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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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?)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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*

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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??

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. Bernita
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:23:52

    I noticed that DAM maintains that guest book.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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?

  55. 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’.

  56. 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?

  57. 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?

  58. Shannon Stacey
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:54:53

    And that was wicked awesome, MiamiNative. Thank you.

  59. 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.

  60. 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. :)

  61. 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…

  62. 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.

  63. DS
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 20:03:11

    I think you may have nailed it with c.

  64. 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?

  65. 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….

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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!

  71. 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.

  72. 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…..

  73. 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.

  74. 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…

  75. 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.

  76. 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?

  77. 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!”

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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?

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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?

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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…….

  91. 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

  92. 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?

  93. 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.

  94. 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

  95. 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)

  96. 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.

  97. Shayne
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 21:56:16

    Sorry, Ann.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. Jane Aire
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:12:16

    Sheesh! She looks like Valerie Bertinelli.

  101. 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.

  102. 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 :) )

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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?

  106. 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.

  107. 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?

  108. CoveyWatcher
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:42:46

    Seems she has another venture too, with a “co.uk” addy.

  109. 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

  110. Nora Roberts
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:47:41

    More Lollobrigida than Loren, imo.

    It’s a very 60′s looking picture, isn’t it.

  111. Jane
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 22:49:49

    I thought it looked like the heroine of a Mary Stewart gothic.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

  116. 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.

  117. 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.

  118. 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.

  119. FM
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:13:08

    Chrissy,
    Reminds me of Linda Harrison (Nova from Planet of the Apes.)

  120. 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. ;-)

  121. another anon butting in...
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 23:15:46

    I was thinking Bette Davis…

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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

  125. 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. :-)

  126. 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.

  127. 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?

  128. 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.

  129. 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 . . .

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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

  135. 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’.

  136. 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*.

  137. (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.

  138. 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.

  139. 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.

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. 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?

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. ilona andrews
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 07:22:31

    Question: does she have an agent? And if she does, who represents her?

  146. 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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

  150. 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.)

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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?

  157. 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.

  158. 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 :)

  159. 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.

  160. 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.

  161. 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.

  162. 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.

  163. 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.

  164. 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.

  165. 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.

  166. 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.

  167. 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.

  168. 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.

  169. 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?

  170. 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….

  171. 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

  172. 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.

  173. (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?

  174. 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.

  175. 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.”

  176. 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.

  177. 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)

  178. 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.

  179. 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

  180. 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.

  181. 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.

  182. 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.

  183. 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?

  184. 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).

  185. 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.

  186. 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?

  187. 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.

  188. Anon76
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 10:38:26

    Ester, sigh…

    My brain went there, but I didn’t want to voice it.

  189. 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.

  190. 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.

  191. delta
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 11:20:16

    Debra, I had to chuckle. That description sounded very much like the Wicked Witch of the West.

  192. 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?

  193. 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.

  194. 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?

  195. 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.

  196. 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.

  197. 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.

  198. 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.

  199. 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?

  200. 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.

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