Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Interview With Author Tessie Bradford

Welcome, Tessie! Thanks for coming over today!

Tessie Bradford writes hot romance for Ellora's Cave, and she and five more of my wonderful friends have joined me in writing the Anthology Series Carnal Reunions! that will be released by Resplendence Publishing on November 10, 2009!

Welcome! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, animal lover, Human Resources Manager, and author.

You write romance for Resplendence. Tell me, what do you love most about being a Resplendence author?

The creative support and encouragement I’ve received. Training Randi is my first book with RP. From manuscript acceptance, to collaborating with the other Carnal Reunions authors, to cover design, and edits; I know there is a team of professionals who are dedicated to success. It is a pleasure to work with them.

How many books have you written?

I have one book published and three others are contracted. Five WIPs are on my computer and a multitude of ideas for more stories are bouncing around in my head.

Out of all of the heroes you have written, which one is your favorite? Why?

I find that my hero worship is a fickle thing; my favorite is always the one I’m currently working with. While doing edits for Training Randi, I loved getting re-acquainted with Jeff Briggs. Driven, confident, self-disciplined; he doesn’t give up when he wants something, and he’s been wanting Miranda Ellson for ten long years. Toss in his sense of humor, emotional openness, and “masterful” talents in the loving department, he’s a true force to be reckoned with!

Many writers have a set routine they follow when they write. Do you have such a routine?

Sorry for the cliché, but being a published author is my dream come true. I chose to answer this question as a personal intervention. I have NO routine! I continue to allow my day job (can’t help this one, health benefits and all) to take precedence. And then phone calls, pretty shiny things, checking emails, reality TV shows, house chores etc. all conspire to interrupt my creative flow. Mercifully, I love focusing on edits! There, maybe seeing this in print will force me to work on this particular shortcoming.

Do you have a book you would just love to discuss with us today? Did you bring an excerpt?

Of course! I’m thrilled to give the readers a sneak peek of Training Randi, my contribution to the Carnal Reunions anthology.


Miranda Ellson graduated from college with a degree in design in one hand and a ticket to London in the other. Ten years, five job changes and three boring, unfulfilling relationships later she’s back at WIU to re-connect with old friends, enjoy the campus activities and take a break from…oh who the hell is she kidding? Jeff Briggs, former college neighbor and best bud, now successful gym owner, lives in town. He’s the only guy she has ever known who could set her panties on fire by simply walking into a room and Randi is sick and tired of only hooking up with him in her dreams. This may be her only chance to discover exactly what kind of personal training he has to offer.


Miranda crossed the street and walked quickly over to a bench on the far corner. It was probably for the best if she just got back in her car and headed home to Chicago, but it was a long drive and she should rest first. She dug around in her purse, finding her cell phone and the list of hotels that the reunion committee had sent, and started dialing. By the time she hung up with the last hotel, still hearing the clerk laughing at her request for a room during one of the busiest weeks on campus, tears clouded her vision. Maybe she could nap in her car?

Not paying the slightest bit of attention to her surroundings, Miranda jumped up from the bench and collided hard into an immovable object.

“Whoa, impressive hit.” Strong hands gripped her hips. “If you’d lowered your right shoulder a bit, I’d be flat on my ass.” Lord that voice. The deep baritone mixed with the southern drawl sent butterflies dancing in her tummy. How many nights had she imagined him whispering all of the naughty deeds they were going to do together? Miranda squealed in surprise when he lifted her off the ground and hugged her tightly.

“Jesus, Jeff. You startled the crap out of me,” she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged back. How freaky good was this? A faint scent, spicy and familiar, instantly sent a rush of heat to her pussy. “It’s not nice to sneak up on a girl, you know.” Her fingers inadvertently tightened on the corded muscles of his shoulders when he set her down. Maybe it would be okay if she held onto him for a second longer?

“You were so lost in your thoughts I’m pretty damn sure I could have parked my pickup right here on the sidewalk, and you wouldn’t have noticed.”

“Point taken,” she laughed. “It’s good to see you again, Jeff.” Her pulse rate sped up when his hands moved to lay scandalously close to the upper swell of her ass.

“Ah, Miranda, it’s a whole bunch better than ‘good’ to see you. What are you doing out here plowing into innocent pedestrians? Shouldn’t you be hanging out with the other Gracie Girls, getting caught up on ten years of goings on?”

“They don’t know I’m in town yet. I never exactly committed to when I was going to get here or where I was staying. I was kind of working up the nerve to go in when I bumped into you.”

“You were starting to run down the street in the opposite direction, darlin’.”

“Oh you noticed that, did you?” She glanced down at the ground while nervously shuffling her feet.

“It was hard to miss.” Jeff chuckled, lifting her chin with a finger. “Why the sad eyes, Randi?” The look of concern on his face was heartwarming. “Tell your old buddy what’s going on. We used to be able to talk about anything.” Jeff stared down at her with a crooked grin and a raised eyebrow. “If I remember correctly, we would have done a lot more than just talk if you’d had your way,” Heat instantly infused her cheeks.

During the two years they had been neighbors and friends, they’d spent countless hours studying together, solving the world’s problems with high-spirited political debates and talking about their plans for the future. They had also spent a great deal of time and energy not dealing with the serious sparks of sexual tension that arched every time they were in the same room. Miranda had shamelessly used every trick in the book to seduce him, but despite her most fervent efforts, he always gently refused her advances with soothing compliments and vague explanations of her not understanding what a relationship with him would mean.

“It’s not very gentlemanly of you to remind me of that, Jeff,” she admonished with a grin. “I was young and inexperienced, and with you being so much older and wiser than I was; well I was just bowled over by your manly goodness.” Miranda stared up at him with mischief dancing in her eyes.

“There’s the Randi I know: sharp tongued and sexy as hell.” She gasped in surprise when he hauled her up against his solid frame and planted a kiss on her forehead. “What do you say we take a walk and get reacquainted? Maybe if you start out with me it won’t be such a big deal to meet up with the others.” He let her go, took a step back and held out his hand in invitation.

Miranda didn’t hesitate. She placed her hand in his, allowing him to guide her toward the southern end of campus. His grip was strong but the pace he set was slow and comfortable. She glanced over at him and smiled, taking her first good look at the man he’d become. He hadn’t gotten any taller, not that he needed to at probably six foot three or four inches. His deep brown hair was cut short now, his face a bit fuller and there were little personality lines around his piercing green eyes. The black t-shirt he wore did nothing to disguise the muscular physique beneath, and did everything to accentuate his perfectly defined biceps. The faded, snug blue jeans sitting low on his hips further accentuated the fact that physical fitness was still a big part of his life.

Images of him pumping iron, shirtless and glistening with perspiration, assaulted her, and she clumsily stumbled over a piece of uneven pavement. Jeff released her hand and drew her against his hip without breaking their stride. She felt the heat of his palm right through the thin cotton material of her skirt. Oh yeah, this was going to help her pay attention to where they were going.

That was absolutely fabulous, Tessie! It's gonna be a wonderfully hot anthology! Thanks for joining me today and sharing.

Thanks so much for having me, Fran.


  1. Great excerpt, Tessie! I am so happy to know you and to have worked with you on Carnal Reunions!

  2. Excellent excerpt! Looking forward to sharing this release day with you!

  3. Cindy and Anny, I am thrilled to be part of this project! I'm really glad that you enjoyed the excerpt.
    Fran, Thanks so much for interviewing me!

  4. Tessie! I love this excerpt;-) I'm so excited about our upcoming release. Great interview, ladies!

  5. OOOOOH. Good excerpt, Tessie! Loved working on the anthology with you and now we get to gear up for a shared release day! YAY!

  6. Hey there Paris and Regina! I seriously can't wait for November 10th to get here!

  7. Hi Tessie,

    Great excerpt and a great interview! Working on our collaboration was wonderful, and sharing in a multiple release day will even be better!

    Hugs and good luck!

  8. Hi, Taylor. I had so much fun working with you and the other authors. I'm beyond proud to be included in such an illustrious group!


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