Thursday, August 11, 2016

Surprising Development as Expert Witnesses are Disclosed in Copyright Infringement Case


If you are following my copyright infringement case on the Go Fund Me, you've probably heard about the surprising development during expert discovery.

First a little background on expert witnesses


Federal Rule of Evidence 702 provides that an “expert witness” is a witness who has “scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” Generally, expert witnesses review the evidence before the Court and express an opinion about that evidence from the perspective of science or a particular art, discipline, or industry.

These witnesses, as with all the other evidence in a case, must be disclosed during discovery (which all takes place months and possibly years before a trial), and the opposing side has the option of deposing them (questioning them under oath).

For my case, we have disclosed four expert witnesses:


Bruce Webster of Ironwood Experts

Bruce Webster is a computer forensics expert who will: (1) testify about the technical issues involved in proving that a certain person is responsible for online activity, and (2) review the evidence in this case and express opinions about whether the defendant was solely responsible for the sock puppets who attacked and harassed me, posted false reviews, and so forth.

Scott Bosworth of Nathan Associates

Scott Bosworth is an economist who testify regarding the economic losses I suffered as a result of the defendant's actions.

Josi Kilpack

Josi Kilpack is a successful author who will testify regarding copyright issues. She will review the evidence in this case and express opinions about the extensive copying and/or substantial similarities between Rushton’s work and the works she plagiarized.

Heather Moore

Heather Moore is a successful author and publisher who will testify regarding publishing industry issues. She will review the evidence in this case and express opinions about the nature and impact of Rushton’s actions as they relate to the publishing business, how they were calculated to maximize her profits, and how they inflicted harm, etc.

Rushton did not disclose any expert witnesses


When my attorney let me know that the defendant didn't disclose any witnesses, I was surprised. Why? Because this means that, at trial, Rushton will have no expert witnesses testifying on her behalf who could attempt to undermine our experts’ opinions or offer an alternative viewpoint from a technical standpoint.

I haven't heard of that happening before in a lawsuit.

What's next?


The defendant and her counsel have until the end of August 2016 to take the depositions of our expert witnesses. Once these depositions are concluded, we can move on to the next stage as we progress to trial. This "stage" will include several more motions before the judge, and I'll update about those when they happen.

A thank you


I am very grateful for the experts who are testifying on my behalf. They are intelligent, talented, honest peopleexperts in every sense of the word. 

And to those of you who have supported me through this case during the past two years, THANK YOU! My life took a huge deviation, but I'm back on track thanks to the great support of the writing and reading community. All your donations have gone straight to my attorney for expenses, who has worked hard and diligently on this case, despite having only received payments so far for only a tenth of his actual bill.

I could not have fought this case without you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Community Site for Content-Rated Books



I'm so excited that My Book Ratings or MBR is finally online. MBR is a new free community website with a permanent database for content-rated books.

Now we need help to content-rate books!


With how society values have changed in the past years, it’s vital that books are also rated to protect families. Too many books targeted for younger readers contain graphic sex, extensive swearing, crude language, and other content not appropriate for youth. As a mother of seven, this concerns me greatly.

However, there are MANY great books available, if only we can find and share them. That’s where content-rated books come in. But there are millions of books, and while single or group efforts to rate books are commendable, I believe that only as a whole community can rating books be accomplished on a large enough scale to make a difference.

I hope you are willing to help create this important community resource for parents, teachers, teens, and children. If every person who reads this submitted only one or two content-rated books to the site, that would already make a difference! And if we all submitted ratings for every book we read from today forward, a miracle would begin to happen. I believe in miracles!

The site is https://mybookratings.com/ and they are moving over the thousands of books from the database of their sister site, My Book Cave (a site for content-rated ebook deals). MBR has taken over six months to develop and is still undergoing fine-tuning.

Ways you can help this community effort


Content-rated book icon
  • Go to https://mybookratings.com/ and rate the books you’ve read. Rate as many as possible so the database grows. No book will be listed on the site until it has been rated at least once. You can also rate other books already on the site. Rating a book is an easy, multiple choice form.
  • Tell family, friends (teens also), and others (including authors you know) to post content ratings on the books they’re reading (or have written).
  • Post this flyer online, pass it to family, friends, Facebook friends, etc. Ask them to pass it on.
  • Distribute the flyer to schools and libraries. (Librarians read a lot of books!)
  •  Talk to your children’s teachers and your book club groups to spread the news.
  • If you post about books online, download the associated MBR (MyBookRating) rating icon and post that as well with a link to the site (https://mybookratings.com/rating-downloads/).

Content-rating books is easy

The MBR site is beautiful and easy to submit content-rated books. You just need the book title, author name, and your rating. Soon authors will be able to claim their books and link them to their author profiles, too, which is cool, but not the point of the site.

I hope you will join this effort. If you loved a book read, share the content-rating with others so they can choose to read it. If you hated a book because of its content, do the same!

THANK YOU!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Movie-like Content Ratings for Books

For years I've been annoyed when I pick up a perfectly beautiful-looking book, only to be slammed by over-the-top content. Yes, I'm rather conservative in my reading. I dislike books that have so many swear words that I feel like I'm in the middle of a juvenile swearing competition. To me, swearing is a lazy, telling way to show me how a character feels, and I much prefer more creative methods.

And sexual intimacy? Don't even get me started. I love romance, kissing, and sexual tension, but I'm not into details. They bore me utterly, slowing the plot until I skip ahead. (Yes, I write romance, but it's plot-based, not sex-based.)

Violence I don't mind so much unless it's very graphic or involves child sacrifice (which I can't tolerate at all).

Yet invariably, I run into such content. No warning, just slam!

Of course everyone is different and has different preferences, which is perfectly fine with me, but there should be a way to have some inkling of what's in the book before I buy.


Movies are rated, so why not books? If I'm going to fork out my hard-earned money, I deserve to have some idea of what I'm in for, right?


Well, a year ago some other authors, programmers, and I decided to do something about it: the creation of My Book Cave. If you are interested in finding great books that meet your expectations, I hope you'll jump in and support this site!


My Book Cave Rates Books for Content

At My Book Cave, subscribers sign up to hear about free and discounted books that match their content ratings. So if you don't mind violence but don't want swearing or sex? You can choose that. Don't mind kissing, but don't want to see intimate sexual details? Then that's what you choose. No more guessing!

Advantages of Subscribing

1. Use of the site is always going to be free for subscribers.

2. Books are free or steeply discounted, so you can try out new authors without a lot of expense.

3. Our editors look carefully at every book before approving the deal to make sure it's a  quality product with decent grammar and formatting.

4. Every book is also content rated with movie-like ratings that tell you exactly what is in the book and why it's rated that way.

5. Just for subscribing, you'll get three bestselling, content-rated ebooks for free that aren't discounted anywhere else (the books will change on January first, so if you don't see ones you want now, you can wait for then).

So far this has been a labor of love, lol, but hopefully someday we'll be able to pay staff to help out by charging authors a small sum to promote their books. (We have thousands of subscribers and some authors are already reporting significant downloads—authors can submit their deals here.) We are also are working on a sister site (My Book Ratings) that will provide a free permanent listing for all the content-rated books. Readers, authors, and publishers will be able to submit their books and the content ratings for each. I think it's going to be a fabulous resource for readers.

Please pass this on to the readers and authors you know by using the share buttons below. We readers have the right to know the content rating of a  books before we spend money on them and the more support we have, the more books we can get rated!

I welcome any comments. Do you like the idea of content-rated books?


Monday, October 12, 2015

My Book Cave - Books with "Movie-like" Ratings

I'm excited about the new site, My Book Cave, who are offering subscribers ebooks with content-rating. Don't like swearing? Are you sick of books that end up in the bedroom? Or maybe you are tired of getting sweet romances when you wanted heat. My Book Cave makes a dent in ending the guessing game. It's a wonderful idea, and I hope you'll support their efforts!

My Book Cave is sponsoring a huge giveaway to launch their new site! Below iss an excerpt from their blog (used with permission). Check it out!


There are always exciting things going on here at My Book Cave, including monthly giveaways. For October and November, we have five fantastic prizes for our subscribers. There are three ways to win!

ONE

All subscribers will be entered into a drawing to win their choice of one of the following prizes. You do nothing except be a subscriber and receive emails about great, content-rated books. It can't get any easier than that. You can sign up here. Make sure you click on the "verify your email address" link that we'll send you or you won't be subscribed!
Kindle
Kindle Paperwhite
Nook Glowlight
Nook Glowlight
Kobo Reader
Kobo Aura
Blue vertical gift card with damask ornament and cream diagonal ribbon
$100 gift card to the vendor of your choice.

TWO

You have a second chance to win one of the prizes above when you recommend us to a friend. For every person you recommend, you will be entered into the second drawing for the ereader or gift card.

That's right! We're giving away one ereader/gift card to a lucky subscriber as detailed in ONE above and a second ereader/gift card drawing will be held only for those who've recommended our site to their friends. So recommend ten friends, and you get ten chances! (Note: if any of the products are sold out at the time of the drawings, a similar version may be substituted).

THREE

Hold on—there's more! If you're on Facebook and Twitter, you have a chance to win one of three $50 gift cards by visiting our Facebook page, following us on Twitter, or sharing My Book Cave with followers. Use the easy form below. Contest ends November 30, 2015. GOOD LUCK, and thank you for your support of content-rated ebooks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Admissions and Reproduction of Documents in Copyright Infringement Case


Before anyone ever sets foot in a courtroom, much research has been done in the form of pre-trial discovery. Discovery is responsible for the bulk of time—and many expenses—involved with a lawsuit.  As the plaintiff in a case involving the copyright infringement of one of my novels, I’ve had close-up look at how it all works. I’ve posted about initial disclosures and interrogatories, so today I’ll address another part of the discovery process: admissions of fact and requests for production.

Admissions of Facts

Admissions of facts is when each party lists facts which the other party must admit or deny. Generally, these are facts the requesting party is confident they can prove, but occassional for an unprepared attorney it’s a fishing expedition. Wording of these admissions is important. If you have any objection about the wording, or can admit/deny only in part, talk to your attorney so he can help you respond. You want to be very honest in your answers, but at the same time, you don’t want the opposing party to be able to infer something from your statement that is not true.

If you have nothing to hide, admissions of facts should not be difficult.


Properly responding to admissions prevents wasted time in court. Admissions are often sent with interrogatories, and they are notarized and treated as being answered under oath. Needless to say, if a respondent denies an admission, which in fact is true and it is later proven to be true, the admission will stand as evidence of their dishonesty. Again, honesty and disclosure are the best policy if you have nothing to hide.

Reproduction of Documents

The most tedious part of discovery after the initial disclosures is the reproduction of documents. If you have done a thorough job in the initial disclosures, however, many of the documents requested will have already been shared with the opposing party. This includes screenshots, social media posts, bank statements, affidavits, video, emails, and so forth. Reproductions often correspond to the interrogatories and admissions, asking for the documents to back up the statements. It can be very tedious, time-consuming, and costly to gather these documents. If you feel the opposing party has requested something that has no bearing on the case, or if you have any other objection, again you should discuss with your attorney. As with other parts of discovery, fully reproducing relevant documents in important and should be done honestly and thoroughly.

If the opposing party does not respond or concede with any discovery requests (interrogatories, admissions, or reproductions) you can petition the court to compel more information.


Copyright Infringement


In my case we are past the initial disclosures, interrogatories, admissions, and reproductions, but there is still a lot of work to be done in these areas. I am grateful for my talented attorney, Shawn P. Bailey, who has done excellent work on the case. Click here to read more and to donate to help send a message to protect authors’ copyright.

Next time we’ll talk about subpoenas and depositions and their role in discovery and copyright lawsuits.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Interrogatories: Another Important Step in Discovery

The last time I posted about discovery in connection with copyright infringement of one of my novels, I noted how important the initial disclosures are. But those are only one part of discovery. Another important part is called the interrogatories—a list of questions that each side sends to the other. The number of interrogatories are limited by law, and the amount of response time is generally thirty days, unless other aspects of discovery (such as requests for production) are included in the request.

Basically, interrogatories are a written interrogation, and the answers are made under oath and notarized, meaning that it’s important for the plaintiff or defendant to answer to as completely and honestly as possible.

 
Interrogatories may need to be clarified and go back and forth between parties several times. It is important to consult with your attorney if you think a question isn't relevant or something you feel is objectionable.

In my copyright case, we are at the interrogatories stage. I had ankle surgery barely a week ago, but I’m hoping to heal fast and get off the pain meds so I can answer the questions sent through my attorney. (They also sent admissions of facts and requests for production). Thankfully, this post has been ready for some time, so it didn’t require concentration, but the legal stuff may have to wait a bit.

I hoped you learned a little more about discovery. We still have admissions of facts, requests for production, and depositions to cover in other posts, but I’ll get to that when I’m up and around. Have a great day!


Click here to support this copyright infringement case.


Other posts about the case:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gearing up for Summer eBook Sale

I am recommending a few of my classic novels to read for summer. If you've already read mine, scroll down for the great new books from other authors. I'm positive you'll find something to love. :-)

Sale start and end dates: TUESDAY, May 12 through SATURDAY, May 16

The Making of a Queen

Author: Rachel Ann Nunes

Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from KindleiTunes, Nook, Kobo

On a rainy Parisian evening, memories plague Ariana de Cotte. Memories of her beloved twin brother, her estranged parents, and the loneliness and anger that consume her. She is nineteen, it’s her wedding night, and her life seems beyond hope or repair.

Thus begins the story of an extraordinary young woman who, as her life spirals downward, struggles to find meaning and hope in the face of unimaginable suffering. Her bitter refusal to listen to the LDS missionaries only increases her pain, as does blaming God who has allowed her so much heartache. Until one dark night, when her life hits rock-bottom and the Spirit begins its whisperings to her heart.

As you come to know Ariana, you will weep for her tragedy, smile at her small triumphs, rejoice as she embraces a faith that will sustain her, and feel the love of a good man who helps her find the power to change her life forever. Rachel Ann Nunes has created a powerful and moving novel with characters so real that you will let them into your heart and find yourself re-living this exceptional story again and again.


To Love and to Promise

Author: Rachel Ann Nunes
Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from KindleiTunesNook, Kobo

When Brionney Fields marries handsome and charming Derek Roathe, she feels like her life is a fairy tale come true. And when baby Savannah comes along, she's sure of it. Then, with a horrifying discovery, the dream is shattered and her fairy tale begins to unravel. Trying to pick up the bits and pieces of her life, she wonders if she'll ever be able to take a chance at love again.

The answer finally comes, but is Brionney ready for it? Can she set aside a world of pain for the hope of true love? She's heard all the promises before, but they've been empty and tainted by lies. Why should she believe them now?

In this compelling and emotional story of love, betrayal, and soul-wrenching challenges, bestselling author Rachel Ann Nunes creates memorable characters and dramatic moments that will live in the reader's mind and heart long after the book is closed. Join Brionney as she learns that the road to true love and happiness is never easy . . . but in the end it's worth every prayer, every tear, and every leap of faith along the way.


This Time Forever

Author: Rachel Ann Nunes
Regular price: $6.99
Sale price: FREE
Available from KindleiTunes, NookKobo

Tender story of heartbreak, healing, and faith (Mickelle Book 1, Rebekka Book 1)

Mickelle Hansen never realized marriage could be so challenging. Her husband's epilepsy has caused him to become cynical and verbally abusive, but with love in her heart and strength from her Heavenly Father, Mickelle is determined to make her marriage work. Then the worst happens. Can she ever pick up the shattered pieces of her life?

Meanwhile, Rebekka Massoni arrives in America to work for handsome widower Damon Wolfe, leaving all her hopes and dreams back in her beloved France. She has loved and idolized Marc Perrault since she was five years old, but he can offer only her friendship in return.

Can Rebekka forget Marc and learn to love another man? Both Damon and Samuel Bjornenburg, successful CEO of Corban International, hope to win a place in her heart, but Damon's daughter doesn't like Rebekka, and Samuel doesn't share her faith. To make matters worse, Rebekka's heart is still breaking over Marc. Suddenly she must make the most important decision of her entire life. Will it be the right one?

Join Mickelle and Rebekka as they search for love and self-discovery. This tender story of heartbreak, healing, and faith is one you will not soon forget.


And now some books from other authors! :-)


Horstberg Saga Books 1-3

Author: Elizabeth D. Michaels (aka Anita Stansfield)
Regular price: $9.99
Sale price: $2.99

Available on Kindle and iTunes

Contains volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Horstberg Saga - save $15 compared to price of single titles!

Behind the Mask (Volume 1 of the Horstberg Saga)

When You’re Hiding For Your Life, What Do You Live For?

Abbi has the gift of dreams. But her uncanny ability to see glimpses of the future has no apparent purpose or meaning until a dream leads her to a man on the brink of despair and destruction.

Cameron is a man without a name and without a country, framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Long ago forced into exile and believed dead, the passing of years have defaced him of all hope.

The country of Horstberg suffers beneath the weight of tyranny, and only Cameron holds the secret that could see her ruler undone and restore the people to peace and prosperity. While revolution brews and whispers of treason threaten all that is dear to Abbi, she remains unaware of her own ability to answer a nation’s prayers.

Trusting only her heart and the power of her dreams, Abbi gives all that she has to lead Cameron back into a civilized world, where love is real and freedom comes only in facing what hides behind the mask.

PLEASE NOTE: Volumes Four and Five, The Tainted Crown and Through Castle Windows, are now available for purchase and conclude the Horstberg Saga.


Silent Cries

Author: Anastasia Alexander
Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from KindleiTunes, Nook, Kobo

Charlene believes she’s an ordinary housewife and mother with ordinary challenges. Gradually, she comes to realize her marriage isn't healthy and that her husband’s treatment isn't normal. Relying only on her own courage and the help of a few friends, she struggles to free herself and her children from a relationship that has turned their lives into a living nightmare.

Charlene soon discovers that altering her relationship is only half the battle and finding what she really needs takes just as much courage as recognizing the problem in the first place. Trusting again—and making love work—may be the biggest challenge of all.




Bezza's Book of Enchantments

Author: Andrea Pearson

Original price: $2.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available on: Kindle, iTunes, Smashwords

Carter's life changes when an old man entrusts him with a
book of magical spells. Ridge, his best friend, wants to try one of the spells—the
power to bring people back to life—but Carter isn't comfortable with the idea.
He finally consents when Ridge suggests they resurrect an obscure composer
they've been studying in school. But will the spell work, and if it does, will
the boys agree never to do it again?




The Key of Kilenya

An Amazon bestselling eBook for three years! First book in a completed six-book series. Note that the second book in the series is available free for a few days on Kindle.

Author: Andrea Pearson
Original price: $3.99
Sale price: FREE
Available on: Kindle, iTunes, Smashwords

We all have a choice—but we can’t choose the consequences.

Jacob Clark is chased down a path that takes him to another world—a world where he is a wanted young man. The Lorkon want to control him and the special powers he possesses. The people of the new world want him to save them from the destruction of the Lorkon. All Jacob wants is to go home, but even that choice has consequences. If he waits too long to decide, the new world and the one he came from will be destroyed.

As Jacob looks for people he can trust, he finds himself in the center of a fight for freedom—both for himself and the people he’s come to know. And when he meets a pretty girl named Aloren, everything he understands about his role on Eklaron is challenged.

Jacob has no idea where the path he chooses will take him, but once the choice has been made—bring on the consequences.

Samara, A Kilenya Romance

Author: Andrea Pearson
Original price: $1.99
Sale price: FREE!
Available on Kindle

When Samara Oldroyd takes a break from her somewhat insane family to browse a music store, she meets the funniest, most attractive and awesome guy ever. A phone call interrupts their conversation, and she has to leave before she can find out anything about him—what his name is, where he's from, and why his smile is so familiar.

Her wishes that they'll run into each other again come true, but not how she expects. When Samara’s older sister finally lets the family meet her new boyfriend, Samara is shocked to see it's the guy from the music store!

Awkward and hilarious situations are plentiful as Samara tries—in vain—to undo the crush she's formed. Inspired by the film Dan in Real Life, this novella will tickle you pink.


Just My Luck

Author: Jaclyn Weist
Regular price: $0.99
Sale price: FREE
Available from Kindle

Adam Crenshaw is tired of living in his little sister’s shadow. She wins everything, and he gets the leftovers. Big brothers are supposed to be the role models, right?

Then one day, all that changes. Louie is a leprechaun who offers him all the luck he could possibly want—for a price. The offer is tempting, but Adam refuses to work with him. To teach him a lesson, Louie steals all of

his luck, and Adam’s life is turned upside down. He now has a choice between giving in to the leprechaun’s demands, or losing everything that matters to him.




Stolen Luck

Author: Jaclyn Weist
Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from Kindle

Sixteen-year-old Megan Crenshaw has everything going for her, until a leprechaun shows up on her doorstep and steals all her luck. If that weren't enough, he follows her around, making sure nothing goes right.

What Louie didn't count on was Megan's friends standing by her. No matter what he throws at her, they're by her side to pick her back up again.

When Megan learns about Louie's ultimate plan for her family, it's a race against time to stop him before he takes away everything she cares about.




And that's all for this time! Enjoy! :-)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Author Rachael Anderson to Present at Indie Author Conference

(Interview reposted from Indie Author Hub with permission.)

Sweat Hard, Feel the Burn, Win the Race Indie Writing and Publishing Conference brings to you the first in a series of interviews with expert presenters who will help you cross that finish line. Today we're chatting with bestselling USA author Rachael Anderson.

 

Sign up here to attend the conference.


Q: What is your profession and how are you connected to the writing.
A: I'm a mom first and a writer second. I write happy, hopefully-uplifting, fun romances—three of which I had published traditionally and seven I've indie published.

Q: How did you get started?
A: I attended a writer's conference that opened my eyes to indie publishing, then I read, asked questions, and learned as much as I could. It's a steep learning curve, and I would have loved to attend an indie conference when I first began, but sadly, there weren't any. Thank goodness that's not the case anymore. I love that so many people are willing to take time out of their busy lives to share what they've learned with others.

Q: What subject will you be teaching at the Indie Author Hub Writing and Publishing Conference?
A: How to turn your word document into an ebook and how to typeset a book for paperback using Word. It's stuff that took me many painful hours to learn, so hopefully I can simplify the learning curve for others.
 
Q: What is your expertise for this subject?
A: Been there, done that. Over and over and over again.

Q: Why is this important for indie authors to know?
A: (1) It gives you control, (2) You don't have to wait on someone else's timeline to get your books formatted, (3) Saves you money.

Q: What is your top writing-related goal for 2015?
A: I don't have a lot of time for writing, and I try my best to always put my family first, so my goal is to publish two novels a year.
 
Q: How will attending the conference help you to reach that goal? And/or why do you feel it’s beneficial for indie writers to attend conferences.
A: Every conference I've attended has been such a blessing to my writing life. I've met people who have become wonderful friends and supporters, learned so many important and useful things (things that are so much easier to learn at a conference), and always come away feeling motivated and excited. But I think the most important thing I've learned from other writers is that this isn't a competition, and if we work together great things can happen.
 
Q: What is something many people don’t know about you?
A: I'm terrified of heights. My husband talked me into going parasailing with him once, and while he was enjoying the view, I was praying (with my eyes clamped shut) that we'd survive. I still have nightmares about it. That was a been there, done that, NEVER again thing for me.
 
Q: What best advice do you have for beginning indie authors?
A: Learn all that you can, connect with other authors, and don't give up!
 

We hope to see you all at the IAH Writing and Publishing Conference in June!

 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fun eBook Sale - Free or 99 Cents Until Feb. 25th!

For for fun several authors and I are teaming up to bring you these fantastic and clean eBooks! :-) We've got something for everyone! Prices only guaranteed until through February 25, 2015.



Tides Across the Sea

Lu Ann Staheli

Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99

Kindle

Set against the background of the exploration of the Aztec civilization, TIDES ACROSS THE SEA, opens in the year 1519, where the passion for adventure and the lust for gold reign in the hearts of both young and old. Fifteen-year-old Felipe is no exception, though his yearning for adventure is tempered by his love for the beautiful Manuela. She wants to marry him, but when Felipe ends up on Cort├ęs’ ship bound for the New World, the young couple is pulled apart. Felipe and Manuela each must find a way to overcome the odds stacked against them if they want to someday reunite.




Behind the Mask (Horstberg Saga #1)

Elizabeth D. Michael (AKA Anita Stansfield) 

Regular price: $5.99
Sale price: $.99

Kindle
Nook
iTunes
Google Play
Kobo

When You’re Hiding For Your Life, What Do You Live For?


Abbi has the gift of dreams. But her uncanny ability to see glimpses of the future has no apparent purpose or meaning until a dream leads her to a man on the brink of despair and destruction. Cameron is a man without a name and without a country, framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Long ago forced into exile and believed dead, the passing of years have defaced him of all hope. The country of Horstberg suffers beneath the weight of tyranny, and only Cameron holds the secret that could see her ruler undone and restore the people to peace and prosperity. While revolution brews and whispers of treason threaten all that is dear to Abbi, she remains unaware of her own ability to answer a nation’s prayers. Trusting only her heart and the power of her dreams, Abbi gives all that she has to lead Cameron back into a civilized world, where love is real and freedom comes only in facing what hides behind the mask.



A Matter of Honor (Horstberg Saga #2)

Elizabeth D. Michaels (AKA Anita Stansfield) 

Reglar price: $5.99
Sale price: $0.99

Nook
iTunes
Google Play
Kobo

When Honor Means More Than Anything To A Man, Can He Sacrifice His Honor For Love?

Captain Lance Dukerk has no doubt that the only woman he ever loved married the right man—even though that man wasn’t him. Yet he longs to have that kind of love in his life and is growing weary of being known as the most eligible bachelor in Horstberg’s military force. When poverty-stricken Nadine Rader arrives at Castle Horstberg, insisting that her young daughter is the legitimate child of the duke, it becomes increasingly evident that the deceased ruler Nikolaus du Woernig left a torrent of disillusionment and heartache in his wake. Inexplicably drawn to Nadine, Lance takes personal charge of seeing that her needs are met as she attempts to piece her life back together. Their mutual attraction quickly merges into something profound, until Nadine discovers that Lance’s connections to Nikolaus go far deeper than she’d ever imagined, and her budding trust in Lance shatters. Nadine’s life becomes more troubling as women who fit her description are brutally murdered, and neither she nor Lance are prepared to face startling evidence that widens the chasm of mistrust between them. While Nadine fights to stay alive, Lance relentlessly tracks the monster responsible for these horrendous crimes, hoping he’ll be in time to protect the one woman he knows he can never live without.


UPCOMING RELEASE ALERT: The Tainted Crown, book 4 in the Horstberg Saga, is now available for pre-order on Kindle. Other platforms coming soon. This is not included in the sale, just a heads-up for fans of the series.




The Superstitious Romance

Anastasia Alexander


Regular price: $2.99
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Can Love Survive Friday the 13th?

Friday the 13th has always been unlucky for history professor Camille Britain, and this one doesn't seem any different. In an effort to escape her failed marriage, Camille is renting a cabin in beautiful Island Park, Idaho, where she meets wildlife photographer Jackson Armstrong, who scoffs at her superstitious ways and infuriates her with his offers of help. Camille doesn't need another man—not even one as compelling and attractive as Jackson. Especially when he seems hung up on another woman. And yet Camille can’t deny the passion between them or the way Jackson makes her feel. This Friday the 13th upsets both their worlds by forcing Camille and Jackson to see things about themselves, their families, and each other that might—with a little help—change them forever. Maybe this time superstition is on their side. The Superstitious Romance is a story about a strong woman who feels weak, a man who doubts himself, and a powerful love that changes everything.



Birdlegs

Kenneth R. Tarr

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Sometimes you have to run for your life

At Lincoln High, Nathan Stewart is practically invisible. The only time he is noticed is when his fellow students need someone to torment. Not only do they call him nerd, bookworm, or “Birdlegs,” but they also threaten him with physical violence. The problem has become so serious that two of his main goals in life are to hide his skinny body from his classmates and to escape the constant persecution of the bullies, especially muscle-bound Kit Morrison.

As one of the outcasts at Fremont, Nathan has little hope that the girl of his dreams, Kathy Young, will ever notice him. So he resigns himself to adoring her in secret. The only person who really knows how Nathan feels is his friend in misery, a classmate named Benny Berger, who is hounded and teased for being fat and clumsy. But Nathan has one remarkable ability that has the potential to change everything and win the admiration of that very special girl.



The Change

Teyla Branton

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Death, Life, or Love—Unbounded Always Play for Keeps

There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities.  Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, the Emporium and the Renegades, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene. Some will stop at nothing to use Erin as one more pawn in a battle that has spanned centuries. Erin’s undeniable attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps.



This Very Moment (new cover!)

Rachel Ann Nunes

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A Compelling Story of Heartbreaking Loss, Inspiring Faith, and a Newfound Love Strong Enough to Heal All Wounds.

Bill Dubrey is a sought-after plastic surgeon for LA’s prestigious and wealthy, and an equally sought-after bachelor. On the surface it appears he has it all—money, respect, and fame. Yet behind his aloof exterior lurks a tragic past that prevents him from finding lasting happiness.  All that changes on the day Kylee Stewart reenters his life. She alone knows Bill’s secret agony, and she is determined to help him face his past. During the years they’ve been apart, Kylee’s own life has been far from easy, but unlike Bill, she has turned to God in her need, finding a faith to which she desperately clings.  The tentative friendship they begin has Bill rethinking his stark future, yet he keeps his heart in check—afraid to commit, afraid to lose again. During Kylee’s darkest moment, when she needs him most, will he be there for her?



Midian, A Kilenya Romance 

Andrea Pearson (new release!)

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Midian has lived in Gevkan Castle for almost all of her twenty-five years, growing up alongside Princess Arien. Though timid, she's content in her life and comfortable with the people who surround her. It's not until she meets Kelson, best friend of Prince Dmitri, that she realizes how deep her shyness runs. Kelson is outgoing and wildly flirtatious, pushing Midian away when all he wants is to draw her closer. Midian's life is put in danger when she's kidnapped by the neighboring king who thinks she's the princess and wants to leverage her life for power and money. Will Kelson be able to stop the king fast enough, proving his affections for Midian, or will the king's scheming keep them forever separated?




The Manor  (A Katon University Novella)

Andrea Pearson

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Austin receives a photograph in the mail and quickly discovers something about it isn’t quite right: every time he looks at it, there are changes.

And the changes aren’t good.





The Angel (A Katon University Novella)

Andrea Pearson

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Lizzie doesn't know the old whistle she found in a deserted trapper's cabin is possessed. She blows on it, accidentally calling back the spirit of a dead goddess consumed by the desire to snare the person who called her. When the goddess arrives in the form of a statue, the stillness of Lizzie's mountain retreat is destroyed.






Bless Your Heart: Low-sodium Recipes for a Heart-healthy Lifestyle

Tristi Pinkston

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Tired of bland, boring low-sodium recipes? Tristi Pinkston brings some spice back into the kitchen with this huge collection of recipes designed to show your heart, and your taste buds, some love.


 

Season of Sacrifice

Tristi Pinkston

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Sarah Williams is a young Welsh immigrant, coming to Utah to join her sister Mary Ann Perkins and her young family. When the Perkins' are asked to join the San Juan mission to pioneer a trail through Southern Utah, they take Sarah along to help care for the children. But a six-week journey turns into six agonizing months of hard work and toil as the Saints blast their way through a cliff to bring their wagons through what would become the famous Utah landmark "Hole in the Rock." This LDS historical fiction novel is based on the life of the author's great-great-grandfather and accurately depicts the experiences of these intrepid pioneers as they sought to be obedient to a higher call.




For Love or Money

Paige Timothy

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Cynical Morgan has just about decided that no one could possibly fall in love with her - all the good guys want perfect girls, and she's anything but perfect. But then along comes the guy who falls head-over-heels in love with her just as she is and helps her find the bright side of life again. This is book two of the Main Street Merchants series – book one, And Something Blue, is already just .99 all the time.
 
 
 
 
 
 Aliso Creek Romances Box Set 
Heather B. Moore

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Welcome to the Complete Aliso Creek Series Box Set:
Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating the “Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone . . . if perfect is even possible.



 


HAPPY READING!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Discovery: Initial Disclosures

Discovery is a major part of civil litigatio, the process through which the parties gather evidence before trial. There are several different discovery methods or tools: initial disclosures, written discovery (eocument requests, interrogatories, requests for admissions), subpoenas (orders that compel non-parties to provide information or documents), and depositions (recorded, transcribed interviews of witnesses).

The very first step in discovery is the exchange of initial disclosures. Through initial disclosures, the parties are required to provide information they may use to support their cases at trial. This includes things like lists of witnesses and documents. The parties are required to supplement their initial disclosures as the case goes on. So if a new witness shows up, or if new documents are uncovered, those have to be disclosed.

And the stakes are high: if a party fails to disclose evidence, she may not be able to use that evidence at trial.


We are in the process of putting together our initial disclosures in my copyright infringement case against Tiffanie Rushton, and we should receive Rushton’s initial disclosures soon. This first round of discovery should give everyone involved a good sense of what evidence the parties currently have in their hands before any deeper investigation takes place.

Okay, so I’ve just scratched the surface. This process is so arcane and time-consuming! Hours of work on both sides.

Next time we’ll talk about interrogatories.

Click here to support this copyright infringement case.


Other posts about the case:



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Attorney Shawn P. Bailey Takes Over Copyright Infringement Case

As I contemplated the difficulty of raising $100,000 plus to my case against Tiffanie Rushton all the way to trial, I began considering representing myself and consulting with an attorney on the side to see the case through. After all, I couldn’t even pay off what I still owed the first attorney.

I thought, this is America, right? Don’t I have the right to tell a judge and jury of my peers what Rushton did, to make sure she stops without mortgaging my family’s future? With no other option in front of me, despite numerous attempts to find some other way, I decided that I would have to do exactly that: represent myself.

People warned me not to. They said that Rushton’s attorney would use his knowledge of the law against me. “But I have proof,” I said. “It doesn’t matter,” they insisted.

I spent over a hundred hours researching discovery and litigation because there was no other way. I’d tried raising money, I’d tried fundraiser box sets, and some people were very generous, but it was nowhere near enough. But the more I learned about litigation, the more I realized I didn’t know. (Yes, 100 more hours stolen away.)

Then in January, a fellow author and civil litigator Shawn P. Bailey came forward after reading an interview with me on A Motley Vision and offered his help.

And now . . . I’m excited to announce that Shawn P. Bailey and his firm are representing me and are committed to seeing my case all the way through to trial. Even with Shawn’s generosity and flexibility in structuring an attorney-client relationship that will not bankrupt my family, litigation is expensive, and we need to keep fundraising. Every dollar counts!

I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has made a contribution (some of you have more than once). You are making an incredible difference in the case. I couldn’t have come this far without you, and I am so grateful. I am especially grateful to Dave Farland, who has been a friend and supporter from the beginning. And also his fans, who have extended their support to me.

This IS going to happen. We will send the message through this case. Writers and readers unite!


 If you need an attorney, please think of Shawn and his firm Peck Hadfield Baxter & Moore, LLC. Meanwhile, we do still need to reach our goal on the Go Fund Me, so please share the Go Fund Me page wherever you can.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Finally Some Writing!

With the trauma I've faced recently with the plagiarism of one of my novels and subsequent online harassment, there were times when I wondered if I would ever write again. It's hard to explain and I'll bet many people won't understand it, unless it happened to them, but it had been an emotional challenge getting back to work. That is saying a lot for a writer who has published fifty books in eighteen years.

However, I finally finished a novella (under my pen name) that I'd nearly completed before this happened and I also have begun editing the other one I was supposed to have finished four months ago. The word count total is tiny compared to my 6-month usual output, but the stories are solid and my readers are loving them. I hoped I have overcome enough of the anxiety to continue from here. Yes, I know my website is sadly outdated, but I'm still hanging on by fingernails here. Once I overcame the anxiety enough to write (even this little bit), it has very much helped my state of mind.

The first is book is Ava's Revenge (An Unbounded Novella), and the second is Mortal Brother (An Unbounded Novella).  Ava's story is already available in book and print. Chris's story (Mortal Brother) is in the publishing process now and will hopefully be available by the end of the month. I can't wait for my readers to learn more about some of the other characters in my Unbounded series.

Thank you for your support and love! I have really needed them these past six month.

Rachel


Saturday, November 1, 2014

How I Learned My Novel Had Been Plagiarized

(Note: Written before Shawn P. Bailey took my case. See that info here.)

This past August I learned that an anonymous author on the Internet, who was known only by a logo and a fake name, had plagiarized my novel, A Bid for Love (formerly entitled Love to the Highest Bidder, copyright 1998). Sam Taylor Mullens published “her” book on Amazon and sent it out to multiple reviewers, some of whom had read my novel. When confronted about the obvious similarities, “Sam” lied and said she had collaborated with me.

Here Is Undeniable Proof She Stole My Book
(also see screenshots at the very bottom of this page)


Rachel Ann Nunes 1998 - The dark brown curls were everywhere. They were a curse, and had been for twenty-eight of Cassi’s twenty-nine years. They puffed out from her scalp and plunged halfway down her back as if they had lives of their own, helplessly tangled and twisted together. The bathroom lights above the double sink reflected from the brown tresses, bringing out the subtle gold highlights.

Sam Taylor Mullens, The Auction Deal 2014 - Dark brunette curls were everywhere. They were a curse, and had been for the thirty-one years of my life. They puffed out from my scalp and plunged halfway down my back. They helplessly tangled and twisted together. The bathroom lights above the sink reflected the brown tresses.

Reviewers Confirm the Plagiarism

As the rights to the book have returned to me, and I indie-published the current version, it is up to me to make sure my copyright is protected.

I contacted first “Sam” for an explanation and then some of reviewers. 

Six of eight reviewers confirmed the plagiarism (some of their names have been redacted for their protection, as you will soon see is necessary):





Two Reviewers Later Identified as Aliases of the Plagiarist  Threaten Me and Berate My Work



Mercedes and Other Aliases Post Harassing Comments on Facebook



The Plagiarists Denies Everything

“Sam” did respond to my email but said she had no idea how the novels became so similar. She refused to give me a copy of “her” book because it contained sex.

A “Friend” Of The Plagiarist Writes Me

Then I received and email from a real life friend of “Sam,” who said that a man, who later died, had given “Sam” the manuscript and told her it was no longer in print. In the email, the friend also praised “Sam,” saying that she was a community leader who has a disabled son. (The "friend" was later identified as Sam Taylor Mullens.)



One-Star Reviews of My Book Under Plagiarist's Aliases Shows Intent to Plagiarize

But we found 5 one-star reviews on my stolen book under her different aliases, all dated two months before “her” book was published on Amazon, so it was clear she knew she was plagiarizing. (Emma's last name redacted because it turned about to be a real name that was used by the plagiarist without permission.)

Goodreads:

Tiffanie Rushton's Amazon review page:

Plagiarist Lies About My Family

Around the same time, “Sam” emailed reviewers, claiming to be my niece and that she had permission to use my story because she’d given me the idea, but she couldn’t tell me who she was because her family didn’t know she wrote about sex and she would get kicked out of her church and lose her husband. Meghen from Thirty Second Book Reviews send me this copy.


As you guessed, “Sam” and I are not related. To my knowledge we haven’t even met. Kira is my real niece.
I went public in order to find out the identity the person who had taken my book. When I did, the harassment increased. Numerous one-star reviews appeared on my novels under my real and pen names (see the screenshots for these below my post). 

Plagiarist Uses False Identities, to Harass Reviewers Who Speak Against Her.

(Last name has been redacted because name belonged to a real person.)

Plagiarist Identified as Tiffanie Rushton, a Third-Grade Teacher from Layton, Utah

Volunteer investigators came forward and tracked "Sam" down. 

But copyright is a civil not criminal case and it is horrendously expensive to prosecute. Making her stop stealing and harassing me seemed impossible. Then New York Times bestselling author David Farland recommended starting a Go Fund Me account. 

I File Complaint In Federal Court—Harassment Continues

Yet even after filing a complaint in federal court,  the harassment continued. Posts on Facebook continue, public and private. Posts on the Go Fund Me, saying it was a scam—all by Rushton’s known aliases. (Name of first redacted because the name was taken from a real person.)




The account below changed from Jennifer Booklover to Jennifer Greer and then was deleted by Facebook.



Rushton also accepted responsibility for the one-star reviews under this alias (part of real person's stolen name redacted).


Every day I am doing something to protect myself, taking screenshots, communicating with attorneys, deleting posts, asking Amazon to take down her reviews, trying to find books to put into fundraising sets, etc. Even when I have a slice of time, working is impossible because of the emotional upheaval. I feel terror every time I turn on my computer for fear of what I would find next. It NEVER stops.

But That's NOT All—She Stole From A Combat Veteran

Then, shockingly, we discovered that in her first book, she’d also plagiarized the REAL LIFE story of Chase Weston, a disabled veteran who served in Iraq in 2005 with the 3rd Infantry Division. His wife Lilah writes:

“The story that Sam Taylor Mullens/ Tiffanie Rushton copied was an account of one of the worst days of Chase’s life. The original draft of Terror in a Cloud of Dust was written by Chase during a trauma workshop at ‘Pathway Home,’ which is a residential rehabilitation program for returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans who suffer from clinically diagnosed and progressive PTSD. It took a lot for Chase to put his story down on paper, he did however want to heal from the events and felt that he might help some of the other Soldiers who were trying to do the same . . . My husband feels this to be a personal attack on his character, his service, and to the Military—every soldier and family member affected by these events.”

Rushton Vows to Republish Hasty Resolutions


But there was still more to the story.

She Stole From Children

 A few bloggers posted a list of 20+ fake IDs that we believed Rushton had created, and a parent identified them as the REAL NAMES of her daughter and the other children in Rushton’s last year’s 3rd grade class! 

Someone compared the yearbook and found twelve full and partial names of real children (mostly full names) had been stolen to review Rushton’s novels and other explicit books.

That's why I redacted Abby, Emma's, Gibson's, and Aubrey's last names above. They are REAL CHILDREN, as is Hannah from the Goodreads one-star reviews. One parent claimed that Rushton had also use the children’s email addresses to create the accounts (see below).

One parent reported that school officials acted to this latest news (they didn't seem concerned about the copyright infringement), removing Rushton from the classroom, and promising that she would not teach again in Davis County School District.

She Posed As A Parent Of The Children Whose Names She Stole 

Days later, Rushton posted on my blog and others, pretending to be a parent of one of the children and asking that all the blogs be removed. But the IP address showed the email came from Rushton’s computer. Parents confirmed to me that they did not write the post and that the comments didn’t represent their feelings.


These were fake parent comments posted on my site shortly before and after midnight just prior to the comments on the above John Doppler blog:



Then A Slap in the Face 

The school district came out with a statement that Rushton left due to KNEE SURGERY.

The betrayal I feel that they could cover this up to is so vast, I can’t even write it. Makes me wonder if anyone cares about what this woman is doing. And, yes, I have reported it to the police, and I am waiting to hear if they can do anything to stop this.

She stole. She used children. She used deception and cunning to cover it up. She refuses to take responsibility. She still won’t leave me alone.

I believe in redemption. I believe in forgiveness, but I don’t believe that I have to give this person my work or let her attack me. She has turned my life upside down. I feel as if she's broken into my home and stolen something very dear to me. She's tried everything she can to discredit and hurt me. So much time has been robbed from my family, and it doesn't look like there's an end in sight. Three months later and I still haven’t been able to get back to work. THAT'S RIGHT. NO WRITING. Which means she's stolen far more than just one book from me. She's stolen my livelihood and my passion.

This comes at a particularly terrible time for my family because in August my husband went part time at his job so that we could start an author-related business that has been horrible delayed because of this plagiarism. The anxiety I feel at the harassment, defamation, and monetary issues has pretty much taken over my life. I don't sleep. I can't concentrate. I suffer daily panic attacks. The biggest devastation of all is that I fear I'm neglecting my seven children. I want my life back!

My Plan to Get My Life Back and Protect Others

If Rushton had plagiarized Steven King, Donald Kuntz, JK Rowling, or Patricia Briggs, she would be in serious trouble from publishers and authorities, but plagiarists know they can get away with victimizing the authors who don’t have large publishers or who have yet to become world-wide sensations. The truth is that all authors are at risk, and this is becoming a huge problem. This is a new breed of plagiarist. I want Rushton and other plagiarists like her to know that they can be prosecuted and held accountable.

The only way I have of ending this is going before a judge and jury to show them the evidence and let the judicial system take it's course. Veteran Chase Weston has already agreed to offer any support he can. I have drawn a line in the sand.

No One Can Stop Her Alone

But I have already accumulated a total of nearly $20,000 in legal fees. It will be another $30,000 (summary judgment) to $100,000 (jury trial) before it ends. This speaks volumes at the state of our legal system when victims must be victimized again just to set things right. If I drop the case, I believe she’ll just publish my book and keep up the harassment. I might as well email her all the rest of my manuscripts. Other authors are equally in danger to plagiarists like Rushton.

All those fake Facebook and Goodreads accounts using the children’s real names could also be republished—they were several times during the investigation. We have no way of knowing they are permanently deleted without court intervention.

Even after a successful lawsuit, recovering costs from those committing fraud, I’m told, is next to impossible, but the courts will make her stop.

Please Help Me Stop This Madness 

I need help. 50,000 to 120,000 isn't something a typical author has available in a back pocket. (And other estimates place totals closer to 130,000-250,000.) I don't have any more money to spend. If Rushton is to be brought to justice and others like her warned, I need your support. Please consider donating a $10 dollars a month until we raise the funds. If you can't, then donate even five dollars to help insure the future of writing and writers across our nation.


At the very least, if you can’t donate, please email your friends about this or spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, and other means. You can do that right now by using the share buttons. Help stop this!


You can also support the lawsuit by clicking here, where you can buy fundraiser box sets and books under my name, my pen names (Teyla Branton and Rachel Branton).

Thank you for listening,

Rachel Ann Nunes and family
(Hint: I'm the one holding our youngest.)



Reviews of my books from Rushton's Amazon account:  

The same account at the same URL as above after the reviews were delete by Amazon (note the brief change to the Jennifer Greer name, the same Jennifer who bashed me as a fake reviewer, on Facebook, and who gave me a one-star review on Goodreads back in May):  

Reviews of my books from one of Rushton's aliases:


Comments from the Thirty Second Review blog as Rushton defends herself with aliases Mercedes and Abby:

Comparison. The only way she could have come up with "her" novel is to have started with mine. An it goes on throughout the entire book . . .

Proof that The Auction Deal was on sale: