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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. BeenThereDoneThat
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:25:08

    “VIII: Author Conduct: Whereas an author for the Publisher is also a public persona, many behaviors on the Internet or in public forums are a reflection of being a part of this Publishing Company. As such, all authors must be aware of their behavior in situations that could reflect negatively upon them, hurting their careers, other authors, and Highland Press' reputation by association. As such, any writer discovered in situations that could hurt the sales of their book or cast unwanted aspersions on Highland Press or its staff or fellow authors may have their contracts revoked. All books of said author may be pulled from the market and from Publisher's catalogue.”

    The above is indeed part of the HP contract. It was added over a year ago because DAM was butting heads with some of HP’s authors, the ones who knew her game and wouldn’t let her get away with it. So Leanne added this part to the contract, no doubt at the urging of DAM, who has a habitual habit of silencing anyone who says one word against her or asks questions concerning the oporating of HP. I have contracts without and with this clause. The sad thing is that DAM’s behavior over the 2 1/2 years of HP’s existence is in direct violation of this clause. And when there was major trouble last November because a few HP authors got together online to deal with DAM’s rants, she and another on HP’s staff attacked those authors with foul language, name-calling, threatened lives, and outright lied about the careers of some of the authors involved. However, repeated letters to Leanne about this went unanswered. Leanne was only interested in the authors who dared orchestrate a group over DAM’s behavior.

    Now the suspicions rest on DAM and her alleged guilt. Why else would she erase ALL the emails from the HP and LIW loops? Would an innocent person backtrack like that? No way. It’s too bad she can’t see the damage she’s done or that the HP authors have mega-files of evidence in the form of her past emails.

  2. Alyssa Day
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:29:50

    So this Publish American group seems to operate the same way. Just a bit down from the post DS cited was one threatening a bad reviewer with retribution from her husband the “sherrif” [sic] who owns a “reccord” label, the “law,” and some, evidently, Harley motorcycle gang members?? (I’ve known many delightful folks who ride Harleys, can’t quite imagine asking them to beat up my reviewers . . .). This is scary stuff. Wow.

    >>My husband has been a federal investigator, Sherrif, and not only owns a reccord label, but has many friends in leather on harleys with badges that would love to get to know this guy.
    It pays to have some awesome friends, so if anyone here knows who this guy is, and where we can get his web site, just send it to me, and then we’ll all have some fun with the law on our side.
    Slander is definately an offence and is not taken lightly by the law.

  3. Just A Reader
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:31:22

    Leslie, you could possibly be on to something.
    I initially didn’t think the two pics looked all that similar, but the more I look at things like bone structure, eyebrows, the size and shape of the nose and mouth, they’re very much alike. The makeup too. That heavy-duty application to the eyes. It has a very late 70′s-early 80′s look to it. The photography is very similar too. Like they both came out of an old professional portfolio of some sort. But professional what? Looks like exotic dancer/porn actress to me:P
    You can see the little pixel squares in both of them too. Like small images scanned and saved to jpg. images, maybe even enlarged in photoshop – the “MacGillivray” pic especially. When a small jpg image has been enlarged, you see the little squares, and it looks sort of blurry and “blown out” like that. Murray and MacGillivray also seem to have a similar problem with spelling and grammar. Errie? Is that a word?

    I thought someone said earlier she lives in Louisville, Ky. If that’s true, that’s not a quick commute from Louisville to Covington (the location given for Murray). It’s up around Cincinnati – about three hours from Louisville. I’ve done it in about two and a half, but it was back in the days before cops had instant on radar, and I had a radar detector:P There also aren’t any MacGillivray’s in the Louisville phone book. Doesn’t mean anything at all – just thought I’d mention it.

  4. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:31:29

    That contract reads like a Publish America contract. Don’t they demand 7 years as well? Why erase all the logs? Why make threats? Why lie about your career? Why fake ratings? Why threaten those who give you negative reviews? Why make no appearances? Why demand clicks? Why stalk people? Why run a fund raiser that may violate state laws? Someone further back said follow the money trail. This one stinks so bad even a chihuahua with a cold would smell it.

  5. Bernita
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:36:00

    A small point of congruency: Murray published romantic mysteries. MacGillivray claimed in an interview somewhere that she had tried writing those as well.

  6. delta
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:36:43

    I guess the next question is–What does this woman (person?) have hanging over Burroughs’ head? Just sayin’.

  7. Katie
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:38:14

    Leslie Kelly, now that you have mentioned VTM my memory returned. I read one of her books years ago and I still remember it being one of the worst romances ever. In jest I sometimes said that the soapopera “The Bold and The Beautiful” is high quality compared to this book. I posted my first and last review about it on amazon.de; it lived less than a day. Back then I had little experience with amazon, but years later I stumbled upon an article writtn, IIRC, by Mrs. G about how VTM manipulted the amazon system.

  8. delta
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 13:45:36

    Like DAM, VTM has lots of 5 Star ratings. I did see a few really poor ratings (buried) at Amazon UK. Sure seems to be a lot of coincidences between the two.

  9. cynthiadogmom
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 14:49:10

    I’ve been reading the threads for, omg, has it been THREE HOURS? I feel like I’m watching a bad soap opera!
    I feel for the authors who’ve had to put up with that kind of abuse.
    I think the writers have a case for harassment – threats, abuse and profanity create an “hostile” work environment, and should be prosecuted.

  10. Kelcee Writer
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 14:55:54

    I have been glued to this forum for 2 days now, and am quite appalled. I am a self-published author and believe my books to be fairly decent. I have 1 review, however, that called me immature and told me she disliked my book in very harsh terms. While it hurt and stunned me, I never had any idea that review could be deleted, even though I know it has probably cost me some sales. Being self-published, I need every sale I can get. Even knowing that now, I won’t do anything about it. I believe DAM is acting very immature and unprofessional, and I hope to see her books dropping in rank as each day passes. I seriously doubt that amazon would pull them from their sales.

    As for the picture, I believe it could very well be the same person. The one for DAM looks like it was taken in the 60s and she could be in her 20s. The other one looks older to me. My guess is that she’s probably in her 50s-60s now and not aging well, therefore doesn’t want a current picture used.

    All these theories are like reading a mystery book in itself. I’ll probably keep checking this place out until (I hope) some answers are found.

  11. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 14:58:49

    I ran a search with Deborah MacGillivray and Victoria Taylor Murray

    Nora Roberts book key of light, the first review is by DAM, the second by VTM. Looking at her review history VTM seems to give out 5 star reviews the same as DAM.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Key-Light-Nora-Roberts/dp/078626134X

    Both personalities are keyed on a group of products on the first page called the Yummy list

    http://www.amazon.com/tag/yummy/products

  12. C. Vowels
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 15:29:23

    Volsfan:

    Coming out of lurk from the Amazon boards to say that both Deborah MacGillivray and V.T. Murray have been real named (the “real name” tag under the reviewer’s name) on Amazon which means they have used a credit card or bank account in those names to make purchases. That’s not very easy to fake, so they’re probably two different people. Nothing’s foolproof, though. V.T. Murray could be a spouse or something. Odd, too, to out your full name as an author, but then only use your initials (which most of us do for a minor veneer of security, even while claiming real name status).

  13. Roxie
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 15:32:14

    I’m glued to this site too. Can’t do housework, we’ve eaten take out 3 days running and now I have to pipe up and tell you guys about something that I think might be interesting to know (it may be complete crap, but still, I had to share because this woman doesn’t seem above impersonation).

    I did a little research on this “Lady A” and the funny thing is, I continued to come up with Moonmonika in connection with her. I find that extrememly odd, adding in the fact that when you go to Amazon, you find Moonmonika (aka Monika Wolmarans) under Deborah’s name. CLICK HERE TO SEE

    These two are in collaboration everywhere… Here’s an example from Moonmonika’s site. and all over the MSN boards from back in 2003.

    I also found some info on Bebo for Moonmonika here. Her BEBO site has pictures… hmmm… look at the woman on the far left here… could it be? I know the man in that picture is Mike Duncan who plays on ALL of DAM’s pages (all her MySpace and Bebo and her book trailers)…so there’s an obvious connection.

    -Roxie

  14. Volsfan
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 15:53:48

    C Vowels – Much obliged. I wondered how that worked.

  15. Ellie
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:21:07

    I don’t really know how the “real name” thing works. But if DAM set up a business account under a pen name (maybe incorporated her pen name) it seems she could have gotten a credit card in that name also. Not sure of the logistics of all that, but I think it is possible that she could have had a credit card in her name, and a business card under a pen name, and thus used both as “real names”????

  16. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:33:15

    I was under the impression that DeborahAnne MacGillivray was a pseudonym? I do know that I used my husband’s cc when I first opened my acct on Amazon, but I use my name on there and it says REAL NAME beside my reviews, etc. Over the years, I’ve changed the name a couple of times, just putting initials and then full name. So ~shrug~ I don’t know how accurate the real name thing ultimately is…

  17. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:44:12

    Covey — this was a great bit of sleuthing!! Your findings allowed me to spelunker farther into the DAM cave…

    Kensington author Sara Reinke mentions having signed books with DAM at a B&N in Louisville, but in the photo section she links to, her “table mate” is absent in all photos-just a black sweater on a chair. So she's out there, just camera shy.

    After a bit of searching Ms Reinke’s site, may I present:

    the owner of the black sweater (AKA a picture of DAME DAM herself)

    You can see her books there in front of her too. So yep.. this is her.. not the 60s starlet she posts as her current pic.

    (Hurry before DAM hollers to her legions to strike me down and remove incriminating mugshot…er photo)

  18. KateB
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 16:47:05

    I've been following this for a few days and like everyone else I find the DAM and Dawn Thompson connection very strange. I pulled out my copy of RT to read the Dawn obit written by DAM and a couple things stuck out at me… One thing was just how handicapped she was… Does anyone know if DAM lived by her to help her?

    I believe Ms. Thompson was a paraplegic. She lived in New York and I don’t think she and DAM ever physically “met.”
    Particularly in the last few months of her life, Ms. T. depended upon a writer friend who lived nearby, her sister, and her son to assist her with most of her day to day concerns (outside of her medical care). So exactly how much help was DAM in all this?

  19. Two Can Play
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:10:43

    If people are really interested in finding DAM, it is surprisingly (and ridiculously) easy to do.

    A search of the US Copyright records finds a listing for “Riding the Thunder” by our very own DAM.

    Searching the Jefferson County (KY) land records for the address listed in the copyright record gives the real name of the owner of that property, plus provides some interesting additional information (such as the lien placed on the property by a creditor for debts owed).

    This is all freely given, public information that can be accessed in about 30 seconds. If people don’t think they need to know this info – don’t access it, don’t check the links. But, as stated, this is public information that is put up on government websites for all to see.

  20. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:17:41

    Kelcee Writer

    While it hurt and stunned me, I never had any idea that review could be deleted, even though I know it has probably cost me some sales.

    Actually, I don’t think negative reviews hurt sales much. They may cost you a couple, but usually you get a couple, because some people will buy over a negative review than a positive one.

  21. KM
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:18:25

    Coming out of lurk from the Amazon boards to say that both Deborah MacGillivray and V.T. Murray have been real named (the “real name” tag under the reviewer's name) on Amazon which means they have used a credit card or bank account in those names to make purchases.

    C.Vowels:

    That’s not true. I have the “real name” tag under my name on my account, as the name I write under, and it’s not my real name. I don’t have it on a bank account, and I’ve never used it in a transaction. It goes on my books, but even my royalty checks for said books come in my legal name.

  22. AnonAuthor
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:25:47

    After a bit of searching Ms Reinke's site, may I present … the owner of the black sweater (AKA DAM)

    Holy Cow, Whack-a-doodle…you did it! LOL!

    And she looks just like that picture on her Amazon page – just 50 years older and wider.

  23. DevonM
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:26:24

    the owner of the black sweater (AKA a picture of DAME DAM herself)

    Whack-A-Doodle, that’s terrific! And it’s undoubtedly the same woman as in the old black & white photo. Just older, but the resemblance is unmistakable. I’m glad you posted this. Now if I see her coming, I’ll know it’s her. ;o)

  24. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:36:15

    Two Can Play

    This is just me but I’m very uncomfortable with that link. That link can used to look up all sorts of info and it makes it ridiculously easy, and FYI, I’m not really referring to DAM. She made her mess~she can deal with it.

    But it’s also putting other authors in an uncomfortable position. If those of us who use pen names wanted our pen name out in the open, we’d make them so.

    Yes, it’s a public site but it’s not one a huge majority are familiar with.

    Edited for spelling correction.

  25. C. Vowels
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:40:22

    KM:

    I could be wrong, or there may be some exception for authors. Did you do something special to register as an author with Amazon? I know some authors have special access to do blogs, etc. which may involve a super-user account I’m not familiar with.

    I’ll say I’m only familiar with my own experience, and I haven’t messed with my profile in a while so they may have changed things, but the last time I did, you had to choose a name you’d used on an account (cc or checking) to pay for merchandise in order to maintain your real name badge–although you can include a nickname with your real name. The “real name” options were provided for you, and not something you could input yourself.

    I’m only aware of this “real name” minutiae because there was a pretty big uproar when Amazon implemented this feature a few years ago (after the debacle where real names were shown on reviews for a few hours instead of pen names and people discovered that some authors were trashing other authors under assumed names). Quite a few reviewers were upset and had communique with Amazon about it because (like me) they’d been victims of identity theft and didn’t want to put their full names out in full view of the world, but didn’t want to look like they were bashing people from the comfort of anonymity either. The initials were meant to be a salve to that.

    Come to think of it, I think the “real name” ordeal was the only time I fired off a heated complaint to Amazon’s customer service before this week’s fireworks.

  26. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 17:48:59

    Shiloh, you've always said you're reclusive and don't like pictures of yourself on the internet. Yet there are pictures of you taken at booksignings.

    I’m not reclusive. I’m just not always the most socially graceful creature. It’s not shyness, because I’m not shy. I just prefer to be on the sidelines watching. It’s more fun there. I’ve also a very blunt person. The internet lets me temper that. Live situations? Not so much.

    The picture thing, yes, sadly there are some, although I’m very well known for requesting that no pictures of me posted and if somebody ‘asks’ first, I usually beg off. I’m migraine-prone and one thing that sets me off quicker than anything is a camera flash. I’m also very private. I’d rather NOT have my picture online. Usually most people understand that. However, not everybody asks. I know some people don’t get my deal with cameras, but that’s just how I am.

  27. Krista
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:00:03

    The New York Times has an article that talks about the Amazon review system and how people have been manipulating it. DAM is not mentioned unfortunately:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C07E0DC1F3AF937A25751C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

  28. Chrissy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:07:37

    Well, I’m glad at least the mystery is solved… but this is getting kind of reverse-stalkerish. I mean, anyone can get info (you can even pay whoishe.com if you are lazy… I think it’s 50 bucks?) but…

    I hope the people I have seen elsewhere, who think everyone is being paranoid, are at least a little right.

    I know they aren’t… but for anyone to be that far gone. GAH! I mean I’m as mean as it comes in my way, but I’m actually getting a wave of pity.

  29. C's
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:32:28

    Reverse lookup of that address in the copyright page shows a Male Lastname. Clicking on more info on Male Lastname shows people who are related to him: Deborah and Victoria, and someone else. Make of it what you will.

  30. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:32:56

    Chrissy, I think posting her real name and so on crosses the line. That information may need to be provided to people making legal complaints and so on, but it doesn’t need to be here.

    Jan: You keep saying people could have found out the truth about Dawn Thompson with a little research. How? Googling “Dawn Thompson” produces tens of thousands of results. Asking here, produced an obit in about ten minutes. However, the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    If any of DT’s family read this, they will see a lot of concern about whether DT was exploited, and a very brief flurry of speculation about who DT was – speculation brought on by DM’s behaviour and lack of transparency, and which has long since ended. Now please, stop going on about this. I had good reason for raising the idea, which I have explained at length, and if you don’t approve, too bad. There was no malicious intent.

  31. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:47:51

    Jan: You keep saying people could have found out the truth about Dawn Thompson with a little research. How? Googling “Dawn Thompson” produces tens of thousands of results. Asking here, produced an obit in about ten minutes. However, the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    Ann, I’m going to have to disagree with you again.

    Yes, it would be good to know what happen to the money~but to keep bringing Dawn’s name into this show disrespect, IMO, to the author and to a family that is certainly still grieving.

    Somebody posted a site to submit tips to the FBI, certainly some have done by now. To keep using DT’s name at this point IS pointless~we aren’t going to be able to find the why’s, how’s, where’s of the money. Legal resources can. So why does DT keep getting brought into this?

    I realize you want to the bottom of this, but me, personally? I wouldn’t want to get to the bottom of something like this if it meant adding more grief to an already grieving family.

  32. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:56:25

    I’m actually going to have to agree with Ann about

    the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    Dawn’s name was linked to the lottery. SHE was the whole reason people GAVE — to help DAWN (not DeborahAnne). The fact that DAM also seems to have taken MAJOR advantage of Dawn certainly can’t be overlooked — well, not and be OK with it.

    DAM herself actually said best when she quoted Dawn as saying, “Don’t forget me.”

    So unfortunate as it is that DT’s name has to be brought up, it’s a valid and quite vital part of this entire conversation regarding DAM’s ethics, character, and what might possibly prove her guilt. If I were Dawn’s family, I’d sure want to know those things so I could fight against it.

    No maligning is being done that I see of Dawn here.

  33. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:59:09

    Shiloh: Personally I don’t think it shows any respect to a dead person or their family to allow their literary estate to be misused and misappropriated, or to have the collection of funds for the person be under a cloud in this way.

    You seem intent on shooting the messenger, as does Jan. I keep saying, the person who has brought this under scrutiny is Deborah MacGillivray. Her dishonesty and bullying has cast doubt on the veracity of all her statements and the decency of all her actions. She has done this. Not me, not anyone discussing it.

    I’ve said absolutely all I’m going to about this entire issue. I’m not the only one asking questions, and your attempts to shut down the discussion, won’t stop those questions being asked.

    However, if my estate was being treated like this, and my husband/legatees possibly being cheated, I’d be damn pleased if someone was determined to find out the truth. Ms Thompson’s family can feel differently but since you’re not part of that, maybe you shouldn’t speak for them.

  34. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:59:14

    If any of DT's family read this, they will see a lot of concern about whether DT was exploited, and a very brief flurry of speculation about who DT was -

    It will also be like having salt rubbed into a fresh wound. And to coin your words, if you don’t my opinion on that… too bad.

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty that Jan is one of the Jaynes…one of the blog hosts, so technically one of ‘our’ hosts. Your flagrant disregard of her opinion strikes me the same as going into somebody’s home as an invited guest, discussing something the host doesn’t care for and when she voices her disapproval, you laughing and ignoring her.

  35. Chrissy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 18:59:33

    Just to clarify: I did not post her name, never really had anything to do with the DT stuff (and I agree about that being disrespectful), and would never out her that way.

    I’d forward it all to authorities, but I wouldn’t post it here. That’s a tad too close to… err… being her.

    I suspect everyone knew that but it read a little bit like Ann thought I posted her real name.

  36. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:04:55

    You seem intent on shooting the messenger, as does Jan. I keep saying, the person who has brought this under scrutiny is Deborah MacGillivray. Her dishonesty and bullying has cast doubt on the veracity of all her statements and the decency of all her actions. She has done this. Not me, not anyone discussing it.

    No, I want to know why you persist in bringing it up when chances are the info about reporting fraud tips would be the best way to get action done on it. Infinite discussion of it here isn’t going to get answers or a resolution.

    And yes, frankly, it’s just me but if I was unlucky enough to get shafted by somebody under the guise of friendship as DT probably did and people kept discussing me along with her, EVEN IF THEY WEREN’T BEING NEGATIVE TOWARDS ME, I’d rather they just not.

    Nobody is saying this isn’t DM’s mess. We’re all quite aware. But I do think bringing up the question is she even real… was very thoughtless. There had to have been a better way to investigate it. Even if it just involved requesting people with direct knowledge of Dawn to contact you via email. That could have answered the question just as easily and with much more respect.

  37. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:06:27

    No maligning is being done that I see of Dawn here

    I can’t agree. Her very existence was questioned. If I lost a loved one and somebody questioned their existence, for whatever reason, it would hurt, very, very deeply.

  38. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:07:03

    Shiloh: If you can demonstrate a single instance where I have cast doubt on DT’s existence post Jan’s comment, I would be pleased if you could do so. She made a rather pointed comment about my actions, I responded. I’m not laughing at her or flagrantly disregarding her opinion or anything of the sort – but like you, she was going on and on about something which was over and done. She might be one of the owners of this blog but I am entitled to defend myself. If she’s genuinely aggrieved by my comments, I invite her to delete or edit any which she considers offensive. But telling me to stop speculating about something, when speculation has long since stopped, is pointless.

    And at this point, I consider you to be rather bullying. If your aim is to stop me commenting on this post, consider the tactic a success.

  39. Ann Somerville
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:13:07

    Chrissy, I was *agreeing* with you, not accusing you. Oy bloody vey.

    I’m done.

  40. Whack-A-Doodle
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:15:01

    I can't agree. Her very existence was questioned. If I lost a loved one and somebody questioned their existence, for whatever reason, it would hurt, very, very deeply.

    I’ll agree that was in poor taste since I do know that Dawn actually was a real person and I had quite a few dealings with her. But again, there are folks who simply did not know WHAT to believe and the thought that passed through their mind — however fleeting — was expressed on the boards. I can’t apologize for any of that since I was never one that jumped on that particular bandwagon.

    However, I will stand behind what I said earlier and have said throughout my postings here, that Dawn’s name must be brought out if only to prove the guilt of DAM and uncover the manipulation which unfolded in this so-called friendship of theirs.

  41. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:29:45

    Regarding:

    I'm not laughing at her or flagrantly disregarding her opinion or anything of the sort

    But that’s exactly how your later comment comes off:

    I had good reason for raising the idea, which I have explained at length, and if you don't approve, too bad.

    “Too bad” easily translates to “I don’t give a damn if you like it or not”.

    And at this point, I consider you to be rather bullying. If your aim is to stop me commenting on this post, consider the tactic a success.

    I have no intention of stopping you from posting. Whether you want to keep posting or not has no bearing on me~however, it would be nice if you would at least try to understand or maybe acknowledge that there could have been a different way to validate Dawn’s existence. As to my being bullying, if it comes off that way, I’m not intending it to be so, but I’m also not going to backtrack or change my mind. The way Dawn’s existence was questioned WAS thoughtless.

    Relevant? Certainly. But there had to be a better way to get an answer to that.

    Even after Jan’s comment,

    Ann, of course people have faked deaths. A little internet research would have shown this wasn't the case here, instead of posting unfounded speculation.

    Yes, DM brought all this on her head. What did Ms Thompson and her children do to bring this on theirs?

    I just think people need to do a little research before posting things like that when people could be hurt by it. Is that really such an unreasonable thing?

    and you responded with:

    Jan: You keep saying people could have found out the truth about Dawn Thompson with a little research. How? Googling “Dawn Thompson” produces tens of thousands of results. Asking here, produced an obit in about ten minutes. However, the mystery about DM and Dawn Thompson remains to be solved, and is a substantive issue.

    Expediency seems a terrible reason for bringing up something that would very painful for Dawn’s family to read. A simple email would probably netted you a dozen answers to links regarding Dawn, aside from DAM. As Jan asked, is that really so unreasonable?

  42. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:51:20

    However, I will stand behind what I said earlier and have said throughout my postings here, that Dawn's name must be brought out if only to prove the guilt of DAM and uncover the manipulation which unfolded in this so-called friendship of theirs.

    That’s understandable.

  43. Jane
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:52:27

    This thread is becoming unproductive. I am closing it and inviting people to come tomorrow and brainstorm about how Amazon can improve its review system. I have my own ideas and would love to hear others. I plan to send the post and the subsequent comments to Bezos.

  44. Jane
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 21:24:41

    One more comment. This one was emailed to me from Sara Reinke. I hope you all read it since Ms. Reinke was associated with MacGillivray in the comments.

    ****

    I appreciate Jane giving me this opportunity to clarify: I am not associated with Deborah MacGillivray. I met her once at a booksigning last year and although we kept in touch briefly after that via email, I have no contact with her now outside of the occasional cordial public post on Yahoo groups with which we are both members. I think if the allegations against her are true, the behavior is reprehensible and I am certainly disappointed and dismayed. In no way, shape or form do I now or would I ever condone treating anyone that way, much less readers or fellow authors. Ordinarily, I keep my opinions on matters such as these to myself, but having been alerted that a post on this thread included a reference to my blog, I felt it appropriate to speak out. I sincerely hope that the situations described in this discussion are resolved to the ultimate satisfaction of all parties involved.

  45. Jane
    Apr 13, 2008 @ 21:13:48

    Opening the comments again. I was asked to add this by Deborah Brent.

    ***

    I used to be part of the LIW loop. I left over the sheer volume of e-mail. I'll admit I deleted the majority of the e-mails. So, I don't know much about DAM's vituperative rants. They passed on some great jokes. However, I do know about her “clickies.” I had no idea she had taken it to the level of stalking and threats. When I left it seemed a harmless way to help a fellow writer. I didn't participate either way. I simply didn't have the time. I'm not sure what this makes me as I didn't really think about it one way or the other.

    I wish I had the e-mails where a question from one of their authors was treated as if said author had threatened the Queen. It was shortly after this that I stopped reading the e-mails. I did write the author privately to support her. I thought the response to her legit question was over the top.

    I am appalled at what she has done to Dawn Thompson's family.

    I just checked and the HP website is up and running.

  46. RenaRuadh
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 05:20:59

    I have written a review on amazon.co.uk regarding Ms McGillivray's book ‘The invasion of Falgannon Isle'. I gave it 1 star as I had several problems with it.

    First, I thought it was incredibly badly written.

    Second, I am a Gaelic speaker and get incredibly annoyed when writers use very sloppy Gaelic. There is the obvious use of bad grammar (how many times have I stumbled across ‘mo cridhe' rather than ‘mo chridhe'…), and then there is the use of vocabulary. Ms McGillivray obviously made the mistake of using just any odd word she found in a dictionary, hence she used completely wrong and inappropriate words.

    I wrote all this in my review, only to be shot down in flames by another reviewer, who pointed out that the word in question was listed in a certain dictionary, a dictionary which no Gaelic scholar would ever dream of using. And lo and behold, a few days later my review had disappeared. I emailed Amazon about that and never got a reply. This is incredibly annoying, but nothing, of course, compared to what the other reader had to go through. I just hope she has obtained legal help.

    I have now posted another review about the book and have seen another very recent 1 star comment. I have also replied to a few of the glowing 5 star reviews, using the very handy comment function. Let’s see what happens now…

  47. Pamela S Thibodeaux
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 06:50:24

    I really should be editing but this discussion was mentioned on one of the loops for The Wild Rose Press so I decided to check it out.

    What I’ve found here boggles my mind and hurts my heart.

    To think that all of this was started by folks who write “romance” is horrible! “Romance” is supposed to be about LOVE…and the question upppermost in my mind is “where is the love?”

    When I was new to publishing, I made a comment in the RWR that I felt it was “a sin and a shame” that some published authors did not want to help newbie authors.

    Although this comment was not meant in an evil way, but to encourage authors to think about their response to others’ questions and cries for help, the fact is my letter to the editor cause a hailstorm of response….none of it good.

    I tried to send a retraction and apology to the RWR, but those were never published.

    I did send a personal apology to some of the more vehement responders–whether or not they recieved or accepted to this day I know not.

    But the one lesson I learned is that we have to be VERY careful what we say.

    As an author, I too have had bad experiences. I’ve even written articles encouraging others to Beware and Be Smart with their career.

    But I did so without bashing the others involved.

    Does this make me a saint or better than anyone else?

    No, but hopefully wiser in my own decisions about my career and I’ve gone on to achieve a modicum of success.

    No, I’m not in the same category as authors like Nora, but I’ve had the priveledge to have my work reviewed on the same level as some.

    As well as 5 star reviews, I’ve received 3 star. (I’m happy with 3 star!) I’ve also received “poor” ratings at fictionwise when there are positive reviews for the <a href=”“>same story all over the internet!

    Moral of this post….Never say or write something that you may be embarrassed or ashamed to be associated with later.

    Comments can and will be taken out of context.

    So will reviews.

    What one person loves, another will hate. That’s human nature.

    I hope my post here is not taken in a negative light. I am neither niave or blind. There will always be those who –for whatever reason– thrive on sowing discord among the brethren.

    I, along with many others here, simply want to show my support of wronged authors and to encourage all of you to keep writing and readers to keep reading and may God BLESS and keep each and every one of you in the palm of His mighty hand!

    Pamela S Thibodeaux
    “Inspirational with an Edge!”

  48. Weekend Roundup | Openlore Writer's Community
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 08:53:06

    [...] subjects her authors to verbal abuse via their email group on Yahoo. The comment section on this post over at Dear Author is filled with horror stories from authors associated with the [...]

  49. Diana Groe
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 10:28:24

    Hello!

    I was told that my name was mentioned on this link (reference #69)as a contributor to an article about how authors can help each other. My contributions to Rowena’s 50Ways list was probably about making sure my author friends’ books are faced out whenever there’s room on the bookstore shelves. Anyone who’s visited my website or myspace page knows I’m the self-proclaimed Anti-Techno Queen. I don’t know enough to manipulate anyone’s system. My main way of helping authors whose work I admire is to feature them on my websites (www.dianagroe.com or http://www.emilybryan.com) on my Recommends Page.

    Re: Reader reviews. Of course, we authors would love to have all glowing reviews on Amazon. That’s only human nature. However, it’s about as likely as me ever being a size 2 in this lifetime. I have never, and would never request that my friends “click no” on a negative review. If someone was moved enough by my work to write a review, either positive or negative, it means they gave me the gift of their time and their opinion. Of course, I hope for positive reviews, but only my mother (who loves everything I write) and my husband (who wants to continue to sleep with me) will like all my books.

    Do I have friends who post reviews? Only one that I know of and that was unsolicited. If you look at my books on Amazon, MAIDENSONG, ERINSONG SILK DREAMS, and DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS (under my new pen name, Emily Bryan) you may see a review by Marci Weinbeck. She is very upfront about having read my work in manuscript form, so anyone looking at that review has to assume she knows me well enough for me to trust her with the unfinished product.

    The only time I have a problem with a review is when it is a “spoiler” that’s not clearly marked as such. Giving away a major plot point can take away the joy another reader might find in the story, so please do tag the review with a warning. I understand sometimes a major plot point is what really irked a reader about a book (I had a similar experience with the ending of Nicholas Sparks’ Message in a Bottle. So when I vented my frustration, I warned readers of my blog not to continue if they intended to read the book.)

    Reading is a conversation between the author and the reader. If there were no reader reviews, the conversation would be pretty one-sided. I, and many of my fellow authors, like to hear what readers have to say back, even if it isn’t all hearts and flowers. I have blogs that encourage reader comments and questions. Readers can email me from my websites if they don’t want their comments posted online.

    Reading is a subjective activity. We all bring certain expecations and preferences to the bookstore. We don’t all like the same thing. (Good thing too! Otherwise, you’d all be after my husband!)

    Happy Reading,
    Diana Groe
    aka Emily Bryan

    DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, “Wickedly witty” ~ Booklist
    (OK~ Dear Author only gave it a C, but they also said DTD was “fun, fresh and sexy!”)

  50. Kathleen Bacus
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 11:08:35

    Like Diana, I contributed to Rowena Cherry’s 50 Ways article. My suggestions, again like Diana’s, were along the lines of book placement as well as mentioning a book you enjoyed on a ‘what you’re reading now’ blog. That type of thing.

    I’ve never posted an on-line review–not to say I won’t if I feel strongly about a book and have the time to do so–have never solicited a review and am so techy-challenged I still haven’t figured out how to get my book blurb and cover copy up on Amazon. (My upcoming release is a testament to that.) As to reader reviews, I feel strongly that if a person takes the time to read my book and then to write and post a review, then it’s all good.

    ~Kathleen Bacus~
    FIANCE AT HER FINGERTIPS – April 29

  51. Peter Durward Harris
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 08:12:21

    One of the most surprising things to me is that anybody actually thinks that MacGillivray has enough talent to be an author of any kind. I’m not interested in romance fiction, but for various reasons, I have sometimes looked at her Amazon reviews. Judged on the review I know simply as kitty goes zoom, I find it difficult to believe that she’s capable of writing a book on any subject that anybodyt would want to read.

  52. Peter Durward Harris
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 08:14:41

    One of the most surprising things to me is that anybody actually thinks that MacGillivray has enough talent to be an author of any kind. I’m not interested in romance fiction, but for various reasons, I have sometimes looked at her Amazon reviews. Judged on the review I know simply as kitty goes zoom, I find it difficult to believe that she’s capable of writing a book on any subject that anybody would want to read.

  53. Concerned Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 10:25:04

    Unfortunatly it seems that Deborah MacGillivray and her clickie loop are at it again. All of Reba’s comments on amazon concerning the subject have disappeared. I’m not sure if amazon intentionally deleted them or she suffered another “report abuse” attack from MacGillivray and the clickie squad. I have emailed amazon executive customer service at [email protected] to find out.

  54. Nora Roberts
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 10:48:37

    I sincerely hope Amazon hasn’t taken this action. If it was the company’s decision to delete Reba’s reviews and comments rather than deal with DAM’s abuse and the ‘clickie’ business, I will be very, very disappointed.

  55. Read for Pleasure
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 11:13:56

    Book sales and Amazon reviews…

    According to recent surveys, online shoppers love to read reviews. … In 2003-04 Chevalier and Mayzlin studied Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com, focusing on whether specific books\’ sales were affected by the availability or lack of reviews and whe…

  56. Peter Durward Harris
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 11:50:17

    Amazon did indeed delete Reba’s comments – all of them, but (as they saw it) they had good reason to, because of comments posted on some of MacGillivray’s reviews. The whole issue seems to get murkier with every day that passes.

  57. EssieLou
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 11:57:59

    This pretty much means that the reviews at Amazon are totally worthless. That the reviews are nothing but the raves of cheerleaders, relatives, friends and rabid fans and not honest posts. There is another author who’s last book has had all the negative reviews removed 3 times, leaving in place the only positive review. Probably because the majority of the reviews were 1 star negative.

    Which means as a reader, I’m left with posting questions on the Amazon forums about authors and books while hoping they don’t get removed about the abuse of the abuse button…. Hrmpt, ironic— abuse of abuse. Or reading other readers lists of favorite books.

    But right now, as costumoer, I feel harrassed and let down by Amazon.

  58. Concerned Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:02:17

    They deleted the comments Reba posted to her (Reba’s) own review. Comments where she was defending herself to the attacks of Deborah MacGillivray and her friends. The other’s comments got to stay. Reba’s defense of herself and her review are gone.

  59. Nora Roberts
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:32:21

    If this is indeed the case, I have no faith in Amazon’s review system. Or in their support of their reviewers, or the authors who treat reviewers with respect, and don’t attempt to manipulate the system.

    This is a shame. And simply makes no sense to me.

  60. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:56:53

    Disturbing and disappointing. I agree with Nora. This makes no sense.

  61. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:11:09

    You can see that the posts by Reba were deleted by Amazon in this thread.

    I took a screen cap and you can see the evidence in this picture.

  62. Just A Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:16:43

    Well, I suppose that means Amazon doesn’t want my money either. Surprising, but not a problem really. Thanks to the internet, I can quite easily spend it elsewhere:P

    And I’m pasting the below in for a friend from another discussion board, who was undecided on whether she wanted to join in any discussions on this issue elsewhere. I told her I’d keep her identity private, but I thought this was an interesting story that should be passed on.

    I’ve been following this whole thing for a while, and it literally makes me sick to my stomach, and the veiled threats to Reba Belle turned my blood cold. I’ve never talked about this before, but I’ve been on the wrong end of the rabid “Deb Mac” fangirl attack.

    I was on a small forum where someone brought up a book she had written, and I mentioned I couldn’t finish it because I thought the writing was clunky and the characters just didn’t seem to be more than one-dimensional figures to me. That was it. The next day my inbox had a few messages in it, to sum it up ‘they’ (apparently fans of the series that saw my comment) basically said I obviously had no taste or intelligence or I would have “got” the book. One stood out to me though- apparently this loyal fan followed a link to a page of mine (probably Myspace) and found out I have lupus. After chastising my lack of taste, she also taunted me for “wasting what will probably be a short life” and “hoped I was in a great deal of pain.” This was from a lukewarm personal viewpoint of mine on A FICTIONAL BOOK. It hurt but I ignored it, not knowing this had happened to anyone else. I still have the emails saved and I’m going to be paying very close attention to how this all develops.

  63. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:34:36

    What’s so crazy and ironic about this whole thing is that in the Amazon discussion guidelines it says explicitly that you cannot threaten someone else:

    What shouldn’t I post?

    Behave as if you were a guest at a friend’s dinner party. Please treat the Amazon.com community with respect. Do not post:

    * Profane or obscene, inflammatory or spiteful comments
    * Messages that abuse, denigrate or threaten others
    * Text or articles written by someone else, even with attribution for the author, except for brief quotations from a book, article or other product related to the discussion
    * Any personal information about children under 13
    * Descriptions that intrude on the privacy of another person, including revealing personally identifiable information such as their name or address
    * Text that promotes illegal or immoral conduct
    * Repeated posts that make the same point excessively
    * Repeated unwelcome messages that harass or embarrass other customers or participants
    * Repeated posts that promote an item in the Amazon.com catalog
    * Any form of “spam,” including advertisements, contests, or other solicitations for other websites or companies; or any URL link that includes a “referrer” tag or affiliate code.

    So it’s just horrifying that DAM’s original post (the one SHE removed late last week) was allowed to stand for as long as it did. Clearly there is no one watching this store, and IMO that’s a BIG problem — one that needs immediate correction.

  64. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:36:41

    he next day my inbox had a few messages in it, to sum it up ‘they' (apparently fans of the series that saw my comment) basically said I obviously had no taste or intelligence or I would have “got” the book. One stood out to me though- apparently this loyal fan followed a link to a page of mine (probably Myspace) and found out I have lupus. After chastising my lack of taste, she also taunted me for “wasting what will probably be a short life” and “hoped I was in a great deal of pain.”

    This is just beyond disgusting.

  65. EssieLou
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:40:47

    The more I read, the uglier all this becomes.

  66. Nora Roberts
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 13:59:16

    There’s no way this action can be justified. No excuse for any company, however large and multi-layered, can allow its customers to be treated this way.

    DAM clearly broke the terms Amazon lists re posting. She cleared abused the system and reviewers. If there are no consequences for this sort of behavior, then what is the point of the review system, the commenting system. Do they have no system in place to enforce their own guidelines?

    I hope Reba or someone representing Amazon will post to explain why Amazon responded in this manner.

    Admittedly I don’t often check my own reviews or those on other books. But I certainly will never make use of the reviews on my own or others, or other products on Amazon until this situation is reasonably resolved.

    I’m sincerely dumbfounded.

  67. Mary
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 14:05:11

    Since this problem affects all of us…readers, authors and anyone else that uses Amazon, it doesn’t need to be left only to Reba to pursue it. How can we as consumers bring this to national attention?

    Maybe if the newsies got hold of it, Amazon would sit up and take notice. Because it sure doesn’t make sense they are allowing something this volatile to continue.

  68. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 14:41:57

    We are working on getting an ipetition to Amazon, which we plan to get out there by tomorrow. If anyone has any documentation you feel would be helpful, feel free to email it to Jane ([email protected]).

  69. Yvonne
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 14:54:07

    Just wanted to let you know that I complained to Amazon because they took off a review I posted on a Dawn Thompson book. That was 2 years ago!!! I just noticed it today and they put it back on (2 stars). Their comment was that I said something in regard to the author which is completely untrue. I review the book and would never say anything against the author. Back when I posted my review it said that 6 of 35 people thought my review was helpful. Now take a guess who the 29 people were who thought it unhelpful….and then got Amazon to take it off ???

  70. CJ England
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 15:06:36

    Seems to me if Amazon is going to use this type of censorship, (as in Yvonne’s case) they should have to justify it. I know how difficult that would be, but again, how can anyone trust the site once they know the reviews are manipulated?

  71. EssieLou
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 15:39:14

    Three times the bad reviews for Dara Joy’s last book have been purged, leaving only 1 four star review. If I remember correctly, the last purge removed about 30+ one and two star reviews, so you get the picture.

    Another book I bought for the glowing 4.5 star reviews was terrible, and then I discovered on the forums that it too had most of it’s negative reviews pulled.

    So no, I have no longer trust any review I read on Amazon. Seems it’s all smoke, mirrors and outright lies.

  72. The Daily Square - Underneath The Bottle Edition | Booksquare
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:07:18

    [...] Deborah Anne MacGillivray Harasses ReaderWow, this is, without a doubt, the most fun we’ve had reading the Internet in ages. [...]

  73. Karen Templeton
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:14:20

    What’s sad to me is that this really is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch. Most authors don’t monkey with their reviews, but now that it’s been proven that some do, we’re all suspect.

    It does, however, seem to be more of a small-press/self-published phenomenon. And I wish there was some way of teaching readers how to spot manipulated reviews, although they’ve always seemed blatantly obvious to me — for instance, more than a handful of reviews, all gushing and all sounding as though they were written from a predetermined template, for *any* author who’s not a big name…um, no.

    For instance — I’ve been writing for Harlequin for ten years, have around thirty or so titles on Amazon. The most reviews I’ve ever gotten for a single book (my first Red Dress Ink) was eighteen, ranging from 1-5 stars. Most of my books have no reviews (category readers aren’t big on reviewing, apparently); the others…eh. A single review, maybe. Or two or three.

    But if you don’t know what’s standard — if you don’t know the extreme unlikelihood of a small press book with a limited print run getting fifty reviews, for goddsake — then how do you trust the system?

  74. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:30:42

    Some more disturbing news – someone on Amazon’s message boards reported that if you do the following search, you can see that all of Reba’s comments have been deleted from Amazon, “from organizing books to books about pregnant heroines.”

  75. DevonM
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:39:40

    What's sad to me is that this really is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch. Most authors don't monkey with their reviews, but now that it's been proven that some do, we're all suspect.

    It does, however, seem to be more of a small-press/self-published phenomenon.

    Ms. Templeton, you say it’s a case of a few bad apples. I agree. Then you say this seems to be a small press/self-published issue. Please don’t lump everyone published by a small press into the bad apple cart because of the behaviors we’ve seen coming out of Highland Press.

    I’m published with The Wild Rose Press and my book is a POD. I have never manipulated reviews, nor has anyone I know. Of my four great reviews, one is a friend and fellow author who has rooted for the book since she read it in rough manuscript stage. The other three are readers I didn’t know from Adam before they reviewed my book.

    Not all small presses have the drama, bullying, and weak leadership going on behind the scenes. Some of them are very professional and treat their authors with respect. Wild Rose Press is one of those small publishers and I feel fortunate to have hooked up with them.

    It seems to me DAM’s review problems stemmed from a book she published with Kensington, not a small press at all.

  76. CJ England
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 16:40:50

    It does, however, seem to be more of a small-press/self-published phenomenon.

    I would have to respectfully disagree with you here. Ms. MacGillivray is with Dorchester and Kensington and neither of those are small presses. The fact that any author would do such a thing is despicable, but this has nothing to do with the size of the publisher. It has everything to do with the size of this one author’s ego.

  77. Molly
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:02:03

    On Amazon – It seems to me Amazon is really digging itself in on several levels.

    First is caused a great deal of consternation for a number of authors with small press houses demanding they use Booksurge or they would not have their books listed. My suggestion is then to use Barnes & Noble — they would be more than happy to be the only place to pick up certain titles.

    Now this with DAM — Amazon is in the business so sell books (and now groceries — please — groceries!). If a book has a bad review, will people buy? I’ve heard it both ways — that a reader will be curious and buy just to see and that they will not. Myself, I’ll glance at reviews, but make up my own mind based on the blurb and what I see on a new author’s (new to me) website. I know some professional review sites will also post to Amazon with something like “courtesy of _____ reviews” but otherwise, I don’t know how impartial the reviews on Amazon really are. As a reader if I’m reading for enjoyment, if the book is awful, I just put it in the library pile. If it’s for a professional reason (i.e., a review) I read it all the way and try to give an objective assessment of it. I’d trust a professional site over Amazon. I’ve also heard about how on a site like Fictionwise authors will buy a book just so they can post a negative rating against another author in their genre. Do I trust those ratings? No, not really.

    So Amazon, in what seems to be a bid to be the only place to buy books and to make sure all books that they have a finger in the pie get sold, appears to be blundering again. They used to be so in touch with customers. It seems they no longer care.

  78. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:33:21

    I have not received ANY response from Amazon about this situation since it escalated last week. Nothing.

    UPDATE: Shortly after I posted this I got a call from Amazon. Please see #486 on this forum.

    1. The person that was handling my case in Amazon’s Executive Customer Service Dept is/was Danielle LaFreniere, her e-mail is [email protected].

    2. The person in the Attorney General’s Office (Seattle) is Sandra Hatcher and her e-mail address is [email protected]. My case number is: 308417 WA AGO
    – I filed in January 2008 with them because was going round circles with Amazon’s Customer Service. (More on this in a minute)

    3. I can still access my account at Amazon, but I cannot post. Message comes up saying “You must be a member in good standing.”

    4. I did not delete my posts, Amazon did.

    5. Today, I called the 800 number for Amazon and spoke with a representative, but she was unable to help me because she said she could not verify who I was. Back when this started, I removed my billing address, shipping address, any addresses I mailed books to as gifts and my credit card information.

    In the past, when I contacted Amazon by phone–even after I removed that information–they could access my information by verifying my e-mail address and name on the account. But, this person could not. She was very nice, though and sympathetic. I told her EVERYTHING. (sigh)

    - She suggested I e-mail [email protected]. She said they, too, were part of the Executive Customer Relations, but in a different state than Danielle LaFreniere. She told me she sent Danielle and e-mail letting her know that I called with a problem.

    6. Amazon should have more than 50 e-mails from me since August 2007. I have their responses–all of them. Some were very helpful, some were not.

    - For months, I received this e-mail–almost weekly–from Amazon and the same person.

    Greetings from Amazon.com.

    I wanted to send you a quick e-mail to let you know that we are
    still researching the matter.

    Although it generally takes us 1 to 2 business days to complete our
    research, there are times that it may take us a little longer as it
    is in this case. I truly apologize for this additional delay.

    I’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding. We’ll
    contact you again shortly with an answer or resolution pertaining to
    your account.

    Thanks again for shopping at Amazon.com.

    Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

    If yes, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=avqrauwa3366592442
    If not, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=avqrauwa3366592442&q=hcm2&nc2c=1

    Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept
    incoming e-mail.

    To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help
    section of our web site.

    Best regards,

    Mohiuddin
    Amazon.com Customer Service
    http://www.amazon.com
    ==============================

    Jane, can I put letters I received from Amazon on here? I have MANY that show the problems I was having that I told you about editing and posting book reviews.

  79. Ann Bruce
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:36:32

    @Ms. Templeton

    The DAM issue has nothing to do with publishers, big or small. This is all about DAM: her ego, her control issues, and her inability to accept criticism. Her actions fall outside the norm of ANY author, at ANY publisher.

    EDITED because I can’t spell today.

  80. JLFerg
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:39:07

    Writing is not my strong point, which is why I come out of lurk mode so rarely. However, would it make sense to write letters to the business sections of newspapers or the consumer reporter of local television stations?

    In Boston, Hank Phillipi Ryan (a romance/mystery writer) is an investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate (WHDH). She has investigated consumer fraud for the station for a number of years with her series “Hank Investigates”. I don’t know if she can do anything about this, but perhaps she may have ideas on who to contact and actions we can take, in addition to the petition.

    Jill

    BTW, something really weird. I did a Google search for the titles of Ms Phillipi Ryan’s books. The first site I found, Single Titles, has an interview with her about her writing and the book, “Face Time”. The post previous to the interview is “Welcome new Author Member Deborah MacGillivray”. Talk about spooky.

  81. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:47:04

    I believe all my posts were removed by Amazon because it would have been too time consuming to go through them and remove this one:

    From: [email protected]
    [mailto:[email protected]]On Behalf Of DeborahAnneMacGillivray

    Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 7:58 PM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: [The_Ladies_in_Waiting]vote down this bitch please

    HYPERLINK
    “http://www.amazon.com/tag/romance/forum/ref=cm_cd_et_up_redir/104-4730808-1
    059121?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxM42D5QN2YZ1D&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx1KTAKNGJY
    4AJ8&displayType=tagsDetail&newContentID=MxEFXWGIMKK03C#MxEFXWGIMKK03C”http:
    //www.amazon.com/tag/romance/forum/ref=cm_cd_et_up_redir/104-4730808-1059121
    ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxM42D5QN2YZ1D&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx1KTAKNGJY4AJ8&d
    isplayType=tagsDetail&newContentID=MxEFXWGIMKK03C#MxEFXWGIMKK03C

    vote no, on this and vote abuse.

    “Reba Belle says:
    When I saw this I had to see what bad books folks were reading and make
    sure
    I didn’t have any of them in my stack of books to read! LOL LOL
    But, when I saw the post about authors acting childish when you post a
    badreview, I had to write! No kidding. My little fingers were itching to
    writethis story. LOL
    I have a review “out there” for In Her Bed, author is Deborah something
    or other.
    Anyway, I reviewed that book and gave it positive points, but stated my
    reasons for giving it 3 stars. Frankly, I thought that was
    overgenerous…
    She keeps having my review taken down and Amazon keeps putting it back
    up (as is).
    I think its sad for her that most of the reviews for that book are by
    fellow authors and what appear to be clones (because they have read the samebooks).
    That’s c l o n e s not c l o w n s. LOL
    Really that book was far from 5 star material and to hear the rave
    reviews written about it you would think it would be up for the next “Great American Novel Award.” wholly smokes! LOL LOL LOL LOL
    A great man once said, “Anybody who is great at anything does it for
    their own approval, not someone elses.”

    Reba

    No virus found in this incoming message.
    Checked by AVG Free Edition.
    Version: 7.5.484 / Virus Database: 269.12.1/963 – Release Date:
    8/20/2007
    5:44 PM

    Messages in this topic (10)
    ________________________________________________________________________

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

    Yes, I posted it. When I read that she laughed about having my husband and kids names I thought I had the proof that I was told I didn’t have several months ago. And because Amazon had not responded to me, I wanted to get that out to any and everyone.

    I’m sorry if it caused all my posts to be removed and made all of you who were supporting me look bad. Very sorry and that was not my intention. I thought I had my proof.

    I would think they could delete posts from a certain date only, but they chose a site-wide deletion of anything I wrote except the 6 remaining book reviews.

    And now I am considered a member in bad standing.

  82. Concerned Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:54:19

    Reba,

    I don’t understand. What’s wrong with posting that information?

  83. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:55:00

    Here’s a post from Deborah MacGillivray on an Amazon thread to Reba:

    Deborah MacGillivray says:
    Reba/Cassy

    Hi sweetie. Had a nice chat with Cathy Spangler yesterday. Very informative. Left you a mess on Leanne’s thread but guess you didn’t see it.

    Have a good one.

    The involvement of Ms. Spangler and what information she provided to DAM is pretty disturbing.

  84. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 17:58:32

    Jane,

    Would you be interested in seeing the “Read any BAD books lately” discussion BEFORE the deletions? I have a copy of it before and after the edits, too. I don’t have it saved to file, but hard copied. I could scan it and send as an attachment, fax, or mail it to you.

    If you think it would help.

    That’s where they threatened me with having my account deleted on Amazon. And it was immediately after that that I was no longer able to post new book reviews or edit any of my 242 book reviews that were already available.

  85. Karen Templeton
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:17:39

    Sorry, that’s what I get for not ignoring my mail inbox while trying to figure out why the heck my hero and heroine can’t get their acts together. :)

    I didn’t mean to imply, in any way, that all — or even most — small press authors would resort to such shenanigans. I have, however, seen more of this sort of review manipulation on self-published books, or books from small presses, than I have on books from larger publishers (although there are obviously exceptions, as we have seen. Oy.).

    For some authors, Amazon (and I suppose B&N online) are pretty much the only place(s) they can sell their books, and may indeed feel that even a single bad review might put off enough readers to make a real difference in their sales. And since, in many cases, *all* the promotion falls on the author’s head, it’s understandable that someone might, say, try to get friends and family and other authors, perhaps, to put in a good word about her book. And some will get more into it than others, that’s all I’m saying. :)

    Generally speaking, however, authors with larger houses aren’t as likely to get quite so caught in Amazon to begin with, because they know their books are out in brick-and-mortars and that Ammy is really still a pretty small piece of the pie. But if an author who moves from a small house to a large one still a) carries that smaller-press promo mindset with her and b)has, um, issues…

    Ka-boom.

    In any case, the vast majority of authors, no matter how small or large their house, would never abuse the system, or tip over the line between promotion and obsession. So, my apologies for not making myself more clear.

  86. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:23:18

    I just received a phone call from Danielle LaFreniere, Amazon’s Executive Customer Service Department, at [email protected]. She was very helpful!

    - She was not aware all my posts were removed from Amazon and was going to find out why.

    - There is a team going through all the documentation I and many of you have sent about this and they are appalled and shocked at what they are seeing and reading. Amazon has looked at this forum!

    - I told her I was getting the message about being a member in bad standing and she said that she would look into why that is, too. She was surprised and was going to make a phone call about it.

    I told her why I thought I got banned (that post earlier)….she said she would research more and get back to me.

    She said she (and a team they have working on this) have been shocked researching this.

    Wanted to let you all know.

  87. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:34:10

    Reba – I hope hope hope that this is true and not all talk by Amazon.

  88. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:36:36

    Reba, I just want to thank you for being so unwilling to roll over under these folks. This whole situation with MacGillivray is so extreme (I mean, can you IMAGINE bragging on Amazon that you got information from a fellow author!???????) that if it weren’t for so much evidence from you, from MacGillivray herself, and from authors who have been dealing with her to varying degrees, I would think this was an enormous gag. Sadly, it’s clearly not, but everything you have saved and done makes a very compelling case, and I think it’s only a matter of time before DAM and co. hit the last whistle stop on what looks like an orchestrated campaign of intimidating readers and authors and manipulating Amazon reviews.

    The involvement of Ms. Spangler and what information she provided to DAM is pretty disturbing.

    The plot thickens. . . and gurgles.

  89. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:38:30

    Me too! Thank you Jane!! Thank you everyone!!

    My first post here hasn’t appeared yet. It was at 5:33 and indicates “awaiting moderation.”

  90. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 18:43:12

    Reba – I am glad you have heard something! It seems the letters and emails got attention. They need to continue so this isn’t shoved under the rug.

    The post by Deborah MacGillivray was very disturbing. Did anyone mention your ‘real name’ before now? It proves the PI thing by her using your real name, the implied malice and demonstrates an unprofessional attitude. Guess she hasn’t learned a thing.

    I wrote Barnes and Noble. I have no doubt she is bilking their customer base too.

  91. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:08:01

    Robin #487 – I agree the mention of Cathy Spangler adds another ooze of slime to DAM’s ick factor.

  92. Jane
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:13:26

    Actually, Spangler’s involvement seems much more disturbing. Reba shared with me that Spangler had her real name, address, and family website which Reba sent to her because Catherine Spangler would mail out a “loaner copy” of her out of print Shielder Series title. Reba mentioned that on the Amazon boards and it was after that, Ms. MacGillivray responded with “Had a nice chat with Cathy Spangler yesterday. Very informative.”

    Spangler is non responsive to inquiries about this.

  93. eNotes Book Blog » Blog Archive » Mark Sarvas: Officially an Author…
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:14:27

    [...] at least I don’t get all butt hurt over an Amazon review like this crazy. (thanks, [...]

  94. Gennita Low
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:25:53

    Oi. This is getting more and more disturbing by the day. It makes me worry about my own address that I give to writer friends.

    I know, from a private conversation with a friend, that Ms MacGillivray wrote harrassing emails to authors who are signed with her former agent. She knew their private email because she updated the former agent’s website.

    This is just unbelievable, that one woman can be so vindictive to so many for so long.

  95. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:35:12

    I would like to give Spangler the benefit of the doubt as it seems DAM is VERY good at manipulating people. Under no circumstances should she should be sharing her fans personal information, for any reason.

    A quick check shows that at least five of her books – Shielder, Shadower, Shadow Fires, Shamara and Touched by Darkness were all given five stars by Deborah MacGillivray on Amazon.

    DAM was busy at Barnes and Noble too. CS got five stars from DAM on at least four of her books – Touched By Darkness, Shamara, Shadow Crossing, Shielder.

    Incest is illegal in most states, is it not?

  96. Volsfan
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:36:16

    I would like to give Spangler the benefit of the doubt as it seems DAM is VERY good at manipulating people. Under no circumstances should she should be sharing her fans personal information, for any reason.

    A quick check of Ms. Spangler’s books shows that at least five of her books – Shielder, Shadower, Shadow Fires, Shamara and Touched by Darkness were all given five stars by Deborah MacGillivray on Amazon.

    DAM was busy at Barnes and Noble too. CS got five stars from DAM on at least four of her books – Touched By Darkness, Shamara, Shadow Crossing, Shielder.

  97. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 19:52:40

    I received this response in the Read and BAD Books Lately Discussion on Amazon.

    Dated August 21, 2007 5:50 p.m. PDT and edited August 22, 2007 7:13 a.m. PDT

    Leeanne Grant says:

    reba,

    You are clearly attacking someone which is against the forum rules.

    Whoa –Reba, you took down on your “horse for sale ads” that have your phone and address showing. Too late lol What next the family tree page? You forgot the (my maiden name) family tree….(my full initials)

    Amazon takes it down because people see you breaking the rules, just as you are breaking the rules on this forum. YOU report, not Amazon. Amazon keeps taking down because you break the rules.

    That is typed “as is” (errors and all). It is exactly how it was typed in the discussion board, except I edited my personal information in the parenthesis.

    I’d like to say, not only was she falsely accusing me of attacking authors (I have know idea where that came from), but we never put our address and phone number on the family website. It was e-mail only. Always has been and always will be.

  98. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:05:46

    Same discussion board

    August 21, 2007 7:28 pm PDT

    Leeane Grant says:

    reba,

    the only point you have is your pointedly little head. Lol People don’t have patience with someone carrying on a vendetta. No one likes this sort of ugliness. As for reviews, I find dozens of reviews sites all over the web that are giving high reviews to this same book. Dozens and dozens of places, and only Reba knows best? Reba the punisher? Or are you Cassy the clown…um I mean clone? OVER 200 reviews in 2 days has worked a hardship on her perspective, hasn’t it?

    I post reviews for books I love. Shame you take something fun like this forum and try to turn it into something rather ugly. I have reported you. So are others. Dozens of others. Your bio, your forum attacks and you silly FAKE reviews such as where you attack Barbara Pierce. How many others are you getting even with? You think people don’t notice what you are doing?

    I suggested before, unplug and go take a cold shower. You need to get grip, hon.

    This forum is for sharing and fellowship, not a whipping post you are trying to make it.

    Please, for your peace of mind — get a grip. This is way OVER THE TOP!

    All errors or typos are as it was typed.

  99. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:10:49

    Reba, I assume that you provided all this documentation to Amazon, yes?

    I'd like to say, not only was she falsely accusing me of attacking authors (I have know idea where that came from)

    Since this was on a public forum, I figured it had more to do with convincing other people than convincing you. To justify their posts, that is.

    I would like to give Spangler the benefit of the doubt as it seems DAM is VERY good at manipulating people. Under no circumstances should she should be sharing her fans personal information, for any reason.

    See, that second sentence is key. As Gennita says, think of how many people send their addresses to authors as part of contests, etc. Why would Spangler think it was okay to do this, and under what circumstances would she think DAM would need this? From what I can tell, Spangler pubbed a number of historical Romances with Dorchester, so I don’t know what her involvement with DAM is, but I’ll bet others do.

  100. Lynne
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:13:29

    I wondered how they’d gotten hold of Reba’s info, since her Amazon profile doesn’t have much in it. Now MacGillivray’s reference to Catherine Spangler makes a LOT more sense. I seriously hope to see a public explanation or apology from Spangler about this — preferably one posted here.

    I’m a huge fan of Spangler’s. I’ve bought every one of her books for close to nine years now, and she’s one of maybe five romance authors I actually reread. When we moved last year, I sold or gave away 90% of my romance novels but kept every one of my Spanglers. It would break my heart not to buy any more of her books, but that’s exactly what will happen if she stays mum on this topic.

  101. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:16:27

    I post reviews for books I love. Shame you take something fun like this forum and try to turn it into something rather ugly.

    Oh, the irony.

    This is way OVER THE TOP!

    The one statement with which I agree.

  102. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:30:13

    Same Discussion Board. Right after post #497 on this forum. Starts at the bottom and goes up.

    Silky says August 21, 2007 7:15 pm PDT

    I can’t call you Rebabelle knowing that is your horse’s name. Of course you are acting like a horse. I take that back it insults the horse. You are acting like a five year old and I have two, so I know.

    Are you so stupid can’t figure out that Amazon is removing your review because it doesn’t conform to their standards. You aren’t a reviewer and your opinion is your own but so far all you have shown is ignorance. You discount everyone else opinion because you are right. Same old same old.

    You don’t pay attention to great men – “A great man once said, “Anybody who is great at anything does it for their own approval, not someone elses.” ”

    You are doing this to spike everyone else, aren’t you? Because you know best you have launched your attacks in the review, your bio, and other postings. You are just a vindictive and determined to be right as ever, aren’t you? Of course I imagine you still like to play out of your league, don’t’ you darling?

    From me:

    Reba says August 21, 2007 6:52 pm PDT

    Thank you, folks, for making my point.

    Reba

    From Anne Raven:

    Anne Raven says August 21, 2007 6:11 pm PDT edited by author 10 hours ago

    >>>>>>see you didn’t go ride your horse and chill. Stop attack authors, especially the one you cannot recall or Amazon is going to shut you down. You are clearly attacking someone which is against the forum rules.

    snort snort

    From Deborah:

    Deborah MacGillivray says August 21, 2007 6:10 pm PDT

    Reba/Cassy

    Hi sweetie. Had a nice chat with Cathy Spangler yesterday. Very informative. Left you a mess on Leanne’s thread but guess you didn’t see it.

    Have a good one.

    NOTE: I think it is interesting that Deborah misspelled Leeanne/Leanne’s name. And, for the record, I have no idea who Cassy is/was….

    All the mistakes and are typed as is.

  103. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:38:37

    If you go to Leeanne Grant’s review of “In Her Bed” and see the comments it says:

    In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2007 2:32 AM PDT
    Deborah MacGillivray says:
    Small world isn’t it? Cathy Spangler is a friend. I did the graphics for her Touch series bookmarks.

    I spoke with her about you, and she recalled you emailing years ago, but hasn’t heard from you for a long time.

    Nice when you have fans as dedicated as you trying to help get her books back in print.

    NOTE: I thought it was strange that she “recalled e-mailing you years go” since it was late 2006 or early 2007 that we chatted via e-mail.

  104. Reba Belle
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:52:37

    I’m going to call it a night here. My eyes are going cross-eyed…

    Good night everyone and God Bless.

    Reba

  105. Randi Thompson
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:56:31

    So, I’ve been following this since it began….and wow. Just. Wow. I’d like to join the turnip truck gang. 1) Reba: Bravo. What a stand up woman you are. Good for you for following through with Amazon. I probably would have given up months ago. 2) I only use Amazon reviews to check out new authors (to me that is, not new to print) and pay close attention to the 2,3 and 4 stars. I get very suspicious if a book only have 4 and 5 stars. As someone already mentioned, I learn more about the books from the middle reviews that the 1 or 5 star ones. It just simply baffles me that someone would spend SO MUCH time working the system. 3) oooooo, I am sorely disappointed in Amazon. Sorely. So much so that I am contemplating ceasing any buying activity there, at all. I will make my decision based on the outcome of this situation.

    BTW; Target edits their reviews, as well. I, twice, left a review (on the same item as I thought the original review got mangled) and all the not glowing items were edited out with the …’s. I refuse to buy anything from Target online now because clearly, their reviews are heavily edited to only be positive; and I can’t trust that.

  106. Just A Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 20:58:12

    A quick check of Ms. Spangler's books shows that at least five of her books – Shielder, Shadower, Shadow Fires, Shamara and Touched by Darkness were all given five stars by Deborah MacGillivray on Amazon.

    DAM was busy at Barnes and Noble too. CS got five stars from DAM on at least four of her books – Touched By Darkness, Shamara, Shadow Crossing, Shielder.

    Noticed that too. I hate to say it, but it seems pretty obvious to me what’s going on there.

  107. Robin
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:11:21

    Leeanne Grant looks to be part of the posse; notice her glowing review of a Dawn Thompson release on BN.com.

    How did all these folks get sucked in?
    And who the hell has time for all this? Being a spectator has been an enormous time suck for the past few days; I can’t imagine what it takes to sustain this kind of nonsense.

  108. Just A Reader
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:17:07

    Anybody notice how many of these authors have 5 star reviews by Harriet Clausner?:P

  109. DW
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:20:59

    Hey Reba,

    Just wanted you to know that you have a lot of support from the Amazon reviewers. L and I are reposting the threatening email in various places. Good luck to you.

  110. Randi Thompson
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 21:54:45

    I just checked Powells.com and similar activity going on there. However, not every book of DAM’s is reviewed. But the reviewers won’t be unfamilar to you. I also checked Tower.com and absolutely no comments under her books. Oddly, though, if you do a search for her name at Tower, Dawn Thompson’s Blue Moon Enchantment comes up.

    Edited to add: Check out Target.com too. I gotta say, these ladies sure are thorough.

  111. Dani
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 23:08:53

    #08–Just a Reader Anybody notice how many of these authors have 5 star reviews by Harriet Clausner?:P

    This is a another can of worms (so to speak) on Amazon. She is their number one reviewer and when people get going on her the discussion is also pretty dicey.

  112. Denni
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 01:57:47

    Those are some scary stalker people…like nightmare scary.

    It’s a coincidence, Harriet is a whole different issue. All of Harriet’s reviews are 5 stars with just a few 4 stars for variety. They are also well known to be inaccurate…try reading one for a book you know well, it’s almost entertaining. A word to the wise, never use her reviews to choose a book.

    Although it is interesting, because Harriet’s reviews are receiving more and more “clicks” as “not useful”, yet they never seem to disappear…

  113. Eirin
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 02:17:37

    Just want to join in the chorus and say BRAVO Reba.

    Clearly, DAM tried to bully the wrong woman.
    I very much admire your tenacity and willingness to push on, especially in the face of Amazon sticking their fingers in their ears and going La La La, as well as the increasingly disturbing conspiracy (and I can’t believe I just used that word, but that’s exactly what this is) of issue-ridden, very nasty people.

    Kudos to you.

  114. Cindy
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 06:41:51

    Good for you Reba! I’m always pleased to see someone not give in. I, for one, will not buy from Amazon as long as they allow this nonsense to continue. When I did reviews, I always gave honest reviews about structure, content, etc. I found many books lacking in the past few months. In fact, I’ve been reading a mystery from a print press last night, I found several problems with continuity, content and typos. All things an editor could have caught, but I digress.But if I were reviewing for Amazon, I would have only given three stars and would have had my review my removed. Personally, as a reader, I’d want to know about problems. Although…I rarely pay attention to reviews…I always like what critics don’t, and vice versa, lol.

  115. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:03:16

    It get more and more appalling. Obviously, these women have been manipulating, abusing and bullying for so long with impunity they simply escalated. Why not?

    Reba’s why not.

    Kudos to you, Reba, for standing up.

    I hope Amazon comes through on this, and does the right thing.

    I don’t know who Spangler is, but if she passed Reba’s personal information to DAM–or anyone–she owes a huge apology.

  116. Jill Myles
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:23:02

    Klausner may write strange, useless reviews – but she’s never attacked anyone quite like DAM has.

    To me, the problem has morphed away from gaming the system to DAM’s terrible, terrible behavior. That to me is more concerning than any ‘clickies’ at the moment.

  117. Amazonian
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:25:24

    The thing is the more people who come forward the more scary MacGillivray proves to be. I want to commend Reba for standing up to this. I also want to say kudos to the people who have come forward with their stories to help bring the real Deborah MacGillivray to light. I am glad that Amazon has a ‘team’ looking at this.

    I know some people are mad about the reviews on Amazon not always being right. They are opinions. MacGillivray clearly doesn’t think people should have those opinions. She said so in an interview saying that they are not reviews but opinions, that it is like having a 15 year old telling you how to write a book. That is ridiculous. But this isn’t just about opinions.

    There is definitely stalking going on. You can see where MacGillivray participated in harassing Reba on that thread in August. You can see her making reference to talking to another author about Reba. You can hear the nasty threatening tone. As a Top Reviewer, as the author of the book, MacGillivray could have reported those who ganged up on Reba to Amazon. She didn’t and seeing her repeated behavior and her stalking it is clear she didn’t because she wanted or orchestrated those attacks. There is no way she can plead ignorance or not part of this. And then to go after Reba again on other sites is so wrong. This goes way beyond flooding the internet with your friends’ reviews, although that is rather pathetic too. It shows MaGillivray is a mean and spiteful person.

    I read somewhere that MacGillivray was not coming out and commenting about this because she doesn’t write on blogs. It seems to me that going on a discussing a post someone else made on the internet is like posting on a blog. I suppose she has decided not to comment because there is nothing she wants to say on this. An apology would be nice. She went through so much trouble to get Reba’s personal information so she knows how to contact her. Then she should apologize to all of us for her behavior since many of us have shopped on Amazon. I’m sure there are more victims who think they are alone out there and don’t read these boards so the apology must be a blanket one.

    The money thing about the raffle is potentially sick as well. It seems MacGillivray is capable of harassing and playing people, I worry she did that to someone who might have been vulnerable.

    I do keep asking myself why other authors would help her and I come back to what people have said here. Some people didn’t know what she was capable of. Some people believed her when she said she would blackball them. Some people wanted the good reviews and didn’t want bad ones. I guess there are many people who thought they were the only ones and didn’t want to speak out.

    Deborah MacGillivray has gotten where she is by her own hand. If she is that other person, Victoria, and Deborah MacGillivray is her new pen name, or Victoria was her pen name and Deborah MacGillivray is her real name, she has a long history of doing this. I really hope Amazon will do something to stop her. I would like them to take away her Top Reviewer status and her privileges. That will slow her down.

    I don’t think it will make her go away. She will probably haunt other sites with other reviews and fixed awards. She will also probably try to stalk other people and get rid of other bad reviews. But, the good thing is, once a bully is stood up to, once people say “No More” and let others know what kind of a person MacGillivray is, her power base will start to shrink. I am sure the word is getting around already. Hopefully it will continue.

  118. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:45:29

    Geez.

    Okay, this line… from post 502

    People don't have patience with someone carrying on a vendetta.

    This is a textbook case of pot, meet kettle.

    Reba, I’ll add my applause to everybody else’s. The crap you had to put up with is so far beyond nuts, it’s ridiculous.

  119. WhoaNelly
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:46:07

    Leeanne Grant looks to be part of the posse; notice her glowing review of a Dawn Thompson release on BN.com.

    How did all these folks get sucked in?
    And who the hell has time for all this? Being a spectator has been an enormous time suck for the past few days; I can't imagine what it takes to sustain this kind of nonsense.

    That’s just it–in DM’s small group (Yep, it only takes a few to spread this kind of hate.) it became pretty hard to separate things at times. Fact from fiction. Craziness from reality – when you’re only getting one side of the story. It’s not hard at all for certain reader’s posts on Amazon to be shared and made to look like the culprits. There were many other issues behind the scenes for a lot of the HP authors while this was all going on, issues that kept us from really seeing this mess. It’s not that there weren’t good people there or people that didn’t care. Like some have stated already, a lot of us didn’t know how deep this was going. And to make matters even fuzzier, this was all stemming from a person, DM, that had actually been a lot of help at one time when it came to writing and knowledge of the the industry…or so it was thought. It still blows my mind that this split personality type behavior was and still is going on. And amongst all this were people trying to launch a genuine career. Now who can work in that kind of environment?? And who the hell would want to. I didn’t, so I got the hell out.

    Reba Belle, know that there are some at HP that came out of this mess and got away from it, that sympathize with you. There are plenty that left HP that were receiving just as scary treatment. I read and reviewed some of DM’s books, and the ones I reviewed I genuinely, honestly liked and had even wanted to read them before “meeting” her online. When her behavior became too erratic for me to handle anymore, I sat at my computer, stunned one day as I honestly felt someone with talent (yes, I did think DM was a good writer–and that’s the truth) had gone too far, and had a while ago. That she was ruining her career and this would all come back to haunt her one day. And over reviews of all things? It’s haunting her, but I doubt it’s affecting her yet the way it should. DM is a master at manipulating circumstances, oh my god how she can manipulate, something anyone even only reading this mess should realize. The good thing is, once eyes are open, it’s easier to not give her that power anymore.

    None of this is written in a bid for sympathy, but in hopes of shedding some more light on the situation. All I can say now, after way too long with that group, is I’m glad both sides of the story are coming out. I hope your case is genuinely heard by Amazon, Reba, and it does sound now as if they’re taking it seriously. Your side is certainly looking and reading like the more sane one. Best of luck to you. I hope you’ll be able to move on with life one day after winning this fight, with no further harassment.

  120. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:50:17

    I don't know who Spangler is, but if she passed Reba's personal information to DAM-or anyone-she owes a huge apology.

    I’m not sure an apology is enough. Considering the threats made towards Reba, not to mention the harassment alone, but the threats…

    I’m sorry is for when you accidentally ruin a friend’s brand new silk jacket.

    But does it even cover sharing information that could possibly endanger others?

    And I’ve gotta get. Even though this thing holds a macabre fascination for me, I’m at RT and haven’t even checked in yet.

  121. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:57:15

    This is all so horrific!!!!!!!

    A scene from “Psycho” keeps running through my mind. Poor Reba opens the curtain and… (cue theme music)

    DAM and clan may think they are giants, but the beanstalk belongs to Amazon. And one very determined Reba stands at the bottom, axe in hand, calling to the other villagers for help. (Okay, okay. I’ll stop with this comparitive stuff now.)

    What truly boggles my brain is that, before all this happened, I might have purchased both of DAM’s books based on Reba’s review. The author side of me would have been interested in seeing how DAM handled writing a second book based on all the same plot from the first book. And I’d have purchased both with the understanding they end the same. No shock or feeling ripped off because that critical information wasn’t available to me.

    As a reader, I probably would have decided to purchase the first book, and if I liked it enough, bought the second. But again armed with the knowledge that this wasn’t your typical spinoff based on a secondary character. No harm, no foul.

    The “kissy-kissy” reviews? I always ignore those. They are pretty easy to spot and I know a level of “glad-handing” is involved.

  122. Ester Mish
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:14:18

    **pops up another bag of popcorn**

    I have only bought 1 book from Amazon, and I knew exactly what book I was looking for when I bought it. I am disgusted. Beyond disgusted, I am canceling my Amazon account. I will not give my money to a company who treats its valued customers like that. I think I will stick with the bookstores in my area, to heck with online shopping.

    Reba, the treatment you have received, from Amazon and DAM is deplorable and disgusting. I would be shrieking in rage right now were I you. I should add, I tip my hat to you for standing up to this BS.

    To the other survivors of the ill treatment by DAM & co, I am glad you have gotten out.

    Has there been any kind of response from the publishers who have this woman on? I don’t remember seeing anyone mention it but I may have missed it.

    edited because I think I may have forgotten to add something. This whole thing is horribly fascinating to watch.

    Thanks Jane/Jayne for bringing this to light.

  123. Jayne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:14:38

    I just want to say to any authors who’ve ever sent me anything in the mail, don’t worry about your addresses. I don’t keep them, don’t write them down and tear them off before tossing the envelopes in the trash.

  124. azteclady
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:21:04

    Jayne and Shiloh both mentioned something that has been bothering me a helluva lot about this thing–sharing addresses.

    There is a lot of inherent responsibility when someone gives you her address–be it a reader or an author. Sharing it with anyone without that person’s explicit consent? That is not a simple faux pas–that’s a serious breach of trust.

    And more than good enough reason to instill fear in anyone.

    Reba, I add my voice to the others: bravo for not letting DAMcG intimidate you.

    As far as amazon as a company, and its response to all this… I’m still floored. Just stunned.

  125. Pixikins
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:31:57

    Kudos to Reba! You are a much stronger woman than most, all this crap has gotten beyond the point of scary, and yet you keep on keeping on! So good for you! I’m glad I found this thread, because I for one will never buy from DAM or her lackeys for all this horrid mess they have participated in.

    Though I do wish the issue of Dawn Thompson’s estate would clear up a lil bit, I did so love her LOrd of the Deep book and was looking forward to the rest of that series, but if DAM gets one penny from the sales I won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

  126. Sulli
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:43:40

    I have a manuscript with HP. They tell me it looks promising. I want to pull it after reading all these threads. Being an unpublished writer, I’m so desperate to be published. I’d go with any small press just to get my work out there. But you know what, it just is not worth it. I can’t see myself working with these two women, LB and DAM. I was not aware of how much DAM had to do with Highland press. I bet she has shares in the business?
    Anyway I want to pull my manuscript but am now so frightened of the outcome. I will just keep searching and hoping to be discovered one day. Anyone know of any publishing houses looking for new authors? This whole business sickens me.

  127. Jane
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:45:54

    For those who want to comment but hate the scrolling, use the “end” key. It will take you to the very bottom. I’ll try to add a link at the top so it is easier to get to this box.

    I think we need to have authors sign the abstinence pledge – I will not stalk readers. And we can give them a button to put on their blog so that readers will know that it is safe to send their personal information to them. (Just kidding here).

  128. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 08:58:31

    Readers write me–with return addresses–and e-mail me a LOT. I can’t imagine any circumstance where I would share that information with anyone. Anyone at all. It’s such a violation.

    So you’re right, Shiloh. An apology wouldn’t be nearly enough.

  129. Lynne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:13:59

    Sulli said a couple of things I wanted to respond to.

    Being an unpublished writer, I'm so desperate to be published. I'd go with any small press just to get my work out there. [...] Anyway I want to pull my manuscript but am now so frightened of the outcome.

    Please be careful. There are charlatans and manipulators and downright crooks who will take advantage of writers who are desperate and frightenened. They can smell it a mile away.

    If I woke up one morning and found, to my horror, that one of my manuscripts was under consideration at Highland Press, I would write a very polite, professional note withdrawing the submission. You don’t owe them squat for an explanation. And that’s the end of it.

  130. Jayne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:17:37

    Sorry, I should have said readers and authors. I don’t share anyone’s address with anybody.

  131. JulieLeto
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:37:26

    I'd go with any small press just to get my work out there.

    Man, if there isn’t a whole blog post in that statement about how such a sentiment leads to destruction…

    Please don’t feel that way! I believe, in my very humble opinion, that an author’s goal should not be to publish, but to publish well. That means different things to different people, but just because someone can print your book out in a format that is different from a manuscript and has a website does not make them worthy of your time, talent and treasure.

    Publish WELL. Repeat after me, people.

  132. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:39:42

    That's just it-in DM's small group (Yep, it only takes a few to spread this kind of hate.) it became pretty hard to separate things at times. Fact from fiction. Craziness from reality – when you're only getting one side of the story. It's not hard at all for certain reader's posts on Amazon to be shared and made to look like the culprits. There were many other issues behind the scenes for a lot of the HP authors while this was all going on, issues that kept us from really seeing this mess. It's not that there weren't good people there or people that didn't care. Like some have stated already, a lot of us didn't know how deep this was going. And to make matters even fuzzier, this was all stemming from a person, DM, that had actually been a lot of help at one time when it came to writing and knowledge of the the industry…or so it was thought. It still blows my mind that this split personality type behavior was and still is going on. And amongst all this were people trying to launch a genuine career. Now who can work in that kind of environment?? And who the hell would want to. I didn't, so I got the hell out.

    Speaking of behind the scenes issues – I started looking at 5 star book reviews for HP authors last night, and it’s a totally surreal picture forming there. You look at MacGillivray’s 5 star reviews, and then Burroughs’ and Thompson’s, and hell, just pull up the entire HP authors list and start looking up their Amazon book reviews…
    It immediately becomes apparent that a bunch of them either have 5 star book reviews written by a lot of the same people (several are HP authors), or they’re writing a lot of 5 star reviews for HP authors themselves. I still have chills…

    It’s like All the President’s Men:P

    And btw, it’s probably worthy of note that many of these people writing 5 star reviews for HP authors are writing them for several of Catherine Spangler’s books as well.
    ~ Harriet Clausner included:P

  133. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:46:14

    ~It immediately becomes apparent that a bunch of them either have 5 star book reviews written by a lot of the same people (several are HP authors), or they're writing a lot of 5 star reviews for HP authors themselves.~

    When I have more time this weekend, I’m going to do exactly the same thing. And I’m going to give the list to my husband. One independent bookstore won’t make a lot of difference. But we believe in integrity, and in honesty to readers. None of those books or authors will be shelved or sold at our bookstore.

  134. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 09:55:57

    Nora, I’m curious, and was wondering if you’d know –
    Can all of this apparent review scamming have any effect on the bestseller lists?
    In other words, it appears to be potentially able to affect Amazon’s sales, and I know the bestseller lists are based on weekly book sales reports (does that include Amazon?), so I’m wondering…

  135. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:07:54

    JAR, honestly, I don’t believe reviews like this impact sales enough for major lists. It takes many, many thousands of sales to get on the NYT or PW or USA Today. Amazon sales count–I think–but the few dozen (I assume) per title this kind of manipulation may generate wouldn’t add nearly enough weight.

    The last I heard (and it’s been some time since I paid serious attention) Amazon sales were still a small percentage of the whole.

    In the end, I think all this manipulation has done is cause distrust and anger in readers–and other authors–and call the review system at Amazon into doubt.

  136. anotheranon
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:09:22

    Amazon and on-line books stores make up a single-digit percentage of all romance book sales. The highest percentage of sales come from Wal-Mart. This information comes from the yearly publication by RWA.

  137. Sulli
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:22:35

    Thank you Lynne and Julie. I guess I will go with gut and withdraw my submission. A very well known author, one who has 25 books published, also told me if I had a chance, to go with another press, and she knows LB personally. I have put my hopes and dreams with them and I know in the end they will probably publish me, but you know what, I am worth more than that. Julie when you said PUBLISH WELL, it really hit a note. Thanks, for making this rookie very much aware of the scum out there. I won’t let this discourage me only make me stronger.

  138. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:23:11

    Thanks for the info, ladies:)
    I thought it was pretty far out, but with all the other twilight zone weirdness I was looking at last night with the repeating list of reviewers, etc. I had to ask:P

  139. Java Queen
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:39:21

    I’ve sat back and watched all this unfold after having been sent here by a friend a few days ago. Am I horrified at all this? Yes. Surprised at it? No, not at all. We’ve had our own run ins with Mz. MacG and her ilk since 2004, when she first contacted one of my reviewers about a review for a book that Mz. MacG liked, but my reviewer didn’t. I still have the “warning” email that the reviewer received, holding on to it because we were all so amazed that something like that would come from another reviewer instead of the author of the book herself (this before the blog review websites became so popular). The reviewer stood by her review and defended herself like Reba did, but the follow up email from Her Highness was filled with so many self-accolades that we all wondered how the woman could possibly keep her neck and head up with all the tiaras she seemed to be wearing. Her biggest peeves? That we didn’t have a “comments” section for people to post their rebuttals about a review if they didn’t agree with it, that our reviewer didn’t speak for her as a “reader”, and obviously the reviewer didn’t know what the heck she was doing and didn’t understand what she read.

    Bottom line… like Nora’s husband’s bookstore, our little piece of the internet isn’t that big of a deal. But we’ve taken down all our MacGillivray book reviews and are in the process of deleting any reference to her works contained throughout the website. I’m also drafting an email to those publicists we work with that send us her books and ARCs for promotion and review, notifying them we won’t be accepting any more from this particular author. It might be just a small thing, but in all honesty, we cannot condone this behavior and feel it’s the best way to show support for Reba and all the others who’ve had the unfortunate “pleasure” of dealing with these delightful folks. Kudos to you for standing tall, Reba, and I hope everything works out to the positive for you.

    One last mention on Leeanne Grant–we’ve had emails from her as well (another great piece of work like her master), and it’s curious to me that she always signs her name different in the body than what reads in the “from” email line, just like she did in her comments to Reba. I’ve always just assumed that she and Leeanne Burroughs were one and the same. I could be wrong, but how many times does a person consistently forget how to spell their own name?

  140. Jody W.
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:53:07

    Re:>>Generally speaking, however, authors with larger houses aren't as likely to get quite so caught in Amazon to begin with, because they know their books are out in brick-and-mortars and that Ammy is really still a pretty small piece of the pie. But if an author who moves from a small house to a large one still a) carries that smaller-press promo mindset with her and b)has, um, issues…

    So you’re saying this mostly happens with either small press authors or former small press authors? I don’t know about that. I think it’s a personality thing. I know for a fact mainstream published authors can get really underhanded and whip up posses if there are Amazon or other reviews they don’t like. They might talk to their NY editors to make sure that person doesn’t get published. They might send hate emailgrams. They have their people call someone else’s people to dig up dirt. They might ask questions about personal data. They might even make phone calls, after digging up the dirt they needed.

    And they might all be wrong about what they think, but the fact is, it’s not a ‘small press’ issue. It’s a person issue.

    Jody W.

  141. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:56:48

    JQ – if you look at those 5 star Amazon reviews I was talking about above, many of their Amazon account names look like they might be pseudonyms for people on the HP authors list from their website. It’s like a common first name here and/or last name there, between the list of authors and the reviewer names. Nothing you could 100% say this is so-and-so, but they just sort of stuck in my mind and I wondered if that could be the case. I don’t know how to describe it without sounding about half paranoid, but looking at all of it made my spider senses tingle. I dunno, readers sort of get used to a certain pattern with authors & pseudonyms, and we always wonder when we see a new name that is somehow familiar.

  142. Lynne
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:08:47

    I agree, Jody. It’s definitely more about the person than her publisher. I’ve seen posses called out via various email loops, some of them affiliated with RWA, some not. And it had nothing to do with the size of the author’s publisher.

    In fact, the nastiest Romancelandia lynch mob I ever saw prior to this one, which takes the prize, was over a Harlequin author’s Amazon review. I have never forgotten the disgraceful behavior I witnessed that summer, and every author who joined the posse made my Do-Not-Buy-EVER list. I also declined to renew my membership in the RWA chapter to which those authors belonged.

  143. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:15:53

    I spent quite a bit of time reading Peter’s website. (He’s an Amazon reviewer, and yeah, I’m a numbers geek, can’t help it.)

    I’d formed an opinion, but now Java Queen’s post just confirms it. IMHO, Amazon MUST do away with the comment section attached to reviews. Voting on if a review is helpful or not really only matters in the shuffle for reviewer position in the Amazon ranks.

    HOWEVER…the comments section allows for abuse of the reviewer. For squads to not only vote against the review, but add disparaging remarks about the reviewer and question his/her integrity and intelligence. Hence, in the long run, slapping a big coat of “you are too dumb to review” over every item that person has taken the time to comment on.

  144. katiebabs
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:19:40

    IMHO, I prefer NOT (had to edit in the word not!)to see any comments under reviews and no voting if their review is helpful or not. I don’t see a point to it.
    When I read a review I don’t care how many people think it is helpful or 0 out of 8 people think it isn’t. I hardly press the voting button. But that is just me.

  145. DevonM
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:27:30

    authors with larger houses aren't as likely to get quite so caught in Amazon to begin with, because they know their books are out in brick-and-mortars and that Ammy is really still a pretty small piece of the pie. But if an author who moves from a small house to a large one still a) carries that smaller-press promo mindset with her

    I also agree with Jody. KTempleton, this still says, those of us published by small presses are desperate to promo and make sales, unlike those published by the bigger houses, who have their books in bookstores. Ha! There are many big name authors who’ve been in this business for many years with the big boys in NY in my chapter and I can tell you for a fact that we’re ALL pretty much of the same mindset. To me, these authors are the ones who actually sweat the numbers and constantly seek ways to promo because if their numbers dip, they know they might not be picked up again by their publisher. Those of us with small presses don’t have that particular concern. Our publisher isn’t going to drop us because of the numbers. This point you’re trying to make about a small press “mind-set” just doesn’t make sense to me. The worst offenders here are all with big publishers. Now C. Spangler’s been named and she’s with Berkley. So, this small press mind-set theory doesn’t wash. The authors that have come to light in this discussion all have certain things in common, in my opinion–weak character or just plain nuts!

  146. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:28:47

    But, Katie Babs, if you don’t see a point to the voting on reviews (which is again just for reviewer position) why do you feel comments on the reviews helpful?

    The review is one person’s opinion and really shouldn’t be opened up to debate. It is what it is.

    Please believe that I’m not arguing with you. Mayhap I read your post wrong, or I’m not getting enough of your point.

  147. Mad
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:34:09

    There is a lot of inherent responsibility when someone gives you her address-be it a reader or an author. Sharing it with anyone without that person's explicit consent? That is not a simple faux pas-that's a serious breach of trust.

    I send out a lot of book prizes to friends and readers and I’ve never ever shared an address without first asking if it was OK to do so. To just share without asking first is just so wrong.

  148. katiebabs
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:37:24

    Anon76:
    Sorry, I meant: I prefer not to see any comments. I left out the word “not” My bad.
    And I totally I agree with everything you have said.
    A person’s view about a book or product is their own. Why am I to judge if someone writes one sentence or a whole page how they feel? And if I disagree with what they say, then so be it.

  149. Nicky
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:39:41

    Question, and believe me in no way do I support DAM — what she and her group have done is inexcusable. I’ve read that Reba’s comments were deleted, and from what I had read of her postings on the Romance discussions that’s outrageous. However, I did notice if you go to DAM’s Amazon reviews by comments, http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A3GQKB1KF0CRPE?ie=UTF8&display=public&sort%5Fby=MostRecentComment&page=1, Reba made quite a few comments on her reviews which are also deleted. Since those comments are gone we have no way of knowing what was said, BUT if she pasted the same comment over and over again (even if nothing was inappropriate in the comment) Amazon considers posting multiple identical comments as spam and a violation. She wouldn’t be the first one banned and deleted for that.

  150. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:56:40

    Katiebabs,

    Yes, I “thought” that is what you meant, but I never want to put words into anothers mouth (Hey, DAM, do you get that concept. LOL.)

    Anyhoo, like I mentioned, the ratings are for Amazon reviewer ranking. A complicated formula where the reviewer gets no credit for the review unless at least 3 “Yes Helpful” votes are garnered on the review. “No” votes do count, but they have less weight in the system than “Yes.”

    I think that was all instituted so Amazon didn’t just rate people on “number of reviews”. I mean, any Joe Schmoe could spend days leaving a one sentence review on a million products, if they so wanted.

    The star rating of a review seems to me like Amazon’s attempt to police which reviewers actually get rankings, rather than the above situation.

  151. Ann Bruce
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:58:51

    Generally speaking, however, authors with larger houses aren't as likely to get quite so caught in Amazon to begin with, because they know their books are out in brick-and-mortars and that Ammy is really still a pretty small piece of the pie. But if an author who moves from a small house to a large one still a) carries that smaller-press promo mindset with her and b)has, um, issues…

    Wow. More words, but you’re still disparaging small press authors.

    Let me repeat: it’s not a publisher issue. It’s an individual author issue.

    EDITED because annoyance makes me sloppy.

  152. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 12:14:32

    I’ve only complained about a bad review one time in all the years I’ve had an Amazon account. It was for a bad review & 1 star rating of one of my favorite books by my favorite historical romance author – and just as an aside, it’s gotten consistently good reviews elsewhere. The review made no sense to me. The things this reviewer was pontificating about were just silly, nitpicky things that had nothing to do with the writer’s skill or holes in her research.
    This review got me steamed, and I commented on it, & sorta blasted the reviewer a little for being so nitpicky & hyperanalyzing an historical romance novel like it was a non-fictional reference book, and gave it an unhelpful vote, but it never once occurred to me (and still wouldn’t) to hit the report abuse tab. It wasn’t abuse. It was just a stupid, snitty review, that I didn’t think was fair. I guess I felt better at the time, but at the end of the day, I still think I’d rather have given up my ability to criticize and vote on that review than to have later seen the kind of abuses we’re hearing about now.

    I hadn’t even thought about that review and me commenting & voting on it until recently. I think about it now and think I should have just rolled my eyes and ignored it. I doubt that the author in question even knows about this particular snitty review, and really, I doubt she’d care much if she did.
    But then again, she’s a great writer with a lot of class:P

  153. RenaRuadh
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 12:54:33

    Kudos to Reba for standing her ground! The more I follow this thread, the more disgusted I get.

    Shiloh, Nora, you are right, an apology is not enough. IMO, that’s starting to look like a matter for the criminal courts! (Thus speaketh the lawyer…)

    Anyway, I’ve started a bit of ‘DAM baiting’ now, putting a 1 star review up on Amazon UK and USA, as I believe the book does not deserve more. I have also commented on quite a few of the glowing reviews – let’s see what happens.

  154. Robin
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 13:19:52

    One last mention on Leeanne Grant-we've had emails from her as well (another great piece of work like her master), and it's curious to me that she always signs her name different in the body than what reads in the “from” email line, just like she did in her comments to Reba. I've always just assumed that she and Leeanne Burroughs were one and the same. I could be wrong, but how many times does a person consistently forget how to spell their own name?

    Well, here’s my “duh” moment — I mean, how common is “Leeanne” spelled with two e’s? She identifies herself as an “estate manager” on her BN profile and mentioned something on Amazon about overseeing her grandfather’s estate or something. But I thought it was weird that someone would list “estate manager” as their occupation if they were simply executrix of a relative’s estate. She also said that New Orleans was her current home base — is that where Burroughs is from?

    This review got me steamed, and I commented on it, & sorta blasted the reviewer a little for being so nitpicky & hyperanalyzing an historical romance novel like it was a non-fictional reference book, and gave it an unhelpful vote, but it never once occurred to me (and still wouldn't) to hit the report abuse tab. It wasn't abuse. It was just a stupid, snitty review, that I didn't think was fair. I guess I felt better at the time, but at the end of the day, I still think I'd rather have given up my ability to criticize and vote on that review than to have later seen the kind of abuses we're hearing about now.

    What IS a helpful review, except one that helps you determine whether or not to purchase a book? At least I would think this would be Amazon’s conception of the term, so it wouldn’t necessarily be tied to whether the review was “positive” or “negative” but rather it’s impact on a customer, and who the heck knows how to calculate that? I mean, some of us are actually more motivated by reviews that are more critical, while others aren’t. But how would Amazon be able to know that just based on what button any of us clicked? Just one more reason I think those helpful/unhelpful buttons invite manipulation.

  155. Jill Myles
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 13:25:52

    Anyway, I've started a bit of ‘DAM baiting' now, putting a 1 star review up on Amazon UK and USA, as I believe the book does not deserve more. I have also commented on quite a few of the glowing reviews – let's see what happens.

    I’m not sure this is the right tactic to take. If we use Amazon in a deliberate manner to attack her, doesn’t that make us just as bad as her cronies?

    Not sure I agree with this.

  156. Robinjn
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 13:55:56

    I just came into this today and I am both appalled and saddened. I’m not an author. I’m an avid reader. And I have always used Amazon reviews as one of my barometers when contemplating buying a new author. I’ve found some greats that way (Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs). But I’ve had a few that I wondered how they got the reviews they did. And now I find myself totally disenchanted with the whole business. I had this naive, pie-in-the-sky view that it was people like me, actual readers, who did the reviews and like me, they posted their honest opinion on a book.

    Guess I’m stupid. Shame on me.

  157. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:04:53

    Robin said:

    What IS a helpful review, except one that helps you determine whether or not to purchase a book? At least I would think this would be Amazon's conception of the term, so it wouldn't necessarily be tied to whether the review was “positive” or “negative” but rather it's impact on a customer, and who the heck knows how to calculate that? I mean, some of us are actually more motivated by reviews that are more critical, while others aren't. But how would Amazon be able to know that just based on what button any of us clicked? Just one more reason I think those helpful/unhelpful buttons invite manipulation.

    I agree. So far as I understand it, the Yes/No buttons benifit the reviewers (I’m talking the balls-to-the-wall Amazon reviewers, not the random user reviewers.) And the higher on the ranking (presumably) the more people value said reviewers opinion.

    While this creates a huge tableau for abuse, I don’t think Amazon has yet found (or even addressed) a way to get out from under this albatross.

    Unfortunately, I think they are using their current system to evaluate two entirely different data sets when it comes to reviewers.

  158. Karen Templeton
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:11:13

    I’m not, I swear. But I apologize to anyone I may have inadvertently offended.

    And I’m also more than willing to admit — in light of posts proving my theory wrong — that my reasoning was way off-base.

    We now return you to your regular programming…

  159. Randi Thompson
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:16:33

    Robinjn-

    there’s a whole group of us here who fell off the turnip truck. Wanna join us?

  160. Heather Holland
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:21:07

    This is inexcusable and moved passed the point of apologies long ago. What makes anyone think that behavior like this is acceptable is beyond me. I hope it gets resolved fairly quickly. I hate to see this dragged on for any longer than it already has. It’s a real shame that people stoop to such tactics.

    Bad publicity is NOT the same as good.

  161. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:49:08

    Robin –

    What IS a helpful review, except one that helps you determine whether or not to purchase a book? At least I would think this would be Amazon's conception of the term, so it wouldn't necessarily be tied to whether the review was “positive” or “negative” but rather it's impact on a customer, and who the heck knows how to calculate that? I mean, some of us are actually more motivated by reviews that are more critical, while others aren't. But how would Amazon be able to know that just based on what button any of us clicked? Just one more reason I think those helpful/unhelpful buttons invite manipulation.

    Yeah, I agree.
    I didn’t see that at the time, but boy, my perspective has certainly shifted a LOT since then. I’m still catching up with the fact that anybody – short of some prison inmate who somehow got internet access – would even think to use and manipulate the system the way these people have. Like I said somewhere else – evil genius kudos to them:P They’re way more devious than I ever wanna be.

  162. Glenda Wilson
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:49:34

    I posted this on Amazon.

    I checked all of DAM’s books and all have 5 star. That’s right every book she has listed has great reviews and 5 stars. That right there is a red flag. Why? Because, not even the great late Kathleen E. Woodiwess had 5 star’s on all her books. I know, because I’m a fan and bought every one of her books. In fact, I waited in anticipation for the next release so I could get my hands on it. Most were unstoppable read from beginning to end. But I read some that was not up there. Same with Johanna Lindsey. Not every book she puts out is a 5 star. The fact that every book that DAM has out has 5 star reviews shows her reviews are bogus. Because she is no Kathleen E Woodiwess or Johanna Lindsey.

  163. Jane
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:54:31

    This whole mess is discouraging not just because of DAM but because DAM’s actions plant a seed of mistrust in all Amazon reviews. I feel like I know Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews (both who have posted previous comments on this topic here) to say that neither would even think of a) asking for a bunch of their readers to go post reviews or b) engage in vote “fraud” to push positive reviews to the top. I know that Ms. Andrews actually has posted on Amazon that people should feel free to post even their 1 star reviews if that is truly how they feel about her book. Both Briggs and Andrews have alot of five star reviews.

    But I can see how everyone’s reviews are tainted by this mess. It’s hard to sort through what is “real” and what is not which is one reason I think Amazon needs to do something so that its entire review system isn’t called into doubt, more than it already is.

  164. Radish
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 14:57:55

    Quoting ‘Amazonian':

    … seeing her repeated behavior and her stalking it is clear she didn’t because she wanted or orchestrated those attacks. There is no way she can plead ignorance or not part of this. And then to go after Reba again on other sites is so wrong. This goes way beyond flooding the internet with your friends’ reviews, although that is rather pathetic too. It shows MaGillivray is a mean and spiteful person.

    Her conduct goes beyond ‘mean and spiteful'. This individual should be regarded as dangerous, because those who threaten violence — covertly or overtly — are already thinking violence.

    Just try convincing me that she hasn't derived great pleasure from witnessing her victims and targets go to frantic extremes to appease this rampaging conceit — and she's probably getting a whopping boner from seeing all this flurry here at Dear Author and in several other places spanning the blogosphere. And you know she’s keeping track of it all — the conceit would demand it.

    But an apology? No apology in the world is going to address this fuck-up. What's needed here, at the very least and just for starters, is a good grovel.

    And she needs to quietly ask herself how she wants to be remembered: as a tragic whackjob who gleefully wrecked the lives of others, or as a writer of merit.

  165. Jane Leopold Quinn
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 15:17:56

    I am an e-published author. I’ve been reading these posts and didn’t intend to respond, but I’m a bit alarmed at being tarred with the same brush as DAM and her cronies. I was a member of LIW until several months ago when the toxicity and DAM-focus became too much. (I’ve just today officially unjoined. I didn’t before this because I was kind of afraid of getting some sort of nastygram about it.) On Amazon, I’ve put up some 5 star reviews for LIW and HP authors’ books, but if I couldn’t give the book 5 stars, I did not post a review at all. One HP author and one New York pubbed author’s books were so horrendous to me that I couldn’t even finish them, and they are now plastered furiously against the wall. I honestly liked DAM’s books and gave her good reviews, as someone else mentioned (“WhoaNelly”, I believe). I’ve also given good reviews to some HP authors because I believed their books were very good. I knew about the “clickies,” participated to some degree, but I had no idea that attacks like this were being made. LIW began as a very warm and friendly group, but devolved into a DAM-centric group. People dropped out informally for months because of this. DAM’s threats to ruin careers (she’s never threatened me) could come true if some of us who gave honest, good reviews are linked with the likes of her cronies. I don’t want that to happen. This is the only reason I am posting now with a request not to be lumped in with DAMites. She’s caused havoc wherever she goes and has used her position as a New York published author to run roughshod over the rest of us. Some of her advice was good, but her arrogance and attitude stunk. I’ve already noticed that her Dorchester books are not showing on Amazon any longer, and some of her Kensington books are gone too. Interesting… Is this a kind of publisher response? Finally, I decided to post under my name as Meagan and Kristi did. We were all in the same boat. I’m proud of my reviews because they were honest.

  166. Seressia
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 15:21:16

    I’m with my second small press. My first IR has 79 reviews and counting. My other IR novel has 40. My other books have less than 10 each. I don’t know these people, and good review or not, I’m grateful they bought my book and gave it a try.

    Here’s my mindset: I don’t go out trawling for reviews, don’t do any clicks, don’t mark any as unhelpful. If you take your craft seriously and treat it like a business and view yourself as a professional in the field, do you really have time to act like a fifth grader? If you wouldn’t dream of doing this in corporate life, don’t do it in writing life.

    Kudos to Reba and to Nora for taking action in their own way. I hope RWA members who’ve been impacted and have the evidence have forwarded their complaints. Even if the Amazon in the room does nothing, the rest of us can. It’s just good business.

  167. Jane Leopold Quinn
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 15:26:21

    Oh, and Sulli, there are many very reputable electronic and small press publishers out there. I think you can click on the names of responders here to link to their websites and you can start checking them out. If you read something you like, contact the author for advice. Contact several.

  168. Robinjn
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 15:40:51

    Robinjn-

    there's a whole group of us here who fell off the turnip truck. Wanna join us?

    Huh. I hate turnips. My Mom used to sneak turnips in with the potatoes and fool us into taking a bite. I’d leap off the turnip truck with glee. The truck I fell off of was the pepperoni pizza and godiva chocolate cheesecake truck. And I’m bitter darn it!

  169. The Renegade Writer Blog » Blog Archive » Rotten reviewers (and the rotten authors who review them)
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 16:39:16

    [...] to a post in today’s GalleyGat, I spent the last hour reading the details of an angry romance author’s vendetta against the writer of a (gasp!) 3-star amazon.com review. I read the review — since taken down by amazon.com [...]

  170. Nora Roberts
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 16:46:03

    ~She's caused havoc wherever she goes and has used her position as a New York published author to run roughshod over the rest of us.~

    Anyone who’d do this is already demeaning small and e-presses. I’ve honestly never thought of going on a loop or blog and saying: Hey, I’m a New York published author. Or finding a way to use that to throw my weight around.

    The rest of the publishing universe deserves respect, too–and using the fact that a publisher based in NY bought one or more of your books is no platform, imo, to push your ‘expertise’ on others.

    The hole she’s dug herself just reeks of ego.

  171. Robin
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 16:55:15

    Well, GalleyCat finally picked up on this story.

    And check out their little piece on Amazon, too, especially the comment by one “debbsmith” on Harriet Klausner. I’m thinking, perhaps incorrectly, that this is the same Deb Smith who lambasted all of us who felt what Cassie Edwards did was wrong, too. *sigh*

  172. Karen Scott
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 17:05:22

    Well, at least this is getting out there. The further it goes the better. Galleycat did a piece on it too. Hurray.

  173. DS
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 17:42:30

    Amazon responded to my email with a cut and paste job. I sent the email back with a request for escalation.

    DAM has lost two more reviews (now 1536– started at 1540) and only regained about 15 helpful votes. Seems the Flying Monkeys need to put their back into it.

  174. Sulli
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 17:52:56

    Does DAM own a part of Highland Press? I’d love to know. Why else would Leanne be led on a leash by DAM? I thought something was strange. I have had several emails from what I thought was Leanne, but I just thought she was a woman of many moods,due to the fact that she sounded different in each email. Now I wonder if it was even the same woman that was responding. I bet it was DAM.
    They are a slippery duo. lol

  175. Deanna
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 18:08:31

    This author needs to get over herself. Doesn’t she realise that like all reviews, in all things, there will be the good, the bad and the indifferent, and everything in between. I think I’m going to boycott her just because of her behavior.

  176. Glenda Wilson
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 18:27:42

    Uhmmm, maybe DAM and LB is only one and the same person. I know when I was on LIW DAM got up tight with the members there for something that had to do with HP. I was wondering then why she would be chewing out HP authors on LIW. I mean wouldn’t that be for the publisher (LB) to do and shouldn’t it be done on HP meassage board?

  177. Sulli
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 18:30:05

    Glenda:

    SOOOOO Funny.

  178. Silke
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 18:31:11

    I've honestly never thought of going on a loop or blog and saying: Hey, I'm a New York published author. Or finding a way to use that to throw my weight around.

    Well, Nora. There is this minor little thing called “Class”. Trouble is, this “Class” thing comes with something called humility.
    You possess both, which sets you apart in my book. (If you pardon the pun.)

    After everything I’ve seen…

    MacG has a glass full of humidity.

  179. Just A Reader
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 18:33:21

    Jane

    I'm a bit alarmed at being tarred with the same brush as DAM and her cronies. I was a member of LIW until several months ago when the toxicity and DAM-focus became too much. (I've just today officially unjoined. I didn't before this because I was kind of afraid of getting some sort of nastygram about it.) On Amazon, I've put up some 5 star reviews for LIW and HP authors' books, but if I couldn't give the book 5 stars, I did not post a review at all. One HP author and one New York pubbed author's books were so horrendous to me that I couldn't even finish them, and they are now plastered furiously against the wall. I honestly liked DAM's books and gave her good reviews, as someone else mentioned (”WhoaNelly”, I believe). I've also given good reviews to some HP authors because I believed their books were very good. I knew about the “clickies,” participated to some degree, but I had no idea that attacks like this were being made. LIW began as a very warm and friendly group, but devolved into a DAM-centric group. People dropped out informally for months because of this. DAM's threats to ruin careers (she's never threatened me) could come true if some of us who gave honest, good reviews are linked with the likes of her cronies. I don't want that to happen. This is the only reason I am posting now with a request not to be lumped in with DAMites.

    I totally relate to your POV. I said sometime last week that it was a good time to come forward and say something before this news item went mainstream and a whole lot of innocent people ended up being tarred with the same brush – I think I said “get something on you that won’t wash off”. Same difference really:P
    I don’t think it’s too late for that. I tried to get it across in what I said earlier about the HP authors and this apparent 5 star review ring, but I had a longer post that I lost dorking around and refreshing my page before I posted, and what I ended up posting was a very abbreviated version of what I wanted to say.
    I meant to add to it that I don’t think every single 5 star review ever written for or by an LIW member or HP author – either current or former – was part of the same organized mess. I’d be glossing over to say they aren’t all deserving of some closer scrutiny, especially if we’re talking about the same repeating pattern to the reviews & the “Mutual Admiration Society”:P

    Another thing I didn’t mention before too, I don’t know how Amazon’s database works, but it occurs to me that their system may do some sort of cross-referencing on the HP published anthologies. In other words, if you (using “you” in the general sense – this could mean anybody) contributed to the same anthology as one of these other ladies who was directly involved in giving each other the 5 star reviews, reviews posted for them specifically (in connection with that anthology) might just come up under an Amazon search for your name (again, anybody) as well. I know there were suspect 5 star reviews posted for HP anthologies, and if someone was cross checking your reviews, they might conclude you were involved based on a review that was actually left for MacGillivray or some of the others. I mention this mostly because I did get some search returns on HP authors who were only associated with certain anthologies, and that was the only context I saw their names in connection with any suspect 5 star reviews.

    Anyway, I can only speak for myself, but I’m willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to anyone who steps back now and in the very near future and says hey, wait a minute! I was an LIW/HP author, but I had nothing to do with that mess. I just hope the word gets to all of those people quickly and they distance themselves, in a very public way, from Big Mac and that hornet’s nest asap.

  180. Best comment evah… « fredlet
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 21:08:34

    [...] [Author DeborahAnne MacGillivray Harasses Amazon Reader] [...]

  181. Kristy Lee Cook’s Departure Breeds Please, Mister Custer by Larry Verne at www.matthewktabor.com : Education and School Issues, News and Analysis
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 21:40:55

    [...] neurotic? Well, maybe I shouldn’t do it… after all, this was just American Idol, not a 3-star Amazon review for a third-rate novel. If you read one frivolous thing today, make sure it’s that [...]

  182. Lizbeth
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 21:51:13

    Wow… I bought the books A Restless Knight and In Her Bed based on the raving reviews. Needless to say, after reading the books I was quite confused because they were not as good as the reviews said. I posted my review on Amazon as I always do and was so mad when I realized my post was deleted. I am just a voracious reader, don’t know much about authors or this world, but I have left enough Amazon reviews to know that DAM was a top reviewer. I put it all together and sent Amazon a scathing email and one review was put back or either I posted it again…I don’t remember….it has been several months. As a reader who reads a book almost everyday and consequently spends a lot of money on books, I don’t like being manipulated when buying them and I conveyed that to Amazon as well…I think my exact words were, “I smell a rat.” I love Amazon and think its review system is pretty darn good and reliable in spite of this. They should just remove anyone from their system who they see is clearly doing this. I will leave a bad review when all others are good if I don’t like the story. I depend on many of those reviews to help me choose books and it sucks if that is going to be manipulated. I got on Amazon’s boards after that happened to see if this was something frequently taking place with their reviews…WOW As I said, I don’t want review systems like Amazon’s to change, I just want them to get rid of the “rats”. Another thing I noticed was that her reviews on other books were almost all 5 stars – we are talking hundreds here – do you really like every book you read???? or is this “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” I didn’t think this author was bad. I just didn’t like one of her books. She could have saved herself a lot of trouble by focusing on her writing instead…too bad.

  183. RfP
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 23:07:16

    DS, in the other comment thread: “I read a study… that reported a one star reveiw reduced a product's appeal more than a five star review increased it.

    I just waded through the original article that that story came from. That finding predates Amazon’s Real Name program, the “Helpful? Yes/No” buttons, and the ability to sort reviews by number of stars. So it’s not totally clear if that finding is still relevant. The study also found some evidence that Amazon’s new system *may* have rebalanced things so that positive and negative reviews now have a more equal impact on sales. *If* that’s true, the negative reviews aren’t quite as threatening.

    Also, I have a feeling that more and more people read Amazon reviews critically. Internet users are getting more savvy and there have been several Amazon review scandals in the mainstream press in the last few years.

    Nora: “I don't believe reviews like this impact sales enough for major lists. It takes many, many thousands of sales to get on the NYT or PW or USA Today. Amazon sales count-I think-but the few dozen (I assume) per title this kind of manipulation may generate wouldn't add nearly enough weight.

    Agreed, for the most part. There could probably be an author who falls off one of the longer lists because of a few dozen sales–but those extended lists probably aren’t what you’re talking about.

    anotheranon: “Amazon and on-line books stores make up a single-digit percentage of all romance book sales. The highest percentage of sales come from Wal-Mart. This information comes from the yearly publication by RWA.

    Those Wal-Mart sales may be a much bigger concern for best-seller lists. Today on RtB, Sylvia Day posted that “Sometime late last year or early this year (the exact date appears to be a mystery), Wal-Mart -’ one of the largest retailers of books in the US -’ stopped reporting their book sales numbers to the NY Times and the USA Today.” That’s got to be a MUCH larger impact than Amazon reviews.

  184. Anon76
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 23:55:30

    I should have said it long ago, but even now I’m going to code this information a little. I don’t want to add to this poor womans grief by openly mentioning her name. (Yes you can search and figure out who I am talking about, but that is up to you.)

    When I met KA at RT St. Louis, all I knew about her was that she was a top reviewer at Amazon, and she’d given my book a 3 rating. It was a lovely review none-the-less, but as a new author I hurt inside because others from my publishing house had received 5′s from said reviewer.

    Did I want to ask her why? You betcha. But somehow I managed to get my own insecurity in check long enough to understand that this was her opinion. That she’d read piles upon piles of books, and this is where she felt mine ranked compared to all those others.

    That done, I took down my fences and got to know KA the human being. I found her to be witty, sweet, and soft spoken. No ego trip at all.

    I imagine it was hell to find herself in this HP mess. Just because you review a lot does not mean you know the evils sometimes hiding behind publishers doors. Stepping from reviewer to author brings on a whole new level of awareness.

    So as far as KA, I think she landed in a mine field. And it certainly isn’t easy tiptoeing your way out of one of those things.

  185. RenaRuadh
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 01:06:39

    Jill Myles, it’s not a tactic and definitely not what they are doing, as it’s my honest opinion and exactly what I’ve written in my first review of her book, which very conveniently disappeared. AND it’s based on facts – the woman’s use of Gaelic terminology is atrocious. The baiting part is putting it up again and replying to the comments of her cronies, who are gushing about her ‘excellent knowledge of all things Scottish and Gaelic’, again just stating the facts that, no, her knowledge of all things Gaelic is not excellent by any means.

  186. Sulli
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 05:51:04

    I was just checking something out. If you go to amazon and check out book
    ‘In Sunshine or In Shadow’, there are three (customer)reviews, so they say. All of these reviewers are HP authors. What is this?? Pat me on my back and I’ll pat you on yours. Now I’ve read that book and I did not want to give her a review because it was not the greatest book. Overuse of Gaelic language, too much, too often. But who needs real customer reviews from real people like myself when they get their buddies to stack the pile.
    How do we stop this. HP has to be stopped from doing this unfairness.

  187. Sulli
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 06:18:34

    I have since made a review re ‘Sunshine and in Shadow’. I read the book and was not that impressed. I gave it a 3 star, what it deserved. I wonder how long that will stay on the amazon charts. The only reason I never reviewed this book before is that I did not want to hurt the author’s sales. But seeing as they are erased anyway, we will just have to wait and see.

  188. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 06:23:40

    If you go to amazon and check out book
    ‘In Sunshine or In Shadow', there are three (customer)reviews, so they say. All of these reviewers are HP authors.

    Eh, not to be a dissenting voice here, and I haven’t kept up with the thread well since I left for RT, AND I don’t know all the background behind the book you’re referring to, but I want to toss something out there.

    Authors are readers, too. I’ve done very few Amazon reviews, and I do mean very few, but that’s just me, that’s how I am. However, I know some absoltely love doing reviews and they always have. If the authors are giving honest reviews, I don’t see much of an issue with it.

    I’d hope they are honest reviews because otherwise, it’s lying and misleading.

    But I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with a writer giving a good review for a book she truly liked–emphasis on a book she truly liked. Because authors are most definitely readers, too and we are real people.

    Stacking the deck, not good. But a fair, honest review shouldn’t be an issue. I think it was Stephen King that said,

    If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.

    And it’s very true.

    Also, while I’m in shock over what DAM has done, I’m not going to assume anybody associated with HP is just like her. I bet many of the authors signed with them are good people, and they got screwed sideways in this mess.

    This is all just my opinion, other people may not see it the same way, but I wanted to toss it out.

  189. Sulli
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 07:30:54

    Shiloh:

    I appreciate your viewpoint. I personally hope this is not becoming a crusade against HP authors.That is not my intention. I feel really sorry that they are being judged by their association with LB and DAM. But I read somewhere in one of the other threads that they are signed in for 7 years. It is hard not to go along with the crowd when you know you cannot get out. I am so very happy that I withdrew my submission with them.

  190. Just A Reader
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 08:01:07

    In my less shocked and horrfied moments, I do think there should be some sort of allowance made, that even people who directly contributed to the clickie activity, maybe even wrote a couple of less than honest reviews, could have been either deluded, or under a lot of pressure to do so. Yes, I’d like to know who was directly involved and see them held accountable in some way, but it shouldn’t be a witch hunt. There’s no doubt in my mind that DAM is a ruthless, self-serving snake, and she was able to convince a small group of loyal followers to help her intimidate, cajole, and coerce an ever expanding group of others into doing her bidding as well.

    At this point, we don’t fully know exactly what methods were used to manipulate each and every person who ultimately aided her in some way. We’ve seen some of the horror stories and can suppose there are many more, but doubtless there are others out there who just plain had the wool pulled over their eyes by DAM and a handful of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    It’s possible that a few people wrote some overly generous reviews, maybe did a bit of clicking themselves, thinking they were helping out nice people in a good cause that was going to be ultimately beneficial to everyone concerned. That doesn’t make them right, and it could be said that they were unwise in choosing their alliances, perhaps even naive and a little foolish, but I still don’t think they quite fit into the same mold with DAM and the review critics from hell. What those specific people did to reba belle was inexcusable, but I don’t think a deluded reviewer or well meaning clickie should be forced to go down with the ship.
    Yes, everyone should be accountable for their own actions. But likewise, the best & most fitting punishment for DAM and her very willing and knowledgeable immediate co-conspirators, is to be shunned by, and isolated from, everyone she sought to manipulate.

    That, IMO, necessitates everyone who had/has any professional association with her, and doesn’t wish or feel they deserve to be isolated right along with her & the posse, to break off their associations immediately if not sooner.
    Otherwise, I don’t see any way around some portion of the blame for her activities being placed on their shoulders as well. I realize that still leaves innocent people in a bad spot and they don’t have an overabundance of options for getting out of it. I wish I knew of some way to help. All I can say is I personally don’t hold anybody but the guilty parties responsible for the things that were done. I hope nobody who is blameless in this ends up having some assigned to them simply because of their proximity to HP, but if you can get out, I think you definitely should try.
    Back in the day, my dad used to always tell me that people will judge you by the company you keep. I realize he just said that because I used to hang out with a bunch of losers, and he didn’t want me to be a loser too, but being grown and having kids of my own now, I realize it was logic that’s kinda hard to argue with:P

  191. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 08:02:57

    It is hard not to go along with the crowd when you know you cannot get out. I am so very happy that I withdrew my submission with them.

    I think that’s just going to depend on the individual. I’m weird, I’d rather either just stop in the middle of a crowd or go in the opposite direction. ;) But I’ve always been the contrary type.

    I’m glad you withdrew your submission to them-sounds like you saved yourself some serious heartache and headache.

  192. Reba Belle
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 08:04:22

    Good Morning Everyone,

    To the FEW individuals that have well intentions, but are retaliating or posting in a similar way as Deborah:

    1. Please, DO NOT turn this into a witch hunt for all HP authors. (That would just break my heart.)

    2. Please, DO NOT write fake reviews for Deborah MacGilvray’s book, or anyone else’s, that you haven’t read. (I do understand the urge, but it’s not right and we all want to lay our heads down on our pillows at night with a clear conscience.)

    Let’s all try to keep focused on the issues at hand and NOT stoop to the level in which Deborah and her pack of bullies have sunk. I hope this will not turn into a “you did this” so “I’m going to do that” theme. That’s below us all. Please.

    *******
    Would someone take a moment and tell the people in the Amazon forums “thank you” for me. I have read their posts, but cannot respond because I’m still a member in bad standing with Amazon. My account has NOT been deleted. I’m sure I can order items, [($-)] but I won’t spend another dime of my money through Amazon unless or until this is resolved to my satisfaction:

    1. Removal of her books for sale on Amazon
    2. Deletion of all her reviews

    I saw in one of the forums on Amazon (and there are many now) that someone posted e-mails Deborah sent to the “Ladies in Waiting Group” for “letters” to Barnes and Noble to have reviews removed. I hope that someone will alert Barnes and Noble to this, so they can be more informed and perhaps take action. Maybe they will consider the removal of her books for sale and deletion of all her reviews as well.

    As I said in one of my now deleted posts in Amazon, Deborah did have my review removed on Barnes and Noble, but it took more time than the swiftness in which she was able to pull it down–each time–on Amazon. I e-mailed Barnes and Noble, gave them the link to the Read any BAD Books Lately discussion forum on Amazon and my review went right back up. I downgraded it to a 2 star because of all the hassles and they let me. I did not have a problem with the Barnes and Noble review again, either. I thought Barnes and Noble did a fine job helping me. FYI

    I don’t have any further updates to report. I haven’t heard anything and hope this ends by tomorrow. There’s no reason to drag this out and Amazon is either going to act or they are not. I hope they are not just trying to stamp down the fires and hope this will all go away like they did when I originally notified them of the harassment. It’s been 8 months and already the embers were stirred–by someone else.

    I don’t want this to be dragged out until they figure out a way to redesign their review system. That would be a nightmare!

    It’s obvious to me that one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing within Amazon. But, that’s what happens when you get that BIG. They have offices in different places. I think everyone should write to one Amazon address:

    Danielle LaFreniere, Amazon's Executive Customer Service Department, at [email protected]

    Thank you all for your support and know that it gives me great comfort.

    Reba

  193. Flabberghasted
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 08:23:59

    …After seeing the notice via a link from the delightful writer Ilona Andrews in a comment on Amazon, I came here and most painfully read my way through every single post in this thread. I have thought long and hard before choosing to air my view in what I hope is a clear and concise manner. (Btw, many thanks, Ilona, I think you are a superb writer and it’s nice to see you taking a firm stance in this matter.) Until Amazon fixes this debacle, I will not be purchasing ANY items from them. Until HP does something to show that it is not a willing participant in this, I will be boycotting all writers publishing through them. I will never, ever purchase any books by DAM. As someone who is fortunate enough to have little to do each day besides reading(meaning that I read about 6 full length novels a day on a slow day, most often rereads of books I find particularly enjoyable), I find this entire business deplorable. There is never, at any time or place, a good reason to threaten someone and/or their family for merely expressing their opinion on any subject, period. It’s absurd, ridiculous, and, quite frankly, insane. Sadly, as such a voracious reader, I did tend to use reader reviews from Amazon as a good benchmark as to what I might be interested in. Thankfully, I know better now. It’s worth the additional 5 minutes worth of research through legitimate reader’s review sites to ensure I don’t flush my money down the commode when looking for a new book/author to feed my addiction. Reba, thank you for having the courage to stand by your opinion and I’m sincerely sorry that you had the misfortune of running into someone who is so clearly out of touch with reality to such an extent that they would threaten you and your family. To the community of sane, intelligent, and moral people that have become aware of this issue, let us all please keep contacting customer service representatives for each company involved in this matter to ensure this does not fade into obscurity. It’s an outrage and I, for one, would be most displeased if this is ignored by Amazon among other internet suppliers (i.e. Target, HP, etc.) I hope that everyone that has documentation of what sounds to be an illegal online raffle will please send what information you have to poster #279′s kind link(which I will repeat here, in the hopes that anyone who might have missed it earlier, will see it now) to the FBI’s tip line https://tips.fbi.gov/ It is each person’s response to this matter, as a whole, which reflects upon our society today. Let’s make this world a better place to live with our stance as to what is tolerable from one another. Violence, acted upon or implied/threatened, in response to one’s opinion, is not tolerable in my book.
    I am editting my comment to note that if at any such time I find a writer that I *do* like that is with HP, please understand, I am not boycotting you personally and that any books/short stories you write not through this company, I will fully support and purchase. However, this specific company will not get a penny from me unless they make it quite clear that this behavior is not the sort they stand behind. It’s a matter of principle for me as an individual to not financially support companies that condone such practices, be it fully stated out and out or simply allowed by turning a blind eye to it.

  194. Liz
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 09:32:05

    Morning all

    I’ve been turned onto this by a concerned friend of mine who is a top reviewer on Amazon.co.uk. Like me, he is a struggling writer.

    I’ve read as many of the comments I could above. Not being funny but this woman has seriously damaged the image and integrity of other writers – new and old – to react that badly to a review and to just continue digging herself into a hole by making herself sound completely off the wall. (Is she maybe Heather Mills in disguise?)

    Does she not know when to shut up and do herself a favour?

    I recently read a YA novel and loved it so much I raved to everyone I knew about it. I gave it a sterling review on my site and am prepared to find the author and crown her as the queen of YA writers. When I grow up, I want to write as beautifully as she does.

    Other people have read the same book and gone “meh, it’s okay, nothing fabulous.” But somehow with me, it resonated. Which is where the trick lies, isn’t it? When you write your review, you are being honest and forthright otherwise, why bother? I don’t pretend to be a literary boffin – but I do have an opinion and I am allowed to put it out there for a few people to read and comment on.

    And having said that: it would NEVER EVER occur to me to lie about a) reading a book or b) being derogatory about another author’s writing, no matter how bad (they managed to get it published so SOMEONE at least saw something worthwhile in it) or c) report a review to whichever Amazon you might be reviewing at.

    Some books published are not everyone’s cup of tea. So so in your review – do not launch a stinging personal attack on the author. As an author, you should be able to cope with people not liking your work! How did you manage to publish your work and not turn into Mr. Bates each time a publisher turned down your hard work?

    There are billions of us out there and all of us have different opionions. It’s a free world. If someone decides to write a deragotory review, then let them. In the end, it is the consumer who decides. I’ve bought books on Amazon that have not all had fantastic reviews (or none) but I bought them nonetheless because I found the premise exciting and thought it would make a good read.

    What is life without variety?

    Authors who turn into strange stalking types really blow me away. Surely she should be out there, working hard on a follow-up? Prove those who don’t like her work that she’s got staying power AND talent?

    Anyway. Thanks for this – I’m finding it tremendously interesting and will definitely be keeping tabs on it.

    Liz

  195. Steve Hedge
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 10:24:06

    The following is something I posted on several discussion boards on Amazon regarding Miss Deborah Anne MacGillivray and thought it appropriate to post here as well:

    I greatly admire those who have taken a stance regarding this cyberbully whose abbreviations fit her perfectly (DAM). All of this over a 3 star review which isn’t that bad, but miss egotist claimed that her book deserved 5 stars and didn’t get it because the reviewer didn’t understand the book. Gee, I hope she didn’t break her arm patting herself on the back with such enthusiasm. Also, what is with this “didn’t understand the book”? It’s not like she’s Victor Hugo and writing “Les Misearables” for crying out loud.

    I read Reba’s review and thought she was being fair-minded and even said that she loved the author’s other books, but was simply disappointed with this one. To think this resulted in threats to the reviewer and her family by the author and her legion of fans, of which some are now coming forward saying how they had been harassed by the author if they didn’t participate in her voting scam and harassment of those who don’t just adore her.

    I’ve noticed that DAM and her clan have now resorted to the post and delete method of covering one’s tracks; however, nothing ever just disappears on the internet. I had a run-in with a person on here who had numerous profiles and would post obscene and abusive comments to anyone she didn’t like using her various identities, leave them up to be responded to, and then delete them thinking they were “gone” and she would not have to be accountable. Well, Amazon did trace all the profiles to one account and did shut them down and they were able to read all those profane and abusive comments –they do get “saved” even when we delete them. In addition, people save comments. When I, and others, caught onto this tactic, we would always include what she had originally said in her post, via cut and paste, knowing she would delete the comment eventually to cover her tracks. Nothing is ever “gone” on the internet, so one must be very careful what he or she posts out there.

    In regards to doing away with ranking on here as some have suggested here and elsewhere, I think that is wishful thinking as there is too much to be gained by Amazon by having it; however, I think they will make some serious adjustments and include more software that catches voting blocks, AKA campaign voting, and other abuses like robotic voting (ever notice how some top reviewers get 20, 30, 40 or 50+ votes within seconds of their reviews getting posted?).

    In addition, maybe some old fashioned commonsense will prevail and someone on Amazon will also realize that not even the current #1 Reviewer can realistically read 150 books in one day (her current output) and every single one of them is 4 or 5 stars no matter who the author and genre is being reviewed. Someone is obviously using a team of writers and gaming the ranking system that way rather than through voting fraud, but it is still fraud to me no matter how you slice it. I don’t care if the fraud is done via multiple identities linked to one account, one identity with many contributers, campaign voting, or robotic voting. I just hate fraud of any kind.

    The whole system is ripe for being gamed and Amazon continues to lose credibility by not enforcing its own policies, giving cyberbullies too large a playground, and looking the other way when obvious abuses are taking place with their voting and ranking system to which they feel they may benefit in the end. I always find it amazing how if I write in a complaint, I first get the usual computer generated response of how they will look into it. I write in again on the same issue and I’ll get a real person who says he sees no problem. On my third, try I’ll be told that the information I received before is correct and there is no real issue to be resolved. On my fourth try someone will tell me, “Yes, this is a serious problem and the comment/review will be removed promptly. It’s customers like you . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah”. If it was a “real” issue on my fourth try, then it was on the first try. One thing I learned with Amazon is that persistence usually pays off.

    Keep complaining people; don’t quit or think that you are too little to be noticed. I admire Reba for the brave stance she is taking. We can all learn from her courage. I know this is horribly cliche, but quitters never win, and winners never quit. Keep on fighting for what is morally and ethically right. You may not win, but you may give someone else the courage to keep fighting and maybe they will win.

    Respectfully,
    Steve

  196. Sheila
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 11:47:40

    Reading all this has taken a lot of time out of my life. But it’s important. I’m grateful to the people who have tracked down and posted DAM’s photo, her real name, her possible aliases, her outrageous bullying of Reba Belle and other writers, her conflicting statements about her connection to HP, her possible manipulation of the literary rights of a dead author, her possible misappropriation of charitable funds, and more.

    Why? Because people like this keep doing the same thing over and over. And they can turn out to be physically dangerous, as well as fiscally criminal. A few of you have suggested that it isn’t nice to investigate this woman or even to speculate about her dealings. I say that a person this vicious needs to be fully known, so we all can protect ourselves from her now and in her future incarnations.

    And from her posse of harpies, all of whose names I have carefully written down so I can avoid a) buying their books, b) reading their books, and c) having anything to do with them via RWA or any other romance world connection.

    I agree with those of you who cynically suspect that neither Amazon nor Kensington nor Dorchester will do anything significant to stop or even to discourage such behavior in the future. But I also believe that we vote with our feet. We complain vociferously, and then we walk. We don’t buy from companies that treat us like dirt. We don’t buy or read falsely hyped books. We don’t submit our potentially bestselling manuscripts to companies who countenance bullies and plagiarists.

    I applaud Reba Belle’s guts in not taking the harassment and the threats lying down. I personally know of a case of an author threatening someone and the FBI paid that author a warning visit, so don’t think the FBI won’t act. Or the IRS, for that matter.

    Also, books can be returned. Any product can be, especially one that is not substantially what is claimed by the seller. If you feel that Amazon ripped you off by allowing these fake glowing reviews, then return the books and demand full credit. Amazon might fight you over it. But Amazon cannot ignore your attempt to rescind a retail transaction the way it can ignore your complaints about fairness in the reader reviewing process. Use the power of money. What DAM has been doing all along is using the power of implied money to keep timid and ignorant authors in line. Hit both Amazon and HP’s evil, incompetent authors where it hurts–in the pocketbook.

  197. Peter Durward Harris
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 12:26:37

    Steve Hedge

    Please don’t get carried away on the emotion of the issue to the extent of spoiling our case. You say

    << not even the current #1 Reviewer can realistically read 150 books in one day (her current output) >>

    but while nobody believes that Harriet can read books at the speed that her posting of reviews would suggest, it’s nowhere near 150 per day. I think somebody said that she once posted 117 reviews in one day, but of course that’s not the same thing at all. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m thinking of posting around 300 reviews in one day after I eventually re-connect my old PC to the internet. In any case, Harriet’s efforts are limited to cyberspace; she hasn’t actually threatened anybody and therefore doesn’t register on the same scale as DAM. I notice that DAM doesn’t use the “Anne” bit in her name so much now, perhaps in the vain hope that people won’t abbreviate her name the same way.

    I know enough about Amazon to realize that we have to be thankful for themn sorting out ANY problem reviewer. I think there’s a realistic chance of them dealing with DAM, if we focus on her and her entourage. Raising issues about other reviewers only serves to divert attention. People have been complaining about Harriet for at least seven years. If Amazon were going to do anything about Harriet, they would have done so long ago.

  198. Steve Hedge
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 12:30:39

    Wow, Sheila, I was only aware of this immediate mess and not the many other things you mentioned in your first paragraph. Perhaps someone here or elsewhere can pull together all that is currently know about DAM and company and post it all in one place. I’ve only been getting bits and pieces as I look into things more out of morbid curiosity.

    I did discover today that according to Leanne Burroughs’ [sp?] profile on Amazon she claims to be an executive at Highland publishing. No problem there in of itself, but why is she allowed to post reviews of authors that she publishes? Doesn’t that just scream unethical? She is promoting her company via her 5 star reviews of authors that she publishes. Good thing there is no bias conduct going on there.

    Amazon has got to find a way to better filter its reviews and reviewers. This is all just shameless and self-serving.

  199. Steve Hedge
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 13:03:05

    PD,

    I apologize and stand corrected on that issue regarding Harriet’s number of postings. I only said 150 off the cuff as they say. That number stuck in my head as I’ve noted others reporting her hitting the 150 mark a number of times in the past and it just stuck with me as I was writing today (it’s a round number that can stick in your head), but, to be fair and to acknowledge your point, I haven’t checked the accuracy of that number and shouldn’t exaggerate. I did let the moment/emotion get the best of me there. Your point is well taken.

    However, I don’t agree with you that 117, and I was the one who actually counted that one that time, is “no where near 150.” I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It is a mere 33 reviews off and in Hattie land of 16,000+ reviews, that is a drop in the bucket and unlike you who may have stored up a large bunch of reviews for whatever reason, this posting of reviews in huge numbers is a regular event for Hattie and the fact that she so often confuses one book for another, reads every genre imaginable, and gives everything she reads 4 or 5 stars should indicate something isn’t right there.

    I agree with you that bringing up others, certainly ones not as threatening as DAM, may be a diversion to some, my point was not to compare them as to the level of their abuses on Amazon, but rather that there is clearly quite a lot of abuse that goes on on Amazon and they conveniently look the other way until all hell breaks lose like in this situation which, if Amazon had been more proactive, would never have gotten to this level.

    I brought up these other instances to make mention of a pattern on Amazon and, to me and with all due respect to your opinion, that isn’t a “diversion” and may be a symptom of the larger problem on Amazon with it’s voting and ranking system which motivated DAM and company to behave as they have. To me, Amazon has created an environment that invites such conduct and abuse and whether on the scale of Harriet’s or whether on the scale of DAM’s the conduct is still abusive.

    In regards to Amazon not doing anything about Harriet somehow meaning they never will, well, I don’t subscribe to that logic. They have removed others on their site after many years of abuse. For me, that logic could be applied to DAM and company as they apparently have been behaving like this for quite some time, but it’s only coming to light now because they went too far. Should Reba have just thrown her hands up in the air saying, “Well, she’s always gotten away with it. I won’t make a difference”? I don’t think you meant that exactly, but it would fit with the logic you presented regarding why bother with HK.

    I respect your opinion, PD, and you are obviously a very intelligent man, I’ve gone to your website in the past to get background information on Amazon, and I enjoy the lively discussions that come up when you are around and you do stress that we should keep to the facts and I appreciate that about you, but I do differ with you a bit on the issues at hand here. You are right though that we all have to be careful and not let our emotions get the best of us, and I admit that I’m an emotional man on certain issues. There I sincerely appreciate your advice.

    With Respect,
    Steve

  200. Carol
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 13:39:26

    This has been a very interesting read. While I am not a fan of romance, I have reading this thread very educational. For any writer to act like this woman has is unbelievable.

    I recently received a three star review in RT for an anthology I edited and I am very proud of it. I felt the reviewer was fair and there was nothing I could complain about in that review.

    Reviews are one reader’s opinion – nothing more.

    Now, I’m about to suggest something that will probably get me a few upset comments. I’ve only read to post 257 so if someone else mentioend this as a possibility my apologies for duplicating.

    Depending on the extent of the medical bills involved and the families finances perhaps DAM offered to take care of everything in exchange for having the rights to Ms. Thompsons literary works signed over to her. She may have those right legally if this was the situation – however, based on how people are describing her, it is possible her tactics were highly questionable in how she got them to agree.

    If these were the only assets that really could be used to settle the outstanding debts of the estate, it may not have taken the probate court long to accept that solution – particularly if the family didn’t protest.

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