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

Thursday Midday Links: Macmillan and Penguin assert dinners just social; Overdrive...


  • The Dark Glamour by Gabriella Pierce * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S – this is the sequel to 666 Park Avenue
  • 666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S


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. MrsJoseph
    May 31, 2012 @ 10:18:33

    I’m just heartsore at the way these authors act. It makes me want to retaliate – wrong, I know – but I feel so angry and helpless when I see crap like this.

  2. kzoet
    May 31, 2012 @ 10:53:31

    By no means an excuse for her actions but the “author” seems to have some severe anger issues and questionable mental stability. I hope Wendy is ok – and she and her family remains safe – and that the author gets some professional help or intervention before this escalates into something worse.

  3. Kati
    May 31, 2012 @ 12:29:53

    Yikes. I hadn’t heard about the Vanity author thing until yesterday. I always feel for reviewers when this sort of thing happens. After reading through Wendy’s posts, looks to me like she handled herself with grace that I’m not sure I’d have been capable of. I’m truly sorry to hear she’s taken a break from reviewing, although I understand why. I hope she comes back soon. Her reviewing voice will be missed.

  4. MrsJoseph
    May 31, 2012 @ 12:54:09

    @Kati: Agreed. I love Wendy Darling’s reviews. And she’s a lot nicer than some other people.

  5. Author On Vacation
    May 31, 2012 @ 13:27:17

    1. Thanks so much for the tip on the Gabriella Pierce novels. I’ve been interested in reading Pierce, but not at regular price. So glad to have the opportunity now. : )

    2. Although I don’t know Wendy Darling, I’ve enjoyed reading several of her Goodreads reviews. Darling has a lovely voice and good, articulate expression as well as strong analytical abilities. I’m saddened to hear that she felt attacked and violated by Vanity’s “revelations” and I hope she doesn’t allow this incident to mar her personal satisfaction in hobby reviewing.

  6. Mireya
    May 31, 2012 @ 13:33:32

    I really wonder what these YA authors are smoking… no … really. I know that not all of them are “fruit-loops”, but honestly, the few that are surely doing a great job of giving the genre a truly bad reputation. It’s beyond horrid what this reviewer has been unfairly subjected to. Maybe it’s time for reviewers to start taking a bad-ass attitude and pretty much take the FU route when replying to authors/agents. Staying “classy” doesn’t seem to be making ANY dents whatsoever in contributing to change what I am now seeing as a rather nasty trend in the YA online communities.

    I am glad I don’t read YA… but I have two teen nieces that do, and I do get a lot of books for them… my list of “don’t touch with a 10 foot pole” keeps growing.


  7. Ann
    May 31, 2012 @ 14:53:32

    Would the author’s behavior meet the standard of “cyber bullying” and thus have legal recourse?

  8. karlynp
    May 31, 2012 @ 16:10:58

    I realize Wendy doesn’t want the author’s name exposed, but some of us know who she is. I reported her blog post to under their ‘Abuse’ policy, and cited the blog as a personal threat to Wendy. There was no reason, other than a personal threat, to expose Wendy’s personal information including her home location, husbands name, and a photograph of her. The author seems to believe ‘freedom of speech’ is protecting her, but she’s wrong. WordPress has ‘Abuse’ policies, and IMHO she’s crossed the line.

  9. Ridley
    May 31, 2012 @ 16:18:47

    It’s funny, before my Diablo III-prompted reading hiatus, I had a conversation with another top Goodreads reviewer, The Holy Terror, where I wondered if maybe my bratty-authors-to-avoid shelf would one day prove more trouble than it’s worth. We both agreed that the sort of people who’d misbehave to a level to get on an avoid shelf are the sort of people who would out you online in retaliation. I’m protective of my real name, and don’t use a photo of myself as my avatar, but I always worry this could happen to me. As much as I want to help other readers avoid patronizing abusive authors, I really don’t want to have this happen to me. Crazy authors are crazy.

  10. Author On Vacation
    May 31, 2012 @ 16:30:27


    Sadly, I doubt anything much will come of it. If the author openly advocated threatening, harrassing, or something like that, it might be different. But all the author has done is exasperate the reviewer, vented some poorly managed anger, and made a donkey of himself/herself.

  11. karlynp
    May 31, 2012 @ 16:39:50

    @Author On Vacation:
    Most likely, but I can hope. :-)

  12. Darlynne
    May 31, 2012 @ 18:07:57

    Pardon the interruption: The Lawrence Block book Burglars Can’t Be Choosers is the first Bernie Rhodenbarr book, for anyone interested in a good, funny mystery series about a very likable and personable thief.

  13. Lucy
    May 31, 2012 @ 18:18:46

    This woman is a lunatic. I’m concerned that she might actually pose a real threat to Wendy and other book-bloggers. I don’t think she’s mentally or emotionally stable.

  14. Sahara
    May 31, 2012 @ 18:50:15

    I think what’s funny about the whole conflict is that certain people, on both sides, going on the defensive is that they are acting more immature than the age group their books target. I think in terms of the reader reviewer relationship, their is a sense of privilege and respect. I think for reviewing the right to an early review copy or ARC is gained with constructive feedback from a review while as an author, you gain the privilege of making a possible living off of or at least having your work open to the public forum, which means criticism comes part in parcel with having your work out there.

  15. Ann Somerville
    May 31, 2012 @ 19:20:21

    @Author On Vacation:

    If the author openly advocated threatening, harrassing, or something like that, it might be different.

    Oh certainly. Simply posting excruciatingly detailed private information about a reviewer in an inflammatory hate-filled post, after months of inciting hate, taking vengeance and whipping up a general shitstorm around this reviewer, could never be construed as openly advocating harassment.

    But all the author has done is exasperate the reviewer, vented some poorly managed anger, and made a donkey of himself/herself.

    Let’s not talk about that reviewer being terrified, living on her nerves, jumping a foot every time the email alert goes. Or wondering who might be contemplating a personal visit to her house, or acts against her pets. And we shall not speak about the loss of a strong, independent reviewer’s voice because she’s been bullied unconscionably.

    No, it’s all about the negative affect on that one pathetic author. Her behaviour couldn’t possibly affect the reputations of other YA non-traditionally published authors, or terrorise other reviewers, could it? I mean, just because even the redoubtable Ridley is getting worried by such idiocy, doesn’t mean we should pull together and condemn this author from the roofs, and firmly support all reviewers’ rights to speak as they find?

    It’s all just an unfortunate spat, with no long-term consequences. Barely worth considering at all.

    You might want to get that sociopathy of yours looked at, lady.

  16. Author On Vacation
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:13:13

    @Ann Somerville:

    Hello, Ann.

    1) I am very sympathetic to Wendy Darling. I value my privacy, too. In the past, a hostile ex-friend posted identifying information about me on the internet, including my RL name and my pseudonym as well as photographs. No fun, but I got past it and learned a valuable lesson about limiting my e-friendships.

    2) I commend you for your passionate, dramatic, emotionally charged allegations concerning how and why Wendy Darling’s “outing” constitutes an actual “threat.” If you’re an attorney, take up the case and see if you can sell those allegations to a judge and/or a jury. Best luck with that. Gentle hint: you have to prove the offender actually broke the law. Just because someone does something wrong doesn’t mean the person’s done something illegal.

    3) I’m not sociopathic. I just don’t think you or your intended insults and accusations matter. You’re not related to me, you’re not my neighbor, I don’t work for you, and I don’t sleep with you. I’m sure you’re a pretty decent person in real life and a very gifted artist, but … I just don’t know you and your boorishness and poor opinion of me have no meaningful impact upon my life. It’s not that I’m emotionally empty, it’s that I’m too emotionally fulfilled to spar with you, Ann. My personal peace is too valuable to be squandered upon a rude, dramatic stranger on the internet. If you seek validation via abusing people you don’t know and you can’t get off without an e-fight, you’ve picked the wrong person for that kind of game.

    I trust I’ve made myself quite clear and that there is no need for further exchanges of this kind. Thanks in advance for your kind understanding.

  17. Ann Somerville
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:24:58

    @Author On Vacation:
    “Just because someone does something wrong doesn’t mean the person’s done something illegal. ”

    Just because it’s not against the law, doesn’t mean it’s not morally reprehensible or endangering someone.

    “It’s not that I’m emotionally empty”

    No, you’re morally defective. You’ve shown that here a number of times.

    “Thanks in advance for your kind understanding. ”

    Oh do drop dead.
    [not intended to be an actual death threat].

    I don’t respond to you to have any impact on you. It’s obvious from your exchanges with other people here that you are simply uninterested in what people think. I respond to point out the vacuousness of your responses, and the deliberate slanting of facts to further your agenda, whatever it may be on any given day. Today, it seems to be that reviewers should suck up whatever shit authors dish out, even when it threatens their pets and family.

    That agenda doesn’t fly with me.

    Feel free not to respond. It’s not like you’re listening anyway.

  18. Jane
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:26:54

    I’m sorry I was participating in the Twitter chat so I didn’t see these comments early on. Any future personal exchanges will be deleted.

  19. Kaetrin
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:36:59

    I don’t read very much YA and up until yesterday, I’d never heard of this Vanity author. I read something about the kerfuffle involving the agent/editor having a go at Wendy Darling a while ago, but up until then, I’d never heard of her either. So, I have no dog in this fight. But, even if everything the Vanity author says about her is true (and, from what little I’ve read, that seems unlikely to say the least), it does NOT excuse posting personal information including mentioning her husband, children and pets. That kind of behaviour is inexcusable and heinous. I certainly won’t ever read anything by that author (fairly empty threat I know!).

    I’d also hope that the author of The Selection would bob up and publicly disavow the Vanity author, as it’s not doing her any favours either.

    I thought about posting my comment on the Vanity author’s blog but anyone who isn’t a squeeing fangirl is automatically painted a Wendy-Darling-attack-dog so I thought there was little point. I got it off my chest here instead! :)

    Best to Wendy and her family.

  20. Jane
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:39:59

    @Kaetrin: Having been where Wendy is right now, I can only empathize with her. It’s strange and sickening that someone takes such a close interest in your personal life that they drag your family into it. It’s one thing, I guess, to target the reviewer but to name her husband, place of work, home town, it’s beyond the pale. One disgruntled author has done this to me and it lingers, as she maliciously intends it to.

  21. Kaetrin
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:49:47

    @Jane: I wish there was something we could do to make her take down those personal details, but I haven’t come up with anything I’m afraid. I know things linger on the Internet but if she at least amended her post, they would be harder to find and an improvement (albeit a small one) on the current situation. I was particularly affected by the mention of Wendy’s children. There’s just no excuse for bringing someone’s children into this. What is astounding is that this is about a book review of someone else’s book!!! Some people really need to get over themselves.

  22. Jane
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:51:43

    @Kaetrin: My initial thought was to make a plea to her agent/editor but apparently she is self published. There are just some people who take pleasure in this type of behavior and there is simply nothing you can do. They twist things in their own mind and it becomes their own reality and they deem their own actions to be righteous.

  23. Kaetrin
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:53:11

    @Jane: I take comfort in knowing that karma is going to get her in the end. Somewhat cold comfort, but still…

  24. Author On Vacation
    May 31, 2012 @ 20:56:03


    I agree. The dynamics of the scenario mirror rape. In essence, the “outer” is attempting to exert control over the “outee.” It’s all virtual, of course, but the dynamics are the same and it is an extremely stressful experience for the victim.

  25. BarkLessWagMore
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 09:36:26

    @Ridley: I agree Ridley. This behavior is chilling. It’s not going to stop me from reviewing but it worries me. I wonder, if Wendy Darling had children would Vanity have published their names, school district and pictures too? She seems unhinged enough to do so.

  26. BarkLessWagMore
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 09:47:10

    @BarkLessWagMore: Wait, did she actually mention children? I didn’t see it in the Cuddlebuggery post but I have not visited the “Vanity” page. If so, I wonder if Wendy can do anything to have Vanity’s blog post removed.

  27. Kaetrin
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 03:09:19

    I could have sworn that there was a mention of children but I just went and checked and there isn’t. Sorry for any confusion.

  28. ginmar
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:22:29

    I’m pretty sure there were children mentioned in the first blog post, before Vanity edited it.

  29. Kaetrin
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 20:06:56

    @ginmar: ah, well, that’s something (?) I guess.

  30. ginmar
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 21:17:55

    Plus, you know, calling this person Vanity made me dig out my CD from that girl group that Prince created for “Purple Rain.” Which is pretty cool.

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