Monday, June 18, 2012


By Hope Tarr

I have a confession to make. When I first set out with my partner, Raj Moorjani, to develop our Beer Gardens NYC™ iOS phone app, I wasn’t much of a beer drinker. Sure, I’d have a couple of cold ones every so often, usually in the summer, but in the main I saw myself as a wine and cocktail girl. Solidly.

But once Raj and I embarked on our research mission, which involved visiting at first fifty and later more than sixty New York City beer gardens—I know, poor us!—beer started to, you might say, grow on me. As my appreciation for beer expanded, so did my repertoire, which now includes not only standbys such as Stella and Corona but also more exotic-to-me brews like Lindemans Framboise, Hoegaarden, and Weihenstephaner, all among the 1,000+ unique beers listed by venue in our app.

In the spirit of life imitating art and vice versa, beer started showing up in my writing, too both in my nonfiction works—e.g., my post on Peruvian chicha (corn beer) for a great website, Brews and Books—and, most recently, my romance fiction.

In OPERATION CINDERELLA (October 2012), the first in my “Suddenly Cinderella” Series for Entangled Publishing, my political talk show host hero, Ross Mannon is an outright alpha male, a Texas good ole boy who earned his Ph.D. in sociology while working road construction, and yes, a beer drinker. That’s not to stay Ross is averse to having the occasional martini, though unlike persnickety James Bond he doesn’t really care about the shaken versus stirred aspect. There’s also a very romantic scene in the book in which he snags a chilled bottle of Cristal, two fluted champagne glasses—and my former Goth girl heroine’s heart—on the Kennedy Center’s roof terrace at midnight. Sigh!

But in the main, Ross is a beer guy and like most things about his life, he makes no apologies for his beverage preference. Below is a sneak peak from the book. In it, Ross meets up with Francesca, his Brit ex-wife and the mother of their troubled fifteen year-old daughter, at a snooty Washington, DC restaurant which she, of course, chose. Waiting for her to show, he orders…you guessed it, a beer!

Enjoy the excerpt and please look for OPERATION CINDERELLA this October 2012.

Cheers! Salute! Santé! Slainte! Prost!♥

Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical and contemporary romances, including VANQUISHED and TEMPTING, Kindle Top 100 bestsellers, and a co-developer of Beer Gardens NYC™, the first app for beer gardens anywhere in the U.S. Look for Hope’s “Suddenly Cinderella” Series with Entangled Publishing, beginning with OPERATION CINDERELLA this November 2012. Hope is also a co-founder and current principal of Lady Jane’s Salon™, NYC’s first and only monthly romance reading series, now with four satellites nationwide. Find Hope online at,,, and as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

EXCERPT: From OPERATION CINDERELLA, Book #1 in the Suddenly Cinderella Series
Entangled Publishing, November 2012
Copyright Hope Tarr

The trendy Dupont Circle restaurant wouldn’t have been Ross’s pick but as usual his ex knew her own mind. Small surprise, he was the first to arrive. Taking possession of the table he’d reserved, he went ahead and ordered their drinks, a glass of chardonnay for her and a Coors for him. He was halfway through his beer when he spotted her by the hostess stand, a vision of haute couture elegance in a lime silk suit that caught the color of her almond-shaped eyes. Catching his wave, she smiled and made her way over through the aisle of tables.

“Hullo, darling, so sorry to be late but traffic was beastly.”

Because they were friends and no longer battling spouses, he declined to point out that DC traffic was always bad and maybe just once she might try leaving early—or even on time. Instead he rose to pull out her chair. “You look good, Frannie.”

At thirty-three, Francesca was a sleekly beautiful woman with black hair and jade-colored eyes that turned up slightly at the corners. Her current outfit was killer, showing off her tall, slender figure to perfection, but then the thread industry was her business. A top fashion photographer, her work regularly appeared in Vogue, Elle, In Style, and Glamour as well as in a host of European magazines, the names of which he could never remember. She was, without reservation, one of his best friends… so long as he didn’t have to be married to her.

She set down her purse, a cavernous shoulder bag so hideous it had to be designer, and slid into her seat. “You’re looking smashing, not your usual rumpled curmudgeon self at all.” She took a sip of her wine, cat-like gaze taking his measure as he sat back down.“That’s a new suit, isn’t it?” Clothing Francesca never missed. “And just when I’d memorized your entire wardrobe, all three dark suits and five striped ties, not counting the army of white Oxford cloth button-downs.”

“What can I say, I like keeping you in suspense. How’s that wine by the way?”

"Lovely.” She took another sip, staring at him over the glass rim. “Though after the week I’ve had, I could probably use a martini. On second thought, make that multiple martinis.”

“That bad?”

She hesitated, which was unlike her. “The shoot in Milan for Vogue has been pushed up a week, which means the location bookings, everything, will have to be rescheduled. By the by, I caught your last broadcast.”

Her turning the topic away from herself wasn’t lost on him but for now he decided to let it lie. “You listened to my show? To what do I owe this high honor?”

She picked up the menu. “When one of my prop people happened to mention your name, I couldn’t resist a listen. Mind you I say this with only love in my heart, but you came off as a perfect pig.” She glanced about, feigning concern. “I actually considered wearing a wig and dark glasses.”

He grinned. “Afraid your NOW membership might be revoked if you’re caught having lunch with the enemy?” Because he knew it drove her crazy, he ignored the frosted mug their waiter had brought and took a swig of his beer straight from the bottle….♥

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  1. Wonderful excerpt, Hope. This is going on my TBR pile for sure. Beautiful writing and characterizations.

  2. Thanks, Jean! The pub date has since been moved up to October '12, and I'll be reading more from OPERATION CINDERELLA at the November 5th Lady Jane's Salon. :)

  3. I love figuring out what my characters drink (and eat) as part of the means for highlighting their personalities, or contrasting them with another character - as you do in this scene. I think these details are great fun. And so it your beer app!

    Excerpt whetted my appetite for Cinderella, too.


  4. Thanks, Lise! And I agree, our food and drink preferences are telling, indeed. It's always fun, I think, to weave that aspect into fictional characters.