Tell us about yourself and your story.
I used to tell people I got a history degree because I didn’t have to take math classes for it. That was only part of the reason, but back then being a history nerd didn’t give off the best aura. Even my dad said he didn’t understand how I could take those classes because history was boring. It was one of the few things we disagreed on. Growing up, my hero was James Michener. It wasn’t only that he could write like nobody else, but he wrote history. His work inspired me, and one day I plan to write my own historical epic. My first attempt at dipping my toe into that goal was Training Tessa. I set this story in Renaissance Italy, one of my favorite time periods. It gave me an excuse to dig back into that time and place, making the writing fun. One of the biggest reasons for it, however, was the way sensuality permeated art, and life. Yes, there were lots of naysayers, but artists in particular began to look at the human body as sensual. That concept fit well with the story. I hope the story fits well with you.
Debra Doggett has been writing since childhood. Keeping stories in her head while raising three daughters, pursuing her BA in History and working as a museum professional has kept the writer inside her alive. She has also written, performed and directed for the stage, her second love.
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Meretessa Brexiano believes in love. Her heart yearns for a true bond with the man she weds. She also believes she can change her fate. Refusing the marriage her father has arranged, she strikes a bargain with a man she hopes can teach her the art of seduction. Nicolo da Parma is a businessman with a reputation as a connoisseur of women. Their sensuality is the palette he has painted on since his youth. This time, however, he may have struck a bargain which costs more than he planned. Training Tessa might be the greatest challenge to his own heart Nicolo’s ever had.
Nicolo reached a hand toward her. “Seduction is a slow process, Tessa, a process which begins with you. It begins in here.” He tapped her forehead. “Do you even know what your own body looks like?”
She moved, grateful for even a small space between them. “That’s ridiculous! Of course I know what I look like. I see myself every day.”
“Ah, but do you really see? How can you tempt a lover with a body you are not even aware of?”
Before she could protest, he swallowed up the small, safe distance. Strange sensations stirred within her, leaving her without the ability to form the words she knew she should be saying. Nicolo’s fingers untied the lace along her bodice. He slipped the thin scarf through his hand with a sensual caress that made her shiver. What would those fingers feel like against her skin? As his hand slid over her shoulder, his fingers nudged her dress down, letting the fabric glide to the top of her breasts. He leaned in close and for a moment she thought he might kiss her. Tessa wondered what his lips would feel like, what they would taste like.