I Will Not Be Bullied – Blacklist Author Mike Kearby


*Warning, graphic intensive post!*

Mike Kearby, you were wrong to think that my review was a personal attack.  You were wrong to blast me repeatedly.  And this is what you get in return.  I will tell everyone I know exactly how you tried to bully me because I gave your book one star.  I will tell them not to host you on their review blogs.  I will tell them not to buy or review your book.  You do not deserve the free press I am giving you, but I am not going to stand by any longer and allow you to slander me.

I TYPICALLY review books and not authors, but I will make an exception for you, Mike Kearby.

EDIT:  I thought I had the support of someone that I do not so I edited out where I mentioned such.  I will under no circumstances apologize to the author.  It does hurt a little that this someone would ask me to do that.

EDIT#2:  As a direct result of this post and for my refusal to give the author a full apology, I have been removed as a tour host from FMB Tours.  I wasn’t going to say anything regarding this, but Mike Kearby decided to on his blog.

 EDIT#3:  Mike Kearby’s Goodreads account was either deleted or deactivated, which made all of his comments disappear   If you’re REALLY curious, some one did post screen shots of the full conversation.  I downloaded them so that they don’t get lost.  SS#1.  SS#2.  SS#3.  SS#4.  

Since it has been 24 hrs since his last tweet and blog post about me, I am removing all links to his site and twitter account from this page.  You can find both through Google, but I don’t want to feed him any more traffic.  I am more than happy to put this entire situation in the past.  Thank you all for your support.

The Beginning:

On October 1st, 2012; I hosted Mike Kearby’s book Kavachi’s Rise (The Devouring #1) as part of a blog tour organized by FMB Tours.  Let me say upfront that I have contacted Holly @ FMB Tours.  I did not like Kavachi’s Rise (The Devouring #1) and so I hosted a book promo instead of the planned review with the intention of posting my review after the tour had completed.

The Review:

On January 29th, 2013; I decided to go through all the books I read in 2012 that I didn’t like and didn’t review (most were DNFs) and posted a few lines explaining why I didn’t like the book.  I also included how I obtained my copy, you know, because we’re required to disclose that on review blogs.  You can find that post HERE, but it has been modified since originally posted.

Here is what I originally posted about Mike Keaby’s book in that post:


I posted just the review section and not the “How I got my copy” on Goodreads.  Mike Kearby must have visited my blog after reading my one star review on Goodreads (his first by the way!) because he asked me in a not-so-nice way to remove what I wrote in the “How I got my copy”.  More than one blog did switch from review to promo during the tour, however I didn’t want the drama and so I removed that section promptly.  I also didn’t want to involve Holly @ FMB Tours, but she eventually had to be notified, because Mike Kearby was not satisfied.  HERE is my review on Goodreads and below is a copy in case he decides to remove his comments.


I was okay with ignoring these low-blow insults.  You know why?  Because Mike Kearby is a nobody in my life.  And I worked in a fucking jail as a prison guard.  You have to work a lot harder to get through my thick skin.  Calling me a liar is nothing compared to a child molester telling me to my face that he wants us to get married and have kids so he can fuck them.  Now THAT screwed with my head for a few days.  In other words, I’m still going to keep reviewing books and running this blog despite all this.  But wait, there’s MORE!

The Tweets

I kind of figured that Mike Kearby would be one of those authors that would try to bully me into removing my review.  Slamming me on Goodreads didn’t work and so he turned to Twitter and his blog.  So I’m thinking not many people saw his rants.  Still, here are his tweets blasting me:


The original tweet is a direct reaction to what I posted at the top of the 2012 DNF Book Blowout, which is where I reviewed his book on my blog.


You know what, Mike Kearby?  I read books as a hobby.  I review books as a hobby.  I write books as a hobby.  How pretentious of you to decide which of my hobbies are more important!  You’re not my boss and I’m not being paid to write reviews for you or any other author.

But for any of you that are curious, I’m on my 2nd draft of my novel.  I cut out 20,000 words when I switched up one of my sub-plots and am now filling in the gaps.

The Blog Post

The second tweet links to his blog.  In this not only does he criticize me about my review of his book and my review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Like I said, I didn’t like Pride and Prejudice so liking it with Zombies was either going to be a hit or a miss).  But Mike Kearby says that I didn’t like his book because I’m a failed writer myself.  Hello?  I’ve never published or even queried a book.  I’m not at that stage as an author/writer and I’m perfectly okay with it.  I’m sure that none of the other 100+ authors who I reviewed so far think that I liked or disliked their book based on me being a “more frustrated writer than reviewer“.  You can check out this post for yourself [Google "Mike Kearby"].

Here is a copy of his blog post so you don’t have to give him extra traffic on his blog if you don’t want to:


 End Result

I’m still reviewing.  I’m still writing.  I love my life.  Thank you to Rachel @ Parajunkee for giving me awesome support and advice regarding this.  And thank you Pandora for spontanously playing I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz while I wrote this post.  You truly are an amazing music station to know the perfect song for every situation.

Expect Lizzy’s Dark Fiction to be around at least another nine months.

From one “pseudo reviewer” to another:  If you think that Mike Kearby’s bullying behavior is inappropriate, please don’t review or host him on your own blogs.  Do not buy his books.  Tell your friends to do the same.  Please pass this message on to everyone you know.


Mike Kearby, my 1 star review of your book will stay until Goodreads (and other sites) shuts down no matter how hard you try to bully me.

3/28/13:  I’ve made a post concerning Goodreads and the war between authors and bullies.  You can check it out HERE.  Thanks again to everyone who had supported me through this.  I really appreciate every single one of you.  And thank you most of all to Parajunkee who has been there for me through every rant and question I’ve had concerning this incident.  :)

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  1. Saw this on twitter. Sighs. Authors who bullies are bullies and I will not read their books. I would read a book that got a 1 star review, i will not read a book that might get me bullied.

    So good for you that you wont let him get to you

    • I always read one star reviews before buying books. They often help my decision making better than the five star reviews.

  2. I’m really, really glad you posted this. You make it clear that, while this bothered you, you didn’t let it HURT you but I am sure there are many newer/shyer/younger/whatever bloggers out there who would be hurt by this kind of behavior and should know that they do not need to put up with it.

    So thank you for standing up to bullying and showing others that they can as well!

    • Thanks. I understand why reviewers do quit over things like this because I was pretty mad at one point, but I’ve dealt with way worse in my life. In one way I’m thankful that he decided to pick on me and not say a teenage blogger. I can handle the fire. :)

  3. This is fantastic! You, I mean. Not the situation. Authors have to realize that we’re allowed to dislike their books. And that just because someone dislikes their book doesn’t give them a right to push anyone around. This guys sounds like a nut-job and quite honestly his book doesn’t even sound all that great. Keep up the good work Lizzy!

    • I feel fantastic from everyone’s support! Thanks and <3 <3 <3 However, Mike Kearby might not when feel so great when he wakes up to this. Karma is a bitch.

      • Karma is definitely a bitch and he earned his. I have a feeling you’ll be getting tons of support if he does get on his high horse again. I’ll help stand by! I may be a newb but I’ve got a voice ;)

        • As a gamer also, I love newbs. They’re so cute and squishy <3

  4. I’m a little offended that he thinks that people who use terms such as transitioning or world building have taken on- line courses to learn such terminology. I don’t know maybe we actually went to college and had English classes and learned what these terms meant and how they should be used.

    I’ve used world building a few times in my reviews and I have no aspirations to become a writer. World building is part of the book if it’s rushed or not present a reader notices. And yes we also notice when a writer does not transition well from point to point. Believe me I wrote enough essays and papers to know how important transitions are to a paper never mind a whole novel.

    Well I haven’t read his work. He comes off as elitist thinking reviewers are ignorant and wouldn’t know what certain terms mean unless they intend on becoming writers.

    End of my angry rant.

    Glad you were able to get this out in the open and I agree with Caitlin others might not have stood up to the bully.

    • Haha, I remember being drilled by English teachers in both high school and college about using trasitions. I’m still horrible at them, but at least I know when I’m doing it wrong!

      Thanks for your support! I tried to let this resolve privately, but I will not be walked over.

  5. My god. Pissed does not even come close to how I feel.

    I feel lucky that I was never victim to one of these author attacks, but authors need to know something as well. We are not making a living off of book buying, reviewing, and promoting authors. We are doing this because we enjoy reading, and want to expand by helping some authors promote their books in the easiest way possible. We aren’t just sitting here, begging to have books sent to us. We have lives and jobs outside of the blogosphere.

    Another point I’d like to make is that we’re people. We have different reviewing styles. Some bloggers review with the more energy than the people in my life, while others actually can pick a book apart to take their view on it in a more professional way. It gives him no right to criticize your usage of professional writing terms. Hell, most book reviewers I follow use them.

    Lastly, I want to just give you heaps upon heaps of my support. Generally I’m not one to be as verbal, but I FREAKING HATE THIS KIND OF ATTITUDE, FROM AUTHORS TO READERS TO BLOGGERS. Bullying is obviously the wrong thing to do, in any situation, and this author obviously crossed the line.

  6. Hey! Nice to meet you. Well, I found your blog through a tweet of Parajunkee’s, and wanted to drop a line. As both a reviewer and an author, I can say that whenever drama like this comes up, it stinks. Sorry you went through it. But glad you called him out! Authors have to learn that not everyone is going to enjoy their book and they just need to move on from that. There have been plenty of times when I’ve picked up books due to interest from negative reviews(and even found favorites among them!)–but I refuse to pick them up if I see behavior like that from an author because they can’t accept it. It’s ridiculous.

    And so what if you’re a writer, too? Writing neg reviews doesn’t mean you’re “more frustrated writer” or “jealous” at all. You can be both a reviewer and a writer. There’s nothing wrong with that! :)

    Live Long and Prosper (from a new follower),

    • I remember seeing you comment on some of Parajunkee’s BB101 posts, so hello offically and welcome to my blog.

      I wish you came on different circumstances, but I thank you so much for your support. I agree that reading one star reviews often sway me more to buy the book than the five star reviews. :)

      Like, some one who read my review of his book could of said “Shoot, only transition problems when everyone else is saying that the vampires are FREAKING amazing. I can deal with some issues there. I want to read about NON SPARKLY vampires.” And then that person would of bought his book because of my review.

      Now, I don’t think anyone will be buying it.

  7. This really angered me, I can’t believe an author would do something so despicable! Good for you for staying strong and not giving up. I can’t believe he thinks it’s uncommon for a reviewer to use “writing terms” when reviewing, that’s the kind of thing that people learn in school! As a new reviewer myself I want you to know that I think it’s inspiring the way you’re handling everything. I just want you to know that I fully support you and I wish you lot’s of luck on your novel :)

    • Thanks so much! I definitely wish you luck as a new reviewer and pray that every author you meet is awesomesauce. Most of them are truly wonderful people to deal with, especially the indie authors!

  8. If we’re not supposed to use writing terminology what terminology are we supposed to use? And LOTS of reviews talk about worldbuilding. World building is kind of an important big deal for those of us who read fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian/etc.

    Guess I need to resurrect the faithful “will not read” list for this dude.

  9. Ugh, I’m sorry you’re going through this Izzy. BUT it’s great to see you handling it so well!

    Considering you met his original demand, and responded to him politely (which is more than some people would do) I don’t understand why he felt the need to draw this out longer than necessary.

    Now excuse me as I rush off to edit all of my book reviews that contain such literary terms as “world-building” so as not to confuse people – I don’t want them to think I must be an aspiring writer because I must have obviously taken some kind of online writing course! Heavens no!

    • I was hoping that after our conversation on Goodreads that he would stop. I would not have said anything nor wrote this post if he didn’t continue slandering me.

      Thanks for the support!

  10. I’m curious – you claim he’s bullying you – yet you have tweeted and posted this to share with everyone – who’s bullying now?

    See – If I were inclined to post a DNF – it would be right after I shut the book. I’d also give the tour host an email explaining why – (and have) and ask them to pass that on to the author – quietly and privately. THAT is professional.

    There were actually several reviews for that particular book on the tour – and like all books – it was subjective opinion as to like or dislike. That is true with all books – but your behaviour is telling. And serves to justify Kearby’s thoughts that book bloggers are poseurs – I would most normally side with the reviewer, because I am one, and yes – his comments were harsh. But – your snarky and unjustified tone in the side note comment to the book instantly turned me off. That just reads like sour grapes

    I’m saddened that you have seen it necessary to take what should have been a private exchange and posted it for sympathy points and to bully others.

    • Mike Kearby was upset by what I wrote and asked that I remove it (as seen by Goodreads post). I did.
      Mike Kearby decided to tweet about me in spite. I ignored it.
      Mike Kearby decided to blog about me in spite. I ignored it.
      Mike Kearby decided to tweet about me in spite again.
      I had enough and decided to show everyone what was said by me and him that was ALREADY available in public. There is nothing in my post that was said privately.

      If the author had INITIALLY contacted me through email instead of through a bitter and insulting PUBLIC rant on Goodreads, I would have apologized for upsetting him and removed what he asked me to remove. I did not apologize for what was done because of how the author approached the situation but I DID REMOVE IT ANYWAY. As you can see from what I posted on Goodreads, I wanted to avoid drama and settle this. CASE CLOSED. The author has made no attempt to deal with this matter through email and he has certainly never asked for an apology until I decided to reveal his bullying.

      I will not be bullied. What he did by slandering me for three days is bullying.

  11. I’ll simply say that this post is far from “avoiding drama” – and no one looks professional – but your tone – and your continuing of the issue only serve to refute your “he means nothing to me”. If that were truth – this wouldn’t be a post that is repeatedly tweeted.

    I will admit to being confused – why write a series of “top 10 dnf posts” ? I read/review easily 7 or 8 books a week – when I accept a review – I owe it to the author to do my best to finish – and if I can’t – to let them (or the tour operator) know that there were issues, here they are, and I walk away from it. I may or may not post a review, sans commentary, but I don’t feel a need to fill blog space with it. But – those are your choices, I just see far better options, that don’t include fighting fire with fire and displaying exactly the sort of behaviour that you claim to despise.

    • I did not write a top 10 DNF list. I said: here are the books that I didn’t finish in 2012. There are only 8 books on my list. The blog post is titled: 2012 DNF Book Blowout. It is not a top 10 list. I could have wrote 8 seperate DNF posts about each book, but I decided to throw all of them into one post.

      I also chose to ignore his actions for 3 days. On the third day of him tweeting, I acted. Some bloggers would have responded with fire on the first day.

  12. Oh my God, Lizzy! You should be ashamed of yourself!! Using ‘revealing terminology’ about books? How DARE you speak about something you’ve actually taken the time to study? ‘Professionals’ all around the world are self-flagellating over your audacity. You should know better, no REAL reviewer dares hint they know what the hell they’re talking about, and if they do know they’re so ashamed of it they have the decency to keep it under wraps. Or else us obviously clueless brain-mushed readers might think your review is so much more important then it is. Because we’re all idiots taken aback by the use of sparkly words like ‘transitioning’ and ‘worldbuilding’ that we obviously know nothing about, being the idiots that we are. That’s why we’d read such brilliant work that you obviously aren’t accomplished enough to understand.

    Nobody who actually studies the craft should be allowed to speak about it. I’m ashamed of reading your ‘revealing terminology’, I’m ashamed of even mentioning it.

    Since it’s kinky word play, and some might be just as flat-brained as he obviously thinks 99.9% of reviewers and all of their readers are to boot – that above is sarcasm. Very nifty trick of saying exactly the opposite of what you mean, pretending to praise someone for their obvious intellectual superiority (Gasp! Sarcasm, again).

    Lizzy, run and grab a glass of water and the salts. People in the crowd fainted at the perverse ‘revealing terminology’ already.

    On one thing the dude and I both agree, though. I think we all do at this point. By his own admission, you are a writer who knows about the craft (the online course or read a book about it jab is actually one of the few shows of some word-wit, let’s give it a round of applause). By his behavior and bile-spewing reactions, he’s obviously frustrated for all of us together.

    I won’t be reading, reviewing, or paying him any attention from now on. And that tour organizer? Never was a host for them, never will be for sure. They can make their money off of all those 99.9% of reviewers and bloggers this dude knows, they seem to deserve each other and hurrah for them.

    P.S.: Shakespeare and Hemingway are turning in their graves because you DNF-ed 50 Shades. They’re lodging an official complaint with the Thought/Speech Police for dissing sacred literary accomplishments.
    Be afraid, be very afraid, they’re coming for you.

  13. Hi Lizzy,

    From the perspective of a person totally unbiased (I don’t know either you or the author in question), let me tell you what I think:

    While this comment:
    “But here’s the most bothersome part, Lizzy also used some very revealing terminology in her review. Specifically that the book’s author should have spent more time in transitioning and wordbuilding.

    Why is that bothersome? Most reviewers: professional or not, do not use writing terms as part of their review. The fact that Lizzy did or does shows that she has taken an on-line course in writing or perhaps read a book on writing. Either way, using writing terms in a review provides a clue that Lizzy might be more frustrated writer than reviewer.”

    is totally uncalled for and based on nothing more than the author’s happy assumptions (I use worldbuilding and transitioning, as well as other terminology, in my reviews plenty and I am what you’d call the farthest thing from an aspiring author), I must tell you that I don’t think the author was trying to bully you into removing your review.

    He never – not even once – suggested that. In fact, he even said that it’s perfectly OK for you to comment on the worldbuilding and transitioning, but it’s not OK to make false statements, which – let’s face it – you did. Apparently there were more than 3 reviews on this tour and I just don’t understand why you felt compelled to add this little detail to your review. Now, don’t get me wrong, you have every right to DNF a book and then write a 1star review explaining why you did that – it’s normal, lots of people do that all the time, and while it might hurt the author, I doubt he would have spoken up if not for the false statement you included in your review.It seems to me you were trying to back up your 1star rating by saying: “hey, look, other people hated it so much they dropped out from the tour, so I’m 100% right about this book”. I think it was unnecessary. Moreover, I gotta say that I can see why that statement upset the author enough to speak up – and you can’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same if someone went about spreading lies about your own hopefully-one-day-to-be-published book.

    I am friends with an author who goes through stuff like that on weekly (sometimes daily) basis, and I can tell you: it hurts a lot. Not your 1star review – like I said, that happens to authors all the time. But adding false information that makes the book look even worse? Yes, that hurts.

    I’ve read the article the author posted on his website, and while it does sound bitter and perhaps it crosses the line a couple of times (again, Mr. Kearby, worldbuilding and transitioning are quite frankly very basic terms and if a reviewer doesn’t know them, then he or she should not be reviewing in the first place. That’s not something to throw in our faces.), it’s generally quite polite and honest.

    And you posting this on your blog, calling people to deny review requests from Mr. Kearby? You don’t think that’s crossing the line?

    I don’t see any bullying done on Kearby’s part, unfortunately can’t say the same thing about you. There were some real cases of authors bullying reviewers in our community, but this is not one of them – at least not now, not yet and not based on the evidence you yourself have provided.

    I can understand that you’re upset about the author bitter tweets and his post singling you out – that was, indeed, bad behaviour on Kearby’s part (smells a lot like something Carroll Bryant would do), but you gotta take a step back and think about what you’re writing before you put it out there. Truth is, non of this would happen if not for your false statement. Correct? That is all he seemed to have a problem with. Can you really blame him for that? If someone goes around spreading lies about you and your blog, wouldn’t you step in to defend yourself? Would that be considered bullying the person who spreads lies? Hmm..

    Either way, this is all I have to say on that subject, I hope you two can find a way to handle this in a civilized manner, without doing all the dirty laundry in public, lord knows we all had enough of that recently.

    Best wishes,

    • Evie,

      When Mike Kearby first asked me to remove my comments because they upsetted him, I did. I did it quickly, quietly, and respectfully. I had ZERO intention on writing this post. If the author had asked me privately to apologize when he first read my comments about the blog tour, I would have. I would have posted that I was mistaken. However, when Mike Kearby decided to insult me on twitter, Goodreads, and his blog repeatedly over the course of several days – I had to do something. I asked a couple of people what they thought I should do and if they thought I had handle the situation appropriately, and I was advise to standup for myself if it continued.

      Mike Kearby continued and so I wrote this post explaining what happened. I’m not trying to say that my initial comments were appropriate. I’m saying that despite removing my comments, Mike Kearby is still slandering me.

      Belive me. I wish that this was resolved over email. I have no future plans to make a part two of this post. My goal was to let authors and bloggers alike know what happened and to make their own judgement calls. I am happy to let this issue die and yet Mike Kearby is still responding and insulting people on Goodreads.

      My advice to Mike Kearby is to stop. Don’t mention me again and I will not mention him again.

      • Like I said before, I agree with you that Kearby’s post and bitter tweets were bad behaviour and I understand that you are upset about them – I’m not saying that you did a bad thing posting about it at all – it’s good that you’re letting people know about the situation. Everyone can read your post and make up their own mind, and that’s perfectly fine. I don’t agree with you asking people to turn him down, block him, etc, though, I think that is – like Kearby’s post and tweets – a bad move, and can only do more harm than good. You appear vengeful and I don’t think that is the point of your post.

        All I was really trying to say in my previous comment is that: yes, his reaction to your review was blown out of proportion, but he only addressed the fact that you made a false statement in it, he never asked you to remove the entire review – at least not to my knowledge and not according to the screenshots you provided. If there was more that happened and you didn’t share then maybe I’m wrong.

        Let’s make on thing clear: I am not defending the author. i couldn’t care less about him, I’m just expressing my opinion as someone who stumbled upon this post by accident.

        You did reply to his comment in a respectful and polite manner and he didn’t have to make a post about you – that’s for sure. But you also tell us that he is bullying you to remove your review, which doesn’t appear to be the case.

        Anyway, not here to argue or cause drama. Wish you all the best!

  14. Oh wow. Using literary terms automatically means a reviewer is a frustrated author? Really? Not that they have received a decent education somewhere along the line? What a freaking idiot. If he makes such unsubstantiated leaps in his understanding of others, there’s no doubt that his characters would be flat and overly simple.

    • Surprisingly, the book had decent characters. Judging by his actions over the past couple days, however, I agree that the author might need a character revision.

  15. DNF and 1* reviews play an important role and I wish people would remember that. If the only reviews were gush-fests, it would make it awfully difficult to figure out which books wouldn’t suit my taste. How someone communicates that DNF or 1* – that’s up to them. I read Lizzy’s review and saw nothing that demeaned the author at all. Everything was fine until he came roaring into her review and starting spouting off, not just at her, but at every single person who tried to communicate with him.

    What’s wrong with you trying to blame Lizzy for his continued bad behavior? He asked for a removal, she removed it within the first three comments. His blathering continued well beyond that and he took it further to other media. The onus wasn’t on Lizzy to let it die. It’s Kearby’s reputation that he’s so concerned with, so he’s the one who should be letting it die now that the information he wanted removed is gone. Instead, he’s practically circling Lizzy’s review with a neon marker, making sure everyone sees that she DNF’ed him. Seriously? Is that the kind of thing an author who’s behaving rationally does?

    Evie SEO, pardon me for addressing you personally, but Kearby specifically said “world-building” was a term that didn’t exist and Lizzy didn’t have a clue what she was talking about when she used it. He said he’d never heard it used on Goodreads, which is utterly ridiculous since it’s used constantly. I think I used it in a review I wrote this morning.

    This is Lizzy’s blog and she can do whatever the hell she wants on it. She doesn’t answer to anyone but herself and if she felt a need to defend herself, she should. If she wanted to go on the offensive, she can do that too. It’s her RIGHT. This is her content. Why you’re vilifying her and giving Kearby a pass is really a mystery to me. Bringing up Carroll Bryant makes me very suspicious, I’m sorry.

    Rock on, Lizzy.

    • I never said she was wrong in posting a one star or DNFed review, please don’t put words in my mouth.

      And yes, it is Lizzy’s blog and she can write whatever she want, but I can also express an honest and polite opinion in a comment, can’t I?

      Like I said in my comment (have you even read it???), Kearby was out of line with his comment about the “worldbuilding” and other such terminology and his assumption that reviews don’t use those terms was baseless.

      And from what I saw on GR, he didn’t come “roaring” and “spouting off” at all, he just asked her to remove the false statement. The entire exchange was polite and civilized, it’s what followed that wasn’t. I’m not defending him, I don’t know him and don’t care about him and his books (first time I ever heard about the man), I’m just saying, it’s normal to DNF and it’s OK to give 1star reviews – I don’t have a problem with that at all – it’s the comment about other bloggers DNFing the book too and the false statement she made (that upset the author and caused the whole thing) that I commented on – NOT her review or the rating.

      I’d appreciate if you’d read my comments with understanding before you come roaring and spouting off at me.

    • And whatever do you mean when you say that me bringing up Carroll Bryant makes you suspicious? I happen to have a friend who was forced to stop blogging because of the actions of that douchebag of a pseudo author, I even changed my review policy after the stuff that happened in August, how dare you imply that I’m any way connected to that lowly human being, when all I did was compare Kearby’s way of handling things that upset him with the way Bryant handles them (I.E, let me spell it to you: childish and unprofessional way).

      Again, read and think before the roaring begins.

  16. No reviewer should have to put up with authors arguing with them about their reviews or attempting to publicly shame them.

    I can see why he would have wanted the one statement removed. And you did too, I think, since you removed it. He should have been done with it after that. The continued public complaining is in poor taste and only makes reviewers not want to deal with him in the future. Who wants to take a chance on an author who has lashed out at a fellow reviewer, a colleague? I wouldn’t.

    And WTF? Anyone who’s ever taken a literature course in middle school, high school or college, or has read/spoken about books online or in book clubs or elsewhere knows (or SHOULD know) what worldbuilding and transitions and other basic literary terms are. I don’t know which reviewers he’s reading, but EVERYONE whose reviews I follow use these terms in their reviews. Everyone. If someone did NOT know these terms and use them, then I wouldn’t read their reviews because those reviews wouldn’t tell me anything about the book.

    • Yes, I agreed with him that my statement wasn’t relevant to my own review, so I removed it without question.

  17. Wow what an ass.

  18. Oh fergodsakes when will this ridiculousness end? Good for you for taking it to your blog. This author did far more harm to his career by indulging in this hissy fit than a little review could ever do.

    • His insistance on having the last word went horribly wrong on the Goodreads review. He should of known better than to engage trolls. You can’t win against trolls. Ever.

  19. Its authors like this that ruin it for so many Indie authors. I have so many people that sign up for tours and say they won’t read Indie because they are afraid of getting bullied.
    I will tell you right now, I would never tour a book that has atrocious editing, but if you ever don’t care for a book on a tour with me I am always okay with quietly removing you. Kind of unrelated here, but thought I would mention it.

    Its horrible you had to go through this and I’m SO sorry. I do think his statement about the worldbuilding and stuff is pretty ridiculous. I learner all that in high school English and comment on it in my reviews ALL the time.

    Yep, totally ridiculous. So sorry you had to go through this.

    • Thank you. I actually haven’t signed up for a tour in months because of backlog, but when I do start up again, I’m going to be a lot more selective with who I tour with. Before I wrote this post. Before I did anything. I contacted the tour organizer and explained the situation. I asked that person what I should do. I thought that I had this person’s full support when I wrote this post. Instead, I get backlash from it from that individual when the author complained about my post. I know that I put her in a difficult predicament, but I really wish that she didn’t backtrack. Things might have turned out a lot differently if she had taken the time to FULLY read and respond to the multiple emails I sent her. I gave her 2 days to read and respond to my emails before I notified anyone else of what was going on.

      That said, there is no shortage of tours nor books. I’ll definitely contact you when I’m ready to start touring again. We have such similar tastes in books that I haven’t had a dissapointing tour with you yet!

  20. +JMJ+

    Hi, Lizzy!

    I’ve dealt with an incredibly onion-skinned author before, and all of this sounds uncomfortably familiar. Without going into detail (because my story is ancient), what our cases have in common is that both authors had one tiny issue that they just couldn’t let go.

    So I see where Evie is coming from when she said that your comment about only one or two other tour participants reviewing the book–not your review–was what really offended Kearby. It made his book look worse and it wasn’t even true. So your deleting that line without an “official” retraction might have looked as if you wanted to sweep it under the carpet instead of actually righting a wrong.

    Of course, that wasn’t your intention, and this is where it all goes grey. Whose perception is more correct–yours or his? Who is obligated to adapt to the “apology style” of the other?

    Having said that, I agree that if he had written to you privately about it and been more direct (and less sarcastic) about why you had been unfair to him, this would have gone down differently.

    And I certainly don’t think he was right to have published those tweets and that post. As far as I can tell, his other issues have nothing to do with the original one that got him going and he just wants to rant.

    • I can see where it looked like I was “sweeping it under the carpet”. It was a 2am mistake that spiralled way out of control, despite my attempts to rectify the situation privately.

      Well, I suppose that if he didn’t want it “swept under the carpet”, he got his wish. Everyone knows what I did.

  21. Dude I read his ridiculous post. You were NOTHING but completely respective to him, even AFTER he started acting like a douche bag.

    I would NOT apologize because you did absolutely nothing wrong.

    I SO wanted to comment on his ridiculous freaking post, but his comments were off. He’s a pathetic person, who should’ve just kept his mouth shut. All he did was make himself look stupid and add a tally to ‘Authors Behaving Badly’.

    • Yeah, I searched for the comment button too because I wanted to see if he had any supporters. It’s amazing how he’s so sure he’s 110% the one who is right and not even the GR Bully site defended him.

  22. Just saw this on Good Reads. Sorry to hear you had to go through this. Just throwing my hat in the ring as a supporter. Writers who can’t handle criticism bring a bad name to this industry, and those who go out of their way to do what he did don’t deserve the right to call themselves professionals.

  23. Got here via a link from Erotic Romance, and like most commenters, I’m sorry that you had to go through this kind of garbage. If this guy had a miniscule amount of intelligence in his brain (and if his critique group collective had a spine), he would’ve realized that you were doing him a HUGE favor by properly dissecting and pointing what was wrong with the book.

    In all honesty, I wish someone did that to me years ago when I’d started writing. Wouldn’t have wasted so much time trying to get published the easy way, instead of eventually succeeding in getting published the hard (and ultimately more gratifying) way.

    • He kept saying that he’s gotten “thousands” of one star reviews, but he sure didn’t act like it. Thanks for your kind words. :)

  24. This is the reason a lot of bloggers I know are scared to read and review Indie authors.

    If you cannot take getting your feelings hurt, then don’t put them in a book and give them to the world to read. Get another profession.

    • Ironically enough, he isn’t self published. He’s with Damnation Books, which is a small epublisher that’s published quite a few books I have enjoyed.

      Basically, avoiding self-published authors isn’t enough to avoid these situations. Some authors just don’t get it.

  25. Lizzy, good on you for standing up for yourself. You shouldn’t have to put up with constant bombardment from someone that should have just walked away, read a few of his better reviews and moved on.

    I think all bloggers fully understand that writing a bad review isn’t going to make the author feel good, but in the end we aren’t here for the authors, we’re here for other readers – and the sooner some of these idiots realise that, the blogging world will be a better place.

    The thing that always ticks me off is when they climb on their high horses and think we are writing negative reviews for fun. Reading a bad book and then writing a bad review isn’t fun as a reader – and we shouldn’t have to worry that being honest in our opinions is going to result in someone harrassing us.

    • Yes, exactly! I didn’t sit down at my computer one night and say, “Hey, how about I shit in his cheerios tonight.” I reviewed a book and made a bad judgement call about including my thoughts about the tour.

  26. Urrghhh! I literally can’t believe what I’ve just read – that’s really disgusting behaviour from an author. Authors need a thick skin when putting their work out there for review. Not everyone is going to love their literature. Good on you for standing up for yourself! It’s a shame that events such as this happen within the blogging community at all.

    • I really wish that we could all get along. After all, I’m sure every single author has told someone else that they didn’t like a book they read…well, that’s reviewing. We don’t review authors, we review books.

  27. You handled everything very fair and honest. He should not have continued to bully you and I am happy you have stood up for yourself. I’m confused why he keeps acting like world-building is some big word no one uses?!? I use it in almost all my reviews. As a paranormal and dystopian reader I find the world-building to be one of the most important parts of many books and have seen the word used in countless reviews. Glad you are moving on with such a positive attitude and hope this doesn’t sway you away from continuing to blog.

    • The comments made about me using “world building” definitely confused me too. Almost every review I read, particularly in fantasy/sci-fi/dystopians reference it.

  28. I saw about this on Parajunkee’s BB101.
    this author had no right to be such an ass. In my opinion your review was perfectly fine and you tried to be respectful by removing the thing he objected to. To then bad mouth you online just makes him look petty and pathetic. there is never a reason to do that.

    And I agree with other comments about the terms ‘transitioning’ and ‘world building’. Most of us just use our brains. I’ve never done a writing course online or otherwise, I just paid attention at school. He obviously thinks we are all stupid. Maybe judging us by his own standard.

    I will make sure I avoid him and his books at all costs. I do not tolerate bullying, and you’ve done really well standing up to him.
    You’ve clearly got the community behind you.
    Sorry I came to your blog under such negative times. I hope the next time I comment it will be under happier circumstances.
    Here’s to your blog being around for many more years! xxx

    • Thank you! I don’t think he’ll understand the full reprecussions of his actions until he tries to promote another book.

      • No problem! You’re right, but at least it will come back and bite him in the behind and he’ll deserve it. Some people just really tick me off and it will be good for him to taste his Karma.
        Have a good weekend, knowing you are in the right. :D

  29. I comment about world building and other facets that make a great story great in basically all my reviews, and I’m just a 20 yr old boy who has attended no writing classes in my “career”.

    He has no fucking idea.

    You’ve got my support.

  30. I came here through Parajunkees BB101 like a few others up there. And I can’t tell you how angry I am for you. If it made me this mad I can’t imagine what you’re feeling. You were extremely polite to him on GR and while his comments weren’t overtly rude he was definitely snide. And I read all 3 of his posts on his blog, it’s disgusting. I’d never heard of him before today, but I can guarantee that I will never read a book he’s written.

    • Thanks. I really tried to remain professional and ignore his baiting. But, I didn’t want my reputation to be tarnished in case his slander popped up on Google when someone searched for me or this blog.

  31. So much support! Also I have been known to use the word “world-building” in my reviews and I have never written or started a novel or taken any online writing courses… I just know what that word means and like to use it to help my readers understand why some books are awesome and others aren’t. Silly people ;-)

  32. Wow. Unbelievable. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  33. OMG, I laughed so hard at this! Thank you for this Livia!

  34. Hey Lizzy! This is my first time on your blog (I came over from Parajunkee’s), and I wish it had been under better circumstances. So much drama!! I mean, it’s only February and we’ve had a few bouts of plagiarism drama and now another bat-shit-crazy author? This is why I changed by review policy to no self-published authors and only a select few indie publishers. They don’t realize that while they’re trying to “prove their point”, they’re really just screwing their writing career over. Book bloggers are more important in getting the word about their book out than they realize.

    But I think blogging about DNF’s is important. It was very mature of you to take that sentence down (we all embellish a little in our reviews to make a point), and he should have just left it at that. I think people forget that everyone sees what you post on twitter, not just the people on your side. I actually just read my first DNF in the middle of last month (it was also for a blog tour, but the book is published by Harlequin Teen, not an indie or self-publishing), but while I’m afraid of the backlash I might get, my readers deserve to know why I didn’t finish a book. And the author is well-known enough and as gotten similar reviews that I don’t think anything will happen. Still, this bullying of bloggers by the authors they review is really scary.

    This guy is just tactless. And honestly, he should be used to rejection by now, being an author and all… Hopefully this will all go away soon. You just can’t let it define you in any way :)

    • The plagiarism scandals blow my mind. Those bloggers who stole have absolutely ZERO respect for the people who worked hard writing reviews/designing images. I don’t like to think bad of others often, but I might make an exception with them.

      As for my situation, I think it’s coming to a close. He’s been thankfully quiet after his latest blog post. He’s off of Goodreads and hasn’t even tweeted. So, I’m hoping that it is over.

  35. What a horse’s ass. Actually, scratch that. A horse is a beautiful animal, even it’s ass, so he’s more of a baboon’s behind, ugly and beet red. Oh, now that’s a visual I wish I hadn’t brought up. Ah, well.

    I review books as a hobby. I don’t get paid in any way and I don’t even have ads on my blog. I write my reviews the way I talk, as if I’m sitting at a table with you and we’re gabbing about books. *cough* Except with much less swearing. I consider swearing a hobby and it’s one I enjoy, but I try not to add that enjoyment to my reviews.

    Every reviewer has a different style. To say that a book reviewer shouldn’t use professional terminology is fucking ridiculous. Is he saying that those of us who review are uneducated dumbfucks who couldn’t find our asses with both hands and a compass? I don’t get it. But then I haven’t been in high school since the 80s and only earned two Associates degrees in 2006. I guess I’m one of those dumbfucks. But I digress…

    After you removed what he asked you to remove he should have Shut the Fuck Up and moved on. The End. But no, he couldn’t let one little statement, that was promptly as possible removed, go and now he’s out there stomping around, waving his fists and acting like a baboon’s ass on the internet for all to see. Way to promote your books! *two thumbs up* Not!

    I have to give you kudos for waiting before posting about his bullshit. I have no patience and a hair trigger temper. I would have been all over him in no time about his bullying ways. Do I need to state that I’m going to stay far away from his books? There are millions of authors out there. Why would I pick a book by one who has publicly behaved this way and maybe put myself in the same situation? Nope. Not happening.

    I am coming off a recent bullying author scene myself. Lucky for me the author directed most of her bullshit to someone else (an editor) and I only got a bit of bullshit splatter on me, easily dry cleaned. Unlucky for my editor, though I’m glad she is such a professional and even-tempered. I would have waged a full out war if I’d been on my own.

    Hang in there, Lizzy. This too shall pass. And know that you have every right to defend yourself. Defending oneself from slander is not ‘return bullying.’

    • I’m happy that there hasn’t been anything new over the last couple days. Either he learned to stop or someone told him too. Thank you for your support. I’m sorry that you had something similar happen. It really sucks that this really isn’t an isolated incident. <3

  36. WOW!! I am so sorry you went through this Lizzy. The author was so out of line and extremely unprofessional. Unfortunately, I’ve read/seen many other cases of authors going off half nuts when they can’t take an honest (but negative) review. It’s nearly killed my interest in doing book reviews, especially for authors I know nothing about. They want us to review the book, not the author, but in cases like this it is impossible to separate them. Best of luck.

    • Well, considering that I reviewed 119 other books with zero complaints from the authors, I think I just stumbled upon a bad apple with Mike Kearby. I still have faith in authors, but I think that I might be hesitant in accepting future tours. I really hate how someone else was dragged into this, because the author wanted to throw a hissy fit over a minor mistake. /sigh.

  37. What an arse. He must be terribly insecure about his own writing ability to bash a review like that. He claims to understand that we all have different tastes, but it seems like that only applies as long as we love his work. Um, no thanks. I’ll certainly be on the look out for this douche bag.

  38. greenduckiesgirl

    Wow. I am disturbed by this completely. People, you have to realize that not everybody is going to like your book. The fact that you used the word transitioning? How does that make you a failed author? I am so confused. But hey, at least I have a new book review blog to read so that makes me happy.

    I’m going to have to post a review that will be negative and it hurts me a little. I really wanted to like a book so much but it disappointed me. I suppose I’ll get slammed but I’ll learn to deal with it. :-)

  39. So you didn’t like his book and he had a hissy fit. What a douche. Sorry you had to go through this.

  40. Wow. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I just made a “author-behaving-badly” shelf because you are the 10th or 12th person I’ve read who has been a victim of online author bullying!

    I will definitely be avoiding his books and avoiding giving him traffic on his website. It’s a shame that you were removed as tour host because he wasn’t taught that not everyone has to like the shit you put out there.

    Way to be a stand up blogger/reviewer and keep your cool throughout. You’re right…I would’ve hate to see this happen to a teenage blogger.

  41. Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

    Wow…..his condescending tone makes it sound like he thinks reviewers/bloggers are stupid. Like, legitimately retarded. Who the fuck doesn’t know what world-building and transitioning is?!

    Well, he’s making my Hell the Fuck No list on Goodreads. And before that other site gets all kinds of bent out of shape, no it is not bullying to refuse to support someone whose actions you don’t agree with.

    Sorry you are having to deal with this, Lizzy. It’s important to know why someone didn’t finish a book. Hell, a book I really liked was one I decided to read because someone else didn’t like it and blasted it in a very VERY popular and now infamous DNF post. Every review serves it’s purpose, authors need to understand this.

    • Before I purchase ANY book, I check the one and two star reviews. I want to know exactly where the problem areas of the book are. What they might not have liked could be a selling point for me.

      Basically, all I really care about is if it’s written in decent English. If a one star review says that the book reads like a second grader wrote it, I’ll probably not buy the book.

      Anyway, thanks so much for your support. :)

  42. I’m so sorry you went through this. It’s so ridiculously petty of Kearby to get so condescending and jerkish (I’m censoring myself her, jerkish isn’t the word I really want to use…). The fact that he couldn’t take a bad review is just ridiculous. That’s part of being an author. You can not be happy with a bad review, but keep it to yourself. To be so rude like that, and then so backhanded and snake-like to delete all of the evidence afterwards, is just … disgusting. Ugh. The things people do astound me.

    Again, I’m really sorry you had to go through this! Your site is beautiful and, yes, Pandora is an amazing mindreader.

    • I’m not quite sure if he deleted the comments or if the comments were deleted when he was kicked off of Goodreads. The posts are still available on his blog, in fact I think he purposely hasn’t written anything new on his blog since this happened…just so everyone can see what he has to say about this. /sigh.

      There are two more blog posts written after I originally made this post. If you’re curious, then you can read them on his blog. He insults me, blatantly calls me a liar, and then goes off on people who commented from Goodreads.


      But thanks for stopping by. You can thank Parajunkee for the amazing design. I’m so happy with how it turned out. :)

  43. Oh my God. I just came across your story from Parajunkee, Lizzy. As an author I’m pissed that this guy treated you like this. It’s not professional behavior at all. I have a one-star review of my book on Goodreads and you know what I did about it? Nothing. Readers have the freedom to read my work and judge it on forums like goodreads and their own book blogs And they should feel comfortable to be honest. Reviews are always subjective and if someone doesn’t like your book, deal with it. Could be for a number of differenet reasons that the author might not have any control over. But sometimes the reviews are spot on and if he’s getting a lot of low reviews, something is wrong with the book and needs to be fixed. If he was smart, this writer should have approached you privately, thank you for your honesty and ask you nicely about examples of the poor transitions so he could improve his writing on future books. But the editing thing shoud have been a red flag to him. I would have sent the book to another proofreader so that could be fixed and then re-uploaded the ebook because that’s a BIG problem that could be fixed. I’m so sorry, Lizzie. Please don’t judge all of us because of this “author”.

  44. I don’t care if he paid for the tour or not. If you were a tour host for us, I would take author conduct into account. In this case, I would have sided with you I think. Of course, I don’t have all the facts.

    Your comment about how many people ended up reviewing his book for the tour wasn’t a part of the tour (if I read it correctly since you did a promo for the tour), so I don’t believe he had any right to demand you remove it. The tour was long over.

    That shouldn’t hurt your standing with the tour company. But maybe I’m siding with you a little harder than I should. I just don’t like it when anyone (author or blogger) treats the other side like that.
    Mark recently posted…What authors can learn from my childhood bullying experiencesMy Profile


  1. Six Ways You Can Ruin Your Blogging Career | Parajunkee's View - [...] Authors Behaving Badly. Again! Author Mike Kearby won’t let things go! Book Blogger Lizzy Lessard was updating her blog …
  2. Rant on Indie Authors Behaving Badly | A Witch Rants - [...] http://www.lizzylessard.com/i-will-not-be-bullied-blacklist-author-mike-kearby/ [...]

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