Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

About Jane Litte

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

Posts by Jane Litte:

Daily Deals: Quirky YA, old school contemporary, urban fantasy and thriller

Daily Deals: Quirky YA, old school contemporary, urban fantasy and thriller

Wyoming Tough by Diana PalmerWyoming Tough by Diana Palmer. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A cowboy through and through, ranch owner Mallory Kirk knows what it means to put in a full day’s work. But does his new cowgirl? He has his doubts that Morie Brannt will be able to pull her own weight, even if the petite young woman does seem to have a lot of spirit.

As they spar over events at the ranch and a past that threatens their hopes for the future, sparks begin to fly, and Mallory can’t help but notice Morie in a new light. But is this tough Wyoming man ready to love?

A couple of my reading friends are fans of Palmer books but warn that they are full of regressive thinking and over the top craziness. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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The Night Ranger (John Wells Series #7) by Alex BerensonThe Night Ranger by Alex Berenson. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

John Wells enters new territory, as he goes underground in East Africa to track four kidnapped Americans and the Somali bandits who snatched them, in the tough, thoughtful, electrifying new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.

Four friends, recent college graduates, travel to Kenya to work at a giant refugee camp for Somalis. Two men, two women, each with their own reasons for being there. But after twelve weeks, they’re ready for a break and pile into a Land Cruiser for an adventure.

They get more than they bargained for. Bandits hijack them. They wake up in a hut, hooded, bound, no food or water. Hostages. As a personal favor, John Wells is asked to try to find them, but he does so reluctantly. East Africa isn’t his usual playing field. And when he arrives, he finds that the truth behind the kidnappings is far more complex than he imagined.

The clock is ticking. The White House is edging closer to an invasion of Somalia. Wells has a unique ability to go undercover, and to make things happen, but if he can’t find the hostages soon, they’ll be dead – and the U.S. may be in a war it never should have begun.

There’s nothing like discounting book 7 in a series, right? That said, Kirkus and PW have good things to say about this “tense thriller that relies equally on bravery, wit, and 21st-century American firepower.”

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Mothership by Martin Leicht, Isla NealMothership (The Ever-Expanding Universe) by Martin Leicht. $ 1.99 at AMZN| Google

From the Jacket Copy:

“This science-fiction–comic romp set in a space-based school for pregnant teens hits the funny bone and adds in an alien conflict for good measure. Pure fun.” (Kirkus Reviews).

Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole—and now she’s pregnant.

Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.

So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother—assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.

Juno meets aliens. Funny and adventurous.

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Hunted by the Others by Jess HainesHunted by the Others by Jess Haines. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

They are the Others–the vampires, mages, and werewolves once thought to exist only in our imaginations. Now they’re stepping out of the shadows, and nothing in our world will ever be the same again. . .
In A Town Like This, Being A P.I. Can Be Murder

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm–if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires.
As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend–a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing–and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil–whether she likes it or not. . .

PW calls it a mediocre debut and it appears Haines includes an obligatory love triangle (or maybe even three love interests) in this urban fantasy PI.

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Staying online without being naked

Staying online without being naked

Last week Google announced a new way for you to unwittingly star in a Google served ad.  Pitched as a way for you and your friends to give each other better recommendations, your picture and name will show by a product that you’ve interacted with – either you followed it, you might have +1 it on Google Plus, or you may have shared it with someone else.

Google Endorsements

If you don’t want to participate in Google’s advertising scheme, you’ll be told that you aren’t helping your friends out but I think they’ll understand. GigaOM provides instructions on how to opt out. Go to this link and uncheck the box at the bottom next to the text “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.”

Facebook has a similar “feature”.

Facebook App

To opt out, you must go to Edit social ads setting.  Facebook says that you’ll just appear in ads to your friends but some people, like authors, have hundreds of friends. Under the “Ads & Friends” section, you’ll want to select “no one” in the dropdown box next to the text “Pair my social actions with ads for.”

Other ways to protect your anonymity online is to get an email address that is used only for online interaction. You can use free accounts such as Yahoo and GMail but note that those companies are mining your emails for data.  I’ve seen some people create Facebook and Twitter accounts for the sole purpose of entering contests and giveaways. You could do that as well to just provide some barriers between your real name and your online identity.

For tech savvy users, you can use a proxy server to surf the internet.  Tor is a free piece of software that you can use to disguise your computer’s internet address. It’s not foolproof but it would probably protect you from data mining companies but not the government, NSA, and other tech savvy people.

Almost all browsers have a private browsing mode usually found in the top menu bar in one of the first couple of options:

Private browsing

For other browsers, a simple key combination can work

  • Chrome and Opera: Ctrl+Shift+NP
  • Firefox, Internet Explorer: Ctrl+Shift+P

The browser will stop tracking your history and won’t download any cookies thus ensuring a less revealing internet history.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to create a safer environment online. Obviously, like sex, the only safe way is to stay offline. But if you can’t or don’t want to stay offline, there are a few ways that you can keep yourself out a little less exposed.

If you have any tips for online privacy, drop them in the comments.