Aubrey Rose- I’ve been plagiarized!

[reblogged from Aubrey Rose]


Well, somebody stole my book. A kind fan pointed out that Clarissa Black’s book City Girl, Mountain Bear was similar to my novella City Girl, Country Wolf. Too similarThis “author” has taken my storyline and rewritten my book scene for scene, changing just enough to be able to get through Amazon’s plagiarism filters. Not a single sentence is the same, but the story is exactly the same. Check it out…

First scene overview: A high-powered executive woman is in her highrise building, on the phone with someone who is sending her away for a corporate merger. I’ll go through and point out the similarities.
The first sentence illustrates exactly the kind of plagiarism Clarissa Black has committed – rewritten sentence-for-sentence. There’s no reason for a motorcycle to be riding by in the street outside her office – it’s just a detail that they copied because it was there in the original.
  • mine: “a motorcycle rode by her office window, its motor revving loudly.”
  • ripoff: “A motorcycle blared through the City Street.”
Then while still on the phone with corporate, she’s interrupted by her receptionist:
  • mine: “The receptionist poked his head inside her office.”
  • ripoff: “Antonio’s head popped in the office”
Which irritates her.
  • mine: “She gestured at Seth to leave”
  • ripoff: “I gestured for Antonio to enter”
But he has a bunch of papers for her to sign. There’s no reason for her to sign the bottom page, it’s just a detail they copied because it was there in the original.
  • mine: “Flipping through the sheaf of papers, she signed the bottom one and handed it back to Seth.”
  • ripoff: “I said signing the last page at the bottom of the stack.”
She’s late for her meeting with the board:
  • mine: “It was already two minutes past eleven and she was due to present the latest quarterly figures to the board of executives… Seth opened the door again and pointed at his watch. It was time to do the presentation. It was past time.”
  • ripoff: “Antonio waved at his watch. Damn two minutes past the morning meeting with the board of directors.”
The corporate person on the phone decides to send her away to do the merger:
  • mine: ““What do you mean, they want me to do it?””
  • ripoff: “What do you mean, you want me to go”
So she tells her assistant to cancel her plans for the next day:
  • mine: “And cancel my therapy session in the afternoon”
  • ripoff: “I need you to cancel the morning meeting”
And then she leaves. End of scene. So it goes, for the rest of the book.
This is my book, scene for scene, rewritten in the first person and paraphrased so that it doesn’t look like plagiarism. Every single scene is like this. This is a substantial paraphrasing of my book, and as such is plagiarism. So whoever you are, Clarissa Black, screw you and your poorly written knockoff plagiarized books.
If you’re an author, check to see if she hasn’t knocked off one of yours. And if you see a plagiarized book, please REPORT IT to Amazon and to the author who’s being ripped off. I wouldn’t have known if it hadn’t been for a fan letting me know I was being plagiarized. I’m trying to get Amazon to take down the ripoff book right now, will update once I know if they’ll listen to me…

The paid shills are back. And readers have no defense.

Another post from Linda Hilton on the growing problem of paid reviews.

(Note:  As of 1:00 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, 23 June 2014, this blog post is incomplete..I will finish it later today or tonight, but I wanted to put this much information out before I put out the next bit of info, which will be in the next blog post.  Yes, it’s complex. . . . Not my fault.)

That’s the link to my second blog on this subject, and it contains a link to the first.

This is number three.  Three strikes and you’re out.

Despite evidence presented to Amazon that “Winchester168” is a paid fiverr reviewer who does not reveal that she has been compensated for her reviews, she continues to review on Amazon.



And although her “Winchester 168” account was deleted from Goodreads, she has returned and is continuing to review there as well:



“Suzie West” is indeed a new Goodreads account:



She is systematically plugging her old Amazon reviews into her “new” Goodreads account:




I have provided Goodreads with this information.  Whether they will do anything or not remains to be seen.  (They don’t work much on week-ends, which allows the shills and trolls free rein.)

But Goodreads has another problem on their hands:  The rampant invasion of what appear to be massive numbers of sock puppet accounts all posting 5-star ratings (very few if any reviews, however) to the books of one particular author.

The above linked Feedback thread discusses the situation but, because of Goodreads site restrictions, the author and books and reviewers cannot be named.  Here’s the Opening post:


And here’s the author in question:



Oh, wait, here’s the author in question:



Ah, but wait, here’s the author in question:



[reblogged from

Once broken, Trust is almost impossible to repair

This is the second post in Linda Hilton’s ongoing series of blogs about paid reviews.


A few weeks ago, I posted the above blog about at least one “reviewer” on Amazon who appeared to be a paid shill from fiverr.  In other words, the person going by the name “Winchester168” on Amazon was brazenly soliciting business as a 5-star reviewer.  This is not only in violation of Amazon’s stated Terms of Service, but it is against Federal Trade Commission regulations which require reviewers to state clearly whether or not they were compensated in any way for their review.  That includes receiving a free copy from the author or publisher or any other entity for the purpose of review.  And it most definitely includes payment through fiverr for the review.


Here’s the book, and yes I know it’s showing my purchase information:


As of today, 12 June 2014, it has 6 reviews on Amazon, all of which are 5 stars.


Here’s one of them, from Winchester168:



Here is Winchester168’s Amazon profile:



Here is Winchester168’s fiverr profile:



Scrolling down Winchester168’s fiverr profile we find this:



detailing how the client author can even get the “verified purchase” stamp that’s supposed to “prove” the reviewer is an impartial customer.


Although this information has been sent to Amazon several times over the past three weeks, Winchester168 continues to post reviews.


Last night, another GoodReads member located more evidence that Amazon top reviewers and GoodReads top reviewers are in fact fiverr shills.  That evidence has been passed along to GoodReads staff.


I personally was so upset about it, that I began looking at all of Winchester168’s reviews on Amazon and deliberately putting those books on my do-not-want-to-read shelf on GoodReads.  I do not want to support ANY author who stoops to buying five-star reviews.


In the process, of course, I eventually found Winchester168’s reviews on GoodReads.



Which led to Catherine Winchester’s GoodReads profile:




The connections between the various reviewers form a very tangled web.  Winchester is GR friends with Feng Zhou, whose book she 5-starred on Amazon.  There are other suspect reviewers whose reviews interestingly show up on many of the same books that Winchester has reviewed.


If you’re a reader, you should be able to trust that the reviews posted on any site — Amazon, GoodReads, BookLikes, Leafmarks, a blog, anywhere — are an honest opinion.  You should be informed when a “review” is in fact a paid advertisement.  You should know which authors are engaging in practices to pad their ratings to push their books to the top of whatever lists.


If you’re an author, you should be able to trust your fellows.  And you should never, ever break faith with your readers.


I will never support any author who stoops to buying reviews.  Call me a vigilante if you like, but I find this practice more than just unethical and potentially illegal.  You’ve broken the sacred trust that should exist between writers and readers, and I find that despicable, abhorrent, and unforgivable.


[reblogged from



What a way to wake up. (Or go to bed. This keeps changing.)

On 8/11 I posted a blog by Linda Hilton, Somewhere along the way, the whole game changed, Linda has written several others about this growing problem. This is the first posted back on 5/23.

10:57 am 23 May 2014

Parris Afton  Bonds shouldn’t have to game the review system.  Well, actually, no one should be gaming the review system, but Bonds should know better than to even try.


Since I can’t post this on either Goodreads or Amazon, I guess I’ll post it here.


Parris Afton Bonds has republished Dream Time, one of her historical romance novels.  When I picked it up this morning (Friday, 23 May 2014) as Kindle freebie, the five 5-star reviews caught my eye.  As I began to look at them, I could feel my blood pressure start to rise.


One reviewer only has five reviews in her history.  They are all of Parris Afton Bonds’ books.  They are all 5-star.


This one, posted by “Winchester168” looks perfectly legitimate.



But if you look at her profile, she identifies herself as a fiverr reviewer.  I saw that and got sick to my stomach.



The other three reviewers all have lots and lots and lots of reviews, but they’re in a variety of genres, which right away suggests to me that these are fiverr reviewers also.


For instance, here’s a 5-star review on from “Christopher Gill.”



But that text seems familiar.





This pisses me off.  This pisses me off big time.  Parris Afton Bonds shouldn’t have to rig the system.  She should know better.



But wait, there’s more.  Unfortunately, I don’t know how to post a spreadsheet. . . so I’ll just have to give you a description.


I decided to compare the reviews/ratings on GoodReads posted by the three reviewers who gave Dream Time 5-star ratings:  Hector Purgess, Neela Jensen, and Caldric Blackwell.  Their book totals ranged from 57 (Purgess and Blackwell) to 44 (Jensen), but they remarkably had approximately 35 titles in common.  Most of their reviews/ratings were posted in the same sequence, and virtually all were 5-star ratings.


The few books they didn’t have in common were either classics (The Hobbit) or current bestsellers (Divergent).


And when I compared those to the reviewers on Amazon, “Rich Blaisdell” fell right in line:  Same titles, same sequence.


These are not reviews.  They are paid advertisements masquerading as reviews.


I suppose there isn’t much we can do, other than continue to report this as we find it and hope there’s still some integrity left  in the world.  (I’m not holding my breath; are you?)


It’s one thing to rant and rage and obsess over some of the meltdowns we’ve all seen.  The authors who get caught in their own little lies, whose sock puppets are revealed, and who get kicked off GoodReads and Amazon and even BookLikes time and again.  We shake our heads at the shifting allegiances as trusted friends become bullying trolls and back again.


And one of the reasons why I’ve never been able to get too enthusiastic about BookLikes is that I think it’s too easy for this kind of chicanery to go undetected.  Without a single page per book, where all reviews, ratings, comments, discussions can be viewed and accessed and compared, it’s too easy for an author to game the system without detection.  On the other hand, BookLikes right now is the only place where this kind of chicanery can be exposed, and where the  primary focus is not on selling books.


I don’t know what I’m going to do with this information.  As an author, I can’t post on Amazon without running certain risks, especially since Parris Afton Bonds and I write in exactly the same genre.  On GoodReads, I’m still a bit paranoid after the September purge; I don’t know how seriously any of my complaints are taken.


I’ve given up most of a day’s free time to this today.  I don’t have all that much free time to give.

[reblogged from ]

Good Bad Language: a post about swearing

KJ Charles

Warning: This is about profanity. Stop now if you don’t like swearing, because there will be a lot, and I am not going to use asterisks except once, in the next sentence. There is liberal use of c***; skip to the end for a postscript if this word particularly bothers you, or just abandon ship now. My advice is not to text-to-speech this one in public. Right, here we go.

Every few days, a post floats by on Twitter or pops up on a writing advice forum about profanity. Generally, the advice is the same: Swearing betrays poverty of imagination and language; you can convey the same effects without using rude words; you might upset people who don’t like swearing and what’s the point in turning off potential readers?

This is not the advice you are about to receive here.

Poverty of imagination/language

Swearing is just a lazy way to…

View original post 1,823 more words