Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane




I discovered this blog (and subscribed to it) following a tweet by Victoria Strauss. Some of the names were familiar enough to make me wonder how widespread scams and general misbehavior is on the part of small press publishers. Phoenix Fire is charging their authors to publish their works in a back end vanity manner.

Money should flow to the writer, not from them. It’s an old industry proverb.

The authors could self-publish for far less than they are being charged here. If you do an ebook, it is very easy to master the forms in which you upload them to the distributor. The Smashwords format works fine for kindle also. Making it double easy to just do a single format and publish to both.  The only change you need to make between them is that Smashwords wants the copyright page to feature the words “Smashwords Edition” so you just take it out of the version you send to kindle.

Publishers gamble on their authors earning back the costs of cover and editing.  They do not make the authors pay for them. And they should never promise more than they can afford to give their authors (blog tours, promotional objects, etc.)  or can reasonably handle.

Another aspect of this that is mentioned in the Suess’s blog post is that the “blog tours” turned out to be just three blogs operated by the same individual under different names. I had a personal experience of this several years ago. I hired a publicist for my company, Daverana Enterprises, and discovered that this was the only thing she did. I was appalled at the subterfuge and felt that it was both dishonest and cheating.  Since then, I have witnessed a fair number of “PR” firms holding to this practice.

Back when I was doing PR in the bad old days before the internet, I bought a $500 book each year that had the contact information for every newspaper, local TV and radio across the country, as well as the MAJOR places and shows, including Oprah and Regis Philbin.  You sent out press releases and made phone calls. When you landed an interview for your clients, it was real and not fake.

The internet has allowed for a huge percentage of fakery and all of us should take offers and brags with a grain of salt. Always google a company or individual before trusting them. And while you are at it, confirm that any testimonials are real. It has become a commonplace for some places to use alts to promote themselves. Others like the Albee Agency are attributing testimonials to real people who have no idea they even exist.

Read Writer Beware blog and make it a bible for avoiding scams.



  1. tabetha jones
    December 22, 2012

    As the owner of Phoenix Fire I believe a blogger should getball the facts before assuming. Yes the author pays for their cover because if at the end of their contract they get a better offer the cover belongs to them. Yes we make them pay the small createspace fee but in return we offer 60% royalties on print sales and 50% on e book sales. We also provide their editing book trailers pre release reviews PR services custom swag to make up for the small fee they have to pay. There has been alot of bashing and nastiness going around about myself and my company but until you get both sides of the story or talk to the current authors which are some that followed after I closed mystic don’t make judgments on something you learned about through hearsay. Try going straight to the source. It will get you the truth. Don’t believe me ask any of my authors signed with Phoenix Fire.

  2. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    Why should it matter that the cover belongs to them by paying you for it? They could just as easily go to Deviant Art where there are dozens of struggling artists who would willingly do it? That’s a non answer. You are not offering them anything that they could not get cheaper or for free elsewhere. What is that 60% coming from? Net? Gross? or traditional cover price percentages?

    Edited to add. Define a “better offer.” If you mean with another publisher, then the cover becomes irrelevant as the new publisher would want to have a new cover done on their dime, not the author’s.

  3. Young Author
    December 22, 2012

    Scamming scammer is scamming.

  4. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    This is newsworthy enough to cover with a link to you post at TRN.

  5. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    YOUR, not you. String of swears … and thirty lashes with a wet noodle for me.

  6. tabetha jones
    December 22, 2012

    I don’t do the cover art there is a professional cover artist that does the work for 20 bucks a cover and she is highly talented. Her graphics range from photo manipulation to photo restoration. They pay her directly that money never touches my hands. As for the createspace fee it goes from PayPal to createspace. And I know several authors that kept their covers once mystic closed down because the artist is that damn good. And I have gotten all cover art from deviant art and my artist has added to it. But never once have they charged me only wanted a copy of my book.

  7. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    You’re just a tad touchy, aren’t you, Tabetha?

  8. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    Their website is a blog.
    The same face is used over and over by her cheap $20 artist. There is one cover with a different face, which I am wondering if the artist had permission to use the image. Make of it what you will, but you get what you pay for. It’s mostly, if not all, photo manipulation, and very chintzy. I like real art better. Doing photo restoration does not make her an artist. It’s totally irrelevant to this conversation. You’re still charging the author for everything. That makes you a vanity press.

  9. tabetha jones
    December 22, 2012

    I wouldn’t say touchy no I just want people to see the facts and quit assuming that I am scamming people. No one talks about the good things I do for my authors. No one talks about how I work everyday to get a release up or work late to edit a book or create a book trailer. I go above and beyond for my authors I always have. When I shut down the company that was signed over to me from a previous owner I had no idea the trouble and chaos she left it in. I did everything I could but on top of that and authors actually scamming me I was forced to shut down. But after a month of talking things over with my attorney I wasn’t ready to give up so I opened Phoenix Fire and several of the same authors followed me. Because they know I am legit and do business fairly. I give higher royalties than most small press companies and work with them one on one every step of the way. You don’t believe look up Phoenix Fire Publishing on facebook and talk to my authors. Ask them how they are treated. Ask them if I have done them wrong. I’m sure once you get your answer your attitude will change.

  10. tabetha jones
    December 22, 2012

    Actually that is only a blog I am still working on the website so again assuming. And the cover artist I speak of is Lindsay Anne Kendal Graphics look her up on facebook. She has her own stock models and unfortunately for you she does not use the same girl on every cover. I’m afraid your mistaken

  11. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    Do you know what the term stock model means?

    Edited to add: Why should it be unfortunate for me? I would never buy a cover from someone as untalented as her.

  12. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    Here’s your artist’s site. It’s dreadful. It’s cluttered. You can barely make out the words on the page. She does not appear to be as important as you are suggesting. And considering that her primary place of business is not the site, but a blog and facebook, I am forced to wonder how she can afford to buy stock footage, much less hire her own models. And yes, I found three covers by her with the same person’s face on them. The one for her book is also the same face as those are. So who is the woman whose face is being used? Her own? Or a relative?

  13. tabetha jones
    December 22, 2012

    They either you are blind or no nothing of art or book covers. I believe she is amazingly talented and she had quite the following. So the demand of her work speaks for itself

  14. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    And now we get to the insults. LOL.
    I worked in the publishing industry for 30 years. I bought covers, I knew Kelly Freas and others. Your artist will never be in their league. So tell me again how little I know. *grin*

  15. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    But after a month of talking things over with my attorney I wasn’t ready to give up so I opened Phoenix Fire

    Fire up the e-attorneys!

  16. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    That’s “know nothing” not “no nothing.” If you are actually “editing” those books, then you ought to at least know the difference between “know” and “no.” Furthermore demand is not how critics and experts judge art. And you have yet to prove that she’s in demand. If she were “in demand” then she would not be doing those covers for $20. Please attempt to at least be logical about matters.

  17. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    Hey, Rusty! Nice to see you here. Thanks for pointing me back at the e-ttorneys. If she’s got enough money to afford an e-ttorney, then why can’t she afford to just buy the covers for her authors? And how is it that the authors “own” the covers. Most artists sell rights, not ownership. The artwork belongs to the artist. That’s how we do it at Daverana. I encourage our artists to offer the cover art as prints and other ways to make extra money for themselves.

  18. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    Is this chick for real?

  19. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    I have seen a lot of high level scams by wannabes. Such as the girl who tried to make it look like her books were best sellers by sneaking a bunch of them into a local barnes and nobles, putting them on a shelf there and photographing it. I suspect that she’s the artist, the publisher, and the entire staff.

  20. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    LOL! That’s what Nicky did in the Morris lbrary. Nitwit, oh .,. yeah.

  21. cussedness
    December 22, 2012

    LOL. Too true. Fakery abounds. Nicky scams his writers also, but in a different manner from Tabetha.

  22. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    Yes, I meant library.

  23. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    How many times can you misspell library? I think I did it thrice. Geez.

  24. Young Author
    December 22, 2012

    Tabetha Jones, I feel that you are a lying liar who lies. Is your real name even Tabetha Jones? You sure its not I.P. Freely? Or Mike Otch? What about Oliver Close Off? For all anyone knows you could be fronting a false identity. I think you are a faking faker who fakes.

  25. Rusty
    December 22, 2012

    Tabi, just go away.

  26. Ramsey Campbell
    December 22, 2012

    Sadly, Tabetha, if I attempt to go straight to the source – your site – I get a warning from McAfee that it may be risky to visit. So I didn’t.

  27. The Last Ant
    December 22, 2012

    I’ve purchased dozens of covers before, for between $150-$500 each depending on the artist and the complexity. Each time a cover is done to the specifications of the company (with input from the artist), and not once have I charged the author for them.

  28. tabetha jones
    December 23, 2012

    My real name is Tabetha Jones I write under a pen name. Lindsay has used one model for her books because she is the main character of that series. Would you like a copy if my Id or birth certificate. And then tell me to go away you shouldn’t have published bullshit about my company and spread lies. You can easily go to my blog site and it is safe maybe your just scared to see the truth. We have a facebook page as well. I do too for my book series and author page. What you are doing is called defamation if character and slander. And excuse my typos I am on a phone and a bit pissed that ignorant people like you have nothing better to do then drag people’s names thru the mud. I actually have a real attorney he’s been with my family for many years. So keep slinging my name around. Keep bumping your gums. You won’t like the end result

  29. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    First off, it is not defamation if it is true. You do charge the authors and you have admitted it. Secondly, please use the correct word when threatening someone. Slander is spoken. Libel is printed. You certainly do like your cheap insults, don’t you? Do you truly know the correct definition for ignorance? You seem to have no understanding whatsoever of publishing practices. Have you visited Absolute Write Water Cooler? They have a warning up about you.

    I seriously doubt your family attorney has any knowledge of the publishing industry. It’s very specialized. Go ahead and sue me. LOL. I look forward to taking every thing you have for false accusations. You are clearly a wannabe publisher who has no grasp on how the business is really run. I am beginning to believe that you are more misguided and stupid than anything else.

  30. Young Author
    December 23, 2012

    Right now you are lying about people having lied. That is just like any liar. They blame it on others. Stop lying and maybe Jesus will forgive you Tabby Cat.

  31. tabetha jones
    December 23, 2012

    Did I say he was our family lawyer no I said he has worked with our family. He is highly educated is business and publishing. I wouldn’t just go to anyone. And people want to talk about false names seems I’m the only one on here using my real name so how about that. I really could give a rats ass about what you think of me. I know the truth because I lived it. I went through it and dealt with the bullshit others dished out. Say what you want but our titles are selling well including my own. So quit hiding behind your cutesy names and step up and say who you are. And only friends call me tabby cat not idiots like yourself. That’s a privilege. I am sure in a year Phoenix will have blown everyone away and be sitting on top of the top of the world. If you believe I’m such a liar ask the authors and staff that work with me. I’m.sure its going to piss you off when the rave about how well they are treated but hey the truth is the truth

  32. Young Author
    December 23, 2012

    I feel you are so full of wrath Tabby Cat. Wrath is one of the deadly sins. I feel you should Pray to Jesus to forgive you for your greed that led you to what seems to be lying and for your wrath that will only hurt yourself and others.

  33. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Now why would your family be working with a publishing industry attorney? Sounds suspect to me. Maybe you ought to take a better look at my pages on this blog because my “real name” is all over it. I’ve blogged as cussedness for over 10 years. My identity is no secret.

    I’m.sure its going to piss you off

    You can’t possibly piss me off. You are far too amusing.

  34. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    I would very much like to know why I am being slagged off on here. My blog is none of your concern, I am non of your concern, my work is liked by a lot of people and to be dragged into a conversation like this and insulted this way is very upsetting. all the authors I have worked with are very happy with their covers and my own covers are the same model as its a series with the same protagonist. What the hell that has to do with you is beyond me and why I am getting slated for it is annoying. Lots of authors use the same model for series. And I have never used those models for anyone else.

    I don’t understand why I’m being slated here and having my work torn to pieces. I also don’t know why your calling them cheap. They are all very high quality. I just don’t charge people the earth because I don’t believe in ripping people off. What is wrong with that?

  35. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    Also, note this. I never use images without purchasing them, taking them myself or getting permission. Just because you want to pay hundreds of dollars doesn’t mean I want to charge it.

  36. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    $20 a cover will not buy a carton of smokes in most states. It might buy 3 and a half 12 packs of soda. Considering how many hours are involved in creating real art, rather than slapping together a cheap photoshopped image, it is worth the money to pay for a real artist who knows her business. If a CGI artist charged $20 a cover, they would be making roughly $2. an hour. That’s not exactly minimum wage. Sounds to me like your covers are a hobby.

    Furthermore, I am entitled to my opinion. If you don’t like my opinion, then don’t read my blog.

  37. Rusty
    December 23, 2012

    I really could give a rats ass about what you think of me. I know the truth because I lived it. I went through it and dealt with the bullshit others dished out. Say what you want but our titles are selling well including my own. So quit hiding behind your cutesy names and step up and say who you are.

    ROFL. You have now officially stepped into Nitwitland.

  38. Young Author
    December 23, 2012

    God knows the truth about what you lived. You do not need to convince me otherwise. Trust in god and avoid the sins of greed and sloth.

  39. tabetha jones
    December 23, 2012

    The reason Lindsay doesnt charge an arm and a leg for cover work is because she matched a price of a previous artist. And I wouldnt care if she charge a 100 bucks a cover i would still use her. I get what some would call a bulk deal because I use her all the time and she is my main contracted cover artist. Now if i used her once in a blue moon i imagine i would pay quite a bit more but it would be worth every penny. I believe she has talent regardless of what you dumb asses think. You wouldnt know talent if it reached up and bit you on the ass.

  40. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    Yes my artwork is a hobby. I love it and it helps me to relax. Again I see no problem with that. I don’t live in the States. I am very happy with $20 from people refered from the company. Also may I point out, just because you pay another person more it doesn’t make them any better than someone who doesn’t rip people off. Each to their own.

  41. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    There is no harm in it being a hobby. So you think that paying an artist the equivalent of $2 (two) dollars an hour is enough to support themselves and their families on their efforts? Do you think that a living wage is the same as ripping people off? You sound hostile to playing fair with people.

  42. Young Author
    December 23, 2012

    I feel, and I’m sure Jesus feels, that People who do not pay a living wage are just greedy. Also I feel that charging authors to print their stories instead of paying them royalties and keeping a percentage of it as is traditional, is also very greedy.

  43. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    cussedness, I never said that and anyone reading this post can see that. Twist my words all you like, only you look a fool. I work three jobs, not that that’s any of your business. I have income, I like to do covers and other art and I will be joining Deviant Art very soon. I still fail to see the reasons why you are attacking me. I think you’re looking for an argument and you will not get one from me. I will end my visits to your blog with this. What I charge I am happy with, the people who come to me are always happy. I work with them until they are 100% happy with whatever they ask me to do. My covers get a lot of attention and that too makes me happy. I don’t really care what you think, you’re not important in my life. You have your opinions, and like everyone else who walks the earth, you are entitled to them.

    Nobody can please everyone. If you don’t like my work, that’s fine, I don’t care. Not everyone will.

    Now try kick start an argument with someone else. Slate someone else who doesn’t deserve it. Twist other peoples words. You’ll earn yourself a great reputation.

    Happy blogging and to all reading this post, have a wonderful Christmas.

  44. Rusty
    December 23, 2012

    Lindsay, my hobbies are cooking, gardening, and growing orchids. I also like to point and laugh at Nitwits. I get paid for none of these things that amuse me and hog up my time, although for six months out of every year my grocery bill goes way down. I have no issue with you doing what rocks your socks, but why pounce on Janrae’s blog without any real cause?

  45. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    You are the one who keeps saying that artists are ripping people off. Not me. So you work three jobs and do this as a hobby. Has it never occurred to you that professional artists need to feed their families? Or that you’re under charging to the point of hurting yourself?

  46. rachel williams
    December 23, 2012

    You know this is all getting old and boring. I keep seeing the same thing over and over on so many blogs. I used to love to blog now I am almost afraid to look at one. Unless you were there when it happened then its a he said she said thing. Let it die people. Lets find something else to talk about. Something fun and new. This crap is old news.

  47. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    I did say I wasn’t replying but since you asked a question and I’m not rude I will answer.
    No real cause? read back, I was being slated and called cheap for what?? Not charging more than I do. I was being slated because I have used the same model and MY books? I am allowed to do that. I’m being told I’m not an artist and being generally insulted. Do I not have a right to stand up for myself.

    I didn’t pounce, I came on here because I was upset and had every right to wonder why I was being so horribly attacked on a post that shouldn’t have even had my name brought into it. Surely I have every right to be upset of what has been said.

    As for your hobbies, I liked gardening, sadly due to having two small dogs that like to eat everything in the garden and chew all, I no longer have one.

  48. Mike Brendan
    December 23, 2012

    I dunno, Tabetha. Your comments here alone are enough to dissuade anyone seeking what you offer. Let’s run through the list, shall we?

    “a blogger should getball the facts before assuming.”

    “As for the createspace fee it goes from PayPal to createspace.” Then why don’t I just go through CreateSpace and do that part myself?

    Art is chintzy PhotoShopping. I could talk to a dozen folks at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and get proper art for a book cover… Heck, I can think of two that are genre friendly and a relative with actual experience, and that’s while on my second whiskey.

    “you are blind or no nothing of art or book covers” Au contraire. I may not have an art degree, but I know the concepts behind effective book covers. Take, for example, the cover for “Minivan Meltdown” (lousy title for a book, by the way). A stock photo of a nuclear mushroom cloud with the title in a barely legible font, slapped over a photo of a city landscape? That’s not art. I call that half ass. Oh, and it’s spelled k-n-o-w.

    “What you are doing is called defamation if character and slander.” And you call yourself an editor and publisher? If you were, you’d know the difference between slander and libel. Here’s a hint, the latter is written, the former spoken.

    “I actually have a real attorney he’s been with my family for many years.” If you had an attorney and you felt you had a solid case, you wouldn’t be wasting your time flapping your gums (not “bumping your gums”) on this blog.

    “I really could give a rats ass about what you think of me.” So why are you wasting your time here?

    “So quit hiding behind your cutesy names and step up and say who you are.” Typical tactic of Nitwits, to which I would respond with “I am Mike Brendan, and Mike Brendan means me!” (with all love and respect to J.R.R. Tolkein)

    “I am sure in a year Phoenix will have blown everyone away and be sitting on top of the top of the world.” Over the Big Six, er — uh, Five? Doubt it. Also your redundancy sounds redundant.

    ” the truth is the truth” And the truth is you got caught in the act of sock puppetry with fake endorsements.

    “Yes my artwork is a hobby.” Which is why I wouldn’t hire you to do any book covers as far as I’m concerned. I’ll go to a professional artist, thank you very much.

    So with just these bullet points I can conclude that Phoenix Fire is not a market worth anyone’s time, effort or money.

  49. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    No, I said THAT I DIDN’T want to rip people off. Stop twisting my words. I don’t want to charge hundreds for them. What is the damn problem.

    As for “Or that you’re under charging to the point of hurting yourself?” That bit I do understand, and to be completely honest with you when I looked around myself and saw what others were charging, I thought “Wow, should I be charging this?” But I personally am happy with what I get. I have a nervous/panic disorder. Doing the covers and writing are the only things that calm me down and help me to relax. That too as far as I’m concerned is payment.

  50. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Hello, Rachel. What’s your stake in this?

  51. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    Mike Brendan – If you don’t want to come to me that’s fine. Each to their own as I’ve said before. Everyone likes differently. But to insult the title of a book, that’s low. That’s the authors choice. I wonder if people will say the same about yours.

  52. tabetha jones
    December 23, 2012

    You know you can believe what you want. You want to pray to Jesus pray to him because you all need serious mental help. Were you there did you sign a contract did you work with be no no no. So instead of drugging someone through the mud why don’t you stop and remember this is the holidays and I won’t have my Christmas ruined over some stupid blog. This shit is getting old and with that said I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and learn that hate is worse than greed or wrath. Which I am neither. I would give my friend my last penny if they needed it. You don’t know me and thank god I don’t know you. Happy holidays

  53. rachel williams
    December 23, 2012

    I don’t have a stake in it. I have read all these blogs trashing this woman but no one actually goes to her for info. Then she tries to tell her story and gets trashed for that. It’s like no one thinks of her feelings or what it was like for her. I just sick n tired of seeing all this same crap about Phoenix this mystic that. Dude its over. You know I am an aspiring writer and I’d give her a go. I don’t think she’s lying I think she’s been backed into a corner and trying to fight for what she believes in. Wouldn’t we all?

  54. Anna Loobly
    December 23, 2012

    Whoa, this is awful. I can understand getting at the publisher but why a cover designer.

    I’ve read about all this before. Its getting beyond a joke, its all I see. Can’t we discuss books without having this company and woman mentioned.

    attacking the authors title of their work is awful. What a rude man. Also, just because this artist person doesn’t charge a lot doesn’t mean she is rubbish. And besides, isn’t it up to her what she charges. So what if its a hobby, I would rather have someone design something for me who enjoys doing it, genuinely enjoys it over someone that just does it for money.

  55. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    The only way you could have found this post (and this goes for Lindsay as well) , Rachel, is if Tabetha pointed you at it or you googled the subject. Which is it?

  56. Mike Brendan
    December 23, 2012

    It’s not low and it’s not an insult. It’s a critique of artwork. Don’t project a comment of your effort into an insult of someone else. That’s just lacking in professionalism right there. Another good reason not to hire you.

  57. Rusty
    December 23, 2012

    Eh, my dog got over chewing things when he hit two people years. My cats, for some odd reason, don’t chew anything beside their kibble, nor do they claw anything other than a bath mat. Go figure

  58. Lindsay Anne Kendal
    December 23, 2012

    Mike, I’m not even going to argue with you. You’re not important. I wouldn’t want to work with some like you anyway. I find you to be very rude.

    Cussedness, yes I did have this pointed out to me.

    I’m going now, I don’t need to be insulted or called. It’s childish. It’s also 3.15 am where I am and I can think of better things to do than read nasty and uncalled for things about myself. Say what you will about me, if you want to slate me, call my work or bitch about me then do so, there is nothing I can do to stop you. I’m a good person, I’d do anything for anyone and I don’t deserve any of this. I’m not getting upset over people who have no effect on my life any more. I won’t be responding. Once again, I hope everyone has a nice Christmas and prosperous 2013.

  59. Mike Brendan
    December 23, 2012

    Really, Anna? Saying a title is lousy is an attack? Use hyperbole much? Titles are a marketing tool — a hook, if you will, before the reader even looks at the first page. For example, consider “The Heroes” by Joe Abercrombie. Just those two words, along with the cover, convey the genre (fantasy) and the tone (grim conflict, warfare). “Minivan Meltdown” on the basis of title alone conveys an image of an irate father who is tired of his kids bickering in the back seat of the aforementioned transport. The cover art invokes imagery akin to something from “The Terminator” or “The Day After.” So what’s this book about then, just from the cover? I’ve no idea. It’s ineffective, poorly thought out with ill-conceived art and text in a barely legible font. It makes for a poor first impression that will condemn the work to sit on the virtual shelf (if not the actual).

    It’s not an attack on the author, so don’t come here playing White Knight and making something it isn’t.

  60. Mike Brendan
    December 23, 2012

    Lindsay, I think we already established that I would not hire you in the first place because I’d prefer to work with a career artist — and yes, Anna, there are artists who love what they do and make money at it. They’re the successful ones.

  61. Anna Loobly
    December 23, 2012

    Mike, you are very obnoxious. If the authors wants that as their cover that is up to them. It must have meaning to them. Why are you so upset over it? An artist can only do what is asked of them by the owner of the work. Get a grip… And maybe a life.

  62. Nevaeh Walker
    December 23, 2012

    Cussedness…you are my hero! You made this blog and did NOT go about it by bashing authors that used, or are currently using, Tabetha. What you did, was simply point out all the things wrong with ALL the blogs about Phoenix Fire. Whether it be bashing, or loving her and her tactics. You took information from ALL sources out there, and made your own opinion. And honestly, there is nothing illegal about OPINION. You state its your opinion, you do not say that this is anything otherwise. You stand up for yourself in the face of Tabetha immediately jumping in and bitching. Kudos to you.

    That being said, I have my own opinions, which I will keep to myself, but there is one thing that bothers me. Is it just me, or is she WAY TOO defensive? She can’t seem to approach any of this in a civil manner. She immediately comes in, firing off insults and false threats. I’m sure some of these people defending her and actually HER and her fiance. I have never seen him say anything nice at all. Unless he’s kissing ass to someone…and the only one he ever says anything nice to is Tabetha…and that is only in public. I have my opinions of that, too. But I will be polite and keep that to myself as well. Why? Because I’m allowed to have my own OPINIONS of people and things and businesses.

    Like some of these “BEST SELLERS” she is raving about. How is it, that books that have the tag “Trash” on them on Amazon, are best sellers? Not to mention, I have read some of these books that are by her authors, and some of them are TERRIBLE! And these are authors that went WITH her to Phoenix Fire. If that is the level of work we can expect, then just wait, she will fold Phoenix Fire next, come up with a new name, and blame these authors, too.

    But, that is MY OPINION. And everyone is allowed to have that, and state it freely.

  63. Anna Loobly
    December 23, 2012

    Okay guys got to go, got kids to sort out. Was a pleasure reading all the insults and nastiness, its definitely restored my faith in humanity.
    Take care.

  64. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Authors who want to sell books, not just allow them to collect dust unsold, would do well to pay attention to the negative things that are said. That’s how we learn. If you are against learning, then go ahead, Anna and Rachel, and keep posting comments like this. You are only keeping the authors ignorant of what sells and the hows and whys of what sells. Phoenix Fire is a vanity press.

  65. Mike Brendan
    December 23, 2012

    You’re interpreting my opinion of a title and cover as being “upset” over them? Project much? Maybe you should read this:

    Giving an opinion is not the same as insulting the creator. Maybe I’ll take you seriously when you stop chiding me to “get a grip/life”/

  66. Rusty
    December 23, 2012

    Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, “Anna.” Yeah, I’m being polite.

  67. Mike Brendan
    December 23, 2012

    Sorry, That should read “Your interpreting…” Mea culpa…

  68. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Neveah, at least one and possibly more than that are using a proxy. I checked their IP and it’s registered to NASA.

    I do think she is far too defensive. “The lady doth protest too much.” We could have had a civil discussion, but she chose not to. Criticism is part of the process of learning. People who are hostile to criticism are defeating themselves and failing to learn and grow. If I went off every time I got a negative review, I would have no one reading my books. I have seen samples of some of the books she published and I agree that some of them are awful and needed a serious editor.

  69. Rusty
    December 23, 2012

    I’m well aware that this comes out of nowhere for your blog readers, Jan, but Cullin rides into town, and adjust his shorts.

  70. Rusty
    December 23, 2012


  71. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    I’m definitely channeling Cullen tonight. 🙂

  72. Rusty
    December 23, 2012

    He’s my favorite character, and I spelled his name wrong. I deserve … something. Yipe!

  73. Young Author
    December 23, 2012

    I don’t see how Jesus or God are an insult or nasty. You obviously are anti christian.

  74. Pingback: Phoenix Fire: How to make enemies and create adversaries « Cussedness Corner

  75. Scott Colbert (@ScottColbert)
    December 23, 2012

    Quite frankly, I’d be more concerned about Tabetha’s editing prowess solely based on the posts here. I have an extra Strunk and White if it’s needed.

  76. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    I doubt she knows what Strunk and White is. I keep mine on my desk at all times.

  77. Lily Crussell
    December 23, 2012

    I haven’t read all the comments, but there is one point I have to take issue with. As someone BURNED by Mystic, it’s complete bull that the money for the cover artist never touches her hands. I paid HER for it and she never forwarded it to the cover artist. She then told the cover artist to chase ME up about it, even though I had the contract stating that part of the money I sent was going to the cover artist and I had paid for it. If this is how she treats people who work FOR her, how is she going to treat artists she has no care for>

  78. JTB
    December 23, 2012

    I know I’m late to this party, and this point has probably already been made, but I sure as hell do not want an “editor” that cannot even write a grammatically correct sentence when attempting to defend herself as a writer, editor and publisher – one of the main times when a person trying to pass themselves off as such should use their best writing voice.

  79. rachel williams
    December 23, 2012

    So I did a little research and bought a few books associated with this company and I must say the one that impressed me the most was Zoey Sweete which happens to be this woman’s pen name. They are actually pretty good if you like paranormal. I looked up the blog and facebook page and I even went as far as to message Ms Jones privately. She wasn’t nasty or rude. Again you back a feral cat into a corner and claws come out. I looked at all the blogs she listed that was on this subject which frankly is sad that people have nothing better to do. But after looking at everything and even talking with some of her authors I believe this is nothing more than an old fashioned witch hunt. I thought I was sick of seeing it smeared everywhere well I’m not the only one. Maybe she wouldn’t be so defensive if you would have gotten both sides of the story instead of being bais and having already formed an opinion before she ever spoke. Lets find something else to talk about cause this is old and boring.

  80. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    You just outed yourself, Rachel. Good job!

  81. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Party’s still going, JTB.

  82. Rusty
    December 23, 2012

    I’m curious to know how to back a feral cat into a corner. The truly feral ones won’t come indoors, although they may show up on a doorstep looking for a handout of kibble, or slink under the tool shed to get out of the rain. Barn cats will let you touch them; they’re only semi-feral, though.

  83. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Zoey Sweete AKA Tabetha Jones has the look inside feature active on Blood Magic.

    The book is very underwritten in some spots and over written in others with loads of purple. It appears to be one more rehash of un-regurgitated adolescent wish fulfillment which is often referred to as self-masturbatory Mary Sue when written by a woman of Tabetha’s years.

  84. Lepplady
    December 23, 2012

    Oh, I don’t know, Cuss. There might be SOME regurgitation in there.

  85. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Reading it was very puke worthy. 😀

  86. Amanda
    December 23, 2012

    Imagine how the Zoey Sweete books looked before the were looked over by an editor for punctuation and such. You’ve seen the posts by the author and her grammar abilities. Yet she doesn’t pay the editors either. Instead she insists their work was sloppy (after the fiasco that was Mystic “closed”). Just another way to avoid paying any of the money that is owed would be my personal opinion.

  87. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    She has no grasp of pacing or logical development. The existing paragraphs might offer a start point, but they need to be broken down and filled out. She’s telling, not showing. Also the trope is very over used and she fails to offer anything new or interesting in the way of interpretation.

  88. Amanda
    December 23, 2012

    I would agree. I was hired to fix punctuation errors and make sure the story didn’t have inconsistencies. While if you get to read the entire story, it is a pretty good tale, just needs lots of fleshing out and rewriting. Also certain phrases are over used and she could definitely use a thesaurus for some variety.

    My issue is this: when asked when to expect payment for services rendered I was told she was receiving complaints and was having to go over the books again and fix things I missed. Her and her fiance/business partner were fixing things. I fail to see how this is possible, when from what I can see their grammar and grasp of the English language leaves much to be desired.

  89. cussedness
    December 23, 2012

    Every editor will miss stuff. We get caught up in reading and shift to auto pilot without being aware of the shift. That’s one reason that most of the larger companies have two editors on every book. The first one does the development editing, style, content, and such as well as catching as many of the punctuation errors as they can. Then a copy-editor/proof reader goes over the book and their only job is to find all of the typos, spelling, and grammar and punctuation that the main editor might have missed.

    That was no excuse to not pay you. They have unreal expectations and/or they were just trying to same themselves some money by dumping you without pay.

  90. Lepplady
    December 23, 2012

    All evidence to the latter.

  91. Tarrantia H
    December 23, 2012

    Either this woman and Nick P are related, or they should get married. Or both.

  92. rachel williams
    December 23, 2012

    Actually the edition I purchased was not that one I’m afraid. It was the authors cut which by date is the most current version. I asked Ms Jones about this and that was the first edition with a previous publisher that she is no longer with. I actually spoke with her for awhile. She’s nothing you make her out to be. She is planning to rebuild and move on. But she did state she would make her own post on her own blog concerning this matter. But she is talented I do believe that. Sorry to disagree but I have a right to an opinion

  93. tabetha jones
    December 24, 2012

    If your gonna take a look at my work at least get the right edition correct and also make sure it is the correct one with additions and material written the way it was supposed to be before my publisher had ideas of their own. This is the correct edition of Blood Magic.

  94. cussedness
    December 24, 2012

    Still terrible writing. And has anyone ever told you, Tabetha/Rachel/Anna that you look like a low class slut? Just my opinion. So I’m entitled to it.

  95. tabetha jones
    December 24, 2012

    I’m not sure why you call me Rachel or Anna, last time I checked my name was Tabetha Jones and pen name Zoey Sweete. Whether you like my writing or not I frankly don’t care, but calling me a low class slut when you have never met me or know me thats just going for a low blow because you had nothing better to do but pull some lame ass shit from your ass. Bitch yeah, cuss like a sailor, you bet your ass, but slut is something I have never been and will never be. I might have the tattoos, the piercings, but those are my choices. No im not a prude never have been, but a slut, sorry not my cup of tea. Now if you have an opinion that matters that you dont have to pull out of your ass and that has relevance to what is at hand here then thats fine, but low blows like that are what get people like you in trouble.

  96. cussedness
    December 24, 2012

    All of the IPs match to yours, Tabetha. Also I did not call you a slut. I said that you “looked like one” and that was an observation about your author photo. Please learn to read.

  97. Martha Wilson
    December 24, 2012

    Oh I don’t agree with the whole “slut” comment. I think that was uncalled for to be perfectly frank. Why even mention that. I’m sorry, I know everyone keeps saying they are entitled to opinions, but where does that even come into this. what does it matter what she looks like. That’s terrible and nothing to do with the false running of a company.

  98. cussedness
    December 24, 2012

    Actually, it was an exercise in the practice of semantics, and we’re seeing a lot of it here. So I used it for shock value. Might have been too strong an example. But people say something and by means of phrasing attempt to side step the implications.

  99. Scott Colbert (@ScottColbert)
    December 24, 2012

    C’mon Cuss, why insult low class sluts like that? At least they’re honest about screwing people.

  100. tabetha jones
    December 24, 2012

    My author pic was actually professionally taken but a very good friend of mine. She is a model and photogragher. But there is no reason to throw insults like that out there. Sorry if I prefer to wear clothes to show off my tattoos sorry if I prefer to wear a Smokey eye in makeup. But I don’t believe that makes me look like a slut. Now if I had a picture with tons of cleavage hanging out caked on makeup huge hoop earrings then you could say wow she looks like a slut but fortunately those party girl days for me are over and even then I wasn’t a slut. That would have been my best friend actually and she’s very proud to admit to it. So throw your insults at someone else

  101. cussedness
    December 24, 2012

    You’ve just proven my point, dear. Saying your picture looked like a slut was my way of setting you up. You stepped right into it. Be sure to visit my sister blogger, the Rusty Nail.
    We’re talking about you there also.

  102. Lepplady
    December 24, 2012

    Like button.

  103. Lepplady
    December 24, 2012

    Reblogged this on lepplady and commented:
    There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Mystic Press/Phoenix fire. Here, Cussedness brings several issues to light about these companies and their owner, Tabetha Jones. Authors drop by to voice their concerns and so does Tabetha and her many alternyms. If you’re in the mood for drama and hilarity, enjoy.

  104. Martha Wilson
    December 24, 2012

    I’ve just visited

    It seems more like the cover artist is being abused here. I think this poor girl needs to be left out of it. It’s plain cruel. They even slate her personal blog. What does that have to do with anything that is going on here. I thought this was all about a “supposed” business woman who’s only aim in life is to screw people out of money to support herself.
    I thought this was to warn people about a horrible human being and save authors from having broken dreams, not to attack a young girl who is only guilty of being friends with a nitwit. One day this girl will see Tabetha for what she truly is. Surely she shouldn’t have to be ripped apart for being a friend.

    I’ve agreed with you on most things, we seem to be on a similar wave length. I even now understand the slut comment. Well played. But I don’t agree with dragging the poor artist name through the mood. She hasn’t hurt anyone.

  105. Tarrantia
    December 24, 2012

    Um.. please tell me that this woman is not trying to claim that either her FB photo or her blog photo were “professionally taken.” The former clearly shows the top of her arm, right where every self-taken FB photo shows one, and the latter was taken in front of a not-very-well-done bathroom wall.

  106. Martha Wilson
    December 24, 2012

    mud, that should say mud. On my, I really need to read back through what I write. I’ve copied and pasted this message to another blog too. I must look so intelligent lol.

  107. Martha Wilson
    December 24, 2012

    Tarrantia – You see them on Facebook, they are not professional at all. They are what all young children take, self portraits from their phones.

  108. Rusty
    December 24, 2012

    Tab, put down the hair products, and step away from the keyboard. You are not helping yourself.

  109. Martha Wilson
    December 24, 2012

    I have to agree with Rusty.

  110. Pingback: The curious case of the disappearing blogs. | lepplady

  111. kjohn
    January 3, 2013

    I recently came into contact with Phoenix Fire and Tabetha Jones. I came across them on Facebook as I am an author looking for a small press to take on my work. In several conversations we had she was friendly and asked to see samples of my work. She was very forthcoming about the bad press Phoenix was receiving and gave me a list of all blogs so I could see for myself. She did not want anything to be left unsaid, which i found very surprising. I was offered a contract which I have had my attorney look over and she provided me with her attorney’s information to see their experience and so on. I was also accepted into the Phoenix secret group for the authors which I found almost like family. There are many posts regarding the issues of this and her warning her authors remove any thing from blogs and not get involved because you would go after them as you did her cover artist. Now I have read through all of these posts and you accuse Ms. Jones coming out guns blazing I think as you put it, but I have a question. If someone has published a blog post about you the way you had her wouldn’t you have done the same thing. Did you contact Ms. Jones for an interview to ensure the information you received was in fact truthful? Have you interview her authors to ensure she is not scamming anyone? I have done a lot of research over the last few weeks and I have found nothing claiming fraud or neglectful on her part. Now we are still in negations of a contract, but I would not sign something my attorney did not approve or clear. I would not involve myself in a business that was illegal by any means. I just say this, instead of attacking someone you do not know, and make these posts after posts of nonsense, why not act civil and go to the person themselves? I am sure Ms. Jones would have answered any and all questions you may have had for her. I am also sure her authors would answer any questions you have for them. They are all very honest, blunt, and needless to say all about business. They are not friends they are business associates. I would advise a civil email maybe or even a post here as i am sure she checks it or someone does. She was the one that gave me the link. All I am saying is maybe somewhere along lines things got crossed. Maybe the reason authors are acting out against her is because once she shut her door the quit receiving the goods. I have spoken with several that stayed, they have told me how much of her own money she puts out to buy their paperbacks, their swag items and the things she does. Maybe that is the reason people are upset because no one is holding their hand any longer dishing out the money. As for Lepplady if your daughter was not published, and money was not returned but services were done then as I have asked my attorney it can be considered services rendered. Trust me, I looked into all of this before posting before even considering putting my signature on that line. But I will say this. If she is able to work out the way I want my books to come out, some in ebook form only and the rest in print, then my signature will be on that line.

  112. Cindy White
    January 3, 2013

    let me tell you a little bit about what i know about Phoenix Fire and Tabetha Jones.. First off there are always 3 sides to every story his, hers, and the truth.. eithier way.. when Tabetha and i started to talk about me possibly being in a anthology or two, i was sceptical, because it was like as soon as i even thought about it i was being bombarded with emails and im’s bashing her to the hilt.. not her company but her, and when i didn’t respond i was sent messages about blogs concerning her company. So i called her, yes i said called, she gave me her number when we started talking so we could touch base on a more personal level.. when i asked her what the hell was going on she informed me in detail.. over 2 hours of talking to her and asking questions.. she had no problem answering any question i had, and was very honest in her part in what was going on. i signed on with her within a few weeks of our conversation, since then we have had many conversations about my work, the release date, she had a wonderful illustrator contact me to do my book cover, no she never seen any of that money, she had me work on a book trialer with her, so we got a good feel of what i wanted and what she was hoping to do for me, and the visual we were coming to get together. she got me so well that she made me a cover for my pages that was exactly what i was looking for, i feel she has been nothing but upfront and honest with me. i respect her and am grateful that she is working with me the way that she has been to get a dream of mine to come to a real acutal visualization. is tabetha perfect, no, is she going to make mistakes along the way, more than likely, am i going to stand behind her, and believe in her,, hell yeah!!!
    And for all you backstabbing, mean, cruel, asshats that want to try and trash her name well that is fine and dandy.. you keep on.. because as long as you are behind her talking trash,, you are also in the perfect position to kiss her ass as she walk away……

  113. Tarantia
    January 3, 2013

    As far as I can see, Tabby Cat has issued a “call to arms” for people to come and White Knight for her. Also, as far as I can see, if these comments are any indication of the writing ability of these so-called “authors” then she MUST be a vanity press, as no real publisher would even respond to such horrid raping of the English language, punctuation and spelling.

  114. cussedness
    January 3, 2013

    Kjohn appears to be Tabetha herself. Cindy is in Massachusetts.

    you keep on.. because as long as you are behind her talking trash,, you are also in the perfect position to kiss her ass as she walk away……

    I’m not saying anything here that I would not say to her face. As for kissing her ass as she walks away, I’m hoping that she RUNS away so I can apply a weed eater to the shit dripping down her thighs.

  115. Rusty
    January 3, 2013

    Tabs, WTF is the matter with you? Can you not recognize when your day is done? I was going to be snarky, but you really don’t deserve it.

  116. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    Personally, I could give a rat’s ass about punctuation, or my spelling when it is about how you are brow beating a person, but if i must be so pc, so be it. I really find it funny how you will take to bashing anything said by anyone concerning Tabetha’s good qualities. And for the record I live in Maryland, check your facts please.

  117. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Cinders, I have no clue who in bejeezus you are. But if you want to come out to play … hey, hey, hey!

  118. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    Oh, FFS. She just doesn’t know when to stop, does she? The woman can’t even write well enough to hide her own voice in the posts from her “friends” and “authors” coming to her defense, even though she’s been busted on that time and time again. If this is what she publishes, it’s no wonder that she’s got to resort to inbreeding reviews for her crap on Amazon. It’s pathetic and gives REAL small presses a bad name.

  119. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    Excuse me Rusty, but I do not know you, so please don’t bastardize my name. Thank you very much.

  120. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    No prob, Cinders. You can call me Rust. Deal?

  121. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    No, i’m sorry Rusty, no deal.

  122. kjohn
    January 4, 2013

    Please understand this, I wrote to you civilly and nicely. I wanted to communicate my experience with this company. As for as being accused of being Ms. Jones herself I am afraid you are mistaken. You seem to do that alot when proven wrong in any given situation. I see that anytime someone provides real evidence of a legit company you look for everything you can to literally trash this woman. Has she ever done anything to you? Were you ever signed with her? Have you ever had a conversation with her one on one to find out what is really going on? I frankly don’t care who you accuse me of being, but this one sided view is a load of crap. Why don’t all of you take a step back contact her and talk to her directly? Oh wait, I know why. Because then you will be made to look like a fool. She has told her authors not to get involved. But they have a mind of their own. Just as Cindy White. She came on her of her on accord not because Ms. Jones asked her too. We are simply trying to state that maybe you get your facts wrong. Maybe you aren’t as clever as you believe and just maybe in the end you will look like an idiot. I think you aren’t willing to be civil and contact her is because you are scared. I think this woman has enough evidence to put you all behind closed doors begging for forgiveness. My attorney checked her out all of it. Believe what you want. Do what you want. No i didn’t use my real because I didn’t want to be attacked as Lindsay was and now Cindy. But just the few weeks that I have known this woman she has done more for more than any publisher or agent I have known. She has bent over backwards and jumped through hoops if you will. Be a man, not a puss. If you believe so firmly that she is so bad then go to the source. It the interview. Host her on your blog with a series of questions. Do it the right way. Quit all the hate bashing and act like an adult. Be an adult. Do not as a child. But you don’t know me, but yet you want to accuse me? That is not being a man. That is not being professional. Being professional would be going to Tabetha Jones herself and talking one on one. But sire I do not believe you have the balls for that, excuse my language.

  123. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Wall-o”-text. DNR.

  124. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    If anybody could get a straight answer out of Tabetha in the first place, she wouldn’t be on any of these blogs.

  125. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    Lepplady, are you really that bored with your pathetic life that you have to ride Tabetha’s “dick”??? I mean seriously, all you can do is go and flap your gums about nothing you really know anything about. If you gave as much attention to your life as you did what was going on or supposidly going on with Tabetha and her publishing company, you probably would have a satisfied man. Get a life, and leave her alone.

  126. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    Who said I was a “man,” Kjohn? LOL. I am WOMAN hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore” and we’re not about to put up with your lies. And Cinders, you do realize that your IP is only two tiny numbers off from my own and I’m in Massachusetts.

  127. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Wow. Cinders has a problem.

  128. Sandy6278
    January 4, 2013

    I’ve read all of the blogs, and forums about Tabetha Jones. My conclusion, there is far too much evidence that she is a swindler. That saddens me. I honestly hoped that she would proffer the “proof” she claims to have, but she didn’t. I am going to self-publish. This whole ordeal has made me take a step back and view this vanity press for what it is– a scam.

    Thank you Cussedness for shining a spotlight on this. I can’t speak for anyone else, but you saved me. I was going to submit to Mystic Press (Phoenix Fire)


  129. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    “…are you really that bored with your pathetic life that you have to ride Tabetha’s “dick”??” TABETHA HAS A DICK! SHE’S A TRANNY!

  130. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    Rusty, my dear this will be my last posting towards you but you are a child.

  131. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    And you, Cinders, cannot write your way out of a used paper condom.

  132. kjohn
    January 4, 2013

    Well, considering that you probably haven’t tried talking to her only trashing her good name then maybe so wouldn’t come across so guns blazing. I think what you have done to this woman is cruel and uncalled for. No one is perfect, did authors get hurt when she shut her doors yes. Did they stop receiving the handouts she gave? Yes. Do you think that upset the, I believe so. I also believe that after looking through these posts and several other you are just plan mad because your daughter could not write a solid piece of material to be published. Yes, she gave responsibility to a submission manager as some companies do, trusting her that she would make the right choice. Her name is Cindy Carlo. She was also manager of Zapyhre Marketing and Public relations before it became Mystic Marketing and Public relations and she fired her for over abusing her power. Now, if I can find that out through the web and my attorney a bit of an investigator then anyone else can. Nothing ever leaves the internet. And Lepplady do you know that having a false company page up is really and slightly not a wise idea. I came across it when looking for Phoenix, thank goodness I messaged the other one instead of you. People do your homework. Its really not all that hard to figure out. And the person claiming to be Wendy is Wendy. already had that checked too. She did go to court. I know because I was there. I have been with this since day one. I know all about Wendy Hunyor, Brandy Peay, Raine Banks, Laine Banks, Skeleton Key publishing Impulse marketing, all those people listed are the con artists here that left Ms.Jones a handful of lies and debt. I have set back and watched all of it. I have known it all, and seen it all, but Ms. Jones was never aware. I tried signing with Mystic when the previous owners had it and was told no. So I set back and watched. I watched mystic close and Phoenix open. I gave it a shot. I was cautious and did my research and my homework but I see no one else did. Now, again, who i am is not of concern.

  133. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    too funny,Cussedness, that is obviously how you was conceived, a paper condom, because no real woman would dare have you as a child.

  134. Amanda
    January 4, 2013

    Wow, Cindy, for someone who didn’t want to get involved in any drama, you sure are quick to jump into the middle of a shit storm of it aren’t you.

  135. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    WOW wall of text again. Kjohn, Thea’s writing could easily have become publishable with a guided re-write from one of my company’s development editors. But Tabetha can’t edit worth a rat’s ass, much less development edit.

  136. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    All I was saying before people got petty and wanted to Bastardize my name, as if they have the right, was it wasn’t fair to just bash Tabetha, if they wanted to know the truth they should just ask. I personally don’t care one way or the other what anyone thinks, Tabetha has done nothing wrong to me. Until she has, which i highly doubt, I am backing her and Phoenix Fire. People really need to grow up, stop trying to bring high school into the mix, I mean really, he said she said. This is really pathetic and sad.

  137. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    You really take yourself way too seriously, Cinders. And as for high school, I’d love to go back just to oogle all the lovely young jail bait. However, that’s not going to happen. You’re full of shit. I wish I had Spider Jerusalem’s bowel disrupter right now

  138. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    Well, since you already said you was a man, what more would anyone expect from a loser who hides behind a pc to bash a grown woman. Obviously, you can’t get a real woman so you would want to go oogle little girls.. eww can we say gross. ya pervert.

  139. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    I never once said I was a man and if you had bothered to check my about page, you’d know it. I don’t know where you got that idea. I don’t want to oogle little girls. I want to oogle little boys and remember what it felt like to be a teenager forty years ago.

  140. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    So sorry, I stand corrected, a pathetic wannabe cougar.. even worse.

  141. Sandy6278
    January 4, 2013

    Didn’t Cussedness already say she was a woman? I’ve checked her profile and books out already.
    And, Cindy– It should be “Well, since you already said you were a man,”
    Sorry, I can’t help myself. I’m a creative writing student. Incorrect grammar is my pet peeve.


  142. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    How is it wrong to treasure a period in your life that was interesting and romantic? I don’t chase younger men. I’m a well-known bi-sexual gender queer and I find all that I need and want in the LBGTQ community. I’m not interested in boring mundanes like yourself.

  143. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    Oh no, the grammar police. I am soooo scared, please forgive me your highness. Didn’t know that this was a test.

  144. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013


  145. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    AWWWW, she’s sleepy. Maybe you need your nappies changed and go to beddie bye.

  146. Sandy6278
    January 4, 2013

    Wow. It wasn’t a test. But, if this is how you treat someone just being friendly, and pointing out an obvious weakness–I feel for your editor.
    As a student, when someone suggests something to me I can learn and grow from, I usually listen. Not act like one of the mean girls to whom I detested.


  147. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    No, you just bore me. I do thank you for proving a point, you don’t care who you are bitching at or bashing as long as you have somone to do it to. You my dear, are so boring, I am done with this. Have fun bashing and being so sad in your life. You really are a disgrace to womanhood. You do prove how catty you can be. I commend you for letting your true colors show.

  148. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Jeezus Cinders, go to bed.

  149. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    Wow, it seems that Tabetha does have a dick, as she seems to have quite a hard on for me.

    The low-class insults getting flung around by Tabetha’s “friends” and “authors” are typical of her childish playground mentality. When facts fail, let fly with personal attacks. Predictable and unintelligent. Just what I’d expect from her.

    Amusing, though. I’ll bet she’s sitting at her keyboard giggling her ass off, thinking she’s clever, getting all these zingers off on us, when all she’s doing is showing what an intellectual infant she is.

  150. Tarantia
    January 4, 2013

    I highly doubt that you are being published by anyone without having to pay quite a lot of money as you can barely hammer out a four word sentence that does not appear to have been cross-translated through Bing and Google about four times.

  151. Tarantia
    January 4, 2013

    Good grief, Cindy. Your reading comprehension is as terrible as your writing!

  152. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    Oh goodness, and they say Tabetha has friends coming out of the woodwork, seems Cussedness can command her cockroaches quite well. If you would have read, I said i stand corrected, blah talk about beating a dead horse.

  153. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    We did do our homework.
    This amazing, wonderful editor Cindy Carlo is Tabetha’s mother. ‘Nuff said.

  154. Sandy6278
    January 4, 2013

    The more I read from these “authors”, the more I cringe.
    Cussedness, again- Thank you for saving me from the same fate as the other authors I’ve read about.
    LeppLady, I applaud you! Fight for your child. I think someone mentioned her name as Thea? With a mom like you at her side, I have no doubts her book will be published and a great hit 🙂
    I think that I’m done following all of it. This “Tabetha” girl makes my head hurt trying to unravel the lies. Checking out a publisher shouldn’t be that difficult. I’m going to let my Professor and class know what’s going on. It will make for a great discussion.
    Again, Thank you Cussedness.


  155. Tarantia
    January 4, 2013

    For someone who has said, more than a few times, that she was “done” and would “no longer comment,” you sure have a problem SHUTTING THE FUCK UP, don’t you? And if you truly are not Tabby herself, then you are going against the very wishes of the Paragon of Virtue who has Done No Wrong by keeping this going, aren’t you?

  156. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    Thanks Sandy. Yes, my daughter’s name is Thea. Tabetha scammed the wrong person when she ripped off my kid.

  157. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    All snarkiness aside, if you cannot properly write a blog comment, then you cannot write a decent piece of fiction. The two go hand in hand. While the snarking is fun, I must admit here that there are more serious issues to consider. With so many authors having been harmed by Tabetha, the statistical likelihood of Tabetha being innocent is reduced to zero.

  158. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Cut your losses, Cinders.

  159. Amanda
    January 4, 2013

    kjohn, I find it strange that in your first post you claim you recently came into contact with Tabetha Jones and ran across Phoenix Fire on Facebook. You then later claim you have been following this company from the beginning and through its many name and owner changes. Which is it? Also for only recently coming into contact with them, (if that is the story you choose) you seem to have learned a lot and gotten information (i.e. a lawyer’s name) no one else has been able to get.

  160. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    ^^ Like button, Amanda.

  161. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Amanda, see above.

  162. Tabetha Jones
    January 4, 2013

    Now, I have sat back and watched these comments and it saddens me that Lepplady you are about to be proven wrong once more. I dont know how this KJohn knew Cindy Carlo worked for me but she is NOT my mother. My mother is Darlene Jones, my birth mother is Denise Burnette. Cindy Carlo dated my father, back when I was in my teens and early twenties. She was like family and I trusted her with an important job. Unfortunately I had to let her go. She wasn’t doing her job properly and I am sorry your daughter got hurt, but I offered to work with her one on one to help her rewrite. To form out the plot and storyline so it would flow. I offered my betas and editors to help as well, but she insisted on her beta. As i told her, no offense but I prefer to work with the people I know and trust. I do not know this person and would prefer you use the women i know that have years of experience. I do have the emails if you would like to see where she denied the help of myself, and my editors, and my betas. And let’s correct something, I never said I did heavy editing. I do a once look over and if i see something I mark using the track changes, then I send it off for round two to another editor. Then it is sent to the author. Then back to the editor, then I have the final look over. Also Phoenix Fire does not represent only paranormal romance, was more wrong. We accept all genres. In fact we have several releasing that are none paranormal. As for KJohn I have a feeling it is Brandy herself. She would be the only one that would know all that information but she is not apart of our group. I also have a question for Janrae. I was told that you have a fraudulent copy of Stacey Rourkes book and have it for sale under your name collecting royalties. I have also been informed that this is what you like to do for fun. You find someone and play a cat and mouse game with them, all for fun. Its what you do. You have done it not only to me, my cover artist, now one of my authors, but many many more that i have a long list of. No, in Texas you do not have to register to run a business from your home. I keep all invoices and come tax time i will file and everything that was Mystic and Now Phoenix will be filed. Even though i am not registered i still have to file it with tax return. Now, you have bluntly called me a slut, bashed me, told me my writing was crap, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but this KJohn whoever they are, does make some damn good points. Why didn’t you be a woman and come to me for answers before publishing something that you knew nothing about. I would have answered any and all questions. I would have given you any piece of evidence you asked for. i have nothing to hide. And yes I imagine the authors are upset, I did put out alot of money and I have every receipt to prove it, every invoice from pay pal. I keep everything. I am not stupid, I am not a con artist. I am not Wendy hunyor. Yes, I made a mistake when i took over Mystic Press without asking questions and finding out what was really going on. I blame myself for that but once I found out I tried to make Mystic a better company. I tried to show people it wasnt the same and I wouldnt do what Wendy did, but people believed they could do it to me. Would you like to see all the unpaid invoices I was stuck with. Would like to know who paid for all the cover art because everyone shafted me. I did. slowly but I paid Lindsay every penny. Now I am working on paying Must Love Fangs. With my own money. Because the authors left their cover art unpaid. Yes i charge for the cover art and i use to invoice for that but now the artist directly invoices the author because of all the unpaid invoices. Thea for example, was contacted first my Must Love fangs and she worked several concepts. I have messages from fangs saying that she did not respond for almost 30 days and left her hanging then denied the artwork. So she redid it and again weeks and weeks passed before she heard anything. Same with Lindsay. She didnt want it and these people took time out of their schedule to work on these concepts and she pushed them all away. Once i got involved with Thea, I was never told neither was my submission manager at the time she wanted it Anime. More like a graphic novel. We dont do that. I explained to her that anime copyright laws are different and the things she wanted to use were copyrighted and could not be used. It always took her weeks or months to respond. That was breach in itself. But i tried working with her. I sent her book off to betas and editors for a look over. All agreed a rewrite. I tried working with her but everything i offered she turned her nose up and i have no problem copy and pasting anything or forwarding emails. Those editors were paid out of my pocket. No she will not receive a refund because services were rendered and she was in breach of contract. And for the record, all books have been transferred over to the Phoenix createspace and all say Phoenix now since you were so worried about that. I know this is long but i am making sure i cover everything for everyone. Why you would believe that I am this long list of people is beyond me. I would not pretend to be wendy, or this kjohn i dont have time for it. She “Wendy” sent me the same email. And i took the advice of a friend and sent her an email from an unknown email address, asking if this was the wendy that used to own eye candy marketing because i was needing artwork. I was told to go to Impulse Marketing or Skull Candy Graphics and to have a good day. Those are two companies her, brandy and wendys husband own. I dont know why she would post on here, i dont know if it is her, i dont know who the hell kjohn is but i sure would like to. I want to know who knows all of that information. And as far as my attorneys information why is it so important. Really. Mr. Herring and his son are wonderful people and have worked with my family for years. If I am in need of business questions or help they are there. They drew up my contracts. My release forms. But what I really dont understand is if I was you cussedness I would have emailed you directly before posting anything. I would have interviewed you talked to you, found out the real deal. My authors, yes i told them to remove their blogs posts where they did their pieces on me. They were up long enough for people to see the truth. As for the ones that “ride in” to defend me. I dont ask them to. I dont tell them to. They do it because they have a head on their shoulders and a mind of their own. Yes I have asked them to refrain due to the fact that if anyone comes at you with evidence that i am not a con or i am telling the truth you attack them. You dont take it for what it is worth; the truth. This really has gone too far, and i want to know what needs to be done so you will keep my name from your lips and my company off your page. This is getting out of hand and I am sick of it. You are trashing someone that busts their butt for their authors and does everything they can to give them the chance for their dream. Like KJohn stated, yeah they probably did get pissed. And the answer was right, the hand outs stopped. I spent alot money on all of them. i almost lost my fiance because of the time i put into it. I spent more time working than I did with him. It consumed me. No one knows that. But if i have missed anything or if you care to discuss this one on one Janrae and get whatever it is you need then you have my email address. Feel free to use it. As for everyone else, unless you were there and know me, then do not speak on things you know nothing about. It really makes you look like a fool. So let this be the end. I know your game, I know you think you have won, but it doesnt work that way cussedness. its a game for you, i am just a toy. but playtime is over. find someone else to trash because I really am sick of the crap you post. Dont you have writing to do? A company to run? Yet you are so wrapped up in my business you cant do any of your own. All of you. Drop it, its over, done, dead. Wrap it up and bury it. Period.

  163. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    WALL OF TEXT. Every author needs a hobby, you became mine the day you left that first comment and all the games started. Live with it. I produce a million words of good copy, including revisions, a year. Incidentally, I never got your tweet because as soon as Twitter sent me a notice that you were following me, I blocked you. I saw it on your author page when I was comparing our sales rankings. I have a far larger fan base than you do.

    I will not stay silent about someone who harms the innocent. Deal with it. I am the Paladin of Curmudgeonry and you have pissed in the wrong blog.

  164. Tarantia
    January 4, 2013

    For the most part, you were simply another example of scamming and something to shake my head over. However, now that you have thrown in a seriously libelous comment concerning “Stacey Rourke” and some alleged fraud, you have earned an enemy for life, Tabetha Jones. I suggest you backtrack ASAP, as well as contacting your lawyer to help cover your ass as there is now a very large target on it.

  165. Lily Crussell
    January 4, 2013

    I think this has gone from facts to name calling, and we all have better things to be doing. If you want the facts of my dealings with Mystic/TJ, contact me. I have nothing to gain from lying about it, but I think this has gone from productive and prsenting facts to calling people ‘sluts’ and getting quite petty on both sides which doesn’t make ANYONE look good.

  166. kjohn
    January 4, 2013

    I see that cussesdness did not bother to speak on any of Ms.Jones’ questions. However I am in the group and a Stephanie Brentson was the one that told Ms. Jones about Stacey Rourke and was very specific on the during next. Saying that cussedness had the nook with the old covet for sale under their company for 5.99. Tabetha had every right to ask about this considering all the false allegations you have made against her. I was completely shocked. And to answer Amanda yes I ran across the new page and it was my first time speaking with tabetha because when I submitted before it was Brandy that turned me down I never spoke with tabetha. But I started hearing rumors from authors such kymberly Burks miller and Stacey Rourke herself that mystic had conned them. Wendy had charged 7 or 8 authors close to 500 dollars for publishing and then signed the company off to Tabetha Jones. I watched it all play out. At the time I had a good author friend on the inside so to speak. She knew both Wendy and Tabetha friends with both and I discovered Wendy was nothing but a thief. Tabetha merely got caught in the middle. As for her shutting down her reasons are not false. They are all truthful. But Ms Jones asked several questions which you avoided. And instead you raised your guard when she gave you every opportunity to speak as adults. And I apologize on one blog there was a statement made that you were a man while others say a woman. Tell how was I to know. How do we not know all the people you have backing you aren’t alts as you like to call them. It seems perfectly fine when someone comes in to trash this woman and even ha e the nerve to call her a slut talk about her hair and think of every low insult you could and were praised for it. Yet when people come on to tell you that the information you have is wrong it is almost like a law has been broken. I might add she didn’t piss on your blog until you allowed loafs of crap to be written on this site. Maybe she would have actually been a bit nicer if you had come about it a different way. So don’t complain about her alone take a look at the other filth that has piled up on this sad site. You openly admitted you were toying with her and that cussedness doesn’t look good. Lily looks as if you finally got some sense about you. To see that this has been taken to trash and disgusting loads of bull. Its not about the facts any longer its about what cussedness can think of next to trash someones name whether it is Tabetha or merely someone as myself making a post in her favor. People get torn to shreds because their opinion of her and the company is not the same as yours. Shame you. Shame on you all. Playing childish games throwing trashy insults because you believe this to be a hobby. For Pete’s sake I believe you seriously need a new life. One without hate. It must get tiring being so obsessed with one woman makes be wonder cussedness are we sweet on tabetha? Is that why you constantly talk about her obsess about her so. Ahh that is brilliant. I believe I found the clue we all have been looking for. Cussedness wants Ms. Jones needs her…
    .ha ha. Ha

  167. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    You know, Tabetha, you amuse me. Since you’re slinging around an accusation of copyright infringement against Jan, I’d like to see something approaching proof. None of this “he said, she said” bullshit. If you do have some proof, maybe you want to call in your e-lawyer. You could pay him with a few non-existent books, or a stale slice of leftover pizza. From what I gather, that’s more than your authors receive.

  168. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    Tabetha says: “Now I am working on paying Must Love Fangs. With my own money. Because the authors left their cover art unpaid.”

    Part of the money you charge authors for up front is for cover art. No you don’t pay your artists out of your own pocket. You’re supposed to be paying them out of your authors’s pockets. If your artists aren’t getting paid, it’s because you’re keeping the money, then siccing the artist on the author to try and get money directly from them.

    Tabetha says: “Thea for example, was contacted first my Must Love fangs and she worked several concepts. I have messages from fangs saying that she did not respond for almost 30 days and left her hanging then denied the artwork.”

    First, “almost 30 days” is less than the 30 days your contract allows for. Thank you for putting that in print and proving that she did not breach your contract.
    Secondly, I did Thea’s cover art. Your artist admittedly couldn’t copy and paste a catboy, so I drew it by hand myself.

    You can TRY to put as much spin as you want on it but you can’t change what’s in black and white. You screwed my kid just like you screw everybody else. I’d call you a(n il)literary hooker, but johns at least get something for that money.

    What needs to be done? Pay the authors you’ve stolen money from. Pay the people that have provided you services, both editing and artistic. Stop being a lying, cheating scam and blaming authors when you rip them off. IF that ever happens, nobody will have anything to bitch about, will they?

  169. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    I don’t understand what Tabetha is basing her accusation of copyright infringement on. With one exception, all of my books up on kindle are reprints of my titles which came out from Renaissance Ebooks. Long before I knew that Tabetha even existed. The one exception is Blood Lies, the ninth book in my Dark Brothers of the Light series, is an original that was published a year ago this month.

  170. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Tabs is blowing smoke out her ass. You know that. We all do.

  171. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    Skeleton Key Press, which is owned by Wendy under a pseudonym, did INDEED steal the book, Conduit, by Stacey Rourke. They had it up for a year without Stacey knowing it. Meanwhile, Stacey had started selling her book herself, having legally taken back her rights to it. If you use the “look inside” feature on Stacey’s books, you’ll see that she’s a fine author.

    Tabetha is trying to imply (I guess) a connection between myself and Skeleton Key or something.

    Cindy White left similar comments on Emily Suess’ blog to what she left here on the first post about Phoenix Fire.

  172. Tarantia
    January 4, 2013

    Hey, “Kjohn” – I notice that YOU avoid several things Tab said as well, including that you are NOT who you claim to be, and that she basically called you full of shit. Also, several of your sentences make absolutely no sense whatsoever, so I still call you out on this “being an author” bullshit. If you are an author, I am a unicorn. In addition to that, you stated several times in your wall o’text comments that you’ve spoken to Tabby several times, though now you say to Amanda that you didn’t, in fact, talk to her. How about you get your lies straight before you post, as well as getting your lawyer/editor/fairy godmother to proofread your hideously written commentary?

  173. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    You don’t have to explain anything, Cuss. There’s one “author” commenting on this blog that puts out books that sound suspiciously like rip-offs of other people’s work, and it isn’t you.

  174. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    Thanks, lepp. With such wall of text comments as I am seeing from Tabetha et al, it is very easy to miss something.

  175. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    I own a skeleton key. It opens my hutch. If that’s the only tenuous connection these folks need, then they are ridiculous.

  176. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    They’ll grasp at any straw to try to disprove or discredit the people speaking out. But, try as they might, they can’t weasel out of the basic immutable fact that they lie, cheat, scam and steal.

  177. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    Dis-information is always comprised of a combination of lies and half-truths. Tabetha tosses out a lot of those at random hoping that something will stick. The one thing that Cinders, Tabby, and Kjohn have in common is an inability to use paragraphs.

  178. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    And those walls O text.

  179. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Yeah, that wall-o’-text thing is a dead giveaway.

  180. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    So are their voices, syntax, spelling tendency to start sentences with “well” or “now,” inability to complete a cohesive sentence with both hands and a flashlight… all those little “tells” that give “them” away each and every time. It’s funny, because they keep getting called on it, but keep right on doing it anyway.
    If nothing else, it says loud and clear what kind of writers they are. Piss poor.

  181. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

  182. Stunned and dismayed
    January 4, 2013

    I’m guessing that Tabetha and her idiot sidekicks do not realize that a large portion of the indie writing community is watching this play out. Authors, readers, and bloggers are among those paying attention. Each new author who arrives to defend her is sending their career into a major nose dive. As a reader, reviewer, and blogger myself, I can assure you that I will not bother to read any of their books. I will not promote any of their books. The complete lack of professionalism displayed by these wannabe authors attempting to defend her, is a clear indication that they are not ready to be published.

    In addition, Kjohn, how dare you bring the names of innocent bystanders, who have absolutely nothing to do with this mess, out into a public forum? And not just first names, their entire name. These people do not deserve this treatment! You’ve added fairly well known authors into this shit storm without any consideration on how this could effect their livelihoods and reputations. Whether you are Tabetha Jones or not, for that alone you are despicable.

  183. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Stunned — go take a nap. You need it.

  184. Tarantia
    January 4, 2013

    I have a collection of skeleton keys, including two eight inch long old prison keys; my collection stands are about forty five skeleton keys at the moment. I guess that means I’m going to Hell for thievery – and all the people involved with the movie “Skeleton Key” must have stolen a whole bunch of stuff!

  185. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    Stunned is fine, Rusty. She’s not a troll. I know who she is. And she’s referring to the paranormal romance community authors. I’m still learning to recognize all the names.

  186. Tarantia
    January 4, 2013

    Tabetha, you may wish to employ your right to remain silent, although I doubt that you have the ability. Guess what? An author with a REAL publisher does NOT pay for their cover art. An author with a REAL publisher does NOT pay for editing. An author with a REAL publisher does NOT pay for copies of their own books. Crowing about paying for such things “out of your own pocket” just shows how much of a real publisher you are not, as that is exactly what you are *supposed* to do. For you to expect some sort of pat on the back for doing your job only proves one of two things: either you have no idea what the hell you are doing, OR you are a (rather poor) con-artist who is crying WAH for getting caught with both hands in the till.
    By the way, I’d love to know the following: your lawyer’s name, the name of his/her firm and the business address. I need to know where to send information for the class action lawsuit from all the people you have cheated via your “publishing company/companies.”

  187. Thea Larson
    January 4, 2013

    Time to jump in with a few cents. Sorry for any impending snark. And for my own wall of text.

    “I offered to work with her one on one to help her rewrite.”

    Yes, you offered. At the time I wanted some assurance that you wouldn’t leave me out $165 again and tell me that my book was still not publishable. Now, after seeing your wall o’texts, I’m glad things worked out this way. I’d rather not have your sticky fingers all over my catboy. I’m sure he’s grateful for it too.

    ” I offered my betas and editors to help as well, but she insisted on her beta.”

    These are the same betas and editors that said my book was crap. I asked for info on how to change my book and what to fix, but all you would tell me is that ‘it needs work and doesn’t flow.’ With that track record, I wanted to have an outside eye look at it before I sent it back to your ‘betas’ and ‘editors’.

    “Thea for example, was contacted first my Must Love fangs and she worked several concepts. I have messages from fangs saying that she did not respond for almost 30 days and left her hanging then denied the artwork. So she redid it and again weeks and weeks passed before she heard anything.”

    Oh, how many things are wrong with this statement. The only time I left Fangs hanging was after you told me my book was crap and you wouldn’t publish it – what point was there in contacting the cover artist for a book that wouldn’t get published? I did contact her, eventually, once I figured out that you were waiting out those thirty days so you could hold me in breech. Also, I was watching one conversation thread for Fangs to reply – she ended up contacting me from an entirely different account. No wonder I overlooked it.

    What artwork was there to even deny? I never saw anything. I gave her lots of input on what she could do for my cover. I even sketched out a couple of crappy heads with some cat ears to show her how easy it was. All I got from Fangs eventually was that her catboys weren’t any good at all and did I have some other kind of concept for her. Which I gave her. Instead of the cat ears, I suggested that she put my boy in a bandanna to hide his cat ears (something he wears in-story). I didn’t hear anything after that.

    “Once i got involved with Thea, I was never told neither was my submission manager at the time she wanted it Anime. More like a graphic novel. We dont do that. I explained to her that anime copyright laws are different and the things she wanted to use were copyrighted and could not be used.”

    I believe my exact words were that I wanted my cover “DRAWN in the anime style” (emphasis added). I even linked you to a cover as an example. This is the cover, and I remember it vividly because I was fangirling over this book at the time:

    It was only after that I realized that your “artists” were only skilled with photoshop. Once I realized that, you’ll recall that I outsourced my artwork. Thank you Lepplady. ( I was then given an email for Fangs, which I utilized to no avail. I sent the artwork and got no word back.

    I think I’ve hit all your points, Tabby-cat. Saying that I should never have been signed doesn’t absolve you of responsibility. Just pay me back my money so I can go on my merry way. I can’t promise that Lepplady will stay away, though. My mummy holds grudges.

  188. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    Mothers hold grudges a lot better than daughters, we’ve had more experience at it 🙂

    What makes your comment not a wall o’text is the fact that you use paragraphs. Thank you for posting this.

  189. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    Tabetha keeps saying that she doesn’t have to pay Thea back because artists and editors have been paid so the money is gone.
    Just to clarify, Tabetha’s contract says that the author pays the following fees for the following reasons:
    I. $87.50 (USD) for Lightning Source (per title)

    II. $35.00 (USD) Createsapce + 1 proof copy (includes shipping) per title

    III. $20.00 (USD) Cover Art per title (unless author has own)

    First, createspace is free until/unless an author opts for extended distribution. Thea’s book never got published so she owes zero for createspace. Same thing with Lightningsource, I believe.
    I did her artwork and Tabetha promised to return the artist’s fee for that, which she hasn’t.
    Nowhere in those fees does it say squat about the author paying for editorial services. That means that Tabetha, according to her own contract, owes my daughter every penny she paid.
    I apologize for the colloquialism, but… BOO YA!

  190. Lepplady
    January 4, 2013

    And, yes. Yes I do. 🙂

  191. Cindy White
    January 4, 2013

    People, please let’s stop this nonsense. You all have had your teeth in Tabetha, and have said what you wish to say. This is getting redundant and quite boring, to be honest. I mean if you can’t bash Tabetha, then you go after peoples way of saying things when they are upset or frustrated with the bullshit.
    I do apologize that I didn’t write things in the proper way, but when I am upset I just let things flow and punctation and all be damned. Now i see that no matter how I say anything or what I say it is going to be taken out of context due to the fact that I am supporting my publisher.
    Lepplady, if your daughter was truely cheated, I am sorry. Rusty, I have no clue about you you are a strange duck. Cussedness, you keep on doing you so to speak, it is the only thing I do believe you are good at. Stirring shit, as my grammy used to say. Some people aren’t happy til they are hurting someone, or being a jackass. The rest of you, I just feel sorry that one person got so many people rilled up and upset, it truely is a sad state of affairs.
    Tabetha, I am going to continue to back you and stand by you. As far as I know you have been straight up and honest with me, and I appreciate it. You told me exactly what was going on and I joined with you knowing in my heart I can trust you, and know that if there was any problems you would be honest with me. Kjon, you really rock.
    Unless, I feel the need to say anything else, this will be my last input on the matter. I don’t appreciate the nickname Cinders, it is degrading and a total insult. I respectfully request you all cease and desist that insulting name.

    Thank you

  192. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Oh, dear. I need a baked potato.

  193. John Godly
    January 4, 2013

    Cindy, I would love to side with you, however, Tabetha does not seem to be one with god. I for one prefer god to greed and wrath. I think Tabetha needs to go to Jesus for advice on how to live her life. Her habit of pretending to be other people strikes me as dishonesty. I feel that it is not Christ-like to be so dishonest. I wish her the best should she move back to the correct path and pay back these poor people instead of living in, what I feel, is greed. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins.

  194. cussedness
    January 4, 2013

    WOW, Cinders paragraphed it.

  195. Author Jane Doe
    January 4, 2013

    This whole feud is ridiculous. If authors had a real case they would settle it legally and shut up about it. Those who are keeping this going aren’t doing anything but showing their ignorance. Why don’t you all go back to creating books instead of drama?

    I am a former Mystic Press author whose book was never published. I watched as other authors created drama within the group and wished to take my leave based on that and a few other things I found disconcerting at the time. Ms. Jones wasn’t happy about my decision, but I was let go without incident. Why was I treated fairly while others seemed to be treated to the contrary? I’ve wondered this as I’ve watched this feud unfold. I suppose time will tell.

    Don’t get me wrong, there were things I found disconcerting. The fees for so called traditional publishing topping the list. However, they were clearly itemized in the contract I received and I still signed it, so did everyone else. If this were really a deal breaker for anyone they wouldn’t have signed, even if they did wonder how it was traditional publishing. I bring this point up because this seems to be the point you’re all dwelling on. The fees weren’t hidden, so when you’re looking for someone to blame for them I suggest looking in a mirror.

  196. The 50 Foot Ant
    January 4, 2013

    So, are we going to see any “proof” that Daverana Enterprises is publishing Stacey Rourke’s book? Or is it just going to be wild allegations without any proof at all.

    I’d like to see a citation come out of Killeen Texas, a place well known for the “Attack attack attack” methodology of defense, as well as wild accusations and desperate allegations.

    Since I just looked over the ENTIRE author line, book line, product line, and everything put out by Daverana for the last FOUR YEARS, and found nothing regarding “Stacey Rourke” in any of the databases.

    Give me citations, or crawl back to your trailer home on Turkey Run Road.

  197. Author Jane Doe
    January 4, 2013

    Just to clear up any doubt any of you may have, I’m not endorsing Ms. Jones at all. After everything I went through with other companies this year I’m content to be an self-published Indie author, until one of the Big Six finds me. Writer Beware!

  198. Curious Observer
    January 4, 2013

    First and foremost this post is not going to mention any names. This is from a contract that is or previously been handed out to authors looking for a publisher to get their work out. The purpose of this post is to show any and all upcoming authors how publishers are scamming over new authors. As stated, there will be no names mentioned.

    Example of a Contract:

    B. The author may request their book be put into POD (Print on Demand) at the author’s expense. Author agrees to pay printing costs to the publisher prior to the publisher submitting the work to print.

    I. $87.50 (USD) for Lightning Source (per title)

    II. $35.00 (USD) Createsapce + 1 proof copy (includes shipping) per title

    III. $20.00 (USD) Cover Art per title (unless author has own)

    B. Cover art will be provided by Publisher. If the Author has his/her own cover art, the Author must warrant that the provided art is either owned by the Author or that it does not infringe on any copyright.

    C. Publisher reserves final approval of art in consultation with Author.

    This example is only parts of the contract and does not fully cover everything. One must read all of the contract and make sure you have a lawyer look over it.

    All over this contract it has been said that the publisher will pay for the cover art. Question number 1…if the publisher is paying for cover art then how is the cover artists attacking the author and asking for money? Question 2…How does anyone have outstanding invoices if the money from up above has been paid to the publishers?
    This comment is from a “publisher or press”: I did. slowly but I paid ***** every penny. Now I am working on paying ******** With my own money. Because the authors left their cover art unpaid. Yes i charge for the cover art and i use to invoice for that but now the artist directly invoices the author because of all the unpaid invoices.
    Question 3…How did the publisher pay money out of pocket if the author has already paid for cover art? Question 4 … Where is the money go that paid for the cover art?
    We will not know what is going on between author, publisher, or cover artist. All involved need to make sure they know the real deal behind what is going on.

  199. Rusty
    January 4, 2013

    Your grammar is scramtastic, Jane. Just thought you’d like to know.

  200. Author Jane Doe
    January 5, 2013

    I sympathize with your plight, Rusty. Well, not really, since you’ve accomplished nothing. Even if you were somehow able to rid the virtual world of Ms. Jones there are a million more to take her place. Gonna devote all your time to blogger bash all of them??? Gee, that sounds productive. NOT!!!!!!

  201. Rusty
    January 5, 2013

    I was waiting for someone like you to come along.

  202. Tarantia
    January 5, 2013

    Dear Jane Doe,
    “In order for evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men to do nothing.” -Edward Burke

  203. The 50 Foot Ant
    January 5, 2013

    I still find it interesting that authors must pay for their covers and get billed for them. Last time I checked the publishing company paid for covers, because once a cover is used by a company for a book it can’t really be republished with the same cover or it runs the risks of confusion.

    What is the point in “giving the author rights to the cover” anyway? No other publisher will reuse a cover from another company. What the hell is the author going to do with the cover art? What is the point of that? Nothing beyond defraying the costs for the publisher. What’s next? Forcing the author to pay for professional editing? Forcing them to pay for advertising? If so, what is the point of the company’s percentage?

    What risks is the publisher taking by charging the author for the cover, the editing, the layout, and distribution? What are they doing to earn their percentage? Otherwise, there is nothing that the publishing company is doing that the author themselves couldn’t do for themselves.

    And I’ve checked repeatedly. Nowhere can I find any place where Janrae Frank is selling the works of Stacey Rourke, and I’ve checked all the major and minor self-publishing venues.

    Is Tabetha making poor decisions that take advantage of authors and earning her an unfair cut of the author’s profits, profiting on their work and not taking any risks for herself? From what I’ve seen, it surely looks that way.

    Now we see Tabetha and various sock-puppet accounts trying to claim plagiarism and theft in the desperate attempt to deflect any criticism of their own business practices. Before long, if this runs true to form, we should see someone coming in and making veiled internet toughguy threats to defend Tabetha, which will do nothing more than harm her case.

    Tabetha, take my advice: Earn your percentage. Take on the costs for the cover, editing, layout, advertising, and distribution. In no way shape or form should you be charging an author for anything. A publishing company earns its profits by doing the above listed, otherwise they’re just taking someone else’s work, making them pay for all the work, then slicing off a percentage for little more than charging the author the right to have that company’s logo on their book.

    We all make mistakes starting out. All of us. Accept that you’ve made a few, do your best to correct them, and move on.

  204. Lepplady
    January 5, 2013

    Tabetha is presenting herself to authors as a professional small press. The truth is that she has/is no business at all. She’s neither any type of business nor legal entity at all in the publishing world. She scams people from the comfort of home, promises authors the moon and then, once she’s got their money, turns on them. She fails to deliver what she promises and blames everybody under the sun for it but herself. And keeps their money.

    What we’re accomplishing, Jane, is spreading the word about her as far and wide as possible so that no other authors get ripped off. As a writer who’d been dealt with improperly by “Ms. Jones” and her phony publishing company, you should appreciate that. Wouldn’t you like to have known who you were dealing with before you signed that doted line? I’m guessing so. Just like the authors who are seeing these warnings and giving Mystic Press/Phoenix Fire/Tabetha Jones as wide a berth as possible.

    If and when she makes it right with all the people she’s screwed, she might be allowed to slither away. Until then, it’s a case of rice, meet white.

  205. Pingback: Wild Accusations « Cussedness Corner

  206. Pingback: Lunacy cycle | lepplady

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