Hey, Christine Feehan! You don’t own the Carpathians!

Ивано-Франковская_область_Горно-лыжный_курорт_Буковель Bukovel Carptahian Mountains Ukraine

Ukraine’s Bukovel ski resort in—you guessed it!—the Carpathian Mountains.

I’ve been too preoccupied with other things to bother posting about this, but now Christine Feehan (as in the NYT-bestselling author credited with inventing the paranormal romance genre back in the 1990s) has now confirmed it: she has personally filed applications to obtain trademarks for all the words associated with her various books series. (#Cockygate, anyone?)

The word everyone has gone mad over (for obvious reasons) is “Dark”—as in, she’s trying to ban anyone from using Dark in their book titles from now on.

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Me on a farm in my grandfather’s village in the foothills of the—you guessed it!—Carpathians. The woman is his cousin, Pani Anna, and that’s her farm.

However, I’m here to rant about the issue of her also filing to appropriate the word “Carpathian”.

The Carpathians are a mountain range in Eastern Europe, covering seven countries: Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary and Serbia. My family is from the Ukrainian Carpathians, and have a distinct culture and fiercely proud heritage. Now, if I wanted to write a series of any sort with the word Carpathian in it, Feehan can take me to court. (Feehan is estimated to be worth millions.)

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A bear I saw in the Carpathians in September this year. Because—yes—the Carpathians still exist, and they still don’t belong to Christine Feehan.

On Twitter I mentioned that the situation has shades of the American bar owner who obtained the trademark for the Fijian word Bula, forcing the Fijian Government to take him to court to try and get the rights to their own word back.

Huculy_1933,_Verkhovyna_district Hutsuls Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains

The Ukrainian Hutsul people of the Carpathian Mountains.

People randomly trademarking stuff is disgusting, selfish, and totally bloody unnecessary. Having some author in California claim ownership of my heritage just because she named her rapey fictional vampires after my family’s homeland makes me sick.

Nora Roberts sues Brazilian author, cites ‘multi-plagiarism’.

Article link:

Nora Roberts sues Brazilian author, cites ‘multi-plagiarism’

I’m glad someone with this much power behind them is doing something about the spectacular acts of plagiarism committed by Cristiane Serruya, who – it was recently discovered – was plagiarising dozens upon dozens of books by well-known romance authors.

Serruya even had the audacity to enter her stolen work in the RITA Awards.

You can read more about what happened HERE.

 

The Week: 1st – 7th April

Happy Canberra Wine Week! The – erm – week goes from the 5th to the 14th, which isn’t exactly a week as much as it is an excuse to have two weekends of drinking wine!

I have a big announcement to make in a few days…

My review of Need Me, Cowboy (Copper Ridge #6) by Maisey Yates

need me, cowboy (copper ridge #6) by maisey yates

Romance.com.au

and

Harlequin’s Free Reads

Harlequin Publishing Logo

“Plagiarism, ‘book-stuffing’, clickfarms… the rotten side of self-publishing.”

Amazon kindle Ebooks

April Fools’ Day

800px-Elephant_side-view_Kruger april fool's day prank lioness cub kruger national park south africa 2017

“Plagiarism, ‘book-stuffing’, clickfarms… the rotten side of self-publishing.”

Plagiarism, “book-stuffing”, clickfarms… the rotten side of self-publishing.

Scams are rife, particularly when some authors can rake in thousands each month – but high-profile victims of plagiarism warn ‘day of reckoning is coming’.

The Guardian has a fantastic summary of recent scams and all that plagiarism currently going on in the self-publishing world.

I would strongly recommend writers and readers alike give the article linked above a read.

And I would strongly recommend against using Amazon’s dodgy Kindle Unlimited/KDP Select reading/publishing platform (as opposed to Kindle Direct Publishing, which I have no issue with). As a writer, your work is being buried by scammers. As a reader, your money is going to those scammers, and you’re helping to harm genuine authors.

The latest in the current plagiarism drama.

Edited to add a link to a lengthy article covering this in detail, if you have the time to read it.

Here’s an updated look at what Cristiane Serruya has plagiarised. The list of books/articles/etc. she has stolen from keeps on growing,

For heaven’s sake, she even plagiarised Outlander!

What is so incredible is that she got away with it for so long. It is also incredible that so many book bloggers – people who should have recognised these original books – were giving her four and five-star reviews and not even noticing!

Also incredible: Serruya was not only entered in the RITA Awards, but was a judge!

Cristiane Serruya has plagiarism scandal 1

Cristiane Serruya has plagiarism scandal 2

Plagiarism Update

Yesterday, I mentioned that Courtney Milan was plagiarised. Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Here is the current list of (known) people “author” Cristiane Serruya has stolen from. Only the biggest authors in the business!

I’d say I’m shocked by her boldness, but she has got away with this for ages, AND even entered her books in the RITA Awards – the biggest romance writing awards around.

Here's an updated list of the authors who've reported being plagiarised by Cristiane Serruya or had recipes stolen from their books.

Romance authors, misogyny, and conservative conversations about men.

In light of recent developments in the US (which are being reported in real time across the world), I have a request.

Everyone read the Twitter thread below. Everyone, but especially men and conservative women. Read it, memorise it:

Jeremy C. Young

(Alternate link.)

And then, if you’re still having doubts, read this article, too:

The Anatomy of a Lie: Reflections on the Enduring Myth of Women Who Cry Rape

Yes, of course men are also sexually assaulted, but right now? Conservative politicians have turned this into a men versus women thing, and so that’s what I’m running with.

I’ve written – and deleted – seventy million versions of this post, and now I’ve decided to keep it shortish. I have to say something here, especially when a former favourite author of mine is currently plastering Facebook with far-right memes in support of sex abusers.

I know multiple women who have been raped, and I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t been groped and/or harassed in their lifetime.

The only attacker I know of who suffered any consequences for his actions was the man who also murdered his victim – a woman I grew up with, a woman I’d known since I was eight.

Men claiming they’re the real victims these days (and the women who support that lie) disgust me.

Some points:

  • The rise of Donald Trump (and his equivalents in other countries) has, generally, inspired the romance writing (and reading) community to become stronger, more resistant to misogyny, and to create better books. E.g. Sarah MacLean.
  • However, extremist politics are polarising, and certain authors – including one of my all-time favourites – have gone the other way.
  • It has only got worse in the past few weeks, with the narrative from the far-right turning its focus to women who have been sexually assaulted. The new narrative: all women lie about assault to destroy men’s lives. It’s working. I’m sickened by how many men are jumping on that bandwagon and using it as yet another excuse to hate women.
  • This particular author I’m thinking of – a woman who in the past wrote about rape survivors in a positive way – has taken to posting Facebook memes about how girls are looking to destroy boys’ lives with false accusations.
  • It makes me sad. Yes, her politics have leaked into her books for years and years, but never before has she been so publicly open with it. I’ve lost an author I know I’ll never be able to read again.

One final point: if you support an avowed misogynist and self-confessed sex abuser, and if you’ve chosen to hate your own gender because your President told you to, then you have no business being in the romance industry, an industry that not only touts itself as feminist, but as being “by women, for women”.