Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Daily Deals: Stalkers, Djinns, and overbearing supernatural detectives (and those are...

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy TooleA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. $ 2.99 Amazon & Google Play

From the Jacket Copy:

Released by Louisiana State University Press in April 1980, A Confederacy of Dunces is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon. Turned down by countless publishers and submitted by the author’s mother years after his suicide, the book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Today, there are over 1,500,000 copies in print worldwide in eighteen languages.” “Set in New Orleans, A Confederacy of Dunces outswifts Swift, one of whose essays gives the book its title. As its characters burst into life, they leave the region and literature forever changed by their presences – Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levy Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; Jones, the jivecat in space-age dark glasses. Satire and farce animate A Confederacy of Dunces; tragic awareness ennobles it.” “Louisiana State University Press celebrates A Confederacy of Dunces’ twentieth year with this anniversary edition, which includes a new introduction by Andrei Codrescu that examines the relationship of this modern-day classic to the city whose pulse it so brilliantly captures.

Rolling Stone: “A Confederacy of Dunces has been reviewed almost everywhere, and every reviewer has loved it. For once, everyone is right.”

AmazonBNSony KoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Behind Closed Doors  Shannon McKennaBehind Closed Doors by Shannon McKenna. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Surveillance expert Seth Mackey knows everything about the women his millionaire boss Victor Lazar toys with—and tosses aside. But Lazar’s latest plaything, Raine Cameron, is different. Beautiful. Vulnerable. And innocent. Just looking at her triggers a white-hot passion Seth can barely control as night after night, he watches her on a dozen different video screens. Raine is pure temptation, but Seth can’t slip up: he’s convinced Lazar had his half-brother murdered. His secret investigation—and his life—are on the line. But then he finds out that Raine may be Lazar’s next victim…

Raine knows she’s being watched—but no one can see the secrets in her heart. She has reasons of her own to seek revenge on Victor Lazar, and she will, despite her fear—and the distracting presence of Seth Mackey. His fiercely masculine good looks and animal sensuality stir her most erotic fantasies when she’s alone…and lead her to a bold plan. Offering her body to him, surrendering totally to his ruthless desire, might well push her beyond all emotional limits—and beyond fear itself.

There is a fine line between interested and obsessed. Seth is so far into obsessed territory that it will be a turn off for some readers. He’s a stalker, and not just because he is hired to do it for the bad man he is taking down, but because he is obsessed with the subject.

I found this book to be totally entertaining, if you like your heroes over the top possessive. McKenna tempers her character’s possessiveness by making it clear he is putty in the hands of the heroine but it’s definitely a book that falls under the “extreme romance: possessive edition” for me.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAppleGoogle

Firebrand series Elisabeth NaughtonFirebrand series by Elisabeth Naughton. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Three djinn warriors.
One power-hungry sorceress.
The battle for good and evil has taken a whole new turn…



More info:

Careful what you wish for…

Sentenced as a pleasure slave, Djinn Prince Tariq of the Marid tribe has but one duty: travel into the human realm and corrupt souls by granting wishes to the women who possess the Firebrand opal, a gemstone of magical power. Ten years of imprisonment have left Tariq bitter, but to save his brothers’ lives, he’ll submit to his endless personal hell, even if it means giving up his own hope for freedom.

When Mira Dawson obtains the Firebrand opal, she’s sure the rumors about its magical qualities must be fiction. Until, that is, she touches the stone and a dark and dangerous warrior appears in her living room, offering to pleasure her beyond her wildest dreams. Soon, fantasy becomes a temptation she can’t deny. The only question left is…will the pleasure be worth the price? Because as Mira’s been warned, nothing…not even fantasies…are free.

Kill them all…

Enslaved by his enemies and forced to fight in the pits of Jahannam for their depraved entertainment, Nasir, the once-proud Marid warrior and djinn prince, has become a killer. One celebrated and feared at the same time. Even he doesn’t remember who he used to be, nor does he care, until hope enters his cell in the form of an alluring woman who may be the key to his salvation.

This is not my life…

Sold into slavery, Kavin must prove her worth. If she can survive one night in the arms of a killer, her life will be one of luxury—albeit as a concubine, forced to serve her lascivious master. Sickened by the thought, she knows it’s better than death, and where she once dreamed of freedom, now all she wants is to stay alive. But when the gladiator refuses to touch her, her only hope for survival is seduction.

Even desire comes at a price…

Imprisonment has taught Ashur, the youngest djinn prince enslaved by a power-hungry sorceress, one thing: life as a pleasure slave has its rewards…if you play by the rules. He’s been tortured. He’s nearly died protecting a tribe that’s forsaken him. But he’s also seen life on the other side as an obedient slave. For a shot at revenge against the brothers who abandoned him, he’s willing to serve his master, even if it means using passion to corrupt the souls she needs to fuel her immortality. His first assignment, however, turns out to be more than just a woman in need of a little pleasure. Claire is an angel, and angels have the ability to steal djinn powers. No amount of vengeance—not even a ravenous desire he can’t seem to control—is worth the loss of his powers. And there’s no way he’s tangling with a celestial being.

Unless, of course, she tangles with him first…

Three books for 99c. I read a piece of shopping advice yesterday that you should never buy on sale what you wouldn’t buy at full price. To some extent, I understand this thinking. I’ve bought a ton of sale items and never worn them or read them. For full price, I likely wouldn’t buy this series because djinns are generally not my thing. That said, three books for 99c? I can’t really turn away from this.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

The seduction of justin blackThe Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

In the gaslit streets of Victorian London, phantoms rule the night, demons dance till dawn, and one supernatural detective dares to be seduced by the greatest power of all. . .

He’s The Man With The Magic Touch

A master of deduction, seduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard’s secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he’s asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he’s ever known. . .

She’s The Devilish Miss Jones

Pressing a knife to his throat–and demanding he make love to her–Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing her. As deadly as she is, with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampiric killer he’s been staking out–but she may be just what Phaeton needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possesses uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only salvation. . .or ultimate sacrifice.

I read the second in this series rather than the first and it didn’t work as well for me. I know that there is an opening scene which some have read as consensual and others have not. It’s a provocative story that had a lot of readers talking when it was released.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

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. Laura Hunsaker
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 12:23:49

    I used kobo coupon code 48HOURS on the Firebrand books and it took 30% off!
    So if you’re a kobo fan that’s 3 books for like $.69

  2. Darlynne
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 13:03:08

    A Confederacy of Dunces never worked for me, not in any of my many attempts to read it. We should have been a perfect match, but I could never care about what’s-his-name. Instead I tell people to read Michael Malone’s Handling Sin, originally published in 1983, about fathers, a quest and coming to terms with oneself and a completely screwball family. I read it once a year and am better for having done so.

  3. Lada
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 14:33:09

    Behind Closed Doors was a total fail for me. Even more than the OTT alpha hero, it was the crybaby heroine that I couldn’t stand. Shone kept telling us what a tough gal Raine was supposed to be but all I recall is her crying at the drop of a hat.

  4. JessP
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 15:07:26

    I read Confederacy of Dunces for a book club years ago. Just. Hated. It. I couldn’t stand the main character, and whatever point the book was trying to make went right past me because I thought he was so disgusting. Oh well.

  5. Di
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 17:40:37

    I was trying to figure out what could be possibly non-consensual in the opening scene of Bear Meets Girl, but then realized the blurb and cover picture don’t match up.

  6. Jane
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 18:07:35

    @Di – whoops. I saw Bear Meets Girl on sale at Amazon but not at BN so I changed courses.

  7. Fiona McGier
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 18:24:34

    Yeah, I’m about 2/3 of the way through “Confederacy of Dunces”, which I had read about years ago. It’s my late father’s copy, so I figured if he had it, it might be worth a read. I find it only mildly interesting, and certainly not the the total hilarity that the book jacket promises. It’s only priced at $1.20, so it’s an old copy. Maybe senses of humor have changed? Either way, not my cup of tea. I may finish it…I hate to be a quitter. Or maybe not.

  8. Allison
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 20:30:55

    I’ve just got to stand up for Confederacy of Dunces. I thought it was absolutely the funniest literary book I’d ever read. “My valve!” still cracks me up today.

  9. Keishon
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 20:50:52

    I am unsure if I even want to purchase Confederacy of Dunces now. Too many readers speaking out against it. Although I appreciate you speaking up Allison. I have too many ebooks to even wrestle with this dilemma. I’ll catch it on the next go round.

  10. Maite
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 21:09:27

    I adore the “A Confederacy of Dunces”, but I know perfectly well the only reason I kept on reading it was because it was subway reading: two 30 minute rides every day. Turned out, that was as long as I could withstand of the protagonist at any given time.
    It’s worth the effort, cause the way stuff ties up in the end is awesome, but Ignatius has to be taken in small doses.

  11. Lynn Pauley
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 21:57:49

    The Seduction of Phaeton Black is showing up as $8.69 at Amazon — was it $1.99 when you posted it?

  12. Jennie
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 23:05:28

    I LOVE A Confederacy of Dunces. I shouldn’t, because I really don’t go for grotesque, and Ignatius J. Reilley is nothing if not grotesque. But I just found it so funny, and in the end, even a bit touching. It is dated – the portrayal of a major-ish black character is a little icky (mostly the rendering of dialect, IIRC) and a scene with a group of homosexuals of way OTT. But it’s so…VIVID, and Ignatius is just such an original character. Really an awesome book.

  13. Carolyne
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 06:27:22

    @Lynn Pauley: I filled in the “tell us about a lower price” form on Amazon and they dropped the price to $1.99. Now I feel vaguely dirty about it–does Amazon take the hit and pay the author/publisher the same amount they would have anyway?

    @Jennie: That’s helpful (though probably in the opposite way than you intended)–those are two strong reasons why I should skip Confederacy of Dunces. There are way too many much older literary books where I have to grit my teeth to get through the icky parts. This sounds like it’d be a sure DNF for me.

  14. lakaribane
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 20:25:10

    I am glad so many native speakers hated ACOD. I found this book back in 96-97 at the non-profit antique furniture shop next door (I think some people sold granny stuff without even emptying them! *gasp*) At the time, I wondered if it was my grasp of English but I think it is all that has been criticized above: the hero was repulsive to me, especially his IBS problem, I am still traumatized by the number of allusions to bloating, gas or farting. I remember nothing of the plot but just that I wanted to go on a [fictional] murderous rampage at several points in the story!!! How this was sooo funny and lauded, still escapes me completely!

%d bloggers like this: