Today I’m welcoming Randal Sessoms, the hero from Ali Baran’s debut novel, Tessa oo The Journal for a little “chat.”
- What was your first impression of your writer?
Ali’s adorable. She and Tessa have a lot in common, but Ali is tougher. She has a real bulldog characteristic that makes her good at what she’s doing.
- How did you and the heroine meet
I fell while skiing and before knees were completely healed, I tripped on a grandson’s toy and had to have major surgery. I was in a wheelchair, and I needed some help around the house. They call them personal assistants: they do minor housework, run errands, whatever I needed. My daughter wanted someone who could watch over me 24/7. I spotted the ad Tessa had run and called my daughter. The rest is history.
- What is your greatest strength? Greatest weakness? How have they shaped your life?
I’d say I’m a good gambler. I can assess the odds and make a cold hard decision. I don’t let emotions get in the way.
Weakness? None! That’s a flaw in a man that will be his undoing.
It’s made me an incredible lawyer. I have the ability to be completely ruthless, because I cut to the bone without flinching.
- What first drew you to your heroine?
Several things. The way she carried herself, her general demure, and her brains all wrapped into a lovely female package.
- If you could be in any profession, what would you do and why?
Been there and done that. For thirty years, I was a successful lawyer with a thriving practice. I loved almost every minute of it. But history, and its unfolding through archeology, is of special interest to me. Reading about history has fed some deep thirst of mine. I’m totally captivated by previous civilizations. Now I can dabble in digs.
- So, in your story, what was the most memorable moment for you?
When Tessa came to me that first time. I think she was afraid I would reject her or think less of her. We weren’t a couple or even dating. Yet there she was, young and beautiful; she had awakened my needs as a man. It was wonderful.
- What do you do for fun?
Tessa and I enjoy traveling and being on dig sites. I knew Tessa would love it. She especially loves the evenings when we sit around talking.
- Would you like for your writer to create a sequel for you? Why or why not?
Once was enough. I’m not expecting any great changes. It took me sixty-three years to discover a woman who made my life worth living. Now I’m thankful for every day I have with her.
- What do you do for a living?
I don’t need to do anything. I already did that. Now I’m busy living and enjoying the fruits of my labor.
- What is your greatest fear?
Losing Tessa. I lost my first wife. I don’t want to lose Tessa.
- What do you wear when you go to sleep?
I always wore pajama bottoms. But since Tessa has entered my life, I don’t wear anything unless I must.
- What is your most prized possession?
Tessa. She is my priceless possession. And my second most priceless possession is our daughter, Jillianne.
- What do you think your greatest weakness is?
See number three.
- What do you think is your strongest attribute?
See number three. Are certain you are not a lawyer? Ask the same question by changing it slightly to see if you’ll get a different response?
- What are you proudest of?
Having lived a worthwhile and successful life.
- What is most attractive to you about the opposite sex?
All through out time, women are depicted by breasts. They symbolize the female form. And being a man, I do notice. I also notice a nice pair of legs and a well-formed derrière. Beautiful, healthy women come in all sizes and shapes. Each body type has its own special splendor. Each and every female attribute is worthy of more than a passing glance.
But women are more than body parts. A woman can be beautiful, but she needs more than beauty for a second look from me. Nothing captivates me more than the beauty of an intelligent mind. And when it comes finely packaged, as it does in Tessa, it’s thrilling.
- What trait or characteristic do you most dislike about the opposite sex?
That whole helpless, emotional, whining thing females do. Get over it. We all face things in life that are unpleasant. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t. If it must be done, then tackle it. If you don’t know how or what to do – ask.
- What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy afternoon?
Lounge around, drink coffee, read, and make love to my fantastic wife. Such days now include changing diapers and playing on the floor with my daughter.
- What’s your favorite animal?
I don’t think I have a single favorite. There are so many animals in this world and all of them have a uniqueness.
- Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo, what would it be and where?
Tessa and already have matching ones. Being on digs usually means forgoing our wedding rings, so we decided to have our rings tattooed. If we’re wearing our bands, they don’t show.
Thank you so much, Randal, for sharing so much with us today. And now Ali has something to share too.
Tessa is my first book but it won’t be my last. Tell me what you think is the magic behind finding Mr. Wonderful and what makes him different. If you leave your email address, I’ll toss your name into the hat this month for a $20 gift certificate to Starbucks. The winner will be drawn on Christmas and announced on my blog. http://alibaranauthor.wordpress.com
Blurb for Tessa:
Years of wisdom have taught Randal that it’s not the destination but the journey that makes everything worthwhile. When the tentative friendship between silver fox Randal and young Tessa bursts into lust, it ignites a passionate affair that leaves them both trembling. There’s nothing more fulfilling than a beautiful woman in the arms of a man who can appreciate everything she has to offer.
As Randal embarks on a second career and Tessa is preparing for her chosen field, Randal’s daughter flounders in a sea of depression. When Randal’s love for his daughter is pitted against his love for Tessa, can there be a winner?
Excerpt for Tessa:
In the water, Randal didn’t act like an invalid. Those piercing blue eyes sparkled and his body was ripped, better than any guy Tessa had dated. The man was damn sexy, and in the week she’d known him, she’d grown to like him—maybe too much. Way too much. Aside from a few thin, pink scar lines over his knees, no one would have believed he was living in a wheel chair.
He trapped her against the side of the pool and held her prisoner between his arms.
She turned and faced him. Now she stared into those beautiful blue orbs and caught the grin that crinkled the skin at the outer edges of his eyes. “You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”
“And you have a beautiful body.”
She inhaled as he drew himself nearer. His breath flowed over her face. She closed her eyes and she prayed he’d kiss her.
A finger touched her jaw, and she opened her eyes. He was inches from her with a warm smile on his face. Heaving in a deep breath, she hoped to cool the sensation building in her, but she couldn’t stop it. She tried to imagine his lips on hers. His finger traced her entire face, including her lips. She parted her mouth and touched her tongue to his roaming finger.
“Damn woman. You’re giving me an erection.”
She cast her gaze toward his trunks but she couldn’t stop the grin that was pulling on the edges of her lips.
His finger went down her neck and followed the edge of her bikini top. Her chest rose with his touch. Heat flowed through her, settling between her legs. She had never been one to have casual sex, but she was not a virgin. Right now, she wanted fulfillment. She tried to tell herself that older men weren’t usually capable of sexual intercourse, but somehow she figured this man was quite capable. His fingers splayed over her breast. And a moan escaped from someplace deep in her throat. She wanted to wrap her legs around his waist and pull him closer to her.
She pushed past him and headed for the stairs. She had to get a grip on her feelings because inside she felt as though she was about to shatter into a million pieces.
He followed her. “Tessa, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. I meant no harm.”
She turned and touched her fingers to his lips. “We’re adults.”
“Don’t leave. I won’t do it again. But seeing you has awakened something inside of me.”
“Yeah. I know that feeling.” She walked up the stairs and found a towel before turning back to him. “Do you need help getting out?”
“No, not yet. I need to swim some more. I try to swim every morning that I don’t have therapy. You just aren’t here. So to answer your question, yes, I can get in and out by myself.”
She settled onto a chaise lounge and watched him in the water. He was as graceful as a dolphin as he swam lap after lap. She couldn’t help but admire his body. Even his legs had beautiful muscle definition. Inside, she still quaked. There was something about him—something dangerously sexy, and she felt it to her toes.
Warning: May December romance for the mature reader
Tessa is available at
I’m young, single, college educated, and looking for Mr. Wonderful. I’m also a minimalist. The less I have, the less I have to clean! Some people save for Christmas, but I save for vacations. I’ll go wherever it’s warm with plenty of sun and water. Some women collect shoes – I collect bathing suits. The last time I counted, I owned forty-two suits. Why do you think I try to stay in shape?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and there’s nothing I love more than a sexy romance. My e-reader stays packed with books. By day, I’m tame and conservative, but once I leave work, the real me emerges. I always have a hunky guy calendar hanging over my desk at home. I kept February up until April rolled around. He was just too delicious. Some guys are worth the fantasy. I want a guy in real life who can kiss me and make my toes tingle. So far it hasn’t happened anyplace but in books.
So there you have it. I’m about as exciting as my pet goldfish. The big difference is that I have a computer, a muse, and I know how to use both. I don’t think Goldie gives much thought to having Mr. Golden swim into her life and she’s already got the castle. I believe she’s missing out on a lot of fun!