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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: Tentative- The Wizard and Her Proxy

First Page: Tentative- The Wizard and Her Proxy

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.

Cyprus Speaker, Eldest Wizard of the city-state Archet, left his staff leaning in the hall before entering the blank-walled Room. He completed the ritual of calming the mind, bringing his palms together above his head and then slowly down until they were at his chest. His elbows and head formed the three corners of the Open Triangle that was to remind him of the link between hands and mind. He lowered his arms to his sides and began.

“Awake,” he said, extending his open hands and bringing them upward.

“Awakened,” replied the Room.

“Interface. Visual.” He began a series of complex hand motions in response to the images the room began to show him.

He placed his left hand before his face and spread his fingers and the Room showed him a map of Archet. The dark green of the wood filled the borders of the map, and inside lay fields, pastures and little villages. Farther on, near the center on a rise in the land lay the outline of the city walls, and within them the houses and markets of the city dwellers. Cyprus Speaker gestured to the concrete castle at the heart of the city and spread his fingers wide again, and the room showed him a picture of the inside of the castle. He closed two fingers over the image of a room, the same blank-walled Room where he stood.

He cupped that image in one hand and with the other swept the rest of the pictures away. With delicate and precise motions he called other images—people and places, tools and machines, representations of the farms and industries of Archet, symbols and words from languages long forgotten.

Although he could not see it in the blank Room, while he worked the sun tipped from its place overhead and touched the distant treetops.

Finally, he lowered his hands to his side and stood silent for a moment, calming himself again.

“Query. Alnode spross ess,” said the wizard, lowering his hands again as he spoke the secret, magic words.

“Ready,” said the Room.

“Why is this Room losing its function?” asked Cyprus Speaker.

“Thinking.” The Room thought for four seconds. “The rate at which this Room loses function is directly equivalent to the rate at which its power source fades.”

Cyprus Speaker had been Eldest Wizard for fifteen years, and for forty before that he had worked within the Room. In all that time he had never strayed from the rules of use that governed it, but he did so now.

“Without you our land will wither! Who will bring rain in drought? Who will show us where to dig the mines or how to construct the forges? When another plague comes, who will cure it without you?” His voice lost its clarity and became harsh with fear. He was thinking particularly of a childhood memory of his bondslave, Tisha, and watching her return to health within a day of receiving medicine from the great wizards.

“Unable to comply,” said the Room.

The wizard calmed himself again. “Further query. How long can this Room continue to provide information?”

“Thinking. Approximately two hundred and seventy days from this day.”

Cyprus Speaker bowed his head and his shoulders stooped.

“How can the flow of information be restored?” he asked.

“Thinking,” said the room.

No sound came from beyond the walls, and no sound came from the room as it thought or the wizard as he waited. He waited many minutes.

“Answer available,” said the room, “visual form, statistical form, auditory form.”

“Provide,” said the wizard.

Daily Deals: Overprotective alphas; a western; and a Robin Hood retelling

Daily Deals: Overprotective alphas; a western; and a Robin Hood retelling

Hotter Than Wildfire by Lisa Marie RiceHotter Than Wildfire by Lisa Marie Rice. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The world knows her only as Eve. . . .

Though her songs have sold millions she is an enigma, a bewitching mystery. But to former Delta Force operator Harry Bolt, she is an angel whose sultry, smoky voice brought him back to life after the nightmare of Afghanistan. Nothing else matters.

And now a scared, helpless beauty has walked through the door of his San Diego private security firm, running from something secret, something deadly . . . and Harry knows immediately that this is the woman who saved him. He is the last hope for this intoxicating siren without a past—not even in his hottest dreams did he imagine that the lady Eve could be so tempting, so achingly desirable. But though she burns to lose herself in Harry’s powerful arms, Eve is wary of trusting this tough, haunted ex-soldier who promises to protect her. Surrender could mean sweet ecstasy or certain doom. Can she open her heart, even if it means risking her life?

I liked this one. It’s not LMR’s best work, but it’s still entertaining.

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One Wrong Move (McClouds & Friends) Shannon McKennaOne Wrong Move by Shannon McKenna. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Alex Aaro has spent most of his life on the run from his ruthless, toxic family. But when he learns that crazy Aunt Tonya, the only relative who ever gave a damn about him, is dying, he risks returning home to say goodbye. He’s prepared for anything except the call from his friend, Bruno Ranieri, that sends him on a wild and dangerous ride with a mysterious woman who holds a deadly secret and a white hot passion tht binds them together.

Social worker Nina Christie has no idea how much trouble she’s in when her Aunt Helga shows up bleeding at her shelter, babbling in Ukrainian—and with one inexplicable act thrusts Nina into the heart of a nightmare. Now a ruthless crime syndicate will stop at nothing to make Nina disappear, and only Alex Aaro, that inscrutable six-foot-four rock hard slab of lean muscle, stands between her and certain death. Now Nina and Alex are in a race against time, death, and their desire for one another. . .

Sadly, not my favorite McKenna book. I gave it a C+ but I give out this grade and the recommendation with the proviso that McKenna’s type of stories and characters have always worked for me even when the plot is ridiculous, as it is in this case.

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Saving Grace (Safe Havens #1) by Sandy JamesSaving Grace by Sandy James. $ 99 cents on Amazon & B&N

From the Jacket Copy:

Grace Riley is on the run—from her past and from her fears. The victim of a violent rape at the hands of a rich politician’s son, she must “disappear” to escape his constant attempts to recapture her. Moving from cattle drive to cattle drive as a cook, she avoids her tormentor for nearly twenty years. When she discovers that the brother she gave up for adoption after their mother died in childbirth was orphaned at an early age, she is frantic to verify that he’s safe. She tracks him to a cattle ranch in Montana.

Widower Adam Morgan owns the Twin Springs ranch, but finds himself falling into a life of loneliness. Although he enjoys spending time with his grown daughter and the two men he rescued when they were living on the streets, he longs to meet a woman he can love. Living in the Montana territory where men greatly outnumber women makes finding a new wife difficult. Weary of working cattle, he is ready to make some changes in his life.

Grace falls ill on her journey, but she manages to make it to the Twin Springs ranch where her brother is supposed to be living. Adam takes her in, concerned for her health and the reason she’s searching for one of his adopted sons. Their chemistry is immediate and intense, but can Grace heal from her past of pain and fear? When her secrets are finally revealed, can Adam forgive her deceptions and learn to love again?

This book is free at is free at All Romance E, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple. I’ve not read it and it has only a few reviews on Goodreads. You can’t tell it from the cover, but apparently this is a historical beginning in 1881.

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Lady of the Forest by Jennifer RobersonLady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

“A beautiful synthesis of Robin Hood legends.” –Marion Zimmer Bradley
With her king a captive and her coffers drained, England is left in turmoil during the Crusades. After the death of her father in the Holy Land, Lady Marian of Ravenskeep finds herself alone–and at the mercy of men vying for her lands and her beauty. Thrust into games of political intrigue, the sheltered knight’s daughter soon learns to trust no one. . .

Afforded a hero’s homecoming, Sir Robert of Locksley returns from the Crusades a shattered man. In a country he barely recognizes, one torn apart by treachery and betrayal, he finds in Marian a kindred soul. Their quest for justice will take them into the depths of Sherwood Forest, where the dream of a new England will be born. .

Back in the day I read a bunch of Jennifer Roberson books (Sword-Dancer Saga and the Chronicles of the Cheysuli) but I cannot recall if I read this Robin Hood retelling. She’s a good author and her females have always been presented as strong.

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