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Seriously, instead of thinking about what a shit job you did writing this book, you decide to slag off the reviewer?

It makes me laugh uproariously that you start off your post thusly:

“As all of you know, I love reviews. The good, the bad and the ugly. I have no problem posting them on my website or blogging about them.”

I’m pretty sure that what you meant was that you love glowing reviews, seeing as you just got a bad one, and you’re so pissed that you’re waving your knickers in the air for all and sundry to gawk at.

As for this part:

“You see, Jane Little and I have a brief and rather contentious relationship. I’m currently in a lawsuit over breach of contract with one of my publishers over royalties. Stupid me, I discussed this lawsuit in a confidential Yahoo! Group with the some of the publisher’s authors in an attempt to rally us together to make changes or to push for a reversion of rights. None of them stood up with me. Instead they continued to cash paychecks that could barely buy a McDonald’s Happy Meal, while chalking this up “as a lesson learned”…..

Well, my empathy quickly turned to anger when Jane from Dear Author contacted me out of the blue requesting documents regarding my lawsuit. Naturally, I declined. Anyone with an ounce of common sense (including a lawyer like Ms. Little so claims she is) would know it would be detrimental to one’s case to release any kind of information that would be harmful to their case.

Not one to be waylaid over information that could feed their rabid fan base, Ms. Little came back to me again requesting a comment. Once again I declined.”

Seriously, this is the reason you think that Jane went out of her way to slate your badly-written book? Of course it had nothing to do with the boatload of inconsistencies in it. Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that you wrote a book that was full of editing errors, errors that my one year old niece would have probably spotted had she been proof-reading for you, (call me biased, but she’s a genius like her auntie) no, no, let’s call this an act of “retaliation” rather than the fact you wrote a shit book. REALLY? REALLY??
Sweetie, sometimes you have to pull up those granny knickers and just own the fact that you fucked up.

I’m not a reader who’s hung up about punctuation so much, however, some of those errors that Jane outlined in her review would have jarred me right out of the book. In fact, I’m pretty sure some of the crap that I read would have driven me to pen a slice and dice review. I mean come on Koko, Paulo and Paolo? You miss-spelled the hero’s name? Who the fuck did your editing, Stevie effing Wonder?? Quite Frankly my dear, I think you got off lightly.

Thinking about it, I think I actually read a Koko Brown book a while ago. I don’t remember much about the book itself, but I clearly remember thinking it was a massive pile of horse shit, so I’m not all that surprised that Jane didn’t like this one either.

Brown seems to want to make a big thing of Dear Author not reviewing the thousands of great multicultural books out there, but I’ve got to tell you, I make a point of buying books by black authors, but there are a lot of crap out there, which is why I end up not reviewing them myself. No doubt she’ll probably see me as a sell-out, but there’s no way I’d write a review raving about a book when I thought it was shit. I don’t give a flying fuck what colour the author is.

Anyway, it’s always amusing to see an author completely blow their wad in public, so I’m off to get some pop corn…

You can get find Ms Brown’s rant here, and Jane’s review here.

19 Comments »


  • Jane
    January 23
    7:35 pm

    I’m pretty puzzled by the contentious relationship characterization given that our interaction spanned 3 emails and less than one hundred words. I’d be happy to share my email exchange. I actually thought I was being courteous by contacting someone to see if they wanted to make a statement. Lesson learned!

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  • Hey Jane,

    that was a while back, right? the whole “contentious” thing? If it were more than 6 months ago, waiting till today to spring your so-called “retaliation” is some cold-ass shit. You hold a hell of a grudge, sista.

    /sarcasm tag

    Please see the movie “Old Boy.”

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  • Jane
    January 23
    7:52 pm

    Yes, bam, according to my saved emails it occurred in April 2011. I’m embarassed to admit I completely forgot about the suit.

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  • @Jane I think Ms Brown is a legend in her own mind. She’d be heartbroken to know that your interactions with her weren’t as memorable as her post seems to suggest.

    Bam!!! *tackles and goes in for a bear hug!*

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  • Karen, perhaps you should aim to review some of those books, poorly edited/written or not, and here are some off the cuff reasons for doing so:

    First, you already have the books or are buying them, so no further money investment (yes, I’m cheap frugal, why do you ask?)

    Second, any claims of bias against black writers would be laughed out the building.

    Third, blog content *cough*

    Fourth, any jewel you find would be immensely appreciated by the rest of us who are timid about spending money (have I mentioned ch…frugal yet?)

    Fifth, we all know there are several biases at play in publishing, and that racism is one of them. Posting about more black writers and their work is a big finger to that.

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  • Karen!!

    @Jane I hate being forgotten. I went out on a few dates with this guy last year and then I didn’t hear from him for a bit, then almost a year later, I get a text from him that says, “Cleaning up my phone. Found this name and number. Who is this?” Ouch.

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  • I think I know where this whole thing went sideways. I don’t think Koko is all that familiar with DA. (They don’t review many multicultural books, so most of us don’t follow the blog). So she didn’t know that the blog covers the news in Romancelandia as well as doing reviews. When she got the email about the Red Sage suit she might have thought Jane was just being nosy. And it went on from there. Really more of a misunderstanding than anything. It’s most unfortunate that it blew up in this manner. I hope she takes that post down. It’s wrong to cast aspersions on Jane’s character and further, it’s ALWAYS a bad idea to comment on a review.

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  • Mireya
    January 23
    9:14 pm

    I have to say the thread at DA has been one of the most entertaining I’ve read in a while. I loved the multipersonality disorder (I am willing to bet at least 3 of the “supporters” was the author herself), I loved the “my husband is an attorney yadda yadda” followed by a REAL attorney ripping her a new one for making the profession look bad (I was compelled to do so myself, but the reply post was AWESOME. I mean, really, a bit of everything, plus someone came up with a new term for trolls: attack poodles. That thread is full of awesome!

    @Jane: I truly feel for you. You read the whole POS and still found it in you to warn readers about it. As a reader who does read the occasional self-pubbed book you have my thanks. Few reviewers dare try self-pubbed books precisely because of the issues you encountered in that book.

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  • Oh well. I was so hoping it would stay classy.

    IR romance is an interesting subgenre. Its readers are often majority romance readers, but seem to be hungry for authenticity and story with their preferred characters.

    It’s good to see you’re still here, Karen! Got you back in my reader, so I can keep up.

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  • @Roslyn Regardless of whether she knew about Dear Author’s way of doing things or not, what I found incredibly annoying was the way she totally bypassed the errors that she herself had made in her book. If you’re going to respond to a review, then respond, don’t put up smoke and mirrors and expect everybody else to be too stupid to notice.

    @MireyaI’ve just read some of the comments at the thread. I’m pretty sure ‘Andy’ was probably Koko Brown herself. The comments are highly entertaining though.

    @Monica, Hi Monica! Long time no see, are you still writing? Where have you been anyway?

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  • @AztecLady Life’s just too short to deliberately read books that I know I’m not going to enjoy… The book was Carnal Moves, I don’t remember specifics, but I remember my reaction to it. It was poor, poor, poor.

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  • @Karen I’m writing now!

    I have been…uh…I’ve been offline.

    I don’t think you should review U.S. IR romance unless that’s what you read most, love, and understand. You got Loretta Chase in the sidebar, girl. Koomson is British. There’s a different dynamic there.

    Why haven’t I seen any deconstructions on why IR erotic romance readers seem to be more accepting of grammatical errors? I’ve seen authors who disregard standard English more blatantly than Brown have strong and loyal followings. Those readers aren’t stupid. There’s a reason for everything.

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  • @Monica, honestly, I think part of the reason it descended down in to madness was the way everybody crawled out of the woodwork say it was pointless to criticize the grammar, that that rule number 1 was to not address the grammar, and then so many people coming in and telling everybody there were no errors, although I found easily 5-6 in a one page excerpt on ARe after one of her readers on blog tried to tell me there weren’t any or something along those lines.

    Of course, those comments are gone now…she deleted them.

    Any time somebody (or their friends) tries to tell somebody how they SHOULD review somehting or how they shouldn’t focus on this, or that…etc, well… it never ends well.

    Monica…glad to see you back online and around. :-) How you feeling?

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  • I’m sorry…why shouldn’t Karen review something new to her or different from what she usually reads? (translation: why shouldn’t anyone?)

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  • Why haven’t I seen any deconstructions on why IR erotic romance readers seem to be more accepting of grammatical errors?

    Monica, I don’t think it’s just IR readers who are more tolerant of grammatical errors, I think it’s erotic romance readers in general. Maybe it’s just because they’re reading those books just for the sexual content? Of course regular ER readers will argue the toss, but let’s face it, Elloras Cave didn’t become popular because of its Blush lines. The majority of people who buy from Elloras Cave are probably looking for a high sex quotient don’t you think, and in which case, such errors wouldn’t bother them in the least I would think.

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  • I don’t think you should review U.S. IR romance unless that’s what you read most, love, and understand.

    @Monica, sorry I missed this bit. I think anybody can review any type of book they want as long as they’ve read it. I don’t particularly like YA books, but I read one a few months ago that was fantastic, it didn’t make me want to try more YA books, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating this particular book. There are a couple of American IR books that I’ve enjoyed, and that enjoyment was due to the books being written well, having great characters, and solid plotting.

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  • @shiloh, Yep, that didn’t end well at all.
    @azteclady, Shouldn’t people review what they want to read? Example: I don’t really care for European historical romance, and seldom read it (although I have read it, and even have liked the occasional one). I could review them, I’m not going to find as many European historicals good as somebody who actually likes them. I might bounce some popular authors who write feisty governesses and rakish dukes off the wall in an unfair fashion, because their grammatically correct selves irritate and bore me silly. Heh.

    I’m over urban fantasy, read lots of it, and love it. If I weren’t an author, I might be an urban fantasy reviewer.
    @karen, Maybe it is read just for the erotica. Since I don’t read for erotica, I’m not sure. (Where’s my urban fantasy?)

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  • […] I was coming over to post something else, Karen had already been there, done that, and come back to post about […]



  • Las
    January 24
    5:48 pm

    Damn, I missed all the drama.

    I’m convinced that all authors making asses of themselves are doing so deliberately. They’re just like politicians–they don’t believe any of the shit they spew, but the shit gets them noticed, which in turn gets them sales. So good for them. I have no problem with people who’ve figured out how to part fools from their money (in non-evil ways, of course). It just makes me sad that there are so many fools.

    Now, if Koko Brown is being completely sincere, well…bless her heart.

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