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

Monday Midday Links: Sourcebooks Gears Up a Big Sale


Not as awesome as the stickman, but if you type in “Let it snow” in the google search box, Google has a little easter egg for you.


Barnes & Noble coupon for $20 off a Nook Color or Nook Simple Touch.



In searching for a wall organizer for my kitchen, I came across this online store called “see Jane work“. It has an eclectic selection of work tools and I thought I would share it with my working girl friends here on DA.


6000 StairsThis is an incredibly romantic story that I saw linked on Reddit. A young man fell in love with an older woman in China 50 years ago. At that time, it was illegal and immoral for this reverse May / December relationship. They ran off together and lived in a cave in Jiangjin County in Southern ChongQing area. During their fifty years together, Liu, the husband, carved 6000 stairs in the side of the mountain so that his wife, Xu, could more easily navigate down the mountain. Amazing.


Kate Woodbury laments the BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “The Mystery of the Blue Train” wherein the BBC version does not include the “rogue husband of the murdered victim does NOT pursue the book’s staid, grey-eyed heroine.” The book does.

What makes [Christie] so entirely unique (and different from Marsh, who used the same romantic couple over and over and over, and from Sayers, who was only really concerned with one romantic couple) is that she believed in the individuality of love. She was willing to allow (in a very English tolerant way) that every relationship has its own vibe. Sometimes the good guy gets the good gal (4:50 to Paddington). Sometimes the adventurous guy gets the adventurous gal (Cards on the Table). Sometimes a tough strident woman gets a dreamer (Hercule Poirot’s Christmas). Sometimes a passionate couple realize that they are actually also friends (Moving Finger). Sometimes the bad husband gets his wife back (Mysterious Affair at Styles). Sometimes the passionate exuberant gal really does want the limp, waffling idiot (Sittaford Mystery). Sometimes the girl-in-love-with-the-aloof-man learns to love someone more compassionate and real (Sad Cypress). Sometimes the taciturn brute gets the matter-of-fact Wren (Taken at the Flood).

Woodbury goes on to say that the magic of Christie and romance novels is the concept that Rogues get love too. It’s a fun article.


Ms. Bookjunkie pointed out an article that says Plaxico Burress emerged from prison with a new habit, a good one. Burress began reading while in prison serving a 20 month sentence “in jail for accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub.”

Burress, who caught the game-winning touchdown in the Giants Super Bowl XLII upset of the Patriots, read a total of 82 books to help pass the time during his 86 weeks sitting alone at the Onelda Correctional Facility.


Indie bookstores are up in arms about Amazon’s new price check app and promotion that pays shoppers $5 to order a product they see in the store from Amazon. The Amazon price check app promotion doesn’t include books. Instead, it is for the toys, electronics, clothes and anything else you find at big box retailers. Tim Carmody of Wired notes that Best Buy has removed the UPC codes from its products to combat Amazon’s price check app. Because Amazon is gunning for Best Buy and Wal-mart, not your local indie bookstore.

This is because Amazon simply doesn’t care about independent bookstores. Little bookshops are not even on Jeff Bezos’ radar anymore. He and Amazon are after bigger game: Best Buy (who have pulled bar codes off their products to defend against precisely this), Wal-Mart, Target, Toys”R”Us, Costco, and Macy’s.

Carmody goes on to explain why the inflammatory rhetoric exchanged on both sides won’t stop even though both have good points mixed up with the irrational.


This is a FINAL CALL for proposals for the Romance Area for the Popular Culture Association’s 2012 Annual Conference, which is being held in Boston from April 11 – 14, 2012 (one week later than we have traditionally held it in the past).

Call For Papers: Romance Area
Deadline for submission: December 21, 2011.
We are interested in any and all topics about or related to popular romance: all genres, all media, all countries, all kinds, and all eras. All representations of romance in popular culture (fiction, stage, screen—large or small, commercial, advertising, music, song, dance, online, real life, etc.), from anywhere and any-when, are welcome topics of discussion.
This year we are especially interested in papers on Romance on/and/in Television, to be presented on panels jointly sponsored by the Romance and the TV areas.
The Romance Area is also co-sponsoring with the Gay/Lesbian/Queer area papers that discuss BDSM and Kink in any form. Representations of BDSM/Kink in popular media and/or discussions of real-life BDSM/Kink practices and practitioners are all welcome. Romance is not a necessary component of papers to be presented in BDSM/Kink.
The Romance Area will consider proposals for individual papers, sessions organized around a theme, and special panels. Sessions are scheduled in one-hour slots, ideally with four papers or speakers per standard session.
If you are involved in the creative industry of popular romance (romance author/editor, film director/producer, singer/songwriter, etc.) and are interested in speaking on your own work or on developments in the representations of popular romance, please contact us!
As we do every year, the Romance area will meet in a special Open Forum to discuss upcoming conferences, work in progress, and the future of the field of Popular Romance Studies. All are welcome to attend.
Submit a one-page (200-300 words) proposal or abstract by December 21, 2011, to PCA’s online database: Specify the Romance Area (for any/all of the topics above) and Sarah Frantz, the Area Chair in Romance, will be notified.



It All Started When…from Sourcebooks. First in Series eBooks for $1.99! (12/21/2011 – 1/8/2012).  For a limited time, purchase the first book from a Sourcebooks author for only $1.99. (There are also 2 and 3 books for some).  The deals are showing up at Amazon already for some books, but not for others.


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. Keishon
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 10:47:53

    re Roberta Gellis, her Roselynde series is what I’m after which look to run about $6 and some change at Amazon right now. That’s cheaper than what they were before though but… I will continue to wait for another price drop.

  2. Ros
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 10:51:51

    I am in no way defending the adaptations of Christie, but they are not BBC productions, even if they may be shown on BBC America.

  3. Renda
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 10:59:56

    I was in the midst of deciding which Mansell books to order when the prices jumped. Be careful before you click. I looked at them all, bought Rumor Has It, clicked on the next one and it had lost the 1.99 price.

  4. Becky
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:19:57

    Making Waves by Tawna Fenske is currently $.99 at Amazon, not $1.99. This was a good one, too!

  5. cleo
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 12:36:50

    I’ll just put a plug in for SEALed with a Kiss. I’m not a big SEAL romance fan, but I liked this one a lot. I read it because the heroine has Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance) and so do I and I was curious. I thought the author did a nice job of not making it an issues book – she got the details of living gluten free right but it wasn’t a big deal. I really like the author’s voice and point of view – her characters are progressive and authentically southern (at least they seemed like it to me, a midwesterner with southern friends). I had some issues with the plot – they fall in love over a very short time period and the initial set up is a little unlikely – but I definitely recommend it at that price.

  6. erinf1
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 13:01:44

    musta been a very short sale. Almost all of the books listed for 1.99 are back to almost full price. :( Sorry I missed it

  7. Jane
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 13:05:54

    @erinf1: Sale officially starts on the 21st. Some of the books are reflecting reduced prices already but they should all be on sale on the 21st.

  8. CK
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 13:11:44

    I don’t get the Best Buy stripping of the UPC codes. Why didn’t they just counter Amazon’s deal? ‘Show us the Amazon deal and we’ll match it or give you $X gift card with your purchase today’. How hard is that? In this day and age, getting someone in your store is half the battle because it sure is easier to shop online in your pjs and just get it delivered.

  9. Mikaela
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 13:35:12

    Augh. Of course I read this post after I added the read colum in Calibre, and realised exactly how many unread books I have. ( Too many. It is all those Amazon freebies ….)

  10. erinf1
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 13:49:25

    lol… Thanks Jane! So I’m not late, just early :)

  11. Tina
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 14:14:21

    Oh man. I have had ‘Take a Chance on Me’ by Jill Mansell in my wish-list for about a year. Price point was too high. This is great. Now I just have to keep checking on it to nab it when it gets down to the 1.99 price. I’ve read most of the rest of her stuff and she’s a hoot.

  12. Estara
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 15:13:41

    The fourth Adrien English mystery is today’s free book at the AllRomancebooks 12 Days of Christmas

  13. Darlynne
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 17:01:16

    “Let it snow” was fun. Thanks for posting the link, Jane. Looking forward to the Sourcebooks sale.

  14. Caro
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 17:43:31

    Re: Christie’s 4.50 from Paddington
    The romantic relationship is unresolved in the book, though two TV film versions pair up the endlessly competent and fascinating Lucy Eylesbarrow, albeit with different partners.

  15. Andrea
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 17:59:01

    I must admit to strongly disliking the current set of adaptations of Christies. I don’t want to see Miss Marple wedged into someone else’s story, or have the stories distorted entirely away from the plot as written.

  16. Deb Kinnard
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 19:34:02

    I downloaded Gellis’ THE ENGLISH HEIRESS for my Kindle app. I suppose you do get what you pay for. Five pages in, it’s full of missing punctuation and typos. Not Gellis’ fault — her writing is impeccable. Some of it must’ve been lost in the load.

  17. Brian
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 19:54:34

    @Deb Kinnard: Maybe try deleting and re-downloading in case it’s the file? I just briefly checked my copy from Amazon and it appears fine at a quick glance.

  18. willaful
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 22:22:27

    I’m utterly baffled by that piece on Christie. Those descriptions are so off, and romance was not a big element in some of those books. I think Robert Barnard was far more on the money in A Talent to Deceive, in which he said something about how unlike writers like Ngaio Marsh, who loves her young lovers and protects them, Christie is completely unsentimental. In a Marsh story, a lover will never turn out to be the murderer; in a Christie story he or she often will.

  19. MaryK
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 01:12:12

    :whisper: *Idon’tLikeAgathaChristie* :un-whisper:

    I like the film versions, except for the current set, but when I was in my mystery reading phase years ago I had to give up on the books. I discovered that I could predict who the villain was by about the second chapter. It was always the most appealing character. *ahem* I’ve never been sure if that’s a reflection on me or Christie because I never met a fan I could discuss it with.

    (Why are bookish friends so hard to find IRL?)

  20. B
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 04:44:54

    […] DA 1 | DA 2 | DA 3 | DA 4 […]

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