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Daily Deals: Harlequin box sets, a football romance, and a questionable...

A Bride for a Billionaire Box Set: A Rich Man's Whim\The Sheikh's Prize\The Billionaire's Trophy\Challenging DanteA Bride for a Billionaire Box Set by Lynne Graham. $ 3.82

From the Jacket Copy:

In A Rich Man’s Whim, bedding Kat should be easy for billionaire Mikhail, but the tempting redhead is impossible to seduce! So Mikhail offers to pay off her debts—in exchange for a month on his yacht, and in his cabin, virginity included!

In The Sheikh’s Prize, marrying Sapphire Marshall was the biggest mistake of Sheikh Zahir’s life. Now, his ex-wife has returned to his desert and Zahir plans to banish her from his mind once and for all, beginning with reclaiming his wedding night!

In The Billionaire’s Trophy, when Bastian Christou sees his intern’s photo on an escort website, he’s stunned by both her double life and her stunning photo. Since Bastian has an ex-fiancée to keep at bay, Emmie Marshall might just be the best armor money can buy!

In Challenging Dante, Dante Leonetti is convinced Topaz Marshall is after his family’s money, and he’s determined to seduce the truth from her lips. After experiencing Leonetti’s ferocious reputation firsthand, will she be able to resist his legendary charms?

Four Harlequin Presents for under $4. I knew the time would come when traditional publishers would climb onto the box set model. While indies are the innovators, trad publishers will be intent on copying what works.

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The Member of the Wedding Carson McCullersThe Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The novel that became an award-winning play and a major motion picture and that has charmed generations of readers, Carson McCullers’s classic The Member of the Wedding is now available in small- format trade paperback for the ?rst time. Here is the story of the inimitable twelve-year-old Frankie, who is utterly, hopelessly bored with life until she hears about her older brother’s wedding. Bolstered by lively conversations with her house servant, Berenice, and her six-year-old male cousin—not to mention her own unbridled imagination—Frankie takes on an overly active role in the wedding, hoping even to go, uninvited, on the honeymoon, so deep is her desire to be the member of something larger, more accepting than herself. “A marvelous study of the agony of adolescence” (Detroit Free Press), The Member of the Wedding showcases Carson McCullers at her most sensitive, astute, and lasting best.

I’ve never heard of this book or the movie that adapted it. The original printing was sometime before the 70s.

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Blitzing Emily: A Love and Football Novel by Julie BrannaghBlitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

All’s fair in Love and Football . . .

Emily Hamilton doesn’t trust men. She’s much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies’ man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he’ll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits.

Every time Brandon calls her “Sugar,” Emily almost believes he’s playing for keeps—not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own happily ever after?

One can only hope that the book contains less strained football metaphors than the blurb. The author’s bio says she is from Seattle. Maybe she’s a Seahawks fan. (Aren’t we all today?) The reviews say the chemistry is good but that the story is predictable.

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A Quest of Heroes (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring) Morgan RiceA Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice. $ Free at AMZ | Google.

From the Jacket Copy:

From #1 Bestselling author Morgan Rice comes the debut of a dazzling new fantasy series. A QUEST OF HEROES (BOOK #1 IN THE SORCERER’S RING) revolves around the epic coming of age story of one special boy, a 14 year old from a small village on the outskirts of the Kingdom of the Ring. The youngest of four, the least favorite of his father, hated by his brothers, Thorgrin senses he is different from the others. He dreams of becoming a great warrior, of joining the King’s men and protecting the Ring from the hordes of creatures on the other side of the Canyon. When he comes of age and is forbidden by his father to try out for the King’s Legion, he refuses to take no for an answer: he journeys out on his own, determined to force his way into King’s Court and be taken seriously.

But King’s Court is rife with its own family dramas, power struggles, ambitions, jealousy, violence and betrayal. King MacGil must choose an heir from amongst his children, and the ancient Dynasty Sword, the source of all their power, still sits untouched, waiting for the chosen one to arrive. Thorgrin arrives as an outsider and battles to be accepted, and to join the King’s Legion.

Thorgrin comes to learn he has mysterious powers he does not understand, that he has a special gift, and a special destiny. Against all odds he falls in love with the king’s daughter, and as their forbidden relationship blossoms, he discovers he has powerful rivals. As he struggles to make sense of his powers, the king’s sorcerer takes him under his wing and tells him of a mother he never knew, in a land far away, beyond the Canyon, beyond even the land of the Dragons.

Before Thorgrin can venture out and become the warrior he yearns to be, he must complete his training. But this may be cut short, as he finds himself propelled into the center of royal plots and counterplots, ones that may threaten his love and bring him down—and the entire kingdom with him.

With its sophisticated world-building and characterization, A QUEST OF HEROES is an epic tale of friends and lovers, of rivals and suitors, of knights and dragons, of intrigues and political machinations, of coming of age, of broken hearts, of deception, ambition and betrayal. It is a tale of honor and courage, of fate and destiny, of sorcery. It is a fantasy that brings us into a world we will never forget, and which will appeal to all ages and genders. It is 82,000 words.

NOTE: In response to reader requests, the book has now been professionally edited and copyedited, and this file version has all the typographical and grammatical errors corrected.

This was is a self published YA that has ten books in a series. I have no idea whether it is any good and it’s nice to see that the book was finally “edited and copyedited” after publication. The first review is a one star that says that she’d only recommend it to people who “want to understand why even self-published writers need good editors. It’s not just for the grammar.”

Whether subsequent edits of the book has made a difference it’s hard to say. But it’s free. (An Google’s featured series!)

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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. Julie Brannagh
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 14:13:32

    Yes. I am a deliriously happy Seahawks fan! I hope you’ll enjoy BLITZING EMILY.

  2. Sunita
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 14:19:17

    Member of the Wedding is a lovely book. I don’t know why Carson McCullers isn’t better known, or isn’t known outside literary fiction reader circles. Perhaps she’s not taught much in school. But I read this and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter as a teenager. Probably Reflections in a Golden Eye too, although I don’t remember it.

    I looked at her Wiki page and it describes her work as “southern gothic” and I suppose that’s true, but I also found it accessible, unpretentious, and emotionally rich.

    ETA: The movie is very good as well.

  3. Angela
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 14:20:21

    NOTE: In response to reader requests, the book has now been professionally edited and copyedited, and this file version has all the typographical and grammatical errors corrected.

    Argh! This irritates me so much. How hard is it to at least have a copy-editor look at a manuscript before you start expecting people to pay for it?? But it’s been edited now….No thank you.

    Also, I don’t even really like Harlequin Presents, but that bundle is tempting nonetheless. :)

  4. Julia
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 14:33:03


    I actually read The Member of the Wedding in school. Middle school maybe? Possibly early high school. I remember hating it with a fiery passion. And I think I found it slow? It was definitely one of those books that the whole class hated and couldn’t wait to be done with – I think we were the same age as the protagonist and couldn’t identify with her at all. I wonder if my opinion would change as an adult.

  5. Corrine
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 14:58:20

    I read Blitzing Emily. It was predictable. And it hit all those points that reminded me why I hate straight contemporary romance. If I’d had a physical copy I probably would have thrown it across the room before I got out of chapter 3, but I like my Kindle too much to do that.

  6. Nicole
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 15:10:42

    I just finished reading Blitzing Emily. The primary romance wasn’t groundbreaking, but I did enjoy reading about an athlete hero who wasn’t a cocky, controlling manwhore. Brandon had great manners and was unwavering in his support of Emily and her equally demanding career. The other characters in this book had distinct personalities and weren’t just generic plot advancers. There was also a sweet secondary romance that I really liked. Maybe this author just isn’t great at getting her point across in less space, though, because I read the teaser for the second book of the series and it completely turned me off to the possibility of reading the next book. Something about the setup just didn’t work for me.

  7. Tanya
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 15:44:10

    What Sunita said re: Carson McCullers. I may have to pick this up for such a low price.

  8. Ros
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 16:14:26

    Lynne Graham is my crack. But I have to admit, this wasn’t my favourite series.

    Harlequin have been bundling books for ages, haven’t they? I think it’s just the box set image that is new.

  9. Rosie
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 16:15:25

    I had to read Member of the Wedding in high school. I don’t remember it well … but I don’t remember it fondly either.

  10. wikkidsexycool
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 18:13:09

    Member of the Wedding, both the book and movie are sort of like a snapshot in time, where writers created southerners who were dramatic and sensitive, and their closest confidant was the black help (the book came out in the mid-1940s, while the movie was released in the 50s). Ethel Waters played the part of Berenice on Broadway and on screen (in what was yet another black woman as surrogate mother/loyal domestic role) and James Edwards (a trailblazer like Waters, very talented and handsome actor) played her wayward son. Frankie’s petulance and Water’s advice giving monologues might turn off some modern readers/moviegoers, while others consider the film and book classics. Both Julie Harris as Frankie and Brandon DeWilde were well cast, on Broadway and in the film. Julie Harris was actually in her mid-twenties when she played Frankie.

  11. Susan
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 19:07:05

    I read MOTW and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter sometime during high school (but not as assigned reading). I didn’t like either one of them enough for a revisit. But there seems to be a big divergence of opinion both here and elsewhere.

  12. Renda
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 19:47:47

    Maybe it is a regional thing. Carson McCullers is taught here in the South, both at the high school level and college level.

    Eudora Welty and Carson McCullers both are very popular in the academic settings here.

  13. Sabrina Darby
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 23:41:18

    Carson McCullers was part of the 9th grade curriculum at my Southern California high school. I don’t remember loving Member of the Wedding but then we read a whole bunch of stories I didn’t care for that year (particularly Ethan Frome!), so maybe it’s just a wash of negativity in my memory.

  14. Angela James
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 14:02:40

    “Four Harlequin Presents for under $4. I knew the time would come when traditional publishers would climb onto the box set model. While indies are the innovators, trad publishers will be intent on copying what works.”

    I know better than to argue with a lawyer (especially you, I don’t think disagreeing with you has ever gotten me anywhere) but I don’t think this is totally accurate. Even before I worked at Harlequin, they were doing what you’re calling a box set but they called a bundle. In fact, I even think that Dear Author was invited to create one or two of those Harlequin bundles. Though it’s true that the pricing of those bundles didn’t go quite that low, I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest Harlequin is copying the idea of a box set/bundle. Now, if you were talking pricing or maybe even the look of the graphics, then maybe it would be a better targeted statement?

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