I got up this morning feeling like someone had slammed my head into the Green Monster at Fenway–repeatedly.  Damned MS medicine affected me that way the last time I took it, and it looks like a case of “second verse, same as the first.”  I hate headaches and usually don’t suffer from them but this stuff is kicking my ass–or should I say head?–every time I take it.  Bah!  To say I feel like shit, would be putting it mildly.  I really needed a pick-me-up, and thanks to baseball and surprising news on the Cassie Edwards thing, I got it.

Okay, like every morning, the first thing I did was turn on my computer and while I waited for AOL to sluggishly come up–and what’s up with that anyway, AOL?–I watched the highlights of my favorite Boys of Summer, the Red Sox, winning.  Immediately after that, Sports Center had the highlights from my least favorite BoS. the Yankees, losing to my second favorite BoS, the Orioles.  It doesn’t get much better than that in my little baseball world.  Congrats to Big Papi for throwing off the slump he’d been in since the beginning of the season by hitting a grand slam–woo-hoo!  Almost, but not quite as good as Manny hitting two homeruns against the Yankees the other night.  495, Manny, only 5 more to go!

So, things were definitely looking brighter and when AOL finally came up, one of the first things I saw was the news that Signet and Cassie Edwards had parted ways.

Double woo-hoo!  Not only is that good news for writers and readers of all things romantic–unless you’re a Cassie Edwards fan, of course–it’s good news for the publishing world as a whole.  To have a major publisher step up to the plate, swing for the fences, and smash a homerun is…well, like watching Manny hit a moonshot!  Sorry, it’s that time of year for me, everything revolves around baseball!  Anyway, Signet, and its parent company, Penguin, after a long and tiring at-bat, finally hit it out of the park yesterday, breaking all ties with Ms. Edwards and her plagiaristic ways.

From the AP article, written by Hillel Italie:

“Signet has conducted an extensive review of all its Cassie Edwards novels and due to irreconcilable editorial differences, Ms. Edwards and Signet have mutually agreed to part ways,” the publisher said in a statement Friday.

“Cassie Edwards novels will no longer be published with Signet Books. All rights to Ms. Edwards’ previously published Signet books have reverted to the author.”

My first thought?  Will Dorchester and Kensington do the same?  We can only hope.  Maybe then I can stop haunting bookstores and the book aisles in grocery and department stores, looking for Cassie Edwards books and hiding any that I find.

The Smart Bitches, who uncovered this whole sordid mess, have reported on this, as has Dear Author, and I imagine many other romance and reader blogs out there in cyber-space.  Here’s the link to the AP article if you’d like to read the whole thing, and the link for SB/TB and DA.  Interesting and satisfying reading!

The thing is…as usual, some jerk’s already posted a couple of comments on the SB post, standing up for Ms. Edwards, telling us we don’t know the whole story and calling us “asses” for celebrating this.  The commenter, “SAM”, also informed us that we should keep our mouths shut and be careful what we post, because “you could be opening yourself up to one heck of a slander lawsuit.

<sigh>  Where do these people come from?  It galls me that there are still readers out there who believe Ms. Edwards did nothing wrong and we should all just shut up about the whole thing.

WTF?  In the first place, SAM, it’s as clear as crystal Ms. Edwards plagiarized and SB/TB did the right thing in bringing her plagiarism to light.  Read the PDF file on the SB site, if you don’t believe me.  Second, if you’re going to toss around the old “law suit” threat, I suggest you talk to a credible lawyer about just what constitutes “slander.”  And third, what gives you the right to tell us to quit gloating and call us “asses” for celebrating what we consider a win for our side?  That’s sort of like saying to Red Sox Nation, the team can celebrate winning the World Series, but you can’t.

Good thing you included not one, but two, “LMAO” in your last post, because, I gotta tell ya’, it’s going to take some serious laughter to get rid of that “ass” you’re making of yourself.

Three strikes, you idiot…in my world, that means you’re out. 

Edited to add:  On the Dear Author site, Nora Roberts was kind enough to post an address for the publisher if you’d like to write and express your admiration, approval, and/or thanks for doing the right thing.  Here it is:

Penguin/Signet
375 Hudson
New York, NY 10014

Drop ‘em a line.  I imagine they’ve gotten their share of negative letters from readers and authors while this whole thing has been going on.  I’m betting they’d love to hear from us again–on a more positive note, of course! 

*****

Thanks to Anon76 for letting me know another reader at DA put up some email addresses to go with the snail mail address supplied by Ms. Roberts.  Here they are:

David Shanks, CEO, Penguin-Putnam, Inc.
david.shanks@us.penguingroup.com

Susan Peterson Kennedy, President, Penguin-Putnam, Inc.
susan.kennedy@us.penguingroup.com

Also Jane at DA put up another post this morning which encapsulates all that’s happened with the Cassie Edwards thing to this point.  It includes a copy of her letter to Signet and a contest she’s running in honor of Signet’s standing up and doing the right thing.  The prizes are five Fictionwise gift certificates for recent NAL/Signet releases to be given away to readers–check it out!  All you have to do is leave a comment and tell her your favorite NAL/Signet author.  Easy enough, right?  And who knows, you may be one of the winners!