It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas…

Can the winter holidays be upon us already!?!

To help get in the holiday swing, please take two ticks and check out these contemporary and historical Christmas romance releases. Print copies may or may not be available but all are available as digital releases on Kindle and Nook. 🙂

And if you’re in the NYC area, please consider putting Lady Jane’s Salon on your to-visit list. Our winter holidays salon is Monday, December 5th, 7-9 PM where I’ll be guest reading along with my Salon Co-Founder, Leanna Renee Hieber and special guest, Patt Mihailoff. Check out the deets here.




Highlights from Peru

Some trips are just that, pleasant getaways. Others are “journeys.” My recent twelve days in Peru definitely ranks among the latter.

Rather than see Peru through the window of a tour bus, I opted for a more active approach. After two days spent exploring the city of Cusco on my own, I joined up with a walking/hiking tour group operated by Country Walkers.

As I did with my April-May trip to Italy, I will be detailing my Peruvian adventures in a series of travel articles. I am also prominently detailing my Peruvian journey in my current nonfiction book. Details forthcoming…

For now, the piece de resistance of the hiking portion of the trip was a two-day visit to the famous Inca City of Machu Picchu.

Built in the 1450’s, the Golden Age of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu is especially popular as a tourist destination this year, 2011, which marks the 100th anniversary of its (re)discovery by explorer, Hiram Bingham.

I say rediscovery because Machu Picchu was never the “lost city” that Bingham made it out to be. Nor was it attacked by the invading Spanish as were most other Inca cities. The site, while badly overgrown, remained intact and well known to the local Andean people throughout the centuries. Two Andean families occupied a portion of the ruins when Bingham first made his appearance in 1911. The young son of one family served as one of his guides.

Summit of Machu Picchu Mountain--how sweet it was!

To preserve the main Inca trail leading into the site, the Peruvian government strictly limits the number of park passes issued per day. Because I booked late, the allotted number of Inca Trail permits had already been distributed to my group. Instead, I hiked Machu Picchu Mountain alone with a local guide, then rejoined my group later that afternoon at The Gate of the Sun.

The 2,000 foot climb up Machu Picchu Mountain took me to 10,300 feet. Fortunately I’d been hiking for almost a week and was well acclimated to the altitude. The topography of the trail presented the real challenge. A more or less 90 degree straight shot up, it also involved navigating jagged granite “steps.” As I wound my way up to the summit, the path narrowed to a shelf of just about sixteen to eighteen inches wide. Sheer drops greeted me on one, sometimes both sides. For nearly forty-five minutes, my reality reduced to one carefully placed footstep after another.

It was a crash course for living in the moment.

Despite a lifelong fear of heights, I made it to the top–and that coveted flagpole–in two hours, not too shabby for a city girl.

Then of course, there was the coming down. 🙂

The next day I enjoyed exploring the main park site with my group. We began with an early morning (AKA crack o’ dawn) gathering inside the park. Several of us took turns reading from a book of poems on Machu Picchu by Peruvian poet, Pablo Neruda . It was a deeply moving, deeply spiritual set of moments.

Now I’m back in the Big Apple. Amidst the happy chaos of catching up, I’m taking time to hold onto all the wonderful lessons my journey to Peru and back has taught me. Until next time…







November Lady Jane’s Salon & Peru

Q: What do Lady Jane’s Salon and Peru have in common?

A: Absolutely nothing…barring that this month I must give up one to gain the other.

Yeppers, I am headed for Peru–the land of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and such–which means I will miss our monthly Lady Jane’s Salon on Monday, November 7th.

Still, while I’m rambling amongst the ruins, there’s no need for you to miss. Check out the deets on the Lady Jane’s blog and prepare to party with three great guest authors: Addison Fox, Jeanine McAdam and Isabo Kelly.

Happy Trails,


PS Whilst I’m away, please check out my latest interview on Digital Book Today.




Vanquished & The Men of Roxbury House

The VANQUISHED e-book giveaway ended as of midnight, and whew what a thrilling ride these two weeks have been!

While we’re still waiting on the final numbers, so far across e-reader platforms–B&N, Apple, Amazon, and Sony–VANQUISHED landed in the hands of nearly 40,000 new readers. Nearly 40,000 new readers, some new to the book and the Men of Roxbury House Victorian-set series it launched, others new to me as a writer overall.

I couldn’t be more pleased.

For those of you  who downloaded VANQUISHED or who read it prior to the giveaway, in print or digital format, thank you and I hope you enjoyed. If so, more Victorian goodness awaits via the other two books in the trilogy: ENSLAVED and UNTAMED.

In both books, Callie and Hadrian reappear as secondary characters helping their two Roxbury House friends to their own steamy Happily Ever Afters.

When it comes to Happily Ever After, more is…well, more.

Happy Reading!







Vanquished Free E-Book Offer. Yes, F-R-E-E.

There may or may not be “no such thing as a free lunch,” but I’m happy to report that a free book is still occasionally possible.

From Monday, September 12th through Monday, September 26th, VANQUISHED (the launch to my “Men of Roxbury House” trilogy) is available as a free e-book. Across all platforms!

Whether you’re an Amazon Kindle user or a fan of the Barnes & Noble Nook or other e-reader platform, you have two solid weeks to download VANQUISHED. For free.

Obviously my hope is that VANQUISHED will act as a gateway drug to downloading the other two trilogy books, ENSLAVED and UNTAMED but certainly there’s no obligation to do so.

Resist if you must. 😉

Thanks to my wonderful publisher, Medallion Press, for making this offer possible and thereby putting my beloved book in new readers’ hands.

Happy e-Reading,




Living History or My New Old Venture

Chilling out on the veranda of the Hotel Villa Cipriani in Asolo. May 2011. Treviso, Italy.

One upon a faraway time, the 1990’s, there was a freelance writer named Hope Tarr. While Hope enjoyed writing articles, her Big Dream was to write books.

In 1999, Hope sold A Rogue’s Pleasure, a sexy Regency-set romp and her first book. From then on, she got busy writing books. Really busy.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Fortunately for all of us, living history can shift and change, twist and turn. On a dime.

While I’m happy to report that I’m still really busy writing books, I’ve also found time to return to a former love: travel writing.

And we’re having us quite a honeymoon. 😉

Please check out my two (and counting) articles on Italy for the fabulous travel site and blog, Europe Up Close. My Eat Pray Love…Florence series will be followed shortly with Eating in Venice and another trio of articles on Day Tripping in The Veneto.

Grazie Mille!


September Lady Jane’s Salon

Summer may be nearly over, but at Lady Jane’s we’re carrying the sizzle into fall.

Join us on Monday, September 5th–yes, Labor Day–7:00-9:00PM at Madame X. Our featured guest authors are: Miranda Neville, Anne Herendeen & Katherine Ashe.

Authors books available for sale and signing on site.

Admission is $5 dollars or one gently-used paperback romance novel. Cash bar.

Proceeds from the salon benefit an end-of-year donation to a NYC women’s charity.

August ’11 Lady Jane’s Salon

We’re back from the July break, rested up and restored after The RWA Conference and ready to go with another fab Lady Jane’s Salon.

The August Salon welcomes five fabulous guest readers. Returning to the Salon stage: Dee Davis, Mingmei Yip, and Janet Mullany. Appearing for the first time will be Kathleen O’Reilly and Ken Salikof W/A Maxine Kenneth.

The deets: 7-9PM at Madame X. $5 admission (or one gently-used paperback romance). Cash bar.

Hope you can join us.

For a recap of June’s star-studded Special Salon Event, check out the Salon blog.

Beer Gardens NYC & TV JAPAN

As many of you know from your lovely support both past and present, last fall I ventured into the app front with the release of my first iPhone app, Beer Gardens NYC.

Co-created with my partner, Raj Moorjani, Beer Gardens NYC is a guide to more than 50 NYC beer gardens by borough, neighborhood and beers. The 2.0 version, released in April, integrates Foursquare, GPS functionality and other techno bells & whistles along with enriched curated content.

Recently TV JAPAN contacted us to be part of their segment on NYC beer gardens! ((Note: pausing to catch breath yet again)). This 24/7 Japanese language news and entertainment broadcast reaches viewers in both the U.S. and Canada.

The segment aired on July 9th. (We’re the lead story!). Raj did a fab job in the interview, waxing not only enthusiastic but knowledgeable about the NYC beer garden scene and bonus, the producers included his short demo of the app. Enjoy!

Happy Bastille Day

July 14th is Bastille Day, the day set aside for celebrating French independence, or the day Parisians stormed The Bastille, that bastion of l’Ancien Regime. No more Lettres de Cachet, no more near feudal era serfdom, no more aristocrats hoarding all the good food and wine.

I’ll be lifting a glass of champers to my happy place of Paris later today as well as to J’ai lu, my Paris-based publisher of La Rose de Mayfair.

Wherever you are, enjoy!

A la prochaine,