Monday, May 23, 2016

Stand Against Plagiarism

by Marsha Ward @Marsha Ward

Almost two years ago, a fellow author, Rachel Ann Nunes, learned that someone had gotten a hold of one of her sweet novels, altered the text to make it an erotic book, slapped her "name" on it, and published it to Amazon.

This is called plagiarism, if you're unfamiliar with this sort of intellectual property (IP) theft. Rachel decided to take a stand. With the help of several friends and a good attorney, she found the identity of the "alleged thief" and has taken her to court.

You cannot begin to imagine how costly this process is. It is not supported by any governmental entity as a criminal matter. It's all on Rachel. She had to sue the "alleged perpetrator" in Federal Court on her own. The case still has not been seen in open court. Rachel is embroiled in all the stuff that goes on before a matter comes to trial: discovery, depositions, and a host of other things.

The cost to Rachel has been much more than the monetary expenses of bringing the "alleged thief" to justice. She has endured harassment, loss of writing time and with that, loss of writing income, nightmares, anxiety, loss of time with family members, heartache, and did I mention that she is the sole breadwinner in her family? Her husband quit his job just before all this hit the fan, to work on a project he and Rachel held dear to their hearts.

Many people in the writing community have rallied to assist Rachel. One of the chief ways they have helped is to donate items or services of value that can be purchased on her Go Fund Me fundraising site.

I previously donated Naming Rights to characters in my novel, The Zion Trail. Now I've made a new offer for the right to name characters in my romantic post-Civil War work-in-progress (WIP), Mended by Moonlight.

I'm happy to report that four out of the five character's names have been snapped up by purchasers. But there's one more available!

For only $12 (or more, if you see fit), you can purchase the right to name a married 30-year-old wounded Northern soldier (who dies) in my WIP. Don't lose out on this opportunity! It's the final name I'll put up for this work.

This is the last chance for you to see your name, or immortalize an ancestor, in this book. Don't worry. I don't use your characteristics or physical attributes in any way (if I even know you), except by some bizarre coincidence.

To help my friend Rachel in her fight against intellectual property theft, go here, scroll down almost to the bottom to where the "Select a Reward Level" offerings appear, and in the next-to-last row, click on the "Name Character" icon with the $12 price.

Thank you!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sample Saturday: Cover Reveal - Blood at Haught Springs

I'm excited to reveal the cover of my new novella, Blood at Haught Springs, which will be released as an ebook next Friday, May 27.

This ebook edition contains two short stories, as well: Cottonwood Cowboys, and No More Strangers.

As you can tell by looking at the cover, I plan more stories featuring men from Haught Springs, a fictional town in Texas, and the surrounding area.

Have you picked up a copy of my new novel, The Zion Trail?
After you read it, please post a review at Amazon.
Thank you!

The Zion Trail
 $3.99 for ebooks; $12.99 for print books
ebooks: Smashwords | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple iBooks Store

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sample Saturday: Blood at Haught Springs

Welcome to Sample Saturday. Later this month, I'll release a novella, which will be the first of several tales in a new series: The Men of Haught Springs. Here's a snippet from the story of brothers at odds, Blood at Haught Springs.
By closing time, Lonnie had not returned to the store. Wes shrugged off his dissatisfaction. His brother had probably headed home early to bear tales to Dad of how badly Wes had treated him. Sack of lazy bones, he thought, and locked the front door. He had one stop to make at the butcher’s, then he’d get home.

The house was a mere block away when Wes had completed his errand, and he covered the distance at a fast pace, gripping the valise in one hand, and a parcel containing a cut of beef in the other. Maggie, the Haught's housekeeper, had requested a roast for tomorrow's dinner. Wes had first thought of bringing home a goose someone had brought in to trade for groceries, but had dismissed the idea. Dad shouldn't have rich poultry yet. Beef broth is better for him while he mends.

Grove Haught's injuries had come about when he was thrown from the seat of a freight wagon and run over by a wheel. Fortunately for him, Wes had run to stop the team before the second wheel crushed his father’s chest.  Even so, the first wheel had done significant damage, and Dad had been in bed recuperating for some time.

This morning, he had seemed better, and said he wanted to get out of bed and sit in the parlor for a while. He had grudgingly accepted Wes's assistance, after asking why Lonnie hadn’t volunteered to do the task. Wes had to explain that Lonnie had already left the house to get in his gun practice before the store opened.

Wes hoped the evening at home would go better than the morning had. Someday Dad will see I'm of more worth than a dozen of Lonnie. He half expected his father to fit out his brother in a coat of many colors, like the man in the Bible had done for his favorite son. Before Lonnie could gain more favor with their father, Wes was determined to prove his worth. Today, he had made a good start, getting those leases sewn up.

A wash of satisfaction swept over him, and he grinned. Another pleasant thought popped into his mind. Miss Nina. Matters could not look better in that department. She as much as begged me to see her again. He realized he hadn’t firmed up any plans to that effect. I’ll have to make an appointment to take her on a picnic or to a dance as soon as possible. He inhaled a lungful of sweet night air and decided that, on balance, it had been a splendid day.


Watch for next week's cover reveal for Blood at Haught Springs.

Have you picked up a copy of my new novel, The Zion Trail?
If you've already read it, please post a review at Amazon. Thank you!

The Zion Trail
 $3.99 for ebooks; $12.99 for print books
ebooks: Smashwords | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple iBooks Store
print books: CreateSpace | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Sample Saturday - May 7, 2016, Mended by Moonlight

Welcome to Sample Saturday. I'm sharing this week from my work-in-progress (WIP), Mended by Moonlight.

Ella Ruth's mother has arranged a consultation for Ella Ruth with a physician at the new soldier's hospital to investigate the cause of her persistent headaches. Unfortunately, Momma delayed telling Ella Ruth about the appointment until the day she was to appear.

Of course, this has resulted in "words" being exchanged between the two women.

Mended by Moonlight
"It will do you good to take a drive in the fresh air," Momma said.

"The cold air, you mean."

"Bracing air. You've been indoors too much, my dear."

"All right. I'll go, if Thomas may drive me. There's no need for you to put yourself out to accompany me," Ella Ruth said, and went to get her heavy cloak without waiting for her mother's agreement.

During the buggy trip, Ella Ruth sat stiffly beside the elderly servant, glad for the lap robe that prevented him from seeing how tightly her hands were clasped together. Where are my steady nerves? Did they leave me when Ben died? So far today, her head had not tormented her. She hoped the physician would conclude that if she were allowed to mourn in peace, the headaches would disappear.

When Thomas turned the horse into the drive to the hospital, Ella Ruth saw that a comfortable sum of money had been expended to construct the buildings. Where did they get the money? she wondered. Surely the Union is as bankrupt as we are from the expenses of the war.

Thomas drove up to the largest building, halted the horse, and carefully alighted from the seat to help Ella Ruth down from the buggy. She told Thomas to stay with the horse, took a deep breath to steel herself, and walked through the front door.

Inside, light played on white walls of a small, empty vestibule. She pulled a bit of paper from her reticule and pushed through another door to encounter a hallway where a young man with no arm to fill his pinned-up left sleeve strolled past the door.

"Excuse me," she said, embarrassed to hear how timid her voice sounded.

The young man turned toward her and inclined his head slightly. "Yes, ma'am?"

"Might you inform me where Doctor . . ." She consulted the paper in her hand. "Where I might find Dr. Marshall?"

"Are you the new Matron?"

"Um, I-- I have a consultation arranged with the doctor." She twisted the paper between her hands, disconcerted by the man's direct gaze.

"Ah. He'll be in the wards this time of day." He gestured toward a set of double doors on the right. "It would be more proper if you waited in his office. That's down the other way, the last door on the left."

"Thank you, you're most kind," she said to the first Yankee soldier she'd seen since Ben died. "I'll wait."

She turned away and fled down the corridor. She badly needed to sit.


I hope everything will go well at the consultation for Ella Ruth. Do you think the doctor will be able to discover the cause of the headaches?

While we're waiting to find out, pick up a copy of my new novel, The Zion Trail:

The Zion Trail
 $3.99 for ebooks; $12.99 for print books
ebooks: Smashwords | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple iBooks Store
print books: CreateSpace | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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