Thursday, December 09, 2010

Feds hint at charges for WikiLeaks' Assange | Privacy Inc. - CNET News

Feds hint at charges for WikiLeaks' Assange | Privacy Inc. - CNET News

Bathetic as it may be, I wonder whether or not the Feds will include copyright infringement among their list of charges against the WikiLeaks founder. It might stick, and the maximum penalty for knowing, repeated copyright infringement is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each work.

Works are usually books, or songs, or movies, or games.

Usually, for full copyright protection, the "work" has to be registered with the Library Of Congress. Are state secrets entered into the

Can one argue that government employees' reports are "works"? Were they "works for hire" and does that make a difference? I don't know. Everything one writes is said to be instantly copyrighted to the author.

Copyright infringement is the unauthorized copying and publishing of works without the permission of the copyright owner... usually the author.

It seems to me, that the WikiLeaks problem may make passage of COICA (s~3804) much more likely.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

S-3804 Why Authors And Voice Talent Need Help

Senators considering S 3804 should read this. This is a prime example of why authors and voice talent need a change in the law.

As I said before, the books are not "Complimentary". They are stolen. Illegally posted. Posted without permission. 

The club owner admits as much.


The Complimentary Books Site has Changed Location!
Dear Members

It would seem that Google finally took down the 'Books' site (due to terms of service!... which means that some book publishers complained!!). Anyway, after just an hour, the new site is 'live again'

I honestly don't know why they bother!

Please use the following url to find the new site as this will always point to the new Google pages as they are created

"XXXXXX" ">XXXXXX Click Here to Collect Your Complimentary Books!

It's always fun and games trying to get these nice 'goodies' to the membership!!


Club Admin

Why do publishers bother?
Feel free to tell this pirate, my friends. The income that he is making from his piracy is made at great cost to those he preys upon. He is a parasite!

Friday, November 12, 2010

How To Recognize A Pirate

Yahoo, Google, Picassa and others are involved in some fairly blatant piracy. So much for "Don't Be Evil"!

Here... put your deductive powers to the test and see if you can spot the tacit admission that these people understand perfectly well that the books they are telling you (innocent readers) are "free", "freely available" and "complimentary" are in fact pirated in violation of the law and the rights of the authors.

Welcome to The Free Book Club!

If you love free books, then you have come to the right place, you are sure to find something you like with us!

Use the menu on the left to view the book collections' when you find something you like, click on the link and download it.

It's as easy as that!

Please tell your friends about our site, we are sure they will appreciate the thought!

Join our FREE BOOKS club TODAY!

NOTE: Don't miss out!... 'Its the early bird that catches the worm'

Due to complaints by book companies, files get deleted all the time, so join the club using the form below, and you will be notified the minute a new bookmix has been completed!

The BOOK CLUB is indeed free to join, as long as the Yahoo group owner does not recognize your author name, in which case, you are not welcome.

Many of the books are only "free" because someone else stole them. They may have been snagged from a pirate site, they could contain all manner of viruses and trojans and formatting horrors. If you download one of these books, not only are you receiving stolen goods, but you could be getting a lot of nasty stuff you did not expect.


Complimentary means "given free, as a courtesy". 

This should be investigated under the trades description act, IMHO! The owners didn't give the books "free" as a "courtesy". The person giving it free, as a courtesy doesn't own the rights, and is giving something they have no right to give. That's wrong.

Besides, they aren't giving you the books as a courtesy. They are trying to trick you into purchasing downloading services, and also to use your interest as a hook for selling space to advertisers, who are in turn ripping off respectable businesses who have no idea that their advertising budget is being used to fund copyright infringement.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

EFF generally encourages the free reproduction and distribution of its informative mailings, so I
assume that this is the case with this plea for donations.

What I find fascinating is that PayPal is apparently doing a matching donation effort to support this

PayPal profits enormously from copyright infringement, because so many pirates receive accept payments for copyright infringing sales of intellectual property that they have no right to sell (or otherwise monetize) through PayPal.

I've never heard that PayPal attempts to make any sort of restitution to the authors and publishing professionals. This open sponsorship by PayPal of an organization that is campaigning against COICA strikes me as quite significant.

This is a friendly message from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. View it in a web browser.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Dear Friend of Digital Freedom,

Donate to EFF this week and you can double — or even triple — the value of your contribution! PayPal and Convio will match up to $5,000 in donations to EFF made via PayPal between Tuesday, November 9, and Friday, November 12, 2010.
First, double your donation through PayPal.
  • Go to the (XXXXXXXX redacted).
  • Enter the information and choose PayPal as your payment method.
  • You will be redirected to a PayPal login page to complete the transaction.
  • You're done! PayPal matching is automatic.
Then, triple your donation with employee matching.
  • Ask your human resources department if your employer matches your charitable donations.
  • Fill out the paperwork and forward it to EFF for completion (if necessary).
  • You're done! It's a simple step that maximizes your impact and keeps EFF going strong.
Even current members can make contributions to help put EFF on top! And as an added bonus, the charity that raises the most money and the charity that receives the most donation transactions will each receive $1,000 prizes. But hurry, the contest ends on Friday!
Thanks in advance for your support!

Friday, November 05, 2010

nihilistic_kid: Copyright follies

Fascinating blog piece in defense of an author whose copyright was allegedly (I have to say that) infringed by a magazine.

nihilistic_kid: Copyright follies

The comments are definitely worth reading, too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Picture This

This is an extended metaphor.

Picture me standing outside Office Minimal. The shop window is broken.
(The shop window is DRM.)

"Free zip drives!" I yell. "Come and get your free zip drive. Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! Freely available zip drives for everybody. Step right up and get your free zip drives. It's easy to collect all you want. For free!"

As eager zip drive lovers rush through the gaping hole in the window --which I swear I didn't make, I just found it, and am sharing my findings-- I murmur another message.

"Plastic bags! Buy your easy-to-use plastic bag here. For the easy, on-the-spot price of $2.00 you can have the convenience of being able to carry away far more free zip drives than you could manage in your own two hands!"

A police car cruises by.

"Not to worry, Officer," I reassure the patrolman. "I didn't break the window. The freely available zip drives aren't in my hands. I'm just exerting my First Amendment Right of free speech to tell people where to find free zip drives...

"Roll up! Roll up!" I interject to the world. "Get your freely available zip drives. All you can carry. They're in the public domain!" Then turning back to the officer, I tell him, "Zip drives want to be free. $14.99 is too expensive. $14.99 is a ridiculous price, charged by greedy, money-grub...."

The officer has lost interest. The patrol car is already edging past Better Buy, several paces down the street, where one of my associates is distributing wire shopping carts on a profitable basis to Better Buy lovers who are collecting free CDs. All he asks in exchange for the loan of a wire shopping cart is that they look for five seconds at what he has on display when he opens his raincoat.

"Free zip drives! Get your $2.00 plastic bag here!!" I do a little business. Pointing other people at freely available zip drives (hosted elsewhere) is amazingly profitable, and the Law can't touch me.

I hear some of what my associate is telling the officer.

"... only $14.99," he wheedles. "The fat cat CD producers aren't going to miss $14.99. For goodness sake, it's only the price of a fancy coffee."

The law enforcement officer moves on.

A woman in a pink hat flags him down. She appears to be indignant. She points at me. "But, it's stealing!" I hear her say.

"Madam, are you the actual owner of the zip drives?" The yahoo in the patrol car asks her. "You can't go around making unsubstantiated accusations unless you are the person being allegedly ripped off. In which case, I'll need your full real name, your phone number, your email address, proof that you are who you say you are, proof that you actually own those freely available zip discs, a formal statement that you have a good faith belief that you are being ripped off, and...."

More raised voices. I lose interest in the pink hatted protester. Someone who must be the Better Buy manager appears to remonstrate with my friend.

"Yes, I can. I can and I will," my friend blusters as CD-carrying members of the public gather around to back him up. "You'll never stop me. CD-liberation needs to exist."

"You greedy piggy! How dare you complain!" the shoppers exclaim. "We'll never shop in your store again!"


Folks, if someone tells you that a tune, game, image, e-book is "free" or "freely available", do your due diligence. See if the artist has a web site. If he or she does, they are probably alive, the work has probably been created in the last 70 years, and may be under copyright protection.

If it's for sale on Amazon, that is a very good indication that maybe that work isn't supposed to be free.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Penny Sansevieri on MONETIZING "FREE"

This article by Penny is about monetizing something one wrote oneself, not about "monetizing" copyright infringement ripped from the author.

I find it rather timely, given that I wrote an Opinion piece "To Freebie Or Not To Freebie" for 1stTurningPoint this week.
Feature Article: How to Monetize "Free"
These days, everyone talks about free content. "Give it away!" they say, but does this really work? Well, yes and no. As with anything, there has to be a  strategy.
Recently I was on my morning run through our neighborhood and I noticed a number  of garage sale signs (that's tag sale for those of you back east). One of the signs had a sign beneath it that read: We have free stuff! As I ran though the neighborhood I passed that house and noticed they put all their free stuff in the "Free zone" and already, even at that early hour, hoards of people were migrating there.
I passed the other garage sales which were doing OK, but not great. Clearly the one with the free stuff pulled more people, but did it actually sell more paid merchandise? Yes. I checked in with the sale after my run to find most of the good stuff gone (note to self: shop first, exercise later). 
When I talked to the homeowner they said that the free stuff went fast, but as I noted each time I passed by, it wasn't junk stuff, it was actually good enough to make the garage sale shopper feel like they got a real deal. If it's junk and it's free, it doesn't really matter.
What's the lesson here? Free stuff can help you sell more of the paid
merchandise, but you have to be careful, because some people just want freebies and that's fine. But they are not your customers. Here are some tips to help you maximize the use of free:

1. Why free? The first question you should ask yourself is why are you doing this? If you aren't sure, then free might not be right for you. Free content should be offered to help further your message, build a list, and get new people into your marketing funnel. If your model isn't set up this way, maybe it should be. If you aren't interested in this kind of a marketing model, then free probably isn't your thing.
2. Define how free can help: Figure out why you want to give free stuff. As I mentioned above, getting clear about your model will help determine if a free product is even worth your time. If it is, then you need to figure out how it will help you. As an example, we have a lot of free stuff on the Author Marketing Experts, Inc. site ( but the free for us is designed to build trust. Distrust is rampant online, and in particular, in the book promotion and publishing industry. There are a lot of scams out there and so trust is important. Our free stuff builds our mailing list, yes, but it also builds trust.
3. Make sure it's really free: A lot of people have content that is purported to be free when it's not really free. What I mean is that you get a sliver of it, not even a piece really worth mentioning, but the stuff you want is something you have to pay for. If you want to do free, make it free. Find something of value and give it to your customers.

4. Make it something your end user wants: As I've mentioned a few times, make sure the free is something people want. If it isn't you
a) won't bring in the right crowd of people (you'll end up just getting the freebie hunters, and
b) you won't build your mailing list as fast.
So, for example, give your readers something really substantial like an e-book or tips, or a workbook. Virtually any electronic product is easy to create and deliver. When I changed our freebie on the Author Marketing Experts, Inc. website, we quadrupled our sign-ups. So, what was the freebie? 52 Ways to Sell More Books. Now, as an author, isn't that appealing to you? Exactly my point.

So, what if you've written a fiction book? Well, consider this: 83% of Americans want to write a book, so what if you gave them a free how-to guide? You don't even have to create this yourself, you could partner with someone who has already created this.
If you don't like that idea, consider (for those of you in the historical fiction market) doing a did-you-know piece on the history you're
referencing in your book. The idea here is to a) give value, and b) give your readers something they will care about. Also, whenever possible, give your readers something they need to keep so it will remind them of you and your book: tip sheets, workbooks, reference charts. All of these things are pieces that your consumer may keep, which can keep you top of mind.

5. Take names: You should never give free away without asking for an email
address. I see people do this all the time; they have a ton of free stuff but never collect emails. If that's the case, the freebies you are offering may be of great value to your end user but they won't matter to your marketing. Get emails. It's called an ethical bribe. You get something (their email) and give them something (the free stuff).

6. Make it easy to get: Don't make free difficult. What I mean is make it easy to get your free stuff. If people have to jump through hoops, they won't do it and the free stuff won't matter. For example - put your free stuff on your home page, or at least have a link to it, though I recommend using free stuff as an ethical bribe (as a way to get sign-ups for your newsletter). When you ask for their email, make it easy. A simple click or two is all it should take. Then, don't ask for too much information. If you ask me for my address, birthday, and whatnot I doubt I will want your free stuff that badly. Shorten the staircase. If you make it complicated, it's not really free. Just bait. If you bait your consumer in this fashion you'll lose them.
7. Make the free stuff work for you: If you give away something, make sure that it works for you. What I mean is that when you get our free stuff, we always make sure and remind folks of who we are and what we do. For a while we had a free Twitter e-book that always went out with our product catalog imbedded in it.
8. Call to action: Make sure that your free stuff has a call to action. You are collecting names and email addresses and building your list, that's great. But what do you really want people to do? Define what you want them to do, and then include your call to action in the free stuff. Let's face it, it's a good piece - designed to help your reader - but it must also help you. It's ok to promote your book on the last page, or encourage folks to do a consult with you if that's what you offer. You can also offer specials and change these periodically in the giveaway.

9. What will you give? People often ask me what you should give away, and I say, it depends: Who is your market and what do they want? Now, on our site you'll see 52 Ways to Sell More Books, which is an e-book we offer when you sign up for our newsletter. Do our folks want that? You bet. Why? Because they are authors and authors want to sell more books. A special report or e-book always makes a great freebie, maybe you have a white paper that you did on the industry; if so, offer it as a freebie.

10. Follow up! The best kind of free stuff is, as I like to call it, the gift that keeps giving. Auto responders are a great system but often underutilized when it comes to marketing. If you are collecting names and then never contacting your prospects again, what's the point? Our 52 Ways to Sell More Books is delivered over several weeks, and then when we're done, we deliver more quality content. People need to be reminded, and reminded again. Now, you can also funnel folks into your newsletter as I mentioned earlier. I do both. We have the auto responder and the newsletter. Think it's too much? Maybe, but our market wants information. Define what your market wants and then give it to them. If a newsletter and an auto responder is overkill, then scale it back. No one knows your market like you do.

The real key here is that free stuff can work well for you in so many ways, but free stuff without a goal is just free. Great to get free stuff, right? But then how is all of this hard work going to pay off for you?

If you still aren't a believer of free, try it for 90 days and see if it doesn't change your life. If you do it right, free will monetize your audience like nothing else will. The biggest reason is that in an age of pushing things on consumers, your audience really wants to sample what you have to offer before they buy. Free is a great way to do that. It's also a great way to stay in front of your audience, build trust, and develop a loyal following.
Reprint permission
You are welcome to reprint any items from "The Book Marketing Expert
Newsletter." However, please credit us as a source with the following paragraph:

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

The suggestions are all Penny Sansevieri's. I think all authors need to check with their own state and local laws before following any suggestions about giving something away if there are strings attached... but I might be mixing up sweepstake/contest laws with freebies.

I should also add that copying and pasting doesn't work very well given my limited abilities, so the punctuation/paragraphing is all mine, and I take full responsibility if the editing is inaccurate.

Rowena Cherry

Friday, October 22, 2010

For Those Who Wish To Support Authors...Support This, please

This is an email from Lucinda Dugger, Director of The Copyright Alliance:
Dear Copyright Advocates,

A couple weeks ago I emailed you about a bill that has been introduced in the Senate that will combat online infringement of copyrighted works (it's called the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" or "COICA"). I encouraged you to sign a petition in favor of the bill.

Though many of you did this, our efforts have not been enough.

The opponents of this bill have been active in mobilizing the masses to speak out against it. The result of their efforts is that it seems like the public is against this bill. Yet, I hear from you everyday about how websites are illegally posting your creative works for others to take and how this affects your livelihood.

This bill would benefit all artists and creators! TAKE ACTION TODAY! Stand up for your rights!
1.   Speak up on blogs and listservs.  Last week I blogged about a musician who spoke out in favor of the bill on a website. When he did so, others verbally attacked him calling him a "greedy pig" among other things. This musician and other artists need your support on this effort. Post blogs and comments on your own websites or on websites like this one.
2.   Contact your Senator and House Representative.  Tell your congressional representatives to vote YES to the bill. Tell them your story and how piracy and infringement affect you.

      To find and email your Senator, go here.
      To find and email your House Representative, go here.
3.   Tweet this:  Stop online piracy of art, music, movies, books, all creative works. Vote yes to Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act #COICA
4.   Facebook this:  The U.S. Congress is debating a bill that could help millions of artists around the world. If passed, the bill would allow the government to target and shut down "internet sites dedicated to infringing activities" which are "primarily designed" to access unauthorized copyrighted material. Tell your representatives to vote YES to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).
1.   Check out this short video by independent filmmaker Ellen Seidler as she talks about how websites that are illegally hosting her movie are profiting. Yet, she is losing money. This bill will help shut down websites like these.
2.   The bill will not target minor violations of copyright. It will target "internet sites dedicated to infringing activities" that are "primarily designed" to offer or provide access to copyrighted material "without the authorization of the copyright owner."
3.   The Attorney General will be able to request a court order to suspend the domain names of U.S.-based infringing websites. For non-U.S.-based websites, the Attorney General will be able to request a court order to require the ISPs to block the website. Credit card companies and networks providing ads to these sites will also suspend all activity with the infringing sites.
4.   A list of all the domain names that are found to be infringing copyright protected content will be posted on a "publicly available Internet site, together with other relevant information, in order to inform the public."
Last February we made you aware of "Pilfered Magazine", an online magazine that freely took images from photographers without their permission and didn't credit or compensate the photographers. Because of your emails, Tweets, and postings on blogs and Facebook, the magazine was shut down in a weekend and has never reopened.

It is important that we take collective action on this bill too. Pilfered is not the only website that hosts and offers infringing material. This bill will help remove other websites like Pilfered from the internet.


Lucinda Dugger
P.S. If you received this email from a friend, and you are interested in receiving more information about how you can speak up for your rights, sign up for our network of Copyright Advocates.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Can Nation's Power Grid Handle a Surge of Electric Cars?

Can Nation's Power Grid Handle a Surge of Electric Cars?

Where my mother lives in the UK, they handle electricity surges in a practical way. Every neighborhood has two set periods (I think of about 2 hours in length) when electricity is on cheap rate to encourage a subset of the population to do their electricity-intensive tasks then.

One can run the clothes washer and dishwasher at other times, but if one does, one pays a higher rate.

Wouldn't it make sense if people were able to charge their vehicles at their workplaces?

EBAY - Recall This!

EBay and PayPal profit mightily from copyright infringement, and so do pirates.

I wonder why EBay has never yet (that I've heard about) issued a RECALL of illegally sold
CDs at their own expense.

When Amazon mistakenly distributed copyright infringing copies of George Orwell's works
on the Kindle, Amazon "recalled" the works. Sort of.

The difference was, they did not require any customers to mail CDs back to them.

Where would be the point? one might wonder, in publishers demanding that EBay recall bootlegged CDs.
The customers could easily transfer the copyright-infringing e-books onto their desktops before returning the offending CDs to EBay.

However, some would be angry. Some would be embarrassed to discover that they had been identified as purchasers of stolen property. Some, who might have been contemplating "sharing" these works might understand that copyright still means something, and that these works at least are in-copyright.

EBay might be more careful in future. Right now, EBay and its subsidiary PayPal are responsible for making copyright infringement and piracy profitable.

Here's an example.

Miss Pixy (not her real name) takes two series of ebooks by an author and burns them onto CDs, which she sells for $10 each. EBay allows her to sell 10 copies of each $10 CD per auction.

Miss Pixy could make $100 (less PayPal and EBay fees, and maybe less $2.00 shipping and handling which she might or might not charge the customer) for each auction, if she sold all of them. She could have an auction every week of the year. It seems to me, she could make thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars and not pay the author a cent.

Let's remember, real people are paying real money to purchase these CDs. These are lost sales.

I sometimes wonder if victimized publishers and authors know how easily the customers could be tracked. PayPal has a record of all of them: email, mailing address, real name, credit card or bank account number.

Moreover, who purchased what is a matter of public record if they left "Feedback" for the vendor on their EBay profile page. Any publisher's legal department could easily identify who bought what.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Upping The Ante On Nasty (a review of DRACULAS)

In the beginning, Joe wrote these words (among others)
"…And it's going to freak you out.
If you're easily disturbed, have a weak stomach, or are prone to nightmares, stop reading right now. There are no sexy teen heartthrobs herein.
You have been warned…."
I do have a weak stomach, I am prone to nightmares, and I don't enjoy fainting. But I also have a strong contrarian streak, so when Joe Konrath warns me that I'm probably not going to want to look at his collaborative effort with Jeff Stand, Blake Crouch, and F. Paul Wilson, curiosity will impel me to look.

But, I started cautiously at the back. Worth the entire $2.99 by themselves are the bonus stories, one of which begins with the awesome line, " The hardest thing about killing a hitchhiker is finding one to pick up."

"DRACULAS"is worth its weight in gold for the bonus material alone.

Curiosity, killed cats, and other red herrings aside there's another reason to devour every bit of this exceptionally well-written, highly entertaining and disturbing book. Joe Konrath hangs ten on the crest of the most powerful waves and this book could be the way authors write faster, add extra value and thrive.

Here's how. Four first rate spec fic and occasionally hilarious authors put their heads together to horrific effect. Each chose their own hero/victim/evil-doer from a cast of characters, and each dashed off a parallel novella of approximately 20,000 words, then they sliced and diced and cobbled each author's bits together into the literary equivalent of a Frankenstein's monster. Only, it's Freddy on steroids. It gives a whole new dimension to sucking face, and not a nice one.

The dedication --"For Bram Stoker, with deepest apologies"-- is a perfect foretaste of what to expect from "DRACULAS". Irreverence. Dark humor that is so wry, it's twisted. Offensive stuff, and indeed there is a scene involving bowels and a clown who likes to make rather different balloon animals…. Lots of "wet work", and they maybe ought to have offered apologies of some depth to Clint Eastwood, too!

The prologue (not that they call it that) contains the mother of all hooks. Erroneously, I imagined the conversation those 4 bad boys of grim might have had, before I looked at Joe's generous back matter, and learned how it really was.

"Let's dig up a head."
"Let's make it really old…"
"And evil. It must be evil."
"Let's attach something nasty to it. What?"
"A curse."
"Wicked teeth."
"Maybe we make those teeth like… like Sleeping Beauty's spindle."
"Dracula's deadly prick…"
"We need sex…"
"You can't have sex with a severed head…"
"Oh, yes you can!"
"Look, we'll call the person who gets hold of the head More Cock."
"And we'll give him an incurable disease."
The foregoing is my imagination. This conversation did not happen… but the gentle reader should remember that Joe Konrath aka Jack Kilborn once wrote a Christmas story about an amnesiac werewolf who discovered that his midnight snacking habit was abnormal after he noticed buttons and coins in his poop.

Yes, there is poop humor in "DRACULAS" in the bonus matter. There's "crazy poop bags" and "werewolf poop", so if scattered references to poop offends you, beware. Moreover, there are 30 occurrences of "crap", and as for the "F-bomb"… it is dropped 114 times (-36 not in story). Oh, the joys of a search function in an e-book! I recommend using it. There's "blood" on virtually every page: 382 mentions.

Their "Draculas" have the compassion of hornets, the dentition of sharks, the voracious appetites of shrews and no respect for garlic whatsoever. If you can contemplate a rabid, blood thirsty Edward Scissorteeth in a maternity or pediatric ward, using a severed artery as a drinking straw, or lashing out among the blind… go for it, but with your eyes open.

Do not necessarily trust the reviews, and do not pay $2.99 merely to find out what's in "DRACULAS". There's more than enough in the free sample chapters to give you an accurate idea what to expect.

Know before you buy that you're going to be ambushed by some of the grossest, sickest, most disturbed, politically incorrect and indiscriminate bloodlusty slash fest that four insensitive guys can think up.

Disclaimer. This is an author review. 4-stars is as low as I go. Five Stars!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How Piracy Hurts.

(guest post by Deborah MacGillivray)

Does piracy of books hurt?  It destroys lives.

I knew a lovely lady.  She became one of my closest friends. Our friendship was formed on the internet.  Likely, we would have never known each other without that magic connection.  But that link, while bringing the world to your home, also offers you a mask.  Dawn hid herself from the world.  Few knew Dawn Thompson was a paraplegic.  She could stand, take a step or two, but otherwise, she was trapped in a wheelchair, day in, day out, for the last years of her life.

It was always Dawn’s dream to be an author.  The power, the gift of storytelling was in her heart, in her soul.  Dawn would have written even if she never was published because the magic was a part of her.  Just as she was about to make it in publishing, she was nearly killed in a car accident.  It left her with legs that no longer served her, and hands that had not been properly cared for during hospitalization, thus were curled back, useless.  She only had use of her index fingers and her thumbs.  But oh did she make use of those remaining digits!  Dawn wrote dozens of books, most were published by Kensington Books and Dorchester Publishing.

While it was her dream to be published, it also was her necessity to sell her novels.  It was one of the few ways left to her where she could raise money to support herself.  She was left with a very small disability check, not enough to allow her to survive.  She needed that money that would come from her books.  In 2007, Dawn was on the verge of being a bestselling author, and her plans were not to buy a second home in Florida or Hawaii, nor buy that yacht we laughingly hear so much about.  Dawn’s plans were to have a roof over her head, an apartment in a reasonably safe neighborhood, food for her and for her cat and medicine, the basics that many of us―most of us―take for granted.  In the final years of her life, she expanded that drive to want to protect her sister.  Her younger sister Candy is also disabled.  Dawn thought she could write, sell lots of books and she, the cat and Candy would get by.  Nothing fancy, just to be safe, have medicines and decent meals.
My heart broke when I called Dawn one day and she was crying.  I finally got the story out of her―what the proud Dawn was trying to hide―just how dire her situation was.  She barely had money for food, a condition that had been going on for months.  She knew if she could make it until the end of the year, the royalties from her books would actually be giving her the means to survive.  She was crying because she was rationing her tea.  Tea was a luxury she couldn’t afford, so she allowed herself ONE teabag each Sunday as a treat for herself.  Dawn had a helper supplied by the government that came in for a couple hours five days a week.  And the aid just went into the kitchen, helped herself to the last tea bag.  Dawn wouldn’t have her tea on Sunday.  I sat and cried.  One teabag per week?  How sad was that?
Dawn was so close to making it, but because of the lack of good food she grew weak, and after a long day of work finishing a book, she collapsed as she tried to move from the wheelchair to the bed.  As she battled for her life in hospital, she took steps to protect her sister.  She gave Candy several of her remaining unpublished books outright, and assigned the rights and royalties of the ones already published to Candy.  If the worst came, she wanted Candy taken care of.

The worst did come.  We lost Dawn in February 2008, but she died with the belief Candy wouldn’t face the horrible circumstances of choosing between medicine and food, that her pain and hard work would provide the means to take care of her sister. Only Candy is not secure.  Her fate is very dire, as bad as what faced Dawn.  Maybe worse.

Sad, you say, but how does this relate to piracy?

Simple.  Dawn wrote for two publishers, but the one that has control of most of her books is Dorchester Publishing.  Recently, they informed the public they were restructuring their business, dropping the mass market line, and moving to only e-book and trade size.  

Why?  Because they are not selling mass market paperbacks on a level to stay in the black.  Why should people pay for books, when they can get on the net and enter a name of a book or author and find dozens, hundreds of places where they can download books free.  Illegally.  

People are giving away books, or even more heinous, selling them.  They are making money off the hard work of others. When I put in Dawn’s name in a search engine, I shall find her books listed on so many pirate sites it’s sickening.  One place selling one of her books illegally had over 4800 downloads.  Just ONE book on ONE site. Yes, all those downloading the book might not have ever bought it.  But many probably would have.  People who professed to love her books would have bought her next book, and her next.  Now, why should they pay, when it’s minutes to locate a novel, second to download?  To steal it.

These criminals ―yes, THAT is what they are ―make money off Dawn’s works.  They are stealing. Dawn used to arise at 7am and would work all day and night and finally struggle into bed around 1am.  SEVEN days a week.  The whole time she was in agony from metal rods and pins in her body, along with sitting in a wheel chair eighteen hours a day.  Those thieves are making money off her agony.  The money venues/handlers such as PayPal are making money off Dawn’s pain. 

And now they are stealing from Dawn’s sister.  They say they aren’t hurting anyone, justifying their criminal activities, because each book is only the “price of a cup of coffee.”  But multiply that by two dozen books, multiply that by thousands of downloads, multiply that by dozens, maybe hundreds, even thousands of sites stealing from Dawn’s sister. Suddenly, you are talking about a lot of money.  Candy is on very limited means.  She gets disability, but is too young for Medicare so she has no medical treatments for dangerously high blood pressure and arthritis.  She cannot drive, cannot walk but a few steps with a walker.  Currently, she is rooming in a place, and the situation is dangerous to her health.  Every penny matters to her simply surviving.

So the next time someone says they can get a book offline cheap, and they aren’t hurting an author because, after all, they all live in big, fancy homes and have a yacht, think again.  You are stealing food from people, medical care, a decent place to live.  You are stealing people’s hard work.  The next time you search out your favorite author on a torrent, before you push that button know you are stealing from people’s children, and you hurt people’s ability to support themselves.  Ask yourself, if you would work at your job when people refused to pay you and yet expected you to perform anyway?  Could you survive in a job where you might not get money for months, years?

You are stealing.  Plain and simple. There is no justification for that.  You are hurting people, and none of the blithe rationalizations can whitewash that bald fact.

by Deborah MacGillivray

If Deborah MacGillivray's story of what piracy has done and is doing to one author and her sister moves you, please do something.
Tweet this.
Share it.
Leave a comment (a kind one, please)
Forward it to your Senator or Representative with reference to the COICA discussions.
If you read Dawn's works under the mistaken impression that they were "freely available" and now
wish you knew how to send a donation directly (a sentiment many readers express) please send
a $1.00 donation to 

(Deborah is the unpaid agent of the late Dawn Thompson.)

This is not a scam. This is not a trick. If you send a donation, your privacy will be honored.
Please describe the donation as a personal gift, or PayPal will take over $0.40 of it.

Thank you for your concern.

Rowena Cherry

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Complimentary Books? But "compliments" of whom?

On the fringes of the law are people who tell lies and lure honest folks into illegal activities. Then, there are the cynical major corporations such as PayPal and Yahoo who profit from this sort of thing, and refuse to take any sort of investigative action.

What would you think, if you saw this in your email?
Another 54 Complimentary Books.
Book Mix 20
Dear Members
We are sure you will find something of interest in this terrific mix of complimentary books!
Another 54 Free Books for Everyone! (Book Mix 20). When you click the link below, follow the simple instructions on the book page to arrive at the download links page. Easy!
Would you realize that you are about to become a pirate?

If you are told --twice-- that the books you are about to receive are "COMPLIMENTARY" and once that they are "FREE", you'd expect that the authors and the publishers had given permission for this.


The books have been stolen, pirated, illegally uploaded to a hosting site or pirate site in violation of the authors' copyrights... "shared".

You don't know this. You've no reason to suspect that you are doing anything wrong, so you click the link.


Sounds good. In fact, the books are only free to everyone who chooses to steal them. And they are not really free. You are about to get your computer loaded up with tracking cookies. Also, you will probably be asked to send $2.00 to PAYPAL (and PayPal will take at least 44 cents as their commission for being part of this sale of links to stolen goods), or you will be asked to click on a link to watch an advert.

I believe that this is click fraud, and it is illegal. The advertiser wants people who are potentially interested in the product to click the link and actually watch the ad. The advertiser pays per click. Do they really want to pay for several hundred thousand people to get links to stolen ebooks?

Notice the instructions to "Skip Ad" after 5 seconds.

Its easy to collect all the books below for FREE!
Simply click the link below, watch the advert for 5 seconds, then click on the YELLOW BUTTON (Skip Ad) as it appears at the top/right of your screen and you will be directly taken to the main book page!

Scrolling down....

Please note that we are not the 'hosts' of any books, neither did we upload them to any hosting provider. We simply find links to books, that were freely available on the web and share our findings with our members!

Get a clue. This disclaimer is here because these people know that what they are doing is on the shady side of the law. Are they an "Online Service Provider"? If so, the DMCA applies to them, and the safe harbor provisions protect them.

Here's what Chilling Effects says about safe harbor

In order to qualify for safe harbor protection, a service provider who hosts content must:
  • have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, infringing activity on its network
  • have a copyright policy and provide proper notification of that policy to its subscribers
  • list an agent to deal with copyright complaints

But, are they hosting content? Is a list of links to illegal books "content"? Is a list of links a copyright infringement? You cannot copyright titles.

Ah! Here's the thing. They may not be hosting the books, but they are hosting the COVERS. Cover art is usually copyrighted. A lot of people think it is in the public domain, but they might not be right about that. Now I have my rights back to Forced Mate, Insufficient Mating Material, and Knight's Fork, I must create my own covers if I want to self-publish those books.

In the middle of the display of illegally uploaded and hosted book covers is an advertisement by Tudor Court Condominiums. I wonder why Simon Ditchbum believes that people who unwittingly steal e-books are likely to be interested in moving to Thailand.

Maybe you'd like to ask him! He published this info in his paid advert, so I guess he welcomes inquiries.

Contact us on Skype: simon.ditchbum 

Contact us directly...
International: Tel: +66 (0) 818 630 201, Tel: +66 (0) 861 122 850

Moving down....

Uh-oh. The other major sponsor is MARKETING CHAT which is another weebly site and appears to be run by the same wonderful, honorable, sharing people who run the Freebie club.

They are ripping off a whole 'nother selection of cover artists and book authors.

Notice this wording, too. This is where YAHOO is involved in this. And if you think YAHOO doesn't know, think again. This author complained to YAHOO and was banned from the group.

Join our FREE BOOKS club TODAY!

Subscribe to freebookclub

If you want to be kept informed of the LATEST selections of books & audio books, then why not join our FREE Club

Subscribe to marketingchat

Now, we are almost at the bottom of the page. Let me point out that there is no copyright notice, symbol or statement of copyright policy, no contact info, no listed name of the copyright agent to whom one should complain, no DMCA link.

Anyway, I am making "Fair Use" of their content. I am using it to illustrate a report, a critique, a commentary in the public interest.

Here is the honest reader's first ... maybe third... hint of trouble. Check this out and see what you think.

Useful Download Info

After clicking the links below each book summary, and downloading the file(s), you will find that most files are saved in ZIP format or in .RAR format, if you do not have the program to open these .RAR files on your computer, you can get it FREE here: http://peazip.source A simple search on Google will find you many free programs like this. ZIP files are opened with WinZip (most computers have this program on their computers, however, if you do not, simply go to and download the program free!) 

 Word to the wise crackers. Yeah. I know the links don't work. I messed with them. OK?

Zipped files are easy to open. Simply click on the book links, taking you directly to the download page. Click on the 'Free User' button (each host is a little different, but all offer free download, you just have to wait a few seconds!), click the download button and your book will start to download. Once fully downloaded, your computer will ask you if you want to OPEN or SAVE the file. We suggest that you first SAVE the file to a place on your computer, eg; My Documents. Once you have done this, you can easily find the file, and by clicking on it, it will open. You will then see all the smaller files inside. You can either select all of these at once (click on the top one, then hold down your SHIFT key while you click on the bottom one, then click EXTRACT. It will then ask you where to save the files to (we suggest My Documents for now unless you have already created a new folder and place you would like to keep them). The programme will then save the files. If you prefer, You can also OPEN the file straight away. It will then start to gradually load the file. Once it is ready (100% loaded), you can then click OPEN again, and you will see all the smaller files in the box. Select one or ALL of these files, and click the 'EXTRACT TO' link. You will then be given a choice of places you can save the UNZIPPED files. 
1. There are no book summaries.
There were book summaries on the previous 19 "complimentary" collections, but I infer that someone told these terrific people that hosting summaries lifted from the publishers' sites was dodgy.

2. Should you infer that if you click the links, you go directly to a page that hosts the book you want? Maybe. What's the deal with the ZIP?

Who uploaded the books to zip folders?
What is a .RAR file, and do publishers sell e-books as .rar files?
In the binary newsgroups, RAR is used to compress large files. As people post larger and larger files, it has become more important to compress them down as much as possible. That's why RAR and yEnc were invented, and that is why they have caught on so fast. Typically, a poster will compress his file with RAR.

So... RAR is commonly used by persons intent on infringing copyright to enable them to compress and publish large folders (such as e-books). Of course, not all RAR users are pirates, just as not all dogs are borzois.

3. Notice the English English spelling. The perpetrator of magnificent generosity with other people's work (authors' works) may be an Englishman.

4. Why are there lots of smaller files? What are you downloading and unzipping apart from the stolen e-book you thought you were getting? Trojans? Maybe. Remember, you are getting stolen content from a pirate site.

5. I wonder what is the deal with these choices of where to save the new files. Could it be... more advertising? Or maybe you have to pay membership and join a storage site? If you know, do tell!

Rowena Cherry

Friday, October 08, 2010

Copyright And Piracy | Publishing In the 21st Century

My contracts are not 35 years old, but if you own one that is (or inherited one that is) you should read this.

Copyright And Piracy | Publishing In the 21st Century

Guest Blog: How Do We Prevent EBook Piracy

Cherish D'Angelo aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif with her back against the wall!

Now, that strikes me as a thoroughly clever image to accompany this spirited author's commentary on piracy.

Over to Cherish:

Thank you for inviting me to be a guest blogger during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour, which launches my contemporary romantic suspense, Lancelot's Lady. Today I'll be discussing the controversial issue of ebook piracy and offering my thoughts on how we can prevent it.

 How Do We Prevent Ebook Piracy?

I believe the key to solving or resolving the piracy issue is to understand WHY people engage in piracy. The first reason is they have a sense of entitlement. They believe they should get things for free. They also believe they should be able to share an ebook just as they would a print book. What they don't understand is the issue of making copies and breaking copyright laws. Educating readers is crucial to diminishing the amount of piracy that occurs.

Copyright is in place to protect authors. It's the only real protection we have. Copyright means the author (or publisher) has the right to make copies of a work―either in print or as ebooks, audio etc. Authors and publishers are the ones who have the right to authorize who distributes the author's work. Making and selling copies of works is the way authors make an income from their profession. When someone shares a file illegally, they're acting as an unauthorized distributor. Neither the author nor publisher is paid. Some pirates are even going so far as to sell authors' ebooks so that they are making an income. That is theft.

I understand that people like to share a book they've read. Some will even say they do it to help the author. If they really want to help the author, they should encourage their friends to buy the book or ebook. DRM, digital rights management, is set in place with some ebooks to help prevent piracy.

Many people don't like DRM because it prevents them from sharing between their own devices. That needs to be addressed. I have no problem with someone wanting to have my ebooks on their computer, iPhone and ereader. But what stops them from then sharing the file with friends by giving them their own copy of the file?

So how do we prevent ebook piracy? That's a difficult question to answer. I believe educating readers is part of the solution. They need to understand the laws and why they're in place. But will they really care about whether the author can afford to pay their bills? Probably not. They want the immediate gratification of a good read, not an insight into the author's finances.

 If I had the power to stop piracy, I probably would start with closing down all file sharing websites. Most are sharing pirated material. If you want to share something you've written, email it as an attached PDF or whatever. Too easy. But this doesn't stop someone from emailing a PDF ebook they bought or got from another pirate.

Next I'd instigate stricter laws for those participating in illegal file sharing. Higher fines paid directly to the author and/or publisher would be set in place. Do I really want to penalize readers though? No, of course not. But our society revolves around laws. I have to follow them. Why shouldn't everyone else?

Ebook pricing plays a part in piracy. Most people believe ebooks should be priced lower than the print version. I happen to agree. I've said it for years: ebooks just don't have the same overhead as a huge print run of books that have to be stored. Once publishers start to realize that consumers won't pay the steep price of today's ebooks, we'll start seeing lower prices as the majority.

Regardless of publishers who are marketing ebooks at well over $10, readers still have choices. There are thousands of ebooks selling for less than $5, some by well-known bestselling authors and some by lesser known authors. There are ebooks selling for less than $2 and some for less than a dollar.

People don't have to illegally download ebooks when they can get them inexpensively or for free. Many authors, including me, often give books away for free. I regularly have contests with free ebook prizes. Just take a look at this virtual book tour. I'm not only giving away my ebooks throughout my tour, I'm also giving away other authors' ebooks―with their permission.

Please help me prevent ebook piracy. Show an author you support them and help enable them to continue writing and doing what they love. Buy an ebook today, whether it's mine or someone else's, and please…do not illegally download ebooks. On behalf of all authors, I thank you.

By the way, my ebooks are all under $5, with the most expensive at $4.99 for a new release. My least expensive ebook is only $0.99, with the majority at $1.99 and $2.99.

Lancelot's Lady ~ A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.

Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Help me celebrate by picking up a copy today and "Cherish the romance..."

You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at and Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.

Where do you read most―on the couch, in bed, in the bath, on a bus, at work?

Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You're guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you'll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Commerce Seeks Comment on Protecting Copyrighted Works on the Internet | Department of Commerce

Commerce Seeks Comment on Protecting Copyrighted Works on the Internet | Department of Commerce

Go here and click through to the email address if you have helpful opinions for the government on how your copyright ought to be protected

More to know:

A lot of pirates who think they are safe because of "Safe Harbor", probably are not, if only their victims would maintain a database.

Here's what EFF says

In the online world, the potentially infringing activities of individuals are stored and transmitted through the networks of third parties. Web site hosting services, Internet service providers, and search engines that link to materials on the Web are just some of the service providers that transmit materials created by others. Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects online service providers (OSPs) from liability for information posted or transmitted by subscribers if they quickly remove or disable access to material identified in a copyright holder's complaint.
In order to qualify for safe harbor protection, a service provider who hosts content must:
  • have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, infringing activity on its network
  • have a copyright policy and provide proper notification of that policy to its subscribers
  • list an agent to deal with copyright complaints
While the safe harbor provisions provide a way for individuals to object to the removal of their materials once taken down, they do not require service providers to notify those individuals before their allegedly infringing materials are removed. If the material on your site does not infringe the intellectual property rights of a copyright owner and it has been improperly removed from the Web, you can file a counter-notice with the service provider, who must transmit it to the person who made the complaint. If the copyright owner does not notify the service provider within 14 business days that it has filed a claim against you in court, your materials can be restored to the Internet.

Here is what I take to be an abuse of Safe Harbor, but I might be mistaken.

Even if the authors and the publishers wish to give their books away free to readers as a promotional campaign, I doubt that they intended for their books to be bundled, and used to incentivize readers to click an advertisement for AdFly

You will also notice a "Free Books Club Group" on Yahoo. I complained to that group about e-book piracy, and was banned. I complained to Yahoo, too.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry

Internet Policy Task Force

Friends, if you support the rights of authors to control the copying and distribution of their novels, please take
half an hour to submit your views to the government.

Internet Policy Task Force

This is important.

Thank you for standing up for our livelihood and our future income from royalties.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Copyright And Piracy | Publishing In the 21st Century

Look what Richard Curtis has turned up. According to the 9th Circuit Court, e-book "sales" are actually licenses, not sales, and authors should be paid
50%, not 24%

Check it out!

Copyright And Piracy | Publishing In the 21st Century

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sisters are doing it for themselves... on Tuesday

My Crazy Tuesday radio show tomorrow (first Tues of the month, 2pm Eastern until 4pm) on

"Sisters are doing it for themselves!" Self-publishing, that is. (Brothers, too.)

On Crazy Tuesday at 2:00 pm Eastern, multi-published authors Jacquie Rogers, Amber Scott, Brenna Lyons, Norman Wilson, Kim McDougall, and Gemma Halliday  join Rowena Cherry to explain how to exercise reserved and reverted book rights, especially e-book rights, and get back in the game.

Between us, we'll cover everything from buying an ISBN, to doing a cover, to editing and formatting, to uploading to Smashwords and Kindle and more.

Some of us mean to step on Joe Konrath's coat-tails
Rowena Cherry

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Cheers For Senator Patrick Leahy

I'm really torn about this Bill. I read the Effector argument against the Bill, and I read the Copyright Alliance point of view.

Frankly, I have a sense... just a sense... of the "Don't Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste" mentality. However, it is only a Bill, and it is in Committee, isn't it? That's when a bit of common sense ought to be introduced, and draconian provisions should be modified, and unintended consequences ought to be anticipated.

Here's what I originally wrote.

"....the Chairman — who on Monday was the lead sponsor introducing bipartisan legislation targeting rogue pirate sites — equates infringement with theft, and emphasizes the importance of enforcement of creator’s rights."
Written by Patrick Ross

Oops. I see that Patrick was gracious enough to mention my name.

"...And I shared with Chairman Conyers how I had the pleasure of interviewing three artists in Michigan, authors Rowena Cherry (from the Detroit suburbs) and Lillian Cauldwell, and orchestral composer James Aikman."

My thanks to Patrick Ross and Lucinda Dugger for all they do to support creators and artists everywhere across this great land.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"What If..." World-building with Michelle Picard

First, thank you Rowena for hosting me here at your Space Snark blog. I’m off on a race through my month long blog tour to introduce my newest release, Surviving Eden. Surviving Eden is the second in the Eden’s Court series. The first of these books, Ruling Eden, won a second place final in the 2010 PRISM awards this past summer. I have an incredible new video book trailer for the new release if you want to stop by my website ( and take a look on my books page for the link.

The basic premise for these contemporary romance fantasies? What if a modern woman suddenly learns she is heir to the throne of a magical realm hidden in our world and the most powerful magical being on the planet? That’s Rachel’s story (my heroine) as she finds herself in charge and fighting to make peace between vampires, shapeshifters, faeries, witches, demons, angels and dragons. All set to the backdrop of the Garden of Eden.

As a fantasy writer, it’s a no-brainer that I’m in love with the process of world building. I dove into my world of Eden’s Court after developing a common creation myth explaining the joint origins of the seven paranormal races and humanity. I decided to blame it all on Lillith. Name sound familiar? As I sought a home for my paranormal creatures for my story and a place to symbolize the nexus of their creation, it was easy to fall back upon the Judeo-Christian mythology of the Garden of Eden saturating western culture. I knew this would be an easy access point for western readers. I like taking familiar mythology and twisting it to make it just a bit uncomfortable or different for my audience. So what sort of research did I do about Eden to bring this altered version of the mythology to my pages?

In Jewish folklore, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, then banished from the garden when she refused to make herself subservient to him. This story does not appear in the book of Genesis, but even for a non-bible scholar like myself, this mythology was floating in the ether around me. In the original story Lilith is made into a demon figure. She is evil and her tale is reminiscent of original sin and women as evil temptresses. I unequivocally reject these notions and instead have seen the use of the name Lilith by modern Jewish feminists as a positive figure who represents the equality of women to men. In my constant struggle to create morally ambiguous villains, I decided to name the goddess who created life on Earth Lillith (slight tweak to common spelling in the myth). Although not originally identified as a villain in my first story, Ruling Eden, by the start of Surviving Eden it is clear Lillith plays this role. Still, I was not interested in buying into the negative picture of Adam’s first wife. Part of the story arc of the series involves the unveiling of Lillith’s motives and the transformation of this character away from a definition as a “bad guy” to a more complexly motivated entity who is invested and cares in her own alien goddess way. I love that type of transformation. I love it when by the end of a story I have no bad guys left. And not because I’ve killed them off.

In addition to concocting my goddess, I made Eden as magical as I could. I littered it with every known plant possible from every climate, gave it an infinite number of climates, made it shrink and expand as needed, and finally gave it sentience. No apple trees, however. This view of  Eden wasn’t based on research. Research is fun, but I wanted to take the nugget of the picture of paradise and expand that in unlimited directions. I wasn’t satisfied with making it a wholly idyllic place either because I love duality in all things. So murder and mayhem happens in my garden and it’s sentience shrieks out in very unattractive ways. It’s a magically powerful place, which multiplies the strength of any other beings’ magic, but my heroine has a love/hate relationship with it.

In my writing, taking the smallest piece of research brings me a long way when I add my creativity to the mix. It’s a jumping off point, but it tickles me to know something lies at the heart of the new idea, like the folklore tale of Lilith. And like a reference I made to angelic beliefs regarding the Tree of Life, with the image of this tree as part of the garden. (One of the paranormal races I feature in the story are angels.)

I hope you enjoy exploring Eden if you take a look at Surviving Eden or its predecessor Ruling Eden. You can find out more about me and my books at Don’t forget to watch my brand new book video trailer for Surviving Eden. As I said, the link appears on my books page on my website. You’ll find all the ways to contact me on the site in addition.

Be well, and I hope you find your own garden to nurture you. But don’t let it be too idyllic. What’s the fun in that?


Rachel Rieh wields enough magic to make a goddess jealous, or so she learned three weeks ago when she thought she was an ordinary, reclusive, and short-tempered gal from Boston. In this second story of Eden’s Court, Rachel, now the new ruler of the Kesayim, (angels, demons, dragons, faeries, vampires, shapeshifters and witches -- the goddess-created protectors of mortalkind) finds herself faced with the task of stopping vampire hunters from annihilating the vampire race. Her lover, Gabriel, half-angel, half-demon, stands by her side to help if she can escape her obsession with protecting him at all cost.

Earth is already on the verge of destruction within six months because magic is out of balance. The new threat to the vampires destabilizes the situation more. In her race to save the vampires, Rachel meets Lilith, goddess, creator of all Kesayim and humans, and the one with all the answers to Rachel’s problems. But is the cold-hearted goddess intent on changing Rachel into her image the greater threat to Rachel and everyone she loves?


Warning --since this is a PG blog-- the following contains explicit mention of body parts!!!  (Clinical terms)

Moonlight filtered through the windows of my bedroom, softly draping Gabriel’s naked body as he lay next to me on his stomach. His thoughts seemed to be somewhere else entirely. I loved how the pale light played along his flawless limbs, his smoothly muscled body. The silken sheets teased my already sensitive skin. I let my thoughts drift away from my gnawing guilt as I avoided discussion about my date with Colin. As Gabriel relaxed by my side, his aura glowed bright with his pleasure.
I’d given up on trying to shut-off my perception of auras. The dizzying visuals superimposed over everyone’s bodies were now becoming familiar, natural. Gabriel’s included the outline of a pair of wings jutting from his back. Their ghostly image had been present even before he manifested those wings for the first time during his battle with Michael in council.
Tonight was no exception. With downy feathers tucked magically away inside his body, a trick he alone of his angel counterparts could accomplish, his aura reflected their shining outline. The shadow wings were almost as lovely as the real thing.
I couldn’t resist running my fingers down the raised skin on both sides of his back while I lay beside him, my head supported by elbow and hand. I’d convinced myself Gabriel felt shy about the wings. I’d only seen them twice, including the time they manifested. But his hesitation to show them to me hurt. Perhaps he didn’t fully trust me. I dismissed that thought as ludicrous, but it still nagged at me.
My light tracing of the soft, barely perceptible tissue ridges sent pleasant tingles into my hand. His body tensed under the movement of my fingers and I felt his discomfort in the contact. Disappointed with his response, I stilled my fingertips.
“I won’t touch them if you don’t want me to,” I whispered into the hushed night of the room, holding my breath for his reply.
After a moment he relaxed, as if he’d fought through his initial hesitation to some decision. “Please continue,” he said, voice sleepy. “It feels good.”
I smoothed the ridges once again, delighting in the tiny shocks sparking into me. Gabriel’s voice bounced out into the moon-touched room, filling the space with its rich tones, surprising me with its serious intent. “When I was a child I fell asleep most every night dreaming of wings. I hated being born without them.” He paused. “The dream died long ago and I never thought to gain them. Yet… Here I am.”
My breath hitched hearing the pain of the memory in his cautious words. He sounded surprised to be speaking them. Guilt flooded through me for forcing him to expose himself to this hurtful past. Every day he walked into that negotiation room to manage the talks between the angels and demons. It was one thing for me to insist on facing my own memories head-on; another to see someone I loved forced into the same.
Gabriel caught my eyes before I could glance away. “I recognize that look on your face,” he chided. “You are blaming yourself, again.”
I kept my gaze on the window, the shadows of the garden just outside, wishing I could hide the waiver in my voice. “Don’t badmouth a little good old-fashioned guilt.” I tried to joke away his point-on comment. I swallowed past the lump in my throat and the will to give my smart-mouth rein died a sudden death. “My decision puts you in that room with them everyday.” I removed my hands from him, unable to continue my caress.
He shifted on his side, reaching his hand to cradle my face. “Being in that room may be frustrating, but it is valuable to me as well. I feel less need to run from them.”
My indignation surged on his behalf. I wanted to insist that he never ran, but hadn’t I accused him of the same weeks ago? My words had been to the effect that he’d bought into their crap about being an abomination. I’d wanted this experience for him--a chance to put to rest the ghosts that haunted him. I just hadn’t counted on how witnessing his pain during the process would shred my heart.
He smiled as if he’d recognized the play of thoughts and emotions running across my face and valued them. “I did run, in my own way. But being forced to watch the angels and demons confront their issues, I feel less like I am some shameful secret that must be denied.”
“I’m sorry this hurts you,” I blurted, my words choking me. I hated how out of control my emotions became with him. I valued my control.
His voice roughened with irritation. “You never forced me into the room. It was my choice, if you remember.”
“Yeah, but--"
“Do not make less of what I do by claiming responsibility for that choice. I survived hundreds of years making my own decisions before you were even born.”
Gabriel’s tone made my hackles rise for just a moment before I remembered his pain. He had a point, but I wasn’t about to give up on blaming myself in this matter. Call me masochistically stubborn.
His momentary anger dissolved, shifting into an all too different mood. His fingers moved in a caress of my cheek. He was a master at distracting me when he wanted and I’d sullenly noted before how most of the time this was a good thing. “Besides,” his voice lazed, “I need your mind focused elsewhere. It has always been my fantasy to make love to a woman with wings wrapped around us, brushing along our bodies.”
My mouth quirked up as my nipples tightened. “Any woman in particular, or will you just put out a personal ad? Wanted: female with wing fetish. Only those already butt naked need apply.” His chuckle tightened all things lower on me and I shifted on the bed, anticipation licking my skin.

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