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Daily Deals: A YA that is deemed the devil’s work; a...

Awkward Marni Bates Awkward by Marni Bates. $2.99.

From Jacket Copy:

I’m Mackenzie Wellesley, and I’ve spent my life avoiding the spotlight. But that was four million hits ago. . .
Blame it on that grade school ballet recital, when I tripped and pulled the curtain down, only to reveal my father kissing my dance instructor. At Smith High, I’m doing a pretty good job of being the awkward freshman people only notice when they need help with homework. Until I send a burly football player flying with my massive backpack, and make a disastrous–not to mention unwelcome–attempt at CPR. Just when I think it’s time for home schooling, the whole fiasco explodes on Youtube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, I’m the latest sensation, sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes. I even catch the eye of the most popular guy at school. That’s when life gets really interesting. . ..

According to a reviewer at, this book is “one of the devil’s schemes to poison your mind.” There is apparently cussing and drinking. No sex, though. What a disappointment. Other reviewers say its for fans of Meg Cabot.


I'm No Angel by Patti Berg I’m No Angel by Patti Berg. $.99.

From Jacket Copy:

Top 7 Reasons Why She’s No Angel

7. Easily Palm Beach’s sexiest private investigator, Angel Devlin always gets her man — and bad boy millionaire Tom Donovan is at the top of her Most Wanted list.

6. Instinct tells her that drop-dead-gorgeous Tom has something wicked up his sleeve, and she’s going to get up close and personal to find out just what.

5. Her list of nocturnal activities includes lifting a wallet while seductively skimming her hands over her victim’s rock-solid chest and performing a bewitching lap dance at a seedy underground club.

4. There’s nothing sweet or innocent about Angel — she’s as sharp as the steel stiletto she wears strapped to her shapely thigh.

3. Her motto is “dress to thrill.” A tight skirt, a hint of cleavage, and a pair of kick-ass Jimmy Choos will make a man open up and divulge all sorts of little secrets.

2. Angel is devilish, devious, and sexy as sin.

1. She’s the first to admit she’s no angel, but it doesn’t stop Tom from falling head over heels in love with the mischievous blonde.

The reviews for the book are fairly mixed with the most helpful saying that the book was boring which, in the case of a story about a sexy PI, but the positive reviews noted the great chemistry between the characters. It looks like there are hijinks (alligator wrestling) and more serious topics like Alzheimer’s.


Knitting Under the Influence Claire LaZebnik Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik. $2.99.

From Jacket Copy:

When you’re in your late twenties and nothing in your life seems to be falling into place, knitting is an awfully seductive way to spend your free time. After all, as long as you’re following the instructions, you can knit row after row with the knowledge that the pattern will emerge and you’ll end up with just what you wanted. Life, on the other hand, doesn’t come with a stitch counter, so Kathleen, Sari, and Lucy, the heroines of KNITTING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, just have to figure things out as they go along.

Their weekly Sunday knitting circle is the only thing holding them together as Kathleen is cut off financially by her family and forced to enter `the real world’ for the very first time at the age of twenty-seven, Sari finds herself falling for the man who made her life a living hell in high school but who now desperately needs her help, and Lucy finds herself torn between emotion and reason when her lab and her boyfriend are assailed by an animal-rights group.

At their club meetings, they discuss the really important questions: how bad is it, really, to marry for money if you like the guy a lot anyway? Can you ever forgive someone for something truly atrocious that they’ve done? Is it better to be unhappily coupled than happily alone? And the little ones: Can you wear a bra with a hand-knit tube top? Is it ever acceptable to knit something for a boyfriend? And why do your stitches become lopsided after your second martini?
In Claire LaZebnik’s hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking novel, Sari, Lucy, and Kathleen’s lives intersect, overlap, unravel, and come back together-the result is an utterly satisfying read.

There are some readers of Dear Author who are members of Ravelry, one of the largest community sites on the internet and it’s a site devoted to yarn enthusiasts, mostly knitters. Someday, when I have more time, I’m going to learn how to knit. That said, it sounds like avid knitters were disappointed by the lack of actual knitting patterns and, as one reviewer put it, “shallow and crass” dialogue.


The Sharing Knife Volume Two: Legacy - Lois McMaster BujoldLegacy by Lois McMaster Bujold. $.99.

From Jacket Copy:

Fawn Bluefield, the clever young farmer girl, and Dag Redwing Hickory, the seasoned Lakewalker soldier-sorcerer, have been married all of two hours when they depart her family’s farm for Dag’s home at Hickory Lake Camp. Having gained a hesitant acceptance from Fawn’s family for their unlikely marriage, the couple hopes to find a similar reception among Dag’s Lakewalker kin. But their arrival is met with prejudice and suspicion, setting many in the camp against them, including Dag’s own mother and brother. A faction of Hickory Lake Camp, denying the literal bond between Dag and Fawn, woven in blood in the Lakewalker magical way, even goes so far as to threaten permanent exile for Dag.

Before their fate as a couple is decided, however, Dag is called away by an unexpected—and viciously magical—malice attack on a neighboring hinterland threatening Lakewalkers and farmers both. What his patrol discovers there will not only change Dag and his new bride, but will call into question the uneasy relationship between their peoples—and may even offer a glimmer of hope for a less divided future.

Filled with heroic deeds, wondrous magic, and rich, all-too-human characters, The Sharing Knife: Legacy is at once a gripping adventure and a poignant romance from one of the most imaginative and thoughtful writers in fantasy today.

This is the second book in the Sharing Knife series. The first book in the series I featured a couple of weeks ago. The two other books in the four book series: Passage (The Sharing Knife, Vol. 3) and Horizon (The Sharing Knife, Vol 4) are both on sale for $3.99. While there is a gentle romance in the series, I admit I lost interest by the end of the third book. Still, that’s a four book series by a multi award winning author for under $10.


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. Darlynne
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 14:16:56

    I’m ready to support any book someone else deems the devil’s scheme, plus references to Wellesley and Smith in one story? Sign me up. I am mortally tired of YA–yes, I know, I read much of it and love a lot–but can’t adults have great adventures any more?

    With all the changes coming in pricing for digital books, I hope this is also a boon for search services such as Luzme. Unfortunately, much of my wishlist belongs to Penguin.

  2. Ros
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 14:29:12

    I am allergic to knitting fiction. Someone always gets cancer and dies at the end.

  3. DS
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 14:36:08

    I’m a big mystery fan and I thought I would throw this out. Poisoned Pen Press which is connected to Poisoned Pen Bookstore, (one of the best reasons I can think of to visit Scottsdale, Az), has been releasing the first book of many of the series they publish for free on Kindle (don’t know about elsewhere). I think Jane may have mentioned one one of her earlier posts the first book in the John the Chamberlain Byzantine mystery series is available for free.

    Anyway, Poisoned Pen has a load of well written, entertaining mysteries in all sorts of sub genres. Tudor history fans check out A Famine of Horses: A Sir Robert Carey Mystery (Sir Robert Carey Series) by P. F. Chisholm.

    Sorry about bringing this up but I’ve just been so excited about finding out about this promotion, I’ve downloaded nearly all the freebies and added some of the sequels as well. I know that lots of romance fans are also mystery fans as well. This is like finding a treasure chest. I’ll be quiet now.

  4. Anne V
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 14:53:37

    I LOVE knitting. I found out about DA from a knitting friend. Yay, knitting. (ps, I am a terrible knitter – too distractible)

    Poisoned Pen Press is very excellent – they publish Kerry Greenwood in the US, and more Yay!

  5. Meri
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 14:58:10

    I am definitely going to take a closer look at that devil’s scheme book.

    @DS: Thanks for the tip – years ago I read one of the books she published as Patricia Finney (her real name, I believe?) and have been meaning to try the Carey series ever since. Do you have any other recs?

  6. cleo
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 15:42:29

    @Ros: lol – too true (except for the m/m knitting story by Amy Lane I read recently – no cancer, just a pattern for a cock cozy)

  7. FD
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 15:47:42

    I would say the 3rd book in the Sharing Knife quartet was by far the weakest – to the point where I struggle to recall the plot. But the 4th redeems it, with a truly bloodcurdling denoument. Definitely worth reading, particularly at that price.

  8. JacquiC
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 16:25:50

    @Ros: You are so right! LOL. As a knitter, I am always sucked in by some new title that promises to be centred around knitting or to have some knitting theme in the background. And I am always disappointed. It is either completely unmemorable, horribly written or the author seems to think that terminal illness is necessary to make the knitting parts more interesting or something. A small exaggeration, but I am waiting to find the perfect knitting novel.

  9. LeeF
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 17:39:09

    OK- you guys crack me up with the knitting stories

  10. Anne V
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 18:56:47

    There’s a (non-fiction) memoir called Yarn, by Kyoko Mori, that’s pretty good. It’s not exactly cheerful, but it is contemplative & hopeful. Her love of knitting really shines.

  11. Leslie
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 19:16:12

    @Ros: I know what you mean! I do like Gil McNeil’s books with knitting. Very British. I laughed a lot while reading all three books.

    Ooh the devil’s scheme, I must have that book!

  12. Darlynne
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 19:30:14

    @DS: Also, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Steven F. Havill, Kate Charles, Bill Fitzhugh, Tim Maleeny, Keith Miles and Martin Edwards have written good books. They aren’t all free, but some are and might be worth a look.

  13. cleo
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 19:50:13

    Two Sweaters for My Father by Perri Klaas is a really great collection of essays about kniting by a pediatrician and knitter.

    And i did really enjoy Amy Lane’s novella The Winter Mating Rituals of Fur Bearing Critters. It is m/m. About a cranky alpaca rancher who woos his cute new neighbor with knitting. Plus, a pattern for a cock cozy.

  14. Sunita
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 20:30:49

    @Ros: OR, they knit their way through a bad cozy mystery plot. With a not-good pattern included.

    I used to spend more time on knitting sites than on romance sites. Now THOSE people are serious about copyright infringement. I learned a lot. When socks became the knitting project du jour, I drifted away. I love Ravelry, but the only time my knitting and my romance reading intersect is when I’m listening to an audiobook. Which is hardly ever.

    @cleo: I’m not a huge fan of Klaas’s essays, but I agree she’s one of the better writers in the genre.

    A really good writer could probably fictionalize the Yarn Harlot into an enjoyable chick-lit/rom-com humorous romance, don’t you think?

  15. Kaetrin
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 22:30:06

    @cleo: What book was that? :D

  16. Ros
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 06:01:51

    @Sunita: So true. Usually a scarf that you could knit with your eyes closed.

    I think there are big double standards about copyright infringement in the knitting community. People get up in arms if a big company infringes on an indie designer, but never vice versa. Ravelry is full of patterns for GAP cowls or Anthropologie sweaters and so on. Also, I really wish someone would settle once and for all the question of selling products knitted from a copyrighted pattern.

  17. Patricia Eimer
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 06:52:10

    I’ve never gotten into knitting fiction IDK why but even this title just doesn’t make me want to go pick it up. Meanwhile a review that calls your book satanic? That’s a keeper for me.

  18. Sunita
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 07:06:46

    @Ros: And the scarf is either made from novelty yarn or reproduces Dr. Who/Harry Potter (depending on the author).

    I think it’s just as hard to establish a systematic copyright regime for knitted products as for books and other artistic products, i.e., the boundaries of what qualifies as transformative are hard to establish a priori. But I thought it was pretty much agreed that if you’re selling items knitted from a copyrighted pattern without permission, you’re infringing. That seems to me to make the hypocrisy charge less powerful: if a company appropriates an indie pattern, they’re clearly doing it to make money, whereas the reverse-engineered patterns of industrial designs are often for personal use. But I could be completely wrong; I spend very little time on the knitting blogs and boards these days.

    And, I have two reverse-engineered sweaters on the needles right now. *ducks and runs*

  19. cleo
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 11:07:54

    @Kaetrin: the winter mating rituals of fur bearing critters by amy lane

  20. cleo
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 11:37:18

    There is also Stitch and Bitch by A L Simonds in Agony/Ecstasy. An f/f erotic novella set in a yarn store. It has less knitting and more sex than most knitting stories that i’ve read.

    I’d really love to read an edgier quilting story, since i do quilt (i learned to knit but it never took). I’ve only tried a few and they were mostly kind of cheesey and also more women’s fiction than romance.

    I saw that Heidi Cullinan has an Etsey series and i got all excited about how’d she treat crafting and then i realized it was a fantasy series and had nothing to do with

  21. Ros
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 12:12:04

    @Sunita: If by ‘pretty much agreed’ you mean ‘generates endless threads with thousands of disagreeing comments’, then yes. ;) A lot of designers include permission statements on their patterns limiting them to personal use, or sell limited licenses, but there is real disagreement about whether this could be legally enforced. And, to be honest, it seems very unlikely it would ever be tested in court.

  22. Estara
    Sep 14, 2012 @ 12:44:25

    BooksonBoard still has the first Sharing Knife novel at 0.99 and the other three at 2.99, so I took advantage of that ^^.

    ETA: actually the first one is 0.74 because this week they’re reducing HarperCollins books across the board by 25 percent.

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