Saturday, December 17, 2011


The writer was snuggled all stuck in her bed,
While visions of plot twists danced in her head.
Her hero ranted, "Let me save the girl..."
While the villain's hands poised above his mustache and gave it a twirl.

Her computer lay sleeping,
The key board at rest,
In hopes that the morning she'd again do her best.

Her brow how it wrinkled.
Her lips, deeply pursed...
She worried her work would fare the worst.
Now wrapped in the slumber,
Ignoring it all, she prayed to the literary gods "Please don't let me fall."

While her brain lay asleep, through the airwaves it flew,
to the desk of an editor, an agent, or two,

They clicked on the file,
Their computer whirled and lights blinked.
No virus or Trojan at all had been linked.

They scanned her submission, and read the first hook,
The next thing they noticed, they really liked this book.
Away to the company email, their fingers flew like a flash, and before you could breathe deep - recommended it fast.

Then typed up the letter, we all hoped to find,
Counting to ten, sent it back up the line.

As dawns early fingers lifted her lids,
Our author awoke reliving her fears.
She stumbled to the computer, turned it on, and gave pause,
For she knew that within her email came the no thanks, just because.

Her eyes focused on the list,
Then she held her breath - should she open it or better yet, delete with the rest?

A cup of coffee to sustain her,
And courage renewed, she pulled on her big girl panties and knew just what to do.
She clinked on the link.
Her jaw dropped in surprise and she gave a squeal that was heard far and wide.

"They want it!"
"They love it!"
"My stories a hit!"
"God, let read it again to make sure it's legit!"

Once the excitement was over,
and her mind could then think,
She accepted and printed it, then sent a copy back by the link.

Now, she sits by the phone, waiting for that one call,
So they can talk and discuss the story bad points and all.
So our author is now been granted her wish,
If you want the same, get busy quick.

Merry Christmas to all writers out there. May your wishes for a great manuscript come though.

Love Tessa

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meet and Greet FAITH BICKNELL!

Today I'd like you to meet the wonderful author Faith Bicknell. You might have seen her around this talented author is published under her name as well as pen name Molly Diamond. She's here today talking about her wonderful book, The Darkness of Sable.

So without further ado, here's Faith.

1. What led you to become a writer?

My mother's love for reading. She always had a book in her hand, and we spent a lot of time in the local library. She'd tell me about the books she'd read, and since I'm an only child, I spent a lot of time reading, drawing, and then eventually writing. I enjoyed writing so much I began writing around the age of six and it has stuck with me ever since.

2. What drew you to your characters in this story?

One day I was watching something on VH1 about Lenny Kravitz cutting off his dreadlocks. It inspired me, and I wondered what would happen if a woman had grown her hair super long for years only to have all her miseries, worries, fears, etc., tied to her locks. I devour anything I can find about faerie lore, mythology, legends, and the paranormal, so I combined those things to bring several characters to life from Sable and Thomas, the heroine and hero, to Hal, Rick, Goldie, Isa and many more in my novel. After that, the plot ran away with me.

3. What is the premise of your story?

Sable Hendricks-Tade is a famous sculptress looking for her now-adult daughter who ran away at seventeen. Sable has a mysterious gift she's unaware of until now, so the Old World of Parnorms sends Thomas to protect her, posing as her agent. While in Naples, Florida for an art show, strange things begin to happen that leads Sable to her daughter, but endangers Sable's life. She struggles with her attraction to Thomas, who is forbidden to fall in love with his charges.

4. Do you have a favorite scene you'd like to share?

One of my favorite things in The Darkness of Sable is how she fights with her ex-husband. I'm naturally snarky and often use dark humor, so it appears in my paranormal books. Here's my favorite scene where Hal decides he's going to reveal the "true" reason he's flown to Naples to see her.

Sable shook her head. Once the waitress had moved away, Sable added, “I hope you’re not going to drop one of your classic bombs on me.” Picking up her cup, she regarded her ex-husband over its rim.
He stared back at her, his blue-ocean-water eyes unblinking. At a table behind Sable, a woman laughed, the sound shrill and irritating. Two tables over, a little girl asked her mommy where the restroom was, and amongst the background noises, Sable detected the low hum of the aquarium’s air pump.
An odd sensation wriggled over her skin. Why is he looking at me like that? I haven’t seen him look at me like that since... She frowned. “Hal?”
“I wanted to clear the air between us, Sable,” Hal began. He reached for his pipe where he’d set it by his cup, hand hovering over it, but his gaze moved to the little no-smoking sign on the wall next to their table. Beside the pipe lay a package of expensive vanilla tobacco. Sable blinked. He’d switched back to vanilla? Hal sighed and retrieved two packets of Splenda from the condiment caddy instead. “I know you were honest with me when you said you saw Cheyenne on the street.” He tore the ends off the packs and dumped their contents into his cup.
“You’re telling me this now? After months of trying to get you to listen to me?” Sable stated, uncertain how to respond. If she said the wrong thing, it might trigger his memory, and all the dreams, feelings, and misgivings he was experiencing would make sense. He’d remember what had occurred—Goldie, Isa, Emerald, the vamps, Cheyenne, and everything else—and she, Hal and Thomas would be in jeopardy of a pissed-off den.
“I know I’ve been a jerk,” he said.
“Try a jackass,” she snarked.
He looked at her. Hundreds of mental cogs whirred behind his eyes.
What’s going on with him? He’s acting so odd.
“You’re right,” Hal continued, his voice softer. “I am a jackass. So much so that I married another woman when I’m still in love with you.”
Shock rushed through every artery, vein and capillary of Sable’s body. She blinked.
“Did you hear me?”
“Uh-huh.” She nodded. “I’m just waiting until the warning sirens stop wailing in my head.”
He smirked. “I deserve that, but I’m serious, Sable. I still love you. I need to know if there’s any chance we can patch things up and get married again.”
This time he blinked. “No?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“Hal, it’s impossible for us to get along,” she began. She couldn’t stand that wounded-puppy look on his face. She focused on the aquarium instead. Angelfish and some sort of bright yellow ones swam to and fro through the air bubbles coursing upward in the tank’s center. “When I say black, you say white. If I had an opinion, you insisted it doesn’t count. When I’d try to help you, you didn’t want it. When I needed help, you refused it or you just weren’t there for me period.” She sat back, her hands flat against the tabletop, and met his gaze again. “Should I recite the entire list? Do you really have that much time?”
The derisive snort he issued answered her question. “It’s funny, but I guess it’s true when they say that you never realize what you have until you lose it.”
“I’ve moved on.”
“I see that.”
“I just don’t love you anymore. I’m sorry, Hal.”
Hal shrugged, picked up a spoon and stirred his coffee. He cast a longing glance at his pipe just inches away from his cup. “Don’t be sorry.”
“I don’t understand this sudden change of heart, Hal.”
“It’s not a sudden change,” he said. “I’ve just ignored it for a long time. I married Jacquelyn because I thought I was in love with her when I was actually marrying the idea that she made me feel young, that maybe I could start over, and that if I had someone else to occupy my thoughts, then I wouldn’t think so much about you.” His hand shook, and he left the spoon in the cup, placing his hands in his lap.
“Oh, Hal. I don’t know what to say.” She fought off the tightness in her throat. If she showed any sympathy whatsoever, Hal would jump on it, hammer away at it. She didn’t need the upset, nor did he, really, especially now that he realized she didn’t love him. On the flip side, it felt good to know that despite nearly a quarter of a lifetime together, she was truly over Hal. She’d grown as a person and had moved on where Hal clung to the past. Sable had dreams and aspirations with someone who waited upstairs for her, and Hal would return to a woman who was undoubtedly using him like he’d used Sable.
“Well, I should be going.” Hal stood, pulled out his wallet, withdrew a ten and threw it on the table. “I made the choice to marry Jacquelyn, so I should go home and try to make things work. Maybe if I can make her happy like I should’ve done for you, I can redeem myself.”
“But wouldn’t she want you to love her too?” Sable picked up her cup and sipped.
His eyes hardened into pale ice chips. “I really don’t think Jacquelyn gives a shit as long as the money keeps coming in. The sex isn’t even good. She takes one look at me, and my dick crawls up my ass, elbows the hemorrhoid, and says, ‘Hey, buddy, stick your head out and see if she’s still there.’”
Sable laughed, snorted and coughed, trying not to spew coffee through her nose. “Hal!”
He laughed, the action softening the hard lines of his face. For a moment, Sable caught a glimpse of the man she married so many years ago. He picked up his suit jacket slung across the back of a chair and snagged his pipe, cupping it in his free hand. “Sable, it’s obvious Thomas loves you. He’ll be good for you.” He stooped and placed a kiss as soft as dandelion fluff on her temple. “I’m sorry I wasn’t the man you needed, but take care because the chance I just offered you is gone now.” He remained there by her ear, his breath hot on her neck.
She froze, afraid to look at him. Something sinister tickled the edges of her senses. “Wh-what are you talking about?”
“If you had taken me back, I could have protected you. Now you’re on your own.”
She gulped. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“What you and Thomas pulled last night was a nice try, but I’ve been a step ahead of you both all along.” One very cool hand brushed the tendrils of hair from her face.
Sable couldn’t move. She couldn’t even risk a glance at her ex-husband for fear of what she’d see.
“Look at me, Sable,” Hal whispered.
It seemed like it took ages for her to gather enough nerve to turn her head toward him. Slowly, she looked at him, her gaze meeting his blue orbs that glowed with a feral light.
“I warned you,” he said. “I tried, I really did.” He smiled, revealing sharp incisors. “You see, I’ve discovered another way to remain young forever. However, the next time we meet, I may not be so gracious, Sable.” With that, he turned and strode from the café.

5. What can we look forward to seeing from you in the year 2012?

Actually I just finished up a new sci-fi romance novel that's now in my agent's hands. My desire is that a publisher acquires it by the first part of the year, and I'm also hoping to be out and about signing copies of Ruby, the White King and Marilyn Monroe ( during the 2012 summer, but with all the craziness and new grandbabies arriving in the family around the same time, I'm not too sure about my traveling agenda yet. However, if anyone is in Gatlinburgh, Tennesse for RomFest ( during June 2012, I should be there if all goes well so look me up at the event!

Where can readers find you? and my alter ego and my FB author page

For more information about The Darkness of Sable in print or ebook you can get it at Amazon here or just about any other distributor.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Walls of Jericho

Jericho Rivers spent five years trying to forget Charlotte Murray and it's all for nothing. When an elusive stallion emerges, she must ask for help. One look and he remembers all too well. Passions flair and a bitter betrayal is exposed. When the walls of Jericho tumble, can lovers unite?

Coming in early 2012 to Passions in Print

WALLS OF JERICHO by Tessa Berkley

"I have never been any more sure in my life. We have wasted five years all because my father has some outdated notion of what is good enough for his little girl." She stepped into his arms and with her fingers traced every rise and fall of his face. "I have never loved anyone more than you, Jericho Rivers. I want you." She rose on her toes and kissed the edges of his mouth. "I need you. Today, by the lake should have proved that."

This time, she brought her lips to the corners of his mouth. Her passionate kisses moved his arms to take hold of her body and pull her close. "Charlotte," he breathed her name against her lips and they crushed together.

They kissed their way back to the blankets and Jericho eased her down. The light from the fire danced upon her face, teasing her eyes and sending shimmers of gold waves coursing through her hair. "This afternoon, I wanted so to see you once more in all your glory."

"Make love to me, Jericho. Let the walls between us fall away," she whispered sliding her hands beneath his shirt to touch his skin.

Look for the release date and cover soon...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October musings...

October has nearly come and gone, yet I am just sitting down to write my blog. Yes, shame on me. the word write is a verb, not a noun. So its the duty of a writer to write, to put pen to paper, or in this case to type words to computer screen and compose one's thoughts. So I am taking the time out of my schedule to do so.

As a new author, I find the rank and file filling in daily. Like cattle calls for a Broadway show, aspiring authors go immediately to the world wind web and create blogs, out soapboxes to the world on which we stand. When publishers ask you, what's your platform? This is the scaffolding on which you are going to build your answer. Question yourself, what do you want people to say about you? About your author's name? About your books?

Great story?
Three dimensional characters they can relate to?
A story weaver, not just a story teller?

These are all things writers want to be known for - not just a flash in the pan, not making millions off Amazon ( even though, we do aspire to see a huge sale with each book ). You want the firm foundation of your platform to be your good name. Readers can come to you for a solid story, well told, well crafted, satisfying. You want your readers to spend those hours hooked on your plot, wondering what your characters will do next, and thinking, my gosh, this heroine could so be me.

So writers, young and old, don't rush a well thought out plan in order to get the quick satisfaction. Write well, write often, become proficient and build that bridge to your fan base. Let them know your name is something you can bank on.

Writer roll call for Authors who leave you with that satisfying read.

Aliyah Burke
Yvette Hines
Debbie Macomber
Suzanne Brockman
Paty Jager
Amy Atwell

Who are yours?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Walls of Jericho coming to Passions in Print

Scooting around the web, I found a great little publisher called Passions in Print. Being a western writer, I noticed a call for cowboy stories. So, being the person I am, I took up the challenge and wrote a story of two lovers broken up by a father who thought he knew what was best for his daughter. Here is an excerpt from this book due to be released at the first of the year...

Walls of Jericho

“A table please, by the window,” she murmured.

Head aloft, oblivious to the scowls of the females and the heated glances of their partners, she followed the man to a table for two. He drew back her chair and she took her seat. “Thank you,” Charlotte responded and laid her reticule next to her plate. Picking up the menu, she ordered the café’s special. With the waiter gone, she took in her surroundings.

She discovered, to her delight, the two potted palms behind her offered a degree of privacy while the open Palladian window, to her left, held a grand view of the main street. Should Jericho show his face, she’d easily see him. Still, her pride stung that he was not here waiting. No matter, like two parts of a whole, they would find each other. She would play coy and he hard to get.

Musing over their coming conversation, Charlotte did not hear the waiter return until he cleared his throat.

“Yes?” She glanced up.

“The gentleman at the bar sends his regards and this.”

She watched as he placed a delicate stemmed glass before her plate filled with a dark red liquid.

“He would like to join you for dinner,” the waiter finished.

A look of divine contentment washed over her. Jericho had come.

Her heart skipped a beat. Delighted in her powers, the corners of Charlotte’s mouth drew upwards as if she’d savored a sweet morsel. Yes, Jericho Rivers was much more than that.

Visit Passions in Print at:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ah distractions....

The evolution of language is a unique process. Before the internet or television, phrases were past along through written vernacular in stories or by word or mouth. Some phrases I've noticed are regional. I have a dear friend who lives in the northeast around the Great Lakes. She liked to have 'pop' with her lunch. Hum, here in the south, pop is something you get when you have sassed an adult. We do drink by brand. "I'd like a Coke, please." or "You want Pepsi?" We don't even go far enough to say soda. I'm beginning to wonder if southerns are snobs.

One of my mother's favorite things was to "not momic up" items. I was always reprimanded for carrying the cat around. "Put that animal down and don't momic it up. Poor thing will never learn to walk." Yes, I did love to carry that little kitten around. Thinking about this brought other words to mind such as a tail coat rider - a person who uses another person's hard political work and rides it into office with inflammatory speeches. Mudraker or a mudwhomp - a political party who stirs up a candidate or parties unflattering past during an election.

What brought all this rebel rousing and wool gathering to this blog? The use of a phrase in my current work in progress. I used the words, "suited him to a T." and thought my that looks modern. How far it is from the truth.

"Suit to a T" or just "to a T" was used in 1693 in a work by James Wright called Humors and Conversations, again coming from word of mouth. Looking further we can go back to the year 1548, in Edward Hall's Chronicles where to "suit to a T" meant suit to a title or beyond measure of doubt. Which when we use it makes more sense. If the woman suited him to a T, she suited him beyond a measure of a doubt.

Sigh ok now that's cleared up... no more procrastination. I have to write

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We did not stand alone

We did not stand alone. It took one hundred and two minutes to change our world, but we did not stand alone. Out of the clear, blue sky, the danger came in the form of air borne missiles. At the helm, delegates from Hades bent on one mission and one alone - hate. Yet, we did not stand alone. Through the smoke and flames, threatening to choke the air from our lungs, I looked up. A hand reached out and grasped mine and I saw their faces emerge. Battle scared and weary, the smiled down upon me and lifted my heart, these men who stood on the bridge in Concord.

I was afraid. Out of the mist came a voice, which whispered, 'Remember, I am with you'. I shouldered my responsibility. I knew that destiny placed upon my shoulders, the mantle of hero and I wondered why. Below me, the anguish cries of friends rose, but I was not alone. I gave a call to those dear and told them not to be afraid. My love would encompass them and nestled within their hearts forever. But, I was not alone.

I stepped up. Arms reached out to help. Brothers who once fought against each other in that place called Gettysburg helped me to carry the burden. Behind me, others followed. I looked back and saw the calm in each of their faces as we moved in a great procession toward that beautiful white light. But they did not come alone for out of the mist arose others. Each of us accompanied by companions - a valiant honor guard made up of sailors from the Maine, men who marched up San Juan Hill, those of the Rainbow Division, and soldiers whose boots once graced the shores of France, in order to stop the Tyranny of aggression. We were not alone.

There was a collective gasp as the towers fell. We watched in silent horror as flames engulfed a part of the Pentagon and our numbers grew, each one accompanied by those who gave the last full measure in places like Korea and Vietnam. We were not alone.

Someone behind me gave a shout and we cheered as the brave Americans took control above Shanksville with a shout, "Let's Roll". They joined us too. All around the faces of America, in all colors, young, old, military, and first responders, so many gone to soon for no other reason than hate.

Though ten years has gone, our legacy lives on. Our nation's hope renewed not by malice, but in quiet strength of hope, of love, and the ability to believe in a better tomorrow for mankind. We were not alone and neither are you, for the dream still lives. Our souls are always with you, for we live in your hearts. With each new generation, our spirits are reborn. Let us not forget. Let us always remember, but let us rise above. One hundred and two minutes changed our lives, our history, forever. Let us remember that a hero is but an ordinary man, who rises above in extraordinary circumstance.

America has more than three thousand heroes whose lights shine above us. So many more who survived and quietly carry on the savor of each new day making a quiet victory because we know, we are not alone.

God Bless the heroes of 9/11 and their families. Please know that on this day and everyday for the rest of your lives that, you are not alone.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New novella Walls of Jericho

Jericho Rivers has been in love with Charlotte Murray ever since her father ran him away from Shadow Valley.

Now she has returned all because of a gray stallion named, The Phantom.

Above the stench of horse manure and male sweat, the soft scent of shay butter and rose water peeled back a memory he’d long forgotten.


He gritted his teeth and refused to acknowledge the warmth now coursing through his blood as anything more than the heat of the forge. Letting his hammer rest upon the anvil, he plunged the shoe into the bucket on his left and above the hiss of steam heard her speak.

“Are you even going to say hello?”

Walls of Jericho coming soon to Passions in Print...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good Morning September

In the aftermath of the storm, the air here in Virginia has finally cooled. The sky is brushed clean of clouds and haze feeling again like fall. Today we awoke to temperatures in the upper 50's. It was a delight to stretch against the crisp cotton sheets and hear the sweet song birds twitter past my window. As much as I would like to lie in bed and dream, there is work to be done. So arise and dance among the golden rays of sunlight. It is a wonderful morning in September and the dangers of the hurricane have passed.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good Morning,

I write romances set against the backdrop of the western frontier. My hero's are often larger than life, who under no fault of their own find themselves swept up with a heroine who is either protecting them or needs some of her own.

I look for situations in historical journals or in timelines that can create the drama from which my couples can draw their strength and rise above to inspire love. I hope that you'll enjoy the journey along with me.

Sincerely yours,