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Cassie Edwards Copies Words from Pulitzer Prize Winning Novelist

edited to add: Cassie Edwards website is now taken down. It redirects to the myspace page.

You might be suffering from Cassie Edwards plagiarism fatigue but because of what I have read on the internet in various places, from both authors and readers, I think I need to post this example. One of the Smart Bitch readers checked a Cassie Edwards, Savage Dream c. 1990, and found that it bore startling similarities to Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story by Oliver La Forge. Laughing Boy was copyrighted in 1929 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1930.

You can see all of the examples in a great PDF that Candy from SBTB is compiling which, unfortunately seems to expand every day.

Savage Dream (2003, ISBN 0-7862-5881-0, Thorndike Press [Large print edition]. First published 1990, Dorchester) Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge (2004, ISBN 0618446729, Houghton Mifflin)
At first light the desert is intimate, and somehow Shadow felt the presence of others as an intrusion this morning. -the blinding light of full day had not yet supplanted the soft greys of dawn, the uncertain forms and shapes of the cliffs had not yet become harsh with daylight, and the canyons were still soft with wells of coolness. The world was a secret place to each man-

p. 59

-and then rode into a canyon, its cliffs harsh by daylight, yet looming soft with coolness.

p. 416

At the first light, before dawn, the desert is intimate, and each man feels the presence of others as an intrusion. Blinding colour has not supplanted soft greys, uncertain forms; cliffs harsh by daylight, and thunderous-walled cañons loom soft with wells of coolness. The east is white-’mother-of-pearl-’the world is secret to each one’s self.

p. 42
Little and compact, he was like an arrow notched to a taut bowstring. A movement of the hand would send him flying swiftly to a mark.

p. 61

Little, compact, all black save for the tiny white spot on her forehead, she had the ugly Roman nose of character. She was like an arrow notched to a taut bowstring-’a movement of the hand would release level flight swiftly to a mark.

p. 4
Shadow gazed with admiration at Racer, at his sleek, gleaming haunches, the bunched muscles at the juncture of his shoulder and chest, the ripple of light and shadow on his withers, his arched neck and smooth head, and the character and intelligence of his eyes.


p. 60-61
The chestnut stallion was coming into its strength, gleaming, round quarters, bunched muscles at the juncture of the throat and chest, a ripple of highlight and shadow on the withers, arched neck, pricked small Arab ears, bony head, eyes and nostrils of character and intelligence.

p. 157
As the insides of Shadow’s calves touched his horse’s barrel, he felt a current run through them and felt at peace with himself-at home. He was a skilled horseman, having spent half of his waking hours on a horse’s back. Not even the longest day of riding had ever destroyed his pleasure in the mile-eating lope of his stallion.

p. 61-62
Her man was a Navajo and a horseman; when he settled in the saddle, as the sides of his calves touched his pony’s barrel, and he felt the one current run through them, there was always that little look of uplift. Probably half of his waking life had been spent on a horse’s back, but not the longest day could destroy in him a certain pleasure in even the workaday jog or mechanical, mile-eating lope of a good pony.

p. 93
-Shadow swung himself into his high-cantled Navaho saddle with its seat of stamped leather held together with silver nails and draped with a dyed goatskin.

p. 61
The high-cantled navajo saddle he had made for her, with its seat of slung leather over which a dyed goatskin was thrown-

p. 93
Beyond were red-brown cliffs, dull orange bald rock, and yellow sand, leading away to blend into a kind of purplish brown with hazy blue mountains for background.

p. 63
Beyond its level were red-brown cliffs, dull orange bald-rock, yellow sand, leading away to blend into a kind of purplish brown with blue clouds of mountains for background.

p. 115
Looking up, he saw magnificent dark firs growing along the ledges. Up there, the ruddy rock, touched by sunlight, became dull orange and buff with flecks of gold and a golden line where the earth met a cloudless sky.

p. 63
Looking up, one saw magnificent, dark firs growing along the ledges and hanging valleys. Up there, the ruddy rock, touched by the sunlight, became dull orange and buff, with flecks of gold, and a golden line where it met a -" (free Google preview ended here)

p. 100
It was now late afternoon and sandy dust was rising from the trail in clouds.

p. 87
Midday was warm, sandy dust rose from the trail in clouds.

p. 157

He had brought her to a high place after a fatiguing, scrambling climb, alleviated by the increasing growth of jack pine and spruce. They were following a winding path under firs; warm golden cliffs, painted with red and purplish brown and luminous shadows, loomed straight ahead.

p. 89
Now they were come among warm, golden cliffs, painted with red and purplish brown and luminous shadows, a broken country that changed with the changing sun, narrow canons, great mesas, yellow sands, and distant, blue mountains.

p. 95 [also, the "fatiguing, scrambling climb" "jack pine and spruce" and "wandering path under firs" bits get a Google hit with Laughing Boy p. 96, but it is unavailable for view.]
Below, the world was red in late afternoon sunlight where fierce, narrow canyons were ribboned with shadow and the lesser hills were streaked with opaque purple shadows like deep holes in the world.

p. 89
It was red in the late sunlight, fierce, narrow canons with ribbons of shadow, broad valleys and lesser hills streaked with purple opaque shadows like deep holes in the world, …

(Laughing Boy, as quoted in Native American Identities: From Stereotype to Archetype in Art and Literature, Page 59, available as a snippet preview on GoogleBooks)
There was shade and peace and coolness with a sweet smell of dampness.

p. 89

Here was all shade and peace, soft, grey stone, dark, shadowed green, coolness, and the sweet smell of dampness.

p. 19
Along the cliff was a long ledge, with the rock above it rising in a concave shell of light reflected under shadow.

p. 89
Along the north cliff was a long ledge, with the rock above it rising in a concave shell of light reflected under shadow.

p. 101

The world was full of the roar of hooves. The saddles and bridles were heavy with silver and brass as the Navaho leaned forward over their steeds’ necks, shrieking "E-e-e-e!" –

p. 108

The world became full of a roar of hooves and noise rushing together, the boys leaning forward over their horses’ necks, their mouths wide as they shouted, "E-e-e-e"!

p. 228-229

The world was full of a roar of hooves and two walls of noise rushing together, the men leaning forward over their horses’ necks, mouths wide. “Eeeee!”

p. 3
Charging Falcon staked his horse out where uncropped spears of grass stood singly, each inches from the next, in brown sand. A beaten track toward an oak tree and a break in the rock caught his eye. He followed it. Behind the oak, currant bushes grew in a niche of red rock, like a fold in a giant curtain. At the back was a full grown, lofty fir tree. Behind the tree a cleft opened at shoulder height into dark shadow. The footholds were worn to velvety roundness.

p. 201
Laughing Boy took the horses down to the windmill for water, and staked them out in a corner where uncropped spears of grass stood singly, each inches from the next, in brown sand. A beaten track toward an oak tree and a break in the rock caught his eye. A spring, perhaps. He followed it. Behind the oak, currant bushes grew hi a niche of red rock like the fold of a giant curtain. At the back was a full-grown, lofty fir. A spring, surely. Behind the fir a cleft opened at shoulder height into transparent shadow. The footholds were worn to velvety roundness in the sandstone-

p. 18
They met in a great swirl of plunging, dodging horses and swept on, all together, whooping for dear life, with some holding lances, others grasping shields.

p. 229
They met in a great swirl of plunging, dodging horses, and swept on all together, whooping for dear life, with the staff in front of them, almost onto the -[preview ended here]
p. 3
Silver and stones with soft highlights and deep shadows hung around her neck, glowing against her buckskin dress. Oval plaques of silver surrounded her waist; ceremonial jewels were sewn in the fringes of a sash that was draped across one shoulder. She wore moccasins with silver buttons shining at their sides.

p. 472
She was well dressed to show off what she wore; silver and stones with soft highlights and deep shadows glowed against the night-blue velveteen of her blouse; oval plaques of silver were at her waist, and ceremonial jewels in the fringe of her sash. Her blue skirt swung with her short, calculated steps, ankle-length, above the dull red leggings and moccasins with silver buttons.

p. 6
Maria blushed when two small naked boys brought ears of roasted corn on a wooden platter – Several women came and placed broiled goats’ ribs and corn bread before them.

p. 474
Where they went, they reclined on sheepskins, while two small naked boys brought ears of corn as they were roasted, and calm women set broiled goats’ ribs and corn bread before them.

p. 12

Examples reposted in full with permission. I guess the best face that we can put on this is that Edwards appeared to have some of the best resources on hand to research her books.

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

51 Comments

  1. Nora Roberts
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 17:19:26

    Oh God. It gets worse and worse.

    This is not research. I don’t understand how anyone could justify it. It’s again and again, isn’t it? Over and over. Book after book.

    I’m sorry, sincerely, for anyone who likes her books or feels there’s an excuse. There’s just no excuse for this. It’s not a line here and there which may make sense, or could be reasoned out to trying to be accurate. It’s just not. It’s a repeated pattern, and it’s wrong.

    In or out of copyright, it’s wrong. Footnotes, acknowledgements–that’s just not the POINT with a pattern like this. It’s copying someone else’s work, and it matters. It HAS to matter.

  2. GrowlyCub
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 17:32:27

    It really makes you wonder if she ever wrote anything herself at all, or if she just copied and pasted all her books together from various sources (which could explain why so many people didn’t think her books were well written).

    And the thought that she managed to sell 10 million copies of regurgitation as ‘original’ work just makes me sick to my stomach for all the readers she defrauded.

    I’ll be taking the updated pdf to my library tomorrow and petition them to remove all CE books from the shelves.

  3. Meljean
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 17:48:47

    Oh, man. Even as bad as I thought lifting the words from research sources was, and that I thought she must know word-for-word wasn’t okay, there was still the bit of doubt that maybe she really, really didn’t know how to acknowledge them. And the discussion of fair use and what to use and attribute was really incredible.

    But this? How could she not have known?

    Just feeling sad, now.

  4. whey
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 17:54:35

    Ouch.

  5. Nora Roberts
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 17:54:41

    ~Just feeling sad, now.~

    Yes, exactly. I don’t really know why, but I feel so horrible sad. I sat here with this sickness in the belly reading these last comparisons–and I’m not sure if it was because of the source, or because there was just so much more. Either way, it peeled away my anger and outrage and left sadness.

  6. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 18:21:34

    I think I’m having an upside-down reaction. I started out sad. As I said on my blog:

    …this was an author that, though she didn't write books to my taste, I looked up to. Not for her prose or grammar, but for the fact this woman consistently, over many years and 100 books, provided her readers with the stories they loved. That's an achievement worth striving for. Except…her books are frauds. *cough*allegedly*cough* And, while I wouldn't say she's been a rolemodel, per se, it's-’to be blunt-’freakin' depressing.

    While I believe plagiarizing non-fiction to be as bad as plagiarizing fiction, it’s like everybody else has said—this removes that tiny bit of hope she simply didn’t “get” research.

    Now I wish I had a copy of one of her books so I could set it on fire in my driveway.

  7. Sela Carsen
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 18:52:28

    I could just cry at this point. The argument that she didn’t know any better never held any water with me, but this goes so far beyond the pale.

    Now you have to wonder if this was one of those cries for help — Please stop me before I steal again?

    And somebody tell me where her editors stand in all of this mess. Didn’t they read what she wrote?

  8. azteclady
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:04:07

    Can’t help but ask: could she have been asking for something like 25 years to be stopped?

    The cynic in me thinks there was much more rubbing hands with glee while racking the advances and royalties than anything else.

  9. Carolyn Jean
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:23:59

    My guess, and I’m sure others have said it before me, is that back when she was doing all this, she didn’t dream that someday there would be this search function that would allow people to so easily root out every one of her lifted passages. Pulitzer or no, that’s a pretty obscure text.

    I’d imagine, also, that at some point she realized where the technology was going. And I bet she worried this was coming, and that it’s been pretty hard to sleep at night.

  10. msaggie
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:35:07

    Following on to Carolyn Jean’s post on how much easier it is nowadays to detect plagiarism using search engines, what are the implications for publishers now? Making sure you are not publishing a plagiarised work is the onus firstly of the editors/whoever gets the manuscript first at a publishing house. I am also comparing this case with Kaavya Viswanathan’s – the extent of her plagiarised work (which she said was unintentional, subconscious etc) was far less in quantity as well as quality, but it was a big thing – maybe because she was a Harvard student (and surely one doesn’t expect this of someone from Harvard). Her publishers who initially stood by her, later retracted their support IIRC. I wonder if new authors bear much more scrutiny for plagiarism than authors like CE who have 100 book-CVs.

  11. azteclady
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:36:22

    The onus should be first on the writer.

    But yes, after that, the publisher.

  12. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:39:06

    I have to say sad and disappointed have pretty much described my feelings from the get go. This newest discovery won’t change that. Lifting from academic sources or fiction, both to me are wrong.

    Whether people loved her books or not, she had a career a lot of writers probably dream about and it’s all gone down the drain. Chances are it was headed there from the get-go~doing that much theft usually isn’t going to lead to good things.

    At this point, and don’t shoot me, people, I feel some pity for her~not because people are talking about her and not because she got caught. This was definitely coming.

    But whatever drove her to this? Desperation, a blindness to how wrong it was, foolishness, even arrogance, whatever, I feel some feel pity. Any of those things, all of those things usually blind people to more than just a sense of right and wrong.

  13. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:41:56

    Making sure you are not publishing a plagiarised work is the onus firstly of the editors/whoever gets the manuscript first at a publishing house.

    I have to disagree. If people conducted themselves in an ethical manner, publishers wouldn’t have to address this.

    However, since not everybody conducts themselves ethically.

  14. Jessica Inclan
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:56:58

    This is really depressing. So depressing.

    Jessica

  15. Stephanie
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 19:59:56

    Jaw, meet floor.

    There are no words.

    Except, maybe, to wonder queasily if, after decades of pilferage from unacknowledged and unaccredited sources, Ms. Edwards has somehow managed to convince herself that she has done “nothing wrong.”

    If so, she has more serious problems than pending litigation from the people whose works she plagiarized.

  16. Robin
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 20:30:14

    At this point, and don't shoot me, people, I feel some pity for her~not because people are talking about her and not because she got caught. This was definitely coming.

    But whatever drove her to this? Desperation, a blindness to how wrong it was, foolishness, even arrogance, whatever, I feel some feel pity. Any of those things, all of those things usually blind people to more than just a sense of right and wrong.

    Maybe it was the belief that she was providing cultural authenticity. Which is why I think the “why did she do it” question is sort of moot. The fact that it was done, the fact that some authors have even defended (well, at least up till now) the “use” of those external works, and the fact that not speaking out has been merged with a concept of professionalism all show to me, anyway, how totally backwards and upside down this whole situation is. It’s why I can’t really think about Edwards, per se, only the side by side textual examples, because IMO if we get caught up in the “whys” we get caught up in personality rather than the question of whether this is or isn’t plagiarism, period (oh, I so love cheesy alliteration, lol).

  17. Robin
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 20:32:45

    And when I talk about the “whys” I mean the why’s of the copying, not the whys of *using external sources* in the process of writing fiction.

  18. rebyj
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 20:47:40

    The more that comes to light, the more I’m thinking she has a specific forumlatic method of writing, when you consider the volume of books and the amount that is copied from other works. Know what I mean? I’d be real curious as to how she goes about writing a manuscript.

  19. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:09:44

    Maybe it was the belief that she was providing cultural authenticity. Which is why I think the “why did she do it” question is sort of moot.

    I probably didn’t make myself clear. :op It’s a habit of mine.

    Honestly, the why doesn’t matter so much to me, although it illustrates that there definitely needs to be more education on this issue, if so many people can pass it if as ‘okay’ for any reason.

    What I was getting at… something pushed her to this. Whether it was foolishness, whether it was arrogance, or whether it sprung from a need to get published, and then stay that way, whichever drove her to this, I can feel some pity for that. Not necessarily understanding, and I certainly can’t condone it, no matter what the reasoning. But some pity?

    Yeah, I do feel that.

  20. Rebecca Goings
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:11:53

    Wow, the rabbit hole just keeps getting deeper. I can believe (albeit scratching my head in disbelief) that she lifted passages from various sources about her research, about how Native Americans did this or that…

    But description? She’s lifted the description of canyons in the light, a sunrise, and how the sand swirled in the heat of midday. WTF? She’s lifting PROSE? Facts I can maybe, sort of (not really) understand, but description? Where’s the imagination of describing things yourself?

    It makes me wonder exactly how much of her novels are in her own words if both “facts” and “descriptions” are lifted from other sources. Goodness. This is bad bad bad.

    ~~Becka

  21. Rebecca Goings
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:16:06

    I can believe (albeit scratching my head in disbelief)

    Heh, okay, that didn’t quite make sense, did it? That’ll learn me to proofread my posts. :P

    I meant “I can understand (albeit scratching my head in disbelief)”

    ~~Becka

  22. DS
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:20:48

    I read a bit on a web site that I can’t find now that stated CE was working as a secretary when her first book was accepted (1982?) by Zebra. They gave her a contract for 6! books. These were the days when publishing romance was like minting money. She at the same time had a book accepted by Leisure.

    I can easily see her getting in over her head and taking this dishonest shortcut just to get the books out.

  23. Teddypig
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:31:26

    Dang, if I was a major publisher I would be so talking to TurnItIn and seeing if I could work out a deal with them to allow me to use their product if I let them use my book database for referencing. Mutual anti-plagiarism support and indentification.

  24. Maddie
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:54:42

    Not trying to make light of this but it’s smacks of Vanilla Ice claiming that Queens/Bowie track as his own and we all know what happen there

  25. veinglory
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:55:06

    How much recent fiction is in Turnitin? Because that is where most plagiarism occurs. Edwards is something if an aberation in using sources an academic database might list.

  26. Teddypig
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 22:11:29

    Well Emily, knowing what I do about corporations and purchasing software solutions. Starting with a product that is only limited by it’s academic level databases would be a start in the right direction. Research is sorta universal.

    Note: I also said cut a mutually beneficial deal and allow them access to their publications database thus improving those chances of reliable push button findings.

  27. Faerylore
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 22:25:17

    Gawd. Will this never end? Of course, at this point, somebody better start checking her work against fan fic.

  28. stephanie feagan
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 22:31:35

    I thought it was sad when it first broke and I think it’s sad now. It’s grossly negligent, ethically wrong and morally repugnant to lift another’s work and call it your own. That almost goes without saying. But I’m also righteously pissed off because there are a great many writers who’d give their eye-teeth for a chance at publication, whose work may be excellent, but there’s no room for them in the publication schedule. Their manuscripts are turned down in lieu of a woman’s whose words are not wholly her own.

  29. Elise Logan
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 22:46:03

    It just makes me ill. I’m a researcher – in both fiction and non-fiction, my work hinges on research. I’m writing my doctoral dissertation, so maybe I am more tuned in to the ins and outs of plagiarism than the average writer. But even so, I can’t believe that, at this level of extensive use of academic and fiction, she didn’t know exactly what she was doing. Especially given some recent high-profile plagiarism cases in the industry.

    I do feel pity for her, and for her family, that they have to endure the difficulties associated with this. However, that pity is outweighed by my absolute, unshakable belief that things like this MUST be brought into the light or they will continue to fester and grow in dark corners of the industry.

    Without brave people like Nora standing up and fighting for the integrity of their own work, none of us – writers of fiction or non-fiction – is safe. We ALL bear a responsibility to make sure that wherever plagiarism rears its ugly head it is dealt with quickly and with brutal efficiency. There is nothing to be gained by soft-pedaling or babying plagiarism cases, and everything to be lost.

    Already, Ms. Edwards’ actions have brought ridicule and derision on the romance novel industry – and, I think we are all aware that romance is not exactly the most respected of trades in any case.

    No, as sad as I may personally find it that this woman must be publicly brought to task for her actions, I also believe that it is both NECESSARY and RIGHT to do so.

  30. Meljean
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 22:52:46

    and the fact that not speaking out has been merged with a concept of professionalism all show to me, anyway, how totally backwards and upside down this whole situation is

    Word.

    You know, I’ll admit that my first reaction on seeing the headline at SB, and that it included something about CE, was: Again? And I almost just skipped over the post. Not that I don’t generally enjoy the SB’s snark, because I do — but the “CE is a terrible writer” thing has just worn thin for me, and no matter how entertainingly it is put, I’m just…yeah, tired of it.

    But when I actually read the post, and realized it was about plagiarism and lifting passages, it changed for me. It wasn’t about whether CE was a good or bad writer, but “a writer has plagiarized.”

    Because for me, it doesn’t matter how good or bad a writer is; I know that if they’ve completed a book, they’ve worked their ass off. It’s HARD to write, whether you’re writing well or terribly. And CE, just like Barbara Cartland, or Nora Roberts, or Stephen King, there’s a sense of amazement: that’s a TON of work, and I know very, very, very, very few people who will write that many words in their lifetime, and also entertain their readers with them. I mean, holy damn.

    So to see those passages laid out side by side, as both a reader and writer, I saw someone breaking faith with an concept that was (I thought) fundamental. A writer just doesn’t do that.

    And I’m still bothered when I see in comments a remark about the quality of Edward’s work, or the subgenre she’s writing in. Because, to me, that detracts from the issue. People dismiss plagiarism in romance as something that’s not a big deal, because it’s “all formulaic anyway.” And the Native American subgenre is right there along with the babies and sheiks to be the first dismissed *within* the romance genre, and I’ve felt more than once a sense of “well, look what she writes/how bad a writer she is so it’s really no surprise” feeling from a few comments, when — to my mind — of course it’s a surprise. How can it not be? She’s a writer, and writers don’t do that.

    So I can see why some people are saying why they wished it hadn’t broken on SBs site — because on that site, CE and “bad writing” is almost inextricably intertwined, and when you throw plagiarism into the mix, “bad writing” should go out of the discussion … but it’s hard to take it out at that site. But it has to be, has to be, has to be — because it’s almost impossible to dismiss CE’s writing as worthless in the same sentence you say that her plagiarizing is a big deal, and have that statement really mean anything. (For the record — I don’t see the SBs saying this — I think they’ve separated the issue just fine; this is just a general response to too many days of reading comments, and seeing the word “Savage” far too many times. “Savage” is an issue in itself, no doubt about it — but, IMO, it has too much baggage, and clouds the plagiarism issue too much.)

    Because it’s not about her writing at all, her subgenre, her genre, but the profession of writing. We don’t do that. It’s unethical.

    And that’s also why I can’t see how, on any level, speaking out is unprofessional. It’s an issue that is important to the profession. Now, if I went out and bashed CE personally, sure. I mean, that’s just offensive behavior. But saying that her actions were unethical, according to the rules of the profession she chose (a profession I participate in, and whose product I buy with the understanding that it is produced in an ethical way?)

    I just don’t see how that is, somehow, another breach of ethics. Or even what is being breached when an author speaks up that is more important than defending a fundamental ethical standard.

  31. Sarah Frantz
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 22:56:54

    Teddy Pig, I’ve run some of it through TurnItIn, including the black-footed ferret article, the original of which is an online article, and it turned up nothing. It claimed that the excerpts were completely clean. So, that goes to show you. I don’t think it searches Google books because that’s not HTML, but the ferret one really surprised me, and made me wonder how much of my students’ plagiarism is going undetected.

  32. Teddypig
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 23:11:56

    Oh these products are not perfect and severely limited by what they have access to. I caught two out of four Cassie examples I gave to My Drop Box with Safe Assignment and they also are not pulling from the Google Book Search.

  33. Teddypig
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 23:13:48

    Oh and fan-fic people. You will be glad to know My Drop Box can catch that little issue too since it checks online resources rather well.

  34. GrowlyCub
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 00:34:50

    Meljean,

    while I follow some of the points you are making, I’m in disagreement about wishing anybody but SBTB had broken the story.

    I just don’t know who would have been ‘qualified’, since Mrs. Giggles has never given her more than 17/100 and AAR stopped reviewing her books because they would inflict only so many of her books on their reviewers and all got bad grades.

    So, if not having remarked about and negatively reviewed CE was a requirement to make breaking this story more palatable, who would have been there to do it for us?

    Now, granted I don’t follow all available review boards out there, so I might have missed a prominent review site.

    Before this story, I had been many times to Mrs. Giggles and AAR and only 1 or 2 times to SBTB and was well aware of the first two panning Edwards and had not heard anything about SBTB doing so.

  35. Meljean
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 01:44:36

    Oh, no — I should clarify, I don’t have a problem with the SBs breaking the story. I’m glad they did, that someone did. But I do see, on some level, why there is a lot of tension surrounding the issue of the SBs and Cassie Edwards’s writing being shorthand for “crap.”

    But I also think they’ve done a great job of keeping the personal out of it, as much as possible. And I also think any issue of mean girls and witch hunts detracts from the plagiarism issue as much as bringing up her bad writing (which, again, the SBs haven’t done. It’s just something that has been itching at the back of my mind over quite a few comments).

  36. Jenyfer Matthews
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 02:18:48

    Before I go on, let me make it clear I am no way defending CE – clearly what she did was wrong. Period.

    But you have to wonder if, in her mind, once she’d done her “research” a few times in the manner she seems to have adopted (straight copying) and gotten away with it / gotten more contracts / fan mail / $$$$ she may have just relaxed and thought this is how it’s done. She was rewarded repeatedly over the years for this behavior so why not keep on? She probably is genuinely confused about what all the hoopla is about.

    This is just me speculating about her motives with my rose colored glasses on.

    Regardless of her intentions, her actions were wrong and need to be dealt with legally.

  37. Robin
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 02:30:00

    Meljean, it is kind of a double-edged situation with the SBs, because the prominence Edwards has played as an example of “bad Romance” increased her profile over there such that a reader like Candy’s friend who isn’t reading within the genre paradigms would take notice of stylistic discrepancies. If she’d been completely ignored over there, this may never have come to light, but because she has been the focus of more than one snarky conversation, it can appear to people like it’s a grudge issue rather than merely a higher profile for her books and a reader who found this in part perhaps because she wasn’t reading with ANY expectations.

    All of which is my way of saying that while I agree with you that the “bad Romance” tag has been used as an excuse by some to dismiss what the friend and readers of the SBs have found, since NO ONE seems to have found all this before, are there any circumstances under which its discovery would be accepted without question and complaint? Whether through the NA angle, the title/cover issue, or the widespread review panning, it’s kind of a bummer all the way around, IMO, that this has been discovered with Edwards’s books. Which, to me, is just one more signal that it’s time to work on separating the personality issues from the plagiarism issues and sort out what is and isn’t considered ethically acceptable within Romance fiction.

  38. EC Sheedy
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 02:39:28

    I think I’ve already read a million words on the CE debacle, and aside from the sour taste in my mouth (no writer who cares/loves her craft can condone such rampant *borrowing*), now I just feel sick and sad, for our genre, its readers, and yes, even CE. To say there are no winners in this mess is understatement to the nth degree.

  39. Meljean
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 02:54:10

    are there any circumstances under which its discovery would be accepted without question and complaint?

    Sadly, I think no. Motives would have been questioned whoever broke the story or talked about it (I’m still in shock over a couple of comments I’ve read that called Nora “jealous” and “trying to erase the competition” when she gave her opinion of the passages to the press).

    Which, to me, is just one more signal that it's time to work on separating the personality issues from the plagiarism issues and sort out what is and isn't considered ethically acceptable within Romance fiction.

    Word. Again.

  40. hotflashes51
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 11:35:54

    I just feel so sad. I have not touched a book in a week and that is unusual. I pity Ms. Edwards. I pity readers because trust has been broken. I’m hoping that since this problem is so widespread in every genre writing associations will address the issue. I’m hoping that this situation will not affect any author’s imagination and creative process in fear that they maybe have read something similar before. I’m hoping that there will be some discretion because I hate the idea that books will contain pages and pages of cited sources for every character, plot and world building authors have created.

    Why do I feel like a group hug? Can I just say that I love you, authors?

  41. rose
    Jan 15, 2008 @ 12:29:25

    Wow! I have to say it takes guts to steal, but extra cojones to pilfer from a pulitzer prize winner. Logic would say if you are gonna do it, you would pick something obscure, but then I guess you have to take from the best.
    This whole thing makes me wonder, if the next time I pick up a book, I am actually reading original work!

  42. joanna bourne
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 14:33:36

    Ok. It’s bothering me so much I have to say it.

    Do you have a TIN EAR Cassie Edwards?

    HOW can you take the stark beauty of –

    At the first light, before dawn, the desert is intimate, and each man feels the presence of others as an intrusion. Blinding colour has not supplanted soft greys, uncertain forms; cliffs harsh by daylight, and thunderous-walled cañons loom soft with wells of coolness. The east is white-’mother-of-pearl-’the world is secret to each one's self.

    and chew it up and spit it out, dripping saliva and cookie crumbs, as the mawkish and pedestrian –

    At first light the desert is intimate, and somehow Shadow felt the presence of others as an intrusion this morning. …the blinding light of full day had not yet supplanted the soft greys of dawn, the uncertain forms and shapes of the cliffs had not yet become harsh with daylight, and the canyons were still soft with wells of coolness. The world was a secret place to each man…

    You disrespected that beautiful passage. You hurt it. You slimed it.

    It’s not just that you stole the words, Cassie.
    You kidnapped them into a noisome dungeon and hacked them apart and sewed the pieces into a monster and sent it to stagger forth with a bolt through the neck.

  43. SAM
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 02:37:01

    Ms. Edwards’ website has not been taken down. It is being redone and will be reconnected when it’s finished.

    People need to stop assuming things.

    For those of you who are waiting to see Ms. Edwards’ publishers drop their contracts…forget it! It’s not happening.

    There are several very well known authors who are standing behind Ms. Edwards.

    I have also been told that there are several publishers who will NOT print research resources even when the authors give it to them.

    People need to get on with their lives instead of sitting around and wishing bad things on Ms. Edwards.

  44. Linda Wiggins
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 14:57:52

    Oh my word, you have got to be kidding me for over a year now
    I have bought her books and loved them, her and Nora Roberts,
    but after this I want to cry before I had not read in years
    and now to find out it was a lie. How dare she when other
    writers such as Nora Roberts work so hard, and us as readers
    are so devoted to her, even I was in her stupid fan club, for
    a while, this makes me feel stupid to have believed in her.

  45. JLFerg
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 22:34:50

    White House official admits plagiarism, resigns

    Apparently, some people can take responsibility when they behave unethically. (Saying that about this administration really hurt, though.)

    And you apparently don’t need special training to be able to identify plagiarism. To paraphase Justice Potter Stewart’s 1964 statement on pornography (while I blush): you know it when you see it.

  46. 4EveraFanofCassie!
    Sep 29, 2008 @ 15:15:04

    ok, I love Ms. Edwards Books…ALL of them. And I was deeply shocked to find out about this law suit and all these bad comments swarming around about Ms. Edwards.
    I’ve read the comparisons of Ms. Edwards book vs. “Laughing Boy” and I must say this, I can see SOME likeness to them. But Let me put this out there too, for any avid reader who loves books of every kind, and also that same avid reader who is also a writer, yes there are going to be some things that are alike! As anyone can plainly SEE, it is NOT written word for word, hell the pages that each are alike don’t even match up to each other!!! Lay off the lady already!!! You are all just jealousy that you don’t have HALF the talent Ms. Edwards does!
    As for the one that wanted to go to her local library and demand all of Ms. Edwards books be removed and banned, FEEL FREE TO SEND THEM TO ME AS I WILL WELCOME THEM ALL!!!

  47. veinglory
    Sep 29, 2008 @ 15:38:40

    For those playing along at home, ‘UR all jealous’ is a 15 pointer.

  48. Donna Elliott
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 15:59:55

    I am just now reading about what Cassie has been accused of. People just need to leave her alone. Its time you find something else to do with your lives. I own several of her books, and one day hope to own them all. She is the first author that I have ever collected. I absolutely LOVE all of her books. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

  49. Amy Wolff Sorter
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 09:49:52

    I've read the comparisons of Ms. Edwards book vs. “Laughing Boy” and I must say this, I can see SOME likeness to them. But Let me put this out there too, for any avid reader who loves books of every kind, and also that same avid reader who is also a writer, yes there are going to be some things that are alike!

    I am coming to this discussion way too late (thought I’ve known about this situation for the past year, like everyone else). There is more than “some likeness” to these comparisons. Yes, any writer who bases her works on a “style” is going to have “some likenesses.”

    But any hard-at-work writer is going to take that style and give it her own voice. She’ll also pick up her handy thesaurus and at least make the attempt to find other words to use. The problem with these phrases, though, is that they ARE alike, even down to the many descriptions.

    Plagiarism is to prove — you have to prove intent and similarity. I can’t speak for intent (Edwards is clearly still maintaining her innocence). But there are too many of the same phrases and too many similarities to just brush this off.

    I, too, am sorry for the Cassie Edwards fans. But I’m sorry — this definitely goes beyond just lifting research and moves into that territory of direct copying.

  50. Crystal
    Jun 19, 2009 @ 17:14:35

    Look the facts are there, but i really don’t care. she weaves her tales better than i could have ever thought. and name one great author who hasn’t stolen someone else’s word. heck, even Mark twain has done it yet still to this day people love his work. so you guys can side on whatever side of the fence you choose to, but i’m gonna keep thinking that it doesn’t matter. A great story is a great story, and it makes no difference where it came from.

  51. tonya
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 00:56:11

    I agree with you crystal I mean so what shes still good at her storys Just leave the lady alone and pick on some1 elese

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