I’ve been called a stalker and a troll so many times, I thought I’d give it a try and nose around a bit. And it paid off. There are a few skeletons hanging deep in the back of Tabetha’s closet. Well, more than a few, but right now, I’m going to stick to just these few.
Let’s all say thank you to Goodreads for having such a good memory. And to Tabetha for being too lazy to take anything down.
Zoey Sweete has been around for a long, long time. Much longer than I originally believed. At first, I thought that Zoey was among the later names that Tab made up to hide behind, but no. Zoey goes all the way back before Mystic Press ever saw the light of day.
How many times have we heard Tabetha Jones say that she doesn’t steal writing from anybody else? I’ve got screen caps, or you could just read back through the posts, but she says it a LOT.
Let’s take a look at that claim, shall we?
We’ve all seen her Magnum Opus, the Draven Witch series with the vampire named after her favorite stripper, Draven Shadow, and the female lead named Renee after herself. She peddles it out over and over again, one rewrite after another, expecting it to catch on. The novels, the novelettes, and other publications in-between. It’s her legacy, her undying declaration of love for a stripper that’s never laid a single finger on her. A lap dance or two when she’s got the money, maybe, but never any real sex. Outside of her imagination.
But did she write it? By herself?
Tabetha’s masterpiece (full sarcasm mode) was co-written by Brandy Cowan/Paes, and it was originally a YA story. It has become a piece of trash in its many revisions since, but at first, it was good, old-fashioned YA paranormal novel.
How do I know? I already said. Goodreads. Zoey’s been blogging on Goodreads since 2011. Read for yourself, all the way back to when she talks about co-writing Blood Magic with Brandy, admitting in her own words that the two of them made decisions together about the book – both of them writing it. Confirming that the series wouldn’t exist if not for Brandy.
It wasn’t until book one actually came out that Tabetha put only her own (fake) name on it. Did Brandy got screwed out of it? HERE‘s the original publication preorder on B&N, through World Castle Press. You tell me.
I don’t know what happened with WCP that she’s not publishing with them anymore, but it might be worth dropping them a line to find out.
Might be worth dropping Brandy a line, too, to see how she feels about getting screwed out of a book series that wouldn’t exist without her participation. But not right now.
Now, we’re taking a good look at a running timeline of Tabetha’s life over the last several years, in her own words. This running personal log of hers is a veritable treasure trove of goodies, lots of points proven that she has since re-written to suit her needs since. Right there in black and white.
Shall we begin?
Let’s start on Page 7. That goes the farthest back. On September 29th, 2011, the very first words that Tabetha writes confirm that if it weren’t for Brandy Cowan, the Draven Witch series wouldn’t exist.
In her second post on the 30th, we find out where she gets her patented excuse that her computer crashed when somebody’s got a question about their work or royalties. It happened to her. Or, at least, that’s what she said happened as the reason that she had to switch editors. It sounds like the first hint of trouble to me, a precursor to why ever it was that she and WCP parted ways.
In October 5ths post, we see the first seeds of a relationship between a publisher and author(s) being like “family.” That’s how they describe how WCP treated them.
I think it bears note at this time, that the writing in these early posts is legible, with a few punctuation errors. We’ve all seen enough of Tabetha’s drivel to safely assume that it was probably not she that wrote those posts back then. Not alone, anyway. It’s reasonable to suppose that Brandy was still getting strung along at that point. Tabetha can’t write her way out of a wet paper sack by herself. She’s proven that many times over.
But there’s also another red flag in that post from October 5, 2011. They mention that their contract is being renegotiated. What’s up with that? Usually, with publishing companies, once you sign, that’s it. Contract in pace. So what happened that they needed to renegotiate? Is that when Tabetha first lay the seeds of cutting Brandy out of it? Without confirmation from either WCP or Brandy, we can only wonder.
There are teasers galore, not worth repeating, but not useless, either. First, there are the formatting errors we all know so well, and the rookie foibles of having different subjects and dialog on the same line.
I’d bet the entire farm that either Brandy came up with Most of that first book. Tab is just too illiterate to have come up with anything so elegant and thoughtful.
The WE pronoun is still being used, but one has to wonder at this point what part Brandy really has in all of this. In true fashion, Tab has either found or invented another ally, and kept Brandy’s name off a book series she invented. Her name is still mentioned, but with a distance inserted. Instead of it being “We’re” doing all of this together! There’s a mention of the two of them meeting up at some point. Doesn’t sound quite so chummy anymore, does it? One can only wonder.
Also on page 5, we see the first hint of those true, “Sweete” colors leaking through when Tab describes herself going ballistic on some poor tech at Writeway for missing work that she probably didn’t save properly herself (for whatever chemical reason). Or maybe the free demo ran out. We all know how loathe she is to part with a dollar, don’t we? Who knows.
She unloaded on the poor tech with language we’re used to hearing from her, but that poor girl at the site didn’t deserve. She was just doing her job, and here comes Tab with her potty mouth, tearing her up one side and down the other. It’s a wonder she didn’t get herself banned.
By the time you get to page one, 2015, all of Tab’s fantasies are in place. You know them, the ones where she’s a battered woman, bravely overcoming so many abusive men (cue the orchestra), the product of an affair with another woman that her father dallied with, who has overcome her unfortunate past and risen to become mother of the year, and daddy’s little biker bitch. All at once.
We’ve already shot all those lies down. You can flip back through the blog to revisit those. I just thought you’d like a glimpse at from whence some of the seeds sprouted.
Mostly, I thought you should see that you have good reasons to safeguard your work. If she’ll steal a whole book right out from under the nose of the writer that SHOULD get credit for all her hard work, she’ll do the same to you. Keep your work close, and your loyalty closer. They belong to you. Don’t let them be stolen.