Tessa Dare on Were-Stags!

Today, we welcome Tessa Dare, whose Samhain e-novella, The Legend of the Were-Stag, is out now. Tessa will release a full length book in July, The Goddess Of The Hunt, followed by Surrender Of A Siren in August and A Lady Of Persuasion in September.

And a bit about Tessa:

Tessa Dare is a part-time librarian, full-time mommy and swing-shift writer living in Southern California.

Tessa lived a rather nomadic childhood in the Midwest. As a girl, she discovered that no matter how many times she moved, two kinds of friends traveled with her: the friends in books, and the friends in her head. She still converses with both sets daily.

Tessa writes fresh and flirty historical romance, a blog, and the stray magazine article. To the chagrin of her family, Tessa does not write grocery lists, Christmas cards, or timely checks to utility companies. She shares a tiny bungalow with her husband, their two children, a dog, and many dust bunnies.

Tessa enjoys a good book, a good laugh, a good long walk in the woods, a good movie, a good meal, a glass of good wine, and the company of good people.


Please welcome Tessa to the Risky Regencies!

***

The Care and Feeding of Werestags: Writing the ruminant shifter historical hero

Last week, my first e-novella, The Legend of the Werestag, was released into the wild! As I believe it may be the first Regency-set historical romance novella to feature a were-ruminant, I thought I might offer a few words of advice to any historical authors looking to explore this new, exciting sub-subgenre.

Habitat:

Forget Bath and Brighton. For the fashionable Regency gent with ruminant-shifter propensities, the ideal holiday locale is a well-appointed manor house (turret optional), conveniently situated near a dark, misty, cursed forest. As you see from my cover, Swinford Manor fits the bill perfectly.

Attire:

Take a look at the cover for TLOTW, and note carefully the attire of the hero. Not his bare chest, mind, but his attire. You may think that this depicts an anachronistic button-down shirt, since it is open to the waist. In actuality, an open-front shirt is a wardrobe necessity for a were-ruminant hero in any historic era. Why, you may ask? One word: Antlers.

Feeding habits:

As everyone knows, werestags are herbivores and must be provided ample fodder for rumination. The gracious host will provide a cold buffet of vegetables, leafy salads, and whole grains, but in a pinch, bread will do:

Ignoring Brooke’s grumbling objection, Luke swiped a roll from his neighbor’s plate and chewed it moodily.

(Note that in human form, the werestag hero is inclined to not only obsessive mastication, but obsessive brooding. “Chewing moodily,” or ruminating in multiple senses of the term simultaneously, is the mark of a male were-ruminant in his prime.)

Respect the man and his inner beast:

Feeling a little bit silly–and why should she, she talked to horses and dogs all the time–she addressed him. “Can you understand me? My speech, I mean?” When he gave no response, she added, “If you can understand me, nod your head twice. Or tap your hoof, perhaps.”

His neck lengthened a fraction, so that his regal crown of antlers struck an even more impressive silhouette. I am not one of your horses or dogs, his proud bearing told her. I do not nod or tap on command.

The wise heroine (and her authoress) remembers that her werestag hero is a wild creature by nature. The goal is never to subdue his inner beast, but to embrace it.

I’m sure it’s obvious by now, but of course I’m joking. πŸ™‚ My novella is not truly a paranormal shifter story, but rather a straight historical romance. All werestags in The Legend of the Werestag remain just that: the stuff of legends. TLOTW (available as an e-book from Samhain Publishing) was my chance to take my favorite paranormal conventions and play with them within the confines of historical romance. A gothic setting, hair-raising action in a darkened forest, and raw, animal passion, to start. A tortured hero just returned from war, who’s not quite sure he’s fully human anymore, and the heroine determined to prove she’s strong enough to embrace his inner beast. Werestag is also loosely linked to my forthcoming print debut, Goddess of the Hunt (Ballantine, July 28th). You can find excerpts of both books at my website, TessaDare.com.

Thank you so much for inviting me today! It’s an honor.

What sort of shifter hero are you desperate to see in Regency-set romance? A were-hound ranging the moors of Devon? A were-badger paddling the Severn? A were-hedgehog, perhaps? πŸ˜‰

A lucky commenter will win a free download of The Legend of the Werestag and a signed coverflat of Goddess of the Hunt!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

44 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sarah Tormey
13 years ago

Hi Tessa,

Great blog! After giving it some thought, I think I’d prefer a were-hound. But I may change my mind after more careful thought. Today is a cleaning day for me, so while I sweep and mop I will continue to ponder Regency shape-shifters:)

Congrats once again,
Sarah

beverley
13 years ago

LOL.
Hmm,

I’m looking for the were-stud. Don’t they have them in massive amounts in the regency era?

And since I already have the book, I don’t need to be entered into the drawing.

Bev

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Acccck! were-creatures in the Regency???? I’m having a spasm. Quick! Bring me a vinagrette!!

(Welcome to Risky Regencies, Tessa…or whoever you are!!!

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Hello, Megan and ladies of RR!

Thank you so much for having me today.

Sarah, have fun cleaning! A werehound could be fun. Actually, I wrote that suggestion because my WIP does take place on the moors of Devonshire, where the locals have all sorts of lurid rumors and stories about my hero’s “cursed” family. Maybe I could make one of the rumors a were-legend! Why not?

And Beverely = LOL, a were-stud! Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? Or a were-Dartmoor pony?

Courtney Milan
13 years ago

Personally, I think were-vegetation has been neglected in the Regency! Just think: The Duke and his Desire for a Were-Carrot.

I can see it now….

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

No worries, Diane! The weres are all in good fun!

Thanks for the welcome!

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Gee, Courtney…

You may be on to something there with the were-vegetation. Now if a Duke who is really a were-stag were to fall in love with a Lady who is secretly a were-carrot–THAT would be some serious conflict to work with.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

I am much comforted, Tessa!

Manda
13 years ago

Hmmm. a were-tiger perhaps? Then he could double as some nobleman’s tiger and ride on the back of his high-perch phaeton by day. But by night? He would prowl the streets of London, lap languidly from the Serpentine, and curl three times around before falling fast asleep on the steps of his master’s Berkley Square townhouse.

Or not;)

Great blog, Tessa and I ADORED TLOTW. Luke a total hottie!

J Perry Stone
13 years ago

“Were-hedgehog”? I can see were-pellets over taking the country-side.

I’m with Bev and Courtney. I’ll take a were-stud looking for a were-carrot.

Hilarious blog.

Lana
13 years ago

Hi Tessa,

Great blog! I laughed so hard – antlers indeed!

Next up maybe a were-ferret? Not to be discounted as a protector and the perfect companion to Regency spy ladies… Especially since he could double as a disguise…

J Perry Stone
13 years ago

Were fish?

Were bug?

The possibilities are endless.

Louisa Edwards
13 years ago

This? “Chewing moodily,” or ruminating in multiple senses of the term simultaneously, is the mark of a male were-ruminant in his prime.

Made me snort coffee all over my keyboard. You so owe me! One copy of Goddess of the Hunt, please. : )

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Manda, thank you for your kind words! And for loving Luke. Your were-tiger idea is brilliant! (Didn’t Damien trip over one of those in FanLit?)

J Perry! thanks for stopping by. You’re right, the possibilities ARE endless. I think werebugs, for example, are a very underexplored niche in historical romance.

Hi, Lana! I think a were-ferret is a fabulous idea. A new twist on the Regency spy! I see it now: The Wereferret Spymaster’s Lady…

Hi, Louisa…sorry about the keyboard. I’ll see what I can do. πŸ˜‰

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

Tessa, thanks for stopping by! I keep cracking up at the “chewing moodily” bit. My spouse does that often.

And I am so looking forward to your full-lengths in the summer.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

*madly waving the vingaigrette under Diane nose with one hand and saying ‘hello’ to Tessa with the other*

open-front shirt is a wardrobe necessity for a were-ruminant hero in any historic era.Unless those antlers are going to be popping out of his stomach, there’s no need for the shirt to be open over the stomach.

Besides, the requirement is for an open shirt that’s tucked into the pants.

For myself, I’d like a were-lion. The stealth of a were, the claws of a lion, and mais oui: the culminating act roar of triumph and possession.

azteclady
13 years ago

*jumping up and down* Me, me, choose me!!!

*ahem*

Sorry ’bout that, having some issues with impulse control lately.

Okay, kidding aside, I’ve been lusting after TLOTW since it was first mentioned over a Dear Author. Here’s wishing you the best of luck with it and with your upcoming novels, Ms Dare!

Jane
13 years ago

Were-Patroness!

It’s not so far fetched. Lots of Dukes have shape-shifted into highwaymen or spies. πŸ™‚

Sara Lindsey
13 years ago

Well, if we’re going with were-carrots, I think the appropriate hero would have to be a were-hare.

The possibilities of were-mares, given the Regency gentleman’s love of equestrian sports, is also rather intriguing… I think the were-mare is the answer to Bev’s were-stud!

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Thanks for stopping by, Keira! LOL at your lion and his roar of completion. Fabulous.

As for the open shirt – of course the antlers aren’t coming out of his stomach, silly! But the historically-accurate regency shirt lifts over the head…a tricky maneuver if one has an impressive rack of antlers. Button-down it must be.

Jane, I like the way you think. Why must the hero always be the shifter? Let the ladies have some fun. Would be great to see a literal “dragon of the ton”!

Or Sara’s idea – the were-mare to mate the were-stud. Oh, I love it.

Azteclady! I actually have been looking for your email address, but your blogger profile is locked. Can you drop me a line? Tessa at tessadare dot com

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Thanks again for having me, Megan! I’m heading out to take care of preschool dropoff and errands, but I’ll check back in a few hours.

Kim
Kim
13 years ago

ohh, can I have a were-bunny or a were-kitty? Something fluffy and sweet?

Werestag is awesome, Tessa! Can’t wait for Goddess of the Hunt.

Mari
13 years ago

How about a were-liger?

Janga
13 years ago

Turrets are optional? Really? πŸ˜‰

I vote for were-apes. Just imagine how they could alter the meaning of “ape-leader.”

I loved TLOTW, Tessa. That kiss, that kiss! I loved GOTH too, and I am so eager to read Surrender of a Siren.

Jane
13 years ago

Hi Tessa,
Congrats on the new release. I would like to see a were-hawk.

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Hi, Kim!!

Fluffy and sweet, eh? The were-beta? Hm…

Mari, were-liger is hilarious! And if you could work in the real Napoleon (perfect era, you know!) it would be doubly awesome!

Janga, thank you so much. Turrets optional on the HOUSE. I think you have a fabulous idea there with your were-ape-leader. Cross in a Tarzan theme, and … bestseller!

Hi, Jane! I’m with you, birds of prey are completely sexy. I actually think there have been some shifter stories with hawks (or falcons, eagles, kestrels, etc?) Anyhow, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen wereraptors of some sort.

I’ll be popping back ’round later – one of my kids’ classmates has a birthday party this afternoon! Heh. I’m going to be looking at Chuck E. Cheese and thinking…wererat?

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Hmmmm–maybe a were-duck? then he could paddle around on the estate’s pond…

And as I am a sucker for dark, cursed forests and tormented heroes, I will definitely be seeking otu this story! πŸ™‚ Welcome to Risky Regencies, Tessa.

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

Almost entirely unrelated story: One time my (then) five year old and I were at the zoo. A stray cat wandered across our path–goodness only knows how he got there–and he immediately thought it was a liger. And was talking about how he’d made a rare discovery. So, so cute. I nearly died from the sweetness of it.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

Ammanda’s were-duck has immense (hur!) possibilities. He could emerge out of said estate lake with his unbuttoned, tucked-in, WET shirt. (swoooon)

Kim, a were-fluffy would be a theta, not a beta.

Janga & Tessa, going with a were-ape and Tarzan theme, adding in a Jane (Austen) fan-fic-y portion to it would make it a win of awesome proportions (hur!).

Lindsey
13 years ago

OMG a were-liger? Love it!

With all these great inspirations, I expect the Werestag will not be the last of your historical shifter heros. And isn’t Surrender of a Siren practically a were-goat romance? I mean, do we actually ever see Gray and the goat in the same place at the same time? πŸ˜‰

M.
M.
13 years ago

Egad. I’m married to a were-ruminant. He chews moodily on a regular basis.

And, as shifters go, I’ve waxed eloquent (take my word for the eloquence) on previous occasions about the sad novel neglect of were-racoons.

Jane
13 years ago

**Jane, I like the way you think. Why must the hero always be the shifter? Let the ladies have some fun. Would be great to see a literal “dragon of the ton”!**

My thinking went a bit further, actually. Lord of the manor by day, patroness of Almack’s by night. Evil(G)

Jane George
13 years ago

Oh man! Blogger mystifies me. My were-patroness post and response are Jane when they should be Jane George. A terrible faux pas because of the abundance of Janes here. My culpa.

Helen
13 years ago

What a great post and I agree the possibilities are endless I think I would have to choose a were-hound as well

Congrats Tessa they sound like awesome reads I have added them to my must get list

Have Fun
Helen

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

i’m back! I survived the were-rat…er, Chuck E. Cheese. πŸ™‚

Amanda, I think a were-duck has definite potential. I always thought that if I could be an animal, I might choose to be a duck – because then I could fly, swim, and walk. Or at least waddle. Could make for a very versatile hero indeed.

Megan, what a cute story about your son! And isn’t that just the way of kids, that you spend all this time and money to take him to the zoo, and what captures his interest most is the stray cat? LOL.

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Lindsey,NO Gray is not a were-goat!! Yes, he and the goats are in the same place at the same time. And if he were a were-goat, he would be a cannabalistic one! *shudder*

M, come to think of it – my husband chews moodily quite often, too. But he’s very much a meat-eater. Hm. What kind of were-Dare is he?

Jane/Jane George – Aha! Now I see what you’re going for. Wow, that would certainly make for an interesting story. I believe I’d very much like to read it!

Thank you, Helen! Several votes for the were-hound now. Thinking of the many heroic attributes… Loyalty, fidelity, ferocity, keen sense of smell.

Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

Hello, Tessa !

Congrats on the release of the Werestag – that sounds a bit like a bad Sherlock Holmes movie “Release the Werestags!”

I am really looking forward to reading it.

And I can’t wait to read Goddess of the Hunt!!

I think I might be partial to a Regency gentleman who can shape-shift into a lion. All that lovely golden blond hair.

Can’t wait to see you in DC. I hope you are enjoying all this. You’ve earned it! I am so proud of you and all of the members of the Talking Fishbowl Head Club!

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Tessa,
Thank you so much for visiting us today!

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

Thank you, Diane! And Megan, for inviting me.

Louisa, it is always such a pleasure to “see” you online, and I can’t wait to see you again in DC, either! We’ll all be cheering for you at the GH ceremony!

Lynz Pickles
13 years ago

Were-goat! Gray as a were-goat! That’s perfect! *wipes tears of laughter from eyes*

But really, shouldn’t Jeremy be the were-stag so that Lucy can do her goddess thing? Except that Diana protected the deer, didn’t she… so Jeremy should be a were-something that Lucy can hunt. Something that lives in a forest with plenty of trees. *giggle*

But seriously, since I can’t beat the were-goat, I’ll just offer my congratulations. Goddess was fantastic, Siren made me like Sophia no matter how hard I tried not to, and I’m sure that you’ll work your magic again and somehow make me like Toby, too. Provided you don’t have him doing too much moody chewing, that is.

Xandra S
13 years ago

I haven’t read your story yet, but it definitely sounds interesting. As for what were would be best, there is a wonderful Pride and Prejudice fan fiction where Mr Darcy is a were-dragon (A Tounch of Night by Sarah Hoyt and Sofie) so that’s my vote :0)

Carol L.
13 years ago

Congratulations on the release of Were-stags. Much success to you Tessa. I look forward ro reading The Ledgend of Werestags and Goddess of The Hunt.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Tessa Dare
13 years ago

The Riskies tell me my random giveaway winner was Keira! Congrats, Keira!

Lynz, thank you so much for reading the books and for your kind words! I do hope you’ll enjoy the third one, too. I think Toby did me proud. πŸ™‚

Xandra, how have I missed that fanfic? I actually started in historical romance by writing JA fanfic! Will have to track that one down. There’s sooo much out there!

And thank you, Carol! I hope you enjoy the books!

Thanks again to RR for having me.