Tag: Jane Litte

Five Books Everyone Should Read: Jane Litte

Posted April 19, 2015 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

Five Books Everyone Should Read is a new feature we’re running in 2015. We’ve asked some of our favorite authors, readers and bloggers to share five books that touched them or have stayed with them throughout the years.

5 Books Project


Rowena: Please welcome Dear Author’s Jane Litte to Book Binge today as she shares with us, the five books she holds near and dear to her heart. The books that she thinks everyone should read. Thanks for joining us today, Jane. 🙂


I’m so excited to share with my five favorite Westerns. There’s something about the West setting that I love. It might be all the Louis L’Amour novels I read as a kid or the John Wayne movies I watched with my father, but the Western has a huge amount of romantic appeal to me.


1) Julie Garwood, Prince Charming. After years of writing stories about titled lords, both in the medieval time period and the regency time period, Garwood took a detour west. Way west. She wrote For the Roses and more stories about the Clayborne brothers but I particularly enjoyed Prince Charming. The hero, Lucas, is stoic and close mouthed whereas the heroine is a classic Garwood–a bit clumsy with a big heart. My favorite scene is where Lucas is telling her that the west is too rough for her and she takes out her gun and shoots a snake’s head off and calmly goes back to arguing with Lucas!


9781420101751_p0_v1_s114x1662) Jo Goodman, Never Love a Lawman. There are so many great Westerns written by Jo Goodman that it’s hard to pick just one. Her stories are more languorous, delicious and rich, but something that tastes better drawn out like the soft drawl of a southern cowboy murmuring in your ear. Never Love a Lawman is a slow unfolding of a story about Rachel Bailey and Wyatt Cooper set in Reidsville, Colorado, 1882. The story is primarily about the two characters falling in love. Wyatt is very capable and at the point in Rachel’s life, where she has had to shoulder all the responsibility with very little reward, it’s just what Rachel needs. Rachel is starchy enough to challenge Wyatt’s complacency and stands up to him where most people will not. The townspeople defer to Wyatt not just because of his position but of how he carries himself, how he unconsciously demands respect and obedience. “People think you walk on water.” Rachel says to him at one point but Wyatt angrily retorts “Well, I damn well don’t” because he doesn’t want to be that person with her.


3) Claudia Dain, A Kiss to Die For. This book is set in Abilene Kansas which was pretty far west back in the day. Anne Ross is a shy, proper young lady who falls for Jack Skull, a bounty hunter. During this period, bounty hunters were reviled and some even believe that Jack is the serial killer he claims he is hunting. The small town of Abilene Texas is as much a character as Anne and Jack where something as innocuous as a kiss on the train platform ends up having the two practically engaged to be married by the end of the gossip train. There is wonderful sly humor that permeates the book and provides an excellent offset to the dark theme.


4) Johanna Lindsey’s Savage Thunder is terribly unPC today. The hero is referred to as a half-breed and, of course, there is that title with the word “savage” in it. The hero’s name is Colt Thunder and yes, he is named after the gun. But the story itself is quite progressive. Colt is a man of mixed heritage, part Cheyenne and part Anglo. He doesn’t fit into either world. When he meets the titled English heroine, Jocelyn Fleming, he constantly reminds her of this. Jocelyn doesn’t care. She sees a hot man, wants to have sex with him, and pursues him in a funny, unrelenting, gentle way until Colt finally succumbs. He’s an uber alpha but Jocelyn matches his mettle. This Western has stage coach rides, sex on a horse, and, of course, gunfights!

9781426836565_p0_v1_s114x1665) Victoria Dahl, Wicked West. This novella packs a huge punch. Lily Anders arrives in Wyoming to take possession of a house bequeathed to her by her brother. She sets up shop as a seamstress. Next door to her is Tom Hale, the stuffy upright town sheriff. Tom has a secret that he doesn’t want anyone to know about–he enjoys a certain type of sex and his bedroom activities drove his wife away. He tries to sublimate his desires but Lily somehow sees right through this. When the two finally give in to their desires, the pure pleasure and happiness the characters experience leaves the reader with a very good book feeling.

Rowena: Thanks for stopping by Jane and for sharing some of your favorite books with us. See you next week, everyone! 🙂

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On Jane of Dear Author Writing as Jen Frederick

Posted March 26, 2015 by Holly in Discussions, News | 38 Comments

In 2013 I discovered new adult author Jen Frederick. Her first book was problematic for me, but I absolutely loved her second. Over the last two years I’ve read most of her other works. I also followed her on Twitter and exchanged a few reviewer/author emails with her. Based on her familiarity with authors online, and the community as a whole, I suspected she was an author or blogger writing under a pseudonym. Yesterday, Jane Litte of Dear Author confirmed my suspicions when she came out as best-selling author Jen Frederick.

The response from the DA readership has mostly been positive. The comments on the article are all along the lines of “Awesome! Go you!” or they were up until about 175, which is when I stopped reading them). There was some anger and confusion on Twitter, but it wasn’t until an anonymous author posted at The Passive Voice that any real dissent was brought out into the open. The majority of comments on that article have been overwhelmingly negative toward Jane/Jen. I’ve seen claims elsewhere that the angry commentors at TPV are just the “Pro-EC crowd” attacking Jane and being jealous because she’s selling better than they are. I don’t really agree with that.

The fact is, Jane deceived a lot of people. They have the right to be angry about that.

Jane emailed me a few days before her confession went live to tell me she was Jen Frederick. Prior to that, as I said above, I suspected Frederick was a blogger or author, but I did not suspect Jane. To be honest, that Jen and Jane are the same person has no bearing on my enjoyment of her books. While I found some of them problematic, the fact is I absolutely loved Unspoken. I still love it, even knowing that Jen is Jane (and vice verse).

As Jane said in her post, she wanted to be judged on her own merits as an author, not as Jane Litte writing a book. I can understand and even support that. For years authors, bloggers and readers have criticized Jane for her reviews and commentary; often saying she has no knowledge of what it is to be an author, so she can’t/shouldn’t comment. There are many who don’t agree with the politics at DA, and I can see why Jane wouldn’t want her position as a prominent blogger to influence sales of her books one way or the other.

That Jane chose to publish her novels under a pseudonym, and keep that pseudonym a secret, doesn’t bother me at all. Authors often write under pens names – sometimes multiple pen names – and no one bats an eye. I know many bloggers who are also writers (aspiring and published). I know many authors (aspiring and published) who are also bloggers. I don’t see that it matters one way or another.

But I think Jane made two huge mistakes.

First she kept her secret for far too long. Once she’d published a book or two, and did well enough to know whether it was something she could continue, she should have come forward at Dear Author. That she decided to publish her books isn’t a big deal to me. That she chose to publish many, which ended up as bestsellers, including co-writing books with another best-selling author, which were picked up by a traditional publisher and optioned for movie rights, is harder to swallow.

Her second mistake – and this is the big one , in my opinion- was in creating a full, separate identity for Jen Frederick. A website? Sure. A Twitter or Facebook profile where she could announce information about her books? Absolutely. But Jane took it a step farther. She befriended many authors, bloggers and readers. She joined private author loops. She commiserated  over reviews, and the writing process, and publishing, and any other number of things, all while she was also what many refer to as the Watchdog of the romance community.

I don’t see anything wrong with Jane and Jen being the same person. I do find it harder to swallow that she deceived – whether deliberately or not – the entire romance community. Would authors have been as open and honest with her if they’d known? Should they have been open and honest with her, considering her position at Dear Author?

I do not think Jane set out to purposely deceive anyone. I also don’t think – as some have speculated – she created this author persona as a way to glean information for the purpose of reporting at Dear Author. Nor do I think she used the information she was privy to as an author to hurt any fellow authors in her role as a blogger. But now everything she and Dear Author stood for is suspect.

I also think, had it been another blogger who did exactly what Jane did, Dear Author would have jumped all over them. The community feels deceived and I understand why. More importantly, Jane’s credibility as a forthright blogger and as an author, is being questioned. Considering the amount of works she’s done for the good of the community as a whole, I’m really sad about that. I’m also a little disappointed that she did something I know she would have questioned someone else for. It’s especially frustrating considering her stance on things like this in the past. For example, the disclosure she included when another author reviewed Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh at Dear Author.

DA Reviewer Disclosure

Of course, I haven’t even touched on the ethical questions this situation raises. Like the fact there were several mentions of Jen Frederick books at Dear Author, including Kati’s “Best of 2014” post, along with a mention in a Daily Deals post and an “If You Like” post, wherein Unspoken was recommended to those who like military roms. None of those are really Jane herself promoting her own work, but naturally it makes her claim that she kept the two separate a lie. A small one? Sure. But a lie nonetheless.

There’s also the fact that she was contracted with Berkley while still reviewing Berkley books. Did she positively review books from her publisher because they were her publisher? Probably not. But again, had she disclosed the relationship it wouldn’t be a question now.

For my part, I don’t plan to stop reading Jen Frederick’s books. But I do think she (as Jane and Jen), and Dear Author both, are a little tarnished now. In the end it comes down to trust. Jane broke ours. It’s as simple as that.

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