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text 2014-08-05 14:17
Everybody Isn't Doing It

[reblogged from 38 Caliber Reviews]



You all know that excuse, you  all have heard it. You’re cruising along through some online discussion about this or that and what authors shouldn’t do to promote their books when, BOOM, some fool drops those words your mother hated to hear, “But everybody’s doing it!”


It could be about rather important but honest things like not getting a professional editor but it’s usually about such things as buying reviews or spamming discussions. I swear the post actually whines. Everybody does it.  How can I get noticed and sell my book(s) if I don’t? Everybody does it. (You can hear the whine, right?)


Got news for you, cupcake, not everybody does it. Why? It’s simple really, some people are just honest and believe that hard work and talent will eventually bring them the rewards of their labor, some just believe in following the rules and searching for acceptable ways to get notice, and some are scared of getting caught.


Because getting caught brings about a special kind of attention. Sure, you may get some sales and “pity” reviews because there are always those who seem to think that people are being mean to you when they express their displeasure for your actions by writing about it or giving your book a negative review.


“It isn’t about the book,” they protest, but it really is.  Every act of lying, scamming, cheating to get your book noticed is exactly about the book and  the author. You may have written the Great American Novel, probably not because most writers in this group seem to barely rise above mediocre,  but you have also shown your naked butt in public and it is not a pretty sight. You are not to be trusted.


You have tried to cheat your potential readers, you have tried to cheat your fellow authors. Why would we want anything to do with you?


For the rest of your career this will follow you like a loyal dog, right there at your heel where everybody can see it. From now on your every action, every review, and in the case of plagiarism, your every book will be scrutinized closely and even if it seems acceptable the doubt will linger.


There will always be those who will support the poor beset author, defending them, trying to minimize their misdeeds like an overly fond parent defending their child when s/he’s caught stealing a car or defending them because they themselves have done something they shouldn’t and are hoping for a little tit for tat when they are caught.


So if you have to defend your actions by claiming everybody’s “doing it” you might want to reconsider those actions because most assuredly everybody is not “doing it” and those are the authors readers, reviewers, and bloggers are going to support.


Ruth Mahala Burlingame


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text 2014-07-13 01:58
Lying, Cheating, Cold, Dead, Beating Heart
Fifty Shades Of Abuse - #OneVoice,Eve Thomas

I am angry. Very angry. I am also angry that I'm not angrier because I could see this coming months ago, months ago.


After all the posturing, all the harassing, the hysteria, the pronouncements of support for voices too often silenced Eve Thomas has refused to release a copy of the disbursal of funds collected from the sale of this book.


She has refused two of us that she dislikes intensely and tried to refuse to refund the money I sent for the copy but that didn't work because I opened a dispute through Paypal. Now I find out she has refused a copy to Tammie who was a strong supporter of Eve,


Just a few moments ago she tweeted that any charity nominated could "chat with her", oh hell, here's a screenshot:




She was tweeting about transparency but evidently it means something quite different to her.


Now no one is going to see where the money went? There are 49 people and all of us who bought her book  who would or should want to know how this whole mess was handled. Thomas has a bad track record with the truth. She promised this money to various charities and those who contributed  in good faith and those of us who bought the book should be able to see where that money went.

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text 2014-05-06 14:29
STGRB- You Realize There Are Screenshots Of You Doing Just That EVERYWHERE?


No amount of denying it will make them go away. The only reason they aren't published everywhere every time you claim this is because they contain personal information you had no business publishing in the first place.



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text 2014-02-09 04:56
Kids Today-The Joe Gazzam Story

You all are familiar with Joe Gazzam and his spamming as a twelve year old girl, right? If not, try Shelby's blog and her other blog,  this blog by 1st Avenue and  Cameron's Utube video. It seems that Joe wanted to promote his book and the best way to do it was as a girl or several girls. I am not sure why he thought this might be a good idea.


My review of his book, Uncaged. I posted that on the 7th and today in my GRs mail I find this:




I'm hesitant to write this as I'm afraid you might misinterpret my tone as aggressive, when I don't mean to be.  If it weren't for my niece, I wouldn't risk it, but here it goes.  I don't think Cameron is a bad guy or means to hurt anyone.  Nor do I think you are.

But you are hurting people.  Someone in particular.

The 12 year old that wrote a glowing review for my book was...a 12 year old.  She is my niece.  Her mother is very strict, hyper conservative in extremely weary of the internet.  Thus, she is not allowed on Facebook and not allowed to post pics on anything.

So, she joined goodreads and pulled a pic off the internet to use as her sig pic.  Just like half the people on Goodreads use pics off the internet and not their own.   Unless there really are vampires on this site.  Now, she then did go overboard and messaged a bunch of people telling them to check out the book.  I believe so much that she was marked as spam and kicked off.

I had no knowledge of this.  Was I mad about it?   To be honest, no.  How mad could I be?  She was trying to help.  I was actually flattered and honestly though that was the end of it.

Problem is Cameron, without any facts, without any knowledge whatsoever -- assumed the worse.  He decided that it had to be me -- the author -- who was doing it.  But it wasn't.  The conclusion he jumped to led to a bunch of really, reallllllly creepy attacks on me.  And then all of his friends -- assuming Cameron was acting on fact -- joined in.

Again, I can take it, I'm a grown up.  Problem is -- my niece now knows about it.  She still goes on this site and has seen all the attacks. She literally was crying to my sister the other night.  This is a 12 year old who thinks she's the cause of all this stuff.

Again, I don't think Cameron is a hateful guy.  He actually seems like a pretty nice guy.  But you can't make accusations like this on a hunch.  You can really hurt people.

Anyway, I hope my tone came off okay, you never know when you are writing.  I would send this to Cameron, but ironically, he doesn't accept messages.  If you would pass it along, I would appreciate it.  If he wants to talk to me personally, I will call him to discuss.

I'll try and send this note to a couple other people as well, hopefully it registers.
Thanks for listening.  Take care.


Joe had reached out to me. It's a nice post, isn't it? One polite post deserves another, my reply:


I will consider your post but-12 yr old are not allowed on GRs. At all. So if this all is true and I am not dismissing you without more consideration, your sister, the strict mother, violated GRs TOS by letting her daughter on this site.


" This Service is intended solely for Users who are thirteen (13) years of age or older, and any registration, use or access to the Service by anyone under 13 is unauthorized, unlicensed, and in violation of this Agreement. If you are under 18 years of age you may use the Service only if you either are an emancipated minor or possess legal parental or guardian consent, and are fully able and competent to enter into the terms, conditions, obligations, affirmations, representations, and warranties set forth in this Agreement, and to abide by and comply with this Agreement."


The easiest solution to this then is for your niece to stop visiting this site. Age limits are there for a reason. But I will give your post more consideration.


I did give Joe's post consideration, I considered it right into a an email to GRs customer service. Because I have a few problems with Joe's post to me, let's start with this:


"The 12 year old that wrote a glowing review for my book was...a 12 year old.  She is my niece.  Her mother is very strict, hyper conservative in extremely weary of the internet.  Thus, she is not allowed on Facebook and not allowed to post pics on anything."


Aside from the obvious mistakes in construction, Joe would like me to believe that a very strict, hper conservative, internet wary, I assume it is wary that he meant, mother would allow her daughter to create an illegal account on a website that I am assuming she would know next to nothing about and then let her roam free to spam until she got banned for doing so. And then she then returned to GRs under another account and is now "crying to her mother", whatever that means.


All of us who had strict mothers raise our hands. I ask you all, would you have been able to pull this off? Not only would I not have been able to I shudder to think of the consequences of getting caught. And I had a healthy respect for the rules, children generally do.


But it seems that Joe's niece doesn't have to worry about any of that and since Joe is pleading for me to change my review it must be because she will be returning to read my gentle gibe again? Why, yes, " She still goes on this site and has seen all the attacks. " Oh, Joe, rest easy, she won't be returning because I complained to GRs that it is not my problem if an underage child of a very strict, hyper conservative, internet wary mother creates a second  account, violating the TOS yet again, was upset by my review. GRs takes a dim view of these activities.



Dear readers, all three of you, if you detect a slight note of skepticism on my part for Joe's story, I must sincerely apologize. I do not have the slightest bit of skepticism, I think Joe is lying like a cheap Wal-Mart rug. I do not think Joe can take getting one star reviews and/or people talking about his little masquerade(s), I think Joe is handling this, or mishandling this, in a manner that would have that niece of his rolling her eyeballs at the great lameness of Uncle Joe.


"But you are hurting people.  Someone in particular." Yes, Joe, but the only person you're hurting is yourself.

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text 2014-01-20 16:01
The Mystifying Fandom of Shey Stahl
[reblogged from 38 Caliber Reviews]

“One man’s paraphrasing is another’s man’s plagiarism”. -Amos Lassen, after he was banned from Amazon for plagiarizing reviews.



verb ˈplā-jə-ˌrīz also -jē-ə-

: to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas   -Merriam Webster online dictionary



In September it was revealed that author Shey Stahl had lifted a significant portion of her newest book, For the Summer, from the popular fanfiction, Dusty. The review was a model of tact and diplomacy never once calling Stahl a plagiarist but listing several passages from both books and letting the readers draw their own conclusions.


For the authors of Dusty there was only one conclusion: Stahl had plagiarized their book. It wasn’t the first time Stahl had had difficulties with appropriating other’s work. As an author of fanfic she had been at the center of controversy in that community. Links to the September event and other are here, here, here, and here. Lots of interesting reading detailing how very busy Stahl had been publishing other author’s work as her own.


While Stahl denied any wrong doing, more instances were coming to light. Amazon pulled her books. Authors were demanding answers. Stahl deleted her Twitter and Facebook pages and disappeared from sight.


And now she is back, without an apology or an explanation. Not that many are surprised by this, it was a given that she would return. Authors beware.


What bothers me most isn’t Stahl’s reappearance but her fans reactions:


“Soooooooo GLAD you are back…you know we all have a girl (author) crush on you! Shey Stahl ROCKS!!”


“Holy hell! What a sight for sore eyes!!! Please tell me you are back for good!!!”


 ”Haters are going to hate, friends are forever”


That’s depressing. How can you not understand what Stahl has done? To use the example I really hate, let’s say that Dusty is YellowBella’s child. Stahl has kidnapped Dusty and changed her name to Summer. She has also dressed her in different clothes, dyed her hair, and pierced her ears. But none of that matters, Dusty is still not Stahl’s child. Stahl has committed a crime, and no matter how good a mother you think she is, that isn’t her child. You can still love the mother, just love the real mother.


For poster #1:  That author crush you have is for all the authors Stahl stole from. It’s their work you liked, their ideas. Stahl only changed a few words and took your money for their efforts.


For poster #2:  We all knew she would be back. The lure of all those authors she hasn’t ripped off, the fans like yourself who will pay her for ripping them off, the approval you are giving to a woman who has no compunction about stealing from her own is irresistible.


For poster #3:  And friends tell their friends when they have committed a crime, friends are the people who tell you all the things you don’t want to hear. Toadies, suckups, and morally bankrupt fanpoodles are the ones who tell a common thief how glad they are she is back without mentioning that she should be apologizing and making restitution.

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