book cameos,” Sunday, October 11, 2015). To read more about Daisy and my other feline muses, check out my Best Friends page here!
This Tuesday, July 21st 7-9:30pm at Madame X, we at Lady Jane’s Salon® will welcome the 35th annual Romance Writers of America® national conference back to New York City. I say “back” because we’ve helped kick off the conference before, in 2011. Then we drew more than 125 attendees, including surprise guest, Eloisa James, and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker, Laurie Kahn. Laurie and her crew from Blueberry Hill Productions filmed the Salon for her “Love Between the Covers” feature-length documentary film on the romance community. Check out the (less than four minute) footage from that crazy-fun night here.
Along with co-hosting the event, I’ll be reading a never before released sneak peek from Irish Eyes, my very first foray into Women’s Historical Fiction. Set in Gilded Age through Jazz Age New York City, the manuscript has been a true Labor of Love. I can’t wait to share the first chapter with everyone!
Or to help roll out our stellar lineup of guests: Sonali Dev, Dahlia Adler, Carrie Lomax, Laura K. Curtis, Nancy Scanlon, and Regina Kyle. The service staff at our ever fab venue, Madame X, stands at the ready to serve with $5-$6 drink specials (including super yummy “mocktails”). We also have terrific raffle prizes donated by some of the romance industry’s brightest established and rising stars.
Best of all, your $5 admission supports our annual donation to our house charity, Win, helping real-life NYC families find their own Happily Ever After. It doesn’t get any better than that. If you’re in town for #RWA15 or simply in town, please plan to be our guest!
Today (2/9) is your LAST DAY to get my Victorian set historical, TEMPTING for FREE, and I don’t want any of you, my dear readers, to miss out, especially when it’s all so perfectly simple and refreshingly easy. Download the awesome–and also #FREE–EverAfter Romance ebook app: http://bit.ly/12jLGry (iOS) & http://bit.ly/1wNJT9t (Android). In less than a minute, the book will appear on your shelf.
Already have the app? Even better, just enter Code: htfree
Still need help deciding? Enjoy this never before released snippet from TEMPTING.
TEMPTING, © Hope Tarr, That Book, Inc.
Simon paced from one end of the fringed foyer runner to the other, white-gloved hands folded behind him. Piles of paperwork awaited him on his desk and yet with time on his hands still he hadn’t managed to make heads or tails of any of it. A soft sound stalled his steps. Expecting Mrs. Griffith or one of the housemaids, he looked to the staircase. And saw Christine.
Garbed in a gown of saffron silk, her hair swept up into an intricate confection of ringlets, her bared shoulders held back to reveal every proud inch of her lithe frame, she graced him with a soft smile. “Simon.”
Descending, she seemed more fantasy than flesh-and-blood, an exquisite angel floating toward him despite the hint of a hitch to her step. The hall was chilly but, inside him, heat spiked. Like a sleepwalker, he felt himself moving toward her, every glib greeting and clichéd compliment fleeing his brain. Only one word remained.
She stepped off the landing, and he reached up to take her hand in his. “I’m not late, am I?”
That made him smile. Despite her finery, she was so unspoiled, so… dear. “To be truly fashionable, you should have kept me waiting for at least a half hour.” Realizing he still held onto her hand, he released it with regret.
Her smile dimmed. “Oh dear, I’ve gone about it all wrong again, haven’t I?”
Her words touched off the tenderness in his heart. “No, I’m glad you’re here.” He took the cape from her and hung it upon the hall tree. Turning back, he said, “I have a present for you.”
He led her over to the pier glass. Stepping behind her, he caught his first glimpse of her gown’s low back. All that beautiful bareness had him searching for his next breath.
Finding it, he said, “Close your eyes.”
She obeyed, and he reached into the inner pocket of his cutaway jacket and withdrew the black velvet box. “No peeking,” he chided, seeing her eyelid flicker. He snapped open the box. Withdrawing the necklace, he brought the gold chain about her throat.
“It’s cold.” She reached up, her fingertips brushing the pendant dangling just above the swell of her breasts.
“It was a long and rather bracing ride back from town,” he admitted.
“Your business was to buy me a gift?” Eyes still closed, she leaned back ever so slightly against him.
“It was.” He fumbled but finally fastened the clasp. He lingered a moment more, inhaling her sweet, clean scent, then stepped back. “Open your eyes.”
She did, and their gazes met in the mirror. She looked down at the necklace and uttered an exclamation of delight. “Oh, Simon, it’s fair near the same color as my gown. How did you know?”
“My spies are everywhere.” He winked, feeling light and young and altogether freer than he had in years, quite possibly ever. That the pendant complemented her gown was pure happenstance. He’d bought the amber because the color made him think of her eyes, eyes capable of capturing men’s hearts with a single, liquid look. “Do you like it?”
She whisked about to face him. “It’s the loveliest gift I’ve ever gotten.”
You’re the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen, he thought but didn’t dare say.
“I’m glad,” he said, both happy and humbled that his token had made her so happy.
She took a step back. “Do I look—” She faltered, brow furrowed, likely searching for one of the long, elegant words she shored up for such occasions. “Do I look…ravished?”
Accustomed as he’d become to the artful simpering of society beauties, Christine’s guilelessness was akin to being handed a glass of iced lemonade after hours of sun baked toil. Refreshing, delicious, sweet—and yet tartly tempting.
Pressing a hand to the small of her back, he felt her shiver against his fingertips. “Not yet…but then the evening is young.”
Sometimes Christmas–or in this case, Valentine’s–comes early! Check out the article featuring me in today’s New York Post and find out how data science, a divorce–and a seriously awesome 1860’s “fainting couch”–led me to NYC where I wrote OPERATION CINDERELLA and found my very own Happily Ever After!
(Author photo by Anne Wermiel for the NY POST).
On January 5th, I had the pleasure (and honor!) of reading from OPERATION CINDERELLA at Lady Jane’s Salon®, the NYC-based romance reading series (the city’s first and still only!), which I co-founded…((gulp!))…six years ago. As always, the crimson clad venue, Madame X, was superb, our audience of dedicated romance readers, writers, and publishing professionals generous and supportive. Below is the short video. Please feel free to share it online with other readers. And if you haven’t yet, please download your FREE copy of Operation Cinderella from the e-tailer of your choice–Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play etc. We’ve had MORE THAN 250,000 downloads since the promo began in mid-December, with many of you going on to download the other Suddenly Cinderella series books as well. But, like all things, the giveaway won’t go on forever. The freebie ends 12 midnight, January 12th. Blessings & Happy 2015! Hope
I recently rounded out my Big Birthday Month+ with afternoon tea at Lady Mendl’s courtesy of my lovely author friend, Suzan Colón (Beach Glass). Located within The Inn at Irving Place in the tony, London-like NYC enclave of Gramercy Park, Lady Mendl’s consistently ranks as the city’s most romantic tea salon–with good reason. Sit back and savor a quick, calorie-free tour of our nearly three hours’ time travel back to a kinder, gentler, infinitely more gracious time.
On arrival, we were greeted by our winsome, 20-something server-to-be. Wearing a chic black wrap dress, rope of pearls, and a soft, scarlet-painted smile, she directed us to the beautifully-appointed parlor where our coats were whisked away and we were seated before the crackling fire. Ah, I could get used to this.
After a brief respite for thawing, we were led into the adjacent dining room. A quick scan of the opulently appointed yet cozy chamber confirmed that high tea had been a VERY good idea indeed. And that Lady M’s is a venue where even the teensiest detail is accounted for, down to the exquisite, pearl-festooned miniature centerpieces gracing each cloth-covered table.
Our respective teas selected, the five-course repast began. Course #1 was a warming butternut squash soup–or was it pumpkin? Regardless, it was delicious, the perfect starter for shaking off the gray chill of the day.
Next, we were each brought a plate of the ubiquitous tea sandwiches only these weren’t ubiquitous at all but creative and delicious, not to mention farm-to-table fresh. My favorite? The smoked salmon with crème fraiche and Wasabi caviar.
Slices of Lady Mendl’s signature (mouth melting) cake followed as our fourth, mine sporting a single birthday candle.
We finished with plates of assorted miniature cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries and, of course, a final cup of tea. So. Civilized.
If you live in, or plan to visit, NYC, seriously consider taking tea at The Inn at Irving Place. And don’t be surprised if a detailed scene of “high tea” doesn’t find its way into a next Hope Tarr novel. Maybe even the historical women’s fiction saga set in NYC I’m researching now.
Fall is my favorite time of year–and not only because it’s the host season for my Libran birthday! Crisp air, glorious foliage, and a return to wearing luxe sweaters and cool boots! Even more so than the spring, come September/October, I feel this incredible burst of energy, as though I’m not not only renewed but re-born.
Check out my fall newsletter where I share the latest intel on film deals, foreign releases, and general fun “stuffs.” Not on my mailing list but would like to be? Please visit my Contact page and subscribe.
Wishing you an autumn brimming with fairytale dreams come true!
Last summer I got the idea to celebrate this Valentine’s 2014 with a nonfiction anthology of romance authors, a sort of “Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul” for the post-Millennium to benefit one of my favorite charities: Win. I floated the idea by some of my favorite fellow authors and, voila, what began as a seed of an idea blossomed into an actual book.
In Scribbling Women and the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them, twenty-eight romance fiction writers, one for each day of February 2014, reveal their real-life stories of how they met, wed and love—and are loved and supported by—their spouses and life partners. At times whimsical and laugh-out-loud funny, at others poignant and bittersweet, all unfailingly inspiring, each essay celebrates that most powerful and sacred of human bonds: love.
If readers take away just one message from our anthology, I hope it will be this: Happily Ever After isn’t only the stuff of romance novels and fairy tales.
It is every woman’s birthright.
ALL net proceeds from sales of the anthology support Win. Founded on February 14, 1983—yes, Valentine’s Day—Win works to transform the lives of NYC’s homeless women and their children.
The official Scribbling Women & the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them book launch will take place at the fifth anniversary celebration of Lady Jane’s Salon, Monday, February 3, 2014 7-9 PM at Madame X.
Huzzah & Happy Valentine’s Month,
SUGAR, my hard cover debut written with Jenna Jameson, released on Monday, 10/21, and so far it’s been quite a week!
The highlight: a book signing at the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue and 46th Street. Prior to the 12 noon signing, the crowd queued up outside 5th Avenue, forming a line that would snake around the block.
In contrast, the bookstore’s green room was a cozy haven before facing the media blitz outside. The 2+ hours whizzed by in a flurry of signing and photo ops.
Last night was the Golden Apple Awards, the annual industry awards event sponsored by the New York City chapter of The Romance Writers of America. I was–and am–thrilled and honored to have been chosen by the membership as its 2013 Author of the Year. Below are the notes for my acceptance speech, which I managed to complete dry-eyed albeit verklempt.
A career of twenty years, thirteen as a published author, means there are many people to be thanked, so I may not be exactly brief but I will be as succinct as these two pages permit.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my trio of fabulous agents:
To Louise Fury with whom I’ve been blessed to work since 2010. As some of you know, I first met Louise when she started coming to Lady Jane’s Salon® in our early days and at the time I had no idea she was even agenting. It took me a while but I finally cottoned on. Elizabeth Mahon and I took her out for “a” drink to celebrate a significant deal she’d made, one drink turned into many drinks, and then next thing I knew she was asking me about my books. I’ll never forget her saying, “I don’t know if I can sell it—but I’ll try.” By 1:00 AM I was back home emailing her the files.
Louise has done considerably better than “try.” She has since sold THREE series for me, including my hard cover debut, SUGAR, co-written with Jenna Jameson, which releases from Skyhorse Publishing this October 21st. And that’s not even counting the foreign and audio deals she’s made—all while fielding my many, MANY daily emails, on which I usually forget to change the subject header. Honestly, Louise, I can’t imagine being in this business without you.
To Lori Perkins who wears many hats—make that tiaras—not only as the founder and owner of the enduringly successful L. Perkins Agency but also as a writer and publisher. As you know, Lori launched Riverdale Avenue Books last December and she hasn’t stilled since. I don’t use the word “maverick” often or lightly but Lori is truly that. Lori doesn’t follow publishing trends, she forecasts them. She has brought so many publishing opportunities my way these past years, including but in no way limited to a place in her 50 Writers on 50 Shades of Grey anthology and for those and her friendship, I thank her.
To Jenny Bent, our Agent of the Year, who launched my career back in ’99 by selling my Regency-set historical to Berkley. A Rogue’s Pleasure was a first romance sale for both of us—and as they say you never forget you first. I was with Jenny through three agencies, and was so proud of her when she went out on her own and founded The Bent Agency, which has added a London office to its home base of Brooklyn.
To the talented editors with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working over the past 13 years and counting: Cindy Hwang at Berkley, Brenda Chin at Harlequin, Helen Rosburg at Medallion Media Group, Angela James at Carina Press, Stacy Cantor Abrams at Entangled, and now Jenn McCartney at Skyhorse Publishing. I’ve done 25 books and each has been made inestimably better for your talented input.
To the uber talented former O Magazine senior editor, memoirist and now romance author, Suzan Colon for being my friend, supporter, and creative sounding board. Our lunches are not only a treat to which I look forward but a grounding point for me personally and professionally. I am so looking forward to you reading BEACH GLASS at the February Lady Jane’s Salon.
To RWA NYC for your enduring support, friendship, and encouragement. When I moved to New York in the winter of 2008, I knew ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. Attending that first Saturday chapter meeting was akin to grabbing hold of a lifeline. I met both my Lady Jane’s co-founder, Leanna Renee Hieber and past president, Elizabeth Mahon at a chapter outing to Coney Island. Others of you I’ve gotten to know through additional chapter events such as the winter holiday and spring brunches, the online loop, and of course your glorious and enduring support of Lady Jane’s Salon. To Maria Ferrer and Lise Horton and Sarah Tormey and Kwana Jackson…well, I don’t have time or breath to name each one of you but please know that your support, of me, my books, and m/our Lady Jane’s Salon these past five years means more than I can say.
Last but in no way least, to my wonderful and always supportive partner, Raj Moorjani, who daily affirms that Happily Ever After isn’t only the stuff of romance novels—we can have it in Real Life, too.
This is an enormous honor. Thank you!