Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Party Post 4: Tessa Radley

Tessa Radley is still thrilled to bits by her first sale to Silhouette Desire earlier this year. The sale of Black Widow Bride followed an online editor pitch on eHarlequin.com. Tessa’s second book Rich Man’s Revenge will be out in June 2007. Right now Tessa is working on getting a website up in time for Christmas—it’s her Christmas prezzie to herself. Come visit www.tessaradley.com in late December.

Bearing Gifts They Travel So Far…

I love all the ritual and ceremony that goes with Christmas. The red pohutukawa trees that signal Christmas is coming. The lighting of the Christmas lights in the village. The snow cave guarded by Santa down the road. Christmas carols in the Park.

But the one Christmas ritual that is totally beyond me is shopping. I loathe and detest shopping at the best of times. Doing grocery shopping is something I trade with my dearly beloved where I can (If I scrub the toilets pleeeez will you do the grocery shop…?) But the event of e-shopping has me perking up. Tiffany's looks good—although frankly that's a little beyond my budget.

So what to give without killing the budget? A beautiful card? Sometimes that's all you need.

Chocolates? Yum! My heroine in Black Widow Bride (Sil Desire April 2007) owns a chocolate boutique and ships hand-made chocolates everywhere. Chocolates have to be a winner.

More gift ideas to share this Christmas…

1. A Starbucks gift card. Who can resist coffee?

2. My cousin always sends a Christmas ornament each Christmas. Each year when we put up our tree we think of her. Order personalized ornaments online at Wal-Mart

3. Being a third-world child I have to include the gift of planting 20 trees or providing 100 meals to 100 under-privileged kids for under $20

4. And don't forget books! Give someone the chance to buy dying-to-read books with a gift card to your favorite bookstore.

5. And from here came the idea of a Sephora gift card available in denominations of $25 with lots to choose from under $25

Share your gift suggestion. I will draw a random winner from those who comment and send a sensual shower pack to pamper yourself with this Christmas.

49 comments :

Annie West said...

Hi Tessa,

What a terrific post. As I've barely started my Christmas shopping you've given me some great ideas to mull over.

We've discovered that one of the best presents, especially for some of the older members of our family, isn't a thing but an experience. We book them into lovely Bed and Breakfast accommodation for a luxury break, or organise a weekend away somewhere with the family - somewhere they love but wouldn't drive themselves. And we all enjoy the experience.

Intrigued by the sound of your first book. The title is great and who could resist a heroine who sells chocolate for a living? I think you've just hit a major female fantasy! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Annie

Nalini Singh said...

I want to read your book, Tessa! What are my chances of getting it early?? *grin*

Jennifer Y. said...

My siblings and I always exchange calendars as gifts...not sure why, but it has become a tradition.

Minna said...

You could give someone Plan's child sponsorship. Plan is an international, child-centred development organisation with no religious, political or governmental affiliations, so you could give this gift to practically anyone, anywhere.
http://www.plan-international.org/

Amy S. said...

I usually give gift certificates to their favorite store or restaurant.

Tessa Radley said...

Annie, I love chocolate and in writing Black Widow Bride I had license to tantalise myself all day thinking about the aroma of chocolate, what kinds of chocolate my heroine displayed in her shop...Definite yum.

My heroine was great fun to write. I've always admired women who are entrepreneurs and have the guts, conviction and creative flair to start up their own businesses, sell them and move on to the next challenge. My heroine was a wedding planner when the hero first met her and now she runs a chocolate boutique. She's very independent and the hero is her Achilles' heel. And, of course, she's his greatest weakness too.

Nalini, well, the party hostess always has to get a gift *g*. My mommy taught me that!

I love the gift ideas that are coming out there. Annie, giving an experience...what a wonderful idea! Jennifer, I love your calendar exchange. Do you choose calendars that you like or that you think your sibling would choose? And Minna, I've off to check out Plan.

Tessa Radley said...

Amy, giving a gift certificate to a restaurant sounds like such a treat.

Estella said...

A donation to the Breast Cancer Fund in their name.

alissa said...

I try to give a special gift to all the women which is a day at the spa or a massage, in a gift certificate. They really appreciate this treat.

ellie said...

I normally buy something suited specially for each individual. If they enjoy books then I buy books that they will enjoy,if they are artistic then in that theme or if they love cooking I will buy a gorgeous cookbook.

joelle said...

I try to buy useful and practical items which are cute. Socks that show they are a gardener or a baker. To me it is important to choose something personal and related to their lives and interests.

pearl said...

I take a friend out for a long and leisurely lunch on their day off. They love this indulgence and I also give them a decadent treat afterwards in the form of chocolates or a special baked goody.

Jennifer Y. said...

We choose calendars that the other would like...there are just three of us...my brother always gets the same calendar each year no matter who buys it for him though. The ones that I get and my sister gets changes. Each year we buy for a different sibling.

CrystalG said...

I like to give my friends a small gift basket of pampering items that they don't normally buy for themselves and include an item that I have crafted myself. I am making small needle point pictures for the baskets this year.

Jennifer L. said...

I don't know if this person drinks or not but how about a mimosa(or mohito or bloody mary) kit?You can use a vintage champagne bucket from an antique store, or a galvanized bucket from the home improvement store. Add a bottle of champagne, a handful of oranges, and a wooden citrus reamer (and possibly 2 champagne flutes). Cute!

sharon said...

I get a photograph of the two of us together and then frame it in a unique way so that it is an original gift, along with a journal that I make for her.

Tessa Radley said...

Oh, gosh, Alissa, you've hit on my favourite treat in the whole wide world. A massage. Mmmmmm...

Ellie, I'm not the world's greatest cook (definite understatement, should read 'the world's worst cook') but there's something so rewarding in browsing through cookbooks. So that's defintely a gift that works for me. I can walk past a book bargain bin without scartching for cookbooks.

And socks are always good! Joell, you idea of specially chosen socks would make them really different.

Tessa

Cathy said...

Besides my kids, my gift list is mostly for women, and I love giving candles.

madukwriter said...

Last year I gave a gift to charity for my immediate family. I got this charitable gift catalogue though the post because I had donated to the charity earlier in the year. For instance you could donate X $ and someone in Africa would get a goat or schooling for one day etc. I gave my family the catalogue and let them pick which one they would prefer me spending the money on. Then I bought a small gift for them as well. This year I'll be doing the same but I was also thinking about knitting a scarf or something. I've only just taken up knitting so I probably should have started this before now. Oh well, they can have half a scarf!

Meljprincess said...

"Black Widow Bride"
Love this title and love reading books with a romance/chocolate combo. I don't wanna wait until 2007 to read this book! *g*
I think good presents are afforable jewelry (sparkly earrings are good), books, gift certs., money, etc. But most of the time my prezzies are something that particular person needs. Useful gifts are the best.

Amy Andrews said...

Ugh Tessa - I'm with you on the shopping front, particularly grocery shopping. Makes me shudder thinking about it.
I simply love Xmas and watching the pressies build up under the tree. I try and get something that suits each persons personalities so it always takes me forever!!!

Anonymous said...

If they are a tea drinker then I get a lovely variety of select teas, together with a decorative, large mug and fancy cookies and this looks so wonderful. They are thrilled with the personal touch and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

If the woman is a tea drinker then I choose a lovely selection of teas, with a large decorative mug and fancy cookies and that looks so attractive and delectable.

Tessa Radley said...

Candles! Of course. Surely everyone loves candles? Cathy, have you ever tried making your own?

Jennifer, a mimosa kit sounds luxurious. And Crystal, your pampering items sound utterly divine. I think the idea of including someting you've made is awesome.

Sharon, I love, love, what your photo and frame and journal gift. How sepcial.

Kate, nice to see you here! You have my eternal admiration for knitting scarves! I rather like the charity gifts too. For me Christmas is a time of celebration and a time to remember others less fortunate. Estella's donation to the Breast Cancer Soc in the name of the person is another good one.

Tessa

Tessa Radley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tessa Radley said...

Mel, I'm glad you like my title. I'm pleased to be able to say that I picked that *g* and my editor liked it too.

Earings are always nice. There's something about wearing dangly, glittery earings that certainly makes me feel very feminine. Buying presents that people find useful has to be an art of its own, Mel. And the thing that Amy and one or two others raised about buying a prezzie that suits someone's personlity is also a tough one. No wonder it takes you forever, Amy. But I'm sure they're appreciated.

I also love the presents piling up under the tree, the Christmas tree lights on Christmas eve. I think it's the child in me.

Tessa

Joyce said...

2 years ago I gave both my dil's victoria's secret gift cards. Well, the one loved it and the other looked longingly at my son's gift card to B&N.

Amy Andrews said...

LOL Joyce - at least you know which gift card to give her this year ;-)

Little Lamb Lost said...

Relaxation baskets like:

Movie dvd, microwave popcorn and other movie snacks, beverage and something related to the movie of choice.

or

Book, homemade bookmark, mug and selection of teas or hot chocolate/hot apple cider mix.

or

Music cd, candles, bubble bath, and neck pillow.

Anne McAllister said...

When I had young kids and many of my friends did, too, I used to give them cards with certificates for babysitting so they could go out with their dear husbands for a little together time which was hard to come by. It was always a treat for my kids to have some of their friends over for a sleepover, too.

Recently I've been putting together small books with photos that tell a story -- sometimes with text -- of special occasions to keep as a remembrance.

Maureen said...

Gift cards are great because then the person can pick what they like. Also, I love getting flowers so a bouquet of flowers can be nice.

Pam P. said...

I like your title, too, Tessa.

I like to try and buy the one thing the person really wants but doesn't buy whether because of cost or trying to spend their money practically, and they always appreciate it. Or something suited to their personal interests. In my family we sometimes add a gag gift, like one year my grandmother lost her false teeth so many times, we bought her a spare, lol.

Tessa Radley said...

Anne, thanks for dropping in! Babysitting certificates... that's novel AND useful. I'm sure every parent wanted to be on your gift list. And your memory books sound very special. Looking forward to your next Male on Monday over at Pink Heart...

Oh Joyce! Well, you'll certainly have lots in common with the dil who hankered after the B&N gift card. Although I have to confess my dh would probably have prefered me to get the Victoria's secret card!

Little Lamb, your relaxation baskets sound super. Music, bubble bath...candles...mmmm. Traveler also mentioned teas. What a great idea! I used to drink a LOT of coffee every day and I've cut back to one cup a day. But I've acquired a taste for all sorts of teas. Add the cookies, mug or book and what a lovely prezzie.

Tessa

froggie said...

Tessa, you're my kindred spirit as I too detest shopping. I don't understand the women that spend the majority of their lives bargain shopping as it's no bargain in my opinion to roam around a mall looking at stuff that'll probably never be of use to you...

This Christmas, I've decided to start buying on-line. I've visited Sears and Chapters/Indigo (big bookstore like Barnes & Noble) and except for a short visit to Wal-Mart, I'm pretty much done! Whoo hoo.

My husband and I don't exchange gifts and we live too far from the rest of our families to spend Christmas with them, so a card does the trick.

Oh and btw Tessa, NOT everyone loves candles.... ugh... can't stand them, especially the stinky, smelly ones!!!

KimW said...

I think gift cards are a great idea for those "difficult to buy for" people. For my girlfriends at work I stop at Walmart or the drugstore and buy small girly girl items like nail polish, nail file, hand cream, post-it notes, pens etc. I fill a stocking for each of them with the items I find.

Denise Rossetti said...

Annie - What fabulous Christmas pressies! But you really gave them to yourself, you know. All that hard work and talent...

When our kids were small, they were up at dawn every Christmas morning and I am SO not a morning person! So we'd leave out stockings (actually they were chrissy pillow cases)from "Santa", full of cheap little toys and lollies and - of course BOOKS! Keep 'em busy for about an hour.

And even though they're not little any more, my son insisted that his girlfriend have her own pillow case, complete with book. As she - shock, horror! - didn't read, it gave me great pleasure to get her the first Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovitch). hehe NOW she reads!

Denise Rossetti said...

Sorry, Tessa - senior moment and trying to read all the posts in a hurry on my lunch hour. Excuses, excuses... Annie, I hope you read this one anyway!

jennybrat said...

Gift cards work great everytime.

Jeanette J said...

Make a coupon book they can redeem during the year..if they have kids one evening of babysitting, if your spouse, maybe a massage etc

Tessa Radley said...

Yep, Maureen, flowers do it for me. They always make the recipient feel spoiled rotten.

And Kim your girly ideas are great! My aunt used to always give me a bottle of nice nail varnish--and it was certainly appreciated.

It's the thought that counts not the size or value isn't it? At the end of the year I buy several very small, very reasonably priced boxes of chocolates and my kids give them as presents to people who they appreciate with a little homemade card. It's interesting to see their choices. One picked the lady in the office at school who spent the year handing out plasters for his 'stubbled' toe. The other regularly chooses the school caretaker because the poor guy fished balls off the classroom roofs all year without grumbling. Both recipients were utterly delighted at being remembered for mundane everyday things they do.

Tessa

Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't sound too odd -it may be a southern thng-but I like to give personalized note cards and envelopes. if the recepient(s) are married I put the couple's name & if single I pick stationery that reflects their personality like tennis, fishing or shoes. people don't write like they used to but a classy0touch may encourage them to pick up a pen sometimes! everyone always raves ! very different & personal.
Karen S.

Tessa Radley said...

Froggie, glad to see another anti-shopper. You're a star for having it all done!

Pam it sounds like you really spoil the special ones in your life. Nothing like seeing a face light up when they find they have something they really, really wanted but would never have bought for themselves.

LOL Denise, wouldn't call you senior, honey! Great idea about the pillow cases and good for converting another reader.

Pearl, lazy lunches area such special occasions. And I have to agree with Jenny, gift cards are certain favoiurite.

Jeanette, wow, a coupon books sounds awesome! But I'll leave it to Denise and co to come up with ideas for exactly how a hubby would redeem the massage...!

Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't sound too odd -it may be a southern thng-but I like to give personalized note cards and envelopes. if the recepient(s) are married I put the couple's name & if single I pick stationery that reflects their personality like tennis, fishing or shoes. people don't write like they used to but a classy0touch may encourage them to pick up a pen sometimes! everyone always raves ! very different & personal.
Karen S.

robynl said...

I make homemade fudge, Poppycock or small fruit loaves and wrap them up in a nice manner. A patterned cellophane and ribbon does a neat job.

Emmy said...

I have a great friend with 2 small children and they moved out of state about a year ago. Having to ship gifts has cut down on what I can get for them, shipping costs are so crazy. So I email her a picture of what I want to give them and then I send her a gift card for the store and she gets it. It works really well.

I also enjoy itunes cards.

Joan said...

I love anything that has bath and body stuff. I try to give things that family and friends need like gas cards, stocking stuff with little things that they might need with funny items.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Tessa! I hear you about the shopping, girlfriend. I look with amazement at my friends who consider shopping RECREATION! Haven't they ever heard of curling up with a good book for fun? Sheesh!

Mind you, having said that, I love finding the PERFECT gift for someone. There's a real thrill when you match object and person. A bit like matching the perfect hero and heroine!

Have a great Christmas and I wish you continued writing success in 2007!

Tessa Radley said...

Robyn, ooh homebaking...that's something one doesn't see enough of any more.

Karen, I love exquisite cards and writing paper. I don't write enough letters. Have to put that on my New Year's list: Write More Letters.

Emmy, itunes cards sounds just the kind of thing teens would enjoy as well. LOL on sending photos--what a wonderful solution *g*.

Jenny, I was sure I answered your post earlier...now I can't find it. It's getting late here. But you can't go wrong with a gift card. Joan, I'm with you on the bath and body stuff. Sheer indulgence!

Anna said:
'I love finding the PERFECT gift for someone. There's a real thrill when you match object and person. A bit like matching the perfect hero and heroine!'

That's beautiful, Anna! At the end of the day that's exactly what we trying to do give someone a happy thrill and make them feel utterly special.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!

aBookworm said...

Amazon Gift certificates, bath and beauty products, candles, albums, calendars, and of course, Books, books and more books!