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

Monday Midday Links: Lisa Valdez’s Patience Gets a Firm Release Date

The UK focused publishing site, The Bookseller, had an article that suggests the delay of ebooks could only strengthen Amazon instead of weakening it.

UK trade insider warned deferral was dangerous. “It is never a good response to say to a consumer: "We know you want this but we are not going to let you have it.’ It encourages filesharing and piracy.” The insider added the move encouraged Amazon “to price more aggressively or buy digital rights direct”.


From the Sunday New York Times:

But this doesn’t mean that every reader is contributing to the bottom line. Only 40 percent of books that are read are paid for, and only 28 percent are purchased new, said Peter Hildick-Smith of the Codex Group, a consultant to the publishing industry. The rest are shared, borrowed, given away -‘ or stolen.


Marcus Dohle, CEO of Random House, says that 2009 was much better than 2008 but calls the 2010 year “uncertain.” The money quote for me was this:

"The Random House digital future is a core focus of our company’s overall strategy," Dohle observed


Karen Scott has fallen in love with Julia Spencer Fleming’s writing (and who can blame her). Scott asks whether the average romance readers really do read outside the genre (I’ve got some thoughts about the “average” romance reader) and why we worry about what books fit within the romance genre label.

Karen, if you like these books, I highly recommend the PJ Tracy series. I know these are fairly popular in the UK and wish the US readers would catch on. Keishon, my go to gal for all things mystery/thriller, recommend this series to me. There is a new PJ Tracy book coming in 2010. I can’t wait.


Speaking of books coming out in 2010, Lisa Valdez sent an email notice to her web subscribers that Mark Matthew and Patience’s story, Patience, is going to be released on April 6, 2010. I received confirmation from Berkley that is indeed the release date.  ┬áThe only preorder Amazon link is currently the Kindle version.


This is a fascinating, although detail lite, interview with Skip Prichard of Ingram. I think it does highlight how technology can create increased efficiencies for publishers in ecommerce settings by reducing warehouse inventories.

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. Monica Burns
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 12:15:33

    WOOT! I don’t care how long it took her to write the book. I’m am DEFINITELY looking forward to Lisa’s return and Patience’s story! Passion has stuck with me since I first read it.

  2. jmc
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 12:45:02

    Valdez’s sophomore effort is too late for me. I might’ve been interested enough to buy and read it three years ago. Today? Eh, I’ve moved on, and I’m turned off by the drama surrounding the delay.

  3. library addict
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 13:11:13

    I do read a lot of books from the library, but I also buy a lot. And at least 90% of the books I buy are new.

    I wonder how they came up with those figures.

  4. orannia
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 13:27:53

    I love both Julia Spencer-Fleming’s and PJ Tracy’s books – I can’t wait for the latest from each author. I discovered PJ Tracy while living in the UK and have been hanging out for the next release!

    As for Patience…I find the title rather amusing :) Will I read it? Not sure yet…I’ll see if my library purchases it.

    And the percentage of books bought versus other are…interesting. I borrow ~90% of my books from the library, but I’m sure they pay for them…and I pay rates (local area taxes) so they can buy them :)

  5. Christine M.
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 13:28:07

    Lisa Who? (Ok I might not have been around romance forever, but still. I tried to look her up on wiki, and came up with nothing.)

  6. Danielle D
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 14:30:36

    I’m going to buy Patience — I can’t wait for it to come out. Finally it’s being released.

  7. KristieJ
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 15:48:07

    The Valdez book *yawn* I couldn’t care less anymore. If the buzz is good once it comes out, I might try it. But over the years I’ve found other authors I prefer much more.

  8. joanne
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 16:11:51

    Regarding The Times article and comments by Hildick-Smith: I wish when people give out figures like this they backed them with facts. It’s not that I think he is wrong but I’d like to know how he ‘knows’ and where the numbers came from.

    Lisa Valdez is not going to win, except perhaps in sales figures, because too many people have been practicing their snarks for too long not to make this release another storm in a teacup. I wasn’t crazy about Passion and, in the normal course of events with the next book coming out within a year, I wouldn’t have purchased Patience. Now I will out of curiosity and that already pisses me off — but I’m a weak link in the anti-buying chain.

    I hope it’s everything she and her fans want it to be but I think it’s going to get rough reviews no matter how good it is.

  9. KarLynP
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 16:26:58

    I bought over 90 new romance books this year (2009), and read most. (I am probably going to close the year with over 170 romance books read. Yikes!) But my trend is quickly moving to swapping used paperbacks with online readers, so I expect to buy less new books next year by maybe half.

    As far as Lisa V’s 4+ years over-due book Patience, I am in. Call me a sucker but I wont miss reading it. I loved Passion. And this one I will buy new.

  10. TKF
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 16:40:34

    I’d never heard of Valdez, so I popped over to her website and read the excerpt (saying it left me with no desire for more would be an understatement). Frankly I’m a bit flabbergasted that her publisher gave her five years between books (maybe six, considering she still hasn’t turned in the whole book and no publication date has been announced).

  11. Janine
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 17:34:47

    @TKF: I believe Valdez missed her deadline years ago, so it’s not a matter of the publisher giving her that much time. Also, she has turned in her manuscript now, and the publication date has been announced — April 6, 2010.

  12. DS
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 18:32:37

    I must have been doing something else when the Valdez thing happened. Can any one give me a short summary?

  13. Bonnie
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 18:45:00


    Passion came out about five hears ago and is an extremely sexually explicit romance novel. From what I understand, many many people were quite offended by it and inundated her with unkind emails. She apparently had some kind of breakdown from the backlash and wasn’t able to finish Patience in a timely manner as a result.

    Something like that.

    PS… the first page of her website still has an “update” from January of 2009. So….

  14. KarLynP
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 18:49:38

    DS —
    LV published Passion, her debut erotic historical romance novel, over five years ago. It was a big hit and is even listed as a top 100 over at (Hope I can post that!)

    Her follow up book, Patience, was SUPPOSE to be out within the year following Passion. But it was postponed, then postponed again, and then postponed AGAIN so that retailers (Amazon…etc.) pulled it off as a pre-order. Even her publisher (Berkeley) removed all info about her from their site.

    To make matters worse, the author almost never updated her website with information, which upset many fans. The message boards and forums were often a-buzz with frustrated fans that have literally lost all patience. Word was she fell behind on deadlines, but also that she was bombarded with negative and threatening emails from irate readers who felt the sexual content in her first book was too much. (The cover does look like a mainstream romance, not erotica, which I believe confused many buyers. As erotica goes, this is still pretty tame stuff.)

    It’s commonly believed she had writers block, and that her publisher was upset, but since she never communicates with anyone it is all speculative.

    Now, 5 years after Passion was first released, we have yet another date and it looks like this may really be the one I get to read the next book in her series. I for one am excited for it and will judge the book fairly.

    Keep in mind this is only book 2 in a 3 book series, so who knows if we will ever see the final book.

  15. Gina Black
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 19:26:58

    BTW, it’s *Matthew* and Patience.

  16. neva
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 19:52:37

    People were offended by the content in passion? Gee, get over it. I think I’ve read more explicit things in FHM. I really liked Passion, and will be buying Patience. Good on her for sticking with it. I think Carolyn Jewel has had a couple of big gaps beween publications (two years then a couple of books fairly quick then a three year gap I think). I don’t know that the cause of that was but I’ve continued to buy her books and been happy to do so, and she now seems to be publishing more regularly.

    Unless Lisa Valdez does a Dara Joy, I’m not going to diss her for taking longer than she should have.

  17. Bonnie
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 19:59:46


    Unless Lisa Valdez does a Dara Joy

    Now I need to know about this. :P No, really.

  18. Caligi
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 22:08:20

    I thought Passion was particularly vulgar dreck.

    Seeing that I’m a working-class hockey fan with a penchant for m/m/f erotic romance, I think that says something.

  19. DS
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 22:39:46

    Thanks everyone who responded. Sounds like a major marketing error by Berkley. Shame the author had to bear the brunt of it.

  20. Jane
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 22:42:04

    @DS: Why publisher error?

  21. neva
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 00:42:13

    @Bonnie: Just search this website, you’ll find out quickly

    @Caligi: I’ll think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. To me it was fairly straightforward (albeit male dominated) sex. But hey I’m a penguins fan. People have told me I’m full of crap before..:)

  22. Caligi
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 01:00:42

    @neva: Bruins fan here.

    Boston sports fans are a crude bunch, and Passion used too many bad words for me. I cut my teeth lilting “Assssss-hoooooooole” with 35k of my dearest friends at Fenway.

    It was either that or her overuse of the word “cervix.” Swear something hit Mrs. Dare’s cervix at least a half-dozen times per romp.

  23. DS
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 09:08:28

    @Jane: I’m typing without my reading glasses so blame any errors on presbyopia.

    Upthread someone mentioned that the book had a traditional historical romance cover but apparently the contents were more erotic than expected. I also looked at the negative reviews on Amazon and it also seemed that one of the main complaints was that it was not what the readers expected from a romance and that it had coarse language and sexual situations. One reviewer gave it one star as a romance although she stated she would have given it 3 stars as erotica, but it had been marketed as romance.

    While I’m not much in favor of book ratings, this might have been a perfect case for letting people know about the adult language,. I can’t ever remember feeling so upset about a book that I wanted to email the author and harangue her but from what was said here and a couple other places I found, it looks like she must have received quite a bit of upsetting email.

    In conclusion I thought it was Berkley’s failure because the cover was apparently misleading. The blurb by Jill Marie Landis was just sort of generic, and there wasn’t anything to clue the reader to the fact that it was a different reading experience. Given that a lot of people really loved it and that it came out when Erotic romance was being accepted in the mainstream (2005) marketing explicitly as erotic romance might have been the way Berkley should have gone.

    Have to state that I have not read the book, I’m just going on comments from others that say it is erotica or erotic romance.

  24. eva_baby
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 09:50:37

    I read Passion after hearing so much about it and actually I hadn’t read any reviews or anything. So I was a bit shocked at the explicit nature of the sex.

    I wasn’t shocked because of the sex, but as mentioned above, the cover was the run of the mill historical romance so I was expecting something other than I got.

    I wasn’t offended by the sex, I have no problem with explicit sex as I read quite a bit of erotica. No, I had problems because while reading the sex scenes I, in turns, laughed out loud at what I felt was some severely purple prose (in some places the ‘love speak’ was so over the top it took me right out the story) or cringed at what sounded like some incredibly painful sex.

    I do think that no matter how you feel about a book, it is never acceptable to send nasty grams to the author. You just chalk it up as a bad reading experience/lesson learned and never read the author again.

  25. Bethanya
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 21:59:53

    I usually can sniff an erotic historical romance out by its cover. All of Thea Devine and Susan Johnson’s 00s reprints have large flowers or pearls or fans or some form of still life. When I saw that huge-ass fan on the cover of Passion in 2005, I knew what was what.

    I’m super curious if they will be updating the cover art for Patience from what they released in 2005.

  26. GrowlyCub
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 06:52:21

    I never heard of Valdez until some time last year when her book was discussed here. I just went to Amazon to peek at the cover because everybody says it’s so generic. I don’t know if I would have noticed without knowing the controversy, but usually in the generic historical covers the people have *some* clothes on. It fairly jumped out at me that these two don’t.

    Went on to read the 1-star reviews and took away from them not so much that people were annoyed at this being mislabeled but that they felt it was lacking in execution and didn’t feel romantic, so basically a craft issue. I bet you the language and exhibitionist sex wouldn’t have merited a mention if folks had been satisfied with the way the author put the story together.

    I admit I’m intrigued now, which I wasn’t when I read a blurb a while back…

  27. Scorpio M.
    Dec 24, 2009 @ 01:10:00

    I read “Passion” years ago and wasn’t that impressed. Explicit sex aside, the storyline was just plain bad, I did not feel for either hero or heroine and that alone is a big no-no for me.

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