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

REVIEW: The Claiming by Trinity Blacio

Jane:

Maili, I understand you just finished reading (or is that too generous of a word) the words compiled into one PDF known as The Claiming by Trinity Blacio published by Siren Publishing-Bookstrand, Inc. The Claiming is ostensibly about a young woman whose family was killed in a bomb explosion on the family boat 10 years prior to the start of the story. Tabatha (also referred to as “Tab”) receives a frightening phone call from someone claiming to be responsible for those long ago deaths and promising to finish Tabatha off now. Tabatha believes that werewolves might be responsible for her family’s death but this doesn’t stop her from dressing up (or undressing given the scanty nature of the costume) for a Halloween party held at the local werewolf club. There she discovers that the Alpha is her mate and that a demon named Chax, summoned using her stolen car (don’t ask), is also her mate.

Tabatha is claimed by the two men, transformed by their seed “part werewolf and demon, being able to shift as she saw fit, and living as long as they chose.” There’s other stuff that goes on including that her brother isn’t really dead but has been hiding for 10 years and he gets to join a threesome claiming of his own.

Your email said that you were rocking slowly in a dark corner. Is there any one thing that you can point to that finished you off?

Maili:

“Then they heard Chax bellow his rage from the living room. He came storming into the room. He stopped at the foot of the bed and stared at them. His clothes flew off his body. Ever so slowly, he crawled onto the bed with them.”

It’s either that or at department store Macy’s, Tabatha somehow managed to floor two fierce demons by kneeling their balls. Or when fighting at her home, she suddenly shape-shifted into a werewolf and then a demon, to deal with a couple of demons. I’m not sure why she managed to do this when she didn’t at Macy’s. Actually, perhaps it was that moment when everyone stopped fighting after the Master of Hell – out of the blue – shouted, “Stop fighting!” There were so many. I think I was finished off by page 2, actually.

I just can’t get over that there was virtually no world-building. It seemed so random. Tabatha is probably the most inconsistent character I’d come across. What did you think of her?

Jane:
I admit that I was skeptical when I started this book as I was alerted to it by a reader who informed me via email it was the worst book that she had read; that she was never going to buy another ebook again; and that the author used “neither hole” twice in place of nether hole.

(neither hole exhibit A) and (neither hole exhibit B)

I didn’t fully appreciate how truly awful it was, however, until I started reading. It wasn’t just simply the lack of a coherent plot or the lack of worldbuilding but the consistent misspellings; lack of proper grammar; inconsistent details from page to page; and total disregard for use of punctuation. It actually read like a test you might give to a copyeditor who is applying for a job.

Maili:

Yeah! I don’t think anyone would dare to use it as a test because it’d take longer than an hour for a copyeditor to highlight all errors and inconsistencies. It’s the constant inconsistency that almost killed me. Chax’s height varied throughout the story. As far as I could remember, he was seven feet and one inch tall and somehow, became six feet and a half. In one scene he had shaven chest and in other scene, he had chest hairs same colour as his red hair. Oh, speaking of his hair. It was long enough to touch the floor, but the length varied since then. Down to his waist, his shoulders, his knees or God knows where else. A black-haired woman became a blonde bimbo. Some actions were repeated. Tabatha pulled her t-shirt off twice in one scene. Once in a while, it happened on the same page.

The Claiming read as if it was a first draft and completely unedited. I suspect the editor – if there was one – ran a simple spell check because we have so many WTF? words. Cheek for check, rapid for rabid, story for store (“Glancing around the story she noticed everything back as if there had never been a fight” ), and their for they’re (“Yes, they know their not too happy, but I didn’t care.“). It was truly crazy.
Jane:

Toward the end of the story, I was unsure whether the author’s native language was English. As you noted, rapid dog was used (twice in fact). There was a “coat cheek” and “he cheeked every nook of her body”.

The use of pronouns was optional:

"I thought you would like to have our ceremony with Melody’s. We could have out there by the lake."

The transitions were stunningly bad:

Tabatha blushed and looked up at her mates’ glaring eyes. They didn’t say a word to her as they disappeared from the store. Her head rose up and she glanced up and her headboard greeted her vision. Face down on the bed she tried to turn around but her…

Consistent tense is forgotten:

“Tabatha couldn’t believe it. This hunk of a man could dance, and he is gorgeous to boot.”

Maili:

Someone responded to a recent DA article about the etiquette for reviewers that a reviewer should find something good in a bad book. I honestly tried to find one in The Claiming. The nearest I could find: the author has had an interesting concept. Not original, but interesting. I could see the skeleton of her story, but the execution is so poorly done. There was no story structure and… I’m sorry, it was unbelievably bad.

Well, it did have some memorable bits. Such as these: -

  • Ben laughed a sad laugh as two cups of coffee flew at him.
  • She bent down to pick it up when she felt the wiz of something fly by her ear.
  • Tabatha stopped for a minute, thinking about it, and continued walking to the car.
  • Shane grabbed hold of her, stopping her progress. “Wait, let me check outside.” His nose sniffed around the door. He poked his head out doing the same thing. Okay, everything is clear.”

There are some poorly plotted stories that have good erotic scenes, but the erotic scenes in The Claiming aren’t erotic at all. All were the ‘Wham-bam-thank-you-Ma’am’ type. I wouldn’t even brand it bad porn. I wonder if the author skimmed the details and the world-building to fit the word count for a 85-page novella? Or is it too charitable of me to think that?

Jane:

You have to wonder how any house can put this work out and maintain a reputation as a credible publisher.

Maili:

Especially when the ending made it clear that there will be a series to come. I hadn’t read a Siren Publishing book before and having read The Claiming, I’m not sure if I’m willing to read another.

Jane:

If there was a grade below F, I would give it. I truly believe this book is unpublishable in its current state. It gives Siren a bad name and, by extension, epublishing a bad name. No self respecting publisher should put out this kind of product. I intend to read another Siren book to see if The Claiming is an aberration.

This book can be purchased via Bookstrand (unfortunately you have to buy a $5 voucher and the book itself is only $4.50).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

258 Comments

  1. W. H. Mills
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:03:52

    Donna – So, I take it since you only took offense at the BULL DYKE comment, the other comment I made are true and not at all offensive, my point proved – your site promotes what? All “good” comments about your books can be found here!

  2. W. H. Mills
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:06:20

    by Heather (errantdreams) June 9th, 2009 at 11:02 am
    Why is it that the folks hurling the nastiest insults are always the ones claiming to have the moral high ground? Does not compute.

    HEATHER – on this site – you are all guilty of the same – just do it in a nicer way, shame on all of you.

  3. Donna
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:08:47

    @MPH:

    The issue isn't about what's “fair” to Siren Publishing, it would make more sense to consider the company's overall repuation as well as the reputations of other authors in their catalog. From there, one can make an intelligent decision as to whether this company provides adequate quality control as a rule or if “glitches” such as the book being discussed, are more the norm.

    Guess that depends on what your idea of “sense” is. I do not feel that making a decision not to spend more money at a particular publisher following something like this is unfair. No one is obligated to make what you consider an informed decision when buying books. To expect that everyone will give such careful consideration to this sort of thing is, in my opinion, putting a lot of pressure and responsibility on your average buyer. They owe this publisher nothing they don’t wish to give.

    I do, however, have to say I probably overstated how many people would look at this whole thing and assume Siren publishes crap. I said “a lot”, and perhaps I should have said “some.” And I do stand by that, and I will not think less of those people. As a product, this thing was just shoddy, and I wouldn’t blame them for not wanting to spend more money on the off-chance of getting a similar product.

    This does not constitute a good analogy in my opinion. The investment (time as well as financial and emotional) one places in the purchase/read of an ebook does not compare to the investment one makes in purchasing an automobile.

    Another valid point. Here’s an analogy with a more comparable price point: If I go to Starbucks and the grande latte they serve me turns out to have been made with soured milk, I’m getting my fancy coffee drinks somewhere else from then on out.

  4. Nadia
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:10:46

    @W. H. Mills: your argument might be more convincing if you actually KNEW the commenters in real life.

  5. MPH
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:10:49

    @theo:

    In this instance, you are comparing apples to oranges. In LKH's case, it wasn't the craft that suffered, it was the contents of the story. LKH, whether you love her or hate her, knows her craft and does it very well. And the books were edited, polished and printed because of that.

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree here. In my opinion some of LKH’s later books are so discombobulated and lacking in plot or direction, I sometimes think another person wrote the books. Whoever’s doing her editing isn’t cutting it; some of the more recent books are rife with errors and plot holes.

  6. Donna
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:17:18

    @W. H. Mills:

    Donna – So, I take it since you only took offense at the BULL DYKE comment, the other comment I made are true and not at all offensive, my point proved – your site promotes what? All “good” comments about your books can be found here!

    I found the comment offensive, yes. That doesn’t mean I found the rest of your statements true. They were standard insults I’ve seen before, and I didn’t feel the need to respond to them.

    As for what my site promotes… It promotes my books. That’s all. And I don’t think there are any comments here about those books.

    As for your assertion that you are gay and therefore cannot be a homophobe, maybe you should rethink that. Because you call people here “bull dykes” in a pejorative sense–as if it is something negative, something to be ashamed of. That feels like homophobia to me.

  7. theo
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:23:09

    @Donna: You probably shouldn’t use such ‘big words’ like pejorative. Since the insults were standard that take no thought, pejorative and other such words are probably not going to be understood by W.H.Mills. Most trolls don’t which is why they’re trolls.

    IMHO…

  8. gaypride
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:25:13

    And the comments get better. What a site. The standards continue to rise. I’m going to start tweeting soon.

  9. Nadia
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:25:29

    @theo: Ditto.

    I’d love to see a literate AND articulate troll as a matter of fact.

  10. Ciar Cullen
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:27:42

    Gwen is a good friend and a fantastic writer, and I’m honored to have her as my crit partner. So I want to emphasize that whatever I said (God, it seems like a million years ago), was not inclusive of all titles at all pubs! I only said that some small press books are getting trashy titles and covers (someone provided a link to one that really grossed me out). One person’s trash is another’s edgy art, I get that. Please stop emailing me. Geesh.

  11. Donna
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:30:19

    @theo: I know, I know. Don’t feed the trolls. Sometimes I forget. *sigh*

  12. anonymous 1001
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:33:55

    Please stop emailing me. Geesh.

    yet another reason for posting anonymously…

    in response to others:

    why is it okay for a gay person to insult another gay person? or to use a term like “bull dyke” in such a derogatory way as to insult lesbians? Using any phrase as an insult implies something hateful in your opinion of that phrase. No one insults someone by saying “you big old nice guy!” do they?

    I also want to comment that the writers I have met are among the most sexually aware and fluid of any group I know. They openly admit to bisexual interests or experiences, so I wouldn’t say there are a lot of uptight closeted folks in the erotic romance writing community.

  13. Anonymous
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:36:48

    lol @ Theo: Too funny.

    To tell you the truth, up until last night for a few posts, and again now, this discussion had been pretty sane and informative. There hadn’t been any name calling or any real anger. At least I thought so.

  14. Sarcastica
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:37:56

    @Laura Ashton. Sorry lady, but I don’t think I’ll be buying your books at Siren and it has nothing to do with how poorly The Claiming turned out. Your posts here are full of errors and inaccuracies. If you’re going to say something and come off as one who knows what she’s talking about, you should do your homework first.

    Your comment about the anthology Trinity is in was way off base. It was well received and well edited by Faith Bicknell-Brown, an excellent and respected editor. The publisher of the anthology was FREYA’S BOWER. Trinity’s name – typed here and repeated by numerous people – is Trinity BLACIO. There is an edit function on this commenting software, but apparently you’re too gun shy to use it.

    BTW, I’ve seen your promos for your current release including today’s. Typos right in the subject line. I think you’ve even promo’d on Trinity’s Yahoo group, possibly even with the one that has HUMOROUS spelled wrong. All that being said, I’d think about glass houses before tossing any more stones about this book and author regardless of how bad either might seem. You’re not doing Siren authors or yourself any favors. There comes a point where less is more. I think you may have reached it.

  15. MPH
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:39:31

    @Donna:

    Guess that depends on what your idea of “sense” is.

    “Sense” does not depend upon what my idea of it happens to be. Here are applicable definitions of “sense” courtesy of Merriam-Webster:

    conscious awareness or rationality; capacity for effective application of the powers of the mind as a basis for action or response : intelligence b: sound mental capacity and understanding typically marked by shrewdness and practicality ; also : agreement with or satisfaction of such power

    I do not feel that making a decision not to spend more money at a particular publisher following something like this is unfair.

    Feelings have nothing to do with sense. The consumer has the right to patronize or to refuse business to a company and their decisions may be based on any number of factors. I am a lifelong reader, I have purchased and read fabulous books, great books, mediocre books, lousy books, and not once have I ever elected to abbandon a specific publisher based upon securing a single abyssmal read from said publisher.

    It’s up to the individual to rely upon “feelings of what is fair” versus rational understanding that, hey, sometimes mistakes happen. The choice reflects upon the individual, not the publisher.

    No one is obligated to make what you consider an informed decision when buying books.

    True. Maybe it’s best for everyone to just purchase books randomly without concern over petty details such as whether the reader may care for the book (genre, style, subject matter, etc.). I’ll think about it….Ok, I thought about it and nah, I think I prefer to get at least some information and consider my preferences before I invest my shopping dollar and my time/attention into a book.

    To expect that everyone will give such careful consideration to this sort of thing is, in my opinion, putting a lot of pressure and responsibility on your average buyer.

    Expecting buyers to know what they like and dislike and to have rational understanding that mistakes can occur in publishing puts tremendous pressure on the buyers. I never thought of it that way.

    As a product, this thing was just shoddy, and I wouldn't blame them for not wanting to spend more money on the off-chance of getting a similar product… If I go to Starbucks and the grande latte they serve me turns out to have been made with soured milk, I'm getting my fancy coffee drinks somewhere else from then on out.”

    Even if Starbucks apologizes for the error and gives you another properly made drink? What if that Starbucks is at an advantageous locations to your home or place of employment and the next coffee house is way inconvenient?

    If every other experience you’ve had at Starbucks has been a positive one, will this one experience turn you against Starbucks forever?

  16. MPH
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:52:03

    @gaypride:

    I didn't read the book. But it sounds like there were editorial problems, and unfortunately that happens. And, even more unfortunate, the author usually takes the blame.

    But wow, you girls are really in an awful snit today. And it's always why I love to read this blog so much. It's like The National Enquirer of publishing.

    Keep up the good work, ladies.

    It’s good to see someone else has a handle on this place. This site was recommended to me as a place for “real” readers and “serious” authors, but for the most part it reads like a continuation of “Bad Fanfic No Biscuit.” Except I seem to remember “Bad Fanfic’s” moderators didn’t tolerate all the infighting mucking up their threads.

  17. Donna
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:53:34

    @MPH:

    Expecting buyers to know what they like and dislike and to have rational understanding that mistakes can occur in publishing puts tremendous pressure on the buyers. I never thought of it that way.

    I’m not sure why you’re bringing a reader’s personal content preferences into a conversation about how understanding s/he would likely be about buying a bomb. Of course a reader will know what s/he wants to read, and will pay attention to things like blurb and genre.

    But that has nothing to do with being burned by a bad purchase. It’s a bad purchase because a reader bought it with the expectation that it would fulfill his/her reading needs, and then it didn’t. It’s not like a reader looking for a paranormal threesome can’t go to any number of other publishers and plunk down money to get one. You can keep your personal preferences intact and shop elsewhere. And it doesn’t make you a bad person.

    As for your question about the Starbucks, yeah, sucking down a mouthful of a gross latte could turn me off them forever. The thing is, I don’t recall ever asserting that this single instance was going to rob Siren Publishing of its most loyal customers FOREVAH. Just saying once bitten, twice shy, that’s all.

  18. Lolita
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:55:17

    I like honesty and truth in reviews. If you think you’ve got it as an author, bring it on. Send me your best. My colleagues and I will give it a review. If it hurts, we’ll send you some bandaids.

    Cerebral Reviews just opened its doors.

  19. Anon Due to Backlash
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:55:33

    If every other experience you've had at Starbucks has been a positive one, will this one experience turn you against Starbucks forever?

    Interesting, because years ago I once bought a raw chicken burger from MacDonalds. I returned there afterward with no food problems (for a few visits), but it did mar the eating experience every time because I poked the food about before eating. When I got a raw Big Mac…I switched to Burger King. And found a hair in my Whopper (sorry, laughing my ass off here due to hairy whopper images in my head, and not the burger kind either).

    Now I don’t purchase food from any fast food chain like that.

  20. MPH
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 12:14:00

    @Donna:

    This is what you said:

    The fact is, a lot of people who encounter this book or this review thread are going to assume Siren only publishes crap.

    I disagree with that and I presented reasons why I disagree with that. A “bomb” does not a “crap-publisher” make. Unless the majority of readers patronizing Siren are incapable of rationalizing that the one book does not constitute every book published by Siren as “crap,” this book is a blip on the radar. Obviously there are posters in this thread who are enjoying magnifying said blip and conferring upon it a level of distinction it does not deserve but that’s to be expected amongst people who feel free to discuss their opinions as facts and confuse their feelings with rational thought process.

  21. theo
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 12:22:05

    @Anonymous:

    To tell you the truth, up until last night for a few posts, and again now, this discussion had been pretty sane and informative. There hadn't been any name calling or any real anger. At least I thought so.

    The only name calling and anger I’m seeing are those who have never frequented this board before now and rather than participate in what was a good debate, decided instead to call the posters names.

    *sigh*

    I thought it was a great discussion until then.

  22. MPH
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 12:38:30

    @Sarcastica:

    @Laura Ashton. Sorry lady, but I don't think I'll be buying your books at Siren and it has nothing to do with how poorly The Claiming turned out. Your posts here are full of errors and inaccuracies. If you're going to say something and come off as one who knows what she's talking about, you should do your homework first.

    And the Cheapest Cheap Shot in the Whole Thread award goes to…

    LOL…This has been fun, guys. Three visits to DA have convinced me this is not the place I expected it to be. You all have fun now.

  23. gaypride
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 12:39:24

    The fact is, a lot of people who encounter this book or this review thread are going to assume Siren only publishes crap.

    I know it seems that way. But I really don’t think so. Most people don’t pay attention to reviews. And even less care about blog comments.

  24. MD
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 13:05:01

    If every other experience you've had at Starbucks has been a positive one, will this one experience turn you against Starbucks forever?

    Once I get food poisoning at a restaurant, I don’t go back. No matter how conveniently located or tasty they’ve been in the past. There’s no excuse for standards slipping like that.

    There’s no excuse for a publisher putting out a novel with those kinds of errors in it. They could have taken the time to go over the novel with care. A typo or two, I can understand. But this–no. This smacks of pure carelessness and a greater interest in getting books out and sold, instead of making sure the books are the very best they can be.

  25. Michelle
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 13:34:42

    Yay, we have gone from mean girls, and moved on to the public flounce. The whole I am never coming back here again. Well, don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

    I like someones’ earlier comment. Why can’t we get an intelligent, articulate troll? Is it an oxymoron?

  26. Sarcastica
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 13:41:01

    @MPH. Thank you. Thank you verra much.

    I love it when people choose a succinct post that points out the hypocrisy of another and label it as a cheap shot, ignoring all the ones that are ranty, whiny, filled with venom, ire, over-blown defensiveness, incorrect information labeled as fact, errors that they could have fixed, and outright flaming insults. I would have thought the derogatory post with the homophobic overtones would have been the cheapest shot. Just goes to show that not everyone in these parts is operating with their brain cells or logic turned on.

  27. Anonymous
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 13:53:57

    @MPH: Actually I thought what Sarcastica said was pretty much on target with the original discussion here. An author and their ability. Putting your best foot forward as an author. That doesn’t just include submitting a polished work to a publisher, and then having that publisher edit and polish some more to present to the public. The author must then promote that work. Do we really want to read a book from an author whose promo posts include misspellings galore, grammar issues, and basically incoherent sentences? That, unfortunately, is some of what we got from the author all of this started over–Ms. Blacio. And it’s a fact that Ms. Ashton has been doing some of the same. I, for one, have seen her misspellings. Probably a typo, but shouldn’t she be more vigilant?

    @Sarcastica:
    I agree, the cheapest cheap shot award should have gone to the homophobic overtones poster (whether homophobic or not). What you said was no where near that league. lol

  28. Randi
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 13:54:09

    WH Mills: You forgot to add, “Bless your heart”.

  29. Randi
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:05:54

    MPH: Three visits? Those wouldn’t have been to check on a review of, say, someone you know? Those reviews wouldn’t, say, have been bad reviews?

    I’m not going to try to sell Dear Author (because the Ja(y)nes can do that better than I), but it seems to me that you haven’t been here long enough (like, at least a week) to properly judge the site. Or those of us posting. Or those of us lurking.

    And here we go again with the “mean girls” train….*sigh*

  30. Anonymous
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:10:08

    Just checking out this Cerebral Reviews site. It seems the reviewers are all editors. Now that’s different.

    Maybe some of those who offered up their books here on this blog are willing to give them a shot. Not sure everyone will want to sub there, though. Looks like they plan to give no-nonsense reviews from an editor’s perspective.

    I hope they deliver what they promise. We need more of these type review sites. And more authors who are willing to use them to show readers they produce a quality product.

  31. Lex Valentine
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:17:53

    I’m not sure I trust ANY review sites. They can have at me if they want. I already said anyone who wants a go at my work is welcome to a copy. I’ll send em Hot Water. Maybe my gay wildling will win the hard asses over. LOL

  32. AnneD
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:23:21

    A “bomb” does not a “crap-publisher” make.

    Just as an aside – it might be just me, but I thought it was a fairly well known phenomenon that this is one of the big differences between NYpub and ePub.

    Where a bad NY print book affects the author badly with barely a pinch to the publisher, the opposite is often true in e Pub – a bad book will reflect badly on the eBook author, but reflects horribly on the publisher. There seems to be an assumption that the e Publisher carries a large burden of responsibility (which is not necessarily wrong, imo in either print or e Pub).

    More and more often the association appears to be ‘ePublisher X’s books, written by so’n'so’, versus ‘print book written by so’n'so, that happens to be published by Publisher Y’. (And a reason why it is so important to make the right publisher choices in e Publishing.)

    But like I said, maybe I’m wrong and I’m the only one seeing that.

  33. Laura Ashton
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:26:47

    @ Sarcastica

    Nice nails. Are they yours or do you get them done.

    @Laura Ashton. Sorry lady, but I don't think I'll be buying your books at Siren and it has nothing to do with how poorly The Claiming turned out. Your posts here are full of errors and inaccuracies. If you're going to say something and come off as one who knows what she's talking about, you should do your homework first.

    Really? “All three of them, full of errors and inaccuracies? Like what Sarcatica…What kind of name is that BTW. Is is a new dance? Or a new card game combining Canasta with Samba. Or maybe you want to be a new Jane. They have several I hear.

    Your comment about the anthology Trinity is in was way off base. It was well received and well edited by Faith Bicknell-Brown, an excellent and respected editor. The publisher of the anthology was FREYA'S BOWER. Trinity's name – typed here and repeated by numerous people – is Trinity BLACIO. There is an edit function on this commenting software, but apparently you're too gun shy to use it.

    How about that. It’s in an anthology. I didn’t know that. Tell me what was off base? That I understood it was sub par? It couldn’t be that I said it was sub par could it since I didn’t say that. That would be an inaccuracy. Of course looking at the number of books The Claiming sold, one could surmise that it was well received, too. And oh my, I misspelled Trinity’s name. Do tell her I’m sorry.

    BTW, I've seen your promos for your current release including today's. Typos right in the subject line. I think you've even promo'd on Trinity's Yahoo group, possibly even with the one that has HUMOROUS spelled wrong. All that being said, I'd think about glass houses before tossing any more stones about this book and author regardless of how bad either might seem. You're not doing Siren authors or yourself any favors. There comes a point where less is more. I think you may have reached it.

    You know Sciatica. I’m really scratching my head because if my memory serves me right, I really haven’t said anything derogatory about Trinity and very little (much less than others) about the book. other than what has been acknowledged by everyone and you came after me claws extended. I was feeling sorry for Trinity, but no more. You two deserve each other.

    Heavens to Bettsy. I misspelled humous in the subject line. I better go straight to the nearest neither hole or I might get bit by a rapid cat. I’ll tell you what Sciatica, when they’re ready to publish my subject lines, I will exercise more care. In the meantime, now that I’ve gotten over the crushing blow that you won’t buy my book, I’ll tell you, it’s your loss sweetheart.

    BTW, I don’t respond to cats more than once:)

    Have a great day

  34. Laura Ashton
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:30:15

    Maybe some of those who offered up their books here on this blog are willing to give them a shot. Not sure everyone will want to sub there, though. Looks like they plan to give no-nonsense reviews from an editor's perspective.

    I just did. I’ll be curious to see how it turns out myself :)

    LA

  35. Laura Ashton
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:33:52

    Hey MPH, How fast are you going?

    LA

  36. In Awe
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:35:14

    @ anonymous “It was edited by Faith Bicknell-Brown and Trinity is one of her “mentees.” From the list of who is in the antho, it seems Faith was doing a few of them a huge favor by publishing them at all and she probably did it to help some new writers with more enthusiasm than talent.”

    This list of authors in the One Touch One Glance Anthology are: Ava James, Adelle Laudan, Brieanna Robertson, Debbie Gould, Jambrea Jo Jones, Kathleen MacIver, Kissa Starling, Lisa Alexander Griffen, Kensana Darnell, Savannah Chase, Tinity Blacia, Gwen Hayes, Nicolette Zamora and Faith Bicknell-Brown.

    You state “by the list of who is in the antho, it seems Faith was doing a few of them a huge favor by publishing them at all.” Just who on this list is it that is so offensive to you. You must be a multi-contracted NYT Best Seller to make such a statement. Esp. if you haven’t even read the book. Who the hell are you to look down on these authors and make such a statement? You’ve gone from humiliating one author, to bashing a whole list. Wow, I’m in awe and bow at your feet.

  37. Laura Ashton
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:39:31

    @ MPH

    I swear to God I thought that guy was joking and then he kept going on and on. I was shock or I would have said shut the eff up you troglodyte.

    LA

  38. Laura Ashton
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:46:20

    And it's a fact that Ms. Ashton has been doing some of the same. I, for one, have seen her misspellings. Probably a typo, but shouldn't she be more vigilant?

    Another one. Since when do we compare emails with finished manuscripts. WTF is this. My book is reader rated at one of the highest scores on the site. And Scatica is full of it. The error on my single post today is leaving the s off Cowboys.

  39. Karen Scott
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:51:13

    In fact I just spent two weeks going over the edits for my second book. My first book, Jasmine's Urban Cowboys was the next Menage Amour novel released after The Claiming.

    Don’t you just love blatant self-promotion?

    Well, Dexter is doing rather superbly well for itself. It maybe that there is a market for it?

    Shit, is Dexter gay? How did I miss that?

    I haven't read this book but if it has major editing problems as you all claim then you should badmouth the publisher or wow, here's an idea- the EDITOR.

    Methinks you have reading comprehension issues.

    Opinions are fine- we all have them but what I've read here today is true slander.

    Hey, have we had the “You’re all jealous bitches!!” yet? If not, it’s coming. After that, “You’re all Nazis!!” will probably be next.

    I have to wonder how many of you actually read this book or are you simply jumping on this ‘crucify an author' bandwagon and then promoting your own book here.

    Jesus, here comes Misery.

    Someone said that e-publishing has a bad rap and you're right- this doesn't help. I'd like to think that as a group of e-published authors we would stick together. How else will we turn reader's ideas about e-publishing around?

    For that comment, you have now become The Fucktard of The Day. Congrats.

    Dropping out of the group was fine. Speaking of it afterwards was not. You can see that I'm not one for strokes but malicious talk and ongoing banter when the book is not even available anymore? That is not productive at all.

    God, but you’re stupid.

    If you’re on your vacation, what are you doing wasting your holiday time online? Shouldn’t you be wearing a satin kaftan singing Koom-by-ya around a campfire or something?

    Everything else I could have done without.

    Hey, is somebody making you read this crap? If I was you I’d punch them and run away as fast as you can. Nobody should be made to read an online site against their wishes. Seriously, you should sue.

    First – I think you are all dried up old HAGS and have no life at all. You are probably post menopausal, divorced, because your real life never amounted to your ROMANCE NOVEL fantasy life and because of that, you have no hope in ever finding a partner except in your romance novels.

    Darling, you’re ever so angry. I’m guessing you weren’t breast-fed as a child?

    I AM GAY – Donna – can't be a homophobe

    Of course you can, you obviously feel bitter towards lesbians darling.

    You are fairly stupid methinks W.H.

    Ok, that was fun, now I gotta scoot.

  40. MaryK
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:56:29

    @AnneD: Probably because with epub books there is less distance between the reader and the publisher. Pbooks are generally bought from a publisher neutral bookstore either online or in person. Many readers probably don’t even notice who publishes the books they buy. I know I don’t. Whereas ebooks can be purchased directly from an epub and readers are encouraged to purchase directly to cut out middleman costs. So unless the reader buys from a publisher neutral ebookstore she can’t help but identify the book with the epublisher.

    I bought Ilona Andrews’ short story from Samhain. I went to Samhain to buy it – it’s a Samhain story. Who is Andrews’ print publisher? Not a clue. I don’t pay much attention to book spines so I’d have to go look.

  41. Madam Defarge
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 15:02:16

    I'll tell you what Sciatica, when they're ready to publish my subject lines, I will exercise more care.

    @Laura Ashton

    If you want people to think you’re a competent, professional writer, you need to produce competent, professional promotion. And that means using spell check, my dear.

  42. Laura Ashton
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 15:10:41

    And that means using spell check, my dear.

    Boy some of us are really running out of things to talk about. When they put spell check in the subject line I’ll do that. Thanks for your help, dear.

  43. Anonymous
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 15:11:06

    @Laura Ashton:

    by Laura Ashton June 9th, 2009 at 9:09 am Reply to this comment

    1. Despite the obvious inadequacies of The Claiming, in defense of the publisher, I feel should point out a couple things. (I feel should point out a couple things? Did you leave something out?)

    2. I believe she has a short story with Freya Bower. (That should be Freya’s Bower.)

    3. I believe the prepondurance of SirenBookstrand books are well written and if they're like mine, well edited. (That should be preponderance.)

    4. Are they yours or do you get them done. (You need a question mark.)

    5. What kind of name is that BTW. (You need a question mark. Actually, there are several instances in which you need question marks, so I won’t post them all.)

    6. Heavens to Bettsy. (I think that is usually spelled–Betsy.)

    The fact is you are upset and the typos are forgivable here in my opinion. I’ve probably made some myself. However, before posting I hit preview and check, then when I see the actual comment I check again. And I’ve honestly had to go back in and edit for a typo twice.

    Like I said, it’s forgivable here. I think. But I don’t see it that way when an author is promoting. Best foot forward. Be professional in your promotional posts. The typos don’t look good there. It’s amateurish. If it was something you caught and corrected, wonderful. But you keep posting the same promo over and over and evidently never check.

    And no. This isn’t meant to be “mean girl” mentality. Just saying. Hopefully, from now on you’ll check your promo posts carefully. And if so, then the discussion on this blog has been helpful in yet another way.

  44. Brynna Curry
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 15:23:11

    All of you have made very interesting points regarding the book, publisher, author and review sites, etc, but we are all entitled to our opinions. Here’s mine. First, I haven’t read the book and won’t. I most likely would have picked up on the same sort of things you all did, but I wonder the damage your causing. The author probably thought her work was great, and was probably told so, now she may never get anything published even if its edited to death. Honesty is best.

    Second, I review for more than one site. You Gotta Read is one of them. I’m honest and nitpicky about my reviews. I tell it the way it is, whether the world will like it or not. You should not boycott one review group because you didn’t agree with one review. We choose;we give our opinion as readers or whatever line of work we may be in.

    I am soon to be published with two different publishers. I can only hope someone edits my work to death after I have done the same, is honest when it stinks, and that I will learn something constructive about my writing. We all can learn to improve. I’ve read bestsellers that were so ‘off their game’ I think a name was all that sold the book. Not a single writer starts out a bestselling author, no book begins as absolute perfection. Think on that. Think about you’re work. So, I guess what I’m trying to say in an essence is you are flaming my reviews and my work as well. I really don’t like it, but I don’t plan to leave a good review site because of the negativity.

  45. Evangeline
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 15:31:38

    The only issue I have with this discussion is that too often, it springs from a bad review, which only brings out the mud-slinging. But on the other hand, it’s even sadder that hard knocks are only voiced by reviewers, and not fellow authors–which is why I think the RWA needs to get a hold of the e-market to guide unready writers away from accepting offers of publication (which also stems from the whole “credibility” issue: you’re only “important” to your peers if you’re published, so it’s best to get that “published author” label as quickly as possible). By continuing to place value solely on NY and being published, the organization has set up too many of its members for crushing disappointment in their rush to achieve a false sense of esteem within the industry–and for some, based on a few aforementioned examples, will probably continue to pay their yearly dues and not care about reality because hey, they’re published and have a group of people who adore their work. I’m speaking from my own painful experience, but situations like this are extremely humbling. It makes me realize that it is dangerous to wrap up my self-worth in writing a book and seeing it published. And I don’t think that many writers, since this online circle is so tightly-bound and a bit incestuous, realize how truly unhealthy it is to correspond one’s worthiness with being published.

  46. Laura Ashton
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 15:36:13

    Anonymous

    You wouldn’t want to be my critque partner would you? :)

    LA

  47. Angela James
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 15:42:18

    @AnneD: Probably because with epub books there is less distance between the reader and the publisher. Pbooks are generally bought from a publisher neutral bookstore either online or in person. Many readers probably don't even notice who publishes the books they buy. I know I don't. Whereas ebooks can be purchased directly from an epub and readers are encouraged to purchase directly to cut out middleman costs. So unless the reader buys from a publisher neutral ebookstore she can't help but identify the book with the epublisher.

    I bought Ilona Andrews' short story from Samhain. I went to Samhain to buy it – it's a Samhain story. Who is Andrews' print publisher? Not a clue. I don't pay much attention to book spines so I'd have to go look.

    I want to comment on this without commenting on anything having to do with either the review, the author or publisher involved, because I think this has been skated around in the comments but no one has quite said it.

    The reason is because epublishers, more than just about any print publisher, have developed two levels of branding: author branding and publisher branding. I suspect this has happened for two reasons: 1) because readers have become understandably wary of the quality of ebooks, given the ease with which anyone with a computer and a few tech skills can start a website and 2) because, originally, the online audience to which epublisher were marketing was limited and so the publishers were more intimately known by that audience but also needed to find ways to distinguish themselves within that small audience. Give me the top five or so most recognized epublishers and most of us will probably be able to agree on their general brand.

    I would say, arguably, that the only print publisher that’s specifically also done this is Harlequin with their category lines, where readers know what to expect with each line, and where readers would consider their trust to be broken if, for instance, Harlequin published a paranormal erotic romance within the Presents line.

    But within epublishing, publishers have developed a company brand, where readers will go buy not just based on the author, but on the publisher. This isn’t a phenomenon that I’ve just pulled out of nowhere, at notable online book retailer commented about it to me while in conversation with a Publisher’s Weekly writer, noting that Samhain had two levels of branding in this way, and it was something new to him.

    I think this two-level system of branding is the reason that epublishers bear much of the responsibility in readers’ eyes for poor quality of books, and why, when a reader has a bad experience with one book from that publisher, s/he will assume it’s going to be likewise throughout the publisher’s catalog. In other words, the publisher branding works both for and against the publisher as well as the other authors writing for that publisher. It’s why, in my presentations on epublishing, I stress so much that an author know exactly what a publisher is publishing before they sign a contract with them.

  48. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 16:24:56

    Give me the top five or so most recognized epublishers and most of us will probably be able to agree on their general brand.

    I would be tremendously interested in getting your, and anyone’s, opinion on what the general brands are of the top epubs. So, Samhain, EC, Loose ID, Amber Quill, LSB is what I consider the top five. What is the branding of those, do you think?

    It’s an interesting topic and one that I think could help new authors especially when they’re looking at where to sub their MS for the first time.

  49. Appalled
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 16:30:42

    BTW, I've seen your promos for your current release including today's. Typos right in the subject line. I think you've even promo'd on Trinity's Yahoo group, possibly even with the one that has HUMOROUS spelled wrong.

    Oh, noes! I saw this one. It did have humorous spelled wrong in the subject line. I don’t think it was today. Might have been yesterday since I have most groups on digest, but I could probably go back and look in my deleted emails and find it. Not that it matters all that much. I just happen to remember it because there’s been a lot of promos from this author recently. Three separate ones for the same book on the same day (yesterday) on Raine Delight’s group alone. I can see why Sarcastica might get annoyed.

  50. Diana Peterfreund
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 16:36:55

    AnneD and Angela James, thank you for clarifying this point for me in the discussion. I admit I was a bit mystified about the idea of one book published by X ruining the entire barrel of books published by X. After all, you can hate Danielle Steel and still like Dean Koontz (or vice versa), and they’re both Bantam Dell. There are very few print publishers that have a similar branding going on, and usually that’s for a specific imprint/line, like Dorchester Shomi or the Harlequin lines.

  51. AnneD
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 17:01:28

    Well, Dexter is doing rather superbly well for itself. It maybe that there is a market for it?

    Shit, is Dexter gay? How did I miss that?

    I was referring to the serial killers portion of the “a series about gay serial killers.” statement, rather than the gay portion. Does anyone really care if the protags in their serial killer fiction are gay or not? *shrug* probably… *double shrug*

  52. W. H. Mills
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 17:47:31

    After deleting 60 + emails, and thinking a little more of my earlier comment, and reading other posts, please accept my humblest apologies if I insulted any Bull Dykes.

    Whom I really wanted to insult are the “ja(y)nes” on this post who think they are actually reviewers. The founder, Dear Author, Jane, I believe, is a lawyer, who must not be a very busy lawyer at that, thinks she (and others) can insult behind factious names. This post and its reviews go beyond the pointing out of typos, it goes after the individual, be it an author or publisher. To be honest in a critique is to critique the work, professionally pointing out its weaknesses and strengths.

    You, my dear Ja(y)nes, are no better then the bullies in High School, and if I had to guess, you were probably picked on by the bullies and now you discovered the internet and it's anonymity, you justify your bullish behavior with the righteous “nose-in-the-air” “tell it like it is, if you like it or not”.

    Come out from behind your false names; publish your true identity and your worth. Prove your talent and maybe your post will gain the respect it should deserve.

    Your posts are no better than any blog out there on the internet, what gives a newspaper credibility? You all know the answer, it is just deplorable you don't live by that same rule of publishing.

    Enough.

  53. Jane
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 18:11:38

    I’m closing the thread. I think we’ve all made our points. Robin is going to do a post about the importance of quality writing and hopefully we can have a discussion about expectations and standards re: writing and publishing instead of name calling.

  54. Quality of e Published Books | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 11:07:58

    [...] suffer from the perception gap myself which isn’t helped when I come across books like The Claiming. I’m curious how the DA audience perceives quality difference between digital pubbed books [...]

  55. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Midweek Bookity Break
    Jun 18, 2009 @ 20:05:38

    [...] in with your perception of ebook quality. Then go read an amusing (scary?) review about an ebook that seems to embody all the worst that you’ve [...]

  56. Good Reading Recipe | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 04:00:55

    [...] ago there was a lot of contention on Dear Author because of an F review for Trinity Blacio's The Claiming. In the midst of the usual cache of mean girl accusations were also a lot of intersecting issues [...]

  57. Why you should self-publish, and general thoughts on reviews. « The e-Fiction Book Club
    Sep 24, 2009 @ 02:09:29

    [...] or not you like traditional publishing, the fact is that, while the occasional lemon does make it to the shelves, most of the work you buy from publishing houses (whether paper or e-pub) has been through an [...]

  58. REVIEW: Mating Call by Gail Stanley | Dear Author
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 04:01:53

    [...] only other book I’ve reviewed from Siren Publishing is the infamous Trinity Blacio story The Claiming. I do know that Siren is well known for its menage line called Menage Amour. This is one of the [...]

%d bloggers like this: