My Work Has Been Plagiarized

Ever heard of the story A SOLDIER’S VALENTINE?  Well, apparently it’s a plagiarized version of a short story I wrote for Harlequin called AN EVENING TO REMEMBER.

I learned about this on Friday, but honestly, I was too stunned to wrap my brain around it enough to speak on the subject.  I’ve moved from stunned – to immense righteous indignation for myself and for my sister authors.

From what I’ve learned, my work, along with the work of Liz Fielding, Julie Kenner, Marie Ferrarella and others, has been plagiarized by an individual calling herself Kay Manning and Peyton Bradshaw (football fan?). She has now identified herself as Kristal Singletary, an RWA member and treasurer for her chapter (she has since resigned).  While some books were offered for free download, others – like mine – were sold online.

In case you were wondering if it’s just a matter of a few phrases being lifted, here’s an excerpt from Singletary/Manning/Bradshaw:

***
“Go! Go! Go!”

Captain Shawn “Iceman” Isaacs hurtled out of the military cargo plane, the crew chief’s order to jump from the C-17 echoing in his ears along with the roaring of engines. The silent sky swallowed him. Arms and legs splayed, he soared down, down, down toward Fryar Drop Zone, the part of Fort Benning Military Reservation located in Alabama.

Somewhere in the soft fields below Tammy Lowe waited for him.

Of course, she didn’t know he was one of the guys parachuting this afternoon. Although regularly a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot, he needed the jump to stay current on his training. But she thought he was still deployed to the Middle East.

He’d enlisted her co-workers’ aid to ensure Tammy would come for a Valentine’s surprise—even if Valentine’s Day was still a week away. Thank goodness for the help of her three pals, because no way would she have showed if she learned Shawn would be landing at her feet.

***
Here’s the opening to my story, AN EVENING TO REMEMBER:

“Go! Go! Go!”

Captain Vince “Novocain” Novak hurtled out of the military cargo plane, the crew chief’s order to jump from the C-17 echoing in his ears along with the roaring of engines. Then the silent sky swallowed him. Arms and legs splayed, he soared down, down, down toward the landing zone at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

A speck of grass in Tampa where McKenzie Rowe waited for him.

Of course she didn’t know he was one of the guys parachuting this afternoon. Although regularly an MH-53 Pave Low helicopter pilot, he was also jump qualified and needed to stay current on his training. But she thought he was still deployed to the Middle East.

He’d enlisted her co-workers’ aid to ensure McKenzie would come for a Valentine’s surprise—even if Valentine’s Day was still a week away. Thank goodness for the help of her three pals, because no way would she have showed if she learned Vince would be landing at her feet.

***

Folks, that’s theft.  It’s wrong.  I wish I had profound words to sum up how I feel on this issue.  Hey, I’m an author, right?  It should be easy for me to put into words.  Words are my life, my livelihood, the creative expression of my heart.

And my words have been stolen.

***
“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” ~J.C. Watts

FMI on this topic check out the following:

Julie Kenner’s Blog:
http://juliekenner.com/2012/02/ive-been-plagiarized-and-yeah-it-sucks/

Liz Fielding’s Blog:
http://lizfielding.blogspot.com/2012/02/copyright-theft.html

Dear Author Blog:
http://dearauthor.com/tag/plagiarism

Smart Bitches Blog:
http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/kay-manning-peyton-bradshaw-kristal-singletary-and-plagiarism

About Author: cathymann
USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, and Sourcebooks, with her work reprinted in more than twenty countries. She lives on the Florida coast where she and her military flyboy husband have brought up four children. An active volunteer with her local Humane Society, Catherine enjoys writing while foster puppies nap on her feet.

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