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

Authors Behaving Badly Episode #1: Dara Joy

I think we need a show of hands by all those authors who thought we might be blogging about them today. In truth, while there is certainly fodder out there, no one can really top what Dara Joy, aka Donna Lanier, is doing to her readers. It’s one thing for an author to curse readers or suggest that they are criminally insane but it is a whole other game to take readers’ money for a book that you promise to send and then never actually send the book. Because if that is what is really happening, then you are stealing from people. And not just stealing their money like Tara Janzen stole mine by eviscerating her characters and giving me two generic sex scenes late in the story. No. Really stealing their money.

Maybe I’ll just entitle this Authorial Business Tutorial #1. Do not steal from your readers. They will hate you forever. For those curious, Mrs Giggles reviewed the book. I am thinking its a "do not buy" and not just because if you tried to buy, you wouldn’t get the book.

If you can’t be arsed to read the story of Elizabeth, a devoted fan (and I mean really devoted), then click here for the method that Elizabeth used to get her book. This method has worked for many other fans and we hope it works for you. You could also email her attorney:

The lawsuit filed by Dorchester against Donna Lanier is in stasis right now. The last filing was as of 05/03/2005 and the court needs to rule on a request by Dorchester to decide the suit in Dorchester’s favor. One thing I noticed in reading Dara Joy’s version of the lawsuit versus Dorchester’s was that Dara Joy accused Dorchester of dragging this suit out for 3 years. In reading the docket sheet, it was actually Ms. Joy/Lanier who repeatedly missed deadlines, asked for more time to meet said missed deadlines, providing a myriad of excuses (one being her health) and ultimately causing enormous delay. Sound familiar?

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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. Rhyanna S DeTuathana
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 14:09:47

    Unless we can get a copy of the court order, there is no way to know if she can ‘ever’ publish with a publisher again. I agree about Cory, what is he to her? Why did she put him in charge?
    I bought an ebook and it was short–like her voice—but too short in my opinion.
    I too can’t afford to take the self-publishing route. I have sent queries to Dorchester and I think they are now being extra careful, because mine were rejected. I’ll rework the manuscripts i sent them, and see if they’ll be interested again. For Dorchester use to be easy to get published through, no more.
    I’ll also query agents and other publishers accepting, but I have to do it through email as I lack the cash to send snail mail.
    Good luck with yours Annette.

  2. Rhyanna S DeTuathana
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 14:20:39

    I do know that Some records are open to the public if they live in the area of the Court that made the decision. Therefore, that the person can go DOWN to the courthouse and perhaps for a small fee, review the court order/decision.

    Any takers? I can’t as I live in Oregon.

  3. Ranurgis
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 14:44:14

    I was very surprised to get another comment on this old topic–not that ever posted anything before. But I was caught by her too. I very much enjoyed the first books that she published under a regular publisher. Even RITUAL OF PROOF wasn’t too bad. But the self-published ones were true disaster. I finally got “Wildcat Arrows” after vowing to do “bodily harm,” sort of. But by then I was so disgusted that I never did read it. The only reason I decided to get it at all was l that I wanted to get a complete set of her books–good or bad.

    The writing of the last two I have was more than childish: erratic punctuation, unfinished sentences, gross mistakes in spelling, e.g., forrest instead of forest.

    I saw her at a conference once. She tried to appear as a mystery woman, wearing flowing long (?) dress and hats with veils. She was highly perfumed, etc. All in all she seemed the height of eccentricity.

    I see she has a new book out. But I’ll certainly never buy another one.

  4. Rhyanna S DeTuathana
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 15:46:29

    I agree that the last few were bad, Death by Ploot, Ploot was in her old style. I just wish it was in paperback form instead of ebook and pdf format at that.

    I too had ordered wildcat arrows but never read it. Now no clue where it is…hehehehe.

    Not going to look for it right now though.

  5. Deborah
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 21:37:56

    I read her last book, Taste of the Devil, a pirate book. I ordered the print version. I received it okay about three weeks after they started shipping.

    I liked the book. Hero was sexy. It did have some punctuation problems, but did not detract from the story for me (not an English major and don’t care). She missed an opportunity to add to the scary tension by not working in a scene or two that showed the heroine was afraid or even aware that she was in danger, but since it’s her story, not mine, that’s fine. It did not detract from the story she did write.

    Personal preference…. I like a little fear in my heroine mixed with the danger.

    The only real problem with the book was the ending after the romance was resolved. Too abrupt. She told…. when she should have showed, of a major shift in the attitude and values of the heroine. If she had added an epilogue a few years in the future I would have been more satisfied with it. I don’t want to go into detail with spoilers.

    Since she set up a second, even sexier tragic character, she could be setting up a sequel.

    I’ll keep this one.

  6. Rhyanna
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 23:46:49

    HI Deborah. I wasn’t aware that it was released in paperback form.
    I’ll have to look for it then, hopefully its available at store.

    thanks for the review…so does that mean you may purchase this new one
    “Cat Scratched?”


  7. Rhyanna
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 23:55:04

    Still I wonder if she is allowed to write about Traeyed….
    or other earlier matrix characters such as Dariq, Sula…etc.

    Does Anyone know? have a clue what the terms of her settlement
    with Dorchester is on this?

    Curiuos minds wants to know.

    have a great night

  8. Barbara
    Sep 16, 2009 @ 03:09:45

    She desperately needs a publisher if only to help her with titles for her books.

    “Cat Scratched”………That’s terrible.

  9. Rhyanna
    Sep 16, 2009 @ 10:44:05

    HI Barbara:

    I Hope she gets one soon. I would love to ‘hold’ books in my hands to read again.
    I also agree the Title Cat Scratched is raw and awful…
    I wonder if it was really Cory who came up with that title.



  10. Shannon
    Oct 03, 2009 @ 20:53:58

    Hi – I ordered Taste of the Devil in March and have never received it – I have emailed her four times and asked why i have not gotten my book. Can anyone help me with some hints on how to get my book. Thanks

  11. Rhyanna S DeTuathana
    Oct 03, 2009 @ 23:29:44

    Hi Shannon, easy tell him that you will be contacting the State Attorney General’s office as well as paypal, if that is the way you paid, to report them unless you get your book in two days or so. Otherwise file a complaint with your bank/credit card.

    Then if no reply do it.

  12. Felicita
    Oct 04, 2009 @ 18:14:16

    What a down low shame!!!…It is the second time I hear loyal readers of Tara Joy complaining about not receiving the novel they’ve purchased in good faith. Every other week I am receiving e-mail messages from Cory about this and that, but I do not answer them, and what is more I resist the temptation to buy anything from him on behalf of Dara Joy. It is a shame that an author who could have had an excellent career as a writer has been ruined by bad business management and greed. Once the an author losses the confidence of the readers, it is over for the writer. I would only buy a book from Dara Joy if I see it at Borders or any other reputable publishing house…never again from her so call “self publishing business”…never again is reinforced by what Shannon said on her post of October 3, 2009. You have my sympathy, Shannon, for it is truly annoying to be taken for a ride. It took me one year to get the book I purchased from DJ self publishing scheme, and when I finally received after multiple e-mails and proof of purchases sent, I decided not to read it for I was disgusted with Dara Joy and her manager. I got the impression that Dara Joy is “blacklisted” with the other reputable publishing houses, so seeing another book of hers on Barnes & Nobles or any bookstore of the like, I do not think is going to happen…that is shame for I really like her as an author. I do not believe she is very bright in terms of business dealings for she has dug herself right into a hole with the help of her Cory.

  13. Brenda
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 13:21:41

    I’m sorry to hear that people still aren’t receiving books they ordered from Dara Joy. I was tempted to order that last one but wanted to see if people were getting their books. I guess they are not again. It is really a shame because the published books were wonderful. I guess we will never know the end of any of her stories. That is too bad.

  14. Rhyanna
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 14:41:29

    The sad fact is that according to the US Copyright, No one can publish a story, written as fan fiction, without the author’s written permission.

    So I feel that you may be correct that the story of Traeyed, Dariq and others will never be told.


  15. Vi Janaway
    Nov 08, 2009 @ 18:46:09

    I was truly hoping that all her physical, fiscal and publihing woes were over. There are other books, especially for Traed and River, that I would really like to read. I would really like to know more about her Ritual of Proof universe.

  16. Lisa
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 04:15:16

    Hmm. After being the sole member of the clean-up crew for a formerly-signed “author” who made the foray into self-publishing after being dropped, I can guess happened with respect to Ms. Joy, give or take a few details. The “author” I worked with took pre-orders before the book was printed and spent the pre-order money to cover his own personal expenses, leaving no cash in the coffers to actually have it, um … published.

    There was a second problem: the book hadn’t even been written. Even bigger “oops.”

    So I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of ghostwriting the sucker (350 pages of sci-fi/futuristic drama — not the type of client I’d usually accept) in a harrowing three weeks. Author finally sucked it up, paid for the publishing and sent the hard copies out (free of charge) to the those who pre-ordered. However, it took PayPal and the state’s AG’s office breathing down his back to get him to make right.

    I suspect that a lot of writers who self-publish lack the business savvy to do a serious cost analysis beforehand to figure out if this is something they should be undertaking (or if they can even afford the up-front costs to create a quality product). Taking pre-paid orders for a book that hasn’t rolled off the press is shady, especially if you have someone at the helm who cannot manage his or her financial affairs. I’ll put good money that a markedly similar scenario drove the whole DJ fiasco. As much as I would love, out of simple curiosity and former admiration for some of her writing, to read some of her newer ebooks, I am bound by conscience not to enable bad behavior.

    On a final note: I never got paid by above writer. Whenever I read an online review of “his” novel (it gets really good reviews, BTW), I have to bite my lip a little. The people who bought the book wanted to read his words, not mine with his name slapped on the cover. So did they really get what they paid for — ? The comments that I’ve read regarding Ms. Joy’s recent stabs at self-publishing seem to indicate that she once possibly had a brilliant, creative editor who was heavy-handed with the red ink. Again? Hmm …

  17. Dara Joy Saga
    Mar 25, 2010 @ 09:18:29

    […] The next one was The Amazing Tales Of WildCat Arrows, the worse book I have ever had the misfortune to own. I could not get through it, but skimmed a bit to see if it would get better, didn’t. It was also marketed all wrong as the main character wasn’t Wildcat Arrows. Not only was it a terrible book but she went through a lot of drama getting it out to people ordering it. Many never received it, as reported on Dear Author. […]

  18. A Tiny Book Haul « Me and My Books
    Jun 05, 2010 @ 11:58:05

    […] books – I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere, but does this mean the long-running battle between Dorchester and Ms Joy has been resolved?  Or has Dorchester just decided that it's going to cash in on the current […]

  19. Review: Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara Joy | SisterGoldenBlog
    Jun 05, 2010 @ 17:48:15

    […] had never heard of Dara Joy, at least before the lawsuit with Dorchester and subsequent kerfluffle with fans allegedly not receiving books Ms Joy had […]

  20. Name (required)
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 19:36:44

    I've really enjoyed browsing your blog posts,I’ve learned a lot from your blog here,Keep on going,my friend.

  21. Lavonda44
    May 07, 2011 @ 23:07:31

    I had the misfortune of ordering Cat Scratched/Death By Ploot Ploot a year ago and have yet to rec’v it. I’ve sent 3 emails to Dara/Cory and haven’t had a response. I’ll never order this way again and even if Dara gets with a publishing house I’m done with her. This had left a very bad taste in my mouth. What’s being done now is taking advantage of your fans and holding the money in a account and drawing interest off of it. Very sad.

  22. J
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 16:42:14

    We just purchased a book and did not receive it. wished I had blogged first. Does anyone know where she is currently?/

  23. Annetta
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 17:27:36

    I ordered The Amazing Tales and after a number of e-mails and threats I finally got the book but really couldn’t read it, then like a fool I ordered Cat Scratched/Death by Ploot Ploot and the last e-mail said I would get it in April … uh it’s now June. That was my very last buy even if she does get published by a legitimate publisher.

  24. Rhyanna
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 17:56:59

    I understand the frustration and if try to buy from someone else online the prices are outrageously high, talk about scalping, sheesh.

  25. Jane
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 19:00:32

  26. Adaiah La Vonda
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 22:44:02

    Thanks for the advice. From the posts I read in the pass, I also took a agressive stand with Cory and I was refunded my money within 3 days without a year’s interest from Paypal and was charged a few of a $1.50. I did report Dara to the Better Business Bureau and I informed Paypal that Dara Joy’s website were still taking orders. When I rec’vd a email from Cory he said that the books wouldn’t be shipping now until July. How sad that one of my favortite authors became a scam artist. Poor Cory takes her heat unless this is Dara’s alias. I can’t see her wanting to share any of the money with anyone. LOL! Love her books. But not interested in following her career from this point on.

  27. Rhyanna
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 12:35:31

    HI Adaiah

    I thought I read somewhere that Cory is running the show, that Dara is there somewhere, letting him manage her, which is the worst decision, or one of the worst decisions I think that she made, to give control like that to someone else and still not taking it back after all the complaints, unless he’s hiding them from her.
    Now on the flip side, I searched the web and discovered because of this, people are gouging prices for copies of her books. Like the other day $35 for one of her books. This was on ebay as well as Amazon and others. Sheesh.

  28. Annetta
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 16:37:35

    I will send off another e-mail to Cory and see what he says. I know that if and when I get this book … it will be the last I buy from her. I’m sorry that she has had a rough time of it with the suit and all but there are too many writers out there who care about their readers to put up with one who doesn’t!

  29. Rhyanna
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 16:58:18

    HI Annetta
    Have you tried to do a websearch to see if you can get the book other than on Dora’s website?
    I know Amazon, and ebay have a lot of listings, saw some on Barnes n Noble website as well.

    I haven’t dug out mine yet, although there are some I don’t have, I’ll wait. Sadly though not even the library has it.


  30. Luck in W
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 22:50:19

    I gave up on Dara Joy after I finally–more than a year after paying for it–got my copy of the Wildcat Arrows book.

    After reading her previous book–also self-published–I’d already decided not to spend my few book$$ on any more of her work. I think her publishers are the ones who “made” her. These self-published books are a mishmash of bad vocabulary, bad spelling and worse grammar. At first I thought I’d collect her books anyway, but they were getting to be just too hard to get and too awful to read. A real pity, because I loved her first couple of books: they were fresh and different.

    I also saw her at a Romantic Times conference. She was the most noticeable person there, always wearing a glitzy, veiled hat. She looked more like a gypsy fortune-teller than an author.

  31. Concerned
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 10:22:16

    Damn. That’s what I get for not doing my homework before I buy.

    I just purchased, not two hours ago, the 15 e-books.

    Do they have the same problems with e-books that they do with normal books?

    I thought that by now they’d have themselves sorted.

    I guess things don’t always work the way we want them to…….

    On the website it says give them 72 hours.
    I will wait my 3 days and if I don’t recieve my e-books, I will tell paypal to return my money.
    It’s a shame because I really like her books.

    I have learnt my lesson though, no buying
    books online without doing your homework first.

    Hmmm, about Traed, I won’t be too disappointed if he remains unattached ;)

  32. Rhyanna
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 14:35:18

    Hi. I would be emailing them tonight or in the morning to see if your ebooks are on track to being downloaded by you. What was the amount you were charged?
    Since the dorchester mess, and after publishing a book in book form, including getting that book, it has been hard getting books from her. I’ll be checking online for other avons to purchase copies of her printed books.

    As for Traed, I wrote his story long ago in my head. lol. That got me into writing my own stories, go figure :)
    Its Sunday, oh its going to be hot.

  33. Luck in W
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 18:20:44

    I think this will probably be my last comment here. I still haven’t read Wildcat Arrow book. The one before that was so horrible in every way. Unfortunately, I didn’t read it before putting out my money for WA or I wouldn’t have ordered it. I enjoyed, more or less, the ones she wrote before she had problems, whatever they were, with her publishers. So anyone who buys the first bunch should at least like those, and if it’s her publishers putting them out, you should get those.

  34. Rhyanna
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 18:40:53

    For Luck in W…is that Washington or Wisconsin? Just curiuos. I use to live in Washington, I’m in Oregon now.
    I’ve done a search for her earlier matrix series and of course people are charging out rageous prices especially for used books, as if she’s died or something. I don’t know that either, I was just surmising, I guess because of the problems between her and dorchester, perhaps she felt going via ebook is the only avenue opened to her. I am not in NY so therefore, I can’t go look at the case, otherwise it costs money to get a copy.
    Now I am wondering though if enough people requested, whether or not, Dorchester would republish those first ones, for then I would buy it. I did buy wildcat arrows, I could NOT get into it. Its sitting in a drawer or box somewhere.
    I sure hope she reads the comments and maybe make the changes that are needed to get back on track. I also have her ebook Death by Ploot, Ploot. Its in Pdf format, need a password to open it and on each page is your name. Anyhow, I found the story very UNSATISFYINGLY short, I felt she could have done it better. Therefore, it makes me wonder if she is still writing her own stories, or someone else is writing them. Either way. I don’t buy ebooks, although I have a few, I think about 3. One is for class.
    The other I downloaded from my local library that I wanted to read, have time limit on that, but oh well. I hope that you get your ebooks.
    Good luck to you W.

  35. Annetta
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 19:20:25

    Just a FYI I saw Dara Joy books at Walmart recently … guess the publishers wanted to make a little on her while they can. Still haven’t gotten the book I ordered that was suppose to be mailed out in April or was it June. Guess I may as well write that off to never again try to support a “wronged” author.

  36. Rhyanna
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 19:38:01

    Hi Annette
    I checked the walmart website, nothing there. A drive to walmart means about a 30 minute drive one way. Walmart is suppose to be buiding one in Albany OR…in the meantime its either Salem or Eugene OR or over to Lebanon OR.

    Contact Dara again and then if no response, file a complaint with your state attny general’s office. Mention that in the email to Dara or Cory who seems to be managing things.

    I would love to know what titles your walmart had.



  37. Luck in W
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 19:44:28

    Actually, it’s neither. In a way it’s a play on a name, but if anything, it would be Winnipeg, where I spent my “formative” years. I’ve been to Wisconsin and Washington–D.C. and state–and I have relatives in Oregon, as well as WA state. Cheers, Rhyanna.

  38. Rhyanna
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 23:04:28

    Luck in W

    Hi thanks for letting me know. Good luck on getting the books.


  39. Annetta
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 09:09:50

    I remember seeing Knight of a Trillion Stars and Rejar with nice new covers. I saw them in a Super Walmart but it was over a month ago, Sorry … they might be gone forever now.

    I sent an e-mail this morning asking about the whereabouts of my book and told them I would file a complaint. Let’s see if this does anything.

    I also said if she finds a real publisher I would buy from there but never again from her rip ’em off website.

  40. Rhyanna
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 13:16:16

    Hi well its been a long while since I’ve been to walmart. I did see the rejar, mine to take on the dorchester website, they are out of the print book but are selling the ebook version. I declined the ebook and sent them an email to see if they plan to re-release her books in paperback format. Here is their exact response. It seems they have gone to print on demand, trade paperback, with even more now as ebooks.
    Thanks for reading my post and have a great day.


    Unfortunately all of our book clubs have been suspended. We will no longer be publishing in mass market paperback format so once a title is out of stock it would only be published in e-book format or if we decide to reprint in trade size paperback format.
    Due to the volume of email received please do not delete the contents of this email when replying so that we can more easily refer back to this thread.

    Happy Reading!

    Customer Service
    Dorchester Publishing
    11 West Ave. Suite 103
    Wayne, PA 19087

    Phone: 800.481.9191
    Fax: 610.995.9274
    Email: [email protected]

  41. kathy
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 06:16:23

    I ordered Dara Joys book over a year ago and have nothing but run around from Cory somebody ever since. Like a snow storm caused trouble with printing. I paid for the book and I’m sure it is long gone. I can’t get ahold of this person anymore as the address now does not exist. I have always liked Dara Joy’s books but now feel ripped off and if I’m not the only one this happened to then she is making a nice living ripping people off.

  42. LG
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 14:55:20

    I just saw this post, and it made me incredibly happy I never caved and ordered The Amazing Tales of Wildcat Arrows. I DID order That Familiar Touch, being young and not having a clue about all the possible things that could have gone wrong. I honestly can’t remember if I had to wait longer than expected for the book. I do know that the primary reason why I never paid for the next one was because That Familiar Touch was terrible. I STILL get emails trying to entice me to pay for a complete set of Joy’s works in e-book form ($40 for all of it). Um, no thank you.

    EDIT: Wait, now it’s $45, and she’s got another print book she’s trying to sell.

  43. Athena28
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 08:48:51

    I just ordered from Dara Joy’s website 2 e-books before I saw this site. Now I am feeling I should have done my research first before ordering. I am not sure if I will get my e-books at all, like some of the other commentators, I will wait for 3 days and if I did not get anything from them, I will ask Paypal to refund my money. This is so sad and Dara Joy used to be one of my favourite authors.

  44. Alaina
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 23:47:11

    Ive been waiting for the continuation of the Matrix of Destiny series since high school…I just turned 29 in February :/

  45. Dori
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 15:31:39

    I gave up on a new story 12 years ago,but sometimes i hope she will do a full length story

  46. Dana
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 10:23:42

    I ordered the ebook set many months ago, received it quickly. They were password encoded PDF’s. Had to put the password in every time you opened a book. But I got them….

  47. sl2011
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 15:01:32

  48. sl2011
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 15:12:44

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I never had any problems I have brought all of her books and the 1 I had problems with was resent to me when I sent an email. I spent over 80.00 and got all my books. I also did research and found out Dorchester publishing closed their doors in 2010 or 2011 because they were not paying their writers they even were boycotted by a lot of the writers because of non payment. Once again big business gets caught out there but not before Dara Joy’s reputation was tarnished. If they treated their writers like this in 2009- 2011 what makes you think they did not do the same to her in 1999 everyone took the side of Dorchester until they started doing the same to a lot of other writers point being I think Dara Joy got thrown under the bus because she was one against a corporation and now that they have gone bankrupt she is old news so she doesn’t matter even though she was right about Dorchester Publishing.

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