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The Inconvenient Duchess by Christine MerrillThe Inconvenient Duchess by Christine Merrill . $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

Dear Cici and Father,
I have come to Devon and married a duke. And I’m more tired and hungry than I have ever been in my life. Please let me come home.

Compromised and wedded on the same day, Lady Miranda was fast finding married life not to her taste. A decaying manor and a secretive husband were hardly the stuff of girlish dreams. Yet every time she looked at dark, brooding Marcus Radwell, Duke of Haughleigh, she felt inexplicably compelled—and determined—to make their marriage real!

A holiday story that is free? who is turning down that? No one, I say. No one.  (As you read down and I became more incoherent please note I have a bitch of a head cold today).

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The Fairest Beauty by Melanie DickersonThe Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A daring rescue. A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.
When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

Who is not enchanted by her beauty? She looks like Snow White. And the huntsman is RIGHT BEHIND HER. Turn around Snow White, either your lover or enemy is behind you. PS. Your mom hates you. Don’t eat the apple. (also, I have no idea if this is a fairy tale remake). Pubbed by Zondervan.

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11/22/63 by Stephen King11/22/63 by Stephen King. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:


In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Winner of the 2012 Thriller Award for Best Novel
One of the New York Times Book Review’s Top 10 Books of 2011

Because there aren’t enough hagiographic novels about JFK, let’s look at this one that apparently is about Jake who travels back in time to become Lee Harvey Oswald.

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Night's Kiss by Amanda AshleyNight’s Kiss by Amanda Ashley. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Enter the lush, sensual world of bestselling author Amanda Ashley. . .a place where vampires indulge their appetites, but find they can fall prey to love and desire. Now, an everlasting devotion is sparked across time and space, igniting a passionate affair. . .and a deadly new threat. . .
He Has Found His Soul’s Desire. . .

The Dark Gift has brought Roshan DeLongpre a lifetime of bitter loneliness–until, by chance, he comes across a picture of Brenna Flanagan. There is something hauntingly familiar about her, something that compels him to travel into the past, save the beautiful witch from the stake, and bring her safely to his own time. Now, in the modern world, Brenna’s seductive innocence and sense of wonder are utterly bewitching the once-weary vampire, blinding him to a growing danger. For there is one whose dark magick is strong. . .one who knows who they both are and won’t stop till their powers are his. . .and they are nothing more than shadows through time. . .

Are books published almost a decade ago considered historicals? Maybe retro or vintage? Look at this Vintage Paranormal Romance. They once dominated the landscape of romance and you couldn’t turn around without getting a fang in your face. Now they’ve limped off, defeated by a younger and hotter set of bad boys who fight, do drugs, and kill people. And they don’t angst about those things. Remember all those vampires that just were so emo about living forever and drinking blood? There’s no crying in vampireville, Dracula. Nut up.

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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. Nicole
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 14:13:43

    Okay, sure. You totally warned us about the commentary, but I was unprepared for how hard it was not to laugh aloud when reading your write-up for The Fairest Beauty. So now I’m going to buy this book just because Jane made me laugh.

    Get well soon, Jane!

  2. Mzcue
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 14:14:23

    Well, I think you’re fun with a head cold. I guess it would be selfish to hope you often indulge in resistance-lowered observations in the future, since that would mean you’d need to stay ill…or to frequently require cold meds.

    I have been wondering myself about how our future-shocked culture impacts our fiction. Having recently read straight through the Stephanie Plum novels, as well as J.D. Robb’s “…in Death” series, I’ve been struck by how technology impacts plot development. Authors must be very grateful to the existence of gaps in cell phone service, because without it, their characters will never be isolate-able again, and where’s the drama in that?

  3. Isobel Carr
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 14:14:57

    There’s no crying in vampireville, Dracula. Nut up.

    OMG! I just nearly lost a lung laughing.

  4. Bamaclm
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 14:17:51

    Oh my lord – LMAO at Jane’s remarks. :-D

  5. BevQB
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 14:26:55

    Because there aren’t enough hagiographic novels about JFK, let’s look at this one that apparently is about Jake who travels back in time to become Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Actually he travels back in time to STOP Lee Harvey Oswald. Even if you aren’t a history junkie, this l-o-o-o-ng story is fascinating. I want to compare it to Forrest Gump, but that’s not right either. In any case, we follow Jake/George’s YEARS long journey living through the time period and viewing it through his contemporary eye. Really, I’d say only about just over a third of the book is directly related to the events leading up to 11/22/63

    We listened to the audio book on a couple of really long road trips. It started off slow but without realizing it we got caught up in this fascinating story and would keep listening to find out what happened next, or later, or at the end.

  6. SarahChristena
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 14:34:19

    I agree with BevQB– I’m not at all a Stephen King fan, but I loved 11/22/63. I devoured it in about 3 days, which was impressive for me as it’s 800 pages long. For this price, if you’re at all interested in it, grab it.

  7. EGS
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 15:02:16

    Damn, the Snow White one is a Jesus book? Poo. I love reworked fairy tales but not Christian-ized ones.

  8. Jane Stewart
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 15:17:21

    I loved your commenting on Fairest Beauty. Thanks for the laugh :-)

  9. mari
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 15:35:32

    Ditto for the King, definitly worth reading. Although, yes it is a bit baby boomer hagiographish. King, to his credit, acknowledges this in the Epilogue, if I am remembering correctly. I guess you have to be of his generation to get into the whole Kennedy thing. You can ignore the epilogue (includes a whine about the”extremist” politics of hate and ignorance present in today’s culture) and still enjoy the book. Its his imaginitive, engrossing answer to the question that has obsessed baby boomers for a long time: What if Kennedy had lived?

  10. Lindsay
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 16:32:23

    Totally agree on 11/22/63 – I sent this deal to all my friends. King takes his time telling the story but it is wonderfully told. I was really worried he wouldn’t stick the ending since this was a super ambitious project, but he really nailed it. Also check out his acknowledgments – his journey with this story and the amount of research he had to do are really interesting as well.

  11. MaryC
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 16:57:52

    Love the comments. Hope you’re feeeling better soon, Jane.

  12. cleo
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 17:46:24

    I was pretty sure you’d already posted The Inconvenient Duchess because the cover looks SO familiar, but then I realized the cover looks familiar because SBTB wrote about it the Photoshopped cover the other day –

  13. Kaetrin
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 18:26:59

  14. hapax
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 20:43:41

    The comments were hilarious!

    And I will have to check out THE FAIREST BEAUTY. I am a hopeless sucker for fairy tale retellings.

  15. Marcy Shuler
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 21:48:26

    I loved the comments! LMFBO!

  16. Christine Merrill
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 17:33:19

    disclaimer: Although my free book ends at Christmas, I wouldn’t actually call it a Chriatmas book. It just has a Christmas cover on it. I blame zee bucket.

    I do have a metric crap ton of non–gooey Christmas stories available, and a Dawali story, and a Halloween story. But Duchess is the fee one.

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