We Still Report. You Can Read it and Stuff.

Part of a series: Cassie Edwards 1: The First Post | Cassie Edwards 2: Savage Longings | Cassie Edwards Part 3: Running Fox | Cassie Edwards Part 4: Savage Moon | Cassie Edwards Part 5: Savage Beloved | Follow-up: Penguin (Part 1?) | Official Statement from Signet | AP Article Contains Response from Edwards  | RWA Responds to Allegations  | A centralized document for the Cassie Edwards situation

I went back to my review of Savage Moon, and looked at the following passage, which I joked was “CSI:Shoshone”:

“See the dried material on the very tips of the sharpened stone arrowhead?” Soaring Hawk said, pointing toward it. “The points of these arrowheads have been dipped into a mixture of pulverized ants and the spleen of an animal that has been allowed to decay in the direct rays of the sun,” Soaring Hawk said grimly. “This rotten mixture combined with rattlesnake venom is the deadliest of weapons.”

Saleratus & Sagebrush: People and Places on the Road West By Robert Lee Munkres uses an identical passage and cites its source as The Shoshonis: Sentinels of the Rockies, by Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley, published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 1964.

Both books reference a work by John G. Bourke, which I haven’t identified or located.


The Link-O-Lator

Comments are Closed

  1. emdee says:

    The recipe for pemmican is fairly standard.  And it was very fatty because at a point in the winter they would not have fresh meat.  I dunno if this proves anything.  I’m no defender of Edwards.  She is completely unoriginal.

  2. emdee says:

    Well, duh.  This comment goes with the next part of the investigation,not this one.

  3. Sara says:

    This author has thousands of readers who are loyal fans.

    You people are sick.  Are your lives so pathetic that you have to single people out and attack them?

    Do you even know any of these authors that you are always attacking?

    Maybe you should get to know some of them before you go around bashing them. 

    You may think this is funny and makes you look good.  It doesn’t!  All it does is show what kind of evil person you are.

    Instead of trashing people and their work promote a charity, or do something nice.

    I’ve yet to meet anyone who has said anything nice about your website or the people on it.

  4. Chicklet says:

    As far as I’m concerned, plagiarists (and their overwrought fans) can say all sorts of bad things about me, but it still won’t make them stop being plagiarists (or overwrought fans).

  5. Nora Roberts says:

    I’ll say something nice about this site.

    It’s interesting and informative, and very often fun.

    Reporting isn’t bashing, and very often reporting isn’t nice.

    I don’t know Cassie, and would never bash her. But I will bash, again and again, the act of any writer copying another’s work—and calling the work his/her own.

    Tolerating it or defending it isn’t standing up for the writer, it’s standing up for the act of copying.

    I can never understand why anyone would do so—but having been copied, my pov is pretty firm on the issue.

  6. Rachel says:

    “You may think this is funny and makes you look good.”

    Aaactually, no, I don’t think anyone finds this funny- because it’s not funny, and it makes me as a reader sad that no one caught this before Edwards had produced such a monolithic catalog of bad stereotypes and worse dialogue.

    Plagiarism is not okay in any setting.

  7. Teddy Pig says:

    Rabid Fangirl Alert!

    Incoming! Incoming!

  8. Jules Jones says:

    Plagiarism is theft of another writer’s work. It’s that simple. And having thousands of loyal fans doesn’t make a writer any less of a thief when she copies chunks of text from someone else’s work.

    Calling someone out on their thieving and providing the evidence of that theft is not bashing, and it’s not evil. It’s doing good by exposing the theft, and by standing up in public to say that such theft does not become acceptable just because the thief has thousands of loyal fans who think she can do no wrong.

  9. yahoooo says:

    *put on your conspiracy theorist hats*

    I normally read SBTB through its RSS feed and interestingly enough, today I cannot access SBTB through my home OR work interwebs (I had to use a proxy server).

    Coincidence? I think not 😛

  10. francois says:

    Oh Bitches, stuff like this is why I love your site. You give Romance books the attention they deserve (even if it is not flattering).

    problem59. Too right!

  11. Sandra D says:

    *takes a drink*

    I don’t find this funny at all, I find it pathetic, not on the part of the Bitches but from Ms. Edwards. She’s sold gods know how many books unethically as far as I’m concerned. I learned in elementary school that when you use someone else’s work word for word you quote it and give proper credit, did Cassie skip that day?

    By the way, reading these comments has only cemented my respect for Nora Roberts.

    *here’s some irony for you, my submission word is quality51*

  12. Rosemary says:

    Seeing all the stuff y’all are finding, I’m surprised it has taken this long for someone to make the link.

    Given, I didn’t discover it, but I’ve never read one of her books because they were obviously so shitty you could smell them on the shelf.  But, to be a bad author AND a plagarist?  Wow.

    Then again, generally people plagaraize because they can’t write.


  13. *applauds Nora and Jules Jones*

  14. Ri L. says:

    I’ll say something nice.  I hate romance, but I still read and enjoy this site.  Why?  It’s damn good.

    I couldn’t identify Cassie Edwards’ work if it bit me in the rear end, but this is pretty cool to watch.

  15. SB Sarah says:

    “Instead of trashing people and their work promote a charity, or do something nice.”

    You mean like raise money for the Red Cross? Or for victims of hurricane Katrina, both human and animal? Or raising awareness of women’s rights issues or supporting candidates in elections in states of which neither of us are residents?

    Stuff like that?

  16. Delia says:

    What What, in MY butt?

    Sorry.  My inner Encyclopedia Dramatica editor couldn’t help it. 😉

  17. I was plagiarized in high school. The captain of the girls soccer team read a short story that I’d written and told the class it was her own. When the teacher confronted her and asked where she came up with the idea – because I’d read my story the day before! – she said that she didn’t know … it just came to her.

    I can still remember the cold sick feeling I got when that little wench read my story as her own. Even though the teacher made her rewrite the story, I wouldn’t share my work with anyone for years fearing that someone would steal it.

    Plagiarism is the lowest form of thievery and judging from this investigation, cheers to you for bringing it to light.

    Mary C.

  18. Rosemary says:

    Heh.  She has a myspace page.


    I’m just sayin’.

  19. Miri says:

    Oh Teddy! Yes rabid fangirrrrl alert! Oh why can’t we just be nice!
    We’ll just look the other way when someone takes our money (for decades) and passes others hard work off as her own!
    We’ll just let someone/publishers get by with crapola writing/publishing (for decades) that resembles a 5th grade, (copy it from the encylopedia geography report), while other authors are turned away.
    We’ll do that… and be nice…

  20. Katie W. says:

    Wow. Kudos to the Smart Bitches for their willingness to slog through Cassie Edwards in an effort to uphold to the standards, and ethics, of publishing. Plagiarism is never, ever excusable and the more CE fans who come here and try to justify it, the more I will laugh at them.

    Good work, Bitches. I cannot wait to see what the Publisher has to say (and perhaps what Ms. Edwards has to say) about all of this. Keep up the stellar work. (And, for the record, I’m one of the Bitchy supporters who does not see anything funny about plagiarism… but people who support plagiarists? Definitely funny.)

    And Hi Nora! I would be honored if I could, someday, get the smack-down from Nora Roberts. That would be so cool. Too bad I hate plagiarism.

  21. Kimberly Anne says:

    My heart bleeds for the authors who were so callously stolen from.  But you know who else I feel really bad for?  Cassie Edwards’ fans. 


    I’m serious.  However much I may fault their taste (and I really do), they trusted her to give them an original story.  They were lied to and betrayed.  No one deserves that, not even rabid little fan girls who attack the Smart Bitches (all hail the mighty Smart Bitches!) for telling the truth.

  22. Teddy Pig says:

    Honestly Miri,

    If this keeps up I am so pulling a Hubbard I am changing my name to the good reverend T. Pig

    Founder of the Church of Psalms: Sexual Healing Through Romance where I shall liberally excerpt other peoples work in my Inspirational Novels and explain it is for Jeeeeesus. No talent required.

    Remember to tithe 10% regularly and often ya’ll. And… Buy my latest Epistle!

  23. Ruth says:

    You people are sick

    No, what’s sick is that there are people out there who think plagiarsm isn’t a big deal. Theft is theft, whether it is intellectual or property.


  24. KellyMaher says:


    If it’s Medicine Men of the Apache, here you go: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=FdetVNST9wAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA451&dq=john+g.+bourke&ots=Zu4L5Erwmo&sig=q9aRlQI8xqlLw1iKoCjg96GcA5I#PPR37,M1

    Google Scholar has made available in full a ton of books that are out of copyright.

    I’ve got some other issues with them for various librarian reasons, but this is definitely one of the benefits of the project.

  25. Lauren says:

    I’ll say something nice about this website—it’s the best romance novel site out on the web with the best sense of humor (we know these books are silly, and we still love them!).  Grow up, fangirl.

  26. Angelina says:


    < stands up an applauds the SBs >


    You should be commended for bringing to light something that appears to have been going on for some time.


    < keeps applauding but this time for Nora & Jules for their very eloquent comments >


    The first thing I thought of when I read Sara’s post was “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me guess I’ll go eat worms”.

    I will say something nice about everyone here, y’all are the smartest bitches I know!

  27. SB Sarah says:

    Speaking for myself: I’m not enjoying it. This isn’t gleeful. I’m really pissed off. I tried to remain neutral in my posts reporting what I found, but I’m guessing what I thought was neutral came across as snide and flippant. Nope. I’m pissed as shit.

    I do have a major problem with the attitude prevalent in the romance genre that anything with man titty, a sex scene and a HEA is acceptable for romance readers because we’re too dim to know the difference between quality and crap.

    That’s the concept upon which we founded SBTB – don’t phone it in and expect me to pay retail just ‘cause Fabio’s on the cover. If I think a book sucks it, I will say so.

    And it’s not like as a consumer I have any viable recourse. I have to take my $9.00 and chalk it up to my own bad choice.

    But when the line is crossed with use of someone else’s work? Oh, hell no.

    As it is, I spent time doing research that was certainly someone else’s responsibility – a whole host of someone elses, possibly – because the change in voice was so blatant, and the ease of finding comparative sources was shocking. It’s not hard to spot the didactic shifts in writing voice, and it’s not hard to type “raccoon penis quill.”

    Reading books I personally don’t enjoy and often find offensive is one thing, and this website and my reviews constitute merely my opinion. You can disagree with me; I rather enjoy the discussions when folks do. But allegedly ripping off researchers and anthropologists and presumedly profiting from their work is something else entirely.

    And it ain’t glee.

    At this point the attention to our site has crashed the server (poor server. I have to apologize to our service host) and I’m getting email about how we’re nasty bitches who need lives or should be banned from the internet.

    Nice. I can take my evil cape and wear it with my big girl panties. I think they are a matched set.

  28. liz says:

    Big girl britches for everyone!

    I’m sure if it was another romance writer ripping off CE then CE fans would Get It.

  29. Kim says:

    Wasnt it Plato’s allegory of the cave that meant “knowledge is limited only by people’s perception of reality”?  Apparently Ms. Edwards knowledge is limited only by *other* people’s knowledge.

    Sad.  I wonder how often this happens that nobody catches.

  30. Sarah Frantz says:

    Thank you, Sarah and Candy and Kate.  As a college professor who tries to beat into her students’ heads what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, I thank you, because it’s wrong and actionable.  As an author of academic texts (which are, admittedly, unlikely to get plagiarized), I thank you, because I want credit for what I write.

    When I read rabid the fanGrrl’s comments, I thought she was kidding.  I thought she was parodying what would be said by the rabid fangrrls.  The fact that she wasn’t is very scary.

    And can we talk about Jenny Crusie’s comment—what was up with that?

  31. Stephanie says:

    Wow, nice catch. I cannot STAND plagiarists (man, I wish everyone shared that opinion…) and the fact that her editors let not only quality go but also basic checking just pisses me off. I know writers (and I’m a wannabe one that also fits) that try so hard to be original and interesting and incorporate research from many places, not copying & pasting it from one place. To her fans- I know how strong loyalty can be, but if one of my favorite authors was caught doing the same thing I would have to sadly drop them. I would not, however, fling insults at people who simply noticed the act and pointed it out to others.

  32. Becs says:

    I love this site, you bitches are constantly making me think.  It’s also nice to realize that there are other people in the world who don’t think having an English degree and enjoying romance novels are incompatible. 

    As for plagiarism, I expect that Sarah and Candy would be just as quick to call out any other author they found pulling this as they have Cassie Edwards.  Having millions of fans does not excuse this behavior and anyone who thinks it does is fooling themselves.

  33. Robin says:

    At this point the attention to our site has crashed the server (poor server. I have to apologize to our service host) and I’m getting email about how we’re nasty bitches who need lives or should be banned from the internet.

    I never know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that those posts that generate the most hate-response are also the best trafficked.  And then when you do the “productive” stuff that the critics call for, nobody shows up to the party, least of all the haters.  What’s up with that?

  34. Kate says:

    What shocks me most about this whole kerfuffle is that it was incredibly easy to find this evidence.  The section on ferrets in Shadow Bear initially jumped out at me, for example, because it was written in a very different voice than the rest of the dialogue in the books—especially that “researchers theorize” line.  If Edwards’ editors had checked, they could have found these passages with a minimum of effort.  Everything found in Shadow Bear I tracked down initially in under an hour, although it took somewhat longer to type up.

    Also troubling, though, is the fact that there were a large number of suspicious passages we couldn’t find just with Google.  If this is actually plagiarism in action, there may be much more that’s difficult to find without a manual search of popular texts on various Native American groups.  I don’t envy anyone that task.

  35. Sarah and Candy, this is a great site. We love it here. I love it here so much that I just voted for you at the editors and preditors poll.


  36. SB Sarah says:

    “Everything found in Shadow Bear I tracked down initially in under an hour, although it took somewhat longer to type up.”

    Agreed, as this is my experience as well. I found most of the sources from in “Running Fox” under an hour. Cutting and pasting and attributing them correctly took a little longer.

  37. Katie W. says:

    Sarah Frantz: I don’t mean to stir things up even more but I have no idea what you are talking about in reference to Jenny Crusie’s comments. What did she say?

    Another YAY for the Bitches. Just because they deserve it.

  38. Sarah Frantz says:

    Katie W.:  On the second post, Jenny asked, “Here’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask for a long time.  Did Cassie Edwards run over your dog?”

    As liz said in the same comment stream: “Why do you hate Janet Dailey?”

  39. Donna says:

    Wow, that’s…  *blinks*  I have only two thoughts:

    1)  Hard to believe no one ever noticed that her prose shifted from aubergine to academic like that;

    2)  I wonder if Soaring Hawk has a William Petersen kind of vibe, or if he’s more like Gary Sinise.  Nah.  I vote David Caruso.

    Oh, no.  Wait.  Here’s a third thought:

    3)  WHAT?!  Seriously.

  40. Katie W. says:

    Thanks Sarah F. for the heads-up.

    And ARGH that Jenny Crusie comment made me mad (stupid pun fully intended). I’m completely with you and Robin re: your responses to that comment. I cannot believe that an author would even try to make this appear to be a personal vendetta against Edwards on the part of the Bitches. ARGH.

    In regards to the other comments thread about how/why Edwards should have cited her sources: In general fiction books, it is not at ALL uncommon to find bibliographies of source materials at the end of the book. Michael Chabon does this best and, if you want to see some crazy source material bibliography, flip to the end of

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay


    Acknowledging source material should be standard, whether it’s a future Pulitzer-Prize winning book, a romance novel, or a sci-fi novel. In fact, I would love it if more romance authors gave detailed acknowledgments of their source materials at the end of their books. I’m always excited to see how much work the author put into the book, and to maybe find a cool non-fiction book that would be worth reading.

    For now, though, I just want to see what Edwards’ publisher has to say about all of this.

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