Alexandra's Adventures in Books

The real world is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

 

Primarily reads Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Mysteries. From Children's to Adult.

NO Vidal Update

Whew!

 

Aren't you glad? I am. I won't be happy though till the blog posts and FB posts targeting specific reviews and reviewers are gone.

 

On the good news front, she's garnering very little support/attention for her posts in either place.  Hardly any likes or comments.

Message from James Dashner

Linda's post motivated me to take a peek at Twitter today. There I saw this:

 

 


 

Vidal Update: Feb 15, 2018

Ms. Vidal has chosen to repeat her "update" from yesterday she posted on her "Troll" post on another page of her blog.  Making it it's own blog post/page.

 

The pertinent thing for me here is that this means there is a second place on her blog in which she is targeting a specific review for ridicule, and of course the reviewer.

 

She can blather on all she wants about her self-proclaimed historical accuracy and claim "academic scrutiny" all she wants, I don't care.

 

But I absolutely do care that she is specifying specific reviews of her books, and their reviewers, and targeting them for harassment.

 

Vidal Update: Feb 14, 2018 #2

EDIT: She's edited her "update" to add the following at the end, "But honestly, I know of few other historical fiction novels that have undergone such scrutiny as if they were post-graduate theses."

 

I've updated the screen shot.

 

The "discussion" she refers to here is Ms. M.'s review of one of her books, and comments on that review.  The first link is to a screen shot of this. I prefer to provide a link to the review, and the comments, on Amazon.  If you'd like to see her screen shot you can do so from the link she gives on her blog (I suggest using a proxy server if you visit her blog.  I've posted a link to it previously, but you can PM me if you want it and don't want to hunt for it.

 

I do see why she preferred to provide a screen shot rather than a link to this review on  Amazon, as her screen shot shows the latest comment to be that of Robyn posted 56 seconds ago on the screen shot (I think we can guess who brought this to her attention).  Looking now Amazon shows that comment posted 5 days ago, to which Ms. M. has responded. Looks like Vidal wanted to give her pal the last word.

 

Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/review/RP2MRQAB9K9VI/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01F4JX940

 

Now, I don't know anything about this "Bodleian Library" at Oxford, although Ms. M. states in the comments of that review they are plural, not singular, and also states,

 

I'm gonna believe Ms. M. However, as Ms. Vidal conveniently provided a link to the library/libraries website I thought I'd just take a look:

 

Failed Notifications

Ok, I think I'm caught up on all the comments on my recent posts, and I've responded to many of them. Whew.

 

Hope no one feels unheard or ignored, it's not my fault!

Vidal Update: Feb 14, 2018

I noticed this update on Vidal's blog, and she mirrored it on her FB page. I wasn't going to say anything about this one, because a fan praising her books and giving her encouragement about her writing isn't really pertinent to the issue.

 

And then I saw this (underline added by me): "So it is not surprising to me to see a teacher in even a Catholic college that harasses someone for her devotion."

 

No one is "harassing" Ms. Vidal "for her devotion".  Unless we're talking about her devotion to targeting and harassing reviewers for posting reviews of her books she doesn't like.

 

I Smell A Sock

I have something interesting to show you, well, I think it's interesting.  I think this profile on GoodReads may be an old sock account for Ms. Vidal.  Could be wrong, of course. It's simply my suspicion.

 

The name is Mary E., which matches, up to that point, Ms. Vidal's real name.  The profile was created in 2010 and last active in 2012.  One book has been shelved, rated and reviewed. One.  And it's one of Ms. Vidal's books.  Rated 5 stars with a glowing, promotional type review.  Skim through this to see what I mean, then I'll provide more evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

As you can tell above, apparently the author posted a response to this review to which Mary responded, but that post is now gone. Presumably due to Ms. Vidal's account being removed.

 

Next I want to show you another review of this book.  This person I believe is genuine, what's interesting is the comments Mary E. posts regarding this review, considering this review is 4 stars and overall very positive.

 

Other than the review of this book, and the comments of Mary E. shown below, there is no other activity showing on this profile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seems to me the negative and critical response to this review is very out of whack, considering it's pretty positive, the reviewer clearly states she recommends the book, and she rated it 4 stars.  Mary seems unrealistically, and strangely, displeased with this review for not considering the book flawless.

 

This Mary E. also posted these comments to this reviewer's blog, in response to the review she posted there.  The comments are mostly the same, but there's a bit more:

 

 

 

Here's someone else, posting an Anonymous comment in response.  Don't know who this person is, I'm just including it because it made me laugh.

 

 

I'm wondering if Mary E. is a sock that has been forgotten, or perhaps simply left till wanted again, and if we'll see this profile resurrected in order to post attacks on Goodreads as we've been seeing.

 

 

Vidal Update: Feb 13, 2018

On her Facebook Page:

 

 

Repeated on her blog:

 

Poor thing is stubbornly refusing to even consider the fact that her own actions and words are the cause of her troubles.

 

Also, in case you missed my updates on yesterday's post, all the comments posted by Stephen yesterday on GoodReads and Amazon are now deleted.

 

Just An Amused Aside

Check out the tags Maria Elena Vidal used on her blog post "Trolls on the Internet and Negative Reviews":

 

Vidal Update: Feb 12, 2018

Another fan crawls out of the woodwork:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am The Storm

Vidal Update: Feb 11, 2018

Update posted to the end of her Trolls & Negative Reviews blog post:

 

Please note: Only one of the people shown in these screenshots is known to be a teacher.  I am not.  Although Ms. M. has been, she also is not.

 

Her utter lack of self-awareness when accusing others of indulging "in behavior worthy of high school bullies" and "acting in such a juvenile manner" is almost deliciously ironic, and flagrantly hypocritical.

 

She's the bully crying "victim" when her targets refuse to be intimidated.  She is the one functioning in a professional capacity gleefully spewing unprofessional garbage on her author's blog, and author's Facebook page.

 

Add this to the list of things Ms. Vidal is apparently unaware of: Readers have more of an interest than simply "merits or demerits of the books."  Authors targeting and harassing readers over negative book reviews is an interest to readers and is a valid consumer issue.  YES, readers are going to take note and share with each other about authors that target readers and attempt to intimidate them into removing reviews.

 

The first two screenshots are of Ms. M.'s reviews and the comments on those reviews (minus those that were deleted for GR TOS violations).

 

First link: https://screenshots.firefox.com/Bq1A2Bb8UqMwbHAO/www.goodreads.com

Second link: https://screenshots.firefox.com/DxNbjaezlqsj7mNB/www.goodreads.com

 

The third link is to a "Discussion" of one of her books. What she fails to mention is that this "Discussion" that is not about the "merits or demerits of the book" was started by one of her supporters, using the name "Soraya". At the time of this screenshot the original post had already been deleted by GoodReads, and the poster had been booted from GoodReads.

 

Therefore the posts that remain are in response to the original post started by one of her supporters. 

 

I don't have a screenshot of that OP, but I do have the text:

 

"It is shameful how Mrs. Vidal has been treated by certain trolls on Goodreads and Amazon. Read about it here: http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2017.."

 

Here's the link to her screenshot: https://screenshots.firefox.com/JLDvvI7tR2uVzJpm/www.goodreads.com

 

In the comments of her blog, Ms. Vidal seems to think a lot of hits to this blog post is a good thing.  She's apparently unaware of how many are checking it out to verify she's really posted the awful things that have been reported, and wait with their popcorn handy for the next bat shit crazy thing she comes up with (good idea to use Proxy Servers when visiting folks!).

 

She reports 1638 hits to date, and yet has only a handful willing to post in support on her blog and/or on her Facebook page.  Although she also mirrors over on Twitter, and has over 1,000 followers there, she's getting 0 responses, retweets, or likes.

 

I'm not sure those high numbers are in your favor, Vidal.

 

 

 

She also cross posted this to her Facebook page:

 

Currently FREE for Kindle: Spider's Web

Spider's Web - Mike Omer

I've read this one, and I thought it was a very good police procedural, murder mystery.

 

Currently free for the Kindle version.

Another Author Joins in the Fun

Posted in the Comments to Ms. Vidal's blog post:

 

 

Ms. Vidal also reposted this on her Facebook Page. As did Ms.Lewis. So, it's on the FB page twice.

 

 

Ms. Lewis happens to be a GR Author.

 

"Basically, I'm going to show them your profs behavior as an example of how not to behave when you get online when you enter the professional world."

 

It is Ms. Vidal who is acting here in her professional capacity as an author, regarding her books.  Not the reviewers she's targeted.  Rather they are acting as consumers, using screen names.The use of screen names, rather than their professional names, as well as the fact that they are writing Consumer Reviews - which are NOT allowed to be professional reviews - is proof these reviewers are not posting reviews in any official, professional, capacity, nor speaking on behalf of their employers.  Rather they are clearly and obviously posting their personal opinions, as private and personal individuals. Which they have every right to do as consumers, and consumers are under no obligation whatsoever to be "professional" when doing so.

 

The one who is behaving in the "professional world" here is Ms. Vidal.  She is the one speaking under her author pseudonym, on her author's blog, and her authors Facebook Page, regarding her products and her displeasure regarding some of the reviews of those products.  She is acting in a professional capacity here, and her actions are decidedly unprofessional.

 

It's Ms. Vidal who began this campaign of harassment, and it's Ms. Vidal whose professional behavior is frankly abysmal.

 

If Ms. Lewis knew anything whatsoever about "the professional world", she'd know who was acting in a professional capacity here, who was not, and she'd know it is Ms. Vidal who is the example of "how not to behave when you get online when you enter the professional world."  She's trashing her professional reputation, she's already disgraced herself on GoodReads and has been unceremoniously booted from that service.  And she has readers all over shaking their heads at her bone-headed stupidity.

 

What she should be saying, if she brings this issue up at all with her students, is "When you write and publish a book, and you get a book review that makes you upset, remember you're a business, you are your brand, and what you do effects your business.  These are readers, they're consumers.  They have the right to their opinions and to express those opinions.  Do not respond unprofessionally, as Ms. Vidal has done.  She's even gotten herself kicked off GoodReads for harassing readers.  Don't do this sort of thing when you enter the professional world and function online as an author."

 

Apparently Ms. Lewis is yet another author who doesn't understand anything about the "professional" side of being an author.

I'm disgusted by this message of Ms. Lewis' in a variety of ways, but particularly because this "English teacher" apparently doesn't support honest consumer reviews.

Now, I'm all for consumers being free to complain and boycott for whatever reason they please, which is the standing Ms. Lewis is attempting to cloak herself in here, but when doing so in order to attempt to silence another consumer over valid consumer opinion, and repeating lies and innuendo in order to attempt to cause him harm, when he was not acting in a position of representing his employer, it absolutely sickens me.

The hypocrisy and total lack of self-awareness is mind-boggling:

"But when the staff of a Catholic institution is amused when their peer *actively* tries to destroy an author's reputation and minuscule livelihood, regardless of whether she deserves it or not, I must admit this is not a Catholic school I would recommend to my dog."

 

The only person actively destroying Ms.Vidal's reputation is Ms. Vidal herself.  If this effects her "minuscule livelihood" she has only herself to blame.  Just because she apparently doesn't have the common sense God gave a horsefly, doesn't mean it's not hypocritical of both these ladies (using the term loosely) to do the very thing they're accusing another of doing.

 

Ms. Vidal also obviously does not understand the first thing about running a business - including branding, public relations, professional image and reputation, consumer rights, etc.  As much as she, and her pals, complain about  her "livelihood" and her "reputation" she's utterly clueless as to how to function in her capacity as a consumer product producer in order to benefit and protect either one.

 

Allow me to point out the obvious. Hypocritical behavior is a sin. The founder of the faith had quite a lot to say about religious hypocrites, and none of it good.  Bearing false witness is also a sin. Christians are commanded to forgive even their enemies.  I'm aware forgiveness doesn't require forgetting, nor does it require pardon for societal or legal repercussions. However it absolutely does prohibit retribution and revenge.

 

These ladies may be Catholic, but I don't for one second believe they're Christians. I'm well aware Christians are as fallible as anyone else, but Ms. Vidal is clearly not even making an attempt, but rather flaunts the tenets with apparent wanton abandon.

 

Frankly I think parents should be concerned that this anti-consumer attitude is coming from someone teaching their children English in High School. I'd also think they'd be concerned that Ms. Lewis apparently wants to teach them that lying, intimidation, and seeking revenge are acceptable methods of obtaining your goals. Her example of "how to behave when you get online when you enter the professional world." Hopefully those kids are smarter than Ms. Lewis gives them credit for, or this might be a incubator for future BBAs. 

 

I was able to determine who employs Ms. Lewis in about two minutes.  She should be very, very glad I have superior ethics to Ms. Vidal.  Because frankly, I find the fact that this woman is teaching young people, particularly in English where many of them may become writers and authors themselves, to be extremely concerning.

I need to throw up.

The Stupid, It Burns!

I'm tired, so posting without comment for now:

 

BBA Ms. Vidal, Additional Thoughts

Author Maria Elena Vidal has repeatedly admitted that she called the employers of one of the people who have left negative reviews of her books.

 

She claims she had concerns for her safety and wanted to find out from this person's employers if he had "a history of violence."

 

I call Bullshit.

 

What this is, is harassment, pure and simple.  It is a tactic some unscrupulous people employ when a internet discussion isn't going their way, and someone who disagrees with them won't be silenced by other intimidation techniques.

 

When someone has serious concerns regarding their safety they call their local authorities, or perhaps the authorities local to the other person - if their place of residence is known.  They may contact the FBI.  They possibly may seek the advice of an attorney.

 

Those are the avenues available to people who feel they may be in danger, and those are the avenues they would take in such a circumstance.

 

Instead Ms. Vidal contacted this person's employer.  This is an obvious attempt to retaliate against this person who has displeased her by his voicing his opinions about her books on the internet.  It's clearly intended to attempt to cause this person harm with his employers.  It's harassment, and it's revenge.

 

No reasonable person would consider this a reasonable course of action, even if one had sincere concerns over their safety.  It's ridiculous.

 

It is completely transparent that Ms. Vidal had no sincere concerns in this regard.  Because when people do sincerely feel they are being threatened, their physical safety may be in jeopardy, they do not call an individual's employer. Nor is there any legitimate or valid reason to do so.

 

It is obvious to me that Ms. Vidal is hoping this person's employers will either employ economic force to inspire him to remove his book reviews (which could land them in serious legal hot water), or fire him (which could land them in serious legal hot water).

 

She clearly has no effective stick by which to get this person to bend to her will. She obviously is expecting his employers do, and is hoping they'll use it.

 

And now, because readers continue to point out her unprofessional and unreasonable behavior and attitudes against readers who were less than impressed with her books, she once again is threatening to call this person's employer.

 

Not the police.

 

Not the FBI.

 

Not an attorney.

 

An individual's employer.

 

THAT, Ms. Vidal, is harassment.

 

From her blog:

 

 

From her blog:

 

From her blog:

 

 

From her Facebook page:

 

 

"Mary-Eileen" happens to be Elena Maria Vidal posting under her real name account. The Vidal name is a pseudonym.  Because I have more scruples about people's personal information on the internet I have redacted the last name to protect her privacy.

 

Notice here she states, "When I wrote to the Dean I told him that I am a single mother on a tight budget, trying to give my child a decent education." which has absolutely nothing to do with concerns over if someone has a "history of violence", but which does demonstrate her concerns are actually regarding a negative review of her book.  As she doesn't mention anything to do with her personal safety, but rather her "tight budget" while "trying to give my child a decent education".  Clearly her concerns therefore are not regarding "violence", but her book sales.

 

My advice, write better books, and ensure they actually are historically accurate, and not written in order to serve a particular agenda.

 

Failing that, accept that readers will have opinions about books, and some of them you won't like.  That's business.