Everybody Isn’t Doing It- The Reblog

You all know that excuse, you  all have heard it. You’re cruising along through some online discussion about this or that and what authors shouldn’t do to promote their books when, BOOM, some fool drops those words your mother hated to hear, “But everybody’s doing it!”

It could be about rather important but honest things like not getting a professional editor but it’s usually about such things as buying reviews or spamming discussions. I swear the post actually whines.Everybody does it.  How can I get noticed and sell my book(s) if I don’t? Everybody does it. (You can hear the whine, right?)

Got news for you, cupcake, not everybody does it. Why? It’s simple really, some people are just honest and believe that hard work and talent will eventually bring them the rewards of their labor, some just believe in following the rules and searching for acceptable ways to get notice, and some are scared of getting caught.

Because getting caught brings about a special kind of attention. Sure, you may get some sales and “pity” reviews because there are always those who seem to think that people are being mean to you when they express their displeasure for your actions by writing about it or giving your book a negative review.

“It isn’t about the book,” they protest, but it really is.  Every act of lying, scamming, cheating to get your book noticed is exactly about the book and  the author. You may have written the Great American Novel, probably not because most writers in this group seem to barely rise above mediocre,  but you have also shown your naked butt in public and it is not a pretty sight. You are not to be trusted.

You have tried to cheat your potential readers, you have tried to cheat your fellow authors. Why would we want anything to do with you?

For the rest of your career this will follow you like a loyal dog, right there at your heel where everybody can see it. From now on your every action, every review, and in the case of plagiarism, your every book will be scrutinized closely and even if it seems acceptable the doubt will linger.

There will always be those who will support the poor beset author, defending them, trying to minimize their misdeeds like an overly fond parent defending their child when s/he’s caught stealing a car or defending them because they themselves have done something they shouldn’t and are hoping for a little tit for tat when they are caught.

So if you have to defend your actions by claiming everybody’s “doing it” you might want to reconsider those actions because most assuredly everybody is not “doing it” and those are the authors readers, reviewers, and bloggers are going to support.

Ruth Mahala Burlingame

The Authors Guild and the Trademark Fracas

Author Kevin Kneupper brought this to my attention on Twitter yesterday. This post is an absolute must read for everyone because, sooner or later, we’ll encounter some misguided author who firmly believes s/he can to pull a Faleena over a word or title and we all end up watching another boozy video by someone who thinks eliminating all competition is the pathway to fame and the #1 spot on the NYT best seller list.

And since I invoked her name, Faleena has reluctantly settled and is withdrawing her trademark applications. She made a (mercifully short) video where she plays the martyr (does she ever not ) and wistfully murmurs about trying to protect her family, the Cockers, who are fictional) and how she was brutally attacked for doing so.

Refresh my memory, wasn’t she the one sending out fake cease and desist letters to indie authors using the word “cocky” in their titles? Wasn’t she the one who managed to get Amazon to remove books using “cocky”? Wasn’t she the one that applied for a TM for the word cocky in a specified font that wasn’t hers to TM? But she’s the victim, riiiight.

Anyway, go read it and save the link somewhere for when you encounter the next Faleena or Michael Scott Earle.

 

 

The Faleena Video- Pt I

Okay, Dear Readers, let’s get this video flogged. Sorry that I can’t post it but it seems Princess Pickled got it taken down everywhere- except for those copies we all are keeping in our libraries in case they’re ever needed, say in court when she tries to deny her actions or her words.

I think she thinks dramatic pauses will make her mess look better. It just makes it cheesy and already I wonder about her acting ability. But I forgot this:

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Threatened to the point of dangerous? Does not even make sense and she tries for a “significant look”. Tries and fails because- whiskey. What a llama.

Then she “beseeches the money grabbers to back the fuck off “.  Okay, princess seems to not know the definition of beseech because you would not “beseech”  in the same sentence where you insult those you are beseeching and then order them to “back the fuck off” but then we have to take the whiskey into consideration.

Big dramatic pause, Faleena’s mind.

Okay, she has this smile, it looks sort of like a shark, all teeth and weird eyes. She claims to be building a brand and gives the camera the smile and you try to ecide what brand she’s going for, Smirnoff? Baileys? Maker’s Mark? She’s building a brand, Dear Readers, and you, you know who you are, are writing. One. Book. Then the whiskey tricks her into saying that that one book off of which you are piggybacking her series.  I replayed it to make sure and, yes, that is what she says.

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Then she assures us that it’s not all writers using her success. But how is she going to distinguish between who is and who isn’t? I guess the answer to that is if a writer isn’t Tara Crescent then they probably aren’t using her success for their own monetary gain.

States the obvious more writing=more money so go write then leaps to leave  my fans, family, models alone.

And then  comes one of the most bizarre moments  she starts saying,”shes the bully she’s the bully” while making  stabby gestures and then a noise somewhere between a cat hacking up a hairball and a minah bird got caught in a garbage disposal.

Calls those who disagree with her decisions sick bastards for bothering people cause you know nothing is saner than a drunk woman making stabby motions on a video where she’s claiming to be building her brand.

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She again demand we focus on her (something she really likes).

Did she really say make your face? What’s behind the avatar, heda tilt, mmm-hmm “you know who you are”. Man, she really is jealous of Tara.

And it’s her who made this mess, but only in the sloshy brain of a jealous, jealous woman.

Everybody likes her world, her readers are great (but easily confused and sadly unsophisticated) and wouldn’t do what we have done. Yeah.

Reads a card of thanks about her book. So there.

Reads several cards. So there and there and there again.

I thought I would enclose this ss of a card for Faleena,

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Cause I read a couple excerpts from your books, sweetie, and believe me, you have my sympathy. Damn.

But her people, they love her her writing, her looks, her winning personality.

Her books save lives. Nothing new here. Once again, Laurell K Hamilton makes the same claim. I’ve read this claim from authors and usually authors that write crappy books. I have to wonder if the people who claim these books save their lives read them and then think, “Well damn, my life is bad but not as bad as this book,” then go off to breakfast and a new, better life.

What are we doing is working against goodness and light.

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Then she indulges in some wishful thinking, saying there are shadows on authors we love and they are going down because less people are following them because of the actions of their followers (us).  Now I hate to point out mistakes to a drunk (no I don’t) but there is an uptick in books sales for authors you have attacked and I’ve read a number of posts from your now former followers.  I myself have purchased The Cockiest Cowboy Whoever Cocked, Cocktales, Cocky Doctors, and Cocky Firefighters.

people don’t like us, and once again she’s projecting.

Only hurting ourselves not her, people won’t buy your books. Well, I don’t write books so I’m not at all bothered and let me just point out again the four books I bought from authors I assume she’s trying to refer to.

She didn’t bully anyone, she sent private, legal cease& desist letters and she’s mad they were posted but what anyone wants to do with their mail is not for her to dictate. I am quite sure she didn’t want her lame-ass attempts and intimidation posted for all to snicker at.

She repeats the whole “she’s the bully” with stabby motions  and hairball and minah bird noises. Holy shades of Psycho.

There are good people out there  and she’s sold half million book in series and it’s not porn. I’m picturing the floor around her looks like this:

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World’s in a sad place and we’re an example of why.  Weepyness.

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And then she bounces back to demanding we keep attacking her, please, she doesn’t mind.

But leave the innocents alone.

She’s just a good business woman trademarking her series (and a common use word), her font (which isn’t hers and she can’t legally TM). Please explain the good business of being drunk online.

You know who you are she’s done lunch with you. Meaningful look.

Ah, it becomes very apparent she means Tara.

Okay, now she says “maybe your writing is amazing” and I’m thinking she is so jealous of Tara’s writing and success that I wouldn’t want Tara to be left alone with her.

A weak person destroyed her instagram account.

Millions of readers wouldn’t do that (but they did) and those millions are her tribe. Wait, she has a tribe of millions but sold only half a million books?

She tries to claim again we are destroying our authors  by hating her. Here she makes a hand to the hair gesture that screams she knows it’s a lie. And once again we have Projection By Faleena as she claims her readers write other authors saying they are calling Faleena’s readers stupid, and their kids are stupid because they are autistic and autistic is called stupid. I would like to think she isn’t calling autistic individuals stupid but she’s drunk and after reading her post on what women should do to empower men I no longer can give her the benefit of the doubt. Read it here .

She fails to see what’s wrong with trademarking ‘cocky”. Yep, it’s about Tara. She’s furious about Tara’s cocky books. Tara started a cocky series but Faleena is building a brand and Tara’s just riding her coattails to stardom. She needs to go write a better book and leave Faleena alone with cocky.

She demands we give her hate, please.

Well, first she tried to shame everyone then she tried to scare everyone about losing support for their favorite authors and neither has really worked. Too much to drink to really make it work.

At 13 minutes one last word.

Long sad pause, soft voice, bring it she can take it (home from the nearest liquor store).

She’ll be writing (Dear gods, no, but if she must then I hope she sobers up first)

Longggggg pause then 1 more thing.

Wonders if that (her vid) was okay. Um, how do I put this? NO.

Not Safe For Work No GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Swearing fights, with her inner sober self. Sober loses bigtime.

There’s 2 minutes I won’t get back, more sighing and squirming, now 4 minutes I won’t get back.

OMG, she gets that life’s hard. She’s been through some shit, the last 4 days are nuthin.

Bring it, with crooked finger.

Now she loses track of what she started out with and starts handing out advice on how to live our lives. While drunk.

She understands we got opinions, we are all good,  rambles on, on, on, on, on, on, I guess about writing for a living. What happens if we want something try and fail?  If we all did what we want there would be no hate.  But, Faleena, what if we want to kill people?

Then this quote:

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We have lost our way and our minds, we can have everything our hearts desire. And now she’s talking Master Class. This is 31 minutes, 50 seconds. There is an hour and 12 minutes left, i really want a drink but watching Faleena good example of a horrible warning I don’t think I can.

More after chocolate.

 

 

 

Mad Cow Alert! Elizabeth Llewellyn

Dear, dear Readers, it has been too long. Get out your popcorn and beer. Ready?

You read my review of Putting My Foot Down? Fairly innocuous, I thought, but I guess I was wrong. (Well, no, but that’s the reason for this post) Turns out my old, dear friend, Elle, she of Suicide Ride infamy has also posted a review of the “book”.  And she gave it 5 stars.

Whatever.

But it now seems that between revisiting my review of her book, trashing her family and mother-in-law, proclaiming her deepest admiration for tRump, and using her dead husband to bolster her claim of victimhood, Elle has found the time to take exception to my review. Of someone else’s book.

Someone needs to take her bottle and keyboard away cause she’s a nasty piece of work even without the booze.

One of my (many, cherished) minions sent me this:

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I did not have it taken down, I sort of wanted the cray cray to remain for all to see but it did get taken down, along with several of her other comments but we’ll get there in a minute, so she returned because Elle has to have the last word.

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My “stank toe”… oh, yeah, this one is a writer. Not half as much as she thinks she is. But wait! There’s more! There was one other one star review and Elle just had to drive by and take a shot (first from the bottle then on the keyboard).

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No dissenting opinion is safe. And before any more of you ask, that is the way she writes, drunk or sober and if you keep asking I will post parts of her now unavailable books to prove it.  (She claims she removed her books to give them to a legit publisher so they will get what they deserve. Yeah.)

Well hell, what do I care if some drunk, desperately searching for recognition  heifer from the South wants to take what she fondly think of as the greatest potshot in history? I don’t but Monday afternoon after I had spent the day doing things in the life I don’t have (according to so many of my adoring followers like Elle) I opened my emails to find this.

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What the everloving fuck? If you guessed Elle, you guessed correctly. She commented and down voted all these reviews. Some comments Amazon had erased before I got there and a couple didn’t make any sense, once or twice she made more than one comment.

This is a woman who claims all of us haterz  want to be her. No. Oh, no. Hell to the no.  Who in their right mind would want to be this mess? Want to know who the heifer follows on Amazon? Not her friends whose books she reviews (in violation of the TOS), no not them, she follows one woman.

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I’m so, well, not flattered. Maybe a little creeped out. And a little concerned for the people she is fixated on living close to her. Okay, she had her fun, moo-ving on. But wait! There’s more!

Tuesday emails brought this.

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I think she managed to comment on all of them. Who doesn’t have a life? I’m thinking it’s the heifer, must be the grass looks greener outside of her pasture.

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An image of a Belted Galloway. It takes a brave bovine to wear a wide, white belt around the widest part of their body but the BG is a fashion forward cow.

Back to our heifer of the hour. Since I didn’t respond and Elle is desperate for attention she interrupted her regularly scheduled post about being a grieving widow to post this.

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Yes, I have pissed off a few deserving souls and I own it. The most amazing part of the post above is if you go to that Google search one of the top posts listed is one I reposted about Weinberg’s limp attack on John Green.  But they all mentioned my name so they all must be about how terrible I am.

I have a lovely collection of screenshots (no surprise) all about Elle but leave you with this link and this screenshot.

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Is this enough recognition for you, Elle, because all those screenshots do not paint a flattering picture of you.

 

Amazon Modifies Its TOS to Prohibit Incentivized Reviews

On October 3 Amazon posted a notice of an update to their customer reviews. This mainly addressed the problem of incentivized reviews that has been a topic of much sometimes heated discussion lately.

From Amazon’s TOS:

Promotions and Commercial Solicitations
In order to preserve the integrity of Community content, content and activities consisting of advertising, promotion, or solicitation (whether direct or indirect) is not allowed, including:

Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your (or your relative’s, close friend’s, business associate’s, or employer’s) products or services.
Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your competitors’ products or services.
Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products) or on behalf of anyone else.
Offering compensation or requesting compensation (including free or discounted products) in exchange for creating, modifying, or posting content.
Posting advertisements or solicitations, including URLs with referrer tags or affiliate codes.
The only exceptions are:

You may post content requested by Amazon (such as Customer Reviews of products you purchased on Amazon or received through the Vine program, and answers requested through Questions and Answers). In those cases, your content must comply with any additional guidelines specified by Amazon.
You may post an answer to a question asked through the Questions and Answers feature (but not a question itself) regarding products or services for which you have a financial or close personal connection to the brand, seller, author, or artist, but only if you clearly and conspicuously disclose the connection (e.g., “I represent the brand for this product.”). We automatically label some answers from sellers or manufacturers, in which case additional disclosure is not necessary.
You may post content other than Customer Reviews and Questions and Answers regarding products or services for which you have a financial or close personal connection to the brand, seller, author, or artist, but only if you clearly and conspicuously disclose the connection (e.g., “I was paid for this post.”). However, no brand or business may participate in the Community in a way (including by advertising, special offers, or any other “call to action”) that diverts Amazon customers to another non-Amazon website, service, application, or channel for the purpose of conducting marketing or sales transactions. Content posted through brand, seller, author, or artist accounts regarding their own products or services does not require additional labeling.
Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.

For more information and examples, read About Promotional Content.

There is a lot of discussion many places about the disclosure on reviews and, yes, you still need it. Please note that not only will it not save your Amazon reviews but it will make customers distrust any review you post. And any author who encourages this.

Like this one.

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Then she sort of leaves it up to the reviewer:

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I know she has been evacuated because of the hurricane so hopefully when she returns home (may it be in one piece) she will find her misplaced good judgement.

Add the disclaimer. If you lose a review on Amazon, it’s just words. If you don’t disclose and people find out you’ve been receiving books you review for free, well, you might lose their trust and that is something  a lot more important than any review.

 

Whatever Became of Laura (Harner)?

We’re going to talk a little bit about plagiarism, no, we’re going to talk about Laura (L.E.) Harner. I think for a very long time to talk about one will be to talk about the other. Last October Harner made a name for herself not for her prolific writing, she already had that, but for her blatant theft from two other well known authors, Becky McGraw and Opal Carew.

Yes, I posted a blog and two heads-ups about the situation, here, here, and here. Beyond the plagiarism itself was the way Harner acted, or didn’t act, once she was exposed. First, there was nothing, then I heard a series of excuses from second hand sources, then more nothing, her sites went silent, then this showed up about two weeks later (I think).

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I remember people wondering how long it takes to say, “I’m sorry,” or how long it took to consult with legal counsel before saying, “I plagiarized”. I guess the better part of forever. On the 28th of October The Guardian posted an article about Harner/McGraw/Carew and Herner again took care to avoid actually owning her bad actions.

“Made mistakes”, “might have crossed a line”, “working to address concerns raised by two authors who have accused me of plagiarism”, are not really admitting you outright ripped off the work of two fellow authors. This avoidance by Harner pretty much guaranteed that she wouldn’t be given much sympathy especially after she asked,  “please do not judge me too harshly”, in the same statement. The book community following this mess reserved their sympathy for McGraw and Carew.

In November the RWA gave Harner a lifetime expulsion.And then there was the sound of crickets for months.

Then on February 13 Harner broke her silence and posted on her website and FB page:

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This screenshot is from her repeat posting. The original is on my other laptop and we aren’t communicating well at the moment. The apology, which has disappeared from both sites raised a lot of questions:

Why did it take so long?

Why didn’t Harner apologize to Carew?

Was this part of some agreement made with McGraw?

Why was it so much about Harner and her feelings?

Is she really sorry or just sorry she got caught?

And my answers are:

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

Right about now, I’m pretty certain she is very sorry. At least for herself.

So let’s talk about now, what is Laura doing now? Turns out Harner released a new book in April. Not having read Harner before this I do not know how well her other books have shown at this point but Broken SEAL is rated 3.3 stars on Amazon (3.87 on Goodreads) at the moment.

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I checked her the rest of her books on Amazon and while most of them never rise above double digit numbers of reviews almost all of them are rated better. I would say not too bad considering.

I am sure we have all seen a book listed or a post by an author stating that the book has been revised, maybe lengthened, maybe a different title, maybe under the author’s other pseudonym. Maybe an author revisits a sort story and realizes that now that short is a book. If the book moves from one publisher to another the content might undergo some changes. No one has a problem with that.

There is usually an announcement and a “Previously published as” in the front of the book.

On June 21 A Perfect Storm by Annalise Alexander, a “new”, “unknown” author,  was released. You have to ask yourself is Harner learned nothing from her foray into plagiarism. On the 28th Jenny Trout posted a new Don’t Do This Ever because a reader had sent her her concerns about the very similar content of A Perfect Storm to Harner’s Whiteout. Had the plagiarist been plagiarized?

No.

Harner has a new pseudonym, Annalise Alexander, but sadly not a new book. With a change in the weather- from a blizzard to a hurricane, new names, a few other details, about ten more pages, Harner/Alexander published Whiteout as A Perfect Storm and charged $2.00 more for it.

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Ummm, no. This did not go over at all well. Harner self publishes under her own Hot Corner Press.

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Notice the publisher? Now on Smashwords:

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You have to ask, would one author publish another author who has plagiarized them? But then on Barnes & Noble:

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A different publisher and on Amazon:

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Still another. Not sure what is going on. Harner has been in the business long enough to know that there is a large number of readers/reviewers/bloggers that will ferret out all the discrepancies. Harner can’t afford discrepancies. Harner can’t afford to be anything but transparent.

There’s nothing wrong with being a formulaic author, we all know and read at least one, well I do. And there is nothing wrong with rewriting a previously published story. If you don’t tell your readers what you’ve done you can be sure they will tell you. Some of them might use profanity when they do.

But there is something wrong with what Harner has done. And I have to ask, is there no one close to her who can stop her? A family member, an editor, a beta reader? Anyone? Someone to say, “No, Laura, that is not a good idea, your readers won’t like that.”

Once again she isn’t giving any explanation for her decisions,

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there is another strong wave of disgust,

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and I have to wonder if Harner can be saved from herself.

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Please, no.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting My Bitch Flag Fly

Self published authors have a hard time finding bloggers that will review them and here is a shining example of why that is.

Dear author, the everyone is talking about,  first I have to address a couple issues with your book. “”What is this?” I asked with in-trepidation.”  In-trepidation?  No. Please see the definitions below and choose wisely (hint:  choose the second).

Simple Definition of intrepid

  • : feeling no fear : very bold or brave

Simple Definition of trepidation

  • : a feeling of fear that causes you to hesitate because you think something bad or unpleasant is going to happen

Then there is this sentence,  “Do I make you feel things you’ve never felt before?” , I am positive that there are a few talented writers out there that could make this line work but I am equally positive that you aren’t one of them. You can’t even write a decent non-apology.

And now let us speak about that non-apology, it starts out innocently enough, “Dear Authors, Readers, and Bloggers alike, I do want to clear up some misconceptions about all of the things that have been circulating around on social media recently:” And then it rapidly slides down Mount Whatthefuck,  ” I’m sorry that you either didn’t enjoy Quinn or simply refuse to read this series due to the latest events that have transpired on social media. I appreciate your true and honest feedback, I truly do.”  I suspect that the honest feedback you’ve been getting since your little FB plea has been far, far too honest and if you really appreciate honest feedback than I wouldn’t be writing this.

People have misconstrued my words on a post that was screen shot and then circulated.First of all,
I did not call this particular blogger a bitch. I said “flag that bitch” – it’s a colloquial term – as in “flag that review” – and it was in NO way shape or form meant to demean that particular blogger. One cannot “flag” a person on Goodreads – they can, however, flag “reviews”. Hence : “Flag that review”” Umm, no. Why no? Let us look at a screenshot.

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You refer to “some blogger”, then “flag that bitch”. then “People LIKE her review”. Blogger, bitch, her, c’mon do you really think anyone believes you meant the review and not the person?

“I absolutely feel horrid that this blogger thought I had called her that name. For that being taken out of context, I apologize. I would never want to take a hurtful jab at anyone or hurt their feelings. I would never call or think to call anyone, let alone a blogger a bitch. Anyone who knows me, has NEVER seen, read, nor heard me call a person a profanity on any public or personal thread, period. So yes – I screwed up – because Flag that bitch sounds bad any which way you spin it.”  Yes, you certainly did screw up and nothing was taken out of context. And here we see the first mention of another problem:  the dreaded “anybody who knows me” denial and innocence excuse.

“People who know me – know my heart and soul – and they know I was not coming from a bad place when I posted my request. Believe me when I say I have had my fair share of poor reviews – and I had never before taken action or offense to them over the past two years that I have been writing.” You weren’t coming from a bad place? So, you were filled with joy and love when you called on your fans to “flag that bitch”?

“Yes – I had disagreed with this bloggers review. Just as it is this bloggers right for her to have her own opinion of my book – I felt I had a right to my opinion about her review. Why is that so wrong? Why must I be afraid to not voice my own opinion when readers so clearly can?” Why, oh why, can’t I call the bitch a bitch, you cry. How about because the bitch, uh, reviewer isn’t trying to sell her opinion. You, however, are trying to sell this piece of crap.

“I felt that one particular blogger was making a mockery of me and of my story – This blogger clearly went out of her way to find (in my eyes) demeaning gif’s to compliment each of her derogatory paragraphs in-between. It was my interpretation – just as it was your interpretation that her review was fantastic.” Bless your heart, you can’t count either. There were three gifs, three. Here is the review, please have someone count the paragraphs for you. I guess demeaning is open to interpretation, be happy that none of them were of a pigeon shitting on a book.

“I want to be as open and candid as possible in this situation, because it is only fair for you to see my intentions, and my mistakes for being a human, as well as my remorse. I am woman enough to admit when I am wrong – I most certainly ran on emotions – and afterwards had a smack me in the head moment – because in that moment of emotionalism, I was NOT thinking. I should have contacted that reviewer.” Got news for you, you still aren’t thinking. Contact the reviewer, are you insane? It’s either insane or jaw-dropping stupid. Remember only one of you is trying to sell something. And the reviewer is entitled to her opinion.

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“All of the comments thereafter that ensued on this bloggers thread both on Facebook and on Goodreads were distasteful, unprofessional, and frankly I was taken aback. It was to my understanding that there were certain guidelines for one to follow when reviewing books with Sullivan + Partners. I was under the impression bloggers were to first and foremost supposed to communicate with them if they felt the book was under a 3 star read before posting a review. This did not happen.” You do realize you are insulting people again? I think your understanding had less to do with reality and more to do with wishful thinking. And I wonder what Sullivan + Partners think of you right now.

“All of the bloggers that have been working with Sullivan + Partners have been so incredible and professional, even the negative reviews had been so professionally crafted. So I was shocked and taken aback by this particular review, because of the cartoonish tone which was full of satire, and snippets that were taken out of context. Again, this was my own interpretation.” I have some bad news for you, even in context your writing is not all that good. And you really need to familiarize yourself with the idiom “out of context”. You don’t seem to know what it means. And you keep subtly and not so subtly harping on the “unprofessionalism” of the reviewer, I thought you were apologizing?

“I had placed all bloggers working with Sullivan on a pedestal, because even the 2 – 3 star reviews were of quality caliber and objective. When I saw this particular review I had thought surely this reviewer didn’t come from Sullivan.” She read your crappy book, she gets to say it is crappy. Her writing is much better than yours. Much better. Light years better. And she uses the correct words, you need to consult a dictionary. Often.

“Yes – I had asked some of my team members to flag that review – because honestly – it was one of the first reviews I felt was malicious, demeaning, and full of derision, and it hurt. I do have feelings, we all have feelings. However, it may not have been the way you would have handled this situation, but at that particular moment in time, it was my way of handling it – right or wrong -” Call me crazy but I’m not really seeing an apology anywhere in this rambling mess  of “it’s everybody’s fault but mine”. Right or wrong? As incredible as it is to me this isn’t your first book  and you claim to have had 2 star reviews before so you just decided that you wanted to be the latest snowflake to meltdown? It’s a pretty mild review.

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“I’m terribly sorry all these bloggers felt “I took the cake” – as well as jumped to the worst conclusions about me and my character. As I said, if you knew the entire story – both sides of the coin – I don’t believe you would be feeling this way toward me. There is nothing I can do to change your view point of me, and for that I am saddened. I truly am.” If there’s another side to the story then let’s hear it but so far all I’m seeing is excuses. Get to the point.

“I strive very hard to keep all drama off my pages – as well avoiding all forms of gossip, calling people names, publicly calling people out, or having malicious intent to down others. I have been nothing but supportive of readers, authors and bloggers alike.” This is my first encounter with you and you are presenting yourself as a whining entitled snowflake. Good first impression.

“We all sin and fall short of the Glory of God, do we not? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Why is it okay for both readers and bloggers alike to now trash me – publicly circulating only half the story – all the while “judging” me and running me down? The anger and derisiveness those people are exuding has been far worse.”  If there is another side of the story, get to it. But just because you didn’t like that review is not the other side of the story, it is your excuse for very bad behavior. I heard you didn’t just post a call to arms on FB but you also posted this on Goodreads:

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You commented then deleted those comments on reviews on GR you didn’t like,  and you were trying to mess with the book database. That is a very big no-no. GR isn’t going to be forgiving. Then you posted this in response to a fan who tried to talk you off the edge:

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What’s with the whole real life/fiction thing? She didn’t like your writing. Stop trying to make it something else. And, um, “Fuck that”? What happened to striving not to name call? What happened to keeping it drama free? Honey, you are the 600 lb drama llama of the internet right now.

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“I have always taught my children there are 2 sides to every coin and to not make a decision on judging until they know the entire story from both sides. I truly feel that if people knew me  – they would have seen this in a different light. I’m just astounded that others who were NOT involved – have chimed in the way they have – quick to judge, and quick to trash me, and my character when they know nothing about me, or the entire situation. Nor do those people know my heart or just how giving of a person I am, nor do they know how much sleep I have lost over this debacle.” We know that you melted down like any other snowflake, asked your fans to flag a review that did not violate GR’s TOS, called reviewers trolls, reviewed your own book and made snotty remarks about readers/reviewers that didn’t like your book, tried to alter the book database, and made this rambling hot mess of excuses and tried to pass it off as an apology. Your character is thinner than the ones in your book.

BTW, people have the right to rate your book however they like and why would anyone recommend your book now? You’ve attacked one reviewer then proceeded to spew over all the one stars. What will you do to the next person who doesn’t like your book?

“Nobody knows how much another person is going through at any given moment in their live. The things within peoples personal life can sometimes stretch a persons ability to deal with certain matters and situations which would normally have been brushed off with ease. This was one of those cases. It is hard for me to believe that nobody has never been short-tempered before, or reacted to something rashly when their mental and physical limits have been stretched so very thin. I am most certain those people would want to have grace and forgiveness displayed to them, and I’m am doubly certain they wouldn’t want one of their most weakest moments spread to all four corners of social media either.”  Well, if you flop it out there people are gonna talk. Forgiveness is granted to those who ask but you haven’t asked.  It wasn’t a weak moment, once you got started you didn’t seem to know when to quit, or maybe you didn’t want to quit.

“I only wish this person who felt they needed to screen shot a post that was meant for my team – to have come to me personally and had a one on one discussion with me – asking me to explain myself – it would have been the right and professional thing to do, no?” Why is it everybody but you has to be professional? You are the author, sort of, when are you going to be professional? Will it be any time in this decade?

“This entire scenario deeply saddens me, and the outpouring of judgement without asking me my side, is even sadder. I felt I needed to explain my side to you, because I am not “that” author. I am simply not. I may be unfiltered at times, but my heart is genuine, and I would even go so far as to give those who dislike me the shirt off my back.”  What side? Did anybody see her side? “Nobody knows how much another person is going through at any given moment in their live. The things within peoples personal life can sometimes stretch a persons ability to deal with certain matters and situations which would normally have been brushed off with ease.” That isn’t your side and it’s a pretty bad piece of writing.

“Now that you have heard the other side of the coin, there will still be people who will hold no grace or forgiveness in their heart. This saddens me as well. Those people will be content to remain angry and “quick to judge” and I cannot fix that or change their mind about me or my character no matter what I do or say.”  You cannot change their minds because you have done nothing to show you are sorry for your actions.

“I had a new reader contact me last night. Instead of trashing me publicly, she approached me via messenger to clear the air and her conscious. I so very much appreciated that. She wanted to discuss this with me before passing her own judgement on the situation. I gave her the above letter you just read – and this was her response.”  And now you will try to show people the correct, according to you, way to handle their unhappiness with your actions. Here’s the thing, once you put it out in public you don’t have control of the situation anymore.

“READER RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE LETTER

Thank you for responding. And I appreciate you explaining. I see your point; however, it wouldn’t be my way to handle the situation, it was your way and that’s your right.

I certainly understand “things we all go through” as my husband has stage 4 cancer. He is the love of my life and we have been married for 35 years. I am a 54 year old high school registrar, my husband is a teacher. As I said I have always been a reader. It’s my escape to another world and

gives me peace and enjoyment. I had just finished your book this morning and immediately preordered book 2 which I understand to be out on 4/19. I will read it at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital for yet another day of treatment for my husband. For you see even though I didn’t care for your post I am still a fan, a new fan of your work, and I will continue to read your books.

MY RESPONSE:

well, now your making me cry. lol. I am sorry about your husband, and I will most certainly say a prayer for him.

It just saddens me that people just assume I’m calling others a name such as that, and jumping the gun. – when I did not.

Thank you for your kind words – they mean a lot to me right now. Stay strong. xoxo

HER FINAL RESPONSE:

I’m sorry I assumed too much. I saw the post and felt you called the blogger a bitch. I was disappointed because I loved your book so much! If nothing else I got to speak with you and now I know you’re a caring person, a Mom and someone that prays!

Keep writing! You have true talent! God bless”

And we get to see you as a caring, praying mom. Is that reserved only for those that contact you using your approved methods? And what has this to do with making an apology?

“AND  THIS  ABOVE is why I write. This is what moves me.  This brought literal tears to my eyes, because I care about other people, what they are going through, and I care about their pain. I told her I would pray for her and her husband, and I have and will continue to do so. Somewhere inside I am outraged by your using God in your petty and outrageous actions against those reviewers who didn’t like your book and/or your actions.

“It’s not about money for me, it’s about connecting with readers who are needing an escape from the realities of life and their own pain even if it’s for a few hours. This is my character , this is the real me, and this new reader  touched me on a very deep level. THIS is what it’s  all about for me. It’s about connecting with readers and touching their lives in a positive way.” It’s good it’s not about money because I think you tanked this turkey.

“I am only sorry and disheartened your first impression of me was in a negative light. I by no means meant anyone any ill will, harm, or malice. I had acquired all of the participating blogger names to add into the acknowledgement section of both my paperback books and digital books, thank all of you for taking time out of your busy ARC schedule to read for me. All of those blogger names will still remain in my books no matter what you think of me, or my books, because I am still appreciative of the time you took from your busy schedule to even read the first book.”  Ye-ah, you certainly appreciated all over the place. I would hate to see what you do when you aren’t appreciative.

In the book the heroine packed her vibrator when she went on the run in a national park. The author posted this picture on GR along with making remarks 2, 4, and 6 in the conversation that followed.

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For someone who claims to avoid name calling and drama you  certainly couldn’t prove it by your actions. Let’s take one last look at those actions:

You took offense at a 2 star review and asked your followers to flag it.

You left a review of your book which was basically a way to diss any one star review.

You posted some not very drama-free comments in various places.

You tried to alter the GR book database.

You wrote this “apology” wherein you explained how good and righteous you are and all those reviewers who didn’t like your book aren’t. An apology isn’t about you, you, you.

Your “apology” is rated

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