Dara Joy’s Downward Spiral

If you haven’t read it yet, head over to Dear Author and check out this piece on Dara Joy and what seems to be her descent into…well, lies, breach of contract and general batshit looney-tunesiness.

I have greatly enjoyed the high camp and silliness of her work, but never bothered to buy her self-published books. They seemed like a pretty sketchy enterprise at best. I’m now very, very glad that I went with my initial instincts.


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  1. 1
    Tara says:

    I am ashamed to admit that after all the “goings on” with how long it took to receive my copy of “that familiar touch” that I actually went ahead and ordered her new book (Oh, the shame!)

    Mine actually did arrive in April, after I sent Cory a note with copies of all my supporting documentation of having purchased the book in 2/5.  I flipped through a few pages here & there and it’s still sitting on my shelf unread—the whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth.

  2. 2
    AngieZ says:

    I too purchased it and after sending yet another email, I received mine the other day.  I am also putting it on my TBR shelf because I don’t want to get further aggrevated that I not only spent my money on it, but actually wasted time in sending emails and looking up my purchase information from last year.  I never spent so much and worked so hard for what appears to be crappy book.

    It makes me so sad because I loved her previous books (excluding the self published ones) and really fell for the Dara and Goliath story on her website.  It makes you wonder how someone can fall so far from brilliance.

  3. 3
    Rosina Lippi says:

    Now come on.

    “Tutorial #1. Do not steal from your readers. They will hate you forever.”

    To be followed by Tutorial of the Obvious Nos. 3, 4 and 5:

    Do not plagarize.
    Do not cheat your agent.
    Do not lie to your editor.

    Here’s what I’d propose instead, a more universal rule that everybody should keep in mind (authors and readers alike):

    Do not condescend. To anybody.

  4. 4
    Jane says:

    Rosina – You’ll have to write the next edition of author’s behaving badly for us!  I can’t believe that it has taken over a year to get this book.  It’s really a tragedy for everyone involved.

  5. 5

    I’m always amazed at the chutzpah of people who think they can get away with this kind of behavior.  I don’t know what Ms. Joy’s situation is and I don’t care—you don’t take money from people without either sending them their product or refunding their money in full.  And you absolutely do not treat it like an advance and spend it.  That’s called “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and it always comes back to bite you in the butt.

  6. 6
    alerievay says:

    I happen to work for the law firm that represents Dorchester in that big debacle, although I have no involvement with the case.  It’s a pretty amusing case, though, with Dara Joy changing attorneys right and left and/or representing herself.  (My favorite part is her claim that the book at issue isn’t a romance novel, even though the cover is about as stereotypical mantitty as you can get.)

    I’ve always thought about picking up one of her books.  I really should someday.

  7. 7
    Miri says:

    I was a big fan of her Matrix of Destiny series. I found it in 1995 when I had my first kid and enjoyed reading the KOASTS while I did those late night feedings. I lapped up everyone of her MoD books and eagerly awaited the pub. of Traed’story. (yeah i’m a gropie) At first she said she was going to do Traed’s story 4th after Mine to Take. Seemed logical. Then she said she was going to make Traed’s story 9th Okaaaaaaay. But no, she switched publishers and did another one. I’m assuming this is when she started to go rounds with her old publishing house, Dorchester was it?

    Well it’s 11 years later! You know how I know it’s 11 years later? Cause that tiny baby I nursed while absorbed in Ms Joy’s story is now going into middle school! The guy is as tall as I am now, and STILL no Traed’s story. I finally got tired of getting screwed with my pants on and I lost respect for Ms. Joy and dismissed her as a flake.

    Then Oh WOW! A new self published book! With Traed in it! (the only reason I ordered it)  And waited a loooong time. Flake or not if she was going to give me my Traed fix I’d bend over for it. The book, with the exception of the Traed parts with the Familiar who is always getting lost, was “meh”  Boy, I thought those editors really do make a difference! And the cover, well Ew.

    You know how Ms. Joy could have made bank and stuck it to the man? Had she self-pubed Traed’s story! But it’s clear to me that she’s not going to do Traed’s story, evah. And after reading her “on her own” effort I don’t think I want to.

  8. 8
    Miri says:

    You only have to visit her website to understand how far gone chika is! Decapitated dachunds floating across the page. Fuck me! http://www.officialdarajoy.com/Sojourns/sojourns.html

  9. 9
    J-me says:

    Not particularly a fan of her books but read somewhere that the male face so badly photoshopped on her self-published covers is the elusive Cory.  Eww.

  10. 10
    Miri says:

    If you scroll down you can find the EXACT picture that was used for that cover. http://www.officialdarajoy.com/TheLookingGlass/thelookingglass.html

    This convention was held a number of years ago and the last apperance by both of them at anything like this. Wonder why?

  11. 11
    Gabriele says:

    I read the excerpts on her website some time ago – so not touching her books with a ten foot pole, and that goes for the traditionally published ones as well. Sorry, but I don’t buy something in hope it will be better than what I’ve seen. She’s done herself a disservice with that website and the self published books.

  12. 12
    kate r says:

    yowza, miri! the dachsund heads pulsate. I want them.

  13. 13
    Victoria Dahl says:

    I find it really strange and disturbing that her webmaster (Heh. Master.) is such a presence on her website. It’s telling, I suppose. The captions of the pictures all say things like, “Me, Dara, and Christine at the conference.” or “Dara and I in our costumes.” How bizarre.

  14. 14
    Stef says:

    Wow, he’s tall, y’all.

  15. 15
    Taekduu says:

    It is a sad sad world we live in when I can say that even with all the authors misbehaving that has been present int he last few months no one can top Dara Joy.  I loved the entire Matrix of Destiny series, while they were campy as all get out I loved them anyway.  Then this other book she wrote came out and my thought was WTF. 

    I thought oh well she is having issues with this lawsuit, let me give her a chance and I bought This familiar touch, it took forever and a day to show up, then even worse, it was absolute and utter crap, with me paying for half a book including reader worship.  WTF

    I refused to buy this second one she offered and now reading about this debacle I am even happier.  I feel sorry for everyone who had to buy it.

    The sad thing is that she was entertaining, fun, and different when she was writing.  I thought she did futuristics well when other people were abandoning the sci-fi and paranormal romance or writing trite junk.  But the last 11 years of badly produced trash hae changed my opinion of her.  I don’t think I would even pick up her books even if she did write a book about the much awaited romance for Traed.  I have outgrown her in more ways than one, and as I learned with Jean Auel, you outgrow authors if they don’t grow as well, especially after ten years.

  16. 16
    Sanachan says:

    Hey website is HORRIFYING. It looks like something created by a 15 year old back in 1998 when Geocities was the be all and end all of website hosting. *shudder*

  17. 17
    Sanachan says:

    Urk! Her website, not hey website.

  18. 18
    Tonda says:

    I had never heard of DJ until two months ago when I saw this book on the bookseller’s table at my local RWA chapter meeting. One of my girlfriends looked over and announced so loudly several of us shot coffee out our noses, “Wow! That’s a face only someone receiving regular orgasms could love. I mean could he be working the Mullet Prince of the sci-fi con any harder?” The bookseller went off in a peal of laughter then said, “I do think that’s her boyfriend.”

  19. 19
    SandyO says:

    What did the leetle doggies do to deserve decapitation?  That is the scariest, most fucked up website I’ve ever seen.

  20. 20
    Michelle, the Diva says:

    My eyes! The leetle doggie heads, they shrink as they fall to their deaths!

    I had to laugh when I read on that site that “there’s a lot of buzz comcerning Dara’s latest book.”

    Yup, you’re right. Sounds like there is, although it’s not quite what most authors are looking for as far as promotion.

    *eye roll*

  21. 21
    Amy E says:

    Oh, Dara, Dara, Dara.  Wow.  That’s just so very not smart.  And that should be required reading for any author upon getting their first contract.  Sheesh.

  22. 22
    bam says:

    wow… this Corey kid looks much younger than Dara Joy.  she’s what, in her forties? And he’s like… maybe late twenties? He reminds me of one of those AV geeks I used to hang out with in high school. Maybe Dara was the first woman he ever had sex with and fell in love with her.


  23. 23
    SandyO says:

    Come to think of it, where is the rest of the doggies?  Are there doggie butts raining down on some other page on that “site”?

  24. 24
    Miri says:

    Here is a link to an old OLD interview with AAR (aka: The Romance Reader, tells you how old it is)

    Strange how things change. But it also backs up my comment in this thread that she said Traed’s story would be 5th. So so sad how things turned out!

  25. 25
    Ann Aguirre says:

    I would add that “ensorcled” is a creative way to spell the world on a “professional”—or do I mean perfeshunl?—website.

  26. 26
    Elizabeth says:


    I am the fan who started the complaints line.  If you still have not received your book and want to try to get it, email me at joycomplaints @ yahoo.com .  We have had some success in getting the books.  I started this process because I simply wanted MY book but with over 100 complaints and 68 in the last 20 days, it looks like this is going to be a long processs.  The good news is that our process is working and Cory has sent our over 1/2 so far.

    BTW, I was reading some of your comments.  I actually talked to a fan who met Dara Joy (Donna Lanier is her real name) and Cory at a convention.  She introduced him to the fan as her SON.  So you might want to rethink this relationship…. lol.

    Finally, I have learned a valuable lesson with this fiasco.  Never pre-order a book from an author try to self publish.  You are just funding their hiatus from the real publishing world and taking a big chance that she/he is living off your money as an advance.


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