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Finally, an update in the EC v DA vexatious defamation suit.

(Even though I’m not on twitter, I monitor #notchilled pretty regularly, because it’s the only way I have to get updates on the case, not having a PACER account or the like.)

Today, Courtney Milan posted a quick update/analysis of the latest happenings in the case.

Using a few more characters: judge John R Adams denied TiNut’s motion to quash the subpoena, in a rather snarky manner too.

I can’t copy and paste directly from the document, but the judge basically¹ says, “you claim that your identity should not be made available to the defendants, because you know nothing about the case; however, both in your letters and in your tweets, you have proved without a doubt that you know all parties involved, and all sorts of facts of the matter at hand, intimately. Your not-quite-a-motion to quash is hereby denied.”

The moral of the story: don’t brag about all you know and can prove, and above all, don’t offer to testify in favor of one of the parties, lest you discover the legal system is not that easy to manipulate.


¹ I think, for an extrapolation, it’s pretty close.


Did anyone else laugh at this?

PubNt - self awareness, you're doing it wrong

No kidding.

Who knew? (very brief EC v DA update)

(Updated – again)

Hat tip to Courtney Milan for posting links to the latest filings in the defamation lawsuit that Ellora’s Cave brought against Dear Author and Jane Litte.

Who knew one could outright giggle while reading court documents?

A choice bit, from page 13 (please note I redacted Ms Litte’s legal name):

The public perception of the company, prior to Ms. Litte’s article, was that its founder, Ms. Engler, was notoriously difficult to work with, was a generally offensive person, who mismanaged money, who had a history of being delinquent on her taxes, who maintained an offensive and embarrassing social media profile, who suffers from severe mental health issues,who engages in nepotism at the expense of other employees, and who was generally incapable of running a large successful company


Drinking the Ellora's Cave Kool-Aid

Reader beware: I am not a writer, I’m just a fed up reader and blogger.

Also, I’m not feeling particularly nice at the moment, as I’m pretty enraged at the utter disregard some people have for the very real risk they put people when they continue to engage an asshole who keeps. doxxing. a person.

A person with a family, the members of which a) have nothing to do with anything, yet b) are put at risk as well. every. fucking. time. that asshole replies to said people.

So if you want measured, impartial commentary, do your blood pressure a favor and go elsewhere.


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?


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)


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.


But, back to the point of this post.


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.


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:

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.

Dear Author / EC suit update

Dear Author posted an status update regarding the lawsuit filled late last week by Ellora’s Cave: Jane Litte has retained the services of Marc Randazza, First Amendment Badass. You can visit Mr Randazza’s website to check out his credentials, or follow the previous link to see what Ken White of Popehat’s fame has to say about him.

I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one online, but I do have a feeling that this example of legal thuggery will be stomped in short order like a disgusting New York cockroach.

I also believe that this whole thing is a blatant attempt at intimidation of Ellora’s Cave authors, editors, cover artists, and any other contractors and employees who have not been paid–either at all or in full–so that they keep quiet about it.

Which is why I applaud all the different authors and bloggers who are actually doing their bit to stand up against EC, to speak out, and to spread the word about what is going on–both right now with the defamation lawsuit against Dear Author and Jane Litte, and generally within Ellora’s Cave.

Particular kudos to Courtney Milan, who is going a step further. Madam, you have stones.


Edited to add: I just learned that The Los Angeles Times has picked up the story.

The Streisand Effect in all its glory, baby!

I Heard That Dear Author Was Getting Sued, So I Thought I'd Remind Everybody That Tina Engler Married A Convicted Murderer

Elloras Cave get worse and worse. What fuckery is this?

The following was originally posted on KKB on June 15th 2007: Here’s the link.


JaynieR posted an interview with Tina Engler, AKA Jaid Black on her blog earlier today.

The purpose of the interview appears to be two-fold. Firstly, it seems to be an opportunity for Black to give her side of the story, in terms of her marriage to a *convicted felon, (if the link is broken, search for a David Roy Keen) serving time for shooting, and killing an ex-girlfriend; and secondly, to discuss her feelings, on the failings of the current U.S penal system, and its bias towards the poor, and the uneducated.

Ms Black’s decision to marry a prisoner, serving a life sentence for murder is her affair, and I feel that it would be remiss of me to publicly comment on my personal feelings relating to this matter.

In actual fact, what disturbed me most was Black’s assertion that locking up prisoners is tantamount to human trafficking, and that a person who deliberately takes a life, cannot be blamed for their actions.

When one reads the interview in its entirety, the delivery of her message is staunch, and unflinching, whilst her belief that she speaks a universal truth, appears to be unshakable. (more…)

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.

The comment below was posted by a lady called Angela, claiming to be one of the victims of Jaid Black’s (Elloras Cave founder) husband (you guys remember him right? He’s serving time for murder etc, etc.) The comment was in response to this post, from way back. Some of you may remember the shitstorm it caused.

Anyway, here’s what Angela wrote:

This blog hits home to me because I am also a vitcum of her husband in the case he is serving a life sentence for.
The young womans name that was murdered is Karen also! I am Angela, Karen Stewart’s daughter. One of his charges are for attempted murder against me because after shooting my mother he shot at me and thankfully the bullet wizzed by my head.
I was 14 then and am almost 32 now. That was how old she was when he took her from us (for the rest of our lives).
She was an amazing woman and mother. My daughter is 8 and my step daughter is 14 and they have more heart and brains than this (Jaid) Black woman. Thank you so much for taking up for the victum (my mother)and our family.
Neither of those idiots have any remorse.

A few years ago she contacted me trying any way she could to find a reason to get here low life, “Poor” and “Uneducated” husband, David Keen, out of prison. I was shocked and disgusted.
To respond to Mrs. Tina Marie Keens, AKA Jade Black’s statment, YES he deserves to be alone and have lousy medical, rotten fruits and vegetables and no family.

My brother and I were left without a mother and our children have no grandmother. His victim is DEAD and we have a hole in our lives and are consequently victims and his incarceration is of great value to us and we ALL think he is where he belongs, FOREVER, just as my mother is unfortunatly where she is FOREVER. In that lousy prison system that I am so thankful for.”

I can’t lie, that comment made me feel downright weird, and not in a good way. It also made me feel very sad.

Tina Engler, Founder of Elloras Cave Talks About Her Marriage To A Convicted Murderer, And Airs Her Views On The U.S Penal System

JaynieR posted an interview with Tina Engler, AKA Jaid Black on her blog earlier today.

The purpose of the interview appears to be two-fold. Firstly, it seems to be an opportunity for Black to give her side of the story, in terms of her marriage to a *convicted felon, (if the link is broken, search for a David Roy Keen) serving time for shooting, and killing an ex-girlfriend; and secondly, to discuss her feelings, on the failings of the current U.S penal system, and its bias towards the poor, and the uneducated.

Ms Black’s decision to marry a prisoner, serving a life sentence for murder is her affair, and I feel that it would be remiss of me to publicly comment on my personal feelings relating to this matter.

In actual fact, what disturbed me most was Black’s assertion that locking up prisoners is tantamount to human trafficking, and that a person who deliberately takes a life, cannot be blamed for their actions.

When one reads the interview in its entirety, the delivery of her message is staunch, and unflinching, whilst her belief that she speaks a universal truth, appears to be unshakeable.

Ms Black writes:

“At the time the crime is committed, the male is typically aged 18-25, too poor to retain private counsel, and black. (My husband was poor and white.) Many possess very low IQs and/or are clearly mentally ill. The accused is typically severely depressed at the time of his arrest, and particularly in one-time crimes where violence is involved, suicidal.

During this phase they often don’t care about their own fates and wish they were the dead ones instead of the victim—a normal feeling given what they did and one that resurfaces over and over again throughout their lives. The reason for this extreme guilt and self-hatred is because there tends to be a true remorse amongt these men,”

What Black appears to be saying here, is that we should have more sympathy for convicted felons, because they are often young and foolish, and know not what they do. Plus, they are always remorseful after the fact.

Presuming that this is true for every 18-25 year old who decides to end the life of another, are we to take the route of excusing them for their crime, simply because they were poor, and perhaps their parents didn’t love them sufficiently enough to turn them into decent human beings?

She continues:

If released, they are the least likely group of men to wind up back in prison. (Recall we’re talking about one-time killers here, not serial killers. They are a different breed altogether”

Black’s assertion that felons who have only killed once, aren’t as dangerous as serial killers, seems to be a tad naïve, and slightly disturbing.

The statements that she makes all the way through this interview, at no time, takes into consideration, the rights of the victim, or their family.

“So here is the accused—young, poor, uneducated, morbidly depressed and suicidal—and he’s given a public defender who, if lucky, speaks to him for 20 minutes to an hour before representing him at a trial that will determine his fate forever. (For all the hyperbole one hears about men allegedly getting out on appeal, this happens very, very rarely.)”

Once again, without thought for the victim, who’s life has been deliberately cut short, (don’t forget we are talking murder here) Black suggests that being young, poor and uneducated are viable reasons for us to sympathise with somebody who’s taken the life of another.

“On the other side, representing the state, is a damn good, seasoned lawyer with his/her eye on bigger and better things. They want to be judges, politicians, or well-paid private attorneys. The glory they seek can come only from knowing how to play the game and by playing it well.”

OK, what have we learned thus far?

1. We have learned that every 18-25 year old who goes on to commit murder, is always truly remorseful after the crime has been committed.

2. The public defenders appointed for the accused, are always below par to say the least.

3. Every lawyer representing the state is a damned good lawyer, who doesn’t care about his/her cases, they just want to hit the big time.

Moving on:

“Amongst all this, where you commit a crime is probably more important than what you actually did, at least from a cold perspective. Florida (my husband’s state) and Texas are notorious for giving loooong sentences. In Florida, for instance, you can be found guilty of first degree (premeditated) murder if you had even a second to think about what you are doing. I don’t know too many people who can make calculated decisions in a single second, let alone premeditate a murder,”

In other words, if an armed burglar enters a house, without any intention of killing the occupants, but panics and shoots the homeowner, killing him, then according to Ms Black, this should not be treated as first degree murder, because the Burglar didn’t have time to think about pulling the trigger, he just panicked.

“Off to prison he goes. He has no voice, cannot vote, is locked in a cage and stripped of all human rights and dignity forever. He will be given substandard, third-world medical care by unqualified “physicians” who often times aren’t even legitimate doctors and/or do not speak the convicted prisoner’s native English tongue, making communication all but impossible. His meals are as substandard as his medical care, the fruits and vegetables often rotted.”

But what about the victim? What about the young woman who will not live to see her potential, what about the girl who will never become a bride, what about the girl who’s family were given a death sentence of sorts, when their child was brutally taken from them?

As a parent, if your child was murdered, would you really be worried about the fact that the perpetrator of that murder wasn’t getting the best healthcare, and that they had lost their right to vote?

“The government and big business make a lot of money off legalized human trafficking—a very scary reality. It costs approximately $27,000 USD per year to house, feed and clothe an inmate in Florida and produces a profit of over $100,000 USD per inmate per year for the state. (FYI: this info is readily available on the FL Dept of Corrections website.)”

Human trafficking? Black seems to have missed the point of correctional institutions altogether. Prisons are not supposed to be easy, and her assertion that the whole penal system was set up, just to make as much money as possible seem quite wild, and mostly unsubstantiated.

These places only exist because there are people out there who have no respect for life, who have no respect for other people’s possessions, and who have no respect for the notion of freedom. The financial gains made by the state, is merely a by-product of this.

In the question and answer segment that follows Black’s essay, she writes:

“All of us, with no exceptions, make hideous mistakes. Unfortunately, some of us also make tragic ones.”

Tragic would be killing a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her, one supposes?

“My kids love their (step) dad —my husband—beyond reason. In fact, when they overheard me on the phone talking about doing this interview in light of the emails being sent around (I didn’t know they were eavesdropping), both of them became extremely upset and were crying.”

As I stated earlier, Black’s decision to marry a man who was convicted of killing his girlfriend is her business, and I’m sure that her children do think of him as ‘Daddy’, but I would question whether or not every member of her family is as ecstatic over their relationship as she appears to believe.

“The issue for me as a wife and as an activist is this: Does a man deserve to spend the rest of his life alone and neglected, starved for human affection and attention, because of a deed he committed many, many years ago as a young, immature man?”

It is feasible that a person who commits such a heinous crime as a young man (23), would feel remorse. But is that a good enough reason for him/her to not be punished severely?

Black, insists that her husband is a good person, and that his incarceration is no longer of value to him or his victim.

I suggest that perhaps the victim’s parents would feel otherwise.

One has to wonder if Black would feel the same way, if it was one of her children who had been murdered by a man who was really, really sorry afterwards?

Via Anonymous