Time in Iraq cost Michael Ritter some of his hearing and a friend whose death he feels responsible for. He'd left Alabama hoping to escape a dull, small-town life, but now, four years later, he's returning, lugging a duffle full of personal demons. Engineering student Jay Ortiz attends college in a place where his heritage and orientation aren't widely accepted. While adjusting to new surroundings he found a soldier's picture. During lonely times he confided in the image of the somber young man, giving his heart away to a stranger. Now that stranger is coming home.
Does this sound familiar? It sure did to me. It's the blurb for my first edition of The Telling, a free gift to readers published in 2009. Even the copyright page looks like mine, down to the paraphrased dedication.
I'm not sure why someone would want to take my book. To be honest, I'm not a well-known author, and this particular version is loaded with errors. He's offering the story only in paperback, which I've found to not be good sellers, so I'm sure a fortune isn't being made.
Readers left comments on the book, saying I actually wrote it, to which someone who described himself as Mr. Wagner's editor replied that the book had been written in 2005. He proceeded to imply that I'd stolen the book from Mr. Wagner, and claimed to have an attorney handling the matter.
I'm heartsick. This book was a gift of love to readers, and a healing process for me during a difficult time. The 2nd Edition is accidentally earning a small amount of money at Amazon, all ear-marked for charity. Why would someone do this?
From what I understand, he also appropriated J.P. Barnaby's book Aaron, changing the title to Shane, and even appropriated the work of Fern Michaels and Sandra Brown.
I'd like to thank everyone who rallied around me during this difficult time. I don't know what I'd have done without your support.
Although I deactivated the first edition, here's the link to the second: