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More of Ellora's Cave authors speak up

It has been a crazy ten days, hasn’t it? Since Ellora’s Cave filed suit against Dear Author and Jane Litte, we have seen people saying, “now you understand why EC authors are afraid of speaking out?” Boy, yes, we do.

Which is precisely why the community rose so magnificently to the occasion, and raised the full $50,000 in less than four days–and the donations keep on coming. And, I believe, it’s that response that’s given more and more EC authors the courage to speak up about their own issues with the company. These authors are but a tiny fraction of the total contracted with EC–someone has mentioned 800 or 900 authors total. (more…)

Ellora's Cave v Dear Author - how low can you fall (pretty low)

As I reported elsewhere, on Saturday out of the blue–and absolutely not connected to Ellora’s Cave, no siree, it says so right in the tag line–a sockpuppet was created.

From where I sit–hey, Tina, this opinion, savvy? ergo, protected speech–said account is a sockpuppet for Tina Engler/Jaid Black, created strictly to try to intimidate those EC authors and other contractors so they won’t help Jane Litte fight the vexatious defamation suit that Ellora’s Cave filled against her and Dear Author.

It’s not working–donations, which had slowed down a bit, saw an uptick as soon as the toxic egg started posting how the authors had sued Ellora’s Cave (have screenshots, will share). As I type, the amount raised for Jane Litte’s and Dear Author’s legal defense is $47,503. Not bad for a relatively small online community to raise in less than three full days, huh?

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Words to sign contracts by

As many of you know, I have been following the Ellora’s Cave v Dear Author thing closely–and quite likely will until it is resolved one way or another.

On the one hand, it is absolutely popcorn worthy entertainment. In a much smaller scale, it brings to mind Charles Carreon v The Oatmeal (beware, this is an utter time suck–don’t go too far down the rabbit hole unless you have a day or two to spare).

On the other hand, the resolution of this case will help set a precedent for book bloggers, reviewers, authors, editors, etc. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by threats of vexatious lawsuits by the bullies of the world.

I do pray rather fervently that the court forces EC to show its books and explain why they are sending checks through the mail in a way that violates USPS rules (undated metered mail–see this post)

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On that note, isn’t romance a beautiful thing? The fundraising was made public in the morning on Friday October 3rd. Not even 12 hours later, the community had raised over $38,000.00. People, learn from TC/JB delusions and do not piss your target market off. They’ll band together and bitch-slap you. Hard.

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But, back to the point of this post.

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Dear Author / Jane Litte Defense Fund

Edited to add alternatives to contribute to the Dear Author/Jane Litte legal defense fund for those who are boycotting GoFundMe.

Yes!

Since the news that Ellora’s Cave has sued Dear Author and Jane Litte broke out, many of us in the romance reading community have asked for a way to help Jane financially–because lawsuits are used as a threat, to silence critics, precisely because they are expensive. And usually more expensive to the defendant, particularly in states where there is no provision to refund them even if the court rules in their favor.

Well, now we can.

Smart Bitch Sarah created the Dear Author / Jane Litte Defense Fund using crowdfunding site GoFundMe. Here’s the text on the donation page:
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Ellora's Cave v Dear Author - wanna help?

The saga continues. Jane posted a brief update on the suit today:

Today there was a temporary injunction hearing.  During the hearing the judge did not grant the injunction, but did request that we come back for a more thorough hearing, where we would be able to provide evidence  in our defense.

Truth is an absolute defense to defamation.

Therefore, If you are willing, I need help with the following:

Individual authors, editors, cover artists willing to testify, either in person, via telephone or in an affidavit to payments made/not made.

It would be best if you could testify in person, but a sworn written statement will be adequate.

Additionally, if you have any Screenshots of any public statements regarding Ellora’s Cave, those would be helpful too.

You can reach me at jane@dearauthor.com.

Thank you in advance.

Now, I know that there are a lot–quite a lot–of current and former EC authors who follow this blog. Just this past February one of you reported, anonymously, on shenanigans there. So, hi there, still not getting paid?

I hate being harsh, but chances are you are not going to see much–if any–of that money (see this post by Carolyn Jewel explaining what’s likely to happen here).

In the meantime, many of you feel gagged by a confidentiality clause in your contract with Ellora’s Cave–plus, scared of a defamation lawsuit for say, reporting on matters of public record and imminent interest.

Well, never fear–there are still ways you can help Jane. First of all, the screenshots of public statements? You, those who have worked for EC in any and all capacities, are the most likely to know where those might be, and snap them up. Go, hunt them down, email them to Jane.

Or, if you want to put a second layer between you and her, let me know in the comments and we’ll figure a relay system.

But if you really, really want to speak up and say your piece, both because you are frigging tired of the injustice of having the company that hasn’t paid in you however long, spending money in retaining an attorney to sue a blogger for speaking out for YOU…well, there’s a chance you can.

Check out this post on confidentiality clauses by the ever amazing Courtney Milan, where she says in part:

If you are an author, an editor, or a cover-artist who would testify as to the truth of the statements Jane made, but for the confidentiality clause, contact me. If there is enough interest from those who would testify but are afraid for confidentiality reasons, I will look into finding a lawyer to accompany you to the hearing–someone whose job it is to represent your interests, and to make sure that you’re speaking up to the maximum allowed without putting yourselves at risk.

And to all of you who are already speaking up, boosting the signal, and standing strong against this effort to silence us and chill our speech…Thank you.

I would now like to direct your attention to...

this cool Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support thread, created and maintained by writer Deirdre Saoirse Moen.

See, a number of authors currently under contract with EC are asking their readers NOT to buy those books. Apparently, they are either not receiving royalties, or are not convinced those royalties actually reflect their sales, or quite simply want the rights to their books back (for which they need sales below a certain number for a period of time). For whatever the reason, these authors are publicly–and quite courageously–asking their readers to support them by NOT buying any books of them currently published by EC.

However, many of these authors have books elsewhere–either under a different pen name with another publisher, or perhaps even self published–and those books? Oh yeah, they would love it if any of their readers were moved to purchase those other books.

So what are you waiting for? Go on over there, check that list. I’m betting you’ll find something there you’ll want to read.

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If you are a book blogger, I ask you to consider posting this information for your readers as well.

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And for those of you who are on Twitter, Courtney Milan of the iron cast balls and awesomesauce writing is exercising her right to speak about Ellora’s Cave using the hashtag #notchilled, and she invites all of those who want to continue to be free to express their opinions about facts to participate.

Ellora's Cave--oh dear!

Karen has often sounded the alarm when it comes to digital publishers screwing their authors, editors, cover artists, etc.

Ellora’s Cave, and its founder Tina Engler / Jaid Black, have often come up in these discussions, for obvious reasons.

Jane over at Dear Author has a post up on this digital publisher that it’s a must read. Sadly, it doesn’t bode well for current authors and contractors to Ellora’s Cave, but it may act as a cautionary tale to writers who wonder where to submit their books.

Good luck to all of Ellora’s Cave currently indentured authors, etc.

Nalini Singh's Rock Addiction cover reveal!

Nalini Singh announced a couple of weeks ago that she has written a contemporary romance which will be released on September 9th.

This is cool news. Even cooler? It’s part of a short–five installments–series centered about a successful rock band.

The news made me happy, so I’m taking part in the massive cover reveal:

Rock Addiction cover

What do you think? Isn’t it a great cover? I really like the lip ring and the belt and the hint of chest hair :grin:

And check out the blurb:

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Remember Fred Phelps and the rest of the Westboro assholes? Weeeeeeelllllll.....

(This made me smile so hard!)

So you know how Fred Phelps and his tribe of lawsuit-happy, homophobic crazies love to picket funerals and other functions with their hate-mongering signs and chants, which are often carried by young children?

Well, it does seem that they have a little bit of trouble being on the receiving end.

Behold, Equality House, a space and resource center for equality and anti-bullying initiatives, for volunteer members of Planting Peace (go here for more)

Equality House in Topeka
To get the full effect, keep in mind that this house? with this specific purpose? is located right across the street from the Phelps so-called “church.”

And if this alone weren’t enough to make you hit the donate button…

A 5-year old girl set up a lemonade stand in front of Equality House, to raise funds for–get this–

For Peace - Pink Lemonade
(click the image if you want to help her–and spit in the assholes eyes at the same time)

There you go, assholes, suck on that a bit.

~ * ~

The cherry on top:  it touched a nerve; according to this, someone connected to Phelps/Westboro twitted this:

“*WHO* let nasty fucks get hands on this poor child? #danger.”

(The irony, it slays)

And according to this, they have come out to scream obscenities at the girl, her father, and those who stop by to get some lemonade.

Well done, Jayden–you scored in all fronts!

Oh reeeeeeeally?

Oh reeeeeeeally?

Saturday, March 9, 2013
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, Racism
Tags:,

Hello, people, long time no post.

But, as Karen hasn’t revoked my posting privileges :grin: here I am, ready and willing to rouse me some rabble.

To wit: you remember this post? (For those among you who’d rather not follow linkage, Karen blogged briefly about the many excuses black men have not to date black women–mainly the oft mentioned “angry black woman” stereotype.)

Every now and again someone–mostly men, from their comments–drops by with some witticism. Just today I saw this lovely pearl of wisdom, by some intellectual giant by the name of Jonathan:

Black women are the worst human beings on the planet. Their internal sense of inferiority combined with an external braggadocio cause them to act irrationally and obnoxiously in every possible circumstance.

If every black woman dropped dead, this world would be a better place.

Dear Jonathan, if every asshole who thinks as you do dropped dead, the world would be an incredibly nicer place.

The Oatmeal vs FunnyJunk and Charles Carreon, via Dear Author

Cross posted with full permission from Dear Author

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The Oatmeal is a satiric cartoon site run by Matthew Inman. About a year ago, he noticed that his content was being uploaded without attribution to a site called “The FunnJunk.” The FunnyJunk is a site that contains user generated content. This means that account holders post things that they like from all over the internet. Maybe a pre-Pinterest sort of site. The Oatmeal writes to the FunnyJunk requesting that the information be removed.

FunnyJunk took down the comics but proceeded to create a mirror image of The Oatmeal’s website. The Oatmeal responded by asking his readers what to do.

The FunnyJunk responded with a call to action to its own users asking them to inundate The Oatmeal’s inbox and facebook page. The FJ’s users responded in droves using their arsenal of retorts such as gay slurs and incoherently misspelled sentences to insult The Oatmeal and his biological predecessors for having the gall to procreate and, I guess, learn how to spell and draw.

According to Ars Technica, after the furor died down, the FJ admin acted somewhat responsibly, possibly realizing that its site could be in jeopardy due to all the copyrighted material illegally reposted there. (more…)

Update: Jesus is not a homophobe!

Remember this? Well, a student in Ohio won the legal case and can now wear the t-shit proclaiming so!

Here’s the finger to assholes:

So. On that plagiarism, apology, forgiveness thing? I'm more of a cynic than I thought.

Yes, I’m sure many here are tired of the topic, particularly since it seems to crop up regularly, all over the place.

Me, I’m one of those who believes that talking about it, keeping the perpetrators and their victims clearly separated, is the only way to reduce the instances of plagiarism. (Like racism, there are some people who don’t realize what it is–or that they are indulging in it¹–until someone points it out to them.)

But, onwards with today’s post.

Yesterday Jill Sorenson commented on my latest post on Kristi Diehm, plagiarist.

My own reply to Ms Sorenson took me back to RRRJessica’s awesome post on the scandal (seriously, go and read the whole thing; it’s wonderful and full of win. The part about moral autonomy and women? Win, I tell you).

Upon re-reading the post, my mind, that horrible, suspicious, cynical fiend, fixated on the following bits: (more…)

No, plagiarism doesn't just "happen"

Back when the shitstorm surrounding Kristi Diehm, plagiarist, aka The Story Siren¹, broke out, I posted about apologies, and how I think it’s useless to expect–or indeed to receive–an apology from a plagiarist. Like many other offenders, said apologies tend to be of the “fuck, I’m sorry I got caught” variety. Or, much worse, they include so many excuses, explanations, rationalizations and justifications that in the end, to many an uncritical follower/fan, they read like a justification to hate on the victims of the plagiarist.

Well, that queen of chutzpah, Kristi Diehm, is at it again. The short hand for those who don’t go to the SmartBitches: apparently this plagiarist, who has still to apologize properly (as in, without excuses) to her victims, and who has failed to address her fans outright hounding of said victims, has decided to organize a week long event on plagiarism, designed to ‘educate herself’ (yeah, because that very pointed post she wrote on the topic, after allegedly being plagiarized herself, shows that she reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelly didn’t know what the fuck she was doing when she stole Beautifully Invisible and Grit and Glamour. Right.) (more…)

Oh my good lord, how did I miss this?

I love videos of flash mobs dancing something everyone (or most everyone) has heard and at least tapped his/her toes to. But this? Absolutely amazing.

 

To celebrate what would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday, some 50,000 people (give or take a few hundred or so) gathered near Mexico’s City historical center on August 29th, 2009 for a flash dance to the choreography of the original Thriller video.

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Bonus points: the actual dancing crowd broke the Guinness Record–by a mere 13,300 or so.

Yes, he's an asshole, but what where *they* thinking?

A Tennessee man is asking for government aid–to pay child support to the eleven (11) mothers of his thirty (30) children.

Your mind boggled yet?

I see people crying that he must be stopped–no argument here–but what about the women? (more…)

A bit of glee...

A bit of glee…

Monday, May 14, 2012
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks
Tags:

Remember last week how there was a reader who disagreed with me about censorship?

The quick recap: the Brevard County Library system purchased 19 copies of that book I won’t read (Karen’s review here) then pulled from circulation when someone heard that it was being labeled “mommy porn” in the media.

Well, Galley Cat got wind of it, as did SBSarah, who checked out the library system’s collection. Guess what she found in it?

A very healthy portion of the Longarm books–so-called ‘adult western’ (for Beverly‘s benefit: badly written sex, clearly intended to titillate) along with titles by several well known erotic romance authors (Lora Leigh, Laurell K. Hamilton and Emma Holly, just to name three).

As several readers asked here, what’s different about this book, other than public outcry–and the abominable “mommy porn” moniker?

Nothing, that’s what.

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(The glee part: I posted about this before both the Bitches and GalleyCat–heh)

Parting of the ways

Parting of the ways

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

A few weeks ago, Maya Banks posted about what happens when authors’ and readers’ points of view diverge—also known as, when readers break up with authors.

This is by no means a novel topic. Readers have complained about authors changing the rules of the worlds they build *coughJRWardcough* or how every successive book is the same story and the same characters as the previous dozen *coughChristine Feehancough* or feeling betrayed when the author kills a main character, well into the series *coughKarinSlaughtercough* (more…)

Stronger

Stronger

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks
Tags:,

Now this? *This* is censorship.

You know how, when a blog owner doesn’t allow certain things to be said in her comment threads, or when an online forum’s guidelines specify that no discussions of religion or politics are allowed there, there are people who start screeching immediately about their right to free speech and how both of those things are censorship?

(Never mind that a) the right to free speech as per the First Amendment of the US Constitution has no bearing on discussions that involve people from countries other than the US–such as gee, this one–or that b) censorship in a private space doesn’t violate said amendment.)

But here we have a real example of censorship: (more…)