Saturday, April 28, 2012

What makes the Story Siren's plagiarism different to similar incidents from my perspective

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have said a peep about this.  But this time around I just couldn't keep my mouth shut, so here I am, jumping on the bandwagon.

I am not going to bother giving long winded explanations.  If you do a Google search using the keywords "Story Siren blog" you'll find a LOT and I do mean a L-O-T of information on the topic at bar. 

Now, if you have read some of the summaries you found, I encourage you to go here and here.

Why am I posting this at all?  Well, I have found several blogs that actually are of the opinion "that things have been blown out of proportion".  Since I think that plagiarism is something that will not go away any time soon, and given the fact that the perpetrator this time around (the owner of Story Siren) posted a non-apology "apology" (which is standard when plagiarists get caught), I would have just shrugged and moved along.  Let's face it, this type of incident happens and will continue to happen, and invariably with all due time they totally blow over.  However, that being said, this time around there is one fundamental difference: the actual victims of the plagiarism have been harassed by a bunch of friends and/or fans of the plagiarist.  The matter is now even worse, as the owner of Story Siren has kept quiet on that particular matter (the harassment), implicitly condoning the said harassment.

This seems to be something that is flying right over the heads of some people and what has motivated me to post my very short comment on this topic.  Again, plagiarism has always existed and will continue to exist, and this sort of incident usually does blow over quickly, but this time around the rules of the game have changed, and that is what makes this particular incident disturbing and upsetting in the eyes of many readers, as well as adding a major point of concern.  How is this bullying of the victims going to affect the acts of those that in the future may find themselves in the same position as the victims of this latest plagiarism scandal?  I don't know if it's the fact that this time it involved the YA online reading community and a couple of blogs that have nothing to do with reading; but fact remains that there is a rather disturbing element that has been thrown into the standard mix, and I can't help but wonder how is it going to influence online interactions among bloggers, readers, etc. in the future.  I guess only time will tell, but I do believe this is very much a matter of concern, and I do believe this time there is more than one difference that makes the matter go above and beyond a standard plagiarism scandal.


New releases and more new releases...

April 24th was new release Tuesday, and for the fist time in months, I found myself with a rather long list of new books that I wanted.  The budget did complain... and LOUDLY... but I figured that since this is not a frequent deal, I could manage.  Thankfully, several of those new releases went on sale before they were released (I got at least three of them at $4.99 instead of the standard $7.99 equivalent mass market paperback to ebook pricing).

These are the titles I got:

"Under a Vampire Moon" by Lynsay Sands - I love her Argeneau vampires

"No Longer a Gentleman" by Mary Jo Putney - the blurb caught my attention

"A Warrior's Promise" by Donna Fletcher - I like her historical romances, and have not read one of hers in a very long time

"Kiss of Pride" by Sandra Hill - this is her new paranormal series.  It involves Viking vampire/angels, we'll see how this one goes.

"All for You" by Lynn Kurland

"The Governess Affair" by Courtney Milan

It has been a while since the last time I bought that number of books in one sitting, given the prices of books these days.  Either way, I have to finish a post on Laurann Dohner that I am putting together as well as writing my review of Lynn Viehl's "Nightborn", but that hasn't kept me from starting to read "Under a Vampire Moon" or playing the Guild Wars 2 beta (the game is proving to be addictive, can barely wait for the official release).


Thursday, April 19, 2012

"The Lure of Song and Magic" by Patricia Rice

Disclaimer: I own this book.  Patricia Rice is a new-to-me author.

Time & Setting: California, United States, present day.

Plot: Dylan Oswyn (Oz) has been looking non-stop for his 5 year old son, Donal, who was kidnapped.  A cryptic online tip from someone he only knows as the "Librarian" tells him to find Syrenne, a former teen singing idol, who supposedly is now working in a daycare center.  When he finds her, she certainly doesn't look at all like what he was expecting.

Pippa (short for Philippa Seraphina Malcolm James Henderson) voluntarily retired from her very successful singing career as Syrenne, after some rather tragic events and a very public meltdown.  She lives a peaceful life, by choice, and enjoys working with the small children in the daycare center.

When Oz finds her and suggests that she basically come back to the spotlight, she outright declines.  However, once she finds out the reason why Oz wants to bring her out, she feels that she has no choice as the life of a little boy is in the line. 

Characters: Oz and Pippa, the main characters, proved to be hard to resist (at least to me).  The book is basically a contemporary with paranormal elements, so I was not particularly enthused about it when I bought it, but seemed interesting based on reviews I read about it in other blogs.  I went in not expecting a lot, but I got "hooked" by the characters, and then the story, from the very first chapter.  Oz has a type A personality which makes him seem a bit assoholic at times, but it didn't put me off.  I also liked Pippa, despite the fact that she was very scared about herself and her "abilities", for very good reasons.  Pippa is someone that has known a lot of emotional suffering, yet she has managed to survive.  Headbutting was to be expected, but thankfully, I wasn't put off by it.  Oz also had certain abilities, and I guess that made him less of an ass as would have been expected under different circumstances.

I know that I have at least one other book by Patricia Rice, but I don't think I've read it, plus it is a historical romance, so I am placing her in my "author new to me" category.  I would love to see more books following this one, hopefully involving Oz's brothers, who intrigued me.  I guess we will have to wait and see.

I felt that the book flowed smoothly, I didn't find anything that threw me and the pace was quick.  The mystery surrounding Dylan's kidnapping/disappearance unraveled adequately and it was rather interesting to follow the unraveling of that mystery, while watching Oz and Pippa fall for one another.

I definitely recommend this title to lovers of both paranormal and contemporary romance.  I will try and read the historical romance shortly, to see how it compares. 


Monday, April 9, 2012

"True Colors" and "Natural Evil" by Thea Harrison

I have been catching up with Thea Harrison' work.  After "Dragon Bound" which started her series with a bang and a boom, I read "Storm's Heart".  I can't say I found it particularly interesting.  I haven't read "Serpent's Kiss" yet.  I did jump to the two novellas I am going to be talking about shortly, and I am currently tandem reading "Oracle's Moon", her latest, with Lynn Viehl's "Nightborn".

I own the books.


"True Colors" is a romantic paranormal novella with elements of suspense.  The heroine, Alice Clark, is a rare type of chameleon Wyr.  Her kind has been hunted and their numbers are significantly low.  There is a serial murderer out who has been targeting her kind.  The latest kill was one of Alice's closest friends.  Gideon Riehl is a detective for a specialized division of Wyr enforcement, the Wyr Division of Violent Crime.  He initially thought that Alice was involved, but then realized that that was not the case and that her life was actually in danger.  Of course, he protects her  he tries to unravel the mystery.

The strongest points in this novella are the main characters.  Alice is a school teacher, her nature is gentle and vulnerable, but she is very intelligent and sensitive.  She instantly realizes who Gideon truly is to her.  I truly liked her.  Gideon as a law enforcer could have come across as an alpha a**hole, but I was glad to see that he was anything but.  He was a good match for Alice, and definitely these two very appealing characters made the story.

One thing I didn't like was the fact that, given the elements of suspense in the story and the whole deal about trying to discover the killer and the killer's motivations felt like it was handled in a hurry.  This type of plot would have benefited (in my humble opinion) if the story had been a bit longer.  It was a rather interesting plot, but sadly, the shorter length did hinder its potential.

Overall, I felt that this was a very good read that will particularly appeal not only to fans of Thea Harrison, but also to lovers of paranormal romance.



"Natural Evil" was a rather pleasant surprise, to say the least.  The heroine, Claudia Hunter, was in the military (Special Forces) until recently.  She retired and is on a road trip when she stumbles upon what looks to be a very large dog lying on the road.  Realizing that the dog is still alive, she manages to rescue him, finding a vet that takes care of his wounds.  Later on, her suspicions are confirmed: the dog is not just a dog.

This is another novella with fab characters, though I have to say Claudia wins by a LONG stretch.  The plot is driven by Claudia, and though the hero, Luis, is yummy, it is Claudia whom we are mostly following throughout the whole story.  She's smart, kick butt, and boy was it fabulous to see her kick butt and take names.

Additionally, this story is also an older woman/younger man story.  Claudia is 40, while Luis is 27.  It does make for an interesting mix and I don't want to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say is not your standard "and they lived happily ever after" sort.

I definitely recommend these two novellas to anyone that likes paranormal romance, and they both can be read as stand-alones without issues.  The Wyr universe is very interesting, and the world creation is being developed a bit more in every book mostly via the characters themselves, as each book seems to be introducing new Wyr species/kinds.
Both "True Colors" and "Natural Evil" are published by Samhain Publishing.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The span of attention of a gnat ...

Yup, that's my span of attention.  I just discovered Pinterest (nevermind that the site has been around for a while now).  What do I do?  waste a lot of time creating boards, following people, re-pinning, etc.  Meanwhile, I am still updating my ebook library.  I have printed out several booklists from favorite authors.  My list of faves is LONG so I know that's going to take me a while.  Then, I go to Facebook and what do I do?  Get hooked on their hidden object games and on the latest quest line on The Sims Social.  I have a 1 foot pile of magazines to go over (I have quite a few subscriptions and I love to browse through them, plus subscription prices are super low these days).  I also want to start a Sith in Star Wars: The Old Republic, to play it with my husband.  Never mind that I haven't even reaches level 25 with my smuggler and am currently playing a Jedi Consular with my husband (who is playing a Jedi Knight).  Is there something smaller than a gnat?  Because really... span of attention ... what the hell is that...