I am not a thief.

As most of you know, soon after Guarding Abigail’s release some stuff happened.  It went quiet for a while and I suspect this was so I could be caught off guard.  Allow me to be very clear of one thing; I have been patiently waiting for said ‘side by side comparison’ because I knew you’d have to work very hard to make it believable.  I have stated on more than one occasion that all books have a particular formula they follow.  Everything from the hero, to the flawed leading lady, to the evil man, and how it all turns out.  You have finally sent me this side by side comparison of which you wish to post tomorrow.  I am posting it today because I am innocent.  I have nothing to hide.   For each sentence you have posted, I will post my rebuttal.
Tonya,

I promised that I would send the review to you first and it is below. This will be posted on my blog and Amazon and BN. I am so very sorry that it has come to this. If there is anything you think we should discuss before it’s live I’m open to that. You have all of my contact information including my phone number. I will be posting this tomorrow. And truly, it’s very sad to me that it’s come to this. I never imagined in a million years that I WOULD BE bullied the way you have on your posts because I called out something that is disgraceful in my mind. I wish you nothing but success. Truly. I just wish it hadn’t been at the expense of our friendship. Let me know if you need to discuss the below.

I do not believe you.  There is no sincerity in this opening.  If you were really saddened over any of it, you wouldn’t have acted as you did.  Instead of messaging me you blocked me.  I didn’t stand a fighting chance of clearing the air, which I presume all of this came from someone blowing things out of proportion.  As I said-I’m going to be calm and collected about this situation, but I promise I will counter everything you have to say.

*****

This post may seem a bit unlike me and it really is for a number of reasons. First, I never imagined that I would need to ever post something like this. Those of you that know me well know that I have the utmost respect for all authors, indie and traditional and this world that we work so hard in is very cutthroat and difficult for the simple fact that we are up against millions of other authors. So many good books, so little time. New authors emerge every day and there is so much wonderful talent out there. As an author that is well seasoned in both the traditional publishing world and the Indie world, I can tell you that this post is so very difficult to write, but it must be said because it’s eating at me like poison and Ms. Sage doesn’t do poison. She does love. So, here we go, purging this crap once and all from my heart and soul.Recently I had one of my biggest fans and first and foremost a friend, release a book. I suppose it is relevant to also mention she was also on my street team. It wasn’t her first book release but I was concerned with the title and her lack of participation in the recent month on the team while she was writing it. Turns out, I was right to be concerned.
This is ridiculous.  I am not active in a lot of my groups while I am writing.  I get lost in  my worlds and if I’m determined to finish something, I do.  I don’t know how you got it in your head that I was hiding away from you while I stole your work.  That is seriously the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my life.  Strike 1.
On her release day I read the sample and shit literally hit the fan in my head. Not only had an author taken my terminology (words, there are millions of them…choose your own and make it ORIGINAL)…but I soon learned she had taken concepts, scenes and much of my worlds that it took me years to create.
And this is the part where I said you were obviously blowing something up to be bigger than it actually was.  I stole nothing from you-again, I repeat, I stole NOTHING from you.  Do you really think I’m the only person who uses Guardians or Guardian Angels or DEMONS then please take another look around the author world. 
Not cool.
I can agree to all of this not being cool.
This authors writing does not compare to mine. But her words were taken from my worlds. And on that note as well I would like to add that it is both unprofessional and immoral to ask people for money to fund book covers and editing, etc. As a single mom who actually does work full time, every cent of every cover and editing has come out of my pocket. It is disgusting to see someone who claims to be a professional author asking others to pay for their work. If your work is worth anything it will pay for itself. If it doesn’t you need to work on it more. Again, this is my own personal practice and trying to support my family and my dreams has given me quite an opinion on this. I don’t believe that anything worthwhile is easy. As Indie authors we have to make it work or find a publisher that will for us. But we ask only for support from our fans by them buying and reviewing our work. Not paying for its production. But perhaps that’s a generational gap.
How dare you.  My GoFundMe page was set up several, several months ago before I found my way in the world.  The people who donated to me are FRIENDS and FAMILY.  Was it wrong of them to want to support my dreams? Absolutely not.  You won’t see me ever attempt to bring someone down for asking for help supporting their dreams.  I do now have a way of making money and I am doing a fantastic job of it.  But seriously…how dare you.  Bringing up what -I- do on my -personal- facebook page?  You’re really trying to play dirty here.  THAT is disgusting. 
So I bought the book and read it. Not only was the writing terrible in the sense that it seemed like a first draft rather than a final work (see previous blog), but it also was just extremely juvenile. Between the dialog that ranged from proper (used loosely) english to terms like “ya dig”…it was both confusing and frustrating. I say with full facts that she did steal from me. But her work is NOT comparable because this author clearly cares more about releasing work than the quality of it. Oh dear, that’s me becoming a bully. Another thing I’m quite sick of reading on her blog. I am not a bully. I’m a well respected author and person that called you out for stealing from me. I am NOT a bully.
Oh my god. HERE WE GO AGAIN.  I have always said “Ya dig” among other things.  So interesting you should mention this as the review from one of your fans is on GA (ironically with 1-star), and all she could do was complain about ME and MY book instead of actually REVIEWING it.  Hmmm.  So who put her up to that I wonder?  Seems like a damn good way of bullying someone to me.  YOUR street team members attacked ME.  That. Is. Bullying.  Ya dig?
I should mention here as well that this friend/ fan/ street team member won or was gifted by me ALL of my work before she ever released anything other than her mini books. I even gave her copies in every format of all my books for her release parties to give away as she needed. Because that is who I am. I’m always willing to gift anything for another authors release party.
Really?  Are you running out of steam here?  Hmmm.  I deleted all of your books the night this happened.  Every single one is gone and I was happy to do it because I just -knew- you were going to pull this card.  I was ready for it.  I am not as naive as you may suspect.  I appreciated the gifts that you gave to my parties.  Hmmm. Only my mini-books were released before you gave me these?  False.  You gave me those books 2 months ago and they’ve been sitting in my documents ever since.  I never touched them. Never bothered them.  Try harder.
One of my signature roles for any human in my work is that they are never really human. They are typically hidden by their parent who is supernatural to give them a normal life. When I read the first book by this author that she gave me, I noticed the similarity but that in itself was not enough for me to care really. In fact, I thought she did really well creating her own niche in the market with the world she created. I emailed her after I read that and told her that it was good but that it lacked heat for me. The climax was nowhere near where it needed to be if it is adult romance and I DID email her that. I was very proud of her for doing something that was her own. I wanted success for her. Now, I am wondering if I am not the first person to make this statement. Wait…I’m not the first person to call theft. I commented on a post a few months ago where she was accused of the same thing. Hmmmm….
Hmmmm.  So let’s go back to the similar formula used in EVERY paranormal book?  I can find links if you like.   Once again I will say you’re downright delusional if you think I took ANYTHING from you.  I read Keltor and your Immortal series before November of 2013.  Guess what?  I’ve not touched them since.  Haven’t even cracked them open.   You need to take a step back and reevaluate the situation.   Also, please link me to this post where someone else accused me of stealing from them.  This is the first I’ve heard about it.  I’d like to see a screenshot at least. 
So….here we go….Other than the human being hidden by her real Mother/ Grandmother, (Immortal Dreams and Keltor) we also have a letter (Immortal Dreams) found in a box (Immortal Dreams) from her Mother (Immortal Dreams) in which she is explained this new world that she has been thrust into. (Immortal Dreams.) Oh wait…there is a letter, in a box, from the heroines mother in this book…to tell her about her heritage. Wait what?
I can agree this is a similarity, but I didn’t take it from you.  -gasp- OH MY GOD, what?!  I didn’t.  When I got stuck on this particular part, I actually talked to my sister-in-law and a friend of mine who is completely detached from facebook and the author world.  They helped me with these ideas, and oh…OH.  Let us talk about how I ran with the ideas of my betas.  Wasn’t there a time when I gave the name MALACHI to use in Dante?  I think so.  Hmmm.
I wrote “The Guardian Archives” in which Immortal beings protect the earth. Her name of this book even has the same initials, “GA”….and of course, they are “Guardians”…((Keltor))
This is utterly stupid and I’m not even going to dignify it with a proper response.  You’re so full of yourself if you think I was trying to mirror it after your Guardian Archives.  When I was trying to title the series, people recommended something with Guardians in it several times.  Guess what? I said, “No, that sounds too much like Jennifer’s series. Let’s find something else.”  This even happened when someone mentioned Chronicles.  I didn’t want that in the series title because I felt it’d be too similar to a fellow author’s series.  So pray tell, do you really think I’d be stupid enough to publish a blatant rip off if I was worried about my series title sounding too much like someone else’s?  Think about it.
While my Guardians are Alpha, hers are weak and even the saving grace of that work, Rolfius, is not much of a Guardian. In my opinion only of course. We see nothing of her Guardians making a true difference…being Alpha…being anything other than weak. If you are going to steal from me, take note of what an Alpha male is. Yes, there is an ACTUAL definition in the dictionary…look it up.
Interesting.  Once again, this was discussed in the ‘review’, and I use that term lightly, from your fan.  I don’t care about your definition of an alpha.  
Also, the reading of mortal minds. All of my humans have this disability. Higher beings can hear them. But my females learn to control that. Because they aren’t really human. This happens later in her book that it’s noticed the secondary character can hear her lusting after him (eww?) but not originally? And how can she see the Angel? Why can the hero who has fallen from heaven and is no longer in Gods grace able to see him? This is a hole that could have been tied up if the author wanted to make her work shine. Plot holes destroy work.
She could suddenly see the angel because she finally started believing.  I’m sorry you didn’t pay close enough attention to the book to realize that. Just as the little boy started seeing Jack Frost once he believed in him in Rise of the Guardians, that’s a concept I liked.  Darn.  Did I steal that too?  Nope.  It is no different than clapping your hands to bring Tinkerbell back to life, or watching a little boy hear a bell from Santa’s sleigh jingle because he BELIEVED.  (The Polar Express, by the way.)  OH, and he could read her thoughts?  Hmmm.  I suppose I took that straight from Edward Cullen, except I didn’t.
Enter BFF (Immortal Dreams) – Strong female…in my book not what she seems…in GA not what she seems. In Immortal Dreams my secondary female got her own book next. Guess what book 2 is in this series? Yep…
Again, this is seriously delusional.  A lot of people give secondary characters their own book in a series.  It’s called storyline progression.
Final scene (and do not get me started on the incest….George Martin can do that because his worlds are so damn huge and believable. A book you wrote in 30 days with no real thought…with your beta’s ideas…um no…you can’t do that.) Incest as a shock factor is great if you’re George Martin. He makes us understand WHY. We accept it because it is part of the magnificent world he created. You added it because she’s “pretty.”
I’m sorry if the incest bothered you that much.  I’m not the only author to write about it and I won’t be the last.  This doesn’t get dignified with a response either.
Not a good reason.Hell and all its minions could walk free on earth with a drop of her blood. But he has to molest her first? What? Why? How? Plot holes again.
Now let me get to the final scene. Villain is holding a knife to her throat..her back to his chest ((Immortal Dreams final scene with villain..exactly))….Only in my work my females are Alpha too and Isabel said “Fuck you” and threw herself off a cliff with the asshat. Yours had the secondary character save her and your hero RUN away with her.
How many villains have held knives to a woman’s throat?  (The Three Musketeers is coming to mind, among other books/movies.)  Cillian ran away with her because Rolfius made it HIS fight.  Cillian was human.  He didn’t stand a chance and Rolfius knew that.  He wanted to keep his best friend away from harm.  
**Sigh**Okay. There is so much more but it’s been so long since I read this and I don’t want to read it again just so I can mark the similarities…but there were more.I am not a bully. I am an author that has worked her ass off in this world to make my dreams come true and when someone steals my words it pisses me off. Your 30 day joke was years of my life. YEARS. The next book you write I do hope and pray that you take the time to come up with it yourself (not running with ideas from betas as your email to me said) and that you take the time to EDIT it. Writing 101…if it doesn’t move the story forward- DELETE IT. Which was a whole lot of the work that I read.
I love how you just had to add in another attempted insult.  It didn’t work.
Oh, and I see you’re on to faeries next? Shall I give you a map of Loveryn? Oh wait…you already have it. I GAVE IT TO YOU in my work.
That’s adorable.  I’ve been writing on my fairies for 3 years now.  Just because I don’t blast it on  my facebook page does not mean the ideas haven’t been there or jotted down in the past.  Don’t flatter yourself. 
Don’t bash me again. I am sick of seeing this shit on your blog when mutual friends send me there. Enough is enough. If I were you though I would seriously reconsider pulling GA and making it YOUR work instead of mine.
I never bashed you.  I am not pulling GA.  I did not make your work mine. I am innocent.  I’ve posted it for the world to see because I know I did nothing wrong.  I never thought anything like this would happen to me, but now that is has, I can thank you for helping me realize people aren’t as wonderful as we originally think.  I refuse to be one of the many talks of the indie community. There are so many of those already. Whoever VS whoever over whatever.  Nope.  I will not do that.  This is the only thing I am going to say.  This is the final post over it.  Unlike SOME people, my street team and fans will not attack anyone and I will not condone it.

This is the line.  It should not be crossed because I’m not going to allow someone to belittle me or slanderize everything I’ve worked for.  I may not have a full-time job or children of my own, but I have worked very hard to get where I am.  I have worked so hard and I refuse to let someone’s jealousy and delusions ruin my biggest dreams in life.  Believe it or not?  This world is big enough for the both of us and we can both be writers.  
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3 Comments

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  1. Anybody who knows you, KNOWS you would never steal from ANYONE. So just keep your head up and go on doing what you’re doing! You’re an amazing person and writer and anyone who doesn’t see that is just crazy! ❤

  2. Tonya,

    First and foremost, none of my friends/ fans / street team members EVER attacked your work that I am aware of. But if it helps you sleep at night go ahead and blame all your bad reviews on me. I guess it doesn’t matter that I sent you this in confidence to see if you wanted to contact me and rectify what was about to be written and posted before it was. There is no part of my message that was delusional…though I cannot say the same for your responses.

    You have removed every review of yours from my work. Why is that? What are you hiding? That you were a fan? Oh and I’m full of myself? NOT. I’m a hard working mother that supports my family and my dreams. You can go fuck yourself with that comment. Take a look in the mirror my dear and tell what you see. When I look in mine…I see someone that sleeps quite soundly at night. I am no bully. I am not bringing stuff up out of thin air because I am jealous of you. In what world am I jealous of your work?

    None.

    I am however over this high school shit you have going on. I’m not in high school anymore. This is childish, immature and once again blasting me for very real concerns I have. Your response to my email by posting it publicly proves the adolescent place where you are at in your head. Jealousy? For what??? I’m jealous of you how? I am PISSED that you stole from my worlds. I am not some huge NY Times Author……why did you do that? You were my friend. You were one of my biggest fans…and on my street team. And then you talk shit about me like this…and like you have for the past month since I called you out on it? And then you justify it to get sympathy from your fans….that is disgraceful. As is this whole feed. I’m so done.

    I could respond to every one of your posts that were responses to my original text but I don’t need to stoop to your level. But since you have called me “Stupid”, Delusional”, “Dishonest”, “Jealous” and a number of other things….I do think that there needs to be a much bigger public opinion.

    I’m no bully…but I do think, that you are.

    Jealous…not even close.
    Delusional…nope.
    An author that feels wronged that gets her emails publicly displayed instead of an adult response? Yeah….that I am.

    Good luck Tonya…you’re going to need it. I will of course now, put all your responses in my blog and reviews whereas before, I wasn’t going to name you. You did that for me.

    Take care.

  3. Every genre of book have the same basic ideas behind them. The difference comes down to the details. Tonya keep your head up and don’t let this get to you. I know her words were hurtful
    But you are a much better person than that. I love your work and always have

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