The curious case of the disappearing blogs.

The lid was recently blown off of the shady practices of Tabetha Jones and her “publishing” companies, Mystic Press and Phoenix Fire, thanks to posts on the Emily Suess, Erotic Romance, Cuss’s Corner and Rusty Nail blogs. In reply, Tabetha’s friends and colleagues (who may or may not be Tabetha herself) posted on their own blogs in Tabetha’s defense. At least one was created for the purpose.

Here’s the blog of Carlie Rose, posted on December 9th, 2012 to let Tabetha tell the “truth” about what happened to Mystic Press and Phoenix fire.

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Then the call went out yesterday, December 30th for all these blogs to come down, including Carlie’s. I guess Tabetha didn’t like the “truth” that they actually revealed.

Here, for amusement and reference, are the comments, from start to finish.

  1. I hope law suits do happen. I hope that every single author that has been mistreated by these people sue for damages resulting from fraud. If they’re making these claims, they must certainly have evidence to back it up. Then Tabetha can try to get the judge to believe that she’s the poor, innocent victim of all those authors slandering her. And never mind their evidence, your honor. They’re LYING. Sob, sob.
    I don’t believe Tabetha any farther than I can throw her. Her ditzy little alternyms either.
    People aren’t that stupid, hon. Not forever. A few naive, eager new authors might buy it, but a judge won’t. Bet on it.

  2. Listen here! I know Tabetha pretty well and for you to say something when you know jack shit is really stupid on your part! I was with Mystic before it shut down and Tabetha always stood by her word. Never… not once have I caught her in a lie! So back off!! I don’t want to see or hear people slander my friend!!! So take your negativity elsewhere!!! I don’t want to hear this shit!!! What Tabetha says is true whether you want to believe it or not!!! I trust her with my life!!!

  3. For a claim to be slander, it has to be untrue. Just saying.
    The authors making claims have got proof in black and white, and there seem to be quite a lot of them. Let’s see what a judge believes. Maybe the FBI and Interpol, too.
    I’m not being negative. I’m hopeful. And eager to see the outcome of it all. I can’t wait to see this.

  4. Look here! Those author’s with the so called proof aren’t telling the bad shit they’ve said to Tabetha! Tabetha herself has proof that these so called authors scammed her out of hundreds of dollars! Back the hell off and leave Tabetha the hell alone!!!

  5. A little lesson in slander:
    It IS criminal to say “I’m keeping your money even though you never got anything for it.”
    It is NOT slander to call that person a thief.
    Get it straight.

  6. Can’t wait to see it all in court.

  7. Look I don’t know who you are nor do I care! All I want is for you and people like you to leave Tabetha alone! I will say this again. Leave her alone! I have never and I do mean never caught Tabetha in a lie and like I said I was with Mystic before it closed! So back off!

  8. Carlie, If you truly believe in Tabetha this blindly, I pity you. But more than that, I pity any young new author that’s so eager to publish and so trusting, even gullible that they put themselves in a position to be scammed, lied to and ripped off. There are a LOT of authors out there that have been given contracts, paid money, then never got their books published. Didn’t get their money back because it was *paid* to others for services rendered. Hate to say it, but that’s the publisher’s responsibility, not the author. If the PUBLISHER breaches the contract, THEY eat the cost, not the author. It’s called business, and if she’s going to be in it, she needs to learn it. Maybe the hard way, in court.
    There are too many authors that have dealt with Tabetha and her boyfriend, not any previous owners, so the sob story that they inherited the whole mess doesn’t wash. THEY have been unprofessional, abusive and threatening, and THEY are the ones keeping people’s money. And, yes. It is THEY who will answer for it in court. More than once, would be my guess.
    As for her sob story that because of these authors that are demanding their rights for her child not having a Christmas, it’s a ridiculous and absurd ploy for sympathy. If she can afford to move house twice and start a new business, she can give her kid a Christmas. But if she’s so worried about it, I’m sure they’re hiring in the fascinating world of fast food. That’s an HONEST living.
    She needs to stop lying to people, and she needs to stop lying about people. People who can fully support every word they say. She’ll find out when she gets served.

  9. I am not reaching for a sob story nor do I have any reason to lie. If I did not have the evidence to back my claims I would have bowed down and kept my moth shut. But my father my he rest in peace would roll over in his grave is his daughter did not stand up and fight for what was right. And what kind of mother would I be if I stood by and allowed ppl to do this sort of thing to me. What is that teaching her? I have every right to defend myself and give the people the truth. If you or anyone else cannot handle that then go on and have a life else where because no matter what you say nothing is going to stop me from giving these talented and wonderful authors their dream. No one is going to stop me from having my dream. And unless you have something nice i feel there is no reason for you to visit my blog and leave snide comments. I do work, I bust my ass everyday, and it certainly isnt fast food hunnie, I have a career outside of my publishing company. And all you are doing and all everyone else is doing is making themselves look bad and giving me free PR. So I want to kindly thank you for that.

  10. Regardless of whether she was ‘scammed’ or not, that has no bearing on how she treats the authors she takes on. It’s her problem, not the authors’, and if she is unable to cope with it, she shouldn;t have been taking anyone else on. Fact; I lost money and got very little in return. Fact; Her other half threatened me. Fact; She wouldn’t respond to my emails and was then surprised when I wasn’t happy about it. Fact; Her attitude was ‘Get over losing your money’ – unacceptable. Fact; I had my time and money wasted by her.

     

  11. Georgiana, you have not seen me nasty yet! So back the FUCK off!!!

  12. Carlie, you can get as nasty as you like, but it won’t change the facts about Tabetha jones, her boyfriend or her “business” practices. Whether she likes it or not, whether YOU like it or not, the truth is out there now and it will not go away. The days of threatening people to try to bully them into silence or submission are over.

     
  13. I’m not trying to bully you! All I am saying that I AM tired of hearing about it. I don’t what to see or hear about it!!! Tabetha is my friend! She was my friend BEFORE I signed her as my publisher!! She has proof too!!! If you still want to slander her, do it else where! This page WILL continue to support Tabetha!!!

     
  14. I want to go on record that my OTHER half never threatened anyone he merely stated to keep the matter off my wall and do it privately to my email or inbox. I explained to you several times, and I assuming this is Lily Crussell, that i did not have a computer nor did I have internet at the time. I had things going on in my personal life because i am a person, i do have feeling and i do have problems as anyone else. Which those are none of anyones business, but I never said get over. What i did say is that Mystic is closed and people need to move on. I am and all you are doing at the end of the day is making yourself look bad and giving phoenix Fire free PR.

     
  15. Carlie, Gorgiana MacManus is a false name hun, it’s Lily. Now isn’t this was Tab is being accused of. Being False.

    Lepplady. I know who you are, you know me. I believe we have a mutual respect for one another where open speech and honesty is concerned, so I am sure you will not take the following offensively.

    I don’t know or understand why you are waging war again Tabetha for things that didn’t affect your daughter. I know what happened there and stuff you’re saying… half of it doesn’t relate to you. I know you’re pissed off, and you were looking out for your daughter, we’ve had this conversation privately. But come on, you cannot comment on the things you are when it never happened to you. You are going off hearsay and because you have a grievance with Tabetha and Mystic Press yourself, you’re adopting everyone else’s grievances too and believe everything you read. Lepp, if these claims were all true, wouldn’t she have been in a awful lot of trouble by now?? She isn’t, and why?? Because nobody can take her to court, and those that say they can aren’t. Why?? Maybe the evidence thing is a load of shit. If they had it wouldn’t they have done something already. Because I know I would have. I certainly wouldn’t use blogs to try and drag her down.

  16. Wow, typo’s, bloody stupid phone.

  17. Carlie, I hate to be the one to point this out, but you did, in fact, publish a public blog about Tabetha and her company. That kind of invites people to reply. Support her all you like, but these authors speaking out about her have proof, and so do I, communications from her boyfriend who she claims has never threatened anybody.
    Closing Mystic Press down (after it was reported to the Attorney General) does not absolve her of her responsibilities for the “business” she conducted as Mystic Press. If she believes that it does, she needs to Google business law. I did.
    If she’s got a lawyer as she claims, she might want to keep him on speed dial.

  18. You might want to.Google again because in the state if Texas the attorney generals office will laugh in your face. Your daughter would not follow up with the artists would not take the editors revisions therefore she was in breach. I had every right to drop her. Lightning source and createspace do nit refund. Editors do not refund which those were paid out if my pocket and cover artists certainly don’t refund. Now do yourself a favor leave it alone. Its done over move on with your life. You care so my h about ur daughter then help her by getting her book out and quit stalking me.

  19. Sorry, babe. My daughter contacted the artist within the 30 days your contract allows. Got that in black and white, too. She didn’t contact anybody after that because you had already told her you refused to publish. YOU breached when you first told her “I LOVE your book!” then, after she paid money, told her that it was immature crap that looks like a junior high school kid wrote it and refused to publish. Nice, trying to discredit the victim, but like many other lies, this one is exposed.

    But hang on there. You’re saying you paid editors out of your own pocket? No you didn’t. You paid them out of your authors’s pockets. And I can tell you of at least one author that never received a single page of edited copy for her money. Not one.
    How many people fall for that ‘Can’t pay you, the money’s already gone to pay my staff” line? Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. YOU breached. That means that it’s YOUR financial responsibility to pay your staff – some of whom you haven’t paid for their services yet either from the sound of it. YOU eat the costs when you breach the contract, not the author.

    You use Createspace on Amazon.com to publish your authors’s work, don’t you? I wonder if they know that authors can publish their OWN work through Createspace for FREE, complete with a FREE ISBN, cover and formatting tools, and keep ALL of their royalties? If not, they should know, and stop getting ripped off.

    You think this is done? Keep thinking that until you get served, hon. Then we’ll see what the judge has to say about it. Paperwork’s on the way.

    And don’t worry. Thea’s book will see the light of day, no thanks to a “publisher” like you. She’s not letting the likes of you destroy her dreams and ambitions. She’s stronger than that.
    I am helping my daughter. I’m teaching her that she doesn’t have to take being cheated, defrauded and lied to by someone she trusted. I’m teaching her that it’s not her fault and that she should stand up for her rights.
    What are you teaching yours?

     

  20. Anyone who blindly trusts this “woman” is in need of help. I mean, who would trust this woman to edit their work, when she can’t take a few seconds to edit her own “rants”.

    Lepplady, I sure hope your daughter does it on her own, or with the help of reputed individuals. Go get em for all they got!

     

  21. I have personally checked out the claim about createspace. Yes you can get stuff for free but by doing so you can’t be listed to go onto bookshelves and the covers I wouldn’t take a second look at. I can see both sides and after doing some investigating and I talked to several old Mystic authors. I also found Wendy Hunyor and Brandy Peay. Everything that Tabetha has said is the truth. I did my homework and I will be getting in touch with these previous owners because it was they who took the money Tabetha just took the fall for them.

     

  22. Something else I would like to add. Wendy Hunyor also goes by Morrigan Michelle and Laine Banks. Brandy goes by Raine Banks and Luna Sweete. Also if I know contracts and I do Tabetha had every right to drop who she wanted for breach. You are to get in touch with the artist immediately. If the author continues to ignore or not work properly with the staff then they are in breach. This piece caught my eye as others have and if everyone would simply do the research I had the facts would be there. The point is this. Tabetha Jones did what she could and from what I have heard by talking with previous mystic authors and current Phoenix authors she went far and beyond. I don’t know any small press that does this. And these authors were very willing to talk to me and admit they went along with the group instead of forming their own opinions. This shows what people will do to fit in. I will continue to research this and hopefully gain interviews with Wendy and Brandy. But I think you hung the wrong person because the evidence I have found states in black and white that Tabetha Jones was taken. I think you should all do your research. As for the attorney general unless it is a high profile case of seven thousand dollars or more per person they will not be involved unless it is child support. Before you open your mouth investigate. Otherwise it only shows your hate and stupidity.

     

     
  23. Anonymous, will you please email me. My email is carlierose28@yahoo.com

  24. Fact 1: it costs NOTHING to make an account on createspace.
    Fact 2: It costs 25 dollars for the extended distribution option, not 35.
    Fact 3: That 25 doesn’t get paid until the book gets published.
    People have been told that they can’t be refunded the 35 dollars it took to set up their createspace accounts, for books that haven’t been published yet. That’s a straight up lie told to people that are getting ripped off.
    I don’t know who this is doing all this research (though I do have my suspicions) but you can’t just drop somebody from a contract. Business 101. Mystic Press’s contract states that the author has 30 days. Period. Black and white. If an author communicates within that time, there’s no breach. Unless it’s on the part of the publisher who refuses to hold up their end of the contract but still expects to keep the author’s money. No amount of anonymous or alternym posting on every blog from here to the North Pole is going to change a lie into the truth. Sorry.

     

  25. Allow me to give you a lesson in createspace 101 if the author wants to have their books on book shelves and including the option of baker and Taylor outlet it is close to 43.00 us dollars. You pay for the ISBN number and the expanded distribution. With a business account you can go ahead and set up the title pay the fees. Createspace does not offer refunds on services only products. I have been in the business 20 plus years and seen a lot. But I see that Ms. Jones has not commented nor defended herself further more. I think this is wise. She has said her piece. She has told the truth but it is you and the others keeping this going. I found something that caught my eye and it took me a matter of two days to find everything I needed to show Ms. Jones was telling the truth. So maybe you should stop bullying her and do what I did but I am sure if you did that and found the truth then that would mean all this would be for nothing an apology would be fitting. I just don’t understand how you people live with yourselves. Do the research or keep your mouth shut. Easy as that.

  26. I just set up a createspace account for my next book for free. I was assigned an isbn number for my book for free. They have cover and interior design tools for free. The cost for expanded distribution: 25 bucks, to be paid when I publish.
    Anybody that wants to can go check the facts for themselves, here:
    https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/
    If there’s a “business” account on createspace, please provide a link for that. I couldn’t find one.

    The answers I want are to the questions: Why does Mystic Press still have titles on Amazon.com? Are they still taking in royalties from books by authors whose contracts were nullified by the closing of that company? Or did it not close, but only change the name on the accounts?
    Let’s see those answers.

     

  27. If you are really that concerned with business that has nothing to do with you then ask Ms. Jones herself. But the accounts the money the royalties are not your business nor mine. That is between Tabetha Jones and her former as well as current authors. So build a bridge and get over it. I thought you people wanted facts which I handed over easily but instead you want personal banking information that is really none of your business. If you knew half of what you stated you knew I would say you would be pretty damn smart but unfortunately you are not. You know I really don’t understand why you’re so eager to toss someone in the fire. If you are so worried why not go to the source herself. Wait that’s right you were never a signed author and have no right to know any of this.

     

  28. Build a bridge and get over it? Is that what the people under contract with Mystic Press are supposed to do while they’re not getting paid royalties they’re entitled to?
    I wouldn’t believe anything “the source” says if her tongue came notarized.
    This isn’t a witch hunt, and nobody’s tossing your “source” into any fire she didn’t build for herself by keeping people’s money. If she doesn’t want people to complain about it, she should pay them.

     

  29. I would be very interested (as I have stated before) in contacting the attourney that Mystic/Phoenix use. Please could you supply their details to me.

    Also; ‘You haven’t seen me get nasty yet’ That’s called a threat – an empty one – but a threat none the less. Eric also threatened me by saying he was ‘going for heads’ etc. etc. ad infinitum. You might support TJ, but why would we all be making this up? Trust me, I have better things to do. I just want my money.

     

  30. I have never once threatened you but since you keep trying to make me out to be this person that’s doing things that I’m not that’s defamation of character so I would stop if I were you because clearly you have no understanding of what the fuck you’re talking about

  31. Neither do you, princess.

    Nice to see the Killeen Tough Guy ™ still exists.

  32. It really seems as though Jt and lily have nothing better to do with their time and move on. Jt wasn’t with the company so I’m ignoring her from here on in. Anything she says is pretty much pulled out of her ass. As for lily once again nobody has ever threatened you. Jeeze I would have hated seeing you in school thinking everyone is threatening you when they aren’t. For the two of you grow up and jt you have no business trying to be in the mix anymore bye bye and lily act your age and stop saying he or she it whatever did this to you when it hasn’t happened. Have a great day and once again grow up people.

     

  33. Eric, the kindest thing I can say about you is that you and your girlfriend deserve each other.

     

  34. The kindest thing I’m going to tell you is since you had no dealings with us you can go fuck yourself under whatever rock you came from good day

  35. Classy. And professional as ever.
    The more you speak, the more you expose about yourself and your girlfriend. Please, keep it up.

  36. Killeen Tough Guy(tm) ITT

  37. I won’t move on. You STOLE my money. Why would I move on? I’m trying to stop you from doing it to other people. And you DID threaten me, you stated you would be ‘going for heads’ if I didn’t stop posting about this. I’m not going to stop, so maybe you should give me a refund or get over it yourself.

  38. You made it to publication and didn’t sell a single book so nothing is owed to you so have a great life and by me making a general statement and you trying to say its a threat that’s laughable. I have no more time for you or jt because jt wasn’t with the company so all she can do is run her mouth. You lily didn’t sell a single book so you aren’t owed anything not only that you still have outstanding invoices not to us but to others who worked on your book so as I said you can be gone as well as jt. Good day

  39. OK, Princess.

    1: Your punctuation is enough to make public schools cry.
    2: How can your author have outstanding invoices? All costs are assumed by the publisher for a reputable publisher. What could she owe you? Does she owe you for the cover? For editing? What exactly does she owe you?
    3: Nice defamation.
    4: And again we see the Killeen Tough Guy in action.

  40. You know everywhere I turn its mystic this or Phoenix that. It is so old and boring now. Can we blog about what we love and that’s writing and books? I have seen all this mess and determined one thing when this woman tries to give you answers you back her into a corner and she has no other way but to fight back. I mean put yourself in her shoes. But seriously its to the point I’m sick of Facebook I’m sick of blogger. Can we move on. Obviously we aren’t getting anywhere and I’m not the only one that feels thus way. I see it all over facebook people are like really that again. We are tired of seeing it. You only get one life and I wouldn’t spend it this way. I’m an aspiring writer and actually think I’ll give this Phoenix go just to see. If I get scammed I’ll let you know but really all this is boring now let’s have some fun.

     

  41. See someone that’s not caught up in middle school bullshit. Its refreshing and to know that you aren’t looking away because of the he said she said is also awesome. Finally someone that thinks on their own without following a crowd.

  42. You mean, can we just forget how these assholes steal people’s money?

  43. “This argument is old and boring. Move on.” Tab’s words verbatim.

    She has another way to get herself out of that corner. Pay the people she owes instead of feeding them lame excuses so she can keep their money. People will move on when they stop getting lied to and start getting paid.

     

  44. I want to know what fees are owed by the authors that were published by this fly by night company.

    Outstanding invoices?

    For what?

    I love the Killeen Passive Aggressive Tough Guy(tm) act in here. It makes my day and reminds me why I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

     

  45. I know for a fact that Mr. Tough Guy has threatened women. He’s not so brave when he’s facing a man.

     

  46. And this paragon of virtue used to be a Marine? What a disgrace to the corps.

  47. Carlie as I asked in the group please remove the post. The point has been made. No one wants the truth it has been tainted and twisted. I won’t have Eric insulted nor my staff or authors. You did well ty for letting me tell the truth but now everyone else is going to twist and manipulate it. So remove it please.

  48. Why do you want it down, Tabs? Because you realize what an ass you’ve made of yourself? Because your tough guy has shown what a jerk he is?
    Or do you want to take all these idiotic posts down so you can sit back and pretend to play the poor, innocent little victim. “Look at Cuss, Seuss and Rusty blogs. Look how MEAN they are!”
    You can try it, I guess. But backpedaling and scheming isn’t going to change your history of scamming authors. You still owe people money. Pay us.

     

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Mystic Press/Phoenix fire. Here, Cussedness brings several issues to light about these companies and their owner, Tabetha Jones. Authors drop by to voice their concerns and so does Tabetha and her many alternyms. If you’re in the mood for drama and hilarity, enjoy.

Cussedness Corner

NOTE: I JUST MOVED THIS UP. IT WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11TH OF LAST YEAR.

 

I discovered this blog (and subscribed to it) following a tweet by Victoria Strauss. Some of the names were familiar enough to make me wonder how widespread scams and general misbehavior is on the part of small press publishers. Phoenix Fire is charging their authors to publish their works in a back end vanity manner.

Money should flow to the writer, not from them. It’s an old industry proverb.

The authors could self-publish for far less than they are being charged here. If you do an ebook, it is very easy to master the forms in which you upload them to the distributor. The Smashwords format works fine for kindle also. Making it double easy to just do a single format and publish to both.  The only change you need to make between them…

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