NEVER Publish Words You Don’t Own

While this isn’t the first time it’s happened, and most likely won’t be the last, that doesn’t make what I’m about to say any less infuriating. It’s coming to light right now that there’s yet another plagiarist on the scene. This time, they weren’t even “creative” enough to take bits and pieces of someone else’s work and mold them into their own. This time, an author by the name of Hunter Green has decided it would be okay to head over to Archive Of Our Own and copy the words of a fanfic author.

Now, maybe this Hunter figured that fanfic isn’t original writing, so it was fair game to copy the story, change the title, toss up a cover, and call it a day. The thing is, fanfic authors are often incredibly creative. Yes, they use the world someone else created as a springboard, but then they make it something different. Many times, they continue stories which have been abandoned by studios and allow the characters to live on. Other times, they play the ultimate game of “what if…” and build entirely new scenarios and worlds. In either case, THEY OWN THOSE WORDS.

Because plagiarism is a very serious accusation, here are a couple of screen shots. There’s ZERO denying what’s happening here.

Gravity’s Got Nothing on You by zosofi Summary:

Screenshot 2015-12-21 11.40.14

Assholes in Love by Hunter Green Description:

Screenshot 2015-12-21 11.41.23

But that’s just the blurbs, right? WRONG! Take a look at the first chapter:

GGNOY

Screenshot 2015-12-21 11.43.40

AIL

Screenshot 2015-12-21 11.44.01

I could keep going all day, but I think you get the point.

I have no clue what the answer to this problem is, other than for readers and authors to stand up and say this will NEVER be okay. The moment an author puts their words to paper, they own them. Unless they say it’s okay to copy and paste, it’s nothing short of theft.

Hopefully, Amazon will quickly take note of what’s happened and pull the plagiarized copy from their store. That will take care of this instance, but what about the next one? What can we do to get people to understand what they’re doing to the entire book community when they try to pass of others’ words as their own?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but something needs to happen. Otherwise, authors are going to have to constantly be on the lookout for someone stealing their hard work and profiting from it.

If you’d like to read Gravity’s Got Nothing on You, you can read it FREE on Archive of Our Own.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Violated by Jamie Fessenden : Review

ViolatedFSsynopsisDerek Sawyer thinks he has it all—a high-salaried position, a boyfriend, a dog, even a new cabin on the lake—until a business trip with his manager and best friend, Victor, shatters his world.

One night of drunken horsing around in their hotel room leads to the most intensely personal violation Derek has ever endured. As if the humiliation of working under his attacker every day isn’t enough, Victor reports Derek for sexual harassment. Now he’s without a job, without a boyfriend, and the mortgage on the cabin is due.

Officer Russ Thomas has worked with rape victims before, and it doesn’t take him long to sort out the truth in Derek’s tale. With his support, Derek finally reports the crime, months after it happened. But restraining orders and lawyers further Victor’s anger toward him, and even though a relationship develops between Derek and the policeman, Russ can’t be there to protect him all the time.denise review

I will admit to being a little afraid of reading this book. I am always concerned about how a rape scene, especially one that is actually written into the book, will be handled. Will it be graphic? Will it be handled well or just glossed over? Can I handle it? So, honestly, even though I was excited to read this, I had to wait until I had “gathered my courage”, before I could sit down and read it.

However, I have to commend Jamie on the handling of this book, from beginning to end. The rape scene was handled so well. I expected to cry (because I am a crier!), but I did not, although I felt rage, and so many raw emotions as I read it. I also really felt that the entire aftermath was handled so expertly. Women report rape very rarely, and men report it even more rarely than that. The stigma that goes along with rape, by victims, often can be that they allowed it, or did not express “NO” clearly enough, and Jamie really wrote that into Derek’s character.

Derek was a man who was physically fit, lifted weights, confident. And yet, on one drunken evening was raped. He lost so much from that night, his job, his virginity and his self confidence. Yet, what was a fascinating part of his character is that before he was raped, he had had the mindset that bottoming was something a manly man did not do, adding yet another layer to how difficult it was for him to find a method of recovering from such a brutal assault.

Meeting Russ, being attracted to him, and even spending some time with him, all before the rape, was critical to Derek finding a level of trust with Russ. What was so key, though, was Jamie portrayed how slow this was. This could have been handled with almost an insta-love feel, but that was not true to the character or the situation. Just a peck on the lips took months. Sleeping in the same bed, with clothes on, and a pillow between them, was a standard mode for a long time. So true to the characters, and to Derek’s recovery. Trust would not come easy to someone who’s trust had been so completely broken. Trust in others, but also in himself, having been friends with his rapist for 20 years.

This book was heart-wrenching, but handled so truthfully, so accurately, to how I believe a man who was raped would have dealt with such a crushing event, even down to how he saw himself. And seeing how Derek was able to slowly recover, finding his way back to himself, back to being able to have a loving relationship was just incredible. So well done.

A beautiful story! 4.5 pieces of eye candy.

1-4.5 pieces of eye candy

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Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

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Pride Blog Hop: Hosted by Divine Magazine

“Lodivine-pride-blog-hopve All, Trust a Few, Do Wrong to None.”

William Shakespeare

 

 

 

 

 

 

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http://divinemagazine.net/1304-pride-blog-hop-hosted-by-divine-magazine

 

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Is Kindle Unlimited Screwing Authors?

adding machine tape

TCO Note:

At TCO, I wanted to give authors a platform to talk about things they want to talk about, in the event they would like to keep their name out of the “hubub”. I was asked if I would be willing to post this blog post anonymously, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes, in response to what has been a hot topic the last week or so. In this case, I agree with the author, as I think we will have to see how this plays out. However, as a reader, I find the opportunity to borrow the books from the authors that I love a positive one. I will likely continue to buy them upon release date, because I like having them right away. That doesn’t mean I won’t consider signing up for KU if and when the time is right, as long as the authors are paid fairly.

Published Author Blog Post:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere in Outer Mongolia for the past few weeks, you’ve likely heard about Amazon’s roll-out of a new payment system for Kindle Unlimited. It seems not a day has gone by since that announcement where there hasn’t been someone screaming about how unfair this system is to authors. My question is WHY is it unfair?

“Because there’s a good chance authors are going to get paid less than a penny per page!” some will scream. They’re right. Based on the numbers they gave for last month’s total pages read and the Global Fund they use to payout, authors would have made about .0058/page read.

“SEE! They’re screwing the authors!”

But are they? Yes, there are some authors who can’t live off what they’ll make based on this per page model. Some of them are brilliant authors who have mastered the craft of writing short stories. Interestingly enough, I’ve seen several of those authors say they’re not sweating the new KU policy. They don’t rely on borrows for their income.

The ones who are going to take the biggest hit are the ones who tossed up a bunch of crap and happily walked to the bank knowing that they made over a dollar per “qualified borrow” as long as someone turned past the first page or two. Trust me, they’re out there. And a lot of people unknowingly supported their methods by picking up ridiculous books they’d never buy, simply out of some morbid curiosity. When they couldn’t stomach more than a page or two, the author still got paid for the whole damn thing. Please don’t think I’m saying all or even most of the authors of shorts have done this. I’m just saying that the ones who did do this are the ones who “screwed” everyone else. Trust me, if Amazon knows whether someone reaches 10% of a book or not, they’ve known for a long time whether someone’s reading to the end or not.

Now, back to how authors are getting screwed… However Amazon is determining page count  (which, from what I can tell seems to be how many screen pages the book is on their standard device display), one of my 2014 releases contains 358 Kindle Edition Normalized pages.

Using the .0058 number as an estimate, a borrow read from beginning to end will earn me about $2.07.

Using the Kindle Unlimited Payout for April, each borrow of the same book would have paid out $1.35. That’s about .003/KENP. Sounds to me like an pay raise under the new system!

“But what if they don’t read the entire book?” you ask… Well, that’s definitely a risk I have to take. On the other hand, if I’m truly putting out the best work I’m capable of, should I be thinking in terms of how quickly someone puts my book down and doesn’t finish it?

When I release books, I set the price at $2.99 as an introductory price. Once Amazon takes their cut, I’m left with about $2.04/copy. That winds up being about the same as I’ll look to make from books in Kindle Unlimited. But what if my book is longer and I still want to sell my books at the same price?

Quite simply, my royalty is going to stay the same, but my per page royalty goes down. Before you get all upset, NO, this has not been talked about by Amazon. When my most recent book released at $2.99, based on Amazon’s KENP, I earned about .0051/page. That winds up being about thirty cents LESS than what I would earn per borrow, provided that the reader reads it from beginning to end.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this… there are differing opinions when it comes to who’s getting screwed with Amazon’s new policy. If anything, I see this as being good for readers, because in the past two weeks, I’ve seen new titles flooding into the KU marketplace. Authors of full length novels who couldn’t take the 45% pay cut under the old model are now placing their books in the program as a way to reach new readers.

Only time will tell if the model is going to prove beneficial to all parties. Until then, remember that authors choose to put books on Kindle Unlimited. We commit to three months at a time, and can choose to not automatically renew that term. It would be nice if Amazon had given a warning on the changes that would allow those who didn’t want to participate under the new model time to bail, but they didn’t. But within three months, anyone who’s in there is there because they decided it was beneficial for their personal brand.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Curve Ball by Sloan Johnson: EXCLUSIVE Cover Reveal and Giveaway

 

synopsis

Jason Klein’s living with the fallout from a decision he knew was the right one at the time. He never told anyone about the love of his life, which left him to mourn alone when he found out the man he gave his heart to had been killed in combat. Now, his heart has had time to heal, but he’s not sure he’s ready to let himself move on. Until he meets Cam Morgan…

Without a job lined up following graduation, Cam Morgan took his best friend up on his offer to move to Milwaukee and stay with him until he could get on his feet. The last thing he wanted to do the day after getting to town was go to a party filled with a bunch of jocks. Sure, they were “professional athletes” but Cam was convinced that bigger bank accounts didn’t make them any more accepting of people like him. He certainly didn’t expect to meet Jason, the Mavericks’ catcher who broke every stereotype he’d had.

What started out as one hot, sweaty night together quickly grows into something deeper. Jason welcomes Cam into his home and his life, but now he has to teach the younger man that it’s not a sign of weakness to let people help you.

Add Curve Ball by Sloan Johnson to Goodreads

curveball low res wrap

excerpt

After pulling the front of my shirt over my head, Jason’s attention turned to the button-fly of my jeans. I didn’t wear these often since they were old and a bit baggy, but I’d wear them every day if it meant getting to see Jason fumble with the opening. My head thumped against the door when I felt warm hands on the bare skin of my hips.

Jason shoved my jeans and boxers over my hips. I felt self-conscious as he licked his lips and took my dick into his hand. I wasn’t as long or as wide as he was, but that didn’t seem to matter to Jason. My hips jerked as he stroked my length, teasing his thumb around the head every time he reached the tip.

“Come on, I’m not doing this against the door like you’re some trick I can kick out as soon as we come,” he told me. I shuffled my way through the room, stopping to kick off my shoes and step out of my pants before I face-planted on his hardwood floors. Jason groaned when he turned around to see what I was doing. “Fucking gorgeous.”

He pushed me down into an oversized white chair and sat on the ottoman in front of me. As he wrapped his lips around the head of my cock, he reached up with one hand to play with my nipples. He flicked the simple metal bars, testing my reaction. Little did he know, he’d found my weakness. I’d gotten them pierced on a whim, but once I realized how sensitive they made my already tender flesh, I swore I’d never take them out.

My hips bucked off the chair, forcing Jason to take more of my length into his mouth. He gagged briefly, before reaching beneath me to squeeze my butt, holding me in the back of his throat. By the time he stopped sucking long enough to catch his breath, I felt crazy with need. My hole tightened, willing me to form the words and beg him to fuck me. He’d given me hints that he saw my strength, and I wanted him to prove that he knew I wouldn’t break.

I watched as Jason drew his middle finger into his mouth, sucking it the same way he’d just done to my cock. I placed my feet on the edge of the chair, bracing myself on the arms as I lifted out of the seat. My ass was his if he wanted it. He hummed in approval, leaning down to claim my mouth again as his finger pushed between my cheeks.

I closed my eyes, silently pleading with him to push harder, to give me what I needed. “I could stare at you like this all day,” he told me, right before he pulled away from my body. My eyes flew open, longing to feel his touch again. My mouth gaped as I watched him strip naked between my legs. “Roll over. I want to see that ass.”

Coming July 29th

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Wolves of Black Pine by SJ Himes Release Day Review

wolves of black pine sj himes

synopsis

An ancient civilization long hidden from humanity is on the brink of chaos and war. Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes.

The nightmare begins with an ambush by humans at a gathering of their kind, and lives are lost. Among them is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans. Thought long dead and gone, he is forced into a half-life, hidden in the far northern wilds of Canada and cut off from his kind. Those who raised him have no idea the creature they harbor in their midst, and name him Ghost. He begins to lose himself over the long years, and though he barely recalls his true name, the one wolf he never forgets is Kane.

Kane, Heir to the wolfkin clan Black Pine, is charged with hunting down the traitors who betrayed their kind to the humans. Years fly by, and more wolves are dying. He refuses to give up, and he vows to never again fail another of their kind, as he failed young Luca years before. His heart tells him Luca lives, but his mind tells him that it’s foolish hope, his guilt eating him alive.

Fate and magic change the course of their lives, and the two wolves long separated by the years find their paths intertwining. Though the gift of their reunion doesn’t come without price. Faced by the consequences of their growing love, and the goddess-forged bond between them, Kane and Ghost are besieged on all sides. Enemies are coming for their blood, and without the steadfast loyalty and love of family and friends, they may not be safe from the very people they fight to protect.

guest review

I have a confession: I’m not a fan of shifters. When SJ Himes sent me a copy of Wolves of Black Pine, I’ll fully admit I was nervous as I opened the first page. I figured I’d give it a shot, just so I could say I did. Best. Decision. Ever.

SJ Himes has a way of creating a world and drawing the reader in. Immediately, I knew there was something about Kane I needed in my life. When the clans were ambushed, I was drawn in even further, needing to know if Kane would find Luca. When he didn’t, my heart broke for both of them.

From that point on, I couldn’t read fast enough to get to the point where Kane and Luca were reunited. Because they had to be. And they were. And life was good. It was amusing to watch Luca, now Ghost, adapt to a life he hadn’t had for so long.

This book truly took me through the full scope of emotions. There were times I wanted to reach into my Kindle to strangle a character or two. There were times I laughed out loud at Ghost trying to get used to his new life (never before has sex been so entertaining). And there were times I teared up, waiting for SJ to put the pieces of my heart back together.

The moment I finished the book, I began demanding the next book. Sadly, I’ve been told I have to be patient. There’s only been one other time I’ve taken the chance on a shifter series and been so thoroughly engrossed in the story. Kudos to SJ Himes, because the Wolves of Black Pine are now in the company of Dex and Sloane in my heart!

excerpt

BURKE STEPPED into the cabin, and the scent of sweat and sex assaulted his sensitive nose. The noises had quieted down a few minutes prior, and his eyes went wide as he took in the destruction.

“Is it clear?” Sophia whispered from behind him, and she peered around his shoulder. “Whoa!”

“Yeah….,” Burke nodded, mouth agape as he stepped further into the cabin, taking in the toppled furniture, the pictures knocked off the walls, the open cabinets in the kitchen, the broken china on the floor. A log support beam in the ceiling was cracked in two, one half hanging low in the living room, and dust from the seams between logs coated the walls and floorboards.

Sophia followed him in, stepping around the debris on the floor, one small hand clutching at his sleeve as she jumped over what was once a framed picture. Glass littered the floor, and she grumbled about cleaning as they took in the chaos.

“What happened?” Burke asked, and he shook his head at himself. He knew what happened, he just couldn’t believe it.

“I think we both know what happened.” Sophia smirked at him, and he bit off a laugh at the sound of a mattress creaking in the rear of the cabin.

Sophia jumped over a pile of glass and shattered frames, and bounced onto the couch, then over the back. The crunch on her boots was loud in the relative quiet, and Burke rolled his eyes at her antics, but he followed her all the same, not wanting to risk a shard of glass cutting through his boots. Blood was a pain in the ass to clean up.

They peeked down the hall, and saw movement in the light under the door to Kane’s room. They would have risked a mind touch, but when Burke had tried earlier, he’d retreated as fast as he could, the emotions and thoughts that occupied the Heir of a highly personal nature, and he’d backed out before he was noticed. Hopefully.

“Guess they aren’t having any trouble with the bond, huh?” Burke said wryly, and Sophia smacked him, even as she giggled. She was centuries old, and giggling. “Think they’re done?”

“Well, the ground stopped shaking and the moaning stopped, so maybe.”

The door opened, and a naked Kane scowled at them. Burke snapped his mouth shut, and Sophia’s giggles fled fast. Both of them straightened, and kept their eyes low, in the area of his knees. Kane growled, the rumble of it drifting down the hall to where they stood.

It was an angry sound, a wolf defending his mate kind of sound.

*Maybe we should have risked another mind call,* Sophia said nervously, and Burke sent back a wordless agreement as Kane continued to growl at them.

“Hi Burke!” came a cheerful greeting, and the growl cut off. “Hi Sophia!”

Burke risked a look up, and Ghost smiled at him, naked and appearing thoroughly ravished. His body was lean and lithe, supple youthful lines and gorgeous skin shiny with sweat. Ghost was perfection, and Burke pulled a quick breath in through his teeth, a small hiss of surprise. Kane snarled as Burke took an eyeful of his naked mate, and Burke promptly dropped his eyes and made himself stand as still as possible. Interfering in a mating, and one so new, was suicide, especially with an alpha with the Voice. Kane didn’t need fangs or claws to kill; he could drop them both with a thought, and in his current state, he might. Ghost was naked, a normal state for a wolfkin, but he was also fresh from his lover’s bed, and Burke was another alpha, and far too close to Kane’s soulbonded mate…

“Stop growling at them,” Ghost said, and there was a crack of sound, followed by the smell of ozone. Kane let out what could only be called a yelp, and Burke looked up to see the Heir rubbing his shoulder and glowering at the shaman.

“Did you just zap me?” Kane asked incredulously, staring down at Ghost, brow lowered.

“I don’t know what ‘zap’ means. No growling,” Ghost scolded his mate, and Burke choked back a snort and a laugh at the expression on Kane’s face.

“Fine,” Kane bit off, teeth clenched. “Why are you here?” he asked them, stepping back in his room and leaving the door open. Burke eyed the door warily, but Ghost’s smile and cheerful wave gave him courage to walk down the hall…slowly. Just in case.

“Maybe some clothing would be a good idea?” Sophia said wryly, smiling at Ghost. The young shaman looked down at himself, and then back up at where they stood at the door. He shrugged, obviously not understanding Sophia’s reasoning, and he turned back into the room, gifting Burke with a marvelous view of his pert ass. Ghost was sleekly muscled, a sculpture worthy of an old master, not an ounce of miscellaneous or wasted flesh on his body.

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Sloan Johnson: Friday Five-Ish Good Questions and a Big Surprise!

Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson

  1. What was your inspiration to write a baseball themed series?
    I was working on another project and looked up just in time to see a really nasty hit on the sports highlights. The story for Wild Pitch started brewing as I wondered how it’d be if the pitcher and the batter were friends. Since I write m/m, it morphed to what would happen if one of the players were gay and had a crush on the other. I wrote one scene and put the story away. Then, someone was talking about how she wished there were more baseball m/m books, and I pulled it out and showed this one scene to her. From there, the book took on a life of its own, including a complete rewrite when I was almost done because my vision of the characters changed.
  2. Friends to lovers is a trope you often see in the m/m romance genre. What makes this story different for these two men?
    Sean and Mason have some unique challenges in their relationship. Mason is bisexual and in the midst of a divorce while Sean is gay and in the closet. Not only does baseball keep them from being open about their relationship, it keeps them apart much of the time. 
  1. Sex scenes are not easy to write. And if writing is your full time gig, life sometimes gets in the way. What is your “method” to “get in the mood” to write a sex scene? Do you need some Luther Vandross on the radio? Maybe some low candlelight? Or do you just need the kids out at Chuck E. Cheese so you have the house to yourself?
    Typically, I hide out from the rest of the family. Kids tend to kill the mood for writing sex just as they do when they come knocking on the bedroom door. Luther Vandross is on one of the playlists I have, specifically for when I’m writing a “love-making” scene as opposed to a good, hard screw. I’m heavily influenced by music, and each type of sex has its own set of songs.
  1. At the end of Wild Pitch you included the first chapter from book 2, which is Jason and Cam’s story. What do you see ahead for the Homeruns series?
    Right now, my plans are somewhat fluid. I am already planning Drew’s story as the third book in the series. You meet him briefly at the very end of Wild Pitch and he’s Cam’s best friend in Curve Ball. Then, the fourth book will be Eric’s story. I felt bad for the guy, trading him away at the very beginning of the book, and I want him to have his HEA after everything he’s gone through! Beyond that, I’m not sure where it’ll go. I might do more books directly in the series, or I may spin it off to something different. As much as I love series, I don’t want to tie myself into writing this one line indefinitely.
  1. Gotta get my fun question in! You get one choice of vacations: either a beach resort, sitting sipping mai tais, and getting massages or camping, muddin’ and cooking hot dogs over a fire pit. Which one do you choose and why?
    As nice as the beach resort sounds, I’m much more of a muddin’ and fire pit girl! Some of my best memories are times spent around the fire, kicked back with a beer in one hand, listening to everyone tell stories. 
  2. One last thing before you go. When is Wild Pitch coming out?
    Well, originally it was going to come out on the 18th of this month. Then, I finished the book, got it back from my editor, went through formatting and everything else. That’s when Johnny Kane (the model portraying Mason) started taunting me. He’d stare back at me from the cover and I could hear him whispering, “Do it. You know you want to…” I’ve always said I’m at the mercy of my characters, so Wild Pitch is live RIGHT NOW! Readers can pick it up on Amazon, and it will be on all other outlets as soon as they approve the files.

Thank you so much to Sloan Johnson for stopping by, and bringing us her special surprise! 🙂 Grab the book now! I hope you love Mason and Sean as much as this reviewer does!

**Giveaway: Sloan has offered a signed paperback of Wild Pitch to one commenter on this blog post! So, tell us what you think!

SynopsiWildPitchs:

There’s never been any question in Sean Tucker’s mind that he’d do whatever it took to make it to the major leagues and be one of the best pitchers of his time. The day he acknowledged to himself that he was gay was also the day he vowed to stay in the closet in order to chase his dreams. The problem is, he never counted on Mason Atley.

Sean showed rookie short stop Mason Atley the ropes, both on the field and off. The two forged a friendship which continued as both of them moved through the ranks of the farm system and into the majors. Unfortunately, there’s always been one secret Mason never felt he could share with Sean. Until now.

For seven years, Sean lived with the fact that he loved a man who would never reciprocate. When Mason admits that he’s always known he’s bisexual but has never allowed himself to pursue a relationship with a man, will Sean be able to put aside his reservations about starting a relationship with the friend he’d always assumed was straight? And more importantly, will they be able to find a way to stay together when their careers keep them apart more than they can be together?

Buy Wild Pitch on Amazon

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