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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: A Minute to Midnight

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.

Ella Andrews paced the small kitchen of the house that she shared with her grandmother and aunts. They were late again, which meant that the meal she made–roast turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and biscuits–would be cold by the time they showed up. This, of course, would be Ella’s fault for not anticipating the fact that they would be late. She knew the drill as it happened at least once or twice a week, and as it was Friday and it hadn’t yet happened this week, she really should have known that it would be tonight.

She went to the cupboard, taking out the aluminum foil to cover up the food, hoping she would be able to save the potatoes, which would likely be inedible if they weren’t eaten soon. Ella knew she should be more understanding as they worked hard all day, but it wasn’t as if they were staying late at the office. Oh, no–Roberta and Gertrude Andrews would never put in a minute of overtime, even if they were in the middle of a huge order. That was the sort of thing that employees were for; if one needed to stay late, it was much more satisfying to have one of the workers stay than it was to do it oneself. That was the Andrews Family Motto. Her grandmother, Agnes, had even made Ella stitch it onto a pillow, despite the fact that the font was far too tiny to be read without a magnifying glass.

Even thinking about that pillow had Ella rolling her eyes, thinking about the day that she would be able to leave this place. She doubted that this was what her father had in mind when he asked her to care for her grandmother all those years ago, but no matter what her life was like, she would do as her father wished, although each day that she stayed there she felt herself dying more and more. It had been that way almost from the beginning.
It was obvious that her father hadn’t realized just how much influence his sisters had over their mother because she wasn’t anything like Ella had imagined. For days after her father’s death, she pictured her grandmother as some kindly old woman, who liked to bake cookies and watch “her programs” like her other grandmother, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.

Agnes Andrews, Ella quickly learned, was more concerned with profit margins than with chocolate chip cookies and with finding her daughters appropriate husbands than with Erica Kane or Dorian Lord. None of that would have mattered to Ella if it appeared as if her grandmother had even the slightest interest in her, but on the very night that she arrived on the doorstep, her grandmother shoved her off on one of the neighbors while she, Bert, and Gert attended a society function.

Sitting down on her favorite chair, she tried to shake of thoughts of her past and dreamt of what the future would bring. If there was one thing Ella was good at, it was dreaming. This time, she dreamt that she was a spy, skulking from country to country, attempting to stop a plot to assassinate the president. That brought a smile to her lips. Her, Ella Andrews–Spy Extraordinaire. She couldn’t help rolling her eyes. There was no way she would make a good spy. For one thing, she couldn’t skulk. She could barely walk normally without bumping into things, and she imagined that being stealthy was probably a requirement to join up with the CIA or the FBI.

Daily Deals: Paranormal romance; Coco Chanel; Rockers; and Steampunk (and a book I’m buying that is not on sale)

Daily Deals: Paranormal romance; Coco Chanel; Rockers; and Steampunk (and a...

I am debating buying the Hilaire novel but in the meantime, I used the Kobo coupon that was mentioned by Peggy L in the comments yesterday to buy this book here: The Other C-Word By MK Schiller. I’ve heard really good things about it, but the price has kept me away. Coupon code is Sept50.  This is the AMZN link for you kindlers. It is not on sale on Kindle.

Deliver Me From Temptation: A Novel of the Paladin Warriors  by Tes HilaireDeliver Me From Temptation by Tes Hilaire. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

“Dark, sexy, and intense! Hilaire blazes a new path in paranormal romance.”—Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author on Deliver Me From Darkness

Logan Screwed Up…Big Time

When things go bump in the night, Logan bumps back. Vampires, demons, succubi—you name it, he’s fought it. His job as Paladin angel warrior is to protect humans. Not fall for one.

She Never Believed in Divine Intervention…Until Now

Detective Jessica Waters protects humans too-with her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. She doesn’t believe in fate. But if anyone looks like a gift from the gods, it’s Logan. And he clearly knows more about her case than he’s letting on…

The other Tes Hilaire novel, Deliver Me From Darkness, is also on sale for $2.99. A three star review said to read the first one (Deliver Me from Darkness) first and then read “from Temptation”. The heroine was described as a real ball buster. But there was another review that indicated this book was kind of preachy: “I suppose it would be hard to avoid that, given that Logan is sent by God to earth, an angel who has chosen to lose his wings to live as mortals do, protecting them. Jessica is a police detective whose sister was raped and killed, and so Jessica carries a lot of hate in her heart, which leads to spiritual problems”

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Summer He Came Home by Juliana Stone. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Sometimes the best place to find love is right back where you started…

Falling asleep in a different bed every night has made it easy for Cain Black to forget his past. It’s been ten years since he packed his guitar and left Crystal Lake, Michigan, to chase his dreams. Now tragedy has forced him home again. And though Cain relishes the freedom of the road, one stolen moment with Maggie O’Rourke makes him wonder if he’s missing out on something bigger than fame.

For Maggie—single mother and newly settled in Crystal Lake—love is a luxury she just can’t afford. Sure, she appreciates the tall, dark and handsome looks of prodigal son Cain Black. But how long can she expect the notorious hellion to stay?

The last thing either of them wants is something complicated. But sometimes love has its own plans.

I didn’t love this book but for $2.99 it’s not a bad way to spend a day reading. I found the story a bit predictable and that it spent a lot of time building up the sequels. However, I think one of my problems with the book was that when I read books about rockers, I like it to be about the music and the lifestyle and the tour and this is a quieter story. So it might be my skewed expectations that affected my reading of the book.

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Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School)  by Gail CarrigerEtiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail’s legions of fans have come to adore.

I got off the Carriger train when I realized she couldn’t write a decent romance. While I liked the first two books in the Parasol Protectorate series, the female protagonist became more grating and spent more time away from her shapeshifting lover. I wanted more romance!

This is a YA book set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series. The world building is a little gimmicky but Carriger has a good voice. School Library Journals says “Ladies and gentlemen of propriety are combined with dirigibles, robots, werewolves, and vampires, making this story a steampunk mystery and an adventure mash-up that is sure to intrigue readers who can get past the language of the time period.’

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Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine PicardieCoco Chanel by Justine Picardie. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Justine Picardie has spent the last decade puzzling over the truth about Coco Chanel, attempting to peel away the accretions of romance and lies. In this critically acclaimed, bestselling biography she shares the history of the incredible woman who created the way we look now.Coco Chanel was an extraordinary inventor – she conjured up the little black dress, bobbed hair, trousers for women, contemporary chic, best-selling perfumes, and the most successful fashion brand of all time – but she also invented herself, fashioning the myth of her own life with the same dexterity as her couture.While Chanel was supreme innovator and vendor of all things elegant and beautiful, what lies beneath her own glossy myth is far darker. Throwing new light on her passionate and turbulent relationships, this beautifully constructed portrait gives a fresh and penetrating look at how Coco Chanel made herself into her own most powerful creation.Justine Picardie brings the mysterious Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding, to celebrate her great achievements. She examines Chanel’s enduring afterlife, as well as her remarkable life, uncovering the consequences of what she covered up, unpicking the seams between truth and legend, yet keeping intact the real fabric of her past.

B&N has a number of non fiction books on sale for $2.99 which Amazon is price matching or has price matched. I’ll feature a couple tomorrow but you can take a look here.

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