Excerpts from both books (see screenshots below for more):
Chapter Two, first paragraph, 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.
I finished my novel in late 1996, and it first came out in August 1998. It was actually the second novel accepted by my publisher, but they made me write two sequels to my first novel before they released A Bid for Love (then called Love to the Highest Bidder).
Reviewer #2, Meghen Barker from Thirty Second Reviews--name used with permission:
Reviewer #4 Mercedes Booklover Drakos:
Follow-up to this reviewer: A fellow writer contacted Sheri Dew for accuracy of this claim, please see results later in this blog after the emails exchanged with Mullens.
Reviewer #5, Jennifer Greer/Jennifer Booklover:
Emails Exchanged with STM
The Plot Twists
Email From Supposed Friend of STMThis email is from someone identifying herself as a friend of Mullens (she sent it by email, Facebook, and Goodreads—I did not respond until just now with the link to this post, but again I’ve bolded contradictions):
I am contacting you today as a personal, real-life friend of Sam Taylor Mullens. She is a remarkable mother, wife, teacher, community member and so much more.
I was part of the writing group where “The Auction Deal” got started over two years ago. A man in our writing group gave Sam the manuscript claiming the book was out of print and he stated he had collaborated in some way with it many, many years ago. He challenged Sam to ‘work her magic’ and honestly it was quite fun to watch.
At the time, for some strange reason there were no copies we could locate and Sam took this man’s word. In the meantime, we had no idea you renamed, recovered and digitalized your original work. Perhaps this is the reason it was not discovered. Who knows?
The man in our writing group claiming he collaborated originally in the novel died in a tragic car accident last May. Sam and I do not feel comfortable at this time interrogating his family about his collaboration.
Being an Indie Author has been a new learning experience for Sam and I try to help and support her along the way. I feel at fault for not giving her more guidance. Sam would never maliciously do anything or intentionally defile copyright laws. She does not publish to make a living, this is a hobby for her. Her only goal is to recoup costs for final editing, digital formatting and the cost of her book cover. I was the one to suggest she not turn over the ARC and simply not publish. I didn’t consider that would make her look guilty. Sam felt it was a simple, congenial solution and I agreed.
As an Indie Author Sam helps promote other Indie Romance Writers and runs anti-bullying campaigns among book bloggers, reviewers, readers and Indie Authors on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. Indie Publishing is a pretty cruel world and Sam has been the voice of reason and is highly respected.
Due to the manner in which you went about investigating the Advance Reader Copy of The Auction Deal has caused Sam to withdraw from the Indie Author Community, which is a shame. There will be a significant loss without her.
The second the ‘eerie coincidences’ came to Sam’s attention she took the appropriate action to ask Goodreads to take down the link and informed those who received ARC’s that it would not be published. She has also been torn apart since Sunday. She feels like she was 'dooped' by a fellow writing that she cannot question.
The readers/reviewers are also very upset over how it was handled. I agree with them. This situation is between you and Sam. Her email is posted on her Goodreads page, her blog and her Facebook page. She should have been the only person you contacted. After looking at her email, I believe she responded to you in a timely manner.
In real-life Sam is the mother of an autistic son, she counsels women at a domestic violence shelter, she provides support at the Ute and Navajo reservations and teaches illiterate, young moms in the classroom. She is nothing less than amazing.
I will take equal if not full responsibility for anything in this situation. Please do not discredit this wonderful woman in a small Indie Publishing community. They need her.
Tiffanie Rushton [Update: Tiffanie Rushton was later identified as Sam Taylor Mullens, the plagiarizer.]
Besides, Rachel's book has been out on ebook (and Goodreads) for almost four years and third print edition since 2012.
But what comes next is staggering—and I had my answer, which is finally why I’m making this statement.
Last night I received a message from one of the reviewers (Meghen). Again, pay attention to the bolded text and see the screenshot Meghen provided below.)
Again, if she has nothing to hide, she should hand it over herself.
Complete strangers reported to me that she stole my work, not the other way around. Let’s not forget that.
I have never given anyone permission to use my work in any novel. Period. And this book has already been for sale. (See the screenshot below).
To the reviewers who have had the courage to act, I also thank you for your kindness to a stranger.
Please consider making a donation on the Go Fund Me account. Even five or ten dollars will help. At the very least, could you please share this on Facebook, Twitter, and other groups sites? I need help to make this all end. Thank you!
Important update 9/12/2014
I've just deleted two of the last names mentioned on the 8/14/2014 update because we learned today that STM used around a dozen of her students REAL names for these aliases. She has also stolen the story of a combat vet. You can read a letter from his wife here.
|Rachel Ann Nunes Chapter One|
|Sam Taylor Mullens Chapter One|
|Rachel Ann Nunes Chapter Two|
|Sam Taylor Mullens Chapter Two|
The Passive Voice: Standing Against Plagiarism
Pete Morin: Plagiarism and Petulance
Bookworm Nation: Busted! Sam Taylor Mullens has been positively identified!
Donna K. Weaver, Weaving A Tale or Two
Standard-Examiner Oregon: Orem romance novelist says Layton teacher plagiarized work
Huffington Post: Author Rachel Ann Nunes Claims Her Christian Romance Novel Was Plagiarized With Added Sex Scenes
Daily Mail: Utah author claims schoolteacher stole her electronic book