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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

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First Page: Scooped

First Page: Scooped

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.  The author asked to include the prologue and I okayed this.


Back then they were young, carefree, and driving cross-country, holding hands and groping each other with the windows down and the music blaring. Charlotte’s hair was blowing in the wind and her cheeks were tinged from the sun peeking through the roof. It was in that moment that Graham let himself imagine a lifetime of exactly this. The thought surprised him; it was the first and only time in his twenty-four years he’d allowed himself this luxury, allowed himself to think about having this in his grasp for a minute. This being Charlotte and everything she evoked in him.

A single minute was all it took before Graham’s own screwed-up version of reality crashed back down on him, rapidly deflating his carefree mood. First and foremost, he wasn’t that kind of touchy-feely guy. He was a man who didn’t dream of that happy-ever-after kind of bullshit. Then there was the fact that he wasn’t ever going to have a lifetime with anyone—couldn’t ever—no matter how decadent Charlotte felt in the moment.

The belief that it wasn’t possible to be happy with another person forever was buried as deep in his DNA as were his black hair and blue eyes. It just wasn’t possible, and for the first time since he found his mom in bed crying into an empty liquor bottle with his dad long gone, he felt bad for himself. Not just for himself. He looked over at Charlotte, her hair whipping freely in the wind and singing out of tune with her feet propped up on the dash, and knew in his heart he would hurt her one day.

Even if he tried not to hurt her, he would end up doing it because their relationship was never going to get any better than this moment—driving cross-country with nothing in their in their windshield or rearview mirror except good times. Their hands locked together while their eyes stayed focused on the road somewhere deep in Colorado. The energy of attraction throbbing and pulsing between them until they stopped for the night at a motel and had sticky, sweet sex as though tomorrow were coming way too soon. Then folding into each other in damp, dingy sheets without a care in the world. This was as good as it was going to get. For him. For her.

There could never be anything more, and for that, Graham hurt deep down in a place he didn’t even know existed in him. These moments felt so good, so right, that he wanted to never stop having them. Yet he believed with certainty that there would never be anything more than this. Ever.

It would never more than this with Char, or with anyone.

Chapter One

Graham Preston slammed his luxury sedan into his spot while shifting into park so quickly, no doubt in his mind—he did some damage to the very expensive transmission. He ignored his office staff looking at him curiously as he tore through the office in faded, beat-up jeans and a ratty lavender polo shirt, instead of his usual crisp suit and tie. Graham raced past the faces of expressed shock, knowing that it was the first time anyone at his company had ever seen him looking tired, let alone disheveled.

His assistant stood up from her desk with alarm on her face and a fistful of pink message slips. As she opened her mouth to speak, he shook his head and held up a hand. “Mandy, I have to leave town right away, so clear my calendar and e-mail me anything related to current accounts that needs my immediate attention.” Before she could reply, he ran into his office, grabbed his travel laptop, snatched up a few papers, shoved the message slips in his laptop bag, and left without another word.

His entire office stared in disbelief as he tore right back out of his office and out-of-town to God knows where, or why. Graham knew his staff would be shocked; he was normally infallible when it came to work. He ran a tight ship while rarely losing sight on his business. He didn’t offer them an explanation. He’d tell them what he wanted them to know when he was damn well ready. For right now, Graham wanted his staff to keep business as usual, so he could come back and get back to work when he returned from his current trip to hell.

Even though there were rumblings that his wife moved out many months ago and their divorce was almost final (leaving him with full custody of their daughter), Graham had been cool as a cucumber throughout it all. Never allowing Elise to cause him to lose focus was his priority. Graham kept his eye on the prize, meaning he moved his company forward as always.

After all, other than his daughter, all Graham really had was the business he’d built. It was his baby. Originally an escape from the East Coast and the shit that rained down on him there, Graham constructed a West Coast division of his family business that not only rivaled the original, but surpassed it…..

Daily Deals: Freebies, Supergirls, and a Terry Pratchett collaboration

Daily Deals: Freebies, Supergirls, and a Terry Pratchett collaboration

Jennifer Ashley Mackenzie ChristmasA Mackenzie Family Christmas by Jennifer Ashley. $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

The Mackenzies gather for a clan Christmas and New Year’s in Scotland. In the chaos of preparations for the celebration–the first of Hart and Eleanor’s married life–one of Ian’s Ming bowls gets broken, and the family scrambles to save the day. Daniel busily runs a betting ring for everything from the time Eleanor’s baby will arrive to whether Mac’s former-pugilist valet can win a boxing match to who will be the first of the many guests to be caught under the mistletoe. Ian begins a new obsession, and Beth fears the loss of one of his precious bowls has made him withdraw once more into his private world.

A Mackenzie Family Christmas will be released in print as well as on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple, and at other e-vendors

This is a novella but as Kim pointed out to me in the email she sent highlighting this freebie, it is free and has Ian Mackenzie in the story. Ian’s my favorite. (Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. Read it.)

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Hide in Plain Sight (Harlequin Suspense) by Marta PerryHide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry. $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

She couldn’t turn her back on her family in their time of need. So when her sister was injured, financial expert Andrea Hampton traded the big city for Amish country to help turn her grandmother’s house into an inn.

But life with the Plain People took a treacherous turn when a string of accidents and pranks threatened her family. Someone didn’t want the secrets the old house harbored to come to light. Trusting anyone– even the handsome carpenter who seemed so genuine–was a battle for Andrea, but her life depended on her ability to find the truth.

Inspirational suspense that features people who give up their worldly careers (like being a lawyer) for doing God’s will (in this case carpentry).

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9781935259039_p0_v2_s260x420The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid. $ 1.99 at Amazon

From the Jacket Copy:

“The Supergirls is a long overdue tribute to the fabulous fighting females whose beauty and bravery brighten the pages of your favorite comics.”—STAN LEE
“A thoughtful, comprehensive history of women in comics . . . The Supergirls gleefully celebrates the medium itself, in all its goofy, glorious excess.” —NPR “Best Five Books To Share With Your Friends” citation

“Sharp and lively—and just obsessive enough about women who wear capes and boots to be cool but not creepy. [Madrid] clearly loves this stuff. And he’s enough of a historian to be able to trace the ways in which the portrayal of sirens and supergirls has echoed society’s ever-changing feelings about women and sex.” —Entertainment Weekly

Has Wonder Woman hit the comic book glass ceiling? Is that the one opposition that even her Amazonian strength can’t defeat? Entertaining and informative, The Supergirls explores iconic superheroines and what it means for the culture when they do everything the superhero does, only in thongs and high heels.

This much-needed alternative history of American comic book icons—from Wonder Woman to Supergirl and beyond—delves into where these crime-fighting females fit in popular culture and why, and what their stories say about the role of women in society from their creation to now, and into the future.

Mike Madrid is the author of Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Lost Heroines of Golden Age Comics (forthcoming from Exterminating Angel Press in October 2013) and The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, an NPR “Best Book To Share With Your Friends” and American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Project Notable Book. Madrid, a San Francisco native and lifelong fan of comic books and popular culture, also appears in the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.

Ordinarily, I don’t pick an Amazon only deal (at least not intentionally) but reader Lynn sent this link to me and I really thought some of you readers might enjoy this.

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The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett, Stephen BaxterThe Long Earth by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

The possibilities are endless. (Just be careful what you wish for. . . .)

1916: The Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man’s-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive—some say mad, others allege dangerous—scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and . . . a potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way humankind views the world forever.

The first novel in an exciting new collaboration between Discworld creator Terry Pratchett and the acclaimed SF writer Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth transports readers to the ends of the earth—and far beyond. All it takes is a single step. . . .

PW “The slow-burning plot plays second fiddle to the fascinating premise, and the authors seem to have more fun developing backstory and concepts than any real tension. An abrupt conclusion comes as an unwelcome end to this tale of exploration.”


Kirkus “This often intriguing development of a science fiction trope takes a scattershot approach and could have used more of Pratchett’s trademark satire and Puckish humor. Still, the authors have plenty of fresh insights to offer, and fans of either will want to tag along and see where it all leads”

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