Wetsday Salute to Cynthia Eden’s Firefighters!!!

Oh, kids, y’all know I’m a sucker for a man in uniform. If you were at RWA11, you probably saw me hanging out on Times Square, ogling the Mounted Policemen. And living here in Pensacola, I am constantly distracted by buff young men in Naval Aviator whites – think Top Gun and An Officer and a Gentleman!

But you know, I’ve talked to several of these hero-types, and consistently they tell me there is one group they look up too. As one homicide investigator told me once, “Firemen go in actual burning buildings. That takes more guts than I got.”

So, not just really athletic, hard bodies in uniforms, but the kind of heroism even the most macho of guys respect. Firemen. Gotta love ‘em.

And firefighters are particularly on my mind this week, after the snarl that my dear friend Cynthia Eden had to deal with. If you are in the small number of people I haven’t been able to voice my wrath to yet, here’s what happened:

Cynthia is one of the nicest people you could ever, ever hope to meet. She is always there to cheer you on when your writing is going badly, and to celebrate when it goes well. She gives hours and hours of work to our local RWA chapter, even though, as one of our most successful published authors, I am sure we get more from her than we can ever give back. When I first started thinking about writing romance on a more serious basis, she was the first RWA member I met on facebook, and she invited me to our local chapter, encouraged me, and has become my role model. Suffice it to say, Cynthia Eden deserves good stuff in her life.

But over the past couple of weeks, a slimy slugball of a plagiarist took one of Cindy’s fabulous books, DEADLY HEAT, which is about firefighters and a serial arsonist, and did something unbelievable. She fiddled with the POV, changed the character’s names to Bella and Edward and posted it, 99% verbatim, on a free fan fiction site as her own work. Not only did she steal Cindy’s hard work, she had the chutzpah to post author notes about how hard she was working on the story and how she does it all for her fans.

Once she was outed, I’m pleased to say that hundreds of Cindy’s fans and friends went to the site and posted reviews telling her exactly how awful her behavior was and wishing for karma to bite her in the butt. We blogged, we tweeted, and we reported the plagiarism to everyone we could think of.

Finally, after several days of this, the plagiarist took down the story and posted, no, not an apology, but an “explanation” that she had done it as an experiment to see if anyone actually read online fanfic. Huh? What does that even mean? Hasn’t to date contacted Cindy to apologize, nor has she offered any sort of payment for the thousands of people who apparently read Cindy’s copyrighted work on the free site.

Ok, that sucks. Like major, totally sucking for air. I cannot believe someone would do such a thing, would not apologize if she did do it – and most of all, that she would victimize someone like Cindy, who has done nothing but give of her time and talent to help aspiring authors. If indeed, as my youngest daughter always tells me “karma is a bitch,” then I wouldn’t stand near this person during a thunderstorm, you know?

So, to encourage you all to go buy your own, properly-credited copy of DEADLY HEAT by Cynthia Eden, we are joined today by some of the buffest, most heroic guys you will ever get to ogle – a smorgasbord of firefighters! Enjoy – and go buy DEADLY FEAR!!!!

5 Responses

  1. Those sure are some sexy firefighters. 🙂 And thank you for all those very kind words, ma’am. Your support (and the support of all the GCC ladies) has been a HUGE help to me.

  2. Thanks for supporting Cynthia Eden and her book DEADLY HEAT, Arabella! She certainly deserves it! As angry as the slimeball word thief made me, I can only imagine how Cindy felt seeing her own hard work claimed by another.

    And a special thank you for the firefighters! My wikes ’em awwwllll!!

    My Dad was Fire Chief in his younger years, and I want to leave you with his little saying at City functions:

    “All Firefighters go to heaven. They have to, because they selflessly to walk through hell every day.”

  3. My copy was purchased shortly after release at good old Wal-Mart in Phenix City, Alabama. If anyone wants to help back Cindy with a legal fund bake sale/carwash, I’ll put some brownies in the oven and grab my bucket and sponge!

  4. Thanks Arabella for cheering on Cynthia Eden! I’m still ticked this happened to one of the nicest people I know inside and outside of the writing world!

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