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Daily Deals: Some old classics

Jackson Rule by Dinah McCallJackson Rule by Dinah McCall. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

For powerful emotion and unforgettable romance Sharon Sala can’t be beat. This beautifully repackaged classic is sure to delight her long-time fans and attract new ones!

Jackson Rule had spent nearly half his life behind bars for murder. Now he was starting over—or trying to. Once he laid hungry eyes on his new employer, though, his resolve to lead a simple solitary life deserted him, replaced by yearnings for fierce, forbidden passion.

Preacher’s daughter Rebecca Hill was raised to give folks the benefit of the doubt—though maybe this time she’d taken charity a bit too far. True Jackson Rule had paid his debt to society, and was a hard, honest worker. What threatened to undo her was the sheer burning desire she felt in his presence, and the sinking feeling that her heart would be his captive forever.

Sharon Sala also writes as Jackson Rule. Dinah McCall.  I believe that she was the author that railed against freebies before Christmas and how frustrating used bookstores and libraries were because those places represented subsequent reads without royalties. Several of her books are now discounted to $1.99:

  • Deep in the Heart A | BN | K | S
  • Finders Keepers A | BN | K | S
  • Diamond  A | BN | K | S
  • Tallchief A | BN | K | S
  • Chance McCall A | BN | K | S
  • Chase the Moon A | BN | K | S
  • Dreamcatcher A | BN | K | S

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The Vampire Who Loved Me by Teresa MedeirosThe Vampire Who Loved Me by Teresa Medeiros. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Julian Kane is back in town.

Once, as a girl of seventeen, beautiful, headstrong Portia Cabot saved the cursed life of the dashing vampire Julian Kane—who marked her forever, then left to go in search of his soul. Five years later Portia quickly discovers that Julian’s seductive and forbidden kiss can still make her crave the night . . . and his touch. But the Julian who has returned to London is not the vampire she remembers.

His fruitless pursuit of his stolen mortality has devastated him. And a recent spate of murders makes Portia fear that the man she has always adored may truly be a monster.

Julian knows he must drive Portia away—but his passion and hunger for her grow more irresistible every time they touch.

For some reason, historical romance author Teresa Medeiros decided to write vampire romances. I can’t say that I enjoyed them but for $1.99 you can see for yourself whether this was the right move for her. I used to love Medeiros’ historicals. They were melodramatic and full of angst and yearning (usually from the mistreated heroine).

After Midnight, which is a companion to The Vampire Who Loved Me, Some Like It Wicked, Some Like It Wild and  One Night of Scandal (Fairleigh) are currently priced at $1.99 as well.

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Exclusively Yours By: Shannon StaceyExclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey. $Free.

From Jacket Copy:

When Keri Daniels’s boss finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town—and looking for him. He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping trip, Keri can ask one question.

The chemistry between Joe and Keri is as potent as the bug spray, but Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart, and Keri hasn’t ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever?

This is the first in the Kowalski series. Robin aka Janet reviewed it for Dear Author.

Too often in romantic comedies, family can play an annoying, artificial role as “obstacle to True Love,” but here the family presence helps build context and continuity for Joe and Keri’s relationship, as well as filling out what would otherwise be a relatively narrow romantic storyline. Joe’s parents clearly view Keri’s presence as indication that she and Joe are working on a reunion, although they are not sentimentally deluded about it. Terry doesn’t want them back together, not so much because of her relationship fallout with Keri, but because of the pain her leaving the first time caused Joe. Kevin, Joe’s youngest brother and obvious sequel bait, is happy to tease Joe about filling-in for him with Keri anytime, and Mike, who is married to Lisa and father to “four rambunctious boys,” is too involved in his own problems to care much what Joe and Keri do. For the time Keri spends with the family, she is both Joe’s high school girlfriend enjoying the raucous comfort of his family and an outsider struggling for the sense of identity and accomplishment she has fought so hard to attain.

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The Black Lyon by Jude DeverauxBlack Lyon by Jude Deveraux. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

A Classic Love Story of a Fearless Lord and the Woman Who Tamed Him

Darkly handsome and rich beyond imagining, the bold English conqueror was called “the Black Lyon” for his lionlike ferocity. He had no match among enemies, or women . . . until he met Lyonene, the green-eyed beauty whose fiery spirit equaled his own.

Through a whirlwind romance and stormy marriage, she endured every peril to be by his side, until vicious lies and
jealousy drove her into danger. Now only the fierce Black Lyon can save her—for he alone has the courage to destroy the ruthless plot threatening to shatter the bond of love the Lyon and his lady vowed would never be broken . . .

I loved this book like crazy when I was in my late teens. I read Deveraux like people are reading Kristen Ashley now. At some point, I drifted away from her. I think it was after Sweet Liar. However, I am totally buying all the JD books at $1.99. The question I have is who the heck is Bernie Rhodenbarr??

Also, is it crazy to see a Sarah MacLean cover quote on a Jude Deveraux book?

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Lobo
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:07:18

    Bernie is the burglar hero of a crime series by Lawrence Block. It’s a funny mixup.

  2. Brian
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:07:48

    The question I have is who the heck is Bernie Rhodenbarr??

    He’s a character in a series by Lawrence Block. Same publisher, very different type of book.

  3. Brie
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:13:44

    I read Deveraux like people are reading Kristen Ashley now.

    The Velvet Promise was my first romance. I must have read it like ten times. When I realized that wasn’t her only book, I went on a Deveraux glom. You’re making me nostalgic!

  4. MrsJoseph
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:21:11

    Jude Deveraux! That brings back memories. I’ve read so many of her angsty romances, lol. I don’t know if I could do it now but her book Rememberance is still one of my favorites.

  5. MelissaB
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:53:46

    I think you meant Sharon Sala is also known as Dinah McCall, not Jackson Rule :)

    Seeing the Sarah MacClean quote on a Jude Deveraux book makes me feel kind of old because I read JD in my teens and now we need a newer author to vouch for her.

  6. Christine Rimmer
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:57:18

    Oops. Sharon Sala also writes as Dinah McCall. Jackson Rule is the title of one of her books written as Dinah McCall. Sharon loves libraries and works hard to support them. I’ve participated in any number of great library events with Sharon. Sharon has also always supported used bookstores. The first time I met her was at a signing at a fabulous, since-closed-down Oklahoma City used bookstore, the owner of which was a tireless supporter of local authors and also Sharon’s dear friend. I think you must mean someone else, Jane. Love these daily deals, by the way! :)

  7. Caffey
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:57:36

    I never read Jude Deveraux! That I should change. I shall check if its in a series. I did love the spin Teresa Mederios did with these books. I love the historical setting with vamp romances. JACKSON’S RULE was the first book of any Sharon Sala I read. I just remember others recommending it for the alpha hero. But I don’t remember much about it since I read it years ago but just remembered it was a good read. Got to say I remember the step-back cover of it which I didn’t see much of with contemps/romance suspense.

  8. Jane
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:59:43

    @MelissaB: Yes, got that backwards.

    @Christine Rimmer: Nope. Sharon Sala ranted on her facebook page about Freebies:

    I read FB daily and feel like giving up. As a writer, I am SO offended by other writers giving away what they write I could scream. Obviously they have other employment or they wouldn’t be doing that. Unfortunately, I do not. Today I feel like I am beating my head against an impenetrable wall. If I could afford it, I would quit today. It makes no sense to work day and night to make a product as good as you can make it, and then put it on the market KNOWING it’s going to be buried by all the free books people are giving away. I don’t understand that. And don’t start telling me it’s a marketing technique because I’ve heard it before. What IT IS, is the kiss of death for people who actually write for a living.

    You say this is your business and you can do what you want? You know what? You’re right! You CAN do what you want. it’s a free market. You go right on ahead and write your ass off and give it away. Tell yourself that being number one on the FREE BOOK list is a big deal. OH! WAIT! I have an idea! Why don’t you save yourself some time, forget writing and just take names and addresses of potential readers sucking up all the free books and start mailing out cold hard cash. It’s the same damn thing.

    and then followed it up with

    I knew posting that earlier status would cause a stink. I am well aware of all the people doing free books and why they’re doing free books and why they think it’s a good idea and it still doesn’t change one damn thing about what I THINK. That’s the point of what I said. It wasn’t a discussion, and it wasn’t to see what other people thought. It’s how I feel. I don’t like it when traditional publishers do it. I don’t like it period.

    I’m all for libraries and lending, etc… but again, a writer gets no freaking pay for that, nor do they get paid when their work is resold a hundred times until the book falls apart, and knowing one book sold and fifteen people in one family read it is nice and I’m glad they like what I write, but technically, it’s ONE book sold.

    When I cleaned houses in college for extra money, I didn’t expect to do it for free to advertise my services or pick up extra jobs. When I checked groceries, worked in a flower shop, as a court clerk, a city utility billing clerk, a secretary, even an insurance agent, I did not give my services, skill/experience away. A doctor does not give away services. A hairstylist doesn’t give away services. You do not get free groceries. A mechanic does not fix cars for free just to prove what a wonderful mechanic he is. But people look at books as free entertainment. I’m glad you like my stuff. I appreciate so much the people who read my stories. I understand about times being hard. But this is my job. This is how I earn money. I have never EVER downloaded a free book and I will personally NEVER put one up as free. I can’t control what my publishers do. But I am in charge of my life and career and this is MY personal opinion

  9. mari
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:59:54

    Hmmmm….isn’t the Black Lyon the one where the hero either backhands the heroine or rapes her? If I am misrembering, someone please tell me!

  10. Christine Rimmer
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 15:08:33

    Jane, yikes! Well, I stand corrected. And surprised.

  11. Jane
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 15:09:32

    @mari: Ah, I didn’t remember that.

  12. Ellen
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 15:22:04

    If you have an Audible account, you can download Shannon Stacey’s book and then get the Audible version for $3.49.

    In deference to Ms. Sala, I bought a NEW paperback copy of Ms. Stacey’s book way back when (and still have it, lent to no one but read multiple times without sending Ms. Stacey more $$$) , so I don’t feel bad at all about getting the free e version and then spending $$$ to get the audio version.

    I am a court reporter. I don’t give away my transcripts, either, but I can give you a list of attorneys who have no problem copying and sharing those copies with opposing parties. Some things just go with the job.

  13. MrsJoseph
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 15:30:22

    You know, I couldn’t care less about authors ranting about free books. If it works for her, so be it. But sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea for public figures to take three huge steps backwards before using social networking.

  14. Andrea2
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 15:47:28

    Hi, the link for Diamond by Sharon Sala doesn’t work – maybe because you spelled it as Diamon not Diamond? I love Jackson Rule, and managed to purchase it at full price in paperback and kindle editions, so Sharon should be happy.

  15. Christine Rimmer
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 15:52:23

    I do think the world of Sharon Sala. She is one passionate, up-front, amazing woman. And the more I think about it, the quote from fb is just as much Sharon as her support of libraries and used bookstores. Sharon will always tell the truth as she sees it.

  16. Roni Loren
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 16:07:23

    Thanks for these. I like seeing your take on some of the older romances and just bought the Jude Devereaux one. Have you ever done review features on specifically on classic titles? I didn’t grow up reading romance, so I missed out on a lot of the big authors and the books people refer to as classics. For instance, I just read my first Judith McNaught last week. I’d like to read more of the older romances, but frankly, it’s hard to know where to start and which to pick. All the titles and covers seem to run together. How does one know a good duke book from a bad one? : ) I asked for suggestions on my blog this week and got some great input, but it’d be kind of fun to read “reviews” of some older stuff–like what are some of the must reads that should be on the classic romance reader syllabus?

  17. Moriah Jovan
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 16:18:28

    @Roni Loren:

    what are some of the must reads that should be on the classic romance reader syllabus?

    Kathleen Woodiwiss
    Valerie Sherwood
    Johanna Lindsey
    Laurie McBain
    Rosemary Rogers
    Bertrice Small (old stuff)
    Fern Michaels
    Victoria Holt (gothic)
    Jennifer Wilde
    Laura London (aka Sharon & Tom Curtis)

    In the Harlequin Presents arena:

    Carole Mortimer
    Sally Wentworth
    Charlotte Lamb

  18. marI
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 16:37:58

    @Roni. Sarah over at has a “classic romance: where to start” feature you might find useful. I would add to the above list, Julie Garwood (the old stuff) and Joanna Lindsay. Shirlee Busbee too, maybe. All are historical romances.

  19. leslie
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 17:03:24

    Jude Devereux’s The Duchchess is one of my favorite romances.
    Dinah McCall wrote a book (I think) called The Survivors, its about a plane crash with 2 survivors and the people looking for them, it has a bit of the supernatural to it and I remember really liking the story.

  20. Roni Loren
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 17:14:56

    @Moriah Jovan:

    Thanks, Moriah! I just bought a giant box of old romances from the used bookstore this weekend and I know it definitely had some Johanna Lindsey and Fern Michaels in it. : )

  21. Roni Loren
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 17:15:57


    Ooh, I didn’t know she had that feature at Smart Bitches. I’ll go check it out. Thanks! :)

  22. Liz H.
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 17:59:11

    The more I have considered Ms. Sala’s rant, the more offensive I’ve found it. It is not just a “personal opinion about her career”. It is actively judging and shaming other authors and readers. It’s also illogical, inaccurate, and poorly written. Perhaps Ms. Sala should look up the definition of pro-bono, check out her nearest free clinic, or see who sponsors her local food pantry, and get back to us. People in the professions that she listed, as well as many others, give away services all the time; both for business reasons, and because sometimes it’s a nice thing to do (foreign as that reasoning may be to her). I did have several of her books on my TBR list, but with this as an indication of the quality of the thinking and writing I would have to look forward to, I will be removing them.

  23. DS
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 18:59:37

    Sala is not an author I have continued to read, but I can understand having a bit of a panic if the cupboard is bare. Posting the panic is the problem.

  24. Susan
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 19:03:34

    Sala’s (or McCall’s) books aren’t always a hit with me, but the ones I like, I really like. I’d put Jackson Rule, Reunion, Dark Water, Sweet Baby, The Survivors, Out of the Dark, and the Cat Dupree trilogy up there as some of my favorites. She specializes in dark pasts and damaged characters. Sometimes I’m really in the mood for dark and damaged.

    (The sale price isn’t showing up for all of these books on Amazon, but there are a number of her books at the $1.99 level.)

    I own a number of Jude Devereux’s books in PB and am certain I must have read at least some of them but, amazingly, I can’t remember a single one! Either I have dementia or the books just didn’t cut it for me. Maybe I’ll try one of these at the sale price and try to jigger my memory.

  25. Hestia
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 19:41:31

    I’m always happy to know which authors would prefer I didn’t read their books from libraries or used bookstores; there are so many books and authors I would like to read and haven’t gotten to, and it’s nice to cross one off the list once in a while.

    On the other hand, I’m glad to know that some authors, like Neil Gaiman, support reading their books from libraries. Fifteen years ago, I found Neverwhere at a library, and it broke me out of a long drought. I probably now own about $200 worth of books by Neil Gaiman, almost all purchased new.

  26. cleo
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 20:23:21

    @mari: I think that’s The Taming (Scottish medieval marriage of convenience with brutish hero). Actually, I’m not sure if I’ve read the Black Lyon (I read a lot of Devereux in my misspent youth and they kind of blend together), so maybe it’s in that one too.

  27. EGS
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 20:33:49

    Teresa Medeiros’s books were some of the first romances I ever read. I glommed many of her backlist in high school.

  28. cleo
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 21:06:28

    @Caffey: SBTB has recommendations for Jude Deveraux at (and

    @MelissaB: I know. I read Jude Deveraux in my teens too, and it’s shocking (to me anyways) to realize that the current crop of 17 year olds were not even close to being alive then.

  29. Bronte
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 22:48:08

    @mari: Yep he hits her and then has sex with her. The sex is consensual if I recall correctly. I read this book as a teenager and recall being pretty disgusted by it. Other than this book I loved Jude Deverauxs books at that time.

  30. Mikou
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 23:00:41

    Re: Sala’s rant.

    It disappoints me when an author complains about used bookstores and public libraries. I have always been an avid reader and own tons of books. Nowadays, I mostly buy ebooks, but I also have shelves and shelves of printed books. There are a good many authors (including most of my favorites) whose writing I only discovered because of public libraries and used book sales.

    Obviously she’s entitled to her feelings and concerns, but I have the deepest appreciation for public libraries and used bookstores and I prefer to support authors who also appreciate them.

  31. Lily
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 00:21:24

    Argh, I hated Exclusively Yours! The endless discussion of ATV riding got on my last nerve. I wanted a romance, not a how to on off-roading.

  32. Amy
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 02:43:30

    @mari: Here’s an Amazon review that mentions rape:

    It is unforgiveable for a hero (and I use this term very loosely) who rapes the girl (I say girl because the heroine in this novel is only 17) he supposedly loves (twice) and then hits her so hard that she falls to the ground with a bloodly lip. I cannot recommend this book to anyone.

    And another Amazon review:

    Sure enough, jealousy encroaches on the relationship, and our hero ends up raping his wife on their wedding night. For me, this was a plot twist that made it difficult to accept later events where the heroine makes every effort to make our hero love her again.

    I know I’ve read this book but I must have blanked out the rape and other abusive scenes from my memory; there were lots of those scenes in so-called romance books of that era. The only Jude D book I recall that I liked and had no troubling abusive scene (at least not that I remember) is A Knight in Shining Armour.

  33. mari
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 07:47:19

    @Amy and others:

    Thank you! knew there was a reason I put the book down in disgust a couple of months ago when I got it from the library. I read Devereax avidly when I was a teenager, now I can’t get past all the abuse. Reading tastes change alot over the course of a lifetime! Would love current reviews of these old skool romances… (Jane!) :)

  34. JewelCourt
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:12:48

    @Lily: Thanks for the warning re ATVs. As someone who has her undergrad degree in Environmental Science, I have Opinions on off-roading. If it’s a big part of the book, I probably won’t bother reading despite the fact that it’s free.

  35. Shelley
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 12:25:59

    @Liz H.: I agree. Very poor form. I’ve got a couple on my TBR and on my WL and they’ll be going bye-bye.

    @Amy: I did love me some Devereaux back in the day but I also must have blanked out these scenes. So sad.

  36. Ridley
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 12:56:13

    Jackson Rule is one of the worst books I’ve ever read. It was like it was written by an 8th grader. The sentences were short and choppy, she head-hopped like crazy, the characters were blandly one-dimensional and she repeatedly used rape as a cheap plot gimmick. It was an awful, awful book.

    Crossing Sharon McRantypants Sala off my list has been no sacrifice at all.

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