Interview and Giveaway with Hope Tarr

by

~HOPE TARR~

DSC_0519RTWelcome to UTC, Hope! Tell us five interesting things that readers wouldn’t know about you!

Foremost, thanks so much for having me, Francesca. While I like to think of myself as more or less an open “book” (pun intended!), here are five things that many readers may not readily know about me:

1. I am the co-developer of an iOS app, Beer Gardens NYC. The app, which first released in 2010, is the first (and still only!) app guide to beer gardens in the United States. You can learn more at our website, http://www.beergardensnyc.com/.

2. Along with being a lifelong animal lover, from 1996-2002, I launched and directed the Pet Overpopulation STAMP OUT Campaign, a national grassroots initiative that resulted in the U.S. Postal Service issuing 250,000 “Save Lives — Neuter/Spay” humane educational postage stamps in September 2002. The stamps, which sold out, were the bestselling commemorative postage stamp second only to the Elvis Stamp.

3. Though I lived in the DC area for many years and now live in NYC, I grew up in Baltimore, MD. “Go, Ravens!” OK, enough said. :)

4. My educational background is in the fields of Psychology and Educational Measurement, not English lit or anything to do with writing. That said, I always wanted to be a writer–well, once it was clear the ballerina thing was NOT going to work out. ;)

5. I am a co-founder and current principal of Lady Jane’s Salon (http://www.ladyjanesalonnyc.com/), NYC’s first–and still only–monthly romance fiction reading series. We celebrated our fourth year earlier this month and now have four satellite salons across the country. I will be taking the Lady Jane’s Salon love to the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Brisbane, Australia for our first ever Salon off US soil on Friday, March 1st, 6-7PM. Our guests for that event will be Cathy Maxwell, Amy Andrews, Keri Arthur, and Anna Campbell.

You have dabbled in both Contemporary Romance as well as Historical Romance. What would you say are the major differences and/or similarities between the two sub genres?

Regardless of whether I’m writing historical or contemporary romance, the “voice” is always distinctly mine. In the historicals, readers receive a more formal, elegant–yet sulty–version of that voice. In contemporaries, the voice that comes across is more smart-assed and ballsy–shorter, faster-paced prose, snappy dialogue with quick come-backs–and frank, sexy descriptions. Re genre differences, I think it comes down to the research. For me as a rule-of-thumb, contemporaries require less research–but then readers are also less forgiving if you make a factual mistake.

What made you decide to write in this Historical Romance genre?

I’ve always been a huge history lover, British history especially. As young as eight, I was a BBC junkie, forcing my poor, beleaguered babysitters to watch such productions as “The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth” and “Elizabeth R.” After those, they were more than happy to consent to playing “Candy Land,” believe me! ;)

TEMPTING is your newest single title Historical release. Can you please tell us a bit about it?

TEMPTING is a digital re-release of my earlier single-title Victorian-set historical published by Berkley/Jove. It’s a “My Fair Lady” meets “Pretty Woman” story with a twist, actually several twists, including a secretly Jewish hero. I had a lot of fun coming back to the book ten years later and bringing that experience to bear on revamping the book. Last year, TEMPTING spent eight consecutive weeks on the Kindle Top 100, most of that time in the #3 spot, so it seems my sweat equity in editing and rewriting paid off. :) The hero and heroine, Christine and Simon, make cameo appearances in VANQUISHED, the launch to my “Men of Roxbury House” Series with Medallion Press.

A ROGUE’S RETURN is the sequel to A ROGUE’S PLEASURE. Do you mind tell us a bit about each book and what readers can expect from the series with Carina Press?

By way of Breaking News, the book has been re-born as CLAIMED BY THE ROGUE and has sold to Samhain Publishing as the launch to as new “Claimed’ series of Regency-set historical romances. CLAIMED BY THE ROGUE will release in 2014 followed my CLAIMED BY THE ROGUE and CLAIMED BY THE MARQUIS. I’m so excited to pick up the Tremont family’s story where A ROGUE’S PLEASURE left off! Anthony’s jilted fiancee, Lady Phoebe, has waited more than a decade for her Happily Ever After, so I’d say it’s about time. :)

You’re a big animal lover. How big of a role does animal companions have on your enjoyment of life?

A huge role. My cats, all former rescues, aren’t pets, they’re family members. And hands down, they rule the roost. :)

Say you are hosting a dinner party. If given the chance to invite characters from other series, who would you invite?

I don’t know about the fictional characters, but ever since seeing “Midnight in Paris,” I’ve had this fantasy of resurrecting Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald for a night. :)

What was the last movie you watched?

The last film I saw was “Lincoln” with Daniel Day Lewis–and he was truly awe-inspiring. On my still-to-see before Oscar night list are “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo.” But first I have to finish revisions on Book #2 of my “Suddenly Cinderella Series,” alas!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Reading is a give, I guess. I’m currently very keen on memoir. I love to run and have done three marathons and numerous half marathons and shorter races. I take aikido twice a week–again, when not on deadline. I love seeing both films and live theater. Taking long walks around NYC just for fun is always great for filling up the creative well. And I love, love, LOVE traveling although my laptop always comes with me. In point, I do some travel writing for EuropeUpClose and BootsNall travel blogs — I probably should have included that factoid in my five things most people don’t know.

Links to my travel and other nonfiction articles can be found at my other website, http://www.writernyc.com/.

What is the last book you read?

An upcoming contemporary erotic romantic release by Cecilia Tan for Grand Central and gave an author quote for the book cover. I wish I could recall the title–but regardless, it was great.

What’s next for Hope Tarr?

Working on the final two books for my Suddenly Cinderella Series for Entangled and then the upcoming Claimed historical trilogy for Samhain has me accounted for through 2015. I also have a SUPER SECRET romance project, which I will be announcing soon, likely in the next month.

Readers and bloggers can visit me at http://www.hopetarr.com/ where they can sign up for my no more than quarterly newsletter as well as on Twitter (@HopeTarr) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/HopeC.Tarr).

Thanks so much!

Thank YOU for sharing with us!

Author Photo Credit: www.BizUrban.com

TEMPTING_New Cvr_Pink Pearls_Final_12-9-11

Set in Victorian England, TEMPTING is the story of aspiring Member of Parliament, Simon Belleville, and Christine Tremayne, a former dairymaid whom dire circumstances have landed in the attic of a Covent Garden brothel. As Simon soon discovers, polishing this roughly hewn diamond into a gem of a lady is no small feat, especially with the opposing political party sniffing for scandal. In helping Christine, Simon knows he is putting his hard-won reputation and a lifetime’s ambition at risk. Little does he suspect that his biggest risk is losing his heart.

About the Author

I suppose you could say I’ve always been a dreamer. In my mind’s eye, I can still see my first-grade teacher shaking her head and scolding, “Hope, stop daydreaming and pay attention!”

I tried, really I did. But how could the dreary assignment on the chalkboard begin to lure me away from the dashing Disney fairy-tale figures populating my head? Cinderella and Prince Charming, Snow White and Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and Pr—

Well, you get the picture.

In middle school, I “graduated” from romance a la Walt Disney to grownup love stories by the likes of Victoria Holt, Anya Seton, and Daphne Du Maurier. Someday, I promised myself as I thumbed through my dog-eared copy of “Forever Amber,” I’d write a romance novel of my very own.

That dream has weathered a Master’s degree in Psychology, a Ph.D. in Education, a four year stint as a federal government research consultant, and several years as a freelance writer. In 1994 I finally packed up my graduate school texts, purchased Kathryn Falk’s small, pink paperback entitled How to Write a Romance and Get It Published and joined the Romance Writers of America. I’ve never looked back.

As a romance writer, I get to spin fairy-tales of my very own—life-affirming stories in which the hero and heroine find not only their soul mate but their souls into the bargain. And much like fiction, “real” life comes with its share of twists and turns. In 2008 I packed up myself, including cats and books, and quit the quaint historic town of Fredericksburg, Virginia for the Big Apple—talk about a big change! I’m entering my second year in the city and for those of you who follow my blog, you know the move to Manhattan has worked out to a Happily Ever After best. I’m looking forward to a new year, and a new decade, filled with good times, good friends, and yes, good (romance) fiction.

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Ms. Tarr is giving away one digital copy of
OPERATION CINDERELLA, Book #1, Suddenly Cinderella Series.

Operation Cinderella_cvr_500

Manhattan magazine editor Macie Graham always gets her story—and she’ll do anything to uncover the dirt on famous radio personality Ross Mannon. After he smears her article on his show, nearly costing Macie her job, she devises a plan to masquerade as a modern-day Cinderella and get her revenge on the infuriating Texan.

All Ross wants is a woman with old-fashioned values to be his housekeeper and role model for his troubled teenage daughter. When the perfect woman shows up, Ross is relieved—until he finds himself drawn to his gorgeous, red-stiletto-wearing new employee. “Martha Jane” is opinionated and sexy, and Ross is intrigued…and more than a little turned on.

Macie thought Operation Cinderella was foolproof, but Ross, with his rugged good looks and southern charm, proves to be as perfect behind-the-scenes as he does in public. But when she finally uncovers a secret that could destroy Ross’s reputation, she faces losing her job or losing the fairy-tale ending she didn’t even know she wanted.