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

Author DeborahAnne MacGillivray Harasses Amazon Reader

Apparently, there appears to be a breakdown in the comment box on the previous thread. Ms. MacGillivray was the recipient of a three star review on Amazon. She chastises the reader for not understanding the book correctly.

Reba,

Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed “A Restless Knight” so much you read it twice. It’s always nice to hear this. I appreciate when people take the time from their busy lives to let me know what they feel about my books. Sorry, you didn’t let me know before. As it was my debut book, I was very interested in responses.

I think perhaps, as Anne posted, that you are a bit too much in love with Challon, and thus resistant to Damian. It does me credit that I can create a character who conjures such loyalty from you.

-.

However, I fear you did missed the point of Damian wanting to fight Dirk. He was not fighting for Tamlyn, he was going to take Challon’s place – to protect Challon.
-

I am think you skimmed the book, sitting in an auto place, worry about big bad men sniggering, and didn’t bother to see why the characters did things, just took surface reactions. You are keying into Aithinne’s POV, which at many times is not accurate to what was really happening.

-..

And where you got he was hung up on Tamlyn by the middle of the, that is SOOOOO wrong. He knew from his return he was mean for Aithinne, she was THE ONE. You are reading your quick assessment into that. He was NOT hung on on Tamlyn at any point after his return and he saw Aithinne. For you to keep saying that, shows how totally you are missing the true emotions of these characters.

As for accusing Athinne of asking Dirk into her room – he is MALE. Male do silly thinks when they are upset and jealous. This is so TM – Typically male. Men do silly things at times of high emotions. Damian is human, not perfect.

-

P.S. Thank everyone for the lively discussion. Sales have jumped!

She has since deleted the review, but not before it came to light that MacGillivray uses yahoogroups and author groups to encourage, browbeat, or by other means, individuals into taking down negative reviews by reporting that the review is a) not helpful and b) abuse. MacGillivray also appears to have taken even further steps to ascertain personal information about Reba

2c. Re: vote down this bitch please
Posted by: “DeborahAnne MacGillivray”
[email protected] scotladywriter
Date: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:17 pm ((PDT))
Well, thanks to XXXXXX our PI , we now have her name, her husband’s
name, her chidrens’ names, her grannies and great grannies name. Her
address phone number and email
lol-quite interesting.

Hilary Sares, MacGillivray’s Kensington editor, purportedly ” is very aware of this situation and said only people with nothing better to do plays in this mess.”

As a reader, I hope that this is not true, that an editor wouldn’t be so cavalier about an author hunting down a reader’s personal information in this manner. I also hope that MacGillivray and her pals would stop using the Amazon system as their own little playground. This sort of thing works to devalue the very product that MacGillivray is working so hard to build up. I’ll be blogging more about this on Sunday.

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

758 Comments

  1. Scary
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:19:08

    Based on comments from the last thread concerning Highland Press warning and DeborahAnne MacGillivray…………..

    I saw the dialogue on The Romance Room between DAM and Meagan. MacGillivray was up to her old tricks. And one of the Witches of Eastwick backed her. No one from HP has yet addressed the situation. However, MacG is conducting business as normal on TRR, CataNetwork-Authors and CataNetwork-Readers, and other loops where both readers and authors correspond. I wonder what the people on these loops would think if they were directed to Dear Author.

  2. Kristen
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:22:54

    I am think you skimmed the book, sitting in an auto place, worry about big bad men sniggering,

    Really? Seriously? Wow. I’m not even going to discuss the typo. I can’t get past the author’s assumption that this reader is some easily cowed female. Nice way to play to the stereotype. I’ve never knowingly read Macgillvray and I certainly won’t now.

  3. WriteThoseLetters
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:23:11

    For the first time, I’m posting anonymously here. But I wanted to say that writing those letters work. Don’t know if you remember, but PW carried a story about a small press that wasn’t paying its authors ( and actually sued a couple of them), but had a nice distributing deal with Kensington. Some of those authors banded together and wrote letters to that publisher, copying RWA and Kensington. The publisher was kicked out of RWA and disinvited to the national conference. Amazingly, authors started getting paid. The house is now recognized again. And it all started with authors uniting and saying enough is enough, then doing something about it.

  4. Rebecca Goings
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:24:10

    Still in awe, I’m just subscribing to this one.

    ~~Becka

  5. katiebabs
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:27:49

    What is the matter with this woman? She is up in arms over someone posting a review over at Amazon?
    She needs to get over it!

  6. KM
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:33:10

    My god, this has gone from unbelievable, to batshit crazy to…a level I can’t even find an appropriate description for.

    Karen Scott also has a nice compilation of Google Cached documents wherein DAM states she is co-publisher of Highland Press, a fact she is now denying.

    I agree with the anon about letters. IMO, it’s reached the point where this is far more serious that simple blog fodder. If the folks at Berkley and Kensington aren’t aware of this behavior, they need to be, because it’s gone beyond unprofessional and into criminal. No matter what anyone else says, it does reflect poorly on them as well (not unlike when Cassie Edwards’ publisher defended her, only to backpedal later, though as detestable as plagiarism is, I believe harassment and threats to a reviewer are worse).

    Someone needs to Baker Act this nutjob.

    So, so not ever dealing with Highland Press. Hell, I don’t even have an interest in Kensington if I have to deal with this woman.

  7. GrowlyCub
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:33:57

    I liked the original title for this second thread better. It might have gotten both Kensington’s and Dorchester’s attention and maybe we would have seen some statement or a disassociation of these publishing houses from this person.

    I only had one ‘interaction’ with her when I tried to jumpstart some discussion about Cassiegate on one list she’s on and she shut the thread down with one sentence (and no she’s not the owner of the list)… amazing what people let other people get away with.

  8. Mad
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:34:20

    Katie — Completely skips Sane-ville and jumps straight into insanity, doesn’t it?

  9. Terrie
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:34:45

    None of Ms. MacGillivray’s comments surprise me. I had several run ins with her on the now I assume defunct Reviewers International Organization. I actually saved all of her emails and ravings to me in case I ever needed them for legal purposes. She is all that is pleasant unless you disagree with her — then you’d better watch out. She is relentless in her threats and “poor picked on me” attitude.

  10. Kristen
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:34:53

    She needs to get over it!

    Bunny boilers never just get over stuff. They make things as awful as possible, then someone ends up drowned in a bathtub.

  11. Phyllis Campbell
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:37:21

    I saw the email that was posted by DAM on The Romance Room’s Yahoo loop. All Megan did was advertise this blog. That’s it. DAM came back with a very rude comment, which in turn Meagan defended herself which she had every right. DAM replied with threats and verbal abuse…and yes, one of DAM’s witches (or butt-kissers…) replied and put all the blame on Meagan.

    You know, it just surprises me that with all the accusations being thrown at DAM that she would do something to defend herself. Yet the first words (or email) that came from her were threats! She even threatened to turn her lawyer on Meagan if you can believe that. Why? What did Meagan do but advertise the blog??

    You know DAM is not admitting she has done anything wrong. That all of US are wrong for accusing her and ‘lying’, yet in the last blog about Highland Press and DAM, it clearly showed who the true liar was.

    The truth hurts, doesn’t it, DeborahAnne?

  12. Meagan Hatfield
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:40:00

    I wonder what the people on these loops would think if they were directed to Dear Author.

    I sent the links and tried to tell them. I’m friends with the ladies who started The Romance Room and wanted to give them a head’s up – same reason we came forward here – to let people know what’s going on. MacG responded with an attack on my person, followed up by one from her clone. Not sure if my intended message ever made it through. ?? Hope some of them read it though.

    And yeah…that’s what gets me the most. She’s acting like nothing’s happening. Highland Press is acting like if they ignore this it will all go away. They are all in denial, and craziest of all – MacG is acting like WE are doing HER wrong in all of this. She’s threatening to get a lawyer involved – to do what? Sue herself? Color me baffled. We have the proof – what exactly does she have? Nadda – not even a leg to stand on.

  13. Jane
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:44:43

    I didn’t realize that RIO was defunct. I wondered how many people in the many review organizations that DeborahAnne MacGillivray runs/participates/etc has this “clickie” system.

    I had an email about who to contact regarding a reader’s distress over the situation. As noted by a previous commenter on the other thread, Steven Zacharius of Kensington invites readers to email him.

    We will continue to strive to acquire, manufacture and distribute the books that that our readers want to read as we enter our third decade of being in business. As always, I look forward to hearing from readers or other people in the business that have a comment about one of our books or our company. I answer all of my email and look forward to hearing from you.

    Steven Zacharius [email protected]

    I don’t know if DAM has a contract with Dorchester anymore. She seems to reference only Hilary Sares who is the editor at Kensington.

    Amazon phone numbers:
    Phone toll-free in the US and Canada: (800) 201-7575 or (866) 216-1072

    Phone from outside the US and Canada: (206) 346-2992 or (206)-266-2992
    Another direct line: (206) 266-2335

    and Amazon’s Executive Customer Service Center: [email protected] (got this via google. who knows if it will work).

    [email protected] (this is barnes and noble).

    You might also want to write publicity departments of various publishers and ask them not to use her cover quotes or quotes from review organizations who might be engaged in the whole “clickie” thing.

    I’m not sure who else. Maybe some other people have ideas.

  14. Jane
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 21:50:40

    I would also add that if you write, be polite and use spell check. :) I think the more coherent, polite (but righteously angry), the more likely you are to be taken seriously.

  15. limecello
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:04:19

    Um, wow. I’m… I know the book part and review part is horrible. But I really, really, can’t get over how crazy and stalkerish it became.

    Well, thanks to XXXXXX our PI , we now have her name, her husband's name, her chidrens' names, her grannies and great grannies name. Her address phone number and email lol…quite interesting.

    Really? Really? There have to be legal issues there- and also, how frightening. One “bad” review, resulting in this? I’m horrified.

    I agree with KM – Kensington needs to know about that.

  16. Cat
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:05:47

    I remember reading about this on the Amazon romance forum a while back. Apparently any reviews on Deborah MacGillivray’s books that garner 3 stars (or less) mysteriously disappear.

    If all this really is true, I won’t bother sparing her books a second glance in the future. I mean, hello, everyone is entitled to an opinion. If you, as an author, can’t handle that, then you’re in the wrong business.

  17. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:08:17

    Those HP authors who are also members of RWA would also do well to write to RWA if they haven’t yet.

    From the Code of Ethics

    * RWA members strive for excellence and integrity in the profession of romance writing.
    * RWA members strive to treat fellow members, RWA staff, and others with respect.
    * RWA members observe and adhere to all of RWA’s Bylaws, policies and other rules.

    An RWA member shall be subject to disciplinary action if the actions of such member are determined, in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedures in the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, to constitute one or more of the following:
    (I’m just copying the most pertinent ones)

    # Intentional misrepresentation of RWA membership qualifications or credentials to RWA or to the public.

    # Repeatedly or intentionally supplying false or misleading information to RWA.

    The more they have documented, the stronger the case, overall.

  18. Radish
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:09:13

    So this author wants to control how a reader *feels* about a story, to the point of chastising her for her erroneous impressions? Then going so far as to instruct the reader how to interpret the book?

    If she wanted better reviews, maybe she should’ve written a better book.

  19. Nora Roberts
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:15:44

    ~MacG is acting like WE are doing HER wrong in all of this~

    They always do. It’s SOP.

  20. KM
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:19:40

    Correcting myself, I said she was with Berkley and Kensington, when it’s Dorchester and Kensington.

    Oops.

  21. Just A Reader
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:25:31

    I absolutely plan to write. Thanks so much for posting the info. Can’t wait to give the man an earfull. Or I guess that’s eyefull, given that it’s written…
    If you guys know of anybody else who just lives to hear from irate readers, post ‘em up. 5 mins around my kids and I can do irate all day:P

  22. Lynne
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:34:55

    Barb, I’m not in RWA anymore, so I don’t have access to all the documents, but wasn’t there once a rule to the effect that members can’t harass/stalk fellow members and materially damage their careers? I think I read something like that a few years ago. If I recall correctly, the member who is being threatened has to make the complaint; others can’t do it for her.

  23. Kristie(J)
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:35:58

    Jane: Thanks so much for the links. I will be writing also. And I will not be taking the books I have of hers to a UBS. My sister lives in the country and they have a lot of “sitting around the campfire” nights there.
    I have NEVER done this with books before.

  24. Mad
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:43:58

    KristieJ — I just said almost the same thing to a friend…that the more I read the comments here, the less likely I’ll be taking her books anywhere except to the trash bin. I posted earlier that I’d be taking them to the UBS but I don’t think it’s going to happen…tomorrow is trash day for us so I think I’m just going to chuck all 3 books into the bin!

  25. Scary
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:50:27

    MacG’s manipulation of the reviews on Amazon goes much deeper. If there is a contest that is judged by individuals and not RWA chapters, she makes sure she is on them and that everyone she knows votes for her…EVERYDAY. Last year, some authors on dial up discovered they could vote more than once a day if they shut down their computers and rebooted. Of course MacG has a phone book of wins in these contests. She brainwashed her “followers” to pad the votes.

  26. FedUp
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:54:12

    MacG's manipulation of the reviews on Amazon goes much deeper. If there is a contest that is judged by individuals and not RWA chapters, she makes sure she is on them and that everyone she knows votes for her…EVERYDAY. Last year, some authors on dial up discovered they could vote more than once a day if they shut down their computers and rebooted. Of course MacG has a phone book of wins in these contests. She brainwashed her “followers” to pad the votes.

    That sounds like a certain small press author who’s been known to do the same thing. She’s gone so far as creating dozens of email addresses to vote for herself. When various awards sites got hip and switched to IP voting, she stopped winning. Imagine that.

  27. Keishon
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:54:50

    Well, thanks to XXXXXX our PI , we now have her name, her husband's
    name, her chidrens' names, her grannies and great grannies name. Her
    address phone number and email
    lol…quite interesting.

    I just can’t- [shaking head]

    **speechless**

    Carry on…

  28. Whack-a-Doodle
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 22:59:09

    Ok, so not only do I think this latest stunt with DAM is certifiably keeeerrrr-azy, but it makes me wonder — since DAM was in charge of the fundraiser for Dawn Thompson, I wonder what happened to all the monies Ms. Mac raised to help Ms Thompson? I know there were names of winners announced that received readings from agents and editors, etc, because those names were posted on Dawn Thompson’s blog on MySpace (I can’t find it on the main page any longer, but I had it bookmarked and so it still shows here).

    But did all the funds get to the right place? Or um… did those folks donate to DAM’s bank acct? Hey, I gotta ask what some of us are wondering, right?

    Also, is it just me or does anyone else find it a little creepy that DAM still hangs on to the coattails of Dawn Thompson? She still updates the woman’s blog, her website, her Myspace pages (#1) and (#2) and (#3), heck, she’s even set up a permanent obituary memorial on Dawn’s page. I asked on one of the loops I belong to if anyone else found this slightly disturbing that she can’t let the woman rest in peace, and I was told that Dawn Thompson left the rights to ALL her books to DAM and that she (DAM) plans to publish Dawn’s uncontracted WIPs through HP. Another woman backed up the story and said that all Dawn’s royalties will go directly to DAM as well — not to Dawn’s family as I would have assumed.

    ~shrug~ who knows….just had to get all that off my chest.

  29. Marianne LaCroix
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:09:29

    OMG. This is insane. Internet terrorism over a 3 star review? Threats on children of a reviewer? Stalking someone who gave an opinion? Authors subjected to terror treatments if they don’t behave as one person deems? This woman sounds like Hitler of the romance world.

    Alyssa and Barb re: conference a few weeks ago – You guys did great. I don’t think any of us were aware of just how bad things were at HP.

    I do think the publishers should give some sort of response. If letter writing does not succeed, take it to the next level. Didn’t SB get in the newspaper about the CE scandal? Uh huh… Wonder how internet terrorism will sound on CNN. Bodice ripper jokes will take on a whole new meaning.

    RT next week should be interesting.

  30. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:15:15

    This goes so very far beyond disturbing.

  31. FedUp
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:17:22

    Alyssa and Barb re: conference a few weeks ago – You guys did great. I don't think any of us were aware of just how bad things were at HP.

    I wasn’t aware of any problems at HP at all. It’s a shame, I have always liked Leanne Burroughs, but this doesn’t make her look good at all.

    I do think the publishers should give some sort of response. If letter writing does not succeed, take it to the next level.

    Unless they want to send the message this type of behavior is okie dokie, they better.

    I’m disgusted. This whole situation has turned into a four alarm blaze.

  32. Brie
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:21:45

    I read her first book and disliked it severely. After posting my review for it (on my blog) I received some interesting feedback via email about my take on the book (why I was wrong), and also from people informing me that Deborah has been getting negative reviews removed from Amazon.

    After looking into it, I saw that this was indeed true. And that some of her friends (authors also) had gone so far as to tell reviewers that posting negative reviews messes with the authors livelihood. Because you know they won’t sale books if the reviews are bad.

    ETA: Sorry, I see I am late to the party and the previous tidbit has already been mentioned.

    Anyway, I’m glad that it was finally brought to the attention of a larger more popular blog. Maybe now something can be done about the vile actions of the author and her fans.

  33. I'mAReader
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:30:19

    Wow…it occurs to me that if the reader so badly misinterpreted this author’s book, perhaps this author failed to word her book in a way that a reader could not mistake. I’ve always been of the opinion that bad books are the fault of the writer, not the reader. And she didn’t even say it was a bad book, she just said it wasn’t as good as the first one… Frankly, I’m floored her publisher won’t take action… astonishing. Well, that’s one author who won’t get my money. And perhaps I’m only one little reader, but we add up.

  34. Diane
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:47:49

    To repeat/follow up on what I said in an earlier post miles up in the other thread: documentation, saved emails and Google cache is a wonderful thing. And those police reports and restraining orders are looking like a better idea by the moment.

    Whoever suggested it for the authors involved, pulling/locking your credit reports is a brilliant idea as well. Yes, it sounds extreme, but seriously — if this sociopath is willing to break federal laws over a three-star review, I shudder to think what she's capable of when something truly serious goes down… in flames, like her career, perhaps?

    Is anyone keeping a list that identifies the flying monkeys? Not so much the clicker lemming types, but those in the upper echelons who capitalized on this? I want to be sure that none of my money goes into their bank accounts either. I’m not out for revenge — God will provide that. I just don’t want to waste my money on what must be inferior work, since the authors aren’t secure enough to let it stand on its own merits.

    As some have already mentioned, this isn't an author vs reader, or an e-publisher thing. It's a personality/ego issue; proving once again that given enough time and opportunity, people will ruin everything. Their alleged fame and power didn't change the basic personalities of DAM and her henchwomen. It only magnified their character flaws exponentially. I'd be willing to bet that they behave egregiously in all areas of their lives. It's just more visible in this one.

    And for those who don’t want to inflict DAM’s verbiage on others through a UBS, but hate the waste of tossing a book or the blasphemy of burning it… might I suggest campground outhouses? There's always a dearth of toilet paper out in the woods, lots of wasted pages per book, and book pulp is biodegradable. You're using something evil for good. It's the ‘green' thing to do. Not to mention an appropriate ending for the words of someone who is obviously deranged and batshit crazy.

    Diane

  35. (Jān)
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:56:02

    I know I shouldn’t laugh at this, but this DM person is beginning to remind me a really bad anime villain — the evil green-haired high school girl who controls a clique of like-minded girls and mistakes that for having real power. In the anime, of course, they quickly find out how very small their sphere of influence is. I have the feeling that might happen here as well.

    Grow up DM, and lose the green hair.

  36. FedUp
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 23:58:15

    And for those who don't want to inflict DAM's verbiage on others through a UBS, but hate the waste of tossing a book or the blasphemy of burning it… might I suggest campground outhouses? There's always a dearth of toilet paper out in the woods, lots of wasted pages per book, and book pulp is biodegradable. You're using something evil for good. It's the ‘green' thing to do.

    I have a feeling my ass would be truly unhappy with me if I wiped my shit with that shit.

  37. Robin
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 00:47:14

    It's a shame, I have always liked Leanne Burroughs, but this doesn't make her look good at all.

    I know Burroughs has a reputation as a very nice and professional person, but I don’t see how it’s possible that DAM could do what she’s been doing for all this time without Burroughs’s knowledge, at least, and blessing, at worst. I mean, who told DAM that the author on the other thread didn’t want to go out with her at a conference? How does DAM know about all this other stuff and how does she get away with continuing to represent herself as co-publisher in the way she does without at least tacit cooperation by Burroughs? I can’t figure out how DAM can continue to operate as she does without Burroughs by her side. Anyone have any insight they can shed on this?

    And I’m also very curious about what other authors are involved, both those whose participation is limited to clicking and those who are actively supporting and defending DAM’s actions. I get the sense that there’s a pretty wide network of people who are assisting her to varying degrees. Again, any insights to share?

  38. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 00:50:42

    Chiming in late… since I rarely reply and was just directed over here by someone who knows I wrote for Highland Press. I wasn’t going to comment, but I don’t want it to be thought that I condone any of this behavior or was involved in the ‘protest of reviews’ (Yeah, I know I’m small fries, but still! I’m President of my chapter and trying to keep a clean reputation here! LOL).

    A couple of years ago, when I first was starting out getting pubbed, I wrote a short story for a Highland Press antho. I don’t generally write sweet, but I decided to write one so my conservative relatives had something to read (sweet and in print).

    To this day, I have yet to see a dime for that book. I tend to think of it like a ‘free read’ I wrote. Well, without the being free part. :) I do understand that an author needs to make $20 or so to be cut a check from them (I believe). Apparently, the antho I was in hasn’t made enough yet.

    I haven’t subbed my work there since, and don’t intend to. I’ve moved on to other publishers I’m truly happy with (Samhain and Cobblestone Press). I was rarely on the HP loops and haven’t read the digest in gahd knows how long. Had I been on the loops, I probably would have spoken up on how utterly wrong it all was. It’s a bit…horrifying.

  39. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 01:23:24

    Just commenting to subscribe, but how come so few authors with HP are actually making money? Could it be that the only marketing that’s done is to benefit the owners? Gosh, we’ve never seen *that* with an epress before, have we?

    I’d sure like to know what happened to the money raised for Dawn Thompson and I also find it creepy as hell that DAM is updating Thompson’s blog *as* Thompson. As for her having the copyright on those stories…it would be incredibly mean to suggest that there might have been some kind of influence exerted on a sick woman. I would never do that, not at all. Suggest it, I mean. I’m sure it was just a friendly gesture towards a friend. Very sure.

  40. Random Amazon Reviewer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 01:41:03

    I’m a fairly high ranked reviewer at Amazon (top 100) and am horrified by this whole mess! I hope this woman gets what is coming to her. Stalking her readers because they don’t like her book? WOW! It’s because of crazy people like this that I’m afraid to review books I disliked!

  41. Raines Secret Garden » I THINK MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE...
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 03:06:13

    […] Dear Author (part I) Dear Author (creepy part II) […]

  42. Karen Scott
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 04:00:51

    since DAM was in charge of the fundraiser for Dawn Thompson, I wonder what happened to all the monies Ms. Mac raised to help Ms Thompson?

    Nobody seems to know the answer to this qiestion, it does make you wonder if the money ever got to where it was supposed to.

    And yes, I too will write. This woman can’t be allowed to get away with this.

  43. Karen Scott
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 04:05:58

    Somebody, should write to Galleycat about Deb.

  44. Ana
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 04:32:11

    At first , I thought this was another April Fool’s post , then of course, I realised that it is not April 1st and this is for real.
    It is scary and outrageous! Unbelievable. Not only for the nazi-like attitude towards how a person should read a book without any regards to personal interpretation or personal likes or dislikes but also for the stalking of the family of said person! This is sick.

  45. Ardeatine
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 05:20:57

    Bad reviews can discourage people from buying books. That’s not good for business. Not nice but not surprising either that Amazon allows them to be removed.

    This debacle should be a salutary lesson in what can happen when an author starts to believe the hype about themselves. My advice? When you get a five star review don’t break out the bubbly, get someone to tip a bucket of ice cold water over your head instead to cool down any delusions of grandeur. And when you get a bad review, buy yourself some chocolate or a new pair of shoes. I work on the principle that I’m better than my bad reviews, but not as good as the five stars imply. That way I stay nice and sane.

  46. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 05:21:25

    Has anyone seen this gem from our Debbie in reply to this?

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/880000288/post/460020646.html

    Barbara, Yes, click NO helps! So keep clicking!! Also if you see a particularly bad review that is over the line, click REPORT THIS.

    This is a hot button for me and you hit on a very ugly problem that does Amazon no service. Nowhere else do you see this problem to such an extent that is on Amazon.com. I am a top review there, as I am on the other versions, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca and Amazon.de. And this bothers me as a seven-year reviewer and an author. Any attempts to get Amazon to clean up their act is met with total resistance.

    You get fifteen-year-olds telling you how to write a book. People with hatchets – fans of an authors that consider another author competition. Frustrated writers that have been rejected by a publisher hitting all their writers to get even. Or just topic resentment. Anyone can post anything, including slander or personal attacks, such as when Anne Rice killed off her vampire series. People actually accused her of not writing her books, but that her dead husband had penned them. Amazon did NOTHING. Rice even came to post trying to stop, and it only was gasoline upon the fire. Stalker reviewers slam every book an author writes. Some with more than one “fake name”. Worse, the author has no recourse. If the poster crosses the posting rules, and the review is taken down, they go ballistic and will spam all your reviews with no votes, draw in friends to attack. There are people obsessed with being top reviewers that spam no votes on “their Amazon Enemy”. I have seen reviews posted and it’s clear they haven’t read the book. Worse, it’s not enough for them to disagree with the books, they rant that others who do like the books are liars and “paid shills”. You either agree with their negative reviews or you’re stupid or paid.

    Sigh. The whole set up is open to everyone who has a problem with something to vent and Amazon plays ostrich to cyber stalking and cyber bullying, and in the case of the top reviewer it became a cyber lynch mob. I am not defending if a person can read 45 books a week or not. No matter, take it to Amazon management, do not attack people in public. [emphasis mine]

    This all so has nothing to do with reviewing. They are not posting reviews; they are posting their opinions. Big difference, though they don’t seem to understand that.

    I have several reviewers that I used to check out. Detra Fitch, Amy Wolff Sorter, Marilyn Rondeau, Debbie Wiley, Merrimon Crawford, Beverly Meiner, Tami King, just to name a few. They give you straight, opinions.

    All the negative hatchet jobs speak more about the person posting than the book — and to me just clutters the process of selecting a book.

    So much irony you could keep a tribe of blacksmiths happy for a year.

  47. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 06:12:55

    Not nice but not surprising either that Amazon allows them to be removed.

    I completely disagree. It’s not bad for Amazon’s business because it’s not like Ms ‘I’ve got a PI and I’m not afraid to use them’ is the only romance author on their list – not by a country mile. What *is* bad for their business is if people buy products based on false or manipulated recommendations and find they were ripped off. Over and over in the discussions I’ve read about this topic over the last few days, I’ve seen readers – customers – say they were fed up with Amazon’s reviews for misleading them and deciding to take their business elsewhere.

    If bad reviews were really bad for business, then Amazon wouldn’t have a reviewing process at all. I know if I buy from Amazon, I have a chance to see what other people thought of a product, and I can use that information and other sources to make an informed decision. If Amazon is the main source of proper opinion, I tend to give them my business.

    Really the only people hurt here are the readers who are being misled, and the authors who are shredding their reputations by associating with wotsherface and playing her game. That’s a lot of people, though, to make up for the insanely inflated ego trip of one talentless writer with dubious ethics and the manners of a ferret.

  48. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 06:43:39

    Barb, I'm not in RWA anymore, so I don't have access to all the documents, but wasn't there once a rule to the effect that members can't harass/stalk fellow members and materially damage their careers? I think I read something like that a few years ago. If I recall correctly, the member who is being threatened has to make the complaint; others can't do it for her.

    Lynne, I have a vague recollection of something being worded that way, but I think it’s one of those things that was reworded at some point. However, I did take a quick look at the P&P this morning, which contains a more complete version of the Code of Ethics. Section 16.3 of the P&P addresses the Code of Ethics and specifically spells out the procedure a member must take in filing a complaint against another member and as you stated, the victim must be the one to file and sign their name to the complaint as well as providing any substantiating documentation.

    And can I just take a moment to choke on my coffee on the diatribe from the PW blog? Oy.

  49. Kate
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 07:03:21

    I’m a little worried about collateral damage–on that link to Amazon Reba described some outrageous activity but she also listed of people she said associated with DA and I’d bet the farm and all its animals that Emma Holly has nothing to do with this. (Or Barbara Pierce).

    Speaking of collateral damage and war on fools, when I see stuff about letter-writing campaigns and mentions of online torture, I think dang, I wish I saw the same outrage and action taken for subjects like real torture and even the smaller idiocies like http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24057277/
    or maybe (since we’re talking writers and writing) situations like the one Azteclady describes here http://karenknowsbest.com/?p=1113
    but yes, right, people can multi-task and maintain outrage at all levels of idiocy.

    Still, at the risk of sounding as pious and self-righteous as DA herself, don’t lose sight of the big shit in the world that’s worth throwing energy and resources at.

    hey, and since we’re talking perspective, did the mysterious “Take a look at the big picture” ever fully explain herself? Because that was some cool james bond shit happening. all of this is just Stealth promotion!!! Hollywood-level PR geniuses at work, people!!

  50. katiebabs
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 07:10:24

    DAM has gone past the boil the bunnies stage to finding a horse head in your bed ala Godfather stage.

    The message boards are going crazy over this at Amazon and many people are not only emailing, but calling Amazon directly. Wonder what happens next?

  51. Lynne Connolly
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 07:24:05

    In the past few days I’ve had several emails from authors with HP, asking me what they can do. I think it’s because I posted here and I was involved in the Triskelion bankruptcy. I’ve received enough information to know that this is very real, and not a bit scary.
    Honestly, it’s like something out of a novel (hmmmm!)
    My experience with Trisk won’t help much, because that was a bona fide bankruptcy, a completely different matter to the situation at HP. And despite the company having problems, what did for Triskelion was a combination of bad management at the top level, and the collapse of the very expensive print program. Triskelion went into mass market paperback and lost a bomb.
    The invective in the DAM and HP emails I’ve seen is pretty bad, and I’ve noticed that the more agitated DAM gets, the less she uses her spellcheck. So get her riled, wind her up and let her go. I’m guessing her friends are sitting on her at the moment, or she’s made a deliberate decision not to post any more.
    I won’t break any confidences, or pass anything on except general observations, in fact, if it makes the recipients feel better, I’ll delete the emails I have.
    But having seen the punitive release clause on the contract (they have to pay to get their rights back, and it isn’t a paltry sum. And the contract runs for seven years) I’d say the only way forward, if you want to leave and they won’t let you, is for the authors to remove or minimise the HP books on their websites, to give any future publishers a sporting chance, and don’t promote them any more.
    Sigh. It’s about all you can do without getting into heavy litigation. If HP want to try to make you promote, and that’s in the contract too, they may (if you’re lucky) regard it as a breach of contract and give you your rights back. Royalties aren’t exactly stellar, so there will still be some sales left in your book.
    Otherwise, until HP closes, you’re pretty much stuck with ignoring it or paying for legal advice or the fee to end the contract.

  52. Anion
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 07:40:07

    DAM has gone past the boil the bunnies stage to finding a horse head in your bed ala Godfather stage.

    But that wasn’t personal. It was just business.

    Given that it seems the geniuses running HP seem inclined to “punish” people who complain by ending their contracts–shades of Brer Rabbit–that might be another way to go…?

    I know this press is being discussed at Absolute Write as well. It might be worth forwarding your contract to Jim McDonald or Victoria Strauss and seeing if they have any ideas to offer (not that Lynne’s advice isn’t sensible or that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, I don’t mean that at all, just that they might have some ideas too).

  53. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 08:20:58

    Anyone who wants to be amused– go to Amazon and plug into the search box the following ISBN: 978-0974624938

    Here’s a partial list of authors: Leanne Burroughs (Author), Deborah MacGillivray (Author), Kristi Ahlers (Author), Cissy Hassell (Author), Diane Davis White (Author), Michelle Scaplen (Author), Jacquie Rogers (Author)

    Here’s a partial list of reviewers: Leeanne Burroughs, Deborah MacGillivray, Kristi Ahlers, Diane Davis White “Historical and Contemporar…

    I just tried to find the other authors at the Highland Press web site and it was down.

    Edited to add that all profits from this book were to go to fight breast cancer.

  54. azteclady
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 08:26:02

    Ann Sommerville said earlier:

    with dubious ethics and the manners of a ferret.

    I object to this. My ferret has lovely manners!

    But all this? Batshit crazy makes the poor bats an injustice.

  55. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 08:40:48

    ~they go ballistic and will spam all your reviews with no votes, draw in friends to attack~

    Beyond ironic to object to this practice while advising others to do the same.

    It’s just not about reviews. Reviews are the McGuffin here. It’s all about power and ego. It must be a huge rush for a certain kind of personality to have others scurrying around to do your bidding, to feel potent enough to insult readers and reviewers publicly, and have others lined up to do the same along with you. And to lord it over other writers, squishing them when they question or object.

    But sooner or later enough people join together (and its always called ‘lynch mob’ by those who are faced with the consequences) and it’s your bunny in the crock pot.

  56. Meagan Hatfield
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 08:43:34

    But sooner or later enough people join together (and its always called ‘lynch mob' by those who are faced with the consequences) and it's your bunny in the crock pot.

    Thanks for making me smile, Nora. You rock! LOL!

  57. Ex-RIO Reviewer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 08:46:51

    People with hatchets – fans of an authors that consider another author competition. Frustrated writers that have been rejected by a publisher hitting all their writers to get even.

    I used to belong to RIO and witnessed first-hand some of DAM’s rantings. Only then she was condemning authors who posted glowing reviews of their own books and people who would post negative reviews of a competitor’s book. Seems she’s changed her views since becoming published.

    She’s the reason I got out of RIO. I wanted no part of being associated with her. I had a feeling she was going to be big-time trouble and I see my hunch was right.

  58. B
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 08:56:20

    You get fifteen-year-olds telling you how to write a book.

    Translation: “I’m so incapable of taking any criticism whatsoever that I assume that every person who gives me criticism is too young and stupid to know what they’re talking about.”

  59. Ann Bruce
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:11:17

    Tip for Deb MacWhatshername supporters:

    Please figure out the gender of the person you are insulting before you harass them via email. I can’t take you seriously if your grammatically incorrect and illogical sentences make me wonder if I should make concessions since you appear to have a double digit IQ.

    And have the guts to sign your real name and email address.

  60. Diana Peterfreund
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:13:18

    I am agog. To say I’m sorry for the readers and writers who have been harassed does not seem like enough.

    To pay this much attention to Amazon reviews, though! To abuse someone — well, to abuse them, PERIOD — but for three stars? What do you get for one star, I wonder? Authors responding to reviews are looked down on, but that seems tame compared to berating reviewers, abusing reviewers, deleting reviewers, and TRACKING DOWN A REVIEWER’S PERSONAL INFORMATION? That is, truly, crazy talk.

    Yeah, it’s a bit annoying when you get some hatchet job review, or see a review that is clearly about something unrelated to the book (say, a shipping error, or that you broke up with the reviewer back in high school), but you scowl, or laugh, and then get on with your day, right?

    Right?

    It disturbs a lot me that there is any group that does something else, or that they think it’s normal professional behavior.

  61. Jessica Russell
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:21:13

    I’m horrified.

    I am so enraged that this woman would stalk a reader, harass, and threaten her children. Why? Hiring a PI? I’m sure a lot of people have said what I feel.

    This reader has gone through hell and I’m sorry to see it happening in the romance community. My heart goes out to her and she, understandably, has said she’ll probably never read another romance.

    It doesn’t matter what circles you move in…there will always be those who celebrate others’ misery.

    Before the snarks start…I’m not enjoying this situation. Nor am I laughing at anyone. I am HORRIFIED. There is no celebration in my heart for abuse of trust between an author and her reading community. I read the author’s replies before she deleted them. My opinion of the author is related to her words, her actions. None of the other comments have swayed me one way or the other.

  62. Concerned Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:22:31

    Things are really blowing up on Amazon.com – it is everywhere that McGillivray has been. Not just her own books anymore, but the other authors who are benefiting (or at least were benefiting)from this whole “clickie” thing.

    Any word on this from the McGillivray camp? Anything at all? Are they really ignoring this?

  63. Ann Bruce
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:22:47

    Man, it's gettin' srsly cold here in Switzerland….

    Not just Switzerland. We got 23 cm (9 inches) of snow yesterday.

  64. Bernita
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:28:24

    Vile, disgusting and seriously pathological.

  65. Chicklet
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:39:36

    From DAM’s rant in the PW blog:

    This all so has nothing to do with reviewing. They are not posting reviews; they are posting their opinions. Big difference, though they don't seem to understand that.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Since when is a review not a presentation of the reviewer’s opinion of the work? What color is the sky in DAM’s world? (I assume the night sky there never contains fewer than three stars!)

  66. MD
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:41:46

    From what I’ve seen, MacGillivray may benefit from having fifteen-year-olds tell her how to write her books.

    Certainly she’d benefit from having fifteen-year-olds and maybe even five-year-olds tell her how to treat other people.

    She clearly doesn’t have the first idea.

  67. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:44:42

    The good thing about the PW quote is that it is consistent with all the other statements that are attributed to MacGillivray.

  68. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:45:16

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Since when is a review not a presentation of the reviewer's opinion of the work? What color is the sky in DAM's world? (I assume the night sky there never contains fewer than three stars!)

    But it’s different for her, dontcha understand? She’s speshul

    People like this are why I often cast longing looks at Bertha, my Big Black Baseball Bat.

  69. another amazon reviewer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:49:38

    Doing a bit of research on my own, I found a blog where a reader credits Deborah MacGillivray along with several other writers for teaching her how to work the Amazon system. She outlines how it works. In case the post disappears, I am pasting it here.

    -ne 50 ways to help an author (without buying her book)Originally I had a longer and more accurate title, but I can't get the song “Fifty ways to leave your lover out of my head”. Does Yahoo have a search feature?Even if you know where to find your friend, her blog, and her books, “hits” If you see an opportunity to comment on her review, do so if you have something nice to say.If authors write reviews, their books are advertised free in the attribution line, and their links to their page and their books are seen by people who are interested in the products that your friend reviewed.There's a link to her own web site.15. Then go back to Amazon.If the author has blogged (written a note about what she is doing/thinking/ or given an insight into her books), there is a blue link to Comment.16. Or scroll on down and see her bibliography, who your author friend's friends are, what reviews she has written, what search suggestions she has made, what “tags” While checking out her friends, maybe click on the image of other authors whose books you like. Amazon often pairs up two books by different authors and suggests “Buy Both”.When you are on a book page, without buying that book, click on links to:20. For instance, Dorchester publishing (home of Leisure and LoveSpell authors) has http://forums.dorchesterpub.com/Again, your comment will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, and it will give your friend a reason to post something interesting and quotable about her book without seeming to be self-promoting. If enough people click to report ugly remarks, bad reviews come down in 50-60% of the time If you see your favorite author's books in a supermarket or bookstore: 34. Tell store personnel how much you like that book, or that the author is local.36. group sites, or book chat sites, or special interest sites, post what you are reading. Join your favorite author's yahoo group, let her know where you've seen her book in stores, or where you've seen discussions of her book, or reviews of her book.45. Instead of quoting Goethe in your sig file, try quoting a line from your friend's blurb in the week of her launch.With thanks to the following for their help and suggestions: Kathleen Bacus,Diana Groe, Joyce Henderson, Diane Wylie, Jacquie Rogers,Deborah Anne MacGillivray, Charlotte Maclay, Rowena Cherry.

    Here is the link. http://online-interest60.blogspot.com/2008/03/rowena-cherry-remarks-50-ways-to-help.html

  70. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:52:01

    Sweet jiminy CHRISTMAS–who’s got that kind of time??

    *is still boggled*

  71. Chrissy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:57:02

    Holy Baby Jesus Hot Glued to the Creche!

    The sad thing is people who are doing great work (hello, Angela James?) are going to be lumped with this crackpot because, frankly, when melt-downs happen in epublishing they tend to have this flavor.

    Which leads me to belive there are two types of epub: those started to be good businesses putting out good books, and those started by batsh*t crazy control freaks who can’t work with others and want pretty desperately to be “real writers.”

    Unfortunately, lately the nutjobs outweigh the serious businesspeople. But it’s very, very healthy to be getting it out there. You have to lance that boil, no matter how nasty the mess is.

  72. vanessa jaye
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 09:59:07

    I’ve been following this train wreck, speechless, but this has to be addressed:

    Another woman backed up the story and said that all Dawn's royalties will go directly to DAM as well -‘ not to Dawn's family as I would have assumed.

    wth? How can that be right? As a single mom, (and someone who got caught up in a ten year legal battle over a deceased parent’s will) this hits a big hot button for me. Who the hell is she to deprive this author’s family of any/all benefits from her writing?

    Then, again, given everything else I’ve read here, why should I be surprised at this.

  73. Meriam
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:02:36

    -ne 50 ways to help an author (without buying her book)

    This cracks me up.

  74. Ellie
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:03:55

    Not nearly as bad as some of the other stuff that happened. But another 3 star review of a MacG book was posted. Her posse checked the reviewer’s other reviews and saw many were of YA books, and basically accused her of being too young to have a valid opinion. http://www.amazon.com/review/R3EMBVZRRAX32T/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&ASIN=0821780360#wasThisHelpful and http://www.amazon.com/review/ROVX1AS4T6IFM/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&ASIN=0821780379#wasThisHelpful

  75. Fiona Glass
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:10:02

    Chipping in late with this but just had to add how horrified and alarmed I am by the whole thing. Any business that threatens their own suppliers is on a slippery slope to rack and ruin imho.

    Also wanted to add that if Ms MacGillivray does go ahead and use a PI, it’s gonna cost her a LOT of her own money to do so and for what result, exactly? Plus, if enough of us writers squawk about this situation she can hardly take legal action against us all without it costing her entire life savings…

  76. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:13:03

    HP really isn’t an epub though, they’re a small press. Though maybe they’re trying to go into epubbing? I’m not sure. But I’ve never thought of them as an epub. So I’d hope it wouldn’t reflect badly on the epubs that are in their stride.

  77. DeniseMcD
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:19:18

    HP really isn't an epub though, they're a small press.

    I think you’re right, I don’t know that their books are available in anyting other than print (I tried to talk one of their authors into suggesting she get her book in “e” so she can get sales in Amazon Kindle and she didn’t seem to think this would happen any time soon)

  78. Ann Bruce
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:19:46

    HP really isn't an epub though, they're a small press.

    You’re right. I believe they only do trade paperbacks.

  79. KM
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:24:11

    Apparently this “clickie” campaign is really helping skyrocket their careers too. They’re still mid-level, at best.

    LaNora, is there something you want to confess? Has the secret to your success been, all along, not your writing but manipulation of book reviews? I knew it!

    Honestly, if I can’t hack it in my writing career with my own talent, marketing, networking, and business smarts, then I don’t deserve a career. That’s how I feel, anyway. But I’m not of the gestapo tactic school of authoring.

  80. Of Pineapples and Bananas… « Debora’s Blog
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:24:20

    […] Now, I’m a romance writer and if you are too, no doubt you’ve been following the Highland Press kerfluffle and in particular the odd behaviors of Deborah Ann MacGillevray.  As I personally have no dealings with either of these parties, I can’t comment and won’t – but being that I recently signed with a brand new e-publisher, anything that happens in the e-pub world is something I sit back and take note of.  The old adage “being forwarned is forarmed” comes to mind. It’s time comsuming, but you can follow along with the latest train wreck here. […]

  81. Whack-a-Doodle
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:30:36

    Did want to chime in here again since I heard from a couple more folks about this part:

    (COMMENT #28) Also, is it just me or does anyone else find it a little creepy that DAM still hangs on to the coattails of Dawn Thompson? She still updates the woman's blog, her website, her Myspace pages (#1) and (#2) and (#3), heck, she's even set up a permanent obituary memorial on Dawn's page. I asked on one of the loops I belong to if anyone else found this slightly disturbing that she can't let the woman rest in peace, and I was told that Dawn Thompson left the rights to ALL her books to DAM and that she (DAM) plans to publish Dawn's uncontracted WIPs through HP. Another woman backed up the story and said that all Dawn's royalties will go directly to DAM as well -‘ not to Dawn's family as I would have assumed.

    The reason (I heard) that DAM updates all Dawn Thompson’s sites so often is because the more books she sells of Dawn’s, the more money SHE (DAM) makes off the deal. She is now the alleged OWNER of all Dawn’s books, past, present and future and I’m told she is set to receive ALL royalty payments for ALL DT’s books — not just the uncontracted ones she’s planning to publish at HP.

    OMG is that… a…a…HEADLIGHT coming towards us? Stand back!! It’s a big old train and the wreckage could be pretty DAM huuuuuuge on this baby.

  82. Denise
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:33:51

    My gawd, the CRAZY…it burns. What I’d like to know is where this nutjob and her hyena pack find the time to write, or hell, even breathe? Seems to be an awful lot of work in manipulating Amazon reviews, abusing HP authors, insulting readers and stalking reviewers. And DAM (this acronym seems very apropripate)still has time to create romance covers with hanged heroes (and win awards for them). This group may not have a clue how to act like rational human beings, but they can certainly multitask.

    I doubt there is a review out there bad enough to damage or affect book sales in the way that Deborah MacGillivray has done with her actions and words and those of her minions. If she had any sense, she’d be working frantically on damage control and telling the flying monkeys to kindly STFU as they’re making things worse.

    Considering her reaction to a reasonable, polite review with an average 3-star rating, I can only shudder to imagine her response if one of her titles had been reviewed by Candy and Sarah over at the Smart Bitches. I suspect we’d see a suspicious and frightening mushroom cloud billowing up in the distance.

  83. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:34:39

    I think dang, I wish I saw the same outrage and action taken for subjects like real torture

    Kate, the thing is the stalking of a reader, implied threats to her and her family is something very, very serious. Anybody who has no problem crossing the line to imply a threat towards people over something as paltry as a review may not have problems crossing the line to carry through a threat to something a little more important, like a threat to her career.

    That’s what worries me.

    I think what’s really disturbing is that somebody can actually focus THAT much energy on something like a review~when there definitely are more important things in the world.

    Man, can you imagine the impact this chick could have had if she focused on her energy and enthusiasm on something that really, really mattered?

  84. Stephanie Z.
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:41:23

    Her posse checked the reviewer's other reviews and saw many were of YA books, and basically accused her of being too young to have a valid opinion.

    Boy, that’s totally legit . . . (sarcasm)

    Says the 25-year-old (who is still probably too young to have a valid opinion) who runs a primarily-YA review website.

    Anyway, carry on.

  85. roslynholcomb
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:41:41

    LOL @Holy Baby Jesus…

    This has to be the most mind-boggling thing I’ve ever read. And to think, I was whining about losing my 1/2 star on Amazon and thought that was crazy and petty.

    The sad part is, I buy a lot of books from Amazon and rely on reviews quite a bit. I guess I’m just naive, but it never occurred to me that authors would be unethical enough to manipulate the system this way.

    I’ve got some rather ‘enthusiastic’ fans, but I would never encourage them to even write a review, let alone go on a campaign like this. I for one, assume (and hope) that my readers have LIVES. I would think something like this would lose you more readers than you would gain. I know if I were on a reader list and an author suggested this I probably would never read her again.

  86. The boys want you
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:44:25

    This is a hoot. A Big FUCKING HOOT!

    My friend’s wife is a writer and she told us about this. How the BITCHES over here are whopping up on each other.

    Imagine that one bunch of stupid, silly ROMANCE WRITERs whopping up another bunch of dumber stupider ROMANCE WRITERS. U ought to contact the WWE, romance writers in the ring would be a big draw. Picture it. The ROMANCE WRITERS v. THE OTHER ROMANCE WRITERS. On team could dress up in those pink dresses where tits hang out, the side in blue dress with their tits hanging out there. Just like on the covers. Be the HIGHEST RATED SHOW EVER!

    Maybe u want to srart out in rollr darby. Wear them little sorts.

    We knew along this was a lark. No one is serious about working here. So lets get some fun going. I’ll call the WWE. Buzz here wants to know who represents the Dippy romance writers. Ah heck, we tell to find a big one and call

    See ya on tv.

  87. SuzyQ
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:48:35

    Maybe u want to srart out in rollr darby. Wear them little sorts.

    Thanks, Jethro, now kindly take yer smart lurnin and go jump in the cement pond.

  88. Anon For This
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:49:10

    Didn’t DM get funds from the Stephen King Foundation for medical bills for Dawn Thompson? How was that money spent?

  89. AnyWay
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:51:46

    But having seen the punitive release clause on the contract (they have to pay to get their rights back, and it isn't a paltry sum. And the contract runs for seven years) I'd say the only way forward, if you want to leave and they won't let you, is for the authors to remove or minimise the HP books on their websites, to give any future publishers a sporting chance, and don't promote them any more.

    Lord people please let that be a lesson to you when you choose a small/e-publisher!!! Wake UP! Just because someone CAN publish your book doesn’t mean you should let them! Do your homework, ask around, and if no one has ever heard of Sassafrass Press* RUN LIKE HELL! Don’t be so freaking grateful that someone said yes that you hand over your firstborn child, don’t negotiate, don’t ask questions and don’t READ before you SIGN!

    DAM aside…did we learn NOTHING from Triskelon?! I have a friend who writes for HP and their days are numbered (the publisher at the least since folks don’t normally WANT to write for you when you DON’T pay them).

    ——
    *Sassafrass Press is a fictional publisher pulled out of my imagination. Please do not Google or attempt to query.

  90. SpeshulWalrus
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:52:07

    Maybe u want to srart out in rollr darby. Wear them little sorts.

    Aww, isn’t that sweet? He’s talking LOLcat.

  91. Gennita Low
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:52:41

    Boy (yup, little boys indeed),

    Come back when you learn how to spell. Bring your charge card for the PayPerView. I know you’d be stupid enough to actually pay for it. Care to reveal your wife’s and her friend’s names? Thought not.

  92. Kristi Ahlers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:56:19

    DS~
    Hi **waving** I just want to clear this up before I get lumped into this catagory of stalking reviewers…***shaking head sadly*** I never condoned this behavior and I never, ever gave reviews away. I took my reviewing seriously when I was doing it full time, I once was a reviewer for RT. Just wanted you to know that I am not part of that pack, and when asked to click “No” or report a bad review…I did not participate. Although I would report back to the group that I did so as to not get a slamming e-mail. There were even a few times that I clicked yes the review was helpful when they wanted it reported.

    I am a firm believer that if you stand behind your writing you can take a bad review. I have reviews that span from 5 start to 2 stars. I have not freaked out nor have I demanded the review or rating be removed. I did post on the previous thread so please, pretty please don’t lump me in with this group.

  93. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:57:49

    My friend’s wife is a writer

    Ja(y)nes, ya know, it would be lovely if there was some way to keep those with those double-digit IQs Ann referred to from posting. I know! A password sort of thing that is actually an intelligence quiz~if they can’t put 2+2 together or name the first American president or spell C-A-T without a dictionary, then they can’t post!

    To Mr/Mrs. The boys want you, just a couple of things.

    ~Sorry, I’m not so sure you’re the friend of a husband of a writer~I think you are a writer or a crony and trying to blow smoke.

    ~If you actually think this comment is going to do anything but make the commenters here do more than laugh at your idiocy, well, you obviously are off-target.

    ~FYI, if you’re questioning somebody’s intelligence or calling them dumb but can’t be bothered to spell out a simple word like Y-O-U, your insults lose an awful lot of impact.

    Now that you’re done questioning OUR intelligence, why don’t you go find some nice little glass box to throw your stones in, okay?

  94. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:00:33

    ~LaNora, is there something you want to confess? Has the secret to your success been, all along, not your writing but manipulation of book reviews? I knew it!~

    Oh noes! I have been found out!

    ~Maybe u want to srart out in rollr darby. Wear them little sorts.~

    Golly, Jim-Bob, you’re so cute.

  95. The boys want you
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:01:52

    Maybe that girl defending er momma can join up? I like them spnky.

  96. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:07:13

    Golly, Jim-Bob, you're so cute.

    Snicker. Isn’t he, though?

    Maybe that girl defending er momma can join up? I like them spnky.

    LMAO. Oh, man you gotta love it.

  97. Nobody's Fool
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:07:25

    Hi “The boy wants you” !

    Or should we call you “Sockpuppet” or just plain old “Deborah” instead?

    lol

  98. another anon butting in...
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:07:28

    I’m going to butt in again :)

    Janet Reid posted this fabulous article this morning about big and small publishers who can and WILL pull the plug on authors for behaving badly. It made me smile.

    Guess it’s time to start penning some letters…

  99. Ann Bruce
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:10:23

    @The boys want you

    I prefer men, thank you kindly. And as for why…I think you just provided ample reason.

  100. Ricky
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:11:38

    My name’s Ricky. Look me up when yall cum to WV. Lunch over girls. Got to hit them baccer fields again. Yall can cum help put it out. RIde along behind the tracter and drop the plants into the ground. Ain’t hard. Won’t hurt you hands.

  101. azteclady
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:17:23

    Shiloh said,

    I think what's really disturbing is that somebody can actually focus THAT much energy on something like a review~when there definitely are more important things in the world.

    It is scary as HELL–the blurring in reality to the point where a 3 out of 5 stars will roll down hill all the way to threatening the reviewers family? The boil-the-bunny crazy point was reached and left behind a while back.

    Man, can you imagine the impact this chick could have had if she focused on her energy and enthusiasm on something that really, really mattered?

    Unfortunately, it seems that more often than not, this level of ‘enthusiasm’ is closely tied to an ego of gargantuan proportions, and therefore tied to the aggrandizement of the persons self image.

  102. ChoptLivers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:17:47

    Dear Ricky,

    Repeat after me:

    Not to go on All-Fours; that is the Law. Are we not men?

    I don’t know why I’m wasting my time, he won’t get it…

  103. Meriam
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:18:10

    “Male do silly thinks when they are upset and jealous…”

  104. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:18:24

    Ricky – Here’s the deal. You are using the same email address as a previous poster. I don’t want to embarrass her so please refrain from posting non contributory comments because I don’t want to ban this email address.

  105. ChoptLivers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:18:51

    Ha, Meriam, snap!!!

  106. Nonny
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:20:17

    [subscribing to this clusterfuck]

  107. Disgusted Romance Author
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:20:43

    I never condoned this behavior and I never, ever gave reviews away. I took my reviewing seriously when I was doing it full time, I once was a reviewer for RT. Just wanted you to know that I am not part of that pack, and when asked to click “No” or report a bad review…I did not participate. Although I would report back to the group that I did so as to not get a slamming e-mail.

    I’ve said nothing in this discussion thus far, but this has pushed me over the line. Kristi Ahlers, it’s this kind of gutless turd behavior that enables the tyrants of the world. If a few people would speak up and say, “NO, this isn’t right,” the tyrants would be shut down pretty quickly. I know this from experience. But when you and others go along, or even PRETEND to go along, you are guilty of enabling the tyrant and cannot separate yourself from the guilty parties. Sorry, but your own words have lumped you in, despite your plea to be excused. This is all sickening.

  108. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:22:07

    I am think you skimmed the book, sitting in an auto place, worry about big bad men sniggering, and didn't bother to see why the characters did things, just took surface reactions.

    Hmm…

    Maybe u want to srart out in rollr darby. Wear them little sorts.

    The syntax and grammar… it burns.

    Someone catch my rolling eyes, please.

  109. Nobody's Fool
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:23:18

    “Boy”/”Ricky” is DAM. No one else’s grammar is that bad. Just ignore it. I’m from WV so can tell you we’re not all hillbilly dipsh*ts. I think that distinction is reserved for internet bullies.

  110. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:25:44

    just as an aside, you can subscribe without commenting by entering your email address in the box below. You have to be a) unsubscribed and b) not logged in.

  111. Diane Wylie
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:27:40

    Since my name is mentioned by “anotheramazonreviewer” in message #69, I need to come forward with my side of the story.

    I contributed to the 50 ways to promote your book, but DID NOT suggest the clicking thing. I was like QuietOne when I first joined the Ladies in Waiting Yahoo group. I truly thought that they were such a nice, supportive group…and the vast majority were. I confess to clicking on some Yes buttons for Amazon reviews. It seemed like a harmless way to help an author. However, I never really did agree with clicking on the No buttons and didn't do that.

    Over time I began to see a pattern of written abuse and endless self-serving requests from DM. I posted less and less to the group. Never one to like confrontation or unpleasantness, I faded to lurk status for the most part. Then, suddenly, DM deleted her review of my book, telling me by email that her NYC editors told her to do so. I thought those editors had something against me personally, silly goose that I am, and she didn't say a thing to make me think otherwise. I was hurt and confused at that point. Why should big NYC editors have something against me? I wracked my brain and could find no reason for it.

    Then my privileges on the group were set to “no mail.” A fluke, I thought. I reset them to digest. The next time I looked, they were reset to “no mail” again. After resetting it several times, I finally got the hint. Duh, I was no longer welcome, so I left the group.

    You see, I am a trusting soul, who doesn't believe people are bad until it hits me over the head. Well, my eyes are open now as a result of what I've been reading these past few days. Who knew? Not me. I found out later that DM must have discovered that I have been friends with Ginger Simpson (of stolen cover fame) for several years, and so I became tainted by association. I would and will support Ginger in any way as I believe she is an innocent victim, just as I was an innocent dupe. I am just sorry for any of the good members who may suffer needlessly over the actions of a rotten apple in the bunch.

    Now, if something happens to me, tell the police. She knows my address too!

  112. ChoptLivers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:30:21

    Oh thanks, now I have this image of DAM typing furiously on the keyboard, her fingers worn out. “No time to spell, must appall the world faster…”

  113. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:31:54

    You know I hate to see people bashing all epubs/small press because of this. Not all of them are bad. You just have to do your research. The epubs that have their sh*t together just keeping getting better and more impressive. So we can’t lump them all in the same category.

  114. Gennita Low
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:34:00

    (((Wow, all the way down to Florida, Barb! Carefully handling Barb’s rolling eyes)))

    LOL. Sorry, it’s lunch time at this roofer’s job. Life wouldn’t be funny without a few transgendered sockpuppets.

    Question: Is Ms MacGillivray situated in Great Britain? Because that’s what her Youtube thingie says. But we all put weird things in our profiles for YouTube/MySpace, so I’m not sure whether that’s correct or not.

    Nah, I’m not stalking her ;-). I’m actually trying to find out more about that $100 raffle fund she held for the sick writer because I had an acquaintance who paid for a similar raffle and wanted to ask her whether this was the one.

  115. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:34:05

    ~Ricky – Here's the deal. You are using the same email address as a previous poster. I don't want to embarrass her so please refrain from posting non contributory comments because I don't want to ban this email address.~

    God, some people are stupid. Perhaps she should have said her name was Dick.

  116. Gennita Low
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:39:08

    Dicky, Nora. She’s a boy still.

  117. Nonny
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:39:38

    @ChoptLivers: OK, I laughed out loud at that comment. At this point, I can so see it. :P

  118. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:39:57

    You know, curiosity got the better of me and I dropped by the HP authors yahoo loop to see what kind of discussion was going on in there. Or if maybe I’d been put on ‘no mail’ like someone above. I’m still on digest… but, I can’t find any messages. Like any. Old or new. There’s only the option to post. I wonder if they deleted them all? Or maybe my Yahoo is just on crack today.

  119. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:48:34

    Nah, I'm not stalking her ;-). I'm actually trying to find out more about that $100 raffle fund she held for the sick writer because I had an acquaintance who paid for a similar raffle and wanted to ask her whether this was the one

    Through the grapevine, I’ve heard she’s in the midwest.

  120. raine
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:52:15

    Okay, none of this is funny…but this did make me fall out of my chair…

    Thanks, Jethro, now kindly take yer smart lurnin and go jump in the cement pond.

  121. Sharon
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:52:40

    According to what she has said in the past she lives half the year in the US and half the year in Britain or Scotland (forget which).

    Edit: Right. I meant England or Scotland and misspoke.

  122. Nobody's Fool
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 11:56:32

    According to Myspace, she lives in UK and KY.

  123. Marquesate
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:02:33

    Scotland is part of Britain, just saying.

    Fascinated by all of this, really. I am wondering what will happen as a result. Surely, with the power of the people – so to speak – unleashed, there has to be action taken by the distributors, Amazon, etc?

  124. Cerri Ellis
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:03:34

    I am so, so glad I do not typically review historicals! :P

    I cannot fathom why any author would respond in such a manner to a reader review.

    Readers hold the ultimate court of opinion! Much like patrons of fine art, the artist may know what their painting means, but the patron is invited to their own interpretation.

    Within that dynamic is where the real beauty resides.

    I always try to temper my own reviews with polite objectivity, not because I am an especially nice person, but because I admire the creative process, the effort and the spark that manifests something from basically nothing but an idea. Even if the resulting book is, in my opinion, abysmal, the author might glean an insight from my constructive criticism and create something wonderful in their current work in progress.

    Oh, and can we please call these other people in question something other than witches. Not trying to get all PC on folks, but it’s not fair to real witches. :D

    Cerri

  125. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:09:28

    I've said nothing in this discussion thus far, but this has pushed me over the line. Kristi Ahlers, it's this kind of gutless turd behavior that enables the tyrants of the world. If a few people would speak up and say, “NO, this isn't right,” the tyrants would be shut down pretty quickly. I know this from experience. But when you and others go along, or even PRETEND to go along, you are guilty of enabling the tyrant and cannot separate yourself from the guilty parties. Sorry, but your own words have lumped you in, despite your plea to be excused. This is all sickening.

    Disgusted Romance Author,

    I agree that it’s always best to stand up when bullying happens, but for some people, it’s not so easy. For some people, simply NOT doing what you’re expecting to do is standing up and it takes a great deal of courage to do so.

    Would I have handled it the way KA did? Clicking yeses, but not nos? Nah. Of course, I doubt I would have lasted two days in such a group, believe me, my mouth would have gotten me in trouble. Speaking up is something I come by very easily.

    But considering just how extensive this bullying/terrorizing is, I can understand why some people don’t say anything. Again, I don’t condone just taking it in silence, but I’m also not going to tell somebody how they should have acted in each individual instance~unless I’ve been in their place, I really don’t have any ground to stand on.

    Now if KA had been part and parcel of the stalking all negative reviewers, making threats, etc, I’d see it differently. But just because she didn’t have it in her to stand up to bullying? I can’t lump her with people like DM over that.

  126. Robin
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:16:51

    Now if KA had been part and parcel of the stalking all negative reviewers, making threats, etc, I'd see it differently. But just because she didn't have it in her to stand up to bullying? I can't lump her with people like DM over that.

    At this point I really appreciate it that some of these authors have the guts to come out *with their names* and admit that they had any participation with DAM. IMO that takes a good deal of courage, especially given what we’ve seen (even if there’s some CYA involved, as well). I’d hate to see us create a space in which authors who know what’s been going on from the inside don’t feel safe getting out from under DAM. Ahlers posted in the other thread, so I mentally pulled her out of the pile. And as someone said above, it seems unlikely that Emma Holly is involved (she has more than one one star review on Amazon, lol), and I have no idea who Barbara Pierce is, but it would be easy enough to check her reviews, too. Once you understand how this works, it seems that it’s not too too difficult to see which authors are getting preferential treatment, so to speak.

    ETA: We’re trying to check the SPAM folder regularly, because as Jane said yesterday, it’s very aggressive (I have to fish my own posts out on occasion), so if you don’t see your message post here right away, give it a bit before you try to repost or rewrite.

  127. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:27:06

    And as someone said above, it seems unlikely that Emma Holly is involved (she has more than one one star review on Amazon, lol), and I have no idea who Barbara Pierce is, but it would be easy enough to check her reviews, too.

    Nah, I don’t see EH involved in this. She strikes me as too private a person.

  128. Highland Patsy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:43:03

    My comment is to Disgruntled Romance Author with regard to your response to Kristi Ahlers.

    Until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s moccasins, I don’t think you can judge the impact that DAM had on the authors at HP. Although she claims now that she isn’t the co-publisher, she had control of the loop, spoke her mind freely, expressed acid opinions, and berated those who didn’t participate in her schemes. Recently, another author was removed from the loop because she dared disagree with DAM in an off-loop email. What was the infraction? If one isn’t involved in managing the press, how can she have that kind of power?

    If you pissed off DAM, you felt her ire. So, don’t condemn Kristi for trying to survive in a publishing environment into which she had locked herself for seven agonizing years. It didn’t take long to see who ran the dog and pony show at HP. New and unexperienced authors probably never heard of ‘clickies’ and believed DAM’S BS. I was a previously published author and I’d never heard of them, but we aren’t so stupid that we couldn’t wise up. Hell, haven’t we all had bad reviews. You suck ‘em up and move on. Not one of us is everyone’s cup of tea.

    I’ve never met Kristi personally, but my impression is that she is a very moral and caring woman who has stood alongside her friends and offered unconditional support. She doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with DAM for having a moment of trusting judgment. There were no red flags when most of us signed there. We didn’t get the big picture until we joined the loop and got slapped around a few times. By then it was too late. I hope it never happens to you. It’s very easy to look down noses and judge, but until you’ve been there, done that, you have no idea.

  129. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:43:46

    Somebody correct me if I get something wrong, but I’ve been trying for days to string so much crazy loose information into a single coherent picture here, and it ain’t the easiest thing in the world to do:P

    What’s going through my mind right now is best summed up by Ann Somerville’s comments in post #47:

    Really the only people hurt here are the readers who are being misled, and the authors who are shredding their reputations by associating with wotsherface and playing her game. That's a lot of people, though, to make up for the insanely inflated ego trip of one talentless writer with dubious ethics and the manners of a ferret.

    Oh dear, I feel another rant coming on:P

    To expand on that just a bit (or a lot, depending on how long I can type)…
    Most of the readers that I’ve discussed this with seem to regard Amazon reviews in much the same way that I always have, and that’s NOT as a reliable source of information. A distinction needs to be made between consistently reliable sources for book reviews, and a system that I’ve always regarded more as a “shopper’s guide” – like Consumer Reports. I don’t see a book review posted at (and these are just for instances) The Romance Reader or the All About Romance websites as being quite the same thing as Amazon reviews. Just the most obvious things to me, the reviewers at both of those sites seem to strive for a certain level of professionalism in their reviews, and they are always legitimate book reviews by someone who you know has actually read the book, accompanied by some sort of rating system. I’m not saying that Amazon doesn’t have those, but we do know that there isn’t any kind of fully transparent quality control system for those reviews in place there, and that the rating system is open to manipulation by “clickies”, who can cause negative reviews and ratings to disappear by voting that they are not helpful, or boost the positive 5 star ratings by voting on them as being helpful. I can’t recall when exactly I noticed this, but I did notice it well before all of this s#!@ hit the proverbial fan.
    There are often instances – especially with older books – where I have had difficulty in finding reviews on any of what I consider to be the legit review sources, and then, and ONLY then, will I go to Amazon, and begin the often tedious process of wading through the gushing fangirl BS, looking for legitimate reviews. The objective is sort of twofold; I’m looking for some good books to read, but I’m also to trying to figure out when & where it’s wisest to spend my dollars, and when it’s wisest to simply keep them in my pocket.

    I’d say it’s not too much of a stretch for anyone to figure out that from Amazon’s perspective, it’s always best for them if I go ahead and spend my money – hopefully by ordering the book in question from them. They may have a hope or intent that the buying guide they provide, in the form of customer reviews, is an honest and reliable system, but it’s a win/win situation for them either way, since it’s the public perception of it being honest and reliable that counts.
    I don’t have that perception of it and never did. I prefer to get my book recommendations from sources who have nothing gain or lose whether I buy a book or not. Unfortunately – and nobody was more shocked than I to find this out – a lot of people do have that perception of Amazon reviews. They don’t (or didn’t until recently) realize that a book review can appear to be legit, when in fact, it’s nothing of the kind. And even if they did realize that, they might still have been missing the fact that a book’s 5 star rating may come from one or two – or even ten – such reviews, that simply got a ton of “helpful” votes. And any reviews that might have balanced that high rating out into more realistic territory, could have their impact on the ratings nullified altogether by “unhelpful” votes.

    I suppose some sort of evil genius kudos should go to DAM and her toadies for figuring this out and using it to advance what might have otherwise been a pretty dismal career. I, as a reader, am being confronted with the fact that someone who I simply presumed to be a reasonably competent writer, because she was published and I’d heard of her, was in fact a two bit, functionally illiterate hack, with about zero talent and no PR skills to speak of.
    She appears to have built her entire career on nothing more than customer/ratings manipulation. And I can’t help it – I gotta ask at this point, did she get this coveted NYC contract that I’ve seen so much crowing about, due solely to this kind of manipulation?
    Because, if so, it’s got to stop. It may not have reached that point yet, but as a reader, I don’t appreciate a talentless hack being allowed to get away with racketeering her way on to the besteller list, possibly – and God forbid – outselling some of the best authors ever to grace the world of fiction, based on an elaborately constructed hoax.
    She’s not an author, she’s a con artist. And we, all of us, from readers, to publishers, to other writers are the patsies. Does anybody feel just the slightest bit victimized by all that? I know I do.

    I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.
    I’ve already started composing letters reflecting my outrage at this reprehensible situation, and I plan to print & mail and email them to each and every contact person whose name and address I can lay my hands on. This is a cold, calculated slap in the faces of everyone who ever wrote down a story with the hopes of one day seeing it in print, picked up that story and read it, and printed the story out, in order to put it into the hands of readers. It’s bullshit on a level that defines the true meaning of bullshit, and if everyone who is aware of it isn’t as outraged as I am right now, they damn sure oughta be.

  130. Casee
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:45:16

    This is very disturbing to me. I’m a reviewer on amazon and I’ve never censored my opinions. I find it highly distasteful that an author would go to these lengths after getting a 3 star review (which is average).

  131. Ciar Cullen
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:50:49

    Okay, I once got seriously bummed by a bad Amazon review of one of my books. I clicked the “not helpful” button. I just had to get that off my chest. Of course, I didn’t threaten bodily harm to the reviewer and the reviewer’s family.

    And Lynne, I’m not so sure this is tremendously different in one respect from Triskelion. I was in what I’d call the second wave of departures, and it took a lot to get me to bail. There’s a common thread with these companies that are going under–a big ego at the top, a lot of arrogance, and a mentality that you can treat people anyway you want and it won’t come back to bite you in the ass.

  132. Avenging Angel
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:53:09

    The reason (I heard) that DAM updates all Dawn Thompson's sites so often is because the more books she sells of Dawn's, the more money SHE (DAM) makes off the deal. She is now the alleged OWNER of all Dawn's books, past, present and future and I'm told she is set to receive ALL royalty payments for ALL DT's books -‘ not just the uncontracted ones she's planning to publish at HP.

    THIS to me is the SICKEST twist in the manipulation tactics of DAM. For the past ten years of her life, Ms. Thompson was wheelchair-bound and in recent years found herself befriended by DAM. Okay, nothing wrong with having a friend; however, when that FRIEND is as controlling and intimidating as DAM, especially when Ms. Thompson became seriously ill, it raised a RED FLAG to me about her motives. At first, I wanted to believe there was a heart beneath the hateful manners of this woman, but more and more I read how she even used Ms. Thompson’s illness to draw attention to herself. Because everything this woman does is about HER. I do not presume to say she did not care for Ms. Thompson, but there is something seriously wrong with this picture now. If you are a friend to someone, genuinely interested in their welfare and/or perhaps their memory, why promote yourself in the process? I find it not surprising at all that this woman is profiting off the death of her ‘dear friend’. Sorry, but to those who have had contact on any level with DAM, she does nothing for anyone unless it is to HER advantage

    The way this human vulture stepped in after the death of Ms. Thompson, going through her computer and unfinished work, and putting her heavy hand on everything to me sounds not only intrusive but illegal. Ms. Thompson is survived by blood relatives, a fact Ms. MacGillivray failed to mention in the obit she wrote. (See: Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine – May 2008).

    Sadly, Ms. Thompson’s finances were in dire straits and I was told she did NOT have a Will when she died. One can only surmise her only asset was her books and the revenue they generate — published and as yet unpublished. So, even with cases of someone not having a Will, papers should be filed and the court needs to officially appoint someone a trustee of the estate. Now DAM is what? Negotiating contracts on uncontracted work? Getting royalty payments off this poor dead woman?? I don’t know if anyone read the obit she wrote about Ms. Thompson in RT, but in it she states:

    Several of Thompson’s other works will also be released this year. Still to come are: Bride of Time (Love Spell, Sep ’08), Prisoner of the Flames (Leisure) and Rape of the Soul (Highland Press), which will also be releasing several other titles from Thompson.)

    I am very alarmed about all this, because I have seen a pattern of this woman imposing her “I’m your friend” false benevolence on people — whether they are new writers trying to learn about the industry, or people who are weak, insecure, or ill. I cannot help but wonder if she swooped down on the family of Ms. Thompson (who may not know how the publishing industry works) with her usual high-handedness laced with words of love and devotion for Ms. Thompson to basically take over the career of this woman. And now she is getting royalties? Somehow, the title of Ms. Thompson’s next HP book — Rape of the Soul takes on new meaning.

    I wish some legal authority would seriously investigate this woman. She collected money – allegedely for funeral flowers in memory of Ms. Thompson. I contributed and never heard anything back from her on this. Okay, fine. Whatever. And now (as mentioned in the RT obit) she is collecting monies which are supposedly to go to Stephen King’s The Haven Foundation in memory of Ms. Thompson. Hey, this may well be true. But I do not TRUST this woman and I question the accountability of monies she takes in and basically everything she says and does.

  133. L.E. Bryce
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 12:57:33

    Aww, isn't that sweet? He's talking LOLcat.

    You’re insulting the intelligence of lolcats. :) Respect teh kittehs.

  134. CJ England
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:01:00

    This is a huge eye-opener for me. I had no idea the system could be used in such a way. Appalling and frightening.

    Stalking and harassing a reader? Just because she didn’t gush over your book? Wow! There are no words.

  135. Disgusted Romance Author
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:02:50

    To Shiloh and Highland Patsy, I am expressing my opinion here, just like the rest of you. Patsy, you have no idea what paths I’ve walked, but I can tell you that I’ve gone head to head with bullying tyrants right in my own RWA chapter who tried to pull similar tactics on the rest of the membership. My opinion of Ms. Ahlers stands. She has admitted to “reporting back” to this pack of jackels. Obviously, she thought pretending to go along would somehow further her career. Now that her name is out there, she’s begging off. The “reporting back” part is what got me. I repeat, my opinion of Ms. Ahlers behavior stands despite your lectures about my wrong thinking. Unlike Ms. Ahlers, I’m not a follower so your reasoning on her behalf strikes no chords with me.

  136. Melissa Sawmiller
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:04:43

    Oh my… that’s only the second time that I’ve had an author go straight on my ‘Do Not Read’ list, but that’s disgusting and so disrespectful! And if the reader doesn’t get out of your book what you wanted them to, then obviously you didn’t write it well enough. Get past it, learn from it and move on. Or write a book that is ten times more fabulous!!!

  137. KM
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:04:52

    Okay, I once got seriously bummed by a bad Amazon review of one of my books. I clicked the “not helpful” button. I just had to get that off my chest. Of course, I didn't threaten bodily harm to the reviewer and the reviewer's family.

    I had a friend once who got ripped a new one with an Amazon review, but it wasn’t so much that the reader disliked the book, it was that s/he clearly had not even read the book. Names of characters were wrong, non-existent plot points were criticized, etc. The reviewer slammed her “historical accuracy” when it was a contemporary piece. I don’t know if this reader got her books mixed up and intended the review for something else or what, but it was strange.

    In that circumstance, yes, I went and clicked “not helpful.” But IMO that’s apples and oranges to what DAM is doing.

  138. Denise A
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:05:15

    Has DAM responded anywhere, on any site about this? I am just curious because you would think she would try to do a little damage control. Although it is pointless now……

  139. CoveyWatcher
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:11:11

    She’s responded in other forums that she dosn’t read or respond to blogs, but that she’ll reply to any questions presented to her directly. I’m assuming email. Might be interesting to contact her and ask questions…

  140. Kristi Ahlers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:12:23

    Disgusted Romance Writer~
    You’re right at the time it was gutless…I was also new and learning the ropes. I’m sorry but have you ever received a flaming e-mail from DAM? Do you think I wanted my family stalked, threatened? Please, until you have your world turned upside down by this person, and I have on more then one instance, let me assure you the experience is soul-sucking, spirit destroying. If I had raised my hand and spoken out I would not have had to deal with just DAM. There would have been fall out from her crew. 6-1 aren't great odds. This was my “publisher” and I did not realize the power that I had. We all make mistakes; I’m stepping up to the plate and admitting to it. That should count for something. If not, again, I can’t please everyone. I’ve admitted and taken ownership…there is not much more I can do. I have grown changed, people can do that or didn't you know that?

    Your opinion of me stands. Fine. I’m not going to hurl insults at you. I “outted” myself her. No one did it for me. Good for you for going head to head with bullies. I don’t like confrontation. If this makes me weak in your eyes. Fine, I’m weak. I did not see this as a way to further my career. I saw this as a way of dealing with a situation I was not comfortable with. We all react in different ways.

  141. L.E. Bryce
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:12:35

    Low reviews often tell me more about the book than 4-and-5-star ones do. As an author, I value criticism as much as I do praise–more so when it’s articulate and constructive, because it informs me about what readers like/respond or don’t.

  142. AnonHP
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:13:05

    DAMs click campaigns are not just for reviews. http://romancebooks.splinder.com/post/15890115

  143. Jackie Barbosa
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:14:52

    Shelli Stevens wrote:

    You know I hate to see people bashing all epubs/small press because of this. Not all of them are bad. You just have to do your research. The epubs that have their sh*t together just keeping getting better and more impressive. So we can't lump them all in the same category.

    I have to agree with Shelli here. One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch and all that.

    That said, this whole episode just points up the importance of authors doing due diligence before signing a contract with any publisher (and that includes the big NY houses to a certain extent as well). I think it’s very easy to get stars in your eyes when that offer of publication comes and be so thrilled that someone wants your work, you can fail to protect yourself. And it sounds to me like Highland Press has played off of that in the way it has treated its authors.

    Before I contracted my first novella to Cobblestone Press, I contacted several of their authors, some I knew and some I didn’t. I asked questions. How was their experience with Cobblestone? Did they feel they were treated fairly and with respect? What was the editing process like? Were they paid royalties when promised? And so on.

    Only when I heard from multiple sources that their experiences had been positive overall did I sign the contract. And I’ve never had a reason to be sorry I did.

  144. Kristi Ahlers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:16:26

    Shellie S.
    They have deleted HP Author loop and the LIW loop. HP website is down now as well.

  145. Leah
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:16:53

    Whoa. I didn’t read this one over at SB because there were just too many comments, and I didn’t really get why playing around with Amazon reviews was such a hot-button issue (as I don’t take them seriously myself–they generally tell you more about the reviewer than the book). Anyway–this is some scary stuff. And an education. Let me just say now, for the record, that for those of you whose books I read while I was in the car repair shop (or the laundromat, or the drop-off line)–I am grateful to you for saving me from interminable boredom (or, if I read your book on a plane, from raving insanity). And when I finally have a book out there, I don’t care where you read it, or how many stars you give it, just as long as you buy it!

    PS to Ms. Wiley. I feel for you. I had a boss like that. First he seemed great. Then I thought I was the worst employee ever. Then I realized he was a nutjob. My sympathies for your experience.

  146. anotheranon
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:18:15

    Kristi, I always liked your RT reviews. Sorry to hear you’re not doing any more of them.

  147. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:19:09

    To Shiloh and Highland Patsy, I am expressing my opinion here, just like the rest of you.

    DRA, you’re entitled to your opinion. I don’t recall telling you that you weren’t. I even agreed with your feelings that bullies are best stood up to.

    Here

    I agree that it's always best to stand up when bullying happens, but for some people, it's not so easy. For some people, simply NOT doing what you're expecting to do is standing up and it takes a great deal of courage to do so.

    And I admitted I wouldn’t have handled it the same here:

    Would I have handled it the way KA did? Clicking yeses, but not nos? Nah. Of course, I doubt I would have lasted two days in such a group, believe me, my mouth would have gotten me in trouble. Speaking up is something I come by very easily.

    And I again stated I didn’t condone taking it silence here:

    Again, I don't condone just taking it in silence

    I’m not sure where you got the idea I was lecturing you, unless it was with this comment:

    but I'm also not going to tell somebody how they should have acted in each individual instance~unless I've been in their place, I really don't have any ground to stand on.

    Generally, I don’t waste time lecturing people. It does little good. But what I will do, and fairly often, is offer a viewpoint as to why some people may act/react the way they do. Objectivity is something I believe firmly in.

    And, since you seem to be clear on stating your opinion, as you’re entitled, all I did was state mine.

    Now if KA had been part and parcel of the stalking all negative reviewers, making threats, etc, I'd see it differently. But just because she didn't have it in her to stand up to bullying? I can't lump her with people like DM over that.

    If it’s doesn’t fall in line with yours, that’s fine. I don’t expect it to. It’s my opinion~and just like you, I’m entitled.

    The entire reason I posted was because I don’t want the people who’ve felt terrorized by DM to think that the entire lot of us are going to throw them in the same ugly place where DM resides.

  148. Denise A
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:20:41

    They have deleted HP Author loop and the LIW loop. HP website is down now as well.

    Well that kinda answers my question…‘instead of addressing the situation we will just pretend it doesn’t exist’

    I hear those squeaky wheels turning…

  149. Katie
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:27:51

    I have been following this thread since it started at the beginning of the week. My opinion conforms with 99.9% of the commenters here, so I don’t want to state how shocked or disgusted I am. What truly interests me is the question if this “matter” is big enough to make (national) news? As I don’t live in the States and generally don’t check available news channels, I wanted to post this question here. The thing is, Cassie Edward’s plagiarism story was big news. Plagiarism combined with a controversial fiction genre, a NYT bestselling author and a huge reader outcry was definitely worth reporting. However, in case of this hellish situation, not only an intellectual matter is taking centre stage, but a real threat against a reader and her family, too. At the moment (if I am up to date), the whole DAM story is still “only” an online affair, and it’s a well-known fact that the only community is not the biggest one. Am I the only one who wants this situation widely known, maybe in the hope that more readers are made aware of this situation and that DAM’s publishers would take a stand (because I think it’s HIGH time).

  150. Sarai
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:30:45

    As someone who bought DAM’s books I have to say I have no interest in reading after hearing all of this. Wow that really sucks I have fear of being hunted down now b/c of my statment. DAM has lost a potential fan/witch/butt kisser.

  151. Rebecca Goings
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:32:19

    They have deleted HP Author loop and the LIW loop. HP website is down now as well.

    Good God, did they just cut and run?!?!? Now what the hell do the authors do?

    I knew the roaches would scurry, but gadang, did they just take off with the royalties and the rights?

    Geebus! O.O

    ~~Becka

  152. Radish
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:34:11

    I feel like I’m stumbling through the Twilight Zone. Is MacGillivray for real? I’ve known some seriously scary whackjobs in my time, but damn! This whole thing reminds me of “All about Eve” and “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”.

    Megalomania? Flying Monkeys? Stalking? Privacy invasion?
    Threats, implied or otherwise, towards children??

    Psychosis — it’s not just for breakfast, any more.

  153. Jackie Barbosa
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:34:47

    And if the reader doesn't get out of your book what you wanted them to, then obviously you didn't write it well enough.

    Or it just wasn’t the right book for them. Seriously, there is no author on earth so incredible that everyone will like his/her writing.

    I hereby cop to having been utterly unable to get through the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, despite multiple attempts. It just didn’t work for me. I doubt, however, that JK Rowling is going to get her panties in a twist and come looking for me because I didn’t care for her book.

  154. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:36:47

    Shellie S.
    They have deleted HP Author loop and the LIW loop. HP website is down now as well.

    Madre de dios! No way. Wow. Well, I’m sure everyone who they deem relevant are just emailing amongst themselves. I was never really in the loop anyway. Heh. I knew early on (like waving goodbye to the mail man who was carrying my contract) that the 5k story I’d given away I’d probably never see money for or ever get my rights back. Hence the reason I backpedaled from getting too involved with HP. Though I should say some of the authors there are very sweet and supportive…though obviously not all.

    Jackie, I agree. Some people are just so eager to get pubbed it becomes ‘a contract is a contract’. Ask around before you sub. I tell everyone that! If you hear continually people are unhappy, don’t sub thinking you’ll be any different. I knew Trisk was bad news (and NCP) waaay before the rumbling made its way to the surface.

  155. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:37:15

    To Ms. Ahlers –
    Speaking as one who has been highly critical of the clickie behavior, and/or anyone & everyone who has somehow aided and abetted DAM in her shenanigans, I appreciate the fact that you’re stepping up to the plate and taking some ownership of your own actions. People in general are either going to view you in the same light as a rat jumping ship and doing a little damage control of her own, or they’ll be a little less judgemental, and thank you for coming forward and publically admitting to actions that many people would simply try to keep as quiet as possible while they rode out the storm. For my part, I thank you for coming forward. I admit to having somewhat selfish motives there. I’d really like to see anyone and everyone who ever associated with Ms. MacGillivray in any professional way wash their hands of her. The sooner the better, obviously. It’s going to be best for all concerned to not be anywhere near that ship when it finally sinks.

    And on this entire Dawn Thompson issue – I don’t think I can recall reading about anything more nauseating. I can only hope DAM ends up having to defend her actions in a court of law. I pray to God Ms. Thompson’s family sues her, and files criminal charges.

    Katie – there are mainstream news sources that follow the blog scandals as a matter of course. Many big news items started out as blog blurbs. It just takes a while. If you google news sources, you can pull email contact information on every source from the New York Times to Maury Povich:P I strongly urge anyone and everyone reading this board do that and start sending out mass emails. I used to have a pretty comprehensive email list at one time, but it long since outlived its usefulness to me personally, and I deleted it:( I may have to see if I can hunt it back up again. There’s actually a site out there in cyberland that has some pretty comprensive media contact lists on it, but I can’t recall anymore what & where it is.

  156. Robin
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:37:50

    Well that kinda answers my question…’instead of addressing the situation we will just pretend it doesn't exist'

    Maybe she believes that if you delete it, it’s gone — that there’s no Google cache or that all those individual hard drives where all this stuff is stored don’t exist . . .

    DAMs click campaigns are not just for reviews. http://romancebooks.splinder.com/post/15890115

    I clicked on this link but don’t really get it. Help, please (part of the problem is that the colors make it really difficult to read the text). Although I did crack up that any blog asserting that Romance novels are “entertainment” and “not philosophy” would link to the SBs or DA.

  157. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:38:32

    Psychosis -‘ it's not just for breakfast, any more.

    Heh. that’s good. I like that. You oughta put that on a bumper sticker. I’d buy it!

  158. Leah
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:42:30

    Also, just thinking off the top of my head (and not being a lawyer–just worked for one)…. I can’t imagine that everyone Ms. Thompson owed when she died–I’m assuming loads of medical bills and credit cards to pay expenses–is just going to say, “Oh, she died intestate, let’s just write all that off for taxes.” I’m pretty sure they have legal teams who can ferret out all sorts of assets, published or otherwise, and file liens on those earnings, no matter who is in control of them now. Or at least chase after that person in court to get that money (which is rightfully theirs, as they provided many goods and services to the deceased). Also, I can’t imagine a foundation like Mr. King’s just cut a big check to Ms. McGillivray to pay for those bills–surely they either pay the creditor, or some sort of trust–which would have oversight beyond being a trustee’s personal checking account, right? And then there are taxes which Ms. Thompson would owe…. We know the IRS has investigators and muscle. Let’s be fair and assume that Ms. Thompson’s affairs are being handled responsibly. If they are not, however, well, people get caught pulling that crap all the time. If they can bust an 80-something Astor, they can bust anyone.

  159. Denise
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:44:44

    I just linked this thread to my blog, and checked the Highland Press site. It’s back up. I just pinged it, and it popped up without delay.

  160. AnonHP
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:49:52

    My bad. Wanted to give an exmaple of faking the system. DAM wants clicks to vote and vote often to beat writers like Jo Beverly and Eloisa James and win Best Blog. The voting ballot box is down some. http://romancebooks.splinder.com/post/15890115

  161. I Never Delete Anything
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:53:22

    Well ladies, get ready for this! It appears that they may be deleting the Ladies in Waiting group too, but I was able to get hold of this. As of last night and this morning, this is what DAM is doing. Seems like there’s some panic going on:

    2c. Re: I had good luck with xboard (piracy going on in the e-zone)
    Posted by: “Deborah Macgillivray” [email protected]
    scotladywriter
    Date: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:35 am ((PDT))

    well that worked. I emailed him and cced Hilary and Chris. Everything
    was deleted in about 15 minutes
    .

    From: XXXXXXXXX
    Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 10:24 AM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: [The_Ladies_in_Waiting] Re: I had good luck with xboard
    (piracy going on in the e-zone)

    Deborah, Leanne, Dawn…
    http://www.xboard.us/search.php?searchid=11544753

    Write to [email protected]

    Within seconds of my complaint received from my author address, with
    links he edited the posts offering/requesting my books, but everyone
    else
    is on their own.

    That doesn’t take care of esnips, which has some of our books, but it
    does take down some heavily viewed links.

    If you want to check, go to

    http://www.xboard.us

    Find the Search bar (you don’t have to join or register)
    Type in your name.

    Solve the Captcha

    Go.

    Best wishes,

    XXXXXXXX

    ~~Ladies, did you notice the name of Dawn, added in with Leanne and DeborahAnne? Could they be referring to the deceased Dawn?

    It also appears that at this point there is only one or two people, or helpers, involved now, in trying to get rid of “evidence”. I XXX’d out the name, but if the authoriites ever need anything, I have all these things saved. Personally I think the person helping DAM is utterly insane, but, whatever.

    I also wanted to say something about D. Wylie and K. Ahlers. These girls came into LIW about the same time that I did. As D. Wylie stated above, some of the things they did were really out of sheer ignorance. Here we were hobknobbing with big time authors. We were new, and wanted to be part of the group. I have to say that it took us all time, and experience to realize that the stuff going on with DAM was wrong. I have chatted with both these ladies off and on, and both were always professional, considerate and kind. In my heart of hearts I don’t think that either one, or any of the other ladies that were “taken” in by this really meant to be manipulative in any way….Not that anyone here was saying they were! As newbies, we all have a learning curve, and with someone such as DAM as someone we initially looked up to, are you really suprised? I mean, look at who was teaching us. I think some writers got pulled into the sidelines of some of this, but the real participants will be caught.

  162. Kentucky Girl
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:54:44

    I’m wading through this mess from the beginning so am exceedingly late to chime in. I’ve been offline for quite a while and, I gotta say, this kind of craziness makes me just want to shut the computer off and crawl back into my cave.

    Honestly, my mind is too boggled to effectively describe this woman. That said, “nutjob” seems to be the word that keeps coming to mind.

    Question: Is Ms MacGillivray situated in Great Britain? Because that's what her Youtube thingie says. But we all put weird things in our profiles for YouTube/MySpace, so I'm not sure whether that's correct or not.

    Nah, I'm not stalking her ;-). I'm actually trying to find out more about that $100 raffle fund she held for the sick writer because I had an acquaintance who paid for a similar raffle and wanted to ask her whether this was the one.

    Finally, something I can help with. She lives in Louisville, KY but, according to the bio on her website, spends part of the year in the UK. Also, as a side note, Deborah MacGillivray is a pen name.

    If one of the Ja(y)nes would like to contact me for more info, then you’ve got my email address.

    I hope DAM didn’t take advantage of Dawn Thompson. I don’t know either woman so can’t say for sure. But the sheer sliminess of such an action would be appalling.

    One thing is for certain, though. This woman needs to be stopped.

  163. Kalen Hughes
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:55:33

    I hereby cop to having been utterly unable to get through the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, despite multiple attempts. It just didn't work for me. I doubt, however, that JK Rowling is going to get her panties in a twist and come looking for me because I didn't care for her book.

    I was in the same boat until one of my friends told me to skim skim skim the first few chapters. She promised that the book got good once Harry left his uncle’s house, and she was RIGHT! But if it wasn’t for that bit of advice I’d have missed out on what turned out to be an entertaining series.

  164. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 13:58:28

    I’m sorry, but what is up with that Sophia Loren meets Elvira pic of DAM on that site? Can she not afford to go to Glamour Shots?

  165. Denise A
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:01:33

    It also appears that at this point there is only one or two people, or helpers, involved now, in trying to get rid of “evidence”.

    Looks like the Rats are jumping ship..

  166. wonald
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:02:05

    I just checked the LIW and HPauthors yahoogroups link from this site and it doesn’t look “deleted” to me. I have seen deleted yahoogroups and if it’s deleted, it should say “No messages”

  167. Shannon Stacey
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:03:07

    I’m getting confused now. In those last emails, they’re trying to have message board posts offering pirated copies of their books deleted, no? Even those of us who just rollr darby instead of dispatching winged monkeys to stalk, criminally threaten readers’ children and allegedly abscond with an author’s estate do that.

  168. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:04:38

    The HP authors loop is up, just the messages are gone.

  169. Kristi Ahlers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:06:39

    Just a Reader~
    Thank you for your words. This happened years ago. I have distanced myself from her and the loops when I realized there was issues. This was not just a recent situation. I owned to things back during 2005-6. You need to understand this was the first publisher I had been with. I was learning the ropes and asking questions of fellow writers. I'm not doing damage control as I said I had put distance between myself and DAM long before this mess hit the net.

    I posted previously under an anon name. Why you ask? Not because I was ashamed, but because at times you can't win for trying. We all make mistakes, and hopefully you learn from them. In this case I did. I could have kept my mouth shut…but figured what was the point. I know I'm not alone in doing what I did. In many ways this was an abusive relationship. It's easy to armchair quarterback with what you would do in the same situation but when you're in the middle and have seen the fall out from the silliest things it's hard to react as one should..

  170. Bernita
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:06:42

    Just A Reader:
    At this point, I’m inclined to doubt it’s actually MacGillivray’s picture.

  171. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:07:35

    To I never delete anything

    Actually, I don’t think that’s anything more a request to have illegally uploaded books removed from a file sharing site. Filesharing has been really sticking it to ebook authors lately, as well as print, and most of us watch those sites so we can request the removal of ebooks.

    I could be wrong, but that was my take when I skimmed it.

  172. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:09:31

    Kentucky Girl – Oh dear God.
    She lives in Louisville?! Ack!

  173. Katie
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:12:43

    LOL, Bernita, I was thinking the same. The picture reminds me of a 70s actress, but I can’t remember her name.

  174. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:14:08

    In many ways this was an abusive relationship. It's easy to armchair quarterback with what you would do in the same situation but when you're in the middle and have seen the fall out from the silliest things it's hard to react as one should..

    Kristi, considering that this woman apparently stalked a reader, I don’t blame you for not knowing how to handle her. Generally, people don’t stalk others over a difference of a difference of opinion and that’s exactly what happened here so issues of personal safety probably come into play~as they should.

    I do think I would have handled it differently had this mess happened to me and I don’t think people show let some ego-maniac cow them. But fear can be powerful~most people understand that.

    You’re signing your name, you’re stepping up, you’ve made apologies. Regardless of whether other people agree with me or not, in my mind, that counts for something.

  175. Ann Bruce
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:14:59

    I hereby cop to having been utterly unable to get through the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, despite multiple attempts. It just didn't work for me.

    Reading it didn’t work for me, either, so I listened to the audio version. Hands down, Jim Dale rocks! His voices made the books more enjoyable than the movies (yeah, sorry, I couldn’t get into the movies).

    If you listen to the UK audio versions, the narrator is Stephen Fry of Blackadder fame. I imagine his version would be just as good.

  176. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:21:02

    I was out for a while I would have said this sooner.

    If you are an author or a coauthor a book you are not allowed to review the book on Amazon. These reviews by authors would be removed if reported. I would rather point them out as additional examples of an attempt to manipulate the system on Amazon. I assume those who were involved but are willing to post here did not know about this rule.

  177. Alma Alexander
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:21:41

    Not a romance writer so possibly out of the major loop here – but just weighing in on the general Amazon review question. I think most of us go through at least a stage of obsessing over the Amazon rankings/reviews, to the point that one of my editors basically told me to stay away from Amazon (implying “or else”) – but it’s damnably difficult to figure out exactly what Amazon numbers actually mean, they are context dependent, sometimes a jump from six to five figures entails the sale of ONE book, depending on where on the curve the book is positioned.

    I’ve been the recipient of Amazon reviews, not a huge heap of them but certainly a few, and yes, they do range from one to five stars. The point being, you CANNOT PLEASE ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME, and the way I’ve heard it put is that if you don’t have at least a couple of negative reviews then not enough people are reading your book to begin with. But it ranges, and ranges widely – I’ve had “life-changing” and “awful! just awful!” levelled as comments *at the same book* by different readers. Did I pay off the first reader’s mortgage and her kids’ college bills and send a firebug to the second reader’s house to burn down the place with her still in it? No. I smiled at the first review, winced at the second, and went back to writing my next book. Which will hopefully gather more reviews, good AND bad.

    Once a writer starts thinking about their own writing as Holy Writ, it’s over. It’s just OVER. Next stop, Kookville.

    (And for the curious, yes, I do occasionally click on the “yes” button when asked if a particularly nice review has been helpful. Because it HAS BEEN. I don’t do it multiple times or ask other people to do it on my behalf. And I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on the “no” button. What’s the point?)

  178. Bernita
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:23:30

    Katie: Sharon Tate?

  179. Merrimon Crawford
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:24:38

    Ann Somerville and others, I do not understand what is the point of singling out reviewers in your post.

    I am no one’s pawn in terms of reviewing or anything else in my life related to books or otherwise. I was trained as a Medievalist and spent 10 years of my life dedicated to the exclusive study of Medieval literature plus modern literary theory. As many people know, much of Medieval literature is anonymous and the authors are long gone so, in one sense, I do not care who the author is when I review. It is just a name used to identify a work, a style, or a canon of work when there is a name.

    Deborah MacGillivray does not influence my reviews of her works or anyone else’s. Nor will those who line up against her. My reviewing reflects the way I was trained to look at literature, plain and simple. I try to create avenues for potential buyers/readers to see something in a book, kind of how newspaper reviews are, the kinds of newspaper reviews you find tucked inside of books — but all without creating spoilers. In general, I do not review books I do not enjoy. I am one person, not an entire review group so I prefer to spend what little free time I do have reviewing the books I enjoyed. When I have a problem with a book, I would not hesitate to write the author to let them know the issues if I choose not to review a book. I have been reading for over 40 years now and I have spent most of life dedicated to reading. After 40 years, I have a very good idea of what I like to read. I select books for review very carefully, even when experimenting with a new genre, so I rarely get books I do not enjoy.

    My point is this. I treat every book I review the way I treat Deborah MacGillivray’s books. I am glad when any author feels I have treated their work seriously. I do. She is not the only author to appreciate my reviewing. I do not appreciate my name being dragged into some debate that has nothing to do with me. I have seen my fair share of wacko things on Amazon, but the sickest thing of all, I believe, is seeing reviewers trashed because they actually read the books they review closely, feel passionate about books and dare to admit that in a review. I enjoy Deborah MacGillivray’s writing very much, so the chances are high that I will enjoy future books I read by her… but I want to make one thing clear — she did not and will not coerce me. Likewise, neither will those who have issues with her influence me to appreciate her writing less.

    I would appreciate it my name would no longer be used period in debates that have nothing to do with my reading and reviewing. In the interest of disclosure: I have absolutely no desire to write fiction (analyzing fiction excites me, writing it does not) and no author or publisher pays me for my reviews. My reviews come from my deep love and passion of literature, period.

  180. Kristi Ahlers
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:31:45

    Shiloh~
    Thanks for your post. I lived it, I learned from it and I have moved on thank goodness!

  181. I Never Delete Anything
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:34:53

    Shiloh, it could be. I just noticed they were discussing deletions. Maybe it’s innocent. I thought it was odd.

  182. Holly
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:35:12

    Forgive me if someone already mentioned this (I’m not slogging through all 500+ comments to check one way or the other) but in regards to this:

    I'd bet the farm and all its animals that Emma Holly has nothing to do with this. (Or Barbara Pierce).

    I think those of you who thought Reba was saying these authors (Emma Holly and others) were part of this mistook her statement. She didn’t say they had something to do with the debacle on Amazon. What she said was that because of the actions of DAM and her minions, she stopped reading romance. Therefore, she got rid of books she had TBR, including Emma Holly and others. Just thought I’d mention that. :)

  183. Book club member
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:49:11

    I belong to a romance round robin book club that has been going on for almost 6 years. We have over 1000 people and I can honestly tell you we don’t pay attention to amazon reviews. All of our members use each others opinions, As you can imagine with over 1000 women we don’t all agree. I can also tell you all of us belong to many different sorts of groups online and this is being talked about everywhere. One thing we all seem to agree on is how ridiculous Deborah Macgillivray is.

    Kristi Ahlers as a avid romance reader I respect you and all the writers on here for coming out and admitting anything you’ve done, be it big or small.

    Just thought I would let you know there are over 1000 people out there enjoying all your hard work.

  184. Lynne Connolly
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:52:51

    And Lynne, I'm not so sure this is tremendously different in one respect from Triskelion. I was in what I'd call the second wave of departures, and it took a lot to get me to bail. There's a common thread with these companies that are going under-a big ego at the top, a lot of arrogance, and a mentality that you can treat people anyway you want and it won't come back to bite you in the ass.

    Can’t argue with that. What finished Triskelion was the print program and the cash crisis that started there, but the lousy websites meant that sales of the ebooks declined, when they should have been increasing, and hey, whose fault was that?
    And yes, the egos of the owners was something to behold. Hissy fits and all.

  185. Robin
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 14:56:44

    Holly, this is the snippet from Reba’s comments I was initially referring to:

    They DO guard a group of authors. Dawn Thompson, Leanne Burroughs, Barbara Pierce, Emma Holly, etc. It's a pack, I'll post good reviews for your book, if you post good reviews for mine and we'll hound anyone that doesn't conform.

    But, as I said, I don’t think every author DAM and crew “guard” is involved with them, just as I don’t think every author linked on DAM’s author links page is a crony. But darn, I wish it was clearer who is and who isn’t actively involved.

    Anon HP: thanks; I get it now. Yikes.

    Shiloh, it could be. I just noticed they were discussing deletions. Maybe it's innocent. I thought it was odd.

    I think the mention of “Dawn” as a named email recipient is odd, too, like it was written before she died. At this point heaven only knows what’s being done, deleted, edited, pulled, reproduced, etc. The only thing that seems clear is that DAM has no intention of admitting any wrongdoing, and as far as I can tell, Leanne Burroughs has made no statement, either.

    And really, it’s a big deal, not only because of the author bullying, but because of the Amazon review gaming AND the stuff regarding reader “Reba” — in some ways I think it’s more infuriating to me than the Cassie Edwards situation, perhaps because of the many directions at which it seems to be aimed. I know that many of us don’t take Amazon reviews seriously, but that’s our choice, right, it shouldn’t be okay under any circumstances for authors to be gaming them so shamelessly. Yeah, it’s not so good if you have your friends and relatives write a bunch of positive reviews to counteract the negative ones, but I think that’s somewhat different than trying to deny someone else the right to speak their opinion. That the system is set up to allow such gaming doesn’t, IMO, make it acceptable in any way, especially when you think about the breadth of Amazon’s offerings. I have no idea what’s going to bring it to an end, but I do believe that speaking one’s opinion to those in charge (whether it be publishers, Amazon, RWA) can be very effective. NONE of these entities wants unhappy readers/consumers, especially in this economy. If they’re not particularly interested in the philosophical loss of credibility among readers and consumers, they’re definitely interested in the loss of consumer cash.

  186. Holly
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:06:18

    Oh, thanks Robin. I didn’t see that other comment.

    I agree, it’s frustrating not knowing which ones are involved. Someone want to type up a nice clear list for us? Yeah, didn’t think so.

    I know that many of us don’t take Amazon reviews seriously

    I don’t take Amazon book reviews seriously, but that’s only because I belong to a community of online reviewers I’ve come to know and trust for recommendations. I do, however, check Amazon reviews for just about everything else, from electronics to how comfortable a pair of shoes is. So I’m really bothered by this. How many times have I purchased an electronic gift for a friend that got excellent reviews that was really just a piece of crap? Does the manipulation extend to every area?

  187. C.L. Wilson
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:21:07

    To “I never delete anything”
    The email you posted in #161 (think it’s 161) was about piracy – the unauthorized copying (theft) and uploading of authors’ books to file sharing servers. Having just received similar notifications about the selfsame xboards site myself, your assumption that this is tracks covering is mistaken.

  188. Heather Holland
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:22:27

    This goes so far beyond insane that I really don’t know how to describe it. Shocked doesn’t begin to cover it. But I do know that there is NO excuse for such behavior–EVER.

    Having been targeted by an online stalker, I can tell you first hand that it’s very scary, frustrating, and nerve-wracking. I pulled away at first from the site where it was happening, then the person followed me elsewhere. So, I went back to the source, talked to the web-mistress and it stopped. That was years ago, but it’s something I’ll probably never forget.

    This cannot be allowed to continue. And I do hope that all the wonderful readers out there realize that not all authors are insane like this. There are many, many, many rational authors out there, it’s just the looney ones that steal the spotlight.

    My sympathies to everyone who has been in the direct line of fire of this insanity. There has to be a way to stop this. Best wishes to all involved.

  189. Karen Scott
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:32:51

    Well I’ve done my bit, I’ve sent an e-mail to both Steven Zacharius at Kensington and Galleycat. Hopefully if enough people send e-mails too, the powers that be will be forced to take notice.

    I’m not holding my breath, but you never know.

  190. Scary
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:40:04

    I repeat, my opinion of Ms. Ahlers behavior stands despite your lectures about my wrong thinking. Unlike Ms. Ahlers, I'm not a follower so your reasoning on her behalf strikes no chords with me.

    Disgruntled Romance Author……Well, then, how about telling us who you are? And don’t turn that back on me. I’m not the instigator here.

  191. On My Mind
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:44:07

    Has DAM responded anywhere, on any site about this? I am just curious because you would think she would try to do a little damage control. Although it is pointless now……

    Denise, she hasn’t responded here unless she’s one of the few detracters. However, she’s busy on reader/author loops publicizing Dawn’s books as if nothing is going on.

  192. On My Mind
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:46:30

    For those who thought HP was an ebook publisher: They were print first and got into epublishing at the end of last year. There is argument that they are POD, to which they voraciously deny. Of course, no one believes them. ; )

  193. Three sighs…and I’m out! « The thing is…
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:50:00

    […] to change that to the Internet never forgets.  Anyway, there’s another thread going on at Dear Author which makes for very interesting–and a little […]

  194. On My Mind
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 15:50:25

    She's responded in other forums that she dosn't read or respond to blogs, but that she'll reply to any questions presented to her directly. I'm assuming email. Might be interesting to contact her and ask questions…

    Someone already tried that, and DAM came back with an underhanded, off-kilter response. She was quite vicious to the person who posted the dearauthor blog url for others to read. But DAM felt the need to cut down the person in her usual way. Somethings will never change.

  195. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 16:38:27

    Ann Somerville and others, I do not understand what is the point of singling out reviewers in your post.

    Merrimon Crawford, I don’t understand the point of singling *me* out of several hundred comments when I haven’t even mentioned a reviewer by name (unless you mean me offering support to Reba about 400 comments ago.)

    Reading comprehension not your strong point? Not exactly a recommendation for a reviewer. I never mentioned you, have no idea who the hell you are. Now you can stop namedropping *me* unless you’re giving a fulsome review to one of my fabulous novels.

  196. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 16:40:50

    AnonHP, Elisa Rolle’s blogpost that you linked to, is nothing at all like what Dear Debbie is doing. All she’s doing is inviting readers to take part in a contest. A perfectly ordinary and perfectly legitimate activity. There is nothing in there to suggest people rort the system or misuse their voting power.

    Unlike what Dear Debbie and chums have been doing for a long time.

  197. Radish
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 16:42:40

    How many times have I purchased an electronic gift for a friend that got excellent reviews that was really just a piece of crap?

    Hear, hear. Isn’t there supposed to be some kind of truth in advertising?

    This is a twisted reversal of “the boy who cried wolf”, and if it [‘it’ being manipulated reviews/opinions] continues like a free-range chicken with its head cut off, Amazon is at risk of losing its hard-won credibility as a vendor of products that actually meet the consumers’ expectations.

  198. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 16:49:09

    Ann Somerville, Merrimon Crawford’s name was mentioned by DAM in the post you quoted in 46. Yeah, they didn’t read carefully. Sure defensive though.

  199. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 16:54:55

    So, basically, Merrimon Crawford is outraged that they’ve been ‘outed’ as an Amazon reviewer that Dearest Debbie admires.

    Man, the crazy is just flying around today, isn’t it. The secret is not to inhale, people.

  200. Jennipher
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 16:57:08

    Ann Somerville, Merrimon Crawford's name was mentioned by DAM in the post you quoted in 46. Yeah, they didn't read carefully. Sure defensive though.

    Could it have anything to do with the fact that DAM is listed as one of her 7 friends on Amazon? Things that make you go hmmmm….

    Merrimon Crawford’s Amazon profile …friends listed at the bottom.

  201. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:10:32

    I had to scratch my head over Crawford’s post because I couldn’t remember her name being mentioned–and she seemed very put out. Now I see she was only mentioned in a quoted post from DAM as a reviewer DAM admired.

    I don’t get the complaint.

    The only person who ‘singled her out’ was DAM. I don’t see any accusatory posts referring to her by commenters here. A lot to wade back through, but I don’t think I missed it. So the post addressed to Somerville comes off as oddly out of place.

  202. romance reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:17:31

    I am one of those stupid souls who read and believed Amazon reviews. Buying 200+ romances a year, I admit Macgillivrays was ok, but not 5 stars. Reba was fair in giving it a 3. That would be my rating. The plot dragged. I liked Nora’s High Noon better. Come to think of it, her character of Phoebe would be real handy seeing as she was a negotiator and I’m hot about this. I have written down the names of the writers who are standing up to this two faced power crazed ‘terrorist’. I’ll be reading your books next as soon as I finish writing my letter to Kensington Publishing.

  203. Meagan Hatfield
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:37:08

    It's very easy to look down noses and judge, but until you've been there, done that, you have no idea.

    Amen, Highland Patsy!

    Kristi is one of the most giving, compassionate and caring people I’ve met in this industry and I am thankful to know her. In fact, my friendship with her is one of the only good things to come out of my dealings with Highland Press.

    In case you haven’t, Disgruntled Author, go back and read through the thread…read Ms. MacG’s stalking e-mails and her veiled threats. Pay attention to her tone. If the woman is hunting down a reviewer – a stranger – who gave her 3 stars, it’s obvious she is not balanced. Now, just think how vicious she might be if someone she considered a colleague and a friend turned on her? Scary thought, huh? Tell us HP authors about it.

    I’ve been getting a lot of sympathetic e-mails from people saying they too have been on the receiving end of one of Ms. MacG’s butt-chewing rants, and I think that until you’ve experienced it for yourself, you can’t be so quick to judge what one might do to avoid it.

  204. a reviewer not afraid to post negative reviews
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:44:49

    I’ve been following both of these threads in here with interest since I first discovered them a few days ago (by both I mean the one no more comments could be made on and this one). I’m posting anonymously ONLY because I am associated with more than one review site and I do NOT want those sites attacked for my PERSONAL beliefs or opinions. My feelings ARE personal and should not be taken as any review site’s official stand on the matter. But if I use my name, that is exactly what will happen. And I refuse to let them be affected by my feelings.

    But I felt it was time to step in. First off, I am the one who forwarded the message to Merri where her name was mentioned specifically. I know Merri personally and I know she gets very upset when people use her name without her knowledge or permission to defend their own opinions. I know this because this is not the first time her name was used somewhere without her permission and she was quite upset at those times.

    Merri was defending her right to her own opinion and stating she does not appreciate her name being used as someone’s back post for a debate. Ann, she mentioned your name since you’re the one who posted the excerpt from Publisher’s Weekly where her name is used. That is the ONLY reason her e-mail was directed at you. She was not attacking you or anyone else, just using your name as a reference point to the comment she was referring to. I read the post and I know you were not saying YOU agree with what was said in that Publisher’s Weekly post, you were just sharing it so everyone could see what is happening elsewhere. I am not assuming anything about you or your opinions for posting that.

    And just because I’m defending Merri’s right to be upset she was dragged into the mess doesn’t mean I’m a groupie or anything of the like for any of the authors or publishers mentioned anywhere in this debate. I like some mentioned, don’t like others, will never try still others.

    Merri and I have disagreed multiple times on our opinions of the same books. We do not take offense to that, we respect each other even more for stating our opinions clearly and suporting them with reasons for said opinions, different though they may be.

    To all the authors who have stood up for their rights in here in the face of potential bullying and flaming, I commend you. Kristi, I know how difficult it was for you to do so. The rest of the authors I don’t know personally, though I know the work of many of you. I DO know Kristi which is why I’m mentioning her name specifically to support her. Krisiti, know that I understand and appreciate how much it took for you to come forward. (((HUGS)))

    Folks, I do think we need to keep in mind what people are being attacked for. All these things you are accusing D MacG and HP for? The flaming and bullying? Pease try not to do the same thing to others in here for taking a stand and defending their right to an opinion, no matter who their friends are or are not. Otherwise we run the risk of doing the exact same thing we are taking offense over being done to others. Every single one of us is entitled to our own opinion. I disagree 100% with some of the ones in here and I agree 100% with otehrs. And there are far more that fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in how I feel about them. But you won’t see me attacking anyone over that fact.

    And I hope people will respect MY right to an opinion and MY right to defend my friends when they are thrown into a pit of raging readers.

  205. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:46:25

    Jennipher– it just keeps going around in circles, doesn’t it. If you click on Crawford’s friends, one has written two reviews on Amazon– one a 5 star review of a book by DAM.

  206. Whack-a-Doodle
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:46:47

    I don’t know if this has been addressed yet, but it sure threw a red flag up to me. Remember the Dawn Thompson raffle and how Dawn was hospitalized and never left the hospital and ultimately died there in February of 2008?

    So HOW — when Dawn’s in the hospital during the latter part of 2007 — was she able to WRITE 3 GLOWING reviews for DAM on Amazon? And all on Christmas Day, too.

    See Dawn’s reviews here.

    Obviously we all KNOW it’s DAM writing these reviews AS Dawn.

    How do you spell unethical again? Oh yeah. MacGillivray. That’s right.

  207. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:56:47

    a reviewer not afraid to post negative reviews : You might have thought you were defending a friend, but all you’ve done to put her name firmly out in front and subject her actions to scrutiny. I guarantee no one reading all these comments and the one I reposted, even registered Ms Crawford’s name. I certainly didn’t.

    But now I’ll remember her as a some whackjob who came piling in and accusing people of dragging her reputation through the muck, and now other people will question exactly why she’s so hyperdefensive, why she list dear Debbie as a friend on Amazon, why *you* felt she’d been attacked in some way, yadda yadda.

    Basically…you didn’t do your friend a favour.

    And I hope people will respect MY right to an opinion and MY right to defend my friends when they are thrown into a pit of raging readers.

    No one did that but you.

    I’d respect you if you signed your name. But at this point in time, I’m giving your opinion the same weight as I do Billy Bob the banjo player up thread.

  208. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:57:03

    ~Folks, I do think we need to keep in mind what people are being attacked for. All these things you are accusing D MacG and HP for? The flaming and bullying? Pease try not to do the same thing to others in here for taking a stand and defending their right to an opinion, no matter who their friends are or are not. ~

    You are absolutely entitled to your own opinion, and have every right to state it. Mine is that by posting the above on the second of two very long threads–threads that have stated documented facts, posted words written by the individual in question, and expressed a great many opinions on them–you come off as lecturing.

    When a group so large and invested as this, one that is protesting abusive practices get lectured, it’s just going to put peoples’ backs up.

    Personally, I don’t need to be told not to flame and bully. I do neither. So yeah, back goes up.

  209. Keishon
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 17:59:09

    So, what will be the outcome from all of this? Just curious. I sent my email :-) We can talk, discuss, confess, ridicule, but srsly, I wonder what will happen after all of this dies down?

    If anything, this has been an education.

  210. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:01:14

    ~And I hope people will respect MY right to an opinion and MY right to defend my friends when they are thrown into a pit of raging readers.~

    And this–pit of raging readers–is so freaking insulting.

    Not only is my back up, but all I can think is what’s WRONG with you? Someone stalked a woman on line, accessed her personal information–including her CHILDREN’S names.

    Pit of raging readers my ass.

  211. Amber Green
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:03:12

  212. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:07:48

    So, what will be the outcome from all of this?

    Honestly?

    Fuck all, based on what happened to Cassie Edwards.

    People will mutter and spit, and a few (all too few) will stop buying Debbie’s books. Most readers will never hear a word about this, and of those who do, too many will assume it’s all a storm in a teacup. Reba will get nowhere with her complaints because cyberbullying isn’t taken seriously. Other people will assume she was an isolated case. The disgruntled authors will sign with other presses and keep their mouths shut about all this. HP might go under but only because it’s clearly in trouble anyway.

    Debbie will continue to churn out crap books and bully and stalk and dominate because she can’t do anything else. She will always find willing victims because of the tent/urination policy – better to be on the inside of the tent with her pissing out, than the other way around. There will always be new authors seduced by a so-called Big Name or a publishing contract, and always be those who are wilfully blind.

    So unless you can get her kicked off Amazon (highly unlikely), prosecuted for fraud or threatening behaviour (less unlikely) or get her contract yanked with Kensington (unlikely)…nothing will change.

    Seen it all before, been the victim of this kind of thing myself. Good guys finish last in the real world. Boy, I wish it wasn’t so.

    If you think I’m being too cynical, cast your mind back over recent author/press kerfuffles, and examine the consequences in each and every case. Nothing changed. Not one thing. Maybe we should be asking ourselves why that’s so.

  213. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:08:47

    Merri was defending her right to her own opinion and stating she does not appreciate her name being used as someone's back post for a debate.

    Seems to me, if one is going to put their name out on a public forum, then the likelihood that it’s going to be referenced at some point or another in another public forum, without their knowledge, rises considerably. It would be rather naive to think otherwise.

    And as far as I could tell, her name wasn’t used in any way, shape, or form in the debate-‘it was just a point of reference used in a response, originally posted elsewhere,and reposted here. That’s all-‘there’s no flaming or bullying going on here-‘other than the oddly composed posts that refer to us as roller darby ‘hos. (Did I get that right?)

  214. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:09:31

    I know Merri personally and I know she gets very upset when people use her name without her knowledge or permission to defend their own opinions.

    I think the weird thing, though, isn’t she a reviewer? Or am I mistaken?

    Because if she’s a reviewer, it strikes me as kind of odd that she’d get upset that her name was ‘mentioned’ without her knowledge. It isn’t like a review quote from her was posted without being attributed to her. That, I could get.

    But all Ann did was post something from on a public website that mentioned MC. It wasn’t written by her, wasn’t about her, it just mentioned her name. Getting upset over that seems fairly pointless.

  215. Mad
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:11:29

    Not only is my back up, but all I can think is what's WRONG with you? Someone stalked a woman on line, accessed her personal information-including her CHILDREN'S names.

    Pit of raging readers my ass.

    Amen! How can anyone think her doing the above is OK? It just creeps me out every time I think of it.

  216. Mireya
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:13:51

    Just when I thought nothing else could surprise me in this industry … wham! Unbelievable, just plain unbelievable.

  217. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:14:11

    About that raffle-check the comments here:

    So someone tried to warn Debbie was up to no good and she was denounced as a bitch and a troll?

    I bet the laughter at Amy Struh’s house has a real hollow sound to it around about now.

    Seriously – if you want to stop Debbie and her ilk, go after the money trail. All this hoohah about review manipulation isn’t going to fly with the public or the police. Fraud caught Al Capone. It can catch an idiot like her too.

  218. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:19:15

    Just my two cents on regarding comment 204 by

    a reviewer not afraid to post negative reviews,

    I don’t really think she’s defending DM. I think she’s defending MC’s displeasure over her name being mentioned. I don’t think she’s condoning anything DM has done.

    But yeah, the raging readers line puts my back up as well, because the readers have a right to be upset and disgusted.

    And geez, all these initials are killing me.

  219. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:21:29

    I bet the laughter at Amy Struh's house has a real hollow sound to it around about now.

    Yeah, I was thinking along similar lines.

  220. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:22:25

    One of the authors that is connected to DAM engaged in some online trickery here a while back by posing as several readers to promote her book. So I am beginning to suspect a certain cadre of authors from a particular house of engaging in these shenanigans.

  221. KateB
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:23:40

    I agree, Ann. She should at least be made to show us the money! How much did she collect? Where did it go? Who is responsible for Ms. Thompson’s medical bills? I’d hate to think the Divine Miss M sent a paltry amount to Haven Fund, pocketed the rest and meanwhile, Ms. Thompson’s children and grandchildren are stuck paying for her treatment.

  222. Mireya
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:34:49

    I think that the only ones able to force her to divulge that information would be Dawn Thompson’s estate, no?

  223. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:34:52

    I don’t know Shiloh as ‘the pit of raging readers’ said nothing about MC. On top of the now kids, play nice comment I found it galling.

    I think if this person is a reviewer she should have better skills in making her meaning and opinions clear. And maybe think twice before she lumps everyone on this thread into a pit.

  224. Leah
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:35:15

    I would think that anyone who sent money to help with Ms. Thompson’s bills should have a right to see where that money went–kind of like a disclosure statement from a charity. I’m sure that there is someone here or on SB who knows how that works legally. I do know that when you are the executrix of an estate, you are required to keep records (very detailed ones) of what money you spent and where and why you spent it.

  225. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:37:29

    One of the authors that is connected to DAM engaged in some online trickery here a while back by posing as several readers to promote her book.

    You know, I know that now I’m going to be the one coming off as too naive for color TV, but… why? I mean, for one thing, in this day and age, it’s so unbelievably easy to uncover something like this and for another… why? I know this is a difficult business but how much can you really gain by such machinations? Not to mention the sheer time involved because in order to make something like this really work, it seems you’d have to be seriously dedicated to a large scale viral assault.

    I continue to be boggled.

  226. Mireya
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:38:55

    Nora, frankly not all reviewers are made equal. Making sense in reviewing is optional the same way ethics in reviewing are. *shrug*

  227. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:39:44

    I don't know Shiloh as ‘the pit of raging readers' said nothing about MC. On top of the now kids, play nice comment I found it galling.

    Eh, well, I’m frequently told to play nice (and I don’t always oblige) so I think I have thick skin when it happens. But that’s just me.

    I think if this person is a reviewer she should have better skills in making her meaning and opinions clear. And maybe think twice before she lumps everyone on this thread into a pit.

    Can’t disagree there. And the ‘raging readers’ comment definitely is going to set people off. People are upset. They’re entitled.

  228. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:40:33

    Leah – someone upthread said that Ms Thompson didn’t leave a will. Which makes Debbie’s control of her literary estate highly questionable. I don’t know American law so don’t know who administers the estates of those who die intestate, but in Australia, it would be the Public Trustee, not some friend who claims to know the deceased’s wishes. I highly doubt the legal affairs in such a situation, with more than one living next of kin, would be resolved in three months.

    This is all incredibly fishy. Keep digging, people. This is the real body buried under the barbecue.

  229. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:42:44

    ~You know, I know that now I'm going to be the one coming off as too naive for color TV, but… why?~

    I doubt anyone would call me naive, but I thought the same thing. What, in the wide, wide world of sports, do you really get out of this? A handful of sales, maybe, gathered by the same idiocy as cheating at Solitaire. Where is the satisfaction, the pride in the work?

    And those handful of sales are gathered at the risk of public humiliation upon discovery.

    So yeah, why?

  230. Mad
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:47:56

    So HOW -‘ when Dawn's in the hospital during the latter part of 2007 -‘ was she able to WRITE 3 GLOWING reviews for DAM on Amazon? And all on Christmas Day, too.

    See Dawn's reviews here.

    Obviously we all KNOW it's DAM writing these reviews AS Dawn.

    I have to agree with Whack-A-Doodle. Other than the 3 reviews posted by Dawn*cough*DAM, on December 25, the other two were posted way before that. One in January 2007 and the other was May 2006.

  231. KM
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:48:54

    Leah – someone upthread said that Ms Thompson didn't leave a will. Which makes Debbie's control of her literary estate highly questionable. I don't know American law so don't know who administers the estates of those who die intestate, but in Australia, it would be the Public Trustee, not some friend who claims to know the deceased's wishes. I highly doubt the legal affairs in such a situation, with more than one living next of kin, would be resolved in three months.

    You doubt right. Different states have different intestacy laws, but in none of them would intestate property go to “a friend.” Property is distributed by the courts, according to state laws. The general scheme is:

    1. To the surviving spouse. If none,
    2. To surviving issue (that is children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.)
    3. To surviving parents.
    4. To surviving grandparents.
    5. To surviving aunts and uncles.

    And so on, so forth.

    If there are no relatives, the property escheats to (becomes property of) the state.

  232. delta
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:51:02

    I’ve been lurking on this thread and absorbing some very interesting stuff, diconcerting as it is.
    Barb and Nora, I believe the ‘why’ goes under three categories. Gall, vanity and insecurity.
    As for Ms. Thompson’s will, dying intestate does cause quite a few problems and the answers are different in every state. It will take the family (and a good attorney) to unravel the nine yards of BS.

  233. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:54:19

    You are assuming Ms Thompson owned the rights at the time of her death. If they had passed as a *cough* gift prior to her death then intestacy would not matter.

    Edited to correct a truly awful spelling error.

  234. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:55:52

    Discussing this with my husband now, he raised the possibility that ‘Dawn Thompson’ never existed and the whole thing was a scam by Debbie to raise money for herself. She killed Dawn off to ‘prove’ she’d been sick.

    Someone, I think, said they knew Dawn Thompson personally or had met her. Can this be verified? Are we sure ‘Dawn Thompson’ ever really existed?

    Either way, there seems to be fraud and shenanigans going on. Potentially real life, big time fraud.

  235. Radish
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:58:33

    ‘Dawn Thompson' never existed and the whole thing was a scam by Debbie to raise money for herself. She killed Dawn off to ‘prove' she'd been sick.

    Wasn’t that a Movie of the Week back in the ’80’s??

  236. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:58:37

    DS, if they passed as a ::cough:: gift to anyone while she was desperately ill, the next of kin might well see fit to challenge her state of mind and the validity of that decision. If the estate was in debt when she died, I think there would be questions asked if the literary works were of any substantial value.

    I’ve had elderly friends preyed on by shysters, pretending to be their friends and helpers for monetary gain. This kind of thing makes me want to rip someone’s head off. It’s utterly vile.

  237. Anion
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:58:58

    One of the authors that is connected to DAM engaged in some online trickery here a while back by posing as several readers to promote her book. So I am beginning to suspect a certain cadre of authors from a particular house of engaging in these shenanigans.

    Is that the one you did the post about? (Sorry, a bit OT.)

    And, yeah…to show up here because your name was mentioned once and no one even noticed it, then draw attention to yourself by basically having a hissy fit and calling people names…

    Maybe we should give her a break, though. If she spends any time with DAM she’s probably used to having to constantly look over her shoulder in case she’s about to be attacked.

  238. JLFerg
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 18:59:10

    This site (and SBTB) has forced me to develop two things that I had been avoiding for the past few years: a TBR pile and Google search skills. THANKS!!!

    I found this information while searching for other information (of which there is very little) on the fundraiser for Dawn Thompson.

    Dawn Thompson in Hospital

    I don’t think there is any family to object to DAM taking over Dawn Thompson’s estate. Dawn apparently had no family, which is why they asked for donations to help with her medical bills when she was admitted to the hospital.

    DAM also posted this when announcing Dawn’s death:

    We mourn the loss of Dawn Thompson

    I have been crying nearly no stop for sometime now,
    but that doesn’t make this any easier.

    Dawn Thompson is dead. She died Friday around 2pm.
    She went peacefully, life finally granting her that single
    blessing when it had taken so much more from her.

    There were no last words from her because she was on
    a respirator.

    However, the last time she spoke to me she said,
    “Please do not forget me.”

    All I can say is I lost someone who was like a second mother
    to me. She was so good, so smart and always laughed. Dawn
    was totally confined to a wheelchair for the last ten years. Yet
    she was always laughing. She had few friends, but me and
    Miz Fuzz, her kitty.
    [My emphasis]

    I would like to say more, but it hurts too bloody bad at this time.

    The world lost one of the best and brightest with her passing.

    Please, don’t forget her.

    Deborah Macgillivray

    I also found somewhere that DAM took possession of Dawn’s cat. No mention about her parrot (Espirit?), though.

    Jill

  239. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:01:16

    Radish, dunno – but there’s a whole LJ community dedicated to investigating fakes like this.

    Anyone who’s been around the internet for a while, will know of similar scams.

  240. KateB
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:10:06

    I can assure you Dawn Thompson existed and left behind a sister, a son, a daughter and a few grandchildren. I met them at her wake.

  241. StillAnon
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:13:36

    I don't think there is any family to object to DAM taking over Dawn Thompson's estate. Dawn apparently had no family, which is why they asked for donations to help with her medical bills when she was admitted to the hospital.

    According to her official obituary (in other words, not, presumably, written by DAM) she did have family. See this link:

    http://www.legacy.com/Newsday/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=103117594

  242. Karmyn
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:16:56

    Whenever I read reviews, whereever they may be, I tend to read the less positive reviews first. Then I compare them to the more positive reviews. Some books just aren’t going to work for some people. A good review will reflect that.
    I have seen negative reviews that don’t help at all. I remember when The Romance Reader reviewed one of Kim Harrison’s books. It was number five in the series and the reviewer had not read the previous four. That greatly affected how the reviewer viewed the book. I love Kim Harrison’s books, but it’s a series you really need to read from the beginning and in order. The review should have been done by someone more familar with the series.
    I’m not a published writer, but I’ve been involved with fanfic and online fiction for years. I’ve gotten plenty of bad reviews. Yes, it bothered me, but I quickly learned there is a difference between a not so positive review and an outright flame. This is something DAM has yet to learn.
    Everybody gets negative reviews. I’m sure any author here can tell you about tons of negative reviews they’ve gotten whether it be a review site, professional published review, or a review on Amazon/B&N, etc. What seperates asstards like DAM and her ilk from the true professionals is how they react.
    That has nothing to do with how long you’ve been published, either. I’ve seen newly published and seasoned professionals get mixed and/or negative reviews and not flip their shit about it. I’ve also seen seasoned professionals freak over any critiscm of their ‘precious’ work. *coughannericelaurellkhamiltoncough*
    I remember when bam/Dionne published her first e-book. She got some mixed reviews, but never pitched a fit. Nora still gets mixed reviews and doesn’t go batshit about it. I remember one of her In Death books getting a C rating here and she actually participated in the discussion of that review.
    DAM needs to grow up, grow some thicker sking, or get a new hobby. She’s giving the industry a bad name.

    Oh, and Ann Bruce, I have the UK audio version of Harry Potter. Cracking great stuff. Stephen Fry does a wonderful job and it’s fun to notice the little differences between the UK and US versions.

    When I started reading this thread, there were only 193 comments. Now I’m #242. Must catch up after posting this.

  243. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:20:17

    From the guest book:

    April 5, 2008
    Dawn is looking down and smiling, because she has a great friend named Deborah.

    I feel sick at my stomach.

  244. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:20:47

    I didn’t really care much for the “pit of raging readers” tag either. I understand the spirit in which it was intended, but it raised my hackles a bit too.
    I’ve “raged” as much as any other reader here, and I would hope that the outrage we’re expressing isn’t being taken about as seriously as a PMS episode. Trust me, were it that trivial, I’d settle for picking up a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and curling up with a good book:P

    I do sorta think however, that we need to make sure the baby doesn’t get thrown out with the bathwater. We all know who needs to be answering for her behavior here, just as we know it isn’t going to happen. I don’t want to see people who are still willing to come forward and speak up, the way Kristi Ahlers did, taking DAM’s whipping because they’re the only people with the integrity to publically admit to making mistakes. There are others with a story to tell who won’t come forward if they perceive it as facing down an angry mob.

    And BubbaWantsBoys – or whatever juvenile nickname you girls are using for your daily round of pot-stirring BS:
    Your time would be much more productively spent preparing your own statements for when your names/identities are made public. If it’s so important to you to have your BFF’s back, encourage her to come forward and make a public statement herself. If she thinks she’s the target of a witch hunt, tell her to take a break from composing her daily hate mail and defend her freaking self like an adult. Remember that the buck stops with her, she will ultimately be held responsible for what all of you do in her name, and if the best you can do is hide out at the back of the classroom making fart noises, you ain’t got s#!*, and you need to shut the hell up while the grownups are talking.

    And btw, if literacy isn’t your strong suit, you’re clearly in the wrong room for an argument:P

  245. Bernita
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:23:52

    I noticed that DAM maintains that guest book.

  246. katiebabs
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:24:39

    WOW! I started reading when this post only had 6 responses. And now the possiblity that DAM could have been Dawn Thompson?
    Sounds like the soaps I use to watch in the 90’s.

  247. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:25:11

    The problem with the will issue is that contesting a will is a) not easy and b) expensive. For a lawyer to take a case like this, there would have to be significant enough money to recover that a contingency fee would make it worthwhile or get paid by the hour. Sounds like neither would be true.

  248. JLFerg
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:32:45

    Thank you for the information KateB and StillAnon. Guess I need to work more on those search skills. :-)

    Jill

  249. Miami Native
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:32:57

    Oh my goodness. The webs some do weave. I am going to address the comment about where will any of this go and speak from experience. I remember reading about what Janet Dailey did to Nora Roberts. More shocking was the large deal Ms. Dailey then received from Kensington books I believe, the same publisher as Ms. MacGillivray. I was very angry at this and then I thought of a story I heard at church.

    Our minister told us about a man who was walking along the beach at sunset. As he walked, he saw a second man by the water’s edge. The tide was out and millions of starfish were lying exposed to die. The second man was taking the starfish and one by one, throwing them into the surf. The first man walked to him and said ‘what are you doing?’ The second man replied, ‘The tide is out and these starfish are going to die. I am throwing them back into the ocean to save them.’ The first man said ‘But there are millions of starfish. You won’t possibly make a difference.’ The second man picked up another starfish and threw it back to safety. ‘I did to that one.’ I was one of the starfish that read about what happened to Ms. Roberts. Since then I have never bought a book by Ms. Dailey.

    To me this situation is also like starfish. You make a difference one starfish at a time. I look at this thread and there are many people who know much more than they did on Monday. The internet will keep this information. Whenever someone does a search for Ms. Macgillivray’s name, this discussion will come up. That is one of the reasons I use it, so the search engines will find it. It will follow her career. These stories and information will help others who may come across it and her. It has already helped some writers to find their strength after being scared and victimized. It has helped several readers find their voice. It has brought to light the fact that one reader was frightened and had to contact the authorities because Ms. MacGillivray threatened her children. If all these stories did was to help those people, then it has done a world of good.

    I look over these conversations and I estimate over 300 starfish in the 500 plus starfish-posts. It is clear to me people feel the need to express their fears and anger at being brutalized or watching brutality unleashed. They have a place to come here. I am grateful to this site for helping that come to pass.

    I have written my letter to Romance Writers, Kensington Publishing and Dorchester Publishing.

  250. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:33:11

    Ms Thompson appears to have started publishing novels late in life. If DAM can intimidate people who want to deal with publishers, Highland’s authors, I would guess she could do a number on Dawn Thompson’s family when it comes to the rigors of handling Dawn’s books. They may be grateful that she is acting as the literary executor.

  251. little bird
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:33:26

    Ok, been awhile, but I’m going to jump in here… Sorry for the length, but I am giving lots of white space to make it a little better… :)

    1) I’m going middle of the road here on the Kristie/HP author thing. Kristie (who is a member of my RWA chap, tho we’ve never met, is very good friends with Meagan, a more personal friend of mine). When I had my blowup with HP (18 mo ago) I was shocked that the people on the loop would not only proudly post their ‘clicks’ but would also attack those who hadn’t. Publicly. On a loop. While I never mentioned this particularly, I did write personally (as opposed to publicly) to DAM and Leanne Burroughs and make a point of saying that the way they treated people online was completely unprofessional.

    DAM sent me a blazing e-mail to let me know I would never be published, and she knew SO MANY important people, and blah blah ad nauseum (as you can imagine, having now met this very interesting character in cyber looneybin-ville).

    Follow-up to this were plenty of HP authors contacting me directly, more quietly concerned, but unwilling to go public on the loop, for fear of her harassment. I very simply sent DAM and LB a note telling them I would never submit to them again and (btw) MY LAWYER told me that their contract was one of the worst legal documents he’d ever seen coming out of a professional organization. (I’m pretty blessed to know a lot of those…)

    So yes, a lot of the HP authors believed the crap they fed them. On the other hand, to me, no amount of glory for being published was worth selling yourself to the devil – or is that the DAMevil? (However, like Shellie I think it was(?), I had only a short story, so I had much less invested than a full length book and decided to just let it go.)

    I’m so glad that almost everyone I know who was ever with HP has found great contracts and contacts elsewhere.

    2) No, DAM will never admit she’s wrong. She lives in her own world and creates her own drama, and if anyone doesn’t agree with her, then they are to be crushed. It really was like some Fascist society on that loop, with their own little Vichy government in Leanne. She enabled DAM and allowed her to do whatever she wanted to these authors, and then told herself it was ok because there were all these other people there, too, who were telling her that everything was ok, she was wonderful, and such a great person for all the help she was giving them. (Those are the little clickies and attack squads on all those reviews and blogs.)

    It really was revolting. You can’t imagine.

    I have always believed that someone who behaved this erratically, irrationally, and unethically was probably into things we couldn’t even imagine. And that someday, the truth would come to light.

    3) I sincerely hope someone will be able to look into these suspicious circumstances surrounding Dawn Thompson. When I heard about that auction to raise money for her, it raised red flags for me, just because of my spooky feeling about the person running it.

    4) Gall, vanity and insecurity – yes. And perhaps a little lack in a perception of reality. Ahem. A huge lack…

    Bravo, ladies. The wedge continues to grow a little bit at a time. One can only hope that it is a turn in the road.

    bobbi dumas

  252. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:33:46

    Jane, I take it there is no overarching legal authority who deals with intestate estates in NY?

    Of course we don’t know if Dawn Thompson’s family aren’t furiously working behind the scenes to stop Debbie doing this. That’s the icky thing about Debbie controlling Dawns’ ‘official’ presence. She can represent her actions any way she pleases.

  253. Alyssa Day
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:40:18

    but… why? I mean, for one thing, in this day and age, it's so unbelievably easy to uncover something like this and for another… why?

    It has nothing to do with the sales, or the reviews, for people who would act in this manner. There is an incredibly enlightening book titled THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR, that really opened my eyes (and I even studied deviant psychology in college). Basically, the book posits that there are far more sociopaths – power-mad people without any conscience – operating in society than any of us realize. And so many times they get away with mind-blowing actions simply because the rest of us (sane people; people with conscience) cannot believe anyone would do these things.

    “Why?” we ask, disbelieving. “There’s no motivation!” we cry. But the truth is, sociopaths very often take action simply because they CAN. Because the power of it gives them an amazing thrill. The reviews, as I believe Nora stated earlier, are the McGuffin. The power of coercing and bullying so many for so long? That’s the sweetest reward. The book is absolutely chilling, just like so many of the actions described here.

  254. Janine
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:47:03

    4) Gall, vanity and insecurity – yes. And perhaps a little lack in a perception of reality. Ahem. A huge lack…

    Obsessiveness, too, don’t you think? I mean, to track down the names of a reader’s children and great-grannie?

  255. Radish
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:48:13

    Thanks for that heads-up, Alyssa —

    The power of coercing and bullying so many for so long? That's the sweetest reward. The book is absolutely chilling, just like so many of the actions described here.

    Oh, man, I gotta get that book — I think I finally have the template for a character I’ve been working on. Maybe I’ll call him ‘Iago’.

  256. Shannon Stacey
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:51:02

    It’s been six months since my father passed away with no will and, even with a legal document I signed agreeing to my stepmother’s administration, she still hasn’t got it all sorted out. And she was his wife and there were no intellectual property with royalties type things. There’s no way probate court bypassed children to grant administration to some other author in three months.

    Unless…it’s written into the contract that rights revert to the publisher (which would be whacked) and DAM is a co-publisher?

  257. KM
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:51:50

    The problem with the will issue is that contesting a will is a) not easy and b) expensive. For a lawyer to take a case like this, there would have to be significant enough money to recover that a contingency fee would make it worthwhile or get paid by the hour. Sounds like neither would be true.

    That’s very true. If she couldn’t afford her medical bills (though I do realize how astronomical those can be), there is probably little money for legal representation.

    Anyone else think this just keeps getting worse and worse?

  258. Shannon Stacey
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:54:53

    And that was wicked awesome, MiamiNative. Thank you.

  259. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:56:33

    Yes, the probate court deals with all intestate estates in almost every state that I can think of. Louisianna follows civil law so I don’t know exactly what the situation is in that state. But if what was said is true, that DAM has the royalties and rights of Thompson’s book, it is not something that could pass intestate (or without a will). It would have to be that a will is governed and all wills do not have to be probated. They all have to be filed and taxes have to be paid, but an estate doesn’t necessarily need to opened nor does the will have to be approved by a judge.

  260. DB
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:57:08

    Jackie Barbosa on April 11th, 2008 at 1:34 pm:

    And if the reader doesn't get out of your book what you wanted them to, then obviously you didn't write it well enough.
    Or it just wasn't the right book for them. Seriously, there is no author on earth so incredible that everyone will like his/her writing.
    I hereby cop to having been utterly unable to get through the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, despite multiple attempts. It just didn't work for me. I doubt, however, that JK Rowling is going to get her panties in a twist and come looking for me because I didn't care for her book.

    I agree with you. Stephen King novels; I don’t like them and no matter how hard I try, I have never been able to read them. However, I do love to watch his movies. :)

  261. Seressia
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:58:44

    Several of Thompson's other works will also be released this year. Still to come are: Bride of Time (Love Spell, Sep ’08), Prisoner of the Flames (Leisure) and Rape of the Soul (Highland Press), which will also be releasing several other titles from Thompson.)

    So either Ms. Thompson a) had a huge pile of unsold manuscripts tucked in a chest and discovered by DAM when she went to retrieve the cat; b) wrote a bunch of manuscripts besides her contracted work during her illness because DAM promised her that she wouldn’t be forgotten; or c) is going to be the new pseudonym of one Debbie MacWhosits, which is why they’re being released through DAM’s company instead of Leisure.

    Maybe I’m just being too cynical…

  262. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:01:32

    an estate doesn't necessarily need to opened nor does the will have to be approved by a judge.

    If the deceased died in debt, though, wouldn’t those owed money demand at least a cursory examination of the finances?

    Back to the fundraiser – aren’t there also strict laws governing such things as well? I see two huge problems with that – one, no winner was ever announced and the information was not given even on request; and two, no account was made of the funds raised, even on request. Surely the gaming authorities in New York or someone would want to know about this. You can’t sell a raffle ticket to raise money for a dying child if you have no dying child, and you can’t run a raffle and not hand over prizes or tell people who won. Same thing here.

  263. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:03:11

    I think you may have nailed it with c.

  264. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:04:15

    Yes, but no. Companies can do an asset search and if the person doesn’t have any reportable assets: i.e., a house, car, the credit report shows low balances, etc., then what would be the point of ordering an estate opened and the assets inspected?

  265. Whack-a-Doodle
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:06:02

    one, no winner was ever announced

    Scroll way back to comment #28 and I have a link to the winners of this thing…. or at least names. I don’t know if any of them ever actually got what they were promised….

  266. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:18:22

    Thanks, Whack-a-Doodle – I missed that (my eyes glaze over when people mention MySpace for some reason.)

    Leaving aside the question as to whether the prize winners were happy, that’s evidence of $2200 having been raised at a bare minimum. I’m sure Debbie would produce the receipts to prove where the money was paid if she was asked – right? No, I don’t think so either.

    Jane: if the person doesn't have any reportable assets
    The obit on the news site mentions she was ‘an award winning author’ (we won’t ask what awards or how they were obtained since she was a new writer, will we?) I’m just surprised no one wanted to know what happened to potentially the most valuable thing she owned – her manuscripts.

    Also – the Dawn Thompson whose obit appeared at legacy.com died in New York. Hell of a long way from Kentucky. Exactly how did these two meet? I’m getting that dead fish smell again.

  267. Sara Dennis
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:20:40

    One of my friends, a woman I know RL, won one of the critique prizes from that raffle. She did indeed turn her manuscript in to Hilary Sares. I don’t think she’s heard back yet, but she, at least, got the opportunity to submit as a result.

    As for the rest of this mess, that’s what it is. A mess.

  268. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:22:47

    Ann – I think the world outside publishing tends to undervalue IP rights. Let’s face it, I could have bought the entire stable of Triskelion manuscripts for what, $2001, set up Sassafras Publishing to compete with TriXyLOInS and run it right here with a wordpress shopping cart plugin.

    Edited to add: for the newcomers, TriXyLoINS is a gag epublisher set up by Mrs. Giggles.

  269. Denise
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:25:00

    I remember the advert for that raffle. While certainly charitable in theory, I avoided it because I’m a suspicious sort about that sort of thing. In light of what’s reveal now, I’m glad I did. However, I did a little googling and found this regarding Internet raffles:

    Per the Berner-Garde Foundation:

    There is a variety of laws and opinions regarding internet raffles. Most of the information leads to the conclusion that it is unlawful to hold a raffle on the internet. Investigation has shown that:
    1. Each state has its own Raffle laws. States where raffles are legal have their own separate rules and regulations for holding raffles. In states where raffles are legal some type of raffle license must be obtained from the pertinent state office.
    2. Raffles are considered a form of gambling. Gambling is carefully monitored by state and federal regulations. The three basic criteria that satisfy the definition of gambling are: (1) a prize is awarded; (2) the winner of the prize is determined purely by chance; and (3) some consideration or payment is required to participate.
    3. Although each state has its own raffle rules, if the BMDCA were to hold an internet raffle we would be crossing interstate lines. For instance, in the state of Oklahoma, raffles are illegal. We cannot research and obtain a raffle license in each state. It would be impractical and non-cost effective.
    We have contacted state raffle offices, the US Justice Department and researched the Internet. Although we have not found a written law saying specifically “no internet raffles,” we have got enough information to conclude that it is illegal.
    In light of the above information and after extensive discussion, the BMDCA Board of Directors has adopted a policy that the BMDCA shall not directly participate in Internet raffles.
    So Internet raffles that do exist are still operating solely because someone hasn’t shut them down yet. We checked on Ohio’s specific raffle laws: a raffle must be conducted by a non-profit on file with the IRS.”

    This also from a legal website regarding California state law: “The raffle may not be advertised, operated or conducted over the internet, nor may raffle tickets be sold, traded or redeemed over the internet.”

    And since this raffle was internet based and crossed state lines…

    I’m not an attorney so don’t have the expertise to make assumptions as to whether or not the Dawn Thompson raffle was in violation in a civil or criminal way. As a number cruncher who’s dealt with audits on a daily basis, I’d think this raffle and its lack of results or an obvious audit trail might be something of interest to the IRS.

  270. Avenging Angel
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:27:38

    Nora Roberts on April 11th, 2008 at 6:01 pm:

    ~And I hope people will respect MY right to an opinion and MY right to defend my friends when they are thrown into a pit of raging readers.~

    And this-pit of raging readers-is so freaking insulting.

    Not only is my back up, but all I can think is what's WRONG with you? Someone stalked a woman on line, accessed her personal information-including her CHILDREN'S names.

    Pit of raging readers my ass.

    Not only is THIS incident reflective of psychotic and delusional behavior by Ms. DAM — I think it conveys the warped sense of power and arrogance she possesses and feels she is entitled to wield over anyone who disagrees with her.

    But this should also gives an indication as to what she has put some of us HP authors through. I admit it. She scared the hell out of me! Not only was her ‘threatening email” to me irrational and unjustified, I had to stop and think WHO THE HELL DOES THIS?

    Look, I am a writer — I want to tell stories. I love to read romance and I love to write romance. However, I am also a wife and mother. I do not put my children’s names on my website or discuss them PERIOD. Yet, this ‘person’ (and I use that term loosely) has not only threatened me and my career, she has done it over and over again to others. If she brazenly admitted going after information on this reader’s private life with such vigor, one can only imagine the dossier she has on others. She is nothing but not methodical in her research, as she has so often stated! This is just one READER we have heard about!

    As I said, I thought I was the only one she had a personal vendetta against (for whatever reason in the cobwebs of her dysfunctional mind). I was stunned and alarmed to find how many others have been subjected to her litany of hate and intimidation.

    And as for her destroying posts on the LIW loop and the HP author’s loop — that only conveys how guilty she is and she knows it. The truth is OUT there….now. I only hope that if we have accomplished nothing else with this loop, it is to warn others and perhaps give a shout-out to someone who has also been subjected to the intimidation and bullying that many of us have experienced. It isn’t YOU! It’s HER!

  271. DB
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:33:11

    I also wanted to say something about D. Wylie and K. Ahlers. These girls came into LIW about the same time that I did. As D. Wylie stated above, some of the things they did were really out of sheer ignorance. Here we were hobknobbing with big time authors. We were new, and wanted to be part of the group. I have to say that it took us all time, and experience to realize that the stuff going on with DAM was wrong. I have chatted with both these ladies off and on, and both were always professional, considerate and kind. In my heart of hearts I don't think that either one, or any of the other ladies that were “taken” in by this really meant to be manipulative in any way….Not that anyone here was saying they were! As newbies, we all have a learning curve, and with someone such as DAM as someone we initially looked up to, are you really suprised? I mean, look at who was teaching us. I think some writers got pulled into the sidelines of some of this, but the real participants will be caught.

    I believe you. That is how I got caught into it. When I very first joined LIW in 2005 and was given instructions on clicking, I did, thinking it was a way to learn the trade better. But while clicking, it didn’t make sense to me. Red flags flew. I asked just why we did this and how did it help.
    In the mean time DebrohAnne had sent me her A Restless Knight in the mail and I was trying to read it by then and when I found out what the clickies was really about, I left the LIW. It disgusted me.
    I want people to like my books. If they don’t then I need to improve my writing. I have not been published. But I thought it was a good leaning tool when I got invited there by another author. Yet, not matter how bad I want to be published, I have standards I live by and sabatoge is not one of them. Besides, most of the reviews that were posted about RK not being a book they would recomend in reading, I agreed with. I struggled through the first 2 chapters and threw it against the wall in the third chapter. I have never picked up again. For me, I didn’t like what little I read. MHO.

  272. Rock On
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:33:32

    Wow.

    I guess the point I’m taking away from this fubar situation is this: writers who want lasting careers deal with professionals.

    Professional publishing companies, professional editors, professional agent.

    Writers who act professionally last longer in this business.

    Professional writers have careers instead of reliving the movie “Heathers’.

    For it is a business, not a clique, a gang, or middle school.

    In spite of some pretty strenuous efforts to make it appear otherwise…..

  273. Reba Belle
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:39:30

    Thank you all for your support in this matter!

    I realize many of you went out on a limb by posting incriminating evidence as well. God bless you! I’m a firm believer in what goes around comes around.

    I think Diane (post #34) summed it up very well. Many of you summed it up well, but I can’t list them all.

    I appreciate all the suggestions and have acted on them. When this started, I thought this was more about consumer fraud. I thought someone was manipulating reviews in order to commit intentional fraud and mislead a consumer to purchase a product. And that is the angle I went at it from. That’s why I decided to draw a line in the sand on this and insisted that Amazon reinstate my review EACH TIME it was removed. In my opinion, this is what sent the matter into a tailspin. Apparently, no lowly reader had dared such a task.

    She threw a tantrum–showed her ass is what she did.

    I’m not affiliated with writing, publishing or awards. Most of the author/book sites mentioned here were new to me–had to google RWA to find out what it meant. Done! Thank you!

    She wants to elude that there is more to the story. There is: I bought the book at Wal-Mart. That, everyone, is “the rest of the story.” There was no hidden agenda whatsoever.

    I didn’t even know what the RITA Award was. I do now. Frankly, I don’t pay any attention to the awards (movies, music or books). My taste are all their own. Period. I think everyone is entitled to an opinion and as long they aren’t threatening national security have at it. Freedom of speech…

    I have requested that Amazon REMOVE her books and close her account. That, to me, is now the only satisfactory response. I believe enough documentation has been provided to prove the intentional deceit to commit fraud, poor conduct, harassing authors as well as readers, intimidation tactics and threats to warrant such an extreme action. You choose the behavior, you get the rewards be they good or bad.

    If Amazon is unwilling to do this they are telling everyone that reviews can be manipulated. Not just books, but the other departments as well. And we’ve all read here how easily (albeit time consuming) it can be done.

    The threats to my family are very serious and we have taken them as such.

    Thank you all!

    Good Night and God Bless!

    p.s. Can I suggest there be NO RESPONSE to the comments that don’t belong in this forum. Ignore and they will go away. Respond and they get satisfaction. My two cents.

  274. little bird
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:40:22

    Obsessiveness, too, don't you think? I mean, to track down the names of a reader's children and great-grannie?

    Absolutely. But it stems from her complete lack of perspective and her surreal sense of reality. If you disagree with her, then you are attacking her. And that justifies her lashing back.

    And yes, Alyssa, that sounds like a great book. And very appropriate for this conversation…

  275. Shayne
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:44:10

    Her behavior was allowed in the Kensington and Dorchester loops? Well, I had been considering subbing to Dorchester. Maybe not.

    I just can’t believe professional publishers like Kensington and Dorchester would have allowed a loud mouth to take charge.

  276. Sandy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:55:50

    I’m curious — how old is she? And, I heard somewhere today she’s the on who is receiving all of Dawn Thompson’s royalties. Is that so?

  277. Chrissy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:58:54

    Has anyone met Deborah?

    I ask because the photograph on her blog disturbs me. There is something about it. I’d swear it was a resized and over-photoshopped photograph of an actress from the 1960s. And dammit, I can almost put the name onto my tongue but it keeps evading me.

    I know that seems odd, but look at the pic. She does cover art. She promotes herself as a writer and other things. And that’s the picture she uses?

    I went through this sort of thing once with a nutjob who ended up running to another country to avoid prosecution. Wherever she turned up online there was a new, bizarre rant and ragtime routine.

    The similarities are chilling, and that photo– coupled with the Dawn Thompson stuff– is giving me some serious heebie jeebies. But it’s not just circumstances. There is something very familiar about it to me, but also an elusive feeling that I only have to turn my head just so to see the whole picture, and shout “OMG, yess! That’s it!”

  278. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:59:09

    Shayne, Kensington publishes the plagiarist Janet Dailey, and Dorchester, the plagiarist Cassie Edwards. Nothing seems to put them off an author if they make money for them.

  279. Special Agent
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:03:16

    What you’re describing is racketeering and tax evasion (the same charges used against the mob because of their traceability). The money was very likley not taxed and it has to be. This is investigated by the FBI who will track bank accounts. It is NOT treated lightly.

    Here is the link to their tips. https://tips.fbi.gov/ Duplicate tips are encouraged as are whistleblowers. Make sure you provide links and documentation showing the raffle, the winners and any solicitations. Make copies before they are deleted and you can use the cache.

  280. Sandy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:06:05

    I have another question — obviously my jaw is still in its originally dropped position that someone would do what she’s done. I’m still in the “I’m trying to wrap my mind around this” phase.

    Did she leave Highland or did Leanne/Highland invite her to leave?

  281. JaimeK
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:08:06

    Reba Belle: you are a class act! I think your response is awesome.

    “I have requested that Amazon REMOVE her books and close her account. That, to me, is now the only satisfactory response. I believe enough documentation has been provided to prove the intentional deceit to commit fraud, poor conduct, harassing authors as well as readers, intimidation tactics and threats to warrant such an extreme action. You choose the behavior, you get the rewards be they good or bad.”

    I personally think this is pretty fair and the least of what “she” should get.

  282. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:12:36

    Sandy – she’s still with HP. Why did you think otherwise?
    http://highlandpress.org/Authors.html

    Notice, rather creepily, Dawn Thompson is listed as if she’s still alive.

  283. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:14:49

    Chrissy, that picture reminds me of Tracy Scoggins, though I don’t think it’s her. I don’t think it’s our Debbie either, however. Though the woman does look barking mad, so it’s appropriate, if skanky.

  284. Chrissy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:15:50

    Dawn Thompson’s website appears active til you see the copyright date.

    I have seen her photo before, and it was recently. RT Magazine?

  285. azteclady
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:17:41

    Chrissy, I’m getting a bit of déjà vu as well–to the point that I’m going to check snopes.com for similar scams.

  286. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:21:38

    Has anyone met Deborah?

    I ask because the photograph on her blog disturbs me. There is something about it. I'd swear it was a resized and over-photoshopped photograph of an actress from the 1960s. And dammit, I can almost put the name onto my tongue but it keeps evading me.

    Sophia Loren.

    Ann – I see several names on that list who have come forward here with horror stories and say they no longer deal with HP.

  287. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:24:21

    Just a Reader: Yes, I know, but I’ve seen nothing at all to suggest Debbie wasn’t with HP. Rather the opposite – we know now she’s a secret co-owner/publisher. That’s what enables her behaviour.

  288. Chrissy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:27:35

    I just actually google image searched her because it’s driving me nuts. That one, bad quality black and white picture is the only one out there and every time I look at it I could SWEAR I know that face.

    I want to say a Native American actress. Sophia Loren is close, but I actually feel like I have SEEN THAT FACE.

    I can almost picture go-go boots, hot pants, and some cheesy movie. Like The Legend of Billy Jack.

    I’m never going to sleep now.

  289. Two Can Play
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:30:24

    What Ms. Rodgers – er, Ms. MacGillivray – fails to realize is that she’s not the only one who can access information. Yes, she may be able to dig up personal information on people to use for ill, but that can easily come home to roost. A quick 30 second search of public records, for instance, can reveal interesting things – a real name, a husband’s name, an address, a PO Box number, a phone number, a civil judgment from a legal service for failure to pay debts…

    This is all merely hypothetical, of course.

  290. JackieB
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:30:37

    I’m loving every minute of this thread. Although I’ve never met DAM or her cronies, never tried to write and surely would never reach for the exalted status of writer, I do love a good romance. DAM does not write a good romance. I bought one. I will never do so again. I had my review deleted. I gave her book a 1, only because there wasn’t a zero. It disappeared within hours of being posted. And nobody stalked me over it. Probably because I didn’t know you could repost. I’ve gotten an education here as well as an eye-opening. I just don’t know if I’m willing to spent the time to keep reposting it until it stays….

    I didn’t truly care before. Now I do.

    PS – I also wonder why she’s no longer with her agent…….

  291. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:31:01

    Raquel Welch?
    I dunno, the chick in the pic is a little too European looking for Raquel, but they do have that similar look. I don’t think that’s DAM either. Unless maybe it’s DAM 30 years ago or something:P

  292. JackieB
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:31:55

    PS – if you want to see her current photo, just google and click on images. I think this might be her – so that photo looks real…but way old. Maybe.

    –Never mind. It was there yesterday. Why am I not surprised?

  293. Volsfan
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:44:46

    It might be her. What is strange is that if you look at all of her other sites, there are:
    No Pictures
    No Book signings (Wierd for a writer who likes attention)
    No Publicity shots (Author at table with books, accepting awards, attending conferences, standing Highland press authors or models)
    No Appearances that I could find
    No Pictures of her and Dawn
    No Personal pictures on her sites except the black and white (clearly photoshopped) and Dawn’s cat
    For an obsessive, power-monger, know-it-all, she is extremely camera shy.

  294. Chrissy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:51:22

    I know this is getting conspiracy theory weird. I know. But it’s driving me nuts.

    If that was my photo, no matter how old it was, I would re-scan it. It’s so very obvious that it has been edited within an inch of its life and there is no larger, better quality master.

    I mean, it’s not just that it’s an old photo. Jude Devereaux is one of my absolute favorite authors and she’s been using the same publicity photo forever on her back inside cover. But she owns it and it’s not a small, photoshopped, re-used image. Because if you weren’t a fan you’d not have any idea it wasn’t brand new.

    Something about it is bugging me beyond that, though. I wish I could put my finger on it.

    You can totally tell, btw, that I am on a weekend council retreat type thingie and bored as all giddyup, cantcha? LOL

  295. Leah
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:52:11

    “I want to say a Native American actress. Sophia Loren is close, but I actually feel like I have SEEN THAT FACE.

    I can almost picture go-go boots, hot pants, and some cheesy movie. Like The Legend of Billy Jack.”

    Maybe you’re thinking of Buffy Ste-Marie or Olivia Hussey?

    (sorry, I’m a moron and haven’t figured out the quote feature yet)

  296. Shayne
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:53:09

    Anne,

    Sad to say I think I’ve noticed that. It’s enough to put me off of Kensington and Dorchester. It’s just mind boggling to me that pro publishers would allow that sort of behavior. And I thought it was Penguin who was behind Edwards. Or does Penguin own Dorchester? Christ in a hand basket, can’t keep these publishers straight.

    Any scoop on either Tor Publishing or DAW Books. I got one subbed to Tor and considering DAW. I really do like to know these things about my publishers.

  297. Shayne
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:56:16

    Sorry, Ann.

  298. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:00:25

    No worries, Shayne. At least you didn’t call me by my last name, like a public schoolboy or a servant!

    I don’t know the answer to your question, except Tor have a very good reputation generally. I suspect if you dig hard enough, you can find shit about any company. The difference here is that for HP Debbie *is* the company. Kensington and Dorchester are huge but keeping big name plagiarists on their books makes them look bad.

  299. little bird
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:05:32

    Weird.

    If you click on the ‘enlarge image’ on the blogger profile page, it links to

    http://heatherwaters.net/ideaboutique/clip_image0011.jpg

    What an odd collection of pictures.

    So there she is. Let’s see how long that lasts…?

    Good nite, ladies. Happy hunting.

  300. Jane Aire
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:12:16

    Sheesh! She looks like Valerie Bertinelli.

  301. CoveyWatcher
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:15:14

    Ew. The Dawn Thompson gushing in this recent RWR article takes on a whole new level of creepiness if, somehow, fraud or an alter ego thing is happening. “Can anyone doubt historical romance is alive and well when they look at her list of titles?” (pg. 14). OK, it’s actually really creepy if Dawn was a real person, too. Alive and well? Her books, maybe, but she died the following month. Tacky, at the very, very least.

  302. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:17:41

    You mean, not only is she a bully, a liar and possibly an exploiter of the dead, she’s also a hotlinking thief?

    She can’t even be bothered hosting the image herself and cropping off the extraneous background.

    Nope, that’s definitely not her picture – in any sense of the word.

    I original thought she might be Heather Waters, but it seems Ms Waters hosts a blog and the photo (clearly sourced from somewhere else) was used here:
    http://ideaboutique.blogspot.com/2006/07/restless-knight-deborah-macgillivray.html

    (This, by the way, is why you turn indexing *off* on directories on your website. Snoopy buggers like me find out stuff :) )

  303. Whack-a-Doodle
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:18:51

    Here’s an interesting interview with DAM. It’s her first sale brag. Very informative. About mid-way through, however, you see this:

    What are your writing plans for the future?

    Deborah: I have 2 books left in both contracts. The historical series, “The Dragons of Challon” have six books. So I would like to continue with Kensington in that series. In the “Seven Sisters” for Dorchester, I have four more books for the next contract. After that―oodles of ideas. Too many books to write, not enough time. I am also co-publisher for a small Tradesize press, Highland Press. Leanne Burroughs is owner. We hope in the next couple years to do some amazing projects.

  304. Sandy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:20:08

    <>

    My apologizes — I was thinking about the her being part owner part. There is an author with a similar name who writes for Whiskey Creek and when I saw Highland Press open I asked her if she was that Deborah Mac–she said no — different spelling which I didn’t catch right away. I do have a recollection of seeing her as an owner — and then saw comments where she said she wasn’t. That was what led me to wonder about whether or not she was invited to leave as an owner. If her books were selling it would make sense they didn’t want to let it go.

    This whole things just has my brain in a major freeze. I’ve met big egos in my day and a few sociopaths who just don’t understand why you don’t think they are as wonderful as they think they are — DAM sure seems like another one.

  305. Sandy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:24:15

    I want to say a Native American actress. Sophia Loren is close, but I actually feel like I have SEEN THAT FACE.>>

    Elvira — Mistress of the night?

  306. Chrissy
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:35:57

    BTW, the Heather person site seems to be a cache for a few different things, including THIS SITE, Idea Boutique, which includes some really wonderful writers (some I know personally), but also has in the “participating” list– Dawn Thompson. (????)

    MacGillivray has a profile in the links list on Idea Boutique’s administrative page HERE, but she isn’t currently in the list.

    And that version of the photograph shows that it was screen-captured off a website. There are two different backgrounds that were obviously part of the layout.

    A character actor from something I’ve seen a million times? Go-go dancer from Laugh-In? IT’S MAKING ME NUTS!

    I am getting seriously creeped out. Plus, a deceased author still showing as active, while DAM has a profile but isn’t in the list anymore? Did they get wind? I kind of hope so I adore some of those authors in the list.

  307. DW
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:39:41

    JackieB:

    Don’t be afraid to post your review to Amazon again. The Mac Posse has been silent, so you should be able to get enough ‘helpful’ votes before they attack again. Her 5-star reviewers have been deleting their reviews from her books today. Can we only hope that the Mac Posse is disbanding?

  308. CoveyWatcher
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:42:46

    Seems she has another venture too, with a “co.uk” addy.

  309. Diane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:43:07

    “I want to say a Native American actress. Sophia Loren is close, but I actually feel like I have SEEN THAT FACE.”

    Maybe you are thinking of a Love Story era Ali MacGraw… only with makeup by Tammy Faye Bakker, and gel filtering ala Barbra Streisand?

    Diane

  310. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:47:41

    More Lollobrigida than Loren, imo.

    It’s a very 60’s looking picture, isn’t it.

  311. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:49:49

    I thought it looked like the heroine of a Mary Stewart gothic.

  312. Ann Somerville
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:51:20

    Seems she has another venture too, with a “co.uk” addy.

    Oy, oy, oy, my eyes.

    Last year, I wrote a little article for the Erotic Authors Association about good website design. Can I suggest you save your money, avoid anything Dear Debbie makes because you’ll just piss off your site visitors, and instead, follow the simple rules contained in my piece? Won’t cost you a red cent and I guarantee you’ll end up with a better website than that pile of purple crap.

  313. Jessica Russell
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:53:23

    Reba,

    Thank you for stepping up and defending your reviews in the first place.

    For Two Can Play (#289)…do you hold DAM’s family responsible for her behavior? Your words chill me. Please don’t step in the same shoes as DAM, hypothetical or otherwise.

  314. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:58:40

    I was thinking Anouk Aimeé (http://es.geocities.com/sangarci_2003/AnoukAimee.jpg) or Yvonne de Carlo, but in both cases, the jaws aren’t quite squared off enough.

  315. Keishon
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:00:24

    If anyone wants to report on what Amazon has to say or even this woman’s publisher has to say about the unethical and unprofessional antics of this author, I’d love to read it. Sometime in the near future. Thanks.

  316. Keishon
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:04:21

    Her 5-star reviewers have been deleting their reviews from her books today. Can we only hope that the Mac Posse is disbanding?

    Yeah, right.

    If history has shown us or past history has shown, these people disband, delete and disappear until the dust settles and then re-invent themselves and set up shop all over again.

  317. Gennita Low
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:04:58

    I don’t know why, it gave me a very Patty Hearst vibe, in one of those Symbionese Liberation Army pics.

  318. Christine Merrill
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:07:44

    Google images for Barbara Steele.

    That’s who it reminds me of. But then, I’m currently writing a Gothic, so I have Hammer Films and Vincent Price on the brain.

  319. FM
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:13:08

    Chrissy,
    Reminds me of Linda Harrison (Nova from Planet of the Apes.)

  320. Gab C.
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:15:16

    I went through this sort of thing once with a nutjob who ended up running to another country to avoid prosecution. Wherever she turned up online there was a new, bizarre rant and ragtime routine.

    The similarities are chilling, and that photo- coupled with the Dawn Thompson stuff- is giving me some serious heebie jeebies. But it's not just circumstances. There is something very familiar about it to me, but also an elusive feeling that I only have to turn my head just so to see the whole picture, and shout “OMG, yess! That's it!”

    Wasn’t there some author or publisher woman who collected money for a workshop or something, then got really whacko and abusive when people began to ask questions, and in the end faked her death and made off with the money? Maybe she got a little sister. ;-)

  321. another anon butting in...
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:15:46

    I was thinking Bette Davis…

  322. Denise
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:21:11

    Special Agent said:

    What you're describing is racketeering and tax evasion (the same charges used against the mob because of their traceability). The money was very likley not taxed and it has to be. This is investigated by the FBI who will track bank accounts. It is NOT treated lightly.

    Here is the link to their tips. https://tips.fbi.gov/ Duplicate tips are encouraged as are whistleblowers. Make sure you provide links and documentation showing the raffle, the winners and any solicitations. Make copies before they are deleted and you can use the cache.

    Holy cow! That’s some serious shit if DAM was involved in some kind of racketeering with that raffle.

  323. Sharon
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:36:28

    Wasn't there some author or publisher woman who collected money for a workshop or something, then got really whacko and abusive when people began to ask questions, and in the end faked her death and made off with the money? Maybe she got a little sister. ;-)

    Are you thinking of the agent who did that? She made up conferences, allegedly tried to murder her mother, and escaped to Canada? She also supposedly “died in a car accident in Europe” all faked. Yeah, she was something else.

  324. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:42:34

    She’s a little too square jawed for Barbara Steele.
    So why would she be using this ancient looking, blurry black & white image? It seems so… I dunno… unprofessional? Tacky?

    Ms. Nora, you might be right. She could be a little more Ginaesque than a Sophia. Hard to say. It reminds me a little bit of this one:
    http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/MMPH/173749~Sophia-Loren-Posters.jpg

    And here’s one of lovely Gina: http://artfiles.art.com/images/-/Gina-Lollobrigida—Notre-Dame-de-Paris-Photograph-C12150386.jpeg

  325. Gab C.
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:42:52

    Ah yes, she was an agent, I recall. I didn’t follow the whole trainwreck in detail, but I do remember the faked conference and the faked death.

    Compared to her, Mackie Gillie is still an apprentice. :-)

  326. Robin
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:46:42

    Okay, I can’t resist: a DAM interview from December 2007 with someone named Nickie Fleming (I found the link on Absolute Write, where Nickie advertised herself as a friend of DAM). Click on the DAM link and enjoy.

    Some highlights:

    6) How was your first novel received?

    Very well. It’s in its second print already. I must have some seventy-five 5 star reviews. It’s one of the highest selling Debut books for Kensington’s Debut line, and has been sold to a top German publisher to be translated there. I don’t think I could have asked for a better reception for A Restless Knight.

    7) Can you handle criticism well?

    Fair criticism? Yes. It’s what makes you grow as a writer. What I don’t like is someone telling me this is wrong or that is wrong, when they have little idea what they are talking about. People often react to a lot of factors in a book, that really has nothing to do with the story you are telling. It colours their perception of the story, gives them prejudices.

    8) How important are the readers to you?

    Very. I love hearing from them. I try to answer all MySpace messages, emails and letters as soon as they come in. If a reader takes the time to write to me, then I think they deserve a reply. I enjoy hearing what works for them, why they liked my stories.

    And yeah, that photo definitely has that familiar look, but who knows how far it’s been doctored — has it been doctored to look like someone else, or is it someone else’s photo doctored to represent DAM? Who knows.

  327. Just A Reader
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:57:26

    8) How important are the readers to you?

    Very. I love hearing from them. I try to answer all MySpace messages, emails and letters as soon as they come in. If a reader takes the time to write to me, then I think they deserve a reply.

    Well in that case, Debster, hear this from a reader – you suck.
    I’m anxiously awaiting my reply.

    I enjoy hearing what works for them, why they liked my stories.

    Which I suppose we can presume to mean she doesn’t enjoy hearing what doesn’t work, and why they didn’t like the story?

  328. Linda
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 00:07:19

    As someone familiar with Scotland, I have a problem as a reader with stories where world-building is on real places. Someone sets a book in Eileen Donan, Dunnotar, Dunvegan…I know their history.

    She knows their history, but not how to spell their names correctly (it’s Eilean Donan)! But then spelling doesn’t appear to her strong point, either. Or grammar. Or…. anything, really.

  329. Robin
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 00:25:47

    She knows their history, but not how to spell their names correctly (it's Eilean Donan)! But then spelling doesn't appear to her strong point, either. Or grammar. Or…. anything, really.

    But remember those 75 five star reviews. How could 75 people be wrong . . .

  330. Jackie Barbosa
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 00:26:15

    I don't know why, it gave me a very Patty Hearst vibe, in one of those Symbionese Liberation Army pics.

    OMG, Gennita, you read my mind. That was exactly what I thought of, well before I arrived at your comment.

  331. JB
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 00:40:10

    The photo reminds me of Priscilla Presley circa 1968, like from here:

    http://www.morethings.com/music/elvis/pictures/elvis_presley_family_photos06.html

    Or here:

    http://www.priscillapresley.com/gallery-item.php?gid=4&iid=14#14

    DAM’s features are stronger (her jaw line is more square in shape), but the hair and make-up are pretty similar.

  332. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 00:50:59

    One of my friends, a woman I know RL, won one of the critique prizes from that raffle.

    Sara, one of my chapter members also won a critique in the raffle from H.S. at K.

  333. Shelli Stevens
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 01:02:40

    Ann – I see several names on that list who have come forward here with horror stories and say they no longer deal with HP.

    *quietly raises hand* Though mine aren’t really horror stories. I got out (minus my book) pretty early on.

  334. Ann Cory
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 01:29:01

    I’ve never seen her picture before, but when I clicked on it, I was instantly reminded of Raquel Welch. When I first saw her picture that’s who I thought of. Her eyes and cheekbones are similar in these 2 pics:

    http://www.all-pictures-photos.com/thumbs/raquel-welch/raquel-welch-008.jpg

    and this one: http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/73/039_33930.jpg

  335. Karen Scott
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 03:10:59

    We seem to be veering wildly off-course here. IMO, the question of whether the photograph that Debbie Mac has up on her website is actually her isn’t all that important.

    Methinks the important things here that shouldn’t be forgotten are:

    Her harassment of Amazon reviewers
    Her manipulation of the Amazon reviewing system
    The way she has treated her fellow authors
    The fact that she seems to be lying about her status as a publisher/co publisher of HP
    Where did the Dawn Thompson charity money end up?

    Everything else just turns this very serious matter into a soap opera that in the end will not be taken seriously by outsiders, or people of influence.

    Just sayin’.

  336. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 03:20:35

    Karen, the image question is relevant because:

    1. No one seems to have ever seen this person in the flesh and there are no recent non-faked up photos on any sites whatsoever. This is very odd for a writer in the romance genre with such a high profile.

    2. The image she’s using on her blog isn’t even her own copy – she’s hotlinking it from a totally unconnected site owner, and the image itself seems to have been ripped off from another site entirely. Why? It’s just not normal or sane behaviour.

    It raises questions as to exactly who is ‘DeborahAnne MacGillivray’? Since she’s putting herself out as a ‘co-publisher’ and the collector of large sums of money on the behalf of a sick woman, and the executor of that sick (now deceased) woman’s literary estate (someone, moreover, who lived and died a very long way from MacGillivray’s claimed residence in Kentucky), I think the public are entitled to know if she’s all she’s claiming to be. I think we are dealing with a very murky situation indeed here and the more I read and learn, the more horrified I am that she’s got away without being questioned on it for so long.

    I don’t really care whose picture she’s nicked, but if someone could identify the actual subject, that would be a definite piece of evidence that DM is making claims about herself which are false.

    In a conversation with this many participants, of course people are going to venture off topic occasionally. That’s what conversations *do*.

  337. (Jān)
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 05:35:32

    Karen, I agree with you. While I can’t really say DM and crew don’t deserve it, it lessens the impact of what they did if we try to add to the list with a lot of speculations that are unsupported. I see a few people so gleeful at the idea of catching her out that they may be seeing things that aren’t there, and I think they’re doing everyone a disservice by posting about them before thinking.

    And too, I think the speculations about Ms. Thompson being real are in poor taste when several obituaries give anyone who looks them up the facts. I do hope her family never hears of this.

  338. Nora Roberts
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 06:29:22

    In the interview she states: ‘Of course, when I first began writing there was no real romance categetory. There was women’s fiction, historical fiction, Glitz & Glamour and series books. I tried writing mysteries, but the romance always took over. Finally, what I wanted to pen found a home as the romance market was born.’

    Which would mean she’s been writing since the 70’s when the genre exploded with Woodiwiss, etc. Or prior with the enormous popularity of gothic romance. Devereaux, Jayne Ann Krentz, Rogers, Small would be just some of the more familiar names writing contemp and historical Romance in the 70’s. Madeline Brent, Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Phyllis Whitney.

    How could DAM have been writing for 30 years or more without me ever hearing about her before this?

    Otherwise, it doesn’t appear she knows her genre history very well.

    I think her mentioning the ’75 five-star reviews’ is pretty telling. It appears that’s a vital element to how she views her work–or how she perceives the work will be judged. The fact that she manipulated those reviews says quite a bit.

    It still strikes me that the reviews are only the vehicle, and her actions are all about ego and control.

  339. Marcus Rowland
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 06:31:09

    There’s an example of an author really missing the plot. You can ignore bad reviews, check if they’re making a valid point (in which case you need to take the point on board, not deny it), or if they’re batshit crazy mock them unmercifully. The one thing you don’t do is chase the reviewers, that’s guaranteed to lose you readers! For one book I had a negative review from one guy that missed the point so badly that I later used it as a back cover blurb on the pdf version of the book and its sequel – everyone got a laugh out of that, but if I’d tried to harass the guy instead everyone would have branded me as a stalker.

  340. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 06:40:13

    Jan: The speculation about Ms Thompson was quickly laid to rest the second someone posted an obit that wasn’t written by DM. Until that time, it was as reasonable a hypothesis as any. Maybe you’ve avoided seeing such cases, but I could haul you out at least two dozen examples in half an hour of such behaviour, not including a fake death as piteous and apparently genuine as Ms Thompson’s that I was personally suckered in by. Unfortunately, faking illnesses and death for attention or fraud is so prevalent, the behaviour even has a name – Munchausens by Internet:
    http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/articles/chronic/faking.html

    Yes, it’s unfortunate when accusations are made about a possible fake death when the death turns out to be real – but that’s what the fakers have done. Cast doubt on the honest, to the point where obituary communities on LiveJournal now have to ask for proof of someone’s death in the form of an independent death notice or obituary before a post can be allowed to stand. Sadly, someone’s word is no longer enough. And you surely have to admit that DM is hardly an honest or reliable source for whether the sky is blue.

    People want to catch a possible crook, a proven liar and a proven bully. I don’t anyone is seeing anything for which there isn’t ample evidence of *something* fishy.

    DM brought this scrutiny on her own head, by her own actions. She can suck it up. Her answer to criticism is to threaten or to try and eradicate the evidence. It’s not anyone’s fault but hers if that only makes her look guilty.

  341. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:06:56

    1. No one seems to have ever seen this person in the flesh and there are no recent non-faked up photos on any sites whatsoever.

    Ann, I agree it would be interesting to know if the pic really is DAM or not.

    But just because there aren’t any pictures or she isn’t seen in public…eh, that doesn’t really mean that much to me.

    Some writers are horrendously shy-or those like me, camera shy. You’ll find very, very few images of me online. Granted, there are more than one, but not a lot and the only one that I allow used for ‘official’ purposes has definitely been modified-I solarized it and I look blue. However, it is still me.

    Some people consider pictures of themselves as very private-I’m one of them. I have young children, I live in a small town, I’d rather my face not be out there all over the place. What I look doesn’t matter to my writing career.

    Whether or not a writer wants or allows pics, or whether or not a writer does signings/seen in public really DOESN’T have any relevance here, IMO.

    I think what is relevant is the possibility that this could be another attempt to deceive people. If she’s using a picture that isn’t hers and not attributing to the owner/copyright owner, then it’s copyright theft. That’s what bugs me so yes, I am curious about whether or not that’s really her.

    But this first part of your post makes it read like any and every ‘high profile’ author should have pics posted or make public appearances and I can’t agree there.

  342. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:15:17

    Shiloh: I don’t have pictures of myself on line (there are very few photos of me at all in existence – I hate being photographed.) But I’m not posting someone *else’s* picture and pretending it’s me. I’m not saying on one hand, hey, I don’t care if you know what I look like, and on the other, giving a fake photo as proof of that.

    Whether she allows pictures or not, you’d think someone would have said they’d met this woman at a book signing or a convention or *something*. Several people have said they’ve met Leanne Burroughs, and a number knew Dawn Thompson. Where are the people who ran into DM?

    She’s apparently not shy about showing ‘her’ image on line – which is why I find it odd that no one else has one. The answer is, of course, that the picture isn’t her at all. Why? And why use such a peculiar, low quality one? Why isn’t it hosted on her site? She’s a website designer. Surely she knows the issues around hotlinking, the least of which is that a vengeful owner might decide to goatse it at any moment. It’s just very strange. Everything that turns up about this woman is strange.

    I should add, as an aside, that using other people’s images is something that a lot of people faking deaths or illnesses do. It’s part of making a ‘real’ persona to trick people. Maybe she thought she would be more ‘real’ if she used a photo, but didn’t feel she could use her own? Even if for a benign reason, like she’s actually a guy or something?

  343. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:17:45

    She is a webdesigner so she has Photoshop experience. She makes covers and images for her covers. It is not that hard to conclude she knows how to alter pictures. I do believe Dawn was a real person. I also believe this DAM is trying to pull a fast one. No one has met her! I think that is creepy. I love Photoshop. I find black and white pictures are easier to alter than color because it is harder to match lighting in color. If I only have color pictures, I just take color and there with photoshop I can make any picture black and white or greyscale in one or two moves. I can take the hair from one shot, the face from another, swap the eyes and stretch the cheekbones. I can take the mouth a bit fuller, it all takes an hour at most. The filter here looks like a soft blur of 90% and some smudging. In my opinion I don’t think there is one picture. To find proof is hard but there should be a picture where someone is in the pose.

  344. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:22:11

    Whether she allows pictures or not, you'd think someone would have said they'd met this woman at a book signing or a convention or *something*.

    Actually, no, I wouldn’t think that. I’ve got a couple of writer friends who are pretty much recluses. They are extremely shy, one even has panic attacks at the thought of just attending something like RWA chapter meeting. I know several writer who don’t do anything outside the house that has to do with their writing functions. I know one lady that *will* do public functions-provided she takes prescribed medication to help control her anxiety attacks.

    A lot of writers are very, very private. So now, I wouldn’t think it at all odd if there are writers out there that nobody has even seen, either via a picture or in person.

    I get the ‘why’ of it. It appears she could misrepresenting herself again-that doesn’t surprise me.

    But I’ve gotta agree with Karen on this~whether or not that is DAM is paltry compared to the crap she’s slung at readers like Reba Belle or the abuse she’s slung at the authors that have worked with/for her.

    I dunno but if I was one of her victims, I’d have to wonder how this even compares.

  345. ilona andrews
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:22:31

    Question: does she have an agent? And if she does, who represents her?

  346. ilona andrews
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:27:07

    Google cache is a funky thing:

    This seems to indicate that she was once represented or claimed to be represented by Brown Literary Agency.

    But the later version of the page omits this tidbit and Brown doesn’t list her as a client.

  347. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:29:39

    I dunno but if I was one of her victims, I'd have to wonder how this even compares.

    Just trying to put the facts together, ma’am. It’s all part of the picture, pardon the pun.

    You’re worried about the reviewers and authors. I’m worried about what else she’s been up to. I’m not trivialising the stalking threats or the bullying at all – I know what that feels like.

    Karen wants to know about this charity money business. So do I – and I want to know the truth about Dawn Thompson’s estate because I’ve seen sick and elderly friends scammed and it’s disgusting.

  348. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:32:23

    Volsfan, I’m not going to argue that the image could easily have been altered and isn’t DM at all. I suspect it’s entirely possible.

    But this:

    No one has met her! I think that is creepy.

    I’m sorry, and this is just me, but that bothers me. I could easily name five writers off the top of my head that nobody has personally ‘met’. One of them is seriously antisocial and it does her better to just write and stay offline, not doing public appearances. A couple are just shy. One doesn’t like personal, public appearances. One of them has panic attacks .

    Then I could name several more who don’t like doing them, but they’ve worked up to it.

    It bothers me to think that people might think they are ‘creepy’ because they don’t like doing professional, public functions or even something as informal as a local chapter meeting.

    I realize part of the weirdness of this is the possibility that the image posted isn’t hers and I know all of this stems from all the other bizarreness associated with her, and that just makes every subsequent issue seem that much stranger. But many, many writers are solitary. That nobody has ‘met’ her really shouldn’t be the issue.

    Just my opinion, other people may agree or disagree.

  349. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:33:45

    Question: does she have an agent? And if she does, who represents her?But the later version of the page omits this tidbit and Brown doesn't list her as a client.

    She’s not with Roberta any more.

  350. ilona andrews
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:34:43

    And here is a goodie:
    .

    Lynda: Did you have an agent when you sold your first book?

    Deborah: Yes. I am represented by Roberta Brown of Brown Literary Agency. She submitted “Falgannon” and got a request for a full, with contract pending in three weeks from Chris Keeslar at Dorchester. “A Restless Knight” went directly to Hilary Sares, my now editor at Kensington. She called me with an offer within hours of reading it.

    I absolutely love this:

    Lynda: Did your agent suggest changes?

    Deborah: Originally she did. But once she saw I knew my books I was left to write.

    My money is that her name is Billy Jo and that whole living half a year here and there story is a total fabrication.

    But, Roberta had to cut her checks, so she would know for sure.

    EDITED: She is NOT with Brown anymore, so please DO NOT send them fussy mail. :P (Thought I’d put it out there just in case, not that I think anybody would.)

  351. ilona andrews
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:37:10

    Shiloh,

    I didn’t think she was. My guess is that any sane person who had to deal with DAM on regular basis would soon run for the hills.

  352. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:38:57

    You're worried about the reviewers and authors. I'm worried about what else she's been up to. I'm not trivialising the stalking threats or the bullying at all – I know what that feels like.

    But that’s just it…fifty suggestions on who the image ‘could’ be does make it seem trivial.

    And I’ve gotta say, publishers will look at the big picture if they start looking at this. I know a bunch of people have written them-they’ve said so in the comments here.

    Publishing is a business. They’ll look at the big picture because the big picture is what could affect them. Publishers can’t afford to look at every ‘small’ issue.

    The deal with Dawn Thompson would matter.

    The abuse of readers would matter.

    The abuse of other authors may or not matter, but they’ll be looking at this from a business viewpoint so as far as the publishing aspect goes, I’m not sure it matters, although the abuse SHOULD matter to RWA, IMO.

    Misleading authors/readers regarding her status as a publisher/whether or not she lives in the UK, ‘might’ matter.`

    edited since the baby bratlet decided the post was ready to send despite the fact i wasn’t done.

    But an image that may or may not be her? I imagine the letters sent to RWA/Kensington/Dorchester will be mentioning DA. For all we know, her editors and/or RWA officials may already be following this. And if the image takes over the discussion? I’m sorry-it does trivialize the issue.

    If whether or not it’s DAM is really that important, then maybe it should get it’s own little home on the web. Not trying to dictate the discussion or anything, just trying to explain my viewpoint here.

    I tend to use an objective outlook when I look at things-it just makes things easier.

    I imagine those who have the ability to any sort of difference here, RWA/editors, etc, are going to do the same. They have to.

    In the big picture, I’d bet the image thing falls by the wayside. It’s a distinct possibility that if the commentary centers on that, the more important issues here aren’t going to be addressed with the seriousness we’d like.

    We’re already wondering if they’ll be addressed at all. We don’t need the less important issues clouding things.

  353. Gennita Low
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:42:42

    I apologize about going off topic with the photograph. It was 2am and I just finished writing, and catching up with all the posts, I hit “REPLY and SEND” without thinking. I admit to being curious as to what she looks like. She doesn’t strike me as a “shy” person and her being co-publisher to Highland Press and having written articles for RWR, I’d thought she’d have had some photo taken of her somewhere sometime. When I check Leeann Burrough’s site, I know I’ve seen her at conferences.

  354. Nora Roberts
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:52:32

    I agree the priorities are abuse and threats to readers and other authors, lack of disclosure to RWA, manipulating reviews–and the whole clickie business.

    But I see where Ann’s coming from, too. It’s the whole cloth.

    I wanted to add I skimmed over the Amazon posts and concluded that this time, DAM went after the wrong reader. Reba sure doesn’t cringe, does she? I admire someone who not only stands up to bullying, but pushes back.

  355. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:53:58

    Shiloh – I haven’t made fifty suggestions about whose picture it is. I’m looking at the implications of her *using* someone else’s photo.

    If you’re trying to pin down someone who’s devoted to obscuring the truth and deleting the evidence, you have to track down everything. Some people will be distracted by the trivia, sure, but that doesn’t make the issue trivial.

    I agree with you that it’s not *necessarily* significant that we have no actual photos of this woman, or that no one’s met her. But it’s *strange*, to me at least. She’s a relentless self-promoter and she’s vain enough to use a glamour puss image for ‘her’ (even if she did scan it in from a newspaper or magazine as the larger scale image here:
    http://sr.thebestreviews.com/images/users/721.jpeg
    makes pretty obvious)
    That doesn’t really fit with the idea of her being a recluse.

    The picture isn’t a *huge* issue. It’s just a oddity, that’s all. The significance is yet to be determined. It could just mean she’s barking mad, and we already know that. Or it could be mean something else.

  356. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:58:56

    The ’50’ suggestions was an exaggeration, but since I’d signed off last night and come back on, I saw a number of different links, who she resembles, etc.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t matter and I don’t blame people for being curious~hell, I’m curious. But whether or not the image resembles Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren, unless somebody actually ‘has’ the image, I don’t know that’s going to help the discussion.

    As to the distractions, if some of the image discussion could be distracting those who can affect change, do we really want that?

  357. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:00:21

    I agree, the picture is not crucial. To me it screams of someone hiding something. The abuse and threats at Reba, authors, and to be fair, other readers who might not have Reba’s backbone and never said a thing, the internet terrorism is what is most disturbing. It has to stop. That is why I agree that Kensington, Dorchester, and RWA need to hear about DAM from as many people as possible.

  358. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:04:51

    Shiloh – if anyone (Amazon, Kensington etc) is going to investigate this, they are going to look at letters from Reba and the HP authors and so on. If you honestly believe they are going to read 600+ messages on a blog, from people they will almost certainly never have heard of, and go, “Oh right, guilty as hell, let’s string that bitch Debbie up,” well…I don’t believe that. It’s not how big companies work.

    As Jane and co would hasten to tell you, hearsay and speculation aren’t evidence. Most of this is just that. At the same time, hearsay and speculation is what helps to uncover the truth and when that happens, the proper lines of reporting can be followed.

    I can tell you one thing. I’m sick of looking at that bloody photo. She looks like someone out of a cheap porn shoot :)

  359. Jane
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:10:57

    I think the focus on the photograph is a manifestation of people trying to gain some knowledge of their own. I.e., if DAM is willing to hunt down a reader’s family information for three star review, then what might she be willing to do to the rest of us and what can we do to protect ourselves by arming ourselves with equal information.

    I would guess that authors would like to know what she looks like for reference at conferences and so forth. But yes, the photograph is small potatoes in the overall scheme of things.

  360. Amber Green
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:13:34

    I have dealt with situations like this before. Every one of us who has been identified here will face repercussions sometime, somewhere. It’s the nature of the beast.

  361. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:14:48

    Shiloh – if anyone (Amazon, Kensington etc) is going to investigate this, they are going to look at letters from Reba and the HP authors and so on. If you honestly believe they are going to read 600+ messages on a blog, from people they will almost certainly never have heard of, and go, “Oh right, guilty as hell, let's string that bitch Debbie up,” well…I don't believe that. It's not how big companies work.

    Amazon checking out the blog? Nah, I don’t see it.

    However, I have it on excellent authority that editors DO read blogs. I know it for a fact. I know of at least two very well established editors out of NYC read this blog and Karen’s.

    ETA: (just cuz it occurred to me after, not because of the baby this time) Also, RWA, while they can’t address it from the same issue Amazon could and they aren’t a publisher, they can investigate things on their own~and RWA members definitely read here.

  362. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:22:07

    If they’re regular readers then they can pick the wheat from the chaff as easily as you or I can. If anyone is idiotic enough to go ‘those people are only obsessed with that crappy old photo’ and ignore the hundreds and hundreds of other comments, then they’re too idiotic to explain this mess to anyway.

    Why are we even arguing about this? If talking about the identity in the photo is a distraction, talking about talking about the identity in the photo is even more so.

    Bottom line – no one who’s seriously trying to investigate DM is going to give a rat’s arse what a few strangers say about some badly ‘shopped image. Everyone else will just go ‘meh’ and move on.

  363. KateB
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:24:12

    Personally, I’d like to know if the editors who were “raffled” plan to launch an investigation. I mean, it was their time, their energy, their names used to (possibly) fleece authors at large.

  364. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:24:49

    If they're regular readers then they can pick the wheat from the chaff as easily as you or I can.

    Probably depends on how much chaff they have to wade through if they’ll put forth the effort.

    But I’ve said enough on the matter and I don’t need to keeping adding to it.

  365. DS
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:26:07

    As the Lisa Hackney story points up, what we see as an Amazon review scam may be just the tip of the iceberg.

    By the way, Lisa pled guilty to failure to appear, first-degree battery aggravated assault and theft of property, was given a suspended sentence and time served then deported to Canada. This was reported in the Northwest Arkansas Times February 11, 2006.

    And barring people who are phobic about cameras, one way to tell an experienced scammer is that they don’t want their real picture out in the public eye.

  366. Barb Ferrer
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:37:19

    But the truth is, sociopaths very often take action simply because they CAN. Because the power of it gives them an amazing thrill.

    I guess I’d make a crappy sociopath then. Half the time I have trouble controlling my own characters.

    Re: the pictures, sorry for my own contribution to that discussion. I have to admit that my first thought when I saw it was that it was an old doctored photograph of someone else. I mean, it’s easy enough to go onto a site like MyHeritage.com and see which celebrity you most resemble or take a photograph of yourself and a celebrity and create a morph. And that’s just one site. And given the manipulation of which it’s clear she’s capable, it was just a natural train of thought to follow, especially, as so many have pointed out, she’s such a relentless publicity hound.

    However, in the end, this woman offends me on so many more levels than that of using a faked photograph: the bullying and manipulation, of both readers and other writers. Presuming to speak for an entire industry. Hell, the mere fact that she has contracts with two print publishers with wide distribution is enough to set my hair on fire simply because of the poorly written nature of her emails and forum responses.

  367. Meagan Hatfield
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 08:47:47

    Did she leave Highland or did Leanne/Highland invite her to leave?

    They are BFF’s remember? So even if firing Ms. MacG is the only way for Leanne (as owner) to make this right, it doesn’t seem likely. If they were going to address these issues, they would have done damage control on Monday. They are waiting for this to blow over – waiting for people to forget…

    I see several names on that list who have come forward here with horror stories and say they no longer deal with HP.

    I haven’t had anything to do with that house in well over a year. I think the only reason we are listed there is because we have to be. Lords knows they don’t want me there…they have my once paragraph long blurb down to a single sentence now. LOL!

    As to Dawn – yes, she was a real person. I knew her before the LIW loop, before HP, before she sold to NYC.

    I had nothing to do with the house during the time of the raffle, so I can’t tell you where the money went. However, I do know from looking at the list, a minimum of 5 of the 15 winners were HP Authors.

  368. Lynne Connolly
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:12:18

    I think the world outside publishing tends to undervalue IP rights. Let’s face it, I could have bought the entire stable of Triskelion manuscripts for what, $2001, set up Sassafras Publishing to compete with TriXyLOInS and run it right here with a wordpress shopping cart plugin.

    The thing is, had you done that, you would have had to take on our previous contracts, or renegotiate new ones. The Trisk contracts said that we could remove our books given a 90 day notice, sent via recorded (signed for) snailmail.
    Most of us sent those notices in, of intention to remove our books, before Trisk went into bankruptcy, so that we would get 30 or so days in before the courts froze the assets.
    Then, if another company had bought the books and announced their intention of publishing, they would only have them for a further 60 days.
    That was something we did take legal advice on. But in HP’s case, that clause has a fee attached – something none of the Trisk authors had to deal with.

  369. Diana Peterfreund
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:12:50

    Shayne @ 296 said:

    Sad to say I think I've noticed that. It's enough to put me off of Kensington and Dorchester. It's just mind boggling to me that pro publishers would allow that sort of behavior. And I thought it was Penguin who was behind Edwards. Or does Penguin own Dorchester? Christ in a hand basket, can't keep these publishers straight.

    Any scoop on either Tor Publishing or DAW Books. I got one subbed to Tor and considering DAW. I really do like to know these things about my publishers.

    I don’t think the “author loops” at Dorch. or Kens. are official entities run and moderated by the publisher. I always thought they were casual loops run by authors that write for those houses, and any misconduct on those loops would be dealt with by the owners or moderators (if there are any).

    Can anyone confirm that? I write for neither, and as far as I know, the authors at both my publishers do not have a loop of this nature. I’m certainly not a member of any. But I don’t think the publisher has anything to do with the existence of the loop, and therefore what happens on the loop is no business of theirs.

    While I do not believe that proven plagiarists should have their contracts renewed, as those contracts were breached when the author provided plagiarised work to fulfill them, I am similarly against ethics clauses at publishers. There was a publisher who tried that a few years back to a huge outcry. Who gets to decide what behavior is acceptable for an author? Religious or political affiliation? Divorce? Moving violations? DUIs? Drug use?

  370. Anon76
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:14:32

    I find this interesting.

    A snippet from DAM’s website:

    “She was member of RIO Reviewers International Organization, and served as their Award of Excellence Chair (2003-2005), and was assistant editor of their monthly newsletter.”

    Why is it interesting? Because in either 2005 or 2006, her book garnered the RIO Award of Excellence. (At least according to her own bio.)

    Makes you say, hmmmm….

  371. JackieB
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:15:16

    To DW Post #407.

    There are a few reasons why I’m debating reposting a review for A Restless Knight and losing the ambition.

    For starters, it was the lone review I posted, (making me the dead last Amazon reviewer, I’m sure, if it was still there) – and I don’t have the book anymore. I trashed it. I didn’t even want it in the compost pile. I wrote and posted my review back in fall of 06, and I can’t even remember buying the book. I think it was a gift since I usually don’t read new writers unless I’m REALLY bored and my favorite writers aren’t producing fast enough. Now I think you have to buy the book to post on Amazon and believe me, I’m NOT buying anything written by DAM.

    Secondly, I can’t remember the entire review I wrote, although I think it was titled WHY ALL THE 5 STARS? I couldn’t even finish Chapter Two, but I was one voice against many back then. I found the amount of archaic words in the first chapter stifled any enjoyment I might have gained from reading it. I read to escape. I don’t want to be flipped out of the world you writers are creating for me by a need to look up and wonder what in the heck is that word (???) every single page. I went back and thumbed through it before I posted, because I really do think there was at least one weird word every single page – and I’m all for Medieval and archaic Scottish words. I am. But Every Single Page???

    Then there was the author’s prose (or lack thereof). I thought then – and I do now – that most of the reviewers comments were far better written than the book was. And she had tons of 5 stars even back then. I felt every sentence of A Restless Knight seemed forced, and then…there came a point where the hero put his hand near (or on – I can’t remember) her thigh and her thigh responded – not anything else. The heroine’s limb reacted like it was its own entity. Other writers can write something like that and it’s sensual. This was just stupid. That did it for me. I want sensual words, not stuff that makes me go – WTh? That’s when I got pissed that I’d actually wasted this much of my time reading something this juvenile.

    That’s another reason I didn’t repost – and still might not. After wasting even more of my time writing to warn other readers, I felt Ms. MacGillivray had received enough of my time.

    But after posting it, I felt bad. Maybe I was too harsh. Maybe I should have put a 2 or something. Maybe I should just let it go. I shouldn’t spread bad stuff. So, I checked for my review and it did show up. And them poof! Gone. I never posted another one.

    The next reason is because it’s rather fun to check her page now and see how like a ghost-town it feels. There hasn’t been much activity at all. She hasn’t posted anything. She doesn’t have a ton of contest wins, rave reviews to obliterate the newest ones – ala James Frey – or anything like that going on. And I think that’s appropriate here. Let her just fade away, like the memory of trying to read her book….

    And lastly – and here’s the real underlying reason (since I just spent time writing a partial review here, she got more of my time) – even before my post went live here last night. (I’ve never posted to a thread like this, so it was weird that the post remained for 30 minutes so I could edit ot or fix it), I had an attempt on my computer’s firewall that scared me enough to turn the modem off.

    Scared me. And that’s just sad. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Ms. MacGillivray and her cronies, but if it can scare me and I have nothing to do with them, I am totally appreciative of the courage it took for Kristi and Meagan and others to post here.

    I’m still shaking.

    That’s what so sad about this cyber terrorism stuff.

    Jackie

  372. Nickie Fleming
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:18:40

    I don’t want to get involved in these comments, but I’d appreciate it if the person who mentioned me could at least give my correct name. I’m called Nickie Fleming, and I have a website where I interview authors.
    Deborah Anne was just one of them.
    I’ve been in contact with her over many years, and I can’t say I’ve ever found out anything negative about her. She’s given me advice more than once, which was useful to me – and she never asked me to vote for her, if that matters.

  373. (Jān)
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:31:11

    Ann, of course people have faked deaths. A little internet research would have shown this wasn’t the case here, instead of posting unfounded speculation.

    Yes, DM brought all this on her head. What did Ms Thompson and her children do to bring this on theirs?

    I just think people need to do a little research before posting things like that when people could be hurt by it. Is that really such an unreasonable thing?

  374. Anon76
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:39:07

    Oh, heavens to betsy!

    Nickie, and all others mentioned in passing-please don’t go on the defensive. Please!

    You are not on anyone’s radars as the “bad guys”. (Nickie, as well as others, I’d never had noted your names if you hadn’t made it an issue.)

    It’s like an extremely minor character in a novel. The maid walks up with a tray full of poison treats for the hero. Did she know they were poison? NO. Would she have served them if she’d known? Depending on the importance of the character in the story, probably not.

    Meaning, don’t bring yourself into focus if you are just one of those minor characters who happen to have a mention.

    This is not meant to be condescending. It’s simply my observation and advice.

  375. ANother Author
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:43:02

    This is part of the Highland Press contract. Anyone seen anything like this in a contract before?

    “VIII: Author Conduct: Whereas an author for the Publisher is also a public persona, many behaviors on the Internet or in public forums are a reflection of being a part of this Publishing Company. As such, all authors must be aware of their behavior in situations that could reflect negatively upon them, hurting their careers, other authors, and Highland Press’ reputation by association. As such, any writer discovered in situations that could hurt the sales of their book or cast unwanted aspersions on Highland Press or its staff or fellow authors may have their contracts revoked. All books of said author may be pulled from the market and from Publisher’s catalogue.”

  376. Two Can Play
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:44:28

    To Jessica Russell, who said:

    “For Two Can Play (#289)…do you hold DAM's family responsible for her behavior? Your words chill me. Please don't step in the same shoes as DAM, hypothetical or otherwise”

    No, I don’t hold her family responsible, which is why I DIDN”T POST THE INFORMATION.

    I simply said it could be found. And the reason I posted it was nicely summed up by Jane, who said:

    “I think the focus on the photograph is a manifestation of people trying to gain some knowledge of their own. I.e., if DAM is willing to hunt down a reader's family information for three star review, then what might she be willing to do to the rest of us and what can we do to protect ourselves by arming ourselves with equal information.”

    Look, Deborah Rodgers (which is her real name, and yes, she does live in Kentucky), thinks she can bully, stalk, harrass, and threaten people with impunity. She thinks she is anonymous. She thinks she is special. She thinks she can’t be touched. And she will never fully understand what she is doing and how it affects people, because she doesn’t think of anyone but herself. She needs to know that she is not special, that people can find her, too.

    I didn’t actually post the info I found, but I did find it, and will give it out if someone needs it to pursue just legal action against her.

    As I side note, I also looked up Dawn Thompson. There is a death notice for her – but absolutely no other information comes up. Nothing. This is unusual, because even after death some residual hits usually come up. Just sayin.

  377. Anne Douglas
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:46:57

    The lack of comment from publishers doesn’t surprise me a whole lot. If I was one of the publishers ‘caught up’ in these plagiarism and fraud instances, I would be shutting my trap, and quietly putting contracts into the ‘no reprints and no further contracts’ pile. Really what else can they do?

    (Well, the plagiarism issue does have potential legal consequences, yes, but I would assume DAM publishers have no connection with her accused fraud.)

    It has been interesting reading all the posts, both what seems to be fact and what is fiction (and since I’ve only met 2-3 people in the industry, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who wondered late yesterday if DT was fake – my apologies), and I have to say, this is the perfect industry for conspiracy theorists! :) (no sarcasm intended – I say that with a smile)

  378. Jackie Barbosa
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:51:21

    I don't think the “author loops” at Dorch. or Kens. are official entities run and moderated by the publisher. I always thought they were casual loops run by authors that write for those houses, and any misconduct on those loops would be dealt with by the owners or moderators (if there are any).

    Can anyone confirm that?

    You’re correct, Diana, at least as I understand it. I just joined the loop for Kensington’s Aphrodisia authors, and my invitation came from another author, not from anyone at Kensington.

  379. Sandy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 09:55:14

    I don’t have pictures of myself on line (there are very photos of me at all.).But I’m not posting someone *else’s* picture and pretending it’s me. >>

    It’s creepy.

    <<Whether she allows pictures or not, you’d think someone would have said they’d met this woman at a book signing or a convention or *something*.>>

    It is my understanding she was at RT last year or the year before.

    <<<>>>

    As to the photo – -if she did go to RT, is going again or to another conference wouldn’t you want to steer clear of her? How else could you identify her except to ask for her room and close scrutiny of everyone’s badge…which you can put whatever you want on

  380. Meagan Hatfield
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:00:16

    This is part of the Highland Press contract. Anyone seen anything like this in a contract before?

    “VIII: Author Conduct: Whereas an author for the Publisher is also a public persona, many behaviors on the Internet or in public forums are a reflection of being a part of this Publishing Company. As such, all authors must be aware of their behavior in situations that could reflect negatively upon them, hurting their careers, other authors, and Highland Press' reputation by association. As such, any writer discovered in situations that could hurt the sales of their book or cast unwanted aspersions on Highland Press or its staff or fellow authors may have their contracts revoked. All books of said author may be pulled from the market and from Publisher's catalogue.”

    The above is not in my contract.

  381. Chrissy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:01:59

    I will take any blame for photograph obsession, since I started it. But my past experience with this issue was creepily similar, and in that case, as well as in a few other cases I’ve come across, every little layer of deception proved significant.

    My spidey-sense was jangling. Partly because suddenly there is money missing. Partly because the intensity of her online presence makes me wonder if it’s her entire life. And most importantly– DAM could exist only as a construct online. If nobody actually knows the human being behind the mask she has created for her literary and god-only-knows-what-else career… well, how do authorities track her down? Is she in the US? She has some UK domains.

    When I had my problem with the nutjob who was literally exiled from the US because she would face prison if she came back… the fact that she was in Belgium complicated things ENORMOUSLY. It took us literally years to get false information removed, revealed, and dealt with. And she still hasn’t faced the charges that drove her out. (She falsely accused a tribal elder in TX of sexual abuse in a hissy fit. She’d never even met him, but got ticked off and went dirty.)

    So sorry if my photo obsession pissed anyone off, but I do think it was relevant. The fact that it hijacked the thread was unfortunate, and for that I am contrite.

    Still driving me nuts, though.

  382. CoveyWatcher
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:03:00

    Kensington author Sara Reinke mentions having signed books with DAM at a B&N in Louisville, but in the photo section she links to, her “table mate” is absent in all photos–just a black sweater on a chair. So she’s out there, just camera shy.

  383. Ester Mish
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:04:02

    The mind boggles over this. I have been following it with my mouth hanging ajar.

    No one has reported seeing this person who is so ego maniac as to actually stalk a reviewer and this woman’s bff stands by and does nothing… Which, if my bff acted like that I would take a big stick and knock her upside the damn head. But that is just me.

    Is DAM just a persona of this Leanne person? Perhaps that is why there are no pictures that are current and identifiable. Alter ego perhaps?

    ETA: this is all just speculation mind you. Does anyone know for sure?

  384. Diana Peterfreund
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:19:37

    Thanks, Jackie. That’s what I’d thought.

    To Another Author @375, there is no clause like that in any of my contracts, for any of my publishers. My contracts deal solely with the texts I provide them to publish, and the terms under which those agreements are made.

    Which is not to say that publishers do not care about an author’s personal behavior. Agent Janet Reid blogged about this recently. But that’s different than being contractually bound, or a publisher being obligated to make a public response (which differs from plagiarism, which DOES deal with the contractual obligations of the text itself).

  385. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:26:27

    After a couple hours away, something occurred to me and I feel the need to mention my comments about the pics and stuff.

    I sometimes obsess over things. Not stalking-reader type obsessing, but I get something in my head and can’t let go. It does me credit… errr….uh….it can be useful. I’m stubborn, I don’t give up on things, but it can also be a pain when I focus on the small details.

    I said everything I needed to say with my first post and should have just let it go at that. I’m not backtracking or taking anything back, but there was no reason to keep at it.

    My apologies.

  386. katiebabs
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:32:03

    I feel Amazon has become a broken system. I use to have great joy posting reviews there and reading them. Now I don’t know who and what to believe. And the fact that every time I post a less than positive review for a book, it either disappears after 24 hours or suddenly I have more negatives votes than I can count. And this has been an on-going discussion on the Amazon message boards for years. Does Amazon even care?

  387. DevonM
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:35:43

    I’ve been watching all this for days and I just want to jump in and encourage the people who are searching for the real DAM to keep digging. That picture bugs me, too. Like a few others, I can’t put my finger on why. I just know I get odd vibes from it.

    Here’s what really bothers me. I live in Kentucky and was shocked to find out this woman lives here. I’ve been a member of my chapter for about 12 years and until all this blew up, DAM was not someone I was familiar with. I find that beyond strange.

    There are 3 chapters in KY and she belongs to none of them. Very weird, imo, for a person who appears to be very ambitious with her writing career. Even if she is a recluse, not even having some kind of online relationship with the local authors (many are NYT bestsellers) just seems strange. Karen Robards lives in Louisville and she doesn’t belong to any of the chapters, but she does sometimes do guest appearances at meetings, etc.

    Shiloh, you’ve always said you’re reclusive and don’t like pictures of yourself on the internet. Yet there are pictures of you taken at booksignings. And I’ve seen you in the flesh on more than one occasion. But no one has come forward and said they have seen this woman. Upthread, someone hinted that her real name is Rodgers. Someone said DAM is a pseudonym. So who is this woman?

    I just think it’s exceedingly strange that a person who seems so rabid on promo and success oriented, who isn’t shy at all about posting to public forums, doing interviews, whipping authors into shape on her publisher’s loop, etc. could be such a complete mystery when it comes to her identity. This picture (no pun intended) is all wrong and the profile or whatever just doesn’t fit.

  388. Anon76
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:38:26

    Ester, sigh…

    My brain went there, but I didn’t want to voice it.

  389. Ann Aguirre
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:56:36

    I agree with Karen Scott about the need to stick with known issues. The danger is that people begin to speculate, throwing out “worst case scenarios” that succeed only in taking the spotlight from proven wrongs. Without evidence, it’s just salacious and will give outside parties the impression that we’re a kangaroo court uninterested in burden of proof — and that will damage other aspects of this situation.

    I also agree with Jan about the comments regarding Dawn Thompson’s existence being unwise. I hope her family doesn’t see them.

  390. Debra
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:08:52

    The picture of the woman that you are posting is a hispanic actress from the early 70’s who played in a lot of bad ‘B’ movies from that time. I only know this because I was taking spanish over the summer in summer school having failed it during the year and watched alot of spanish television hoping some of it would sink into my brain magically. Im sorry I cannot remember her name as it was some 25 years ago for me lol.

    Also, I find it interesting that last summer I followed a link from some blog to an interview with DAM in a very large magazine or newspaper and this is not the woman that was pictured. The woman they showed as DAM was very white, long thin face with a square chin and long thin nose with her lips pursed together. She had brown hair that was pulled back in a bun type thing. She looked to be in her late 30’s maybe early 40’s. The quote under the picture said is was DAM.

  391. delta
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:20:16

    Debra, I had to chuckle. That description sounded very much like the Wicked Witch of the West.

  392. Annmarie
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:20:20

    I’ve been following this for a few days and like everyone else I find the DAM and Dawn Thompson connection very strange. I pulled out my copy of RT to read the Dawn obit written by DAM and a couple things stuck out at me… One thing was just how handicapped she was… Does anyone know if DAM lived by her to help her?

    The other thing that screamed odd was this… “Donations can be made in her name to Stephen King’s The Haven Foundation. Thompson was the first recipient of this grant to help authors in financial need during times of illness or catastrophe. I cannot say enough about how they Dawn and me during her final months.”

    Does that sound odd to anyone else? Or is it just me?

  393. Alyssa Day
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:22:35

    Another thing that is sad about the gangs of “vote posses” is that they have tainted otherwise reputable awards. Awards that are supposed to be predicated on reader votes have clearly been influenced, to some degree, by these posses. See the lists here
    http://ebookisle.com/inventory/print/awards2008.htm for example: there are a few names that will be familiar to those commenting on this thread who are mentioned over and over as finalists. (I’m not making a judgment of the quality of the writing; I haven’t read these people. I’m just saying, by the law of averages, the numbers of finals seems suspicious, particularly with the large number of very talented authors writing in the romance genre today.)

    So for those of us who were surprised and honored to be recognized, we have to either a) discount the whole thing, or b) be really pleased that we made it as finalists in spite of the posses.

  394. Robin
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:31:08

    I don't want to get involved in these comments, but I'd appreciate it if the person who mentioned me could at least give my correct name. I'm called Nickie Fleming, and I have a website where I interview authors.
    Deborah Anne was just one of them.
    I've been in contact with her over many years, and I can't say I've ever found out anything negative about her. She's given me advice more than once, which was useful to me – and she never asked me to vote for her, if that matters.

    I corrected my error; sorry about that. And while you may not want to get “involved” in these comments, you’re obviously reading them — or at least one of them — so you might want to check out the rest of them, and the other thread, as well.

    I think the focus on the photograph is a manifestation of people trying to gain some knowledge of their own. I.e., if DAM is willing to hunt down a reader's family information for three star review, then what might she be willing to do to the rest of us and what can we do to protect ourselves by arming ourselves with equal information.

    I agree. There’s a point, I think, that we’re all reaching where we just want something done; we want to break through the veil of secrecy and intimidation and built up fear and get the “whole story” out. And since there’s only so much available publicly, that’s what’s available to chip at. Which, again, makes me think it might help to get one central document or post where everything on Karen Scott’s list can be organized and put out there for those who won’t be slogging through these threads.

    They are BFF's remember? So even if firing Ms. MacG is the only way for Leanne (as owner) to make this right, it doesn't seem likely. If they were going to address these issues, they would have done damage control on Monday. They are waiting for this to blow over – waiting for people to forget…

    I get a very strong sense that even those who are sick of DAM have been insulting Burroughs to some degree from the fallout. But think — how could DAM have gotten away with so much without Burroughs, whether she’s simply another emotional hostage, an active enabler, good cop to DAM’s bad cop, an alternate personality, or in willful denial? Burroughs is the recorded owner of HP, she’s the one who’s currently on record as its chief management. Why would anyone expect any less of her than we would of Kensington and Dorchester’s CEO’s or of Amazon? In fact, isn’t there evidence that MORE should be expected of Burroughs by way of reply and response?

  395. Leslie Kelly
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:32:27

    Call me insane…both for reading all 388 messages this morning, but mainly for immediately thinking I recognized the woman in the picture here:

    http://www.authorsden.com/deborahrmacgillivray

    As this person:

    http://www.authorsden.com/victoriataylormurray

    Who also lives in Kentucky. And who is also absolutely infamous for manipulating Amazon. And who has a very weird old, poor-quality photo. And whose books under her own name (via Publish America) appeared to really slow down around the time DAM’s started to appear with NYC publishers.

    Like I said. Maybe I’m crazy. But as soon as I saw DAM, I thought of VTM.

  396. Chrissy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:52:25

    That was my initial concern. It’s the internet. You can get away with a LOT. And while the photograph stuff may appear, at first glance, trivial, it could very well be something pretty scary if nobody can actually find this individual.

    Speculation? All of it is at some point. That’s why we speculate– it ferrets out the truth.

    I suspect before this is over people are going to find about fifty thousand layers to this onion… all of which will stink to high heaven.

  397. Author Anonymous
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:57:22

    Diana P, you are right about the author loops. The Dorchester loop is strictly for Dorchester authors and is not moderated by the publisher.

    Alyssa is not the only author who left the Dorchester author forum because of DAM.

  398. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:00:03

    Jumping Frog Legs Batman! Her books have hundreds of five star reviews. They do disappear around when DAM appears. This chick has no mention of England but the MO matches. Not the first writer to have a pen name. If it is her, maybe she didn’t want people to know her past. What worries me is the abuse and internet bullying. I hope the authors at HP are pursuing this. I also hope DAM or VTM or Rodgers or whoever will think again before abusing and stalking another reader. I hope Kensington and Dorchester sit up and pay attention to what this person is capable of and how she treats their customers, other writers, awards and so on. It gives the entire business a black eye. It stinks, DAM stinks, HP stinks and the longer it goes on without DAM apologizing for the abuse and scaring people, the stinkier it gets.

  399. Eirin
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:13:16

    A review is not an opinion?!

    Bet your ass it is, when it’s a reader commenting on your book. A critique now, that’s a different animal altogether.

    But DAM, crazy-lady, a reader’s review is her opinion of your book, in which, by the way, she has every right in the world to say whatever she effing wants. Cause that review? It’s not for you. It’s for other buyers.
    You seem to not understand this.
    Is it the concept of the world not revolving around you that’s difficult to comprehend?

  400. DS
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:17:02

    DAM does have a Publishamerica connection– in a 2004 post on Absolute Write she is reported to he helping PA authors get Amazon reviews taken down. Also known as LadyA.

    Anyway it is all taken care of. Deborah MacGillivray (pen name LadyA) one of the top 100 reviewers in Europe and the US (#82) went after Amazon.com.uk and she recieved this response….

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524&page=58

    Post 1437 which is long.

    I remember when some reviewers discovered it was easier to get a ranking badge on the other Amazon sites and began to post reviews there.

  401. BeenThereDoneThat
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:25:08

    “VIII: Author Conduct: Whereas an author for the Publisher is also a public persona, many behaviors on the Internet or in public forums are a reflection of being a part of this Publishing Company. As such, all authors must be aware of their behavior in situations that could reflect negatively upon them, hurting their careers, other authors, and Highland Press' reputation by association. As such, any writer discovered in situations that could hurt the sales of their book or cast unwanted aspersions on Highland Press or its staff or fellow authors may have their contracts revoked. All books of said author may be pulled from the market and from Publisher's catalogue.”

    The above is indeed part of the HP contract. It was added over a year ago because DAM was butting heads with some of HP’s authors, the ones who knew her game and wouldn’t let her get away with it. So Leanne added this part to the contract, no doubt at the urging of DAM, who has a habitual habit of silencing anyone who says one word against her or asks questions concerning the oporating of HP. I have contracts without and with this clause. The sad thing is that DAM’s behavior over the 2 1/2 years of HP’s existence is in direct violation of this clause. And when there was major trouble last November because a few HP authors got together online to deal with DAM’s rants, she and another on HP’s staff attacked those authors with foul language, name-calling, threatened lives, and outright lied about the careers of some of the authors involved. However, repeated letters to Leanne about this went unanswered. Leanne was only interested in the authors who dared orchestrate a group over DAM’s behavior.

    Now the suspicions rest on DAM and her alleged guilt. Why else would she erase ALL the emails from the HP and LIW loops? Would an innocent person backtrack like that? No way. It’s too bad she can’t see the damage she’s done or that the HP authors have mega-files of evidence in the form of her past emails.

  402. Alyssa Day
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:29:50

    So this Publish American group seems to operate the same way. Just a bit down from the post DS cited was one threatening a bad reviewer with retribution from her husband the “sherrif” [sic] who owns a “reccord” label, the “law,” and some, evidently, Harley motorcycle gang members?? (I’ve known many delightful folks who ride Harleys, can’t quite imagine asking them to beat up my reviewers . . .). This is scary stuff. Wow.

    >>My husband has been a federal investigator, Sherrif, and not only owns a reccord label, but has many friends in leather on harleys with badges that would love to get to know this guy.
    It pays to have some awesome friends, so if anyone here knows who this guy is, and where we can get his web site, just send it to me, and then we’ll all have some fun with the law on our side.
    Slander is definately an offence and is not taken lightly by the law.

  403. Just A Reader
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:31:22

    Leslie, you could possibly be on to something.
    I initially didn’t think the two pics looked all that similar, but the more I look at things like bone structure, eyebrows, the size and shape of the nose and mouth, they’re very much alike. The makeup too. That heavy-duty application to the eyes. It has a very late 70’s-early 80’s look to it. The photography is very similar too. Like they both came out of an old professional portfolio of some sort. But professional what? Looks like exotic dancer/porn actress to me:P
    You can see the little pixel squares in both of them too. Like small images scanned and saved to jpg. images, maybe even enlarged in photoshop – the “MacGillivray” pic especially. When a small jpg image has been enlarged, you see the little squares, and it looks sort of blurry and “blown out” like that. Murray and MacGillivray also seem to have a similar problem with spelling and grammar. Errie? Is that a word?

    I thought someone said earlier she lives in Louisville, Ky. If that’s true, that’s not a quick commute from Louisville to Covington (the location given for Murray). It’s up around Cincinnati – about three hours from Louisville. I’ve done it in about two and a half, but it was back in the days before cops had instant on radar, and I had a radar detector:P There also aren’t any MacGillivray’s in the Louisville phone book. Doesn’t mean anything at all – just thought I’d mention it.

  404. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:31:29

    That contract reads like a Publish America contract. Don’t they demand 7 years as well? Why erase all the logs? Why make threats? Why lie about your career? Why fake ratings? Why threaten those who give you negative reviews? Why make no appearances? Why demand clicks? Why stalk people? Why run a fund raiser that may violate state laws? Someone further back said follow the money trail. This one stinks so bad even a chihuahua with a cold would smell it.

  405. Bernita
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:36:00

    A small point of congruency: Murray published romantic mysteries. MacGillivray claimed in an interview somewhere that she had tried writing those as well.

  406. delta
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:36:43

    I guess the next question is–What does this woman (person?) have hanging over Burroughs’ head? Just sayin’.

  407. Katie
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:38:14

    Leslie Kelly, now that you have mentioned VTM my memory returned. I read one of her books years ago and I still remember it being one of the worst romances ever. In jest I sometimes said that the soapopera “The Bold and The Beautiful” is high quality compared to this book. I posted my first and last review about it on amazon.de; it lived less than a day. Back then I had little experience with amazon, but years later I stumbled upon an article writtn, IIRC, by Mrs. G about how VTM manipulted the amazon system.

  408. delta
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 13:45:36

    Like DAM, VTM has lots of 5 Star ratings. I did see a few really poor ratings (buried) at Amazon UK. Sure seems to be a lot of coincidences between the two.

  409. cynthiadogmom
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 14:49:10

    I’ve been reading the threads for, omg, has it been THREE HOURS? I feel like I’m watching a bad soap opera!
    I feel for the authors who’ve had to put up with that kind of abuse.
    I think the writers have a case for harassment – threats, abuse and profanity create an “hostile” work environment, and should be prosecuted.

  410. Kelcee Writer
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 14:55:54

    I have been glued to this forum for 2 days now, and am quite appalled. I am a self-published author and believe my books to be fairly decent. I have 1 review, however, that called me immature and told me she disliked my book in very harsh terms. While it hurt and stunned me, I never had any idea that review could be deleted, even though I know it has probably cost me some sales. Being self-published, I need every sale I can get. Even knowing that now, I won’t do anything about it. I believe DAM is acting very immature and unprofessional, and I hope to see her books dropping in rank as each day passes. I seriously doubt that amazon would pull them from their sales.

    As for the picture, I believe it could very well be the same person. The one for DAM looks like it was taken in the 60s and she could be in her 20s. The other one looks older to me. My guess is that she’s probably in her 50s-60s now and not aging well, therefore doesn’t want a current picture used.

    All these theories are like reading a mystery book in itself. I’ll probably keep checking this place out until (I hope) some answers are found.

  411. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 14:58:49

    I ran a search with Deborah MacGillivray and Victoria Taylor Murray

    Nora Roberts book key of light, the first review is by DAM, the second by VTM. Looking at her review history VTM seems to give out 5 star reviews the same as DAM.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Key-Light-Nora-Roberts/dp/078626134X

    Both personalities are keyed on a group of products on the first page called the Yummy list

    http://www.amazon.com/tag/yummy/products

  412. C. Vowels
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 15:29:23

    Volsfan:

    Coming out of lurk from the Amazon boards to say that both Deborah MacGillivray and V.T. Murray have been real named (the “real name” tag under the reviewer’s name) on Amazon which means they have used a credit card or bank account in those names to make purchases. That’s not very easy to fake, so they’re probably two different people. Nothing’s foolproof, though. V.T. Murray could be a spouse or something. Odd, too, to out your full name as an author, but then only use your initials (which most of us do for a minor veneer of security, even while claiming real name status).

  413. Roxie
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 15:32:14

    I’m glued to this site too. Can’t do housework, we’ve eaten take out 3 days running and now I have to pipe up and tell you guys about something that I think might be interesting to know (it may be complete crap, but still, I had to share because this woman doesn’t seem above impersonation).

    I did a little research on this “Lady A” and the funny thing is, I continued to come up with Moonmonika in connection with her. I find that extrememly odd, adding in the fact that when you go to Amazon, you find Moonmonika (aka Monika Wolmarans) under Deborah’s name. CLICK HERE TO SEE

    These two are in collaboration everywhere… Here’s an example from Moonmonika’s site. and all over the MSN boards from back in 2003.

    I also found some info on Bebo for Moonmonika here. Her BEBO site has pictures… hmmm… look at the woman on the far left here… could it be? I know the man in that picture is Mike Duncan who plays on ALL of DAM’s pages (all her MySpace and Bebo and her book trailers)…so there’s an obvious connection.

    -Roxie

  414. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 15:53:48

    C Vowels – Much obliged. I wondered how that worked.

  415. Ellie
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:21:07

    I don’t really know how the “real name” thing works. But if DAM set up a business account under a pen name (maybe incorporated her pen name) it seems she could have gotten a credit card in that name also. Not sure of the logistics of all that, but I think it is possible that she could have had a credit card in her name, and a business card under a pen name, and thus used both as “real names”????

  416. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:33:15

    I was under the impression that DeborahAnne MacGillivray was a pseudonym? I do know that I used my husband’s cc when I first opened my acct on Amazon, but I use my name on there and it says REAL NAME beside my reviews, etc. Over the years, I’ve changed the name a couple of times, just putting initials and then full name. So ~shrug~ I don’t know how accurate the real name thing ultimately is…

  417. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:44:12

    Covey — this was a great bit of sleuthing!! Your findings allowed me to spelunker farther into the DAM cave…

    Kensington author Sara Reinke mentions having signed books with DAM at a B&N in Louisville, but in the photo section she links to, her “table mate” is absent in all photos-just a black sweater on a chair. So she's out there, just camera shy.

    After a bit of searching Ms Reinke’s site, may I present:

    the owner of the black sweater (AKA a picture of DAME DAM herself)

    You can see her books there in front of her too. So yep.. this is her.. not the 60s starlet she posts as her current pic.

    (Hurry before DAM hollers to her legions to strike me down and remove incriminating mugshot…er photo)

  418. KateB
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:47:05

    I've been following this for a few days and like everyone else I find the DAM and Dawn Thompson connection very strange. I pulled out my copy of RT to read the Dawn obit written by DAM and a couple things stuck out at me… One thing was just how handicapped she was… Does anyone know if DAM lived by her to help her?

    I believe Ms. Thompson was a paraplegic. She lived in New York and I don’t think she and DAM ever physically “met.”
    Particularly in the last few months of her life, Ms. T. depended upon a writer friend who lived nearby, her sister, and her son to assist her with most of her day to day concerns (outside of her medical care). So exactly how much help was DAM in all this?

  419. Two Can Play
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:10:43

    If people are really interested in finding DAM, it is surprisingly (and ridiculously) easy to do.

    A search of the US Copyright records finds a listing for “Riding the Thunder” by our very own DAM.

    Searching the Jefferson County (KY) land records for the address listed in the copyright record gives the real name of the owner of that property, plus provides some interesting additional information (such as the lien placed on the property by a creditor for debts owed).

    This is all freely given, public information that can be accessed in about 30 seconds. If people don’t think they need to know this info – don’t access it, don’t check the links. But, as stated, this is public information that is put up on government websites for all to see.

  420. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:17:41

    Kelcee Writer

    While it hurt and stunned me, I never had any idea that review could be deleted, even though I know it has probably cost me some sales.

    Actually, I don’t think negative reviews hurt sales much. They may cost you a couple, but usually you get a couple, because some people will buy over a negative review than a positive one.

  421. KM
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:18:25

    Coming out of lurk from the Amazon boards to say that both Deborah MacGillivray and V.T. Murray have been real named (the “real name” tag under the reviewer's name) on Amazon which means they have used a credit card or bank account in those names to make purchases.

    C.Vowels:

    That’s not true. I have the “real name” tag under my name on my account, as the name I write under, and it’s not my real name. I don’t have it on a bank account, and I’ve never used it in a transaction. It goes on my books, but even my royalty checks for said books come in my legal name.

  422. AnonAuthor
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:25:47

    After a bit of searching Ms Reinke's site, may I present … the owner of the black sweater (AKA DAM)

    Holy Cow, Whack-a-doodle…you did it! LOL!

    And she looks just like that picture on her Amazon page – just 50 years older and wider.

  423. DevonM
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:26:24

    the owner of the black sweater (AKA a picture of DAME DAM herself)

    Whack-A-Doodle, that’s terrific! And it’s undoubtedly the same woman as in the old black & white photo. Just older, but the resemblance is unmistakable. I’m glad you posted this. Now if I see her coming, I’ll know it’s her. ;o)

  424. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:36:15

    Two Can Play

    This is just me but I’m very uncomfortable with that link. That link can used to look up all sorts of info and it makes it ridiculously easy, and FYI, I’m not really referring to DAM. She made her mess~she can deal with it.

    But it’s also putting other authors in an uncomfortable position. If those of us who use pen names wanted our pen name out in the open, we’d make them so.

    Yes, it’s a public site but it’s not one a huge majority are familiar with.

    Edited for spelling correction.

  425. C. Vowels
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:40:22

    KM:

    I could be wrong, or there may be some exception for authors. Did you do something special to register as an author with Amazon? I know some authors have special access to do blogs, etc. which may involve a super-user account I’m not familiar with.

    I’ll say I’m only familiar with my own experience, and I haven’t messed with my profile in a while so they may have changed things, but the last time I did, you had to choose a name you’d used on an account (cc or checking) to pay for merchandise in order to maintain your real name badge–although you can include a nickname with your real name. The “real name” options were provided for you, and not something you could input yourself.

    I’m only aware of this “real name” minutiae because there was a pretty big uproar when Amazon implemented this feature a few years ago (after the debacle where real names were shown on reviews for a few hours instead of pen names and people discovered that some authors were trashing other authors under assumed names). Quite a few reviewers were upset and had communique with Amazon about it because (like me) they’d been victims of identity theft and didn’t want to put their full names out in full view of the world, but didn’t want to look like they were bashing people from the comfort of anonymity either. The initials were meant to be a salve to that.

    Come to think of it, I think the “real name” ordeal was the only time I fired off a heated complaint to Amazon’s customer service before this week’s fireworks.

  426. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:48:59

    Shiloh, you've always said you're reclusive and don't like pictures of yourself on the internet. Yet there are pictures of you taken at booksignings.

    I’m not reclusive. I’m just not always the most socially graceful creature. It’s not shyness, because I’m not shy. I just prefer to be on the sidelines watching. It’s more fun there. I’ve also a very blunt person. The internet lets me temper that. Live situations? Not so much.

    The picture thing, yes, sadly there are some, although I’m very well known for requesting that no pictures of me posted and if somebody ‘asks’ first, I usually beg off. I’m migraine-prone and one thing that sets me off quicker than anything is a camera flash. I’m also very private. I’d rather NOT have my picture online. Usually most people understand that. However, not everybody asks. I know some people don’t get my deal with cameras, but that’s just how I am.

  427. Krista
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:00:03

    The New York Times has an article that talks about the Amazon review system and how people have been manipulating it. DAM is not mentioned unfortunately:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C07E0DC1F3AF937A25751C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

  428. Chrissy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:07:37

    Well, I’m glad at least the mystery is solved… but this is getting kind of reverse-stalkerish. I mean, anyone can get info (you can even pay whoishe.com if you are lazy… I think it’s 50 bucks?) but…

    I hope the people I have seen elsewhere, who think everyone is being paranoid, are at least a little right.

    I know they aren’t… but for anyone to be that far gone. GAH! I mean I’m as mean as it comes in my way, but I’m actually getting a wave of pity.

  429. C's
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:32:28

    Reverse lookup of that address in the copyright page shows a Male Lastname. Clicking on more info on Male Lastname shows people who are related to him: Deborah and Victoria, and someone else. Make of it what you will.

  430. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:32:56

    Chrissy, I think posting her real name and so on crosses the line. That information may need to be provided to people making legal complaints and so on, but it doesn’t need to be here.

    Jan: You keep saying people could have found out the truth about Dawn Thompson with a little research. How? Googling “Dawn Thompson” produces tens of thousands of results. Asking here, produced an obit in about ten minutes. However, the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    If any of DT’s family read this, they will see a lot of concern about whether DT was exploited, and a very brief flurry of speculation about who DT was – speculation brought on by DM’s behaviour and lack of transparency, and which has long since ended. Now please, stop going on about this. I had good reason for raising the idea, which I have explained at length, and if you don’t approve, too bad. There was no malicious intent.

  431. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:47:51

    Jan: You keep saying people could have found out the truth about Dawn Thompson with a little research. How? Googling “Dawn Thompson” produces tens of thousands of results. Asking here, produced an obit in about ten minutes. However, the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    Ann, I’m going to have to disagree with you again.

    Yes, it would be good to know what happen to the money~but to keep bringing Dawn’s name into this show disrespect, IMO, to the author and to a family that is certainly still grieving.

    Somebody posted a site to submit tips to the FBI, certainly some have done by now. To keep using DT’s name at this point IS pointless~we aren’t going to be able to find the why’s, how’s, where’s of the money. Legal resources can. So why does DT keep getting brought into this?

    I realize you want to the bottom of this, but me, personally? I wouldn’t want to get to the bottom of something like this if it meant adding more grief to an already grieving family.

  432. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:56:25

    I’m actually going to have to agree with Ann about

    the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    Dawn’s name was linked to the lottery. SHE was the whole reason people GAVE — to help DAWN (not DeborahAnne). The fact that DAM also seems to have taken MAJOR advantage of Dawn certainly can’t be overlooked — well, not and be OK with it.

    DAM herself actually said best when she quoted Dawn as saying, “Don’t forget me.”

    So unfortunate as it is that DT’s name has to be brought up, it’s a valid and quite vital part of this entire conversation regarding DAM’s ethics, character, and what might possibly prove her guilt. If I were Dawn’s family, I’d sure want to know those things so I could fight against it.

    No maligning is being done that I see of Dawn here.

  433. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:59:09

    Shiloh: Personally I don’t think it shows any respect to a dead person or their family to allow their literary estate to be misused and misappropriated, or to have the collection of funds for the person be under a cloud in this way.

    You seem intent on shooting the messenger, as does Jan. I keep saying, the person who has brought this under scrutiny is Deborah MacGillivray. Her dishonesty and bullying has cast doubt on the veracity of all her statements and the decency of all her actions. She has done this. Not me, not anyone discussing it.

    I’ve said absolutely all I’m going to about this entire issue. I’m not the only one asking questions, and your attempts to shut down the discussion, won’t stop those questions being asked.

    However, if my estate was being treated like this, and my husband/legatees possibly being cheated, I’d be damn pleased if someone was determined to find out the truth. Ms Thompson’s family can feel differently but since you’re not part of that, maybe you shouldn’t speak for them.

  434. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:59:14

    If any of DT's family read this, they will see a lot of concern about whether DT was exploited, and a very brief flurry of speculation about who DT was -

    It will also be like having salt rubbed into a fresh wound. And to coin your words, if you don’t my opinion on that… too bad.

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty that Jan is one of the Jaynes…one of the blog hosts, so technically one of ‘our’ hosts. Your flagrant disregard of her opinion strikes me the same as going into somebody’s home as an invited guest, discussing something the host doesn’t care for and when she voices her disapproval, you laughing and ignoring her.

  435. Chrissy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:59:33

    Just to clarify: I did not post her name, never really had anything to do with the DT stuff (and I agree about that being disrespectful), and would never out her that way.

    I’d forward it all to authorities, but I wouldn’t post it here. That’s a tad too close to… err… being her.

    I suspect everyone knew that but it read a little bit like Ann thought I posted her real name.

  436. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:04:55

    You seem intent on shooting the messenger, as does Jan. I keep saying, the person who has brought this under scrutiny is Deborah MacGillivray. Her dishonesty and bullying has cast doubt on the veracity of all her statements and the decency of all her actions. She has done this. Not me, not anyone discussing it.

    No, I want to know why you persist in bringing it up when chances are the info about reporting fraud tips would be the best way to get action done on it. Infinite discussion of it here isn’t going to get answers or a resolution.

    And yes, frankly, it’s just me but if I was unlucky enough to get shafted by somebody under the guise of friendship as DT probably did and people kept discussing me along with her, EVEN IF THEY WEREN’T BEING NEGATIVE TOWARDS ME, I’d rather they just not.

    Nobody is saying this isn’t DM’s mess. We’re all quite aware. But I do think bringing up the question is she even real… was very thoughtless. There had to have been a better way to investigate it. Even if it just involved requesting people with direct knowledge of Dawn to contact you via email. That could have answered the question just as easily and with much more respect.

  437. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:06:27

    No maligning is being done that I see of Dawn here

    I can’t agree. Her very existence was questioned. If I lost a loved one and somebody questioned their existence, for whatever reason, it would hurt, very, very deeply.

  438. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:07:03

    Shiloh: If you can demonstrate a single instance where I have cast doubt on DT’s existence post Jan’s comment, I would be pleased if you could do so. She made a rather pointed comment about my actions, I responded. I’m not laughing at her or flagrantly disregarding her opinion or anything of the sort – but like you, she was going on and on about something which was over and done. She might be one of the owners of this blog but I am entitled to defend myself. If she’s genuinely aggrieved by my comments, I invite her to delete or edit any which she considers offensive. But telling me to stop speculating about something, when speculation has long since stopped, is pointless.

    And at this point, I consider you to be rather bullying. If your aim is to stop me commenting on this post, consider the tactic a success.

  439. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:13:07

    Chrissy, I was *agreeing* with you, not accusing you. Oy bloody vey.

    I’m done.

  440. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:15:01

    I can't agree. Her very existence was questioned. If I lost a loved one and somebody questioned their existence, for whatever reason, it would hurt, very, very deeply.

    I’ll agree that was in poor taste since I do know that Dawn actually was a real person and I had quite a few dealings with her. But again, there are folks who simply did not know WHAT to believe and the thought that passed through their mind — however fleeting — was expressed on the boards. I can’t apologize for any of that since I was never one that jumped on that particular bandwagon.

    However, I will stand behind what I said earlier and have said throughout my postings here, that Dawn’s name must be brought out if only to prove the guilt of DAM and uncover the manipulation which unfolded in this so-called friendship of theirs.

  441. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:29:45

    Regarding:

    I'm not laughing at her or flagrantly disregarding her opinion or anything of the sort

    But that’s exactly how your later comment comes off:

    I had good reason for raising the idea, which I have explained at length, and if you don't approve, too bad.

    “Too bad” easily translates to “I don’t give a damn if you like it or not”.

    And at this point, I consider you to be rather bullying. If your aim is to stop me commenting on this post, consider the tactic a success.

    I have no intention of stopping you from posting. Whether you want to keep posting or not has no bearing on me~however, it would be nice if you would at least try to understand or maybe acknowledge that there could have been a different way to validate Dawn’s existence. As to my being bullying, if it comes off that way, I’m not intending it to be so, but I’m also not going to backtrack or change my mind. The way Dawn’s existence was questioned WAS thoughtless.

    Relevant? Certainly. But there had to be a better way to get an answer to that.

    Even after Jan’s comment,

    Ann, of course people have faked deaths. A little internet research would have shown this wasn't the case here, instead of posting unfounded speculation.

    Yes, DM brought all this on her head. What did Ms Thompson and her children do to bring this on theirs?

    I just think people need to do a little research before posting things like that when people could be hurt by it. Is that really such an unreasonable thing?

    and you responded with:

    Jan: You keep saying people could have found out the truth about Dawn Thompson with a little research. How? Googling “Dawn Thompson” produces tens of thousands of results. Asking here, produced an obit in about ten minutes. However, the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    Expediency seems a terrible reason for bringing up something that would very painful for Dawn’s family to read. A simple email would probably netted you a dozen answers to links regarding Dawn, aside from DAM. As Jan asked, is that really so unreasonable?

  442. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:51:20

    However, I will stand behind what I said earlier and have said throughout my postings here, that Dawn's name must be brought out if only to prove the guilt of DAM and uncover the manipulation which unfolded in this so-called friendship of theirs.

    That’s understandable.

  443. Jane
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:52:27

    This thread is becoming unproductive. I am closing it and inviting people to come tomorrow and brainstorm about how Amazon can improve its review system. I have my own ideas and would love to hear others. I plan to send the post and the subsequent comments to Bezos.

  444. Jane
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 21:24:41

    One more comment. This one was emailed to me from Sara Reinke. I hope you all read it since Ms. Reinke was associated with MacGillivray in the comments.

    ****

    I appreciate Jane giving me this opportunity to clarify: I am not associated with Deborah MacGillivray. I met her once at a booksigning last year and although we kept in touch briefly after that via email, I have no contact with her now outside of the occasional cordial public post on Yahoo groups with which we are both members. I think if the allegations against her are true, the behavior is reprehensible and I am certainly disappointed and dismayed. In no way, shape or form do I now or would I ever condone treating anyone that way, much less readers or fellow authors. Ordinarily, I keep my opinions on matters such as these to myself, but having been alerted that a post on this thread included a reference to my blog, I felt it appropriate to speak out. I sincerely hope that the situations described in this discussion are resolved to the ultimate satisfaction of all parties involved.

  445. Jane
    Apr 13, 2008 @ 21:13:48

    Opening the comments again. I was asked to add this by Deborah Brent.

    ***

    I used to be part of the LIW loop. I left over the sheer volume of e-mail. I'll admit I deleted the majority of the e-mails. So, I don't know much about DAM's vituperative rants. They passed on some great jokes. However, I do know about her “clickies.” I had no idea she had taken it to the level of stalking and threats. When I left it seemed a harmless way to help a fellow writer. I didn't participate either way. I simply didn't have the time. I'm not sure what this makes me as I didn't really think about it one way or the other.

    I wish I had the e-mails where a question from one of their authors was treated as if said author had threatened the Queen. It was shortly after this that I stopped reading the e-mails. I did write the author privately to support her. I thought the response to her legit question was over the top.

    I am appalled at what she has done to Dawn Thompson's family.

    I just checked and the HP website is up and running.

  446. RenaRuadh
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 05:20:59

    I have written a review on amazon.co.uk regarding Ms McGillivray's book ‘The invasion of Falgannon Isle'. I gave it 1 star as I had several problems with it.

    First, I thought it was incredibly badly written.

    Second, I am a Gaelic speaker and get incredibly annoyed when writers use very sloppy Gaelic. There is the obvious use of bad grammar (how many times have I stumbled across ‘mo cridhe' rather than ‘mo chridhe'…), and then there is the use of vocabulary. Ms McGillivray obviously made the mistake of using just any odd word she found in a dictionary, hence she used completely wrong and inappropriate words.

    I wrote all this in my review, only to be shot down in flames by another reviewer, who pointed out that the word in question was listed in a certain dictionary, a dictionary which no Gaelic scholar would ever dream of using. And lo and behold, a few days later my review had disappeared. I emailed Amazon about that and never got a reply. This is incredibly annoying, but nothing, of course, compared to what the other reader had to go through. I just hope she has obtained legal help.

    I have now posted another review about the book and have seen another very recent 1 star comment. I have also replied to a few of the glowing 5 star reviews, using the very handy comment function. Let’s see what happens now…

  447. Pamela S Thibodeaux
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 06:50:24

    I really should be editing but this discussion was mentioned on one of the loops for The Wild Rose Press so I decided to check it out.

    What I’ve found here boggles my mind and hurts my heart.

    To think that all of this was started by folks who write “romance” is horrible! “Romance” is supposed to be about LOVE…and the question upppermost in my mind is “where is the love?”

    When I was new to publishing, I made a comment in the RWR that I felt it was “a sin and a shame” that some published authors did not want to help newbie authors.

    Although this comment was not meant in an evil way, but to encourage authors to think about their response to others’ questions and cries for help, the fact is my letter to the editor cause a hailstorm of response….none of it good.

    I tried to send a retraction and apology to the RWR, but those were never published.

    I did send a personal apology to some of the more vehement responders–whether or not they recieved or accepted to this day I know not.

    But the one lesson I learned is that we have to be VERY careful what we say.

    As an author, I too have had bad experiences. I’ve even written articles encouraging others to Beware and Be Smart with their career.

    But I did so without bashing the others involved.

    Does this make me a saint or better than anyone else?

    No, but hopefully wiser in my own decisions about my career and I’ve gone on to achieve a modicum of success.

    No, I’m not in the same category as authors like Nora, but I’ve had the priveledge to have my work reviewed on the same level as some.

    As well as 5 star reviews, I’ve received 3 star. (I’m happy with 3 star!) I’ve also received “poor” ratings at fictionwise when there are positive reviews for the <a href=”“>same story all over the internet!

    Moral of this post….Never say or write something that you may be embarrassed or ashamed to be associated with later.

    Comments can and will be taken out of context.

    So will reviews.

    What one person loves, another will hate. That’s human nature.

    I hope my post here is not taken in a negative light. I am neither niave or blind. There will always be those who –for whatever reason– thrive on sowing discord among the brethren.

    I, along with many others here, simply want to show my support of wronged authors and to encourage all of you to keep writing and readers to keep reading and may God BLESS and keep each and every one of you in the palm of His mighty hand!

    Pamela S Thibodeaux
    “Inspirational with an Edge!”

  448. Weekend Roundup | Openlore Writer's Community
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 08:53:06

    […] subjects her authors to verbal abuse via their email group on Yahoo. The comment section on this post over at Dear Author is filled with horror stories from authors associated with the […]

  449. Diana Groe
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 10:28:24

    Hello!

    I was told that my name was mentioned on this link (reference #69)as a contributor to an article about how authors can help each other. My contributions to Rowena’s 50Ways list was probably about making sure my author friends’ books are faced out whenever there’s room on the bookstore shelves. Anyone who’s visited my website or myspace page knows I’m the self-proclaimed Anti-Techno Queen. I don’t know enough to manipulate anyone’s system. My main way of helping authors whose work I admire is to feature them on my websites (www.dianagroe.com or http://www.emilybryan.com) on my Recommends Page.

    Re: Reader reviews. Of course, we authors would love to have all glowing reviews on Amazon. That’s only human nature. However, it’s about as likely as me ever being a size 2 in this lifetime. I have never, and would never request that my friends “click no” on a negative review. If someone was moved enough by my work to write a review, either positive or negative, it means they gave me the gift of their time and their opinion. Of course, I hope for positive reviews, but only my mother (who loves everything I write) and my husband (who wants to continue to sleep with me) will like all my books.

    Do I have friends who post reviews? Only one that I know of and that was unsolicited. If you look at my books on Amazon, MAIDENSONG, ERINSONG SILK DREAMS, and DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS (under my new pen name, Emily Bryan) you may see a review by Marci Weinbeck. She is very upfront about having read my work in manuscript form, so anyone looking at that review has to assume she knows me well enough for me to trust her with the unfinished product.

    The only time I have a problem with a review is when it is a “spoiler” that’s not clearly marked as such. Giving away a major plot point can take away the joy another reader might find in the story, so please do tag the review with a warning. I understand sometimes a major plot point is what really irked a reader about a book (I had a similar experience with the ending of Nicholas Sparks’ Message in a Bottle. So when I vented my frustration, I warned readers of my blog not to continue if they intended to read the book.)

    Reading is a conversation between the author and the reader. If there were no reader reviews, the conversation would be pretty one-sided. I, and many of my fellow authors, like to hear what readers have to say back, even if it isn’t all hearts and flowers. I have blogs that encourage reader comments and questions. Readers can email me from my websites if they don’t want their comments posted online.

    Reading is a subjective activity. We all bring certain expecations and preferences to the bookstore. We don’t all like the same thing. (Good thing too! Otherwise, you’d all be after my husband!)

    Happy Reading,
    Diana Groe
    aka Emily Bryan

    DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, “Wickedly witty” ~ Booklist
    (OK~ Dear Author only gave it a C, but they also said DTD was “fun, fresh and sexy!”)

  450. Kathleen Bacus
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 11:08:35

    Like Diana, I contributed to Rowena Cherry’s 50 Ways article. My suggestions, again like Diana’s, were along the lines of book placement as well as mentioning a book you enjoyed on a ‘what you’re reading now’ blog. That type of thing.

    I’ve never posted an on-line review–not to say I won’t if I feel strongly about a book and have the time to do so–have never solicited a review and am so techy-challenged I still haven’t figured out how to get my book blurb and cover copy up on Amazon. (My upcoming release is a testament to that.) As to reader reviews, I feel strongly that if a person takes the time to read my book and then to write and post a review, then it’s all good.

    ~Kathleen Bacus~
    FIANCE AT HER FINGERTIPS – April 29

  451. Peter Durward Harris
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 08:12:21

    One of the most surprising things to me is that anybody actually thinks that MacGillivray has enough talent to be an author of any kind. I’m not interested in romance fiction, but for various reasons, I have sometimes looked at her Amazon reviews. Judged on the review I know simply as kitty goes zoom, I find it difficult to believe that she’s capable of writing a book on any subject that anybodyt would want to read.

  452. Peter Durward Harris
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 08:14:41

    One of the most surprising things to me is that anybody actually thinks that MacGillivray has enough talent to be an author of any kind. I’m not interested in romance fiction, but for various reasons, I have sometimes looked at her Amazon reviews. Judged on the review I know simply as kitty goes zoom, I find it difficult to believe that she’s capable of writing a book on any subject that anybody would want to read.

  453. Concerned Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 10:25:04

    Unfortunatly it seems that Deborah MacGillivray and her clickie loop are at it again. All of Reba’s comments on amazon concerning the subject have disappeared. I’m not sure if amazon intentionally deleted them or she suffered another “report abuse” attack from MacGillivray and the clickie squad. I have emailed amazon executive customer service at [email protected] to find out.

  454. Nora Roberts
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 10:48:37

    I sincerely hope Amazon hasn’t taken this action. If it was the company’s decision to delete Reba’s reviews and comments rather than deal with DAM’s abuse and the ‘clickie’ business, I will be very, very disappointed.

  455. Read for Pleasure
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 11:13:56

    Book sales and Amazon reviews…

    According to recent surveys, online shoppers love to read reviews. … In 2003-04 Chevalier and Mayzlin studied Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com, focusing on whether specific books\’ sales were affected by the availability or lack of reviews and whe…

  456. Peter Durward Harris
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 11:50:17

    Amazon did indeed delete Reba’s comments – all of them, but (as they saw it) they had good reason to, because of comments posted on some of MacGillivray’s reviews. The whole issue seems to get murkier with every day that passes.

  457. EssieLou
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 11:57:59

    This pretty much means that the reviews at Amazon are totally worthless. That the reviews are nothing but the raves of cheerleaders, relatives, friends and rabid fans and not honest posts. There is another author who’s last book has had all the negative reviews removed 3 times, leaving in place the only positive review. Probably because the majority of the reviews were 1 star negative.

    Which means as a reader, I’m left with posting questions on the Amazon forums about authors and books while hoping they don’t get removed about the abuse of the abuse button…. Hrmpt, ironic— abuse of abuse. Or reading other readers lists of favorite books.

    But right now, as costumoer, I feel harrassed and let down by Amazon.

  458. Concerned Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:02:17

    They deleted the comments Reba posted to her (Reba’s) own review. Comments where she was defending herself to the attacks of Deborah MacGillivray and her friends. The other’s comments got to stay. Reba’s defense of herself and her review are gone.

  459. Nora Roberts
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:32:21

    If this is indeed the case, I have no faith in Amazon’s review system. Or in their support of their reviewers, or the authors who treat reviewers with respect, and don’t attempt to manipulate the system.

    This is a shame. And simply makes no sense to me.

  460. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:56:53

    Disturbing and disappointing. I agree with Nora. This makes no sense.

  461. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:11:09

    You can see that the posts by Reba were deleted by Amazon in this thread.

    I took a screen cap and you can see the evidence in this picture.

  462. Just A Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:16:43

    Well, I suppose that means Amazon doesn’t want my money either. Surprising, but not a problem really. Thanks to the internet, I can quite easily spend it elsewhere:P

    And I’m pasting the below in for a friend from another discussion board, who was undecided on whether she wanted to join in any discussions on this issue elsewhere. I told her I’d keep her identity private, but I thought this was an interesting story that should be passed on.

    I’ve been following this whole thing for a while, and it literally makes me sick to my stomach, and the veiled threats to Reba Belle turned my blood cold. I’ve never talked about this before, but I’ve been on the wrong end of the rabid “Deb Mac” fangirl attack.

    I was on a small forum where someone brought up a book she had written, and I mentioned I couldn’t finish it because I thought the writing was clunky and the characters just didn’t seem to be more than one-dimensional figures to me. That was it. The next day my inbox had a few messages in it, to sum it up ‘they’ (apparently fans of the series that saw my comment) basically said I obviously had no taste or intelligence or I would have “got” the book. One stood out to me though- apparently this loyal fan followed a link to a page of mine (probably Myspace) and found out I have lupus. After chastising my lack of taste, she also taunted me for “wasting what will probably be a short life” and “hoped I was in a great deal of pain.” This was from a lukewarm personal viewpoint of mine on A FICTIONAL BOOK. It hurt but I ignored it, not knowing this had happened to anyone else. I still have the emails saved and I’m going to be paying very close attention to how this all develops.

  463. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:34:36

    What’s so crazy and ironic about this whole thing is that in the Amazon discussion guidelines it says explicitly that you cannot threaten someone else:

    What shouldn’t I post?

    Behave as if you were a guest at a friend’s dinner party. Please treat the Amazon.com community with respect. Do not post:

    * Profane or obscene, inflammatory or spiteful comments
    * Messages that abuse, denigrate or threaten others
    * Text or articles written by someone else, even with attribution for the author, except for brief quotations from a book, article or other product related to the discussion
    * Any personal information about children under 13
    * Descriptions that intrude on the privacy of another person, including revealing personally identifiable information such as their name or address
    * Text that promotes illegal or immoral conduct
    * Repeated posts that make the same point excessively
    * Repeated unwelcome messages that harass or embarrass other customers or participants
    * Repeated posts that promote an item in the Amazon.com catalog
    * Any form of “spam,” including advertisements, contests, or other solicitations for other websites or companies; or any URL link that includes a “referrer” tag or affiliate code.

    So it’s just horrifying that DAM’s original post (the one SHE removed late last week) was allowed to stand for as long as it did. Clearly there is no one watching this store, and IMO that’s a BIG problem — one that needs immediate correction.

  464. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:36:41

    he next day my inbox had a few messages in it, to sum it up ‘they' (apparently fans of the series that saw my comment) basically said I obviously had no taste or intelligence or I would have “got” the book. One stood out to me though- apparently this loyal fan followed a link to a page of mine (probably Myspace) and found out I have lupus. After chastising my lack of taste, she also taunted me for “wasting what will probably be a short life” and “hoped I was in a great deal of pain.”

    This is just beyond disgusting.

  465. EssieLou
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:40:47

    The more I read, the uglier all this becomes.

  466. Nora Roberts
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:59:16

    There’s no way this action can be justified. No excuse for any company, however large and multi-layered, can allow its customers to be treated this way.

    DAM clearly broke the terms Amazon lists re posting. She cleared abused the system and reviewers. If there are no consequences for this sort of behavior, then what is the point of the review system, the commenting system. Do they have no system in place to enforce their own guidelines?

    I hope Reba or someone representing Amazon will post to explain why Amazon responded in this manner.

    Admittedly I don’t often check my own reviews or those on other books. But I certainly will never make use of the reviews on my own or others, or other products on Amazon until this situation is reasonably resolved.

    I’m sincerely dumbfounded.

  467. Mary
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 14:05:11

    Since this problem affects all of us…readers, authors and anyone else that uses Amazon, it doesn’t need to be left only to Reba to pursue it. How can we as consumers bring this to national attention?

    Maybe if the newsies got hold of it, Amazon would sit up and take notice. Because it sure doesn’t make sense they are allowing something this volatile to continue.

  468. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 14:41:57

    We are working on getting an ipetition to Amazon, which we plan to get out there by tomorrow. If anyone has any documentation you feel would be helpful, feel free to email it to Jane ([email protected]).

  469. Yvonne
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 14:54:07

    Just wanted to let you know that I complained to Amazon because they took off a review I posted on a Dawn Thompson book. That was 2 years ago!!! I just noticed it today and they put it back on (2 stars). Their comment was that I said something in regard to the author which is completely untrue. I review the book and would never say anything against the author. Back when I posted my review it said that 6 of 35 people thought my review was helpful. Now take a guess who the 29 people were who thought it unhelpful….and then got Amazon to take it off ???

  470. CJ England
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 15:06:36

    Seems to me if Amazon is going to use this type of censorship, (as in Yvonne’s case) they should have to justify it. I know how difficult that would be, but again, how can anyone trust the site once they know the reviews are manipulated?

  471. EssieLou
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 15:39:14

    Three times the bad reviews for Dara Joy’s last book have been purged, leaving only 1 four star review. If I remember correctly, the last purge removed about 30+ one and two star reviews, so you get the picture.

    Another book I bought for the glowing 4.5 star reviews was terrible, and then I discovered on the forums that it too had most of it’s negative reviews pulled.

    So no, I have no longer trust any review I read on Amazon. Seems it’s all smoke, mirrors and outright lies.

  472. The Daily Square - Underneath The Bottle Edition | Booksquare
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:07:18

    […] Deborah Anne MacGillivray Harasses ReaderWow, this is, without a doubt, the most fun we’ve had reading the Internet in ages. […]

  473. Karen Templeton
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:14:20

    What’s sad to me is that this really is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch. Most authors don’t monkey with their reviews, but now that it’s been proven that some do, we’re all suspect.

    It does, however, seem to be more of a small-press/self-published phenomenon. And I wish there was some way of teaching readers how to spot manipulated reviews, although they’ve always seemed blatantly obvious to me — for instance, more than a handful of reviews, all gushing and all sounding as though they were written from a predetermined template, for *any* author who’s not a big name…um, no.

    For instance — I’ve been writing for Harlequin for ten years, have around thirty or so titles on Amazon. The most reviews I’ve ever gotten for a single book (my first Red Dress Ink) was eighteen, ranging from 1-5 stars. Most of my books have no reviews (category readers aren’t big on reviewing, apparently); the others…eh. A single review, maybe. Or two or three.

    But if you don’t know what’s standard — if you don’t know the extreme unlikelihood of a small press book with a limited print run getting fifty reviews, for goddsake — then how do you trust the system?

  474. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:30:42

    Some more disturbing news – someone on Amazon’s message boards reported that if you do the following search, you can see that all of Reba’s comments have been deleted from Amazon, “from organizing books to books about pregnant heroines.”

  475. DevonM
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:39:40

    What's sad to me is that this really is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch. Most authors don't monkey with their reviews, but now that it's been proven that some do, we're all suspect.

    It does, however, seem to be more of a small-press/self-published phenomenon.

    Ms. Templeton, you say it’s a case of a few bad apples. I agree. Then you say this seems to be a small press/self-published issue. Please don’t lump everyone published by a small press into the bad apple cart because of the behaviors we’ve seen coming out of Highland Press.

    I’m published with The Wild Rose Press and my book is a POD. I have never manipulated reviews, nor has anyone I know. Of my four great reviews, one is a friend and fellow author who has rooted for the book since she read it in rough manuscript stage. The other three are readers I didn’t know from Adam before they reviewed my book.

    Not all small presses have the drama, bullying, and weak leadership going on behind the scenes. Some of them are very professional and treat their authors with respect. Wild Rose Press is one of those small publishers and I feel fortunate to have hooked up with them.

    It seems to me DAM’s review problems stemmed from a book she published with Kensington, not a small press at all.

  476. CJ England
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:40:50

    It does, however, seem to be more of a small-press/self-published phenomenon.

    I would have to respectfully disagree with you here. Ms. MacGillivray is with Dorchester and Kensington and neither of those are small presses. The fact that any author would do such a thing is despicable, but this has nothing to do with the size of the publisher. It has everything to do with the size of this one author’s ego.

  477. Molly
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:02:03

    On Amazon – It seems to me Amazon is really digging itself in on several levels.

    First is caused a great deal of consternation for a number of authors with small press houses demanding they use Booksurge or they would not have their books listed. My suggestion is then to use Barnes & Noble — they would be more than happy to be the only place to pick up certain titles.

    Now this with DAM — Amazon is in the business so sell books (and now groceries — please — groceries!). If a book has a bad review, will people buy? I’ve heard it both ways — that a reader will be curious and buy just to see and that they will not. Myself, I’ll glance at reviews, but make up my own mind based on the blurb and what I see on a new author’s (new to me) website. I know some professional review sites will also post to Amazon with something like “courtesy of _____ reviews” but otherwise, I don’t know how impartial the reviews on Amazon really are. As a reader if I’m reading for enjoyment, if the book is awful, I just put it in the library pile. If it’s for a professional reason (i.e., a review) I read it all the way and try to give an objective assessment of it. I’d trust a professional site over Amazon. I’ve also heard about how on a site like Fictionwise authors will buy a book just so they can post a negative rating against another author in their genre. Do I trust those ratings? No, not really.

    So Amazon, in what seems to be a bid to be the only place to buy books and to make sure all books that they have a finger in the pie get sold, appears to be blundering again. They used to be so in touch with customers. It seems they no longer care.

  478. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:33:21

    I have not received ANY response from Amazon about this situation since it escalated last week. Nothing.

    UPDATE: Shortly after I posted this I got a call from Amazon. Please see #486 on this forum.

    1. The person that was handling my case in Amazon’s Executive Customer Service Dept is/was Danielle LaFreniere, her e-mail is [email protected].

    2. The person in the Attorney General’s Office (Seattle) is Sandra Hatcher and her e-mail address is [email protected]. My case number is: 308417 WA AGO
    – I filed in January 2008 with them because was going round circles with Amazon’s Customer Service. (More on this in a minute)

    3. I can still access my account at Amazon, but I cannot post. Message comes up saying “You must be a member in good standing.”

    4. I did not delete my posts, Amazon did.

    5. Today, I called the 800 number for Amazon and spoke with a representative, but she was unable to help me because she said she could not verify who I was. Back when this started, I removed my billing address, shipping address, any addresses I mailed books to as gifts and my credit card information.

    In the past, when I contacted Amazon by phone–even after I removed that information–they could access my information by verifying my e-mail address and name on the account. But, this person could not. She was very nice, though and sympathetic. I told her EVERYTHING. (sigh)

    – She suggested I e-mail [email protected]. She said they, too, were part of the Executive Customer Relations, but in a different state than Danielle LaFreniere. She told me she sent Danielle and e-mail letting her know that I called with a problem.

    6. Amazon should have more than 50 e-mails from me since August 2007. I have their responses–all of them. Some were very helpful, some were not.

    – For months, I received this e-mail–almost weekly–from Amazon and the same person.

    Greetings from Amazon.com.

    I wanted to send you a quick e-mail to let you know that we are
    still researching the matter.

    Although it generally takes us 1 to 2 business days to complete our
    research, there are times that it may take us a little longer as it
    is in this case. I truly apologize for this additional delay.

    I’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding. We’ll
    contact you again shortly with an answer or resolution pertaining to
    your account.

    Thanks again for shopping at Amazon.com.

    Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

    If yes, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=avqrauwa3366592442
    If not, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=avqrauwa3366592442&q=hcm2&nc2c=1

    Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept
    incoming e-mail.

    To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help
    section of our web site.

    Best regards,

    Mohiuddin
    Amazon.com Customer Service
    http://www.amazon.com
    ==============================

    Jane, can I put letters I received from Amazon on here? I have MANY that show the problems I was having that I told you about editing and posting book reviews.

  479. Ann Bruce
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:36:32

    @Ms. Templeton

    The DAM issue has nothing to do with publishers, big or small. This is all about DAM: her ego, her control issues, and her inability to accept criticism. Her actions fall outside the norm of ANY author, at ANY publisher.

    EDITED because I can’t spell today.

  480. JLFerg
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:39:07

    Writing is not my strong point, which is why I come out of lurk mode so rarely. However, would it make sense to write letters to the business sections of newspapers or the consumer reporter of local television stations?

    In Boston, Hank Phillipi Ryan (a romance/mystery writer) is an investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate (WHDH). She has investigated consumer fraud for the station for a number of years with her series “Hank Investigates”. I don’t know if she can do anything about this, but perhaps she may have ideas on who to contact and actions we can take, in addition to the petition.

    Jill

    BTW, something really weird. I did a Google search for the titles of Ms Phillipi Ryan’s books. The first site I found, Single Titles, has an interview with her about her writing and the book, “Face Time”. The post previous to the interview is “Welcome new Author Member Deborah MacGillivray”. Talk about spooky.

  481. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:47:04

    I believe all my posts were removed by Amazon because it would have been too time consuming to go through them and remove this one:

    From: [email protected]
    [mailto:[email protected]]On Behalf Of DeborahAnneMacGillivray

    Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 7:58 PM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: [The_Ladies_in_Waiting]vote down this bitch please

    HYPERLINK
    “http://www.amazon.com/tag/romance/forum/ref=cm_cd_et_up_redir/104-4730808-1
    059121?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxM42D5QN2YZ1D&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx1KTAKNGJY
    4AJ8&displayType=tagsDetail&newContentID=MxEFXWGIMKK03C#MxEFXWGIMKK03C”http:
    //www.amazon.com/tag/romance/forum/ref=cm_cd_et_up_redir/104-4730808-1059121
    ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxM42D5QN2YZ1D&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx1KTAKNGJY4AJ8&d
    isplayType=tagsDetail&newContentID=MxEFXWGIMKK03C#MxEFXWGIMKK03C

    vote no, on this and vote abuse.

    “Reba Belle says:
    When I saw this I had to see what bad books folks were reading and make
    sure
    I didn’t have any of them in my stack of books to read! LOL LOL
    But, when I saw the post about authors acting childish when you post a
    badreview, I had to write! No kidding. My little fingers were itching to
    writethis story. LOL
    I have a review “out there” for In Her Bed, author is Deborah something
    or other.
    Anyway, I reviewed that book and gave it positive points, but stated my
    reasons for giving it 3 stars. Frankly, I thought that was
    overgenerous…
    She keeps having my review taken down and Amazon keeps putting it back
    up (as is).
    I think its sad for her that most of the reviews for that book are by
    fellow authors and what appear to be clones (because they have read the samebooks).
    That’s c l o n e s not c l o w n s. LOL
    Really that book was far from 5 star material and to hear the rave
    reviews written about it you would think it would be up for the next “Great American Novel Award.” wholly smokes! LOL LOL LOL LOL
    A great man once said, “Anybody who is great at anything does it for
    their own approval, not someone elses.”

    Reba

    No virus found in this incoming message.
    Checked by AVG Free Edition.
    Version: 7.5.484 / Virus Database: 269.12.1/963 – Release Date:
    8/20/2007
    5:44 PM

    Messages in this topic (10)
    ________________________________________________________________________

    2c. Re: vote down this bitch please
    Posted by: “DeborahAnne MacGillivray”
    [email protected] scotladywriter
    Date: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:17 pm ((PDT))
    Well, thanks to XXXXXX our PI , we now have her name, her husband’s
    name, her chidrens’ names, her grannies and great grannies name. Her
    address phone number and email
    lol…quite interesting.

    Yes, I posted it. When I read that she laughed about having my husband and kids names I thought I had the proof that I was told I didn’t have several months ago. And because Amazon had not responded to me, I wanted to get that out to any and everyone.

    I’m sorry if it caused all my posts to be removed and made all of you who were supporting me look bad. Very sorry and that was not my intention. I thought I had my proof.

    I would think they could delete posts from a certain date only, but they chose a site-wide deletion of anything I wrote except the 6 remaining book reviews.

    And now I am considered a member in bad standing.

  482. Concerned Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:54:19

    Reba,

    I don’t understand. What’s wrong with posting that information?

  483. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:55:00

    Here’s a post from Deborah MacGillivray on an Amazon thread to Reba:

    Deborah MacGillivray says:
    Reba/Cassy

    Hi sweetie. Had a nice chat with Cathy Spangler yesterday. Very informative. Left you a mess on Leanne’s thread but guess you didn’t see it.

    Have a good one.

    The involvement of Ms. Spangler and what information she provided to DAM is pretty disturbing.

  484. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:58:32

    Jane,

    Would you be interested in seeing the “Read any BAD books lately” discussion BEFORE the deletions? I have a copy of it before and after the edits, too. I don’t have it saved to file, but hard copied. I could scan it and send as an attachment, fax, or mail it to you.

    If you think it would help.

    That’s where they threatened me with having my account deleted on Amazon. And it was immediately after that that I was no longer able to post new book reviews or edit any of my 242 book reviews that were already available.

  485. Karen Templeton
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:17:39

    Sorry, that’s what I get for not ignoring my mail inbox while trying to figure out why the heck my hero and heroine can’t get their acts together. :)

    I didn’t mean to imply, in any way, that all — or even most — small press authors would resort to such shenanigans. I have, however, seen more of this sort of review manipulation on self-published books, or books from small presses, than I have on books from larger publishers (although there are obviously exceptions, as we have seen. Oy.).

    For some authors, Amazon (and I suppose B&N online) are pretty much the only place(s) they can sell their books, and may indeed feel that even a single bad review might put off enough readers to make a real difference in their sales. And since, in many cases, *all* the promotion falls on the author’s head, it’s understandable that someone might, say, try to get friends and family and other authors, perhaps, to put in a good word about her book. And some will get more into it than others, that’s all I’m saying. :)

    Generally speaking, however, authors with larger houses aren’t as likely to get quite so caught in Amazon to begin with, because they know their books are out in brick-and-mortars and that Ammy is really still a pretty small piece of the pie. But if an author who moves from a small house to a large one still a) carries that smaller-press promo mindset with her and b)has, um, issues…

    Ka-boom.

    In any case, the vast majority of authors, no matter how small or large their house, would never abuse the system, or tip over the line between promotion and obsession. So, my apologies for not making myself more clear.

  486. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:23:18

    I just received a phone call from Danielle LaFreniere, Amazon’s Executive Customer Service Department, at [email protected]. She was very helpful!

    – She was not aware all my posts were removed from Amazon and was going to find out why.

    – There is a team going through all the documentation I and many of you have sent about this and they are appalled and shocked at what they are seeing and reading. Amazon has looked at this forum!

    – I told her I was getting the message about being a member in bad standing and she said that she would look into why that is, too. She was surprised and was going to make a phone call about it.

    I told her why I thought I got banned (that post earlier)….she said she would research more and get back to me.

    She said she (and a team they have working on this) have been shocked researching this.

    Wanted to let you all know.

  487. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:34:10

    Reba – I hope hope hope that this is true and not all talk by Amazon.

  488. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:36:36

    Reba, I just want to thank you for being so unwilling to roll over under these folks. This whole situation with MacGillivray is so extreme (I mean, can you IMAGINE bragging on Amazon that you got information from a fellow author!???????) that if it weren’t for so much evidence from you, from MacGillivray herself, and from authors who have been dealing with her to varying degrees, I would think this was an enormous gag. Sadly, it’s clearly not, but everything you have saved and done makes a very compelling case, and I think it’s only a matter of time before DAM and co. hit the last whistle stop on what looks like an orchestrated campaign of intimidating readers and authors and manipulating Amazon reviews.

    The involvement of Ms. Spangler and what information she provided to DAM is pretty disturbing.

    The plot thickens. . . and gurgles.

  489. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:38:30

    Me too! Thank you Jane!! Thank you everyone!!

    My first post here hasn’t appeared yet. It was at 5:33 and indicates “awaiting moderation.”

  490. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:43:12

    Reba – I am glad you have heard something! It seems the letters and emails got attention. They need to continue so this isn’t shoved under the rug.

    The post by Deborah MacGillivray was very disturbing. Did anyone mention your ‘real name’ before now? It proves the PI thing by her using your real name, the implied malice and demonstrates an unprofessional attitude. Guess she hasn’t learned a thing.

    I wrote Barnes and Noble. I have no doubt she is bilking their customer base too.

  491. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:08:01

    Robin #487 – I agree the mention of Cathy Spangler adds another ooze of slime to DAM’s ick factor.

  492. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:13:26

    Actually, Spangler’s involvement seems much more disturbing. Reba shared with me that Spangler had her real name, address, and family website which Reba sent to her because Catherine Spangler would mail out a “loaner copy” of her out of print Shielder Series title. Reba mentioned that on the Amazon boards and it was after that, Ms. MacGillivray responded with “Had a nice chat with Cathy Spangler yesterday. Very informative.”

    Spangler is non responsive to inquiries about this.

  493. eNotes Book Blog » Blog Archive » Mark Sarvas: Officially an Author…
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:14:27

    […] at least I don’t get all butt hurt over an Amazon review like this crazy. (thanks, […]

  494. Gennita Low
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:25:53

    Oi. This is getting more and more disturbing by the day. It makes me worry about my own address that I give to writer friends.

    I know, from a private conversation with a friend, that Ms MacGillivray wrote harrassing emails to authors who are signed with her former agent. She knew their private email because she updated the former agent’s website.

    This is just unbelievable, that one woman can be so vindictive to so many for so long.

  495. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:35:12

    I would like to give Spangler the benefit of the doubt as it seems DAM is VERY good at manipulating people. Under no circumstances should she should be sharing her fans personal information, for any reason.

    A quick check shows that at least five of her books – Shielder, Shadower, Shadow Fires, Shamara and Touched by Darkness were all given five stars by Deborah MacGillivray on Amazon.

    DAM was busy at Barnes and Noble too. CS got five stars from DAM on at least four of her books – Touched By Darkness, Shamara, Shadow Crossing, Shielder.

    Incest is illegal in most states, is it not?

  496. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:36:16

    I would like to give Spangler the benefit of the doubt as it seems DAM is VERY good at manipulating people. Under no circumstances should she should be sharing her fans personal information, for any reason.

    A quick check of Ms. Spangler’s books shows that at least five of her books – Shielder, Shadower, Shadow Fires, Shamara and Touched by Darkness were all given five stars by Deborah MacGillivray on Amazon.

    DAM was busy at Barnes and Noble too. CS got five stars from DAM on at least four of her books – Touched By Darkness, Shamara, Shadow Crossing, Shielder.

  497. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:52:40

    I received this response in the Read and BAD Books Lately Discussion on Amazon.

    Dated August 21, 2007 5:50 p.m. PDT and edited August 22, 2007 7:13 a.m. PDT

    Leeanne Grant says:

    reba,

    You are clearly attacking someone which is against the forum rules.

    Whoa –Reba, you took down on your “horse for sale ads” that have your phone and address showing. Too late lol What next the family tree page? You forgot the (my maiden name) family tree….(my full initials)

    Amazon takes it down because people see you breaking the rules, just as you are breaking the rules on this forum. YOU report, not Amazon. Amazon keeps taking down because you break the rules.

    That is typed “as is” (errors and all). It is exactly how it was typed in the discussion board, except I edited my personal information in the parenthesis.

    I’d like to say, not only was she falsely accusing me of attacking authors (I have know idea where that came from), but we never put our address and phone number on the family website. It was e-mail only. Always has been and always will be.

  498. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:05:46

    Same discussion board

    August 21, 2007 7:28 pm PDT

    Leeane Grant says:

    reba,

    the only point you have is your pointedly little head. Lol People don’t have patience with someone carrying on a vendetta. No one likes this sort of ugliness. As for reviews, I find dozens of reviews sites all over the web that are giving high reviews to this same book. Dozens and dozens of places, and only Reba knows best? Reba the punisher? Or are you Cassy the clown…um I mean clone? OVER 200 reviews in 2 days has worked a hardship on her perspective, hasn’t it?

    I post reviews for books I love. Shame you take something fun like this forum and try to turn it into something rather ugly. I have reported you. So are others. Dozens of others. Your bio, your forum attacks and you silly FAKE reviews such as where you attack Barbara Pierce. How many others are you getting even with? You think people don’t notice what you are doing?

    I suggested before, unplug and go take a cold shower. You need to get grip, hon.

    This forum is for sharing and fellowship, not a whipping post you are trying to make it.

    Please, for your peace of mind — get a grip. This is way OVER THE TOP!

    All errors or typos are as it was typed.

  499. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:10:49

    Reba, I assume that you provided all this documentation to Amazon, yes?

    I'd like to say, not only was she falsely accusing me of attacking authors (I have know idea where that came from)

    Since this was on a public forum, I figured it had more to do with convincing other people than convincing you. To justify their posts, that is.

    I would like to give Spangler the benefit of the doubt as it seems DAM is VERY good at manipulating people. Under no circumstances should she should be sharing her fans personal information, for any reason.

    See, that second sentence is key. As Gennita says, think of how many people send their addresses to authors as part of contests, etc. Why would Spangler think it was okay to do this, and under what circumstances would she think DAM would need this? From what I can tell, Spangler pubbed a number of historical Romances with Dorchester, so I don’t know what her involvement with DAM is, but I’ll bet others do.

  500. Lynne
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:13:29

    I wondered how they’d gotten hold of Reba’s info, since her Amazon profile doesn’t have much in it. Now MacGillivray’s reference to Catherine Spangler makes a LOT more sense. I seriously hope to see a public explanation or apology from Spangler about this — preferably one posted here.

    I’m a huge fan of Spangler’s. I’ve bought every one of her books for close to nine years now, and she’s one of maybe five romance authors I actually reread. When we moved last year, I sold or gave away 90% of my romance novels but kept every one of my Spanglers. It would break my heart not to buy any more of her books, but that’s exactly what will happen if she stays mum on this topic.

  501. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:16:27

    I post reviews for books I love. Shame you take something fun like this forum and try to turn it into something rather ugly.

    Oh, the irony.

    This is way OVER THE TOP!

    The one statement with which I agree.

  502. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:30:13

    Same Discussion Board. Right after post #497 on this forum. Starts at the bottom and goes up.

    Silky says August 21, 2007 7:15 pm PDT

    I can’t call you Rebabelle knowing that is your horse’s name. Of course you are acting like a horse. I take that back it insults the horse. You are acting like a five year old and I have two, so I know.

    Are you so stupid can’t figure out that Amazon is removing your review because it doesn’t conform to their standards. You aren’t a reviewer and your opinion is your own but so far all you have shown is ignorance. You discount everyone else opinion because you are right. Same old same old.

    You don’t pay attention to great men – “A great man once said, “Anybody who is great at anything does it for their own approval, not someone elses.” ”

    You are doing this to spike everyone else, aren’t you? Because you know best you have launched your attacks in the review, your bio, and other postings. You are just a vindictive and determined to be right as ever, aren’t you? Of course I imagine you still like to play out of your league, don’t’ you darling?

    From me:

    Reba says August 21, 2007 6:52 pm PDT

    Thank you, folks, for making my point.

    Reba

    From Anne Raven:

    Anne Raven says August 21, 2007 6:11 pm PDT edited by author 10 hours ago

    >>>>>>see you didn’t go ride your horse and chill. Stop attack authors, especially the one you cannot recall or Amazon is going to shut you down. You are clearly attacking someone which is against the forum rules.

    snort snort

    From Deborah:

    Deborah MacGillivray says August 21, 2007 6:10 pm PDT

    Reba/Cassy

    Hi sweetie. Had a nice chat with Cathy Spangler yesterday. Very informative. Left you a mess on Leanne’s thread but guess you didn’t see it.

    Have a good one.

    NOTE: I think it is interesting that Deborah misspelled Leeanne/Leanne’s name. And, for the record, I have no idea who Cassy is/was….

    All the mistakes and are typed as is.

  503. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:38:37

    If you go to Leeanne Grant’s review of “In Her Bed” and see the comments it says:

    In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2007 2:32 AM PDT
    Deborah MacGillivray says:
    Small world isn’t it? Cathy Spangler is a friend. I did the graphics for her Touch series bookmarks.

    I spoke with her about you, and she recalled you emailing years ago, but hasn’t heard from you for a long time.

    Nice when you have fans as dedicated as you trying to help get her books back in print.

    NOTE: I thought it was strange that she “recalled e-mailing you years go” since it was late 2006 or early 2007 that we chatted via e-mail.

  504. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:52:37

    I’m going to call it a night here. My eyes are going cross-eyed…

    Good night everyone and God Bless.

    Reba

  505. Randi Thompson
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:56:31

    So, I’ve been following this since it began….and wow. Just. Wow. I’d like to join the turnip truck gang. 1) Reba: Bravo. What a stand up woman you are. Good for you for following through with Amazon. I probably would have given up months ago. 2) I only use Amazon reviews to check out new authors (to me that is, not new to print) and pay close attention to the 2,3 and 4 stars. I get very suspicious if a book only have 4 and 5 stars. As someone already mentioned, I learn more about the books from the middle reviews that the 1 or 5 star ones. It just simply baffles me that someone would spend SO MUCH time working the system. 3) oooooo, I am sorely disappointed in Amazon. Sorely. So much so that I am contemplating ceasing any buying activity there, at all. I will make my decision based on the outcome of this situation.

    BTW; Target edits their reviews, as well. I, twice, left a review (on the same item as I thought the original review got mangled) and all the not glowing items were edited out with the …’s. I refuse to buy anything from Target online now because clearly, their reviews are heavily edited to only be positive; and I can’t trust that.

  506. Just A Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:58:12

    A quick check of Ms. Spangler's books shows that at least five of her books – Shielder, Shadower, Shadow Fires, Shamara and Touched by Darkness were all given five stars by Deborah MacGillivray on Amazon.

    DAM was busy at Barnes and Noble too. CS got five stars from DAM on at least four of her books – Touched By Darkness, Shamara, Shadow Crossing, Shielder.

    Noticed that too. I hate to say it, but it seems pretty obvious to me what’s going on there.

  507. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:11:21

    Leeanne Grant looks to be part of the posse; notice her glowing review of a Dawn Thompson release on BN.com.

    How did all these folks get sucked in?
    And who the hell has time for all this? Being a spectator has been an enormous time suck for the past few days; I can’t imagine what it takes to sustain this kind of nonsense.

  508. Just A Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:17:07

    Anybody notice how many of these authors have 5 star reviews by Harriet Clausner?:P

  509. DW
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:20:59

    Hey Reba,

    Just wanted you to know that you have a lot of support from the Amazon reviewers. L and I are reposting the threatening email in various places. Good luck to you.

  510. Randi Thompson
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:54:45

    I just checked Powells.com and similar activity going on there. However, not every book of DAM’s is reviewed. But the reviewers won’t be unfamilar to you. I also checked Tower.com and absolutely no comments under her books. Oddly, though, if you do a search for her name at Tower, Dawn Thompson’s Blue Moon Enchantment comes up.

    Edited to add: Check out Target.com too. I gotta say, these ladies sure are thorough.

  511. Dani
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 23:08:53

    #08–Just a Reader Anybody notice how many of these authors have 5 star reviews by Harriet Clausner?:P

    This is a another can of worms (so to speak) on Amazon. She is their number one reviewer and when people get going on her the discussion is also pretty dicey.

  512. Denni
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 01:57:47

    Those are some scary stalker people…like nightmare scary.

    It’s a coincidence, Harriet is a whole different issue. All of Harriet’s reviews are 5 stars with just a few 4 stars for variety. They are also well known to be inaccurate…try reading one for a book you know well, it’s almost entertaining. A word to the wise, never use her reviews to choose a book.

    Although it is interesting, because Harriet’s reviews are receiving more and more “clicks” as “not useful”, yet they never seem to disappear…

  513. Eirin
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 02:17:37

    Just want to join in the chorus and say BRAVO Reba.

    Clearly, DAM tried to bully the wrong woman.
    I very much admire your tenacity and willingness to push on, especially in the face of Amazon sticking their fingers in their ears and going La La La, as well as the increasingly disturbing conspiracy (and I can’t believe I just used that word, but that’s exactly what this is) of issue-ridden, very nasty people.

    Kudos to you.

  514. Cindy
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 06:41:51

    Good for you Reba! I’m always pleased to see someone not give in. I, for one, will not buy from Amazon as long as they allow this nonsense to continue. When I did reviews, I always gave honest reviews about structure, content, etc. I found many books lacking in the past few months. In fact, I’ve been reading a mystery from a print press last night, I found several problems with continuity, content and typos. All things an editor could have caught, but I digress.But if I were reviewing for Amazon, I would have only given three stars and would have had my review my removed. Personally, as a reader, I’d want to know about problems. Although…I rarely pay attention to reviews…I always like what critics don’t, and vice versa, lol.

  515. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:03:16

    It get more and more appalling. Obviously, these women have been manipulating, abusing and bullying for so long with impunity they simply escalated. Why not?

    Reba’s why not.

    Kudos to you, Reba, for standing up.

    I hope Amazon comes through on this, and does the right thing.

    I don’t know who Spangler is, but if she passed Reba’s personal information to DAM–or anyone–she owes a huge apology.

  516. Jill Myles
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:23:02

    Klausner may write strange, useless reviews – but she’s never attacked anyone quite like DAM has.

    To me, the problem has morphed away from gaming the system to DAM’s terrible, terrible behavior. That to me is more concerning than any ‘clickies’ at the moment.

  517. Amazonian
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:25:24

    The thing is the more people who come forward the more scary MacGillivray proves to be. I want to commend Reba for standing up to this. I also want to say kudos to the people who have come forward with their stories to help bring the real Deborah MacGillivray to light. I am glad that Amazon has a ‘team’ looking at this.

    I know some people are mad about the reviews on Amazon not always being right. They are opinions. MacGillivray clearly doesn’t think people should have those opinions. She said so in an interview saying that they are not reviews but opinions, that it is like having a 15 year old telling you how to write a book. That is ridiculous. But this isn’t just about opinions.

    There is definitely stalking going on. You can see where MacGillivray participated in harassing Reba on that thread in August. You can see her making reference to talking to another author about Reba. You can hear the nasty threatening tone. As a Top Reviewer, as the author of the book, MacGillivray could have reported those who ganged up on Reba to Amazon. She didn’t and seeing her repeated behavior and her stalking it is clear she didn’t because she wanted or orchestrated those attacks. There is no way she can plead ignorance or not part of this. And then to go after Reba again on other sites is so wrong. This goes way beyond flooding the internet with your friends’ reviews, although that is rather pathetic too. It shows MaGillivray is a mean and spiteful person.

    I read somewhere that MacGillivray was not coming out and commenting about this because she doesn’t write on blogs. It seems to me that going on a discussing a post someone else made on the internet is like posting on a blog. I suppose she has decided not to comment because there is nothing she wants to say on this. An apology would be nice. She went through so much trouble to get Reba’s personal information so she knows how to contact her. Then she should apologize to all of us for her behavior since many of us have shopped on Amazon. I’m sure there are more victims who think they are alone out there and don’t read these boards so the apology must be a blanket one.

    The money thing about the raffle is potentially sick as well. It seems MacGillivray is capable of harassing and playing people, I worry she did that to someone who might have been vulnerable.

    I do keep asking myself why other authors would help her and I come back to what people have said here. Some people didn’t know what she was capable of. Some people believed her when she said she would blackball them. Some people wanted the good reviews and didn’t want bad ones. I guess there are many people who thought they were the only ones and didn’t want to speak out.

    Deborah MacGillivray has gotten where she is by her own hand. If she is that other person, Victoria, and Deborah MacGillivray is her new pen name, or Victoria was her pen name and Deborah MacGillivray is her real name, she has a long history of doing this. I really hope Amazon will do something to stop her. I would like them to take away her Top Reviewer status and her privileges. That will slow her down.

    I don’t think it will make her go away. She will probably haunt other sites with other reviews and fixed awards. She will also probably try to stalk other people and get rid of other bad reviews. But, the good thing is, once a bully is stood up to, once people say “No More” and let others know what kind of a person MacGillivray is, her power base will start to shrink. I am sure the word is getting around already. Hopefully it will continue.

  518. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:45:29

    Geez.

    Okay, this line… from post 502

    People don't have patience with someone carrying on a vendetta.

    This is a textbook case of pot, meet kettle.

    Reba, I’ll add my applause to everybody else’s. The crap you had to put up with is so far beyond nuts, it’s ridiculous.

  519. WhoaNelly
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:46:07

    Leeanne Grant looks to be part of the posse; notice her glowing review of a Dawn Thompson release on BN.com.

    How did all these folks get sucked in?
    And who the hell has time for all this? Being a spectator has been an enormous time suck for the past few days; I can't imagine what it takes to sustain this kind of nonsense.

    That’s just it–in DM’s small group (Yep, it only takes a few to spread this kind of hate.) it became pretty hard to separate things at times. Fact from fiction. Craziness from reality – when you’re only getting one side of the story. It’s not hard at all for certain reader’s posts on Amazon to be shared and made to look like the culprits. There were many other issues behind the scenes for a lot of the HP authors while this was all going on, issues that kept us from really seeing this mess. It’s not that there weren’t good people there or people that didn’t care. Like some have stated already, a lot of us didn’t know how deep this was going. And to make matters even fuzzier, this was all stemming from a person, DM, that had actually been a lot of help at one time when it came to writing and knowledge of the the industry…or so it was thought. It still blows my mind that this split personality type behavior was and still is going on. And amongst all this were people trying to launch a genuine career. Now who can work in that kind of environment?? And who the hell would want to. I didn’t, so I got the hell out.

    Reba Belle, know that there are some at HP that came out of this mess and got away from it, that sympathize with you. There are plenty that left HP that were receiving just as scary treatment. I read and reviewed some of DM’s books, and the ones I reviewed I genuinely, honestly liked and had even wanted to read them before “meeting” her online. When her behavior became too erratic for me to handle anymore, I sat at my computer, stunned one day as I honestly felt someone with talent (yes, I did think DM was a good writer–and that’s the truth) had gone too far, and had a while ago. That she was ruining her career and this would all come back to haunt her one day. And over reviews of all things? It’s haunting her, but I doubt it’s affecting her yet the way it should. DM is a master at manipulating circumstances, oh my god how she can manipulate, something anyone even only reading this mess should realize. The good thing is, once eyes are open, it’s easier to not give her that power anymore.

    None of this is written in a bid for sympathy, but in hopes of shedding some more light on the situation. All I can say now, after way too long with that group, is I’m glad both sides of the story are coming out. I hope your case is genuinely heard by Amazon, Reba, and it does sound now as if they’re taking it seriously. Your side is certainly looking and reading like the more sane one. Best of luck to you. I hope you’ll be able to move on with life one day after winning this fight, with no further harassment.

  520. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:50:17

    I don't know who Spangler is, but if she passed Reba's personal information to DAM-or anyone-she owes a huge apology.

    I’m not sure an apology is enough. Considering the threats made towards Reba, not to mention the harassment alone, but the threats…

    I’m sorry is for when you accidentally ruin a friend’s brand new silk jacket.

    But does it even cover sharing information that could possibly endanger others?

    And I’ve gotta get. Even though this thing holds a macabre fascination for me, I’m at RT and haven’t even checked in yet.

  521. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:57:15

    This is all so horrific!!!!!!!

    A scene from “Psycho” keeps running through my mind. Poor Reba opens the curtain and… (cue theme music)

    DAM and clan may think they are giants, but the beanstalk belongs to Amazon. And one very determined Reba stands at the bottom, axe in hand, calling to the other villagers for help. (Okay, okay. I’ll stop with this comparitive stuff now.)

    What truly boggles my brain is that, before all this happened, I might have purchased both of DAM’s books based on Reba’s review. The author side of me would have been interested in seeing how DAM handled writing a second book based on all the same plot from the first book. And I’d have purchased both with the understanding they end the same. No shock or feeling ripped off because that critical information wasn’t available to me.

    As a reader, I probably would have decided to purchase the first book, and if I liked it enough, bought the second. But again armed with the knowledge that this wasn’t your typical spinoff based on a secondary character. No harm, no foul.

    The “kissy-kissy” reviews? I always ignore those. They are pretty easy to spot and I know a level of “glad-handing” is involved.

  522. Ester Mish
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:14:18

    **pops up another bag of popcorn**

    I have only bought 1 book from Amazon, and I knew exactly what book I was looking for when I bought it. I am disgusted. Beyond disgusted, I am canceling my Amazon account. I will not give my money to a company who treats its valued customers like that. I think I will stick with the bookstores in my area, to heck with online shopping.

    Reba, the treatment you have received, from Amazon and DAM is deplorable and disgusting. I would be shrieking in rage right now were I you. I should add, I tip my hat to you for standing up to this BS.

    To the other survivors of the ill treatment by DAM & co, I am glad you have gotten out.

    Has there been any kind of response from the publishers who have this woman on? I don’t remember seeing anyone mention it but I may have missed it.

    edited because I think I may have forgotten to add something. This whole thing is horribly fascinating to watch.

    Thanks Jane/Jayne for bringing this to light.

  523. Jayne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:14:38

    I just want to say to any authors who’ve ever sent me anything in the mail, don’t worry about your addresses. I don’t keep them, don’t write them down and tear them off before tossing the envelopes in the trash.

  524. azteclady
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:21:04

    Jayne and Shiloh both mentioned something that has been bothering me a helluva lot about this thing–sharing addresses.

    There is a lot of inherent responsibility when someone gives you her address–be it a reader or an author. Sharing it with anyone without that person’s explicit consent? That is not a simple faux pas–that’s a serious breach of trust.

    And more than good enough reason to instill fear in anyone.

    Reba, I add my voice to the others: bravo for not letting DAMcG intimidate you.

    As far as amazon as a company, and its response to all this… I’m still floored. Just stunned.

  525. Pixikins
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:31:57

    Kudos to Reba! You are a much stronger woman than most, all this crap has gotten beyond the point of scary, and yet you keep on keeping on! So good for you! I’m glad I found this thread, because I for one will never buy from DAM or her lackeys for all this horrid mess they have participated in.

    Though I do wish the issue of Dawn Thompson’s estate would clear up a lil bit, I did so love her LOrd of the Deep book and was looking forward to the rest of that series, but if DAM gets one penny from the sales I won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

  526. Sulli
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:43:40

    I have a manuscript with HP. They tell me it looks promising. I want to pull it after reading all these threads. Being an unpublished writer, I’m so desperate to be published. I’d go with any small press just to get my work out there. But you know what, it just is not worth it. I can’t see myself working with these two women, LB and DAM. I was not aware of how much DAM had to do with Highland press. I bet she has shares in the business?
    Anyway I want to pull my manuscript but am now so frightened of the outcome. I will just keep searching and hoping to be discovered one day. Anyone know of any publishing houses looking for new authors? This whole business sickens me.

  527. Jane
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:45:54

    For those who want to comment but hate the scrolling, use the “end” key. It will take you to the very bottom. I’ll try to add a link at the top so it is easier to get to this box.

    I think we need to have authors sign the abstinence pledge – I will not stalk readers. And we can give them a button to put on their blog so that readers will know that it is safe to send their personal information to them. (Just kidding here).

  528. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:58:31

    Readers write me–with return addresses–and e-mail me a LOT. I can’t imagine any circumstance where I would share that information with anyone. Anyone at all. It’s such a violation.

    So you’re right, Shiloh. An apology wouldn’t be nearly enough.

  529. Lynne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:13:59

    Sulli said a couple of things I wanted to respond to.

    Being an unpublished writer, I'm so desperate to be published. I'd go with any small press just to get my work out there. […] Anyway I want to pull my manuscript but am now so frightened of the outcome.

    Please be careful. There are charlatans and manipulators and downright crooks who will take advantage of writers who are desperate and frightenened. They can smell it a mile away.

    If I woke up one morning and found, to my horror, that one of my manuscripts was under consideration at Highland Press, I would write a very polite, professional note withdrawing the submission. You don’t owe them squat for an explanation. And that’s the end of it.

  530. Jayne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:17:37

    Sorry, I should have said readers and authors. I don’t share anyone’s address with anybody.

  531. JulieLeto
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:37:26

    I'd go with any small press just to get my work out there.

    Man, if there isn’t a whole blog post in that statement about how such a sentiment leads to destruction…

    Please don’t feel that way! I believe, in my very humble opinion, that an author’s goal should not be to publish, but to publish well. That means different things to different people, but just because someone can print your book out in a format that is different from a manuscript and has a website does not make them worthy of your time, talent and treasure.

    Publish WELL. Repeat after me, people.

  532. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:39:42

    That's just it-in DM's small group (Yep, it only takes a few to spread this kind of hate.) it became pretty hard to separate things at times. Fact from fiction. Craziness from reality – when you're only getting one side of the story. It's not hard at all for certain reader's posts on Amazon to be shared and made to look like the culprits. There were many other issues behind the scenes for a lot of the HP authors while this was all going on, issues that kept us from really seeing this mess. It's not that there weren't good people there or people that didn't care. Like some have stated already, a lot of us didn't know how deep this was going. And to make matters even fuzzier, this was all stemming from a person, DM, that had actually been a lot of help at one time when it came to writing and knowledge of the the industry…or so it was thought. It still blows my mind that this split personality type behavior was and still is going on. And amongst all this were people trying to launch a genuine career. Now who can work in that kind of environment?? And who the hell would want to. I didn't, so I got the hell out.

    Speaking of behind the scenes issues – I started looking at 5 star book reviews for HP authors last night, and it’s a totally surreal picture forming there. You look at MacGillivray’s 5 star reviews, and then Burroughs’ and Thompson’s, and hell, just pull up the entire HP authors list and start looking up their Amazon book reviews…
    It immediately becomes apparent that a bunch of them either have 5 star book reviews written by a lot of the same people (several are HP authors), or they’re writing a lot of 5 star reviews for HP authors themselves. I still have chills…

    It’s like All the President’s Men:P

    And btw, it’s probably worthy of note that many of these people writing 5 star reviews for HP authors are writing them for several of Catherine Spangler’s books as well.
    ~ Harriet Clausner included:P

  533. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:46:14

    ~It immediately becomes apparent that a bunch of them either have 5 star book reviews written by a lot of the same people (several are HP authors), or they're writing a lot of 5 star reviews for HP authors themselves.~

    When I have more time this weekend, I’m going to do exactly the same thing. And I’m going to give the list to my husband. One independent bookstore won’t make a lot of difference. But we believe in integrity, and in honesty to readers. None of those books or authors will be shelved or sold at our bookstore.

  534. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:55:57

    Nora, I’m curious, and was wondering if you’d know –
    Can all of this apparent review scamming have any effect on the bestseller lists?
    In other words, it appears to be potentially able to affect Amazon’s sales, and I know the bestseller lists are based on weekly book sales reports (does that include Amazon?), so I’m wondering…

  535. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:07:54

    JAR, honestly, I don’t believe reviews like this impact sales enough for major lists. It takes many, many thousands of sales to get on the NYT or PW or USA Today. Amazon sales count–I think–but the few dozen (I assume) per title this kind of manipulation may generate wouldn’t add nearly enough weight.

    The last I heard (and it’s been some time since I paid serious attention) Amazon sales were still a small percentage of the whole.

    In the end, I think all this manipulation has done is cause distrust and anger in readers–and other authors–and call the review system at Amazon into doubt.

  536. anotheranon
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:09:22

    Amazon and on-line books stores make up a single-digit percentage of all romance book sales. The highest percentage of sales come from Wal-Mart. This information comes from the yearly publication by RWA.

  537. Sulli
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:22:35

    Thank you Lynne and Julie. I guess I will go with gut and withdraw my submission. A very well known author, one who has 25 books published, also told me if I had a chance, to go with another press, and she knows LB personally. I have put my hopes and dreams with them and I know in the end they will probably publish me, but you know what, I am worth more than that. Julie when you said PUBLISH WELL, it really hit a note. Thanks, for making this rookie very much aware of the scum out there. I won’t let this discourage me only make me stronger.

  538. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:23:11

    Thanks for the info, ladies:)
    I thought it was pretty far out, but with all the other twilight zone weirdness I was looking at last night with the repeating list of reviewers, etc. I had to ask:P

  539. Java Queen
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:39:21

    I’ve sat back and watched all this unfold after having been sent here by a friend a few days ago. Am I horrified at all this? Yes. Surprised at it? No, not at all. We’ve had our own run ins with Mz. MacG and her ilk since 2004, when she first contacted one of my reviewers about a review for a book that Mz. MacG liked, but my reviewer didn’t. I still have the “warning” email that the reviewer received, holding on to it because we were all so amazed that something like that would come from another reviewer instead of the author of the book herself (this before the blog review websites became so popular). The reviewer stood by her review and defended herself like Reba did, but the follow up email from Her Highness was filled with so many self-accolades that we all wondered how the woman could possibly keep her neck and head up with all the tiaras she seemed to be wearing. Her biggest peeves? That we didn’t have a “comments” section for people to post their rebuttals about a review if they didn’t agree with it, that our reviewer didn’t speak for her as a “reader”, and obviously the reviewer didn’t know what the heck she was doing and didn’t understand what she read.

    Bottom line… like Nora’s husband’s bookstore, our little piece of the internet isn’t that big of a deal. But we’ve taken down all our MacGillivray book reviews and are in the process of deleting any reference to her works contained throughout the website. I’m also drafting an email to those publicists we work with that send us her books and ARCs for promotion and review, notifying them we won’t be accepting any more from this particular author. It might be just a small thing, but in all honesty, we cannot condone this behavior and feel it’s the best way to show support for Reba and all the others who’ve had the unfortunate “pleasure” of dealing with these delightful folks. Kudos to you for standing tall, Reba, and I hope everything works out to the positive for you.

    One last mention on Leeanne Grant–we’ve had emails from her as well (another great piece of work like her master), and it’s curious to me that she always signs her name different in the body than what reads in the “from” email line, just like she did in her comments to Reba. I’ve always just assumed that she and Leeanne Burroughs were one and the same. I could be wrong, but how many times does a person consistently forget how to spell their own name?

  540. Jody W.
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:53:07

    Re:>>Generally speaking, however, authors with larger houses aren't as likely to get quite so caught in Amazon to begin with, because they know their books are out in brick-and-mortars and that Ammy is really still a pretty small piece of the pie. But if an author who moves from a small house to a large one still a) carries that smaller-press promo mindset with her and b)has, um, issues…

    So you’re saying this mostly happens with either small press authors or former small press authors? I don’t know about that. I think it’s a personality thing. I know for a fact mainstream published authors can get really underhanded and whip up posses if there are Amazon or other reviews they don’t like. They might talk to their NY editors to make sure that person doesn’t get published. They might send hate emailgrams. They have their people call someone else’s people to dig up dirt. They might ask questions about personal data. They might even make phone calls, after digging up the dirt they needed.

    And they might all be wrong about what they think, but the fact is, it’s not a ‘small press’ issue. It’s a person issue.

    Jody W.

  541. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:56:48

    JQ – if you look at those 5 star Amazon reviews I was talking about above, many of their Amazon account names look like they might be pseudonyms for people on the HP authors list from their website. It’s like a common first name here and/or last name there, between the list of authors and the reviewer names. Nothing you could 100% say this is so-and-so, but they just sort of stuck in my mind and I wondered if that could be the case. I don’t know how to describe it without sounding about half paranoid, but looking at all of it made my spider senses tingle. I dunno, readers sort of get used to a certain pattern with authors & pseudonyms, and we always wonder when we see a new name that is somehow familiar.

  542. Lynne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:08:47

    I agree, Jody. It’s definitely more about the person than her publisher. I’ve seen posses called out via various email loops, some of them affiliated with RWA, some not. And it had nothing to do with the size of the author’s publisher.

    In fact, the nastiest Romancelandia lynch mob I ever saw prior to this one, which takes the prize, was over a Harlequin author’s Amazon review. I have never forgotten the disgraceful behavior I witnessed that summer, and every author who joined the posse made my Do-Not-Buy-EVER list. I also declined to renew my membership in the RWA chapter to which those authors belonged.

  543. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:15:53

    I spent quite a bit of time reading Peter’s website. (He’s an Amazon reviewer, and yeah, I’m a numbers geek, can’t help it.)

    I’d formed an opinion, but now Java Queen’s post just confirms it. IMHO, Amazon MUST do away with the comment section attached to reviews. Voting on if a review is helpful or not really only matters in the shuffle for reviewer position in the Amazon ranks.

    HOWEVER…the comments section allows for abuse of the reviewer. For squads to not only vote against the review, but add disparaging remarks about the reviewer and question his/her integrity and intelligence. Hence, in the long run, slapping a big coat of “you are too dumb to review” over every item that person has taken the time to comment on.

  544. katiebabs
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:19:40

    IMHO, I prefer NOT (had to edit in the word not!)to see any comments under reviews and no voting if their review is helpful or not. I don’t see a point to it.
    When I read a review I don’t care how many people think it is helpful or 0 out of 8 people think it isn’t. I hardly press the voting button. But that is just me.

  545. DevonM
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:27:30

    authors with larger houses aren't as likely to get quite so caught in Amazon to begin with, because they know their books are out in brick-and-mortars and that Ammy is really still a pretty small piece of the pie. But if an author who moves from a small house to a large one still a) carries that smaller-press promo mindset with her

    I also agree with Jody. KTempleton, this still says, those of us published by small presses are desperate to promo and make sales, unlike those published by the bigger houses, who have their books in bookstores. Ha! There are many big name authors who’ve been in this business for many years with the big boys in NY in my chapter and I can tell you for a fact that we’re ALL pretty much of the same mindset. To me, these authors are the ones who actually sweat the numbers and constantly seek ways to promo because if their numbers dip, they know they might not be picked up again by their publisher. Those of us with small presses don’t have that particular concern. Our publisher isn’t going to drop us because of the numbers. This point you’re trying to make about a small press “mind-set” just doesn’t make sense to me. The worst offenders here are all with big publishers. Now C. Spangler’s been named and she’s with Berkley. So, this small press mind-set theory doesn’t wash. The authors that have come to light in this discussion all have certain things in common, in my opinion–weak character or just plain nuts!

  546. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:28:47

    But, Katie Babs, if you don’t see a point to the voting on reviews (which is again just for reviewer position) why do you feel comments on the reviews helpful?

    The review is one person’s opinion and really shouldn’t be opened up to debate. It is what it is.

    Please believe that I’m not arguing with you. Mayhap I read your post wrong, or I’m not getting enough of your point.

  547. Mad
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:34:09

    There is a lot of inherent responsibility when someone gives you her address-be it a reader or an author. Sharing it with anyone without that person's explicit consent? That is not a simple faux pas-that's a serious breach of trust.

    I send out a lot of book prizes to friends and readers and I’ve never ever shared an address without first asking if it was OK to do so. To just share without asking first is just so wrong.

  548. katiebabs
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:37:24

    Anon76:
    Sorry, I meant: I prefer not to see any comments. I left out the word “not” My bad.
    And I totally I agree with everything you have said.
    A person’s view about a book or product is their own. Why am I to judge if someone writes one sentence or a whole page how they feel? And if I disagree with what they say, then so be it.

  549. Nicky
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:39:41

    Question, and believe me in no way do I support DAM — what she and her group have done is inexcusable. I’ve read that Reba’s comments were deleted, and from what I had read of her postings on the Romance discussions that’s outrageous. However, I did notice if you go to DAM’s Amazon reviews by comments, http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A3GQKB1KF0CRPE?ie=UTF8&display=public&sort%5Fby=MostRecentComment&page=1, Reba made quite a few comments on her reviews which are also deleted. Since those comments are gone we have no way of knowing what was said, BUT if she pasted the same comment over and over again (even if nothing was inappropriate in the comment) Amazon considers posting multiple identical comments as spam and a violation. She wouldn’t be the first one banned and deleted for that.

  550. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:56:40

    Katiebabs,

    Yes, I “thought” that is what you meant, but I never want to put words into anothers mouth (Hey, DAM, do you get that concept. LOL.)

    Anyhoo, like I mentioned, the ratings are for Amazon reviewer ranking. A complicated formula where the reviewer gets no credit for the review unless at least 3 “Yes HelpfulR