01 August 2010

Guest Author: Hope Tarr

This week on Excerpt Thursday we're welcoming Hope Tarr as she celebrates the release of MY LORD JACK from Carina Press. Hope is an award-winning author of thirteen historical and contemporary romances, including THE TUTOR, her latest from Harlequin Historical Blaze. Here's the description of MY LORD JACK:

Once a pampered courtesan in France, Claudia Valemont has lost her mother, her protector, and her lifestyle to the French Revolution. To avoid the guillotine herself, Claudia flees to Scotland to search for her only remaining relative: the father she has never met.

Instead she finds hardship and heartbreak. Penniless, she is forced to steal to survive. Her crime nearly lands her in the hangman's noose—until the hangman himself comes to the rescue. Pleading on her behalf, he gets her sentence commuted to a period of indenture in the village commons under his watchful eye.

Undeniably indebted to her unlikely savior, still Claudia feels more than gratitude--much more. As a harsh Scottish winter descends, her Lord Jack just might heal her wounded heart...

"A book to feast upon...Jack will most certainly steal your heart." ~ Patricia Potter, USA Today bestselling author

"Stunning in its emotional impact and historical detail...an enchanting tale...impossible to put down." ~ May McGoldrick, bestselling author

MY LORD JACK is a previous nominee for a Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence


Congratulations on MY LORD JACK, which released earlier this month with Carina Press. Tell us a bit about the book, which I understand was previously published with Berkley.

MY LORD JACK was first released in 2002 as one of the launch titles for Berkley's "Highland Fling" line of Scottish romances. Unfortunately for Jack and for me, by the time the book released, the publisher had decided to close down the line. Despite across the board good reviews and several award nominations, the book had a tiny print run and was quickly forgotten. I was always sad about that because among the thirteen novels I've so far written, Jack is my hands-down favorite hero.

MY LORD JACK is, among other things a story of opposites attracting in a powerful, profound way. Former courtesan, Claudia Valemont flees Revolutionary France for Scotland in search of the father she's never met. Instead she meets with misadventure, is nearly sentenced to hang for horse thievery, and is saved by Jack Campbell, who just happens to be the village hangman. The internal conflict caused by falling for an executioner, a borreau, the very thing she's fled, was well, a lot of fun for me to play with. Beyond that, Jack is a virgin and something of an animal whisperer and perhaps most shocking of all (to Claudia), a vegetarian, so there's quite a number of "hot button" issues accompanying the heroine's quest for father.

When did you first start writing, and what inspired you to pick up a pen in the first place?

It was a manual typewriter, actually! I wrote my first book, BEYOND LOVE'S REACH, between the ages of 12 and 14. It was a Tudor-set romance and endearingly tender and of course, terrible but the seed was planted. As for inspiration, I was and am a big BBC junkie and my tween years were the heyday of "Upstairs Downstairs," "The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth" with Keith Michell, "Elizabeth R" with Glenda Jackson and a lot of other great British historical programming.

What's next for you book-wise?

A ROGUE'S PLEASURE, another former Berkley book and my first published novel, will release with Carina Press on August 16th. It's a Regency romp that I hope a new generation of romance readers will enjoy. And I'm thrilled to report that "TOMORROW'S DESTINY," my first ever novella, will release November 10th in a single-title Christmas anthology, A HARLEQUIN CHRISTMAS CAROL, with authors Betina Krahn and Jacquie D'Alessandro.

What do you do with all your copious free time, Hope? ((wink, wink))

I'm a co-founder of Lady Jane's Salon, New York City's first and so far only monthly reading series for romance fiction. We launched in February 2009 and quickly garnered media attention, notably features in THE NEW YORK POST and TIME OUT NEW YORK. Currently we're booking guest authors into 2011. Our fellow Carina Press author, Rebecca Rogers Maher, will be a guest reader at the September 6th Salon.

Salons are the first Monday of the month, 7-9 PM, at Madame X, a sexy boudoir-styled bar in Soho. Admission is $5 or one gently-used romance novel, with proceeds supporting New York City women's charities, so anyone in the New York area or passing through, please check us out.

Carrie, thanks so much for having me, and good luck with SONG OF SEDUCTION and your other upcoming books.

Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of thirteen historical and contemporary romance novels, including THE TUTOR. You can find her online at www.HopeTarr.com where she has a weekly blog and a regular contest.


Would you like to read about Jack for yourself? Leave a comment or question for Hope for your chance to win a copy. I'll draw a winner at random in one week. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!

Author photo by BizUrban.com