Tabetha, Lindsay and Martha – oh my!

It’s been really amusing to watch Lindsay and her dotty aunt Martha foaming at the mouth, posting at all hours of the night over on Rusty’s blog about Lindsay’s stolen images. The one/two of them put on quite a show, posting endlessly and generally looking like a complete ass with one ridiculous, ineffective excuse after another about how Lindsay’s completely innocent, hasn’t stolen a single image and has nothing to do with Tabetha Jones or Phoenix Fire publishing anymore. And even if she did, she/they claim, TABETHA’S the one that’s evil. Lindsay’s just a friend. Doing book covers for PF authors. And hosting events for PF authors on her blog. There’s one going on now that ends sometime tomorrow. I think maybe 3 people have shown up for it. She hosted one for Tabetha a few days ago that I think 2 people came to see. It would be laughable if it weren’t so downright pathetic. 

But NOOOOO. Lindsay’s not associated with Tabetha Jones or Phoenix Fire at all. No sir.

This chick has been proven to be every bit the liar and fraud that her boss/buddy/alter ego/whatever is, so deal with her at your peril. You’ve been cautioned.

And that brings us full circle right back to Tabetha Jones. I’m sure she’s been enjoying every minute that Lindsay’s been in the hot seat because that lets her, Tabetha, off the hook. Or so she thinks.

While it’s fun poking at Lindsay/Martha and watching her whirl like a dervish, that in no way means that Tabetha has dropped off of anybody’s radar. She may not see it, but the legal wheels are still in motion, and nobody has forgotten how she scammed them. There are still authors that haven’t been paid royalties by her. She sent out doctored sales reports saying that either they didn’t sell any books or that all their books were returned, so Tab doesn’t owe them anything. That came as quite a surprise to the readers of (at least) one author that assured her that they did buy it and do still have it. And each of them is willing to swear out an affidavit  So, if Tab thinks her little sleight of hand with those excel documents is clever, she’s got a reality check coming. She’s got a few of ’em, in fact. But I’ll keep those to myself. I’d like for it to be a surprise when that knock comes at the door. I’d like it if one of the officers or agents had a camera handy to snap a few pics of her expression when she opens the door. I like that idea a LOT.

Me? A sadist? Have you not read my first book? No, I guess most of you haven’t. But that’s okay. We’ve got lots of time to catch up.

As for Tabetha. If any of you don’t know, she calls herself a publisher, owning first a nonexistent publishing company called Mystic Press, then one called Phoenix Fire. She scammed so many people as Mystic that she was reported to the authorities. So she quickly closed Mystic’s doors – not that it ever had any – and took right up where she left off, calling her new business Phoenix Fire publishing.

If you’re a writer looking for a publisher, you can’t run away from Tabetha Jones fast enough. First of all, she charges authors money up front. That’s the first sign that she should be avoided. And secondly, authors don’t get what they pay for unless they’re willing to settle for crap. The books have little-to-crap editing and the cover art is likely comprised of stolen images.

Then, when an author wants out, Tabetha and her co-owner whip out the intimidation tactics to try and bilk even more out of them. Not only are authors not going to get any of their money back according to Tab et al, but if an author wants out of their contract, they have to pay a huge sum for each title before PF will release the rights to each book. If an author refuses to pay, they’re told that they face legal action. The author is bullied into thinking that they either have to stay with the “company” or pay through the nose to get away from it.

Here for your reading pleasure is a PM from Tabetha Jones to an author that wants to be rid of Phoenix Fire. That author posted it. Those are Tab’s typos, not mine.

Tabetha Jones
I will make it easy on you since the authors have already signed and paid and you havent then I will release the title and you from the anthology but as for the two books Eric stands firm. The fact is you moved over with Phoenix from Mystic with an agreement written here. And the contracts you had previously signed will stand up in court. He wants the money back that we paid to publish your books. Once that is done then you may have the rights back to your book. Which is 595.00 which is much better than 700. Even though an additional 350 can be charged for each anthology you agreed on. So those are dropped. Eric just wants the money back for what he paid on everything. He is the business manager. He does not want to take legal action.

She tried the same thing with my daughter Thea. Thea submitted a book to Mystic Press. Tabetha wrote Thea back saying “I love your book, We’d love to sign you.” and sent Thea a contract. As soon as Thea paid, she started to hear what crap her book was, saying that it was un-salvageable according to Tabetha’s many editors and betas. It wasn’t getting published. “Fine,” Thea said. “Give me my money back and we’re done.” Tabetha refused, saying that the money had already gone to pay the editors.

Nope. Sorry. The contract doesn’t say anything about paying the editors. It says the author is paying for an account on Createspace, which is free. There’s an extended distribution option that costs $25 – not the $35 Tabetha charged – and that only got paid when the book gets published. It was never published, so, no. Thea’s owed that back. The author pays for an account on Lightningsource, which is also free. There are some optional fees, but those don’t get paid until the book gets published. Never happened, so, same thing. Thea should get it back. The remaining fee is for the cover art, which Tabetha’s artists admitted they couldn’t produce. So I did it. Tabetha said she’d send that fee back to Thea so she could pay it to me. That never happened, either.

Thea told Tabetha that she wasn’t buying the editor’s fee. Tab said too bad. Thea told her “Get stuffed. Give me my money back..
Tabetha tried to tell Thea she had to pay $350 to get out of the contract or she’d keep Thea’s book rights for two years. Thea told her “Get stuffed. Give me my money back.”
Eventually, Tabetha “generously” offered that each of then could just walk away and go their separate ways if Thea signed a release saying that she (Thea) couldn’t talk about Tabetha, MP or PF, and that Thea could have her book rights back. Thea told her “Get stuffed. Give me my money back.” It still hasn’t happened. Nothing has. Tabetha hasn’t sued Thea or anything else. To this day, Tabetha Jones has kept my daughter’s money, as well as a whole lot she owes to other people as well. Don’t become one of them.

If you’re an author that’s trying to walk away from Tabetha Jones and whatever she’s calling her business this week, just do it. Walk away. And take your book(s) with you. Tabetha doesn’t own the rights to it/them. She never did. There is no legal entity called Mystic Press publishing, Phoenix Fire publishing, or any other publishing company associated with Tabetha Jones. And even if there were, contracts don’t “carry over” from one business to the next. So even if she DID own any of your rights under Mystic (which she didn’t) they became yours again when that company closed. Her own notification of Mystic closing said so. Don’t let her fool you into thinking otherwise. She’s a fraud and you don’t owe her a single thing.

Don’t be intimidated by Tabetha or anybody else associated with her “business” practices, either. She’s not going to sue you. She’s scammed too many people. I guarantee that the last thing she wants is to stand in front of a judge. She’s ripped off too many people that would be willing to fly a thousand miles to testify if she ever got within a mile of a courtroom. She keeps throwing around threats of siccing her lawyer on people. Odds are that she doesn’t even have a lawyer. She named a lawyer, but when he was asked, he never heard of her.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated. If you want to be rid of Tabetha, go. And never mind signing that ridiculous release. Tabetha just wants to shut you up so you can’t warn anybody else about her. She doesn’t want the people she’s screwed over to get together and compare notes. In short, she wants her victims to feel intimidated and alone so they’ll just go away while she keeps right on trying to scam more people.

If Tabetha tries to intimidate you, go ahead and quote Thea. She won’t mind. Tell Tabetha to get stuffed and keep walking. You’re not alone. You deserve to be free to truly follow your dreams, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.

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12 thoughts on “Tabetha, Lindsay and Martha – oh my!

  1. It amazes me. This back and forth dialog of who isn’t an artist, publisher, creator or observer. Usually I DON’T sit in the background when it comes to what I think is right or wrong. This time, I not so sure. I too have been on the receiving end of a certain ” publishing Company”. Fortunately for me, I had an author who already felt the brunt of that “Publishers” wrath……uummm,……I mean lack of ethics and gave me a heads up.
    (Thanks B.)
    While I stay neutral and enjoy the volly of this eternal game of She said / She said, I will leave you with a few words of wisdom:………Duh…….common sense anyone?

    • Common sense is a grand thing, but can only serve so well when somebody’s being lied to by a practiced scam artist. Tabetha weaves a good yarn, just like she’s got marathon skills at backpedaling to cover her ass after the fact. But, information is getting out there about these particular scam artists, so hopefully nobody else will get hurt.

      Just now, anybody that’s been taken in already by her/them needs to know that they can walk away without being victimized even further. $350 bucks? That cow doesn’t deserve .25 cents. I only hope this helps.

  2. Well, well, I have also been down the Tabetha Jones road. I feel like an idiot for being so naive. It was actually Lindsay Anne who recommended me, but it is not her fault at all.

  3. Update:

    As of June, 2016, Tabetha Jones has no publishing companies in operation that we know about, so our investigation of her has been halted. The point of examining her in the first place was to advocate for authors that reported no royalties and other related abuse from her. If she’s not involved with publishing anymore, that job’s done.

    The posts about her remain in public view in case she starts a new one in the future.

    If more publishing concerns about Tabetha Jones (Willis, Farmer Hoover, Saulters, etc) – AKA Zooey Sweete, Emerald Rai Fleurs, et al – arise in the future, we will post relevant updates. But for now, we’re focusing on happier topics.

    Peace.

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