Sandra Hyatt passed away last weekend during the New Zealand Romance Writer’s conference. From all accounts, Hyatt took ill unexpectedly and passed away within days. Hyatt wrote for Harlequin Desire. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hyatt family.
Jude Deveraux has been taken in by fraudsters to the tune of $20 million.
From storefront businesses in upscale Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods, a family of fortune tellers ran a $40-million scheme that defrauded people from near and far since 1991, federal prosecutors said in court Friday.
Among the victims was a bestselling author who gave an estimated $20 million to the family. The woman, who prosecutors refused to identify, lost her 8-year-old son in a motorcycle accident and was allegedly exploited by at least one of the defendants, Rose Marks, who she considered a friend.
Deveraux has always had an interest in the supernatural and reincarnation. A Knight in Shining Armor is an iconic romance novel that features reincarnation, time travel, and lost souls.
The publishing paradigm is changing. John Locke, the self publishing phenom, has signed a print distribution deal with Simon & Schuster. Beginning February 2012, S&S will bring Locke’s ebooks to the print readership. No word on whether these books will undergo any editing or in what format they will be published. (Via SarahW)
If you hadn’t been wary of Amazon reviews before, you’ll want to read this New York Times article.
Sandra Parker, a freelance writer who was hired by a review factory this spring to pump out Amazon reviews for $10 each, said her instructions were simple. “We were not asked to provide a five-star review, but would be asked to turn down an assignment if we could not give one,” said Ms. Parker, whose brief notices for a dozen memoirs are stuffed with superlatives like “a must-read” and “a lifetime’s worth of wisdom.”
The websites that allow reviews are interested in suppressing fake ones.
“Any one review could be someone’s best friend, and it’s impossible to tell that in every case,” said Russell Dicker, Amazon’s director of community. “We are continuing to invest in our ability to detect these problems.”
But how can a review site parse out the fake from the real? It seems like an impossible task. I think what will happen (and has already begun to happen) is that 5 stars are beginning to be given less importance by both commerce sites and consumers. I guess 4 star review will be the next 5 star?
Photographer Jen Mecken does senior portraits. She came across a facebook page set up by some high school girls to mock and criticize other girls. Mecken recognized some of the names of the posters as individuals who had appointments with her. She sent out an email canceling the shoots and refunded the money saying
“[H]ow I could spend 2 hours with someone during our session trying to take beautiful photos of them knowing they could do such UGLY things….. Realistically, I know by canceling their shoots it’s not going to make them ‘nicer people’ but I refuse to let people like that represent my business.”
A new study suggests that when women pursue romantic desirability, they lose interest in science advancement. This would be due to the perception that smart women can’t a) get laid or b) attract a long term partner.
Park says, “When the goal to be romantically desirable is activated, even by subtle situational cues, women report less interest in math and science. One reason why this might be is that pursuing intelligence goals in masculine fields, such as STEM, conflicts with pursuing romantic goals associated with traditional romantic scripts and gender norms.”
Oh, women. Do you really want to be with a guy who doesn’t want to be with a smart woman?
Updated to add