Sunday, August 9, 2009

Drugged and Duped

So most of you know that I've been home recovering from surgery on my breast, which I've begun to affectionately refer to as FrankenBoob. The stitches and the bruising are beyond sexy, let me assure you.

A few days before the surgery (because I'm a plan-ahead kind of girl, dontcha know?) I treated myself to two new books to read while I recovered. I picked two Toni McGee Causey titles because I remember enjoying Bobbie Faye's Very (Very, Very, Very) Bad Day when I checked it out from the library a while back. The book was funny and kooky, kinda like Romancing the Stone meets Stephanie Plum, and I wanted something fun to read while I was in pain. I'd heard that she had more titles released, so I was excited about reading these books.

When I first started reading Charmed and Dangerous, I thought it sounded familiar. Very familiar. I figured it was just because of the formula of the series, like when you read a Janet Evanovich number book you expect Stephanie to blow something up, you know Lula is going to be eating a lot, Ranger and Joe will both be trying to woo Stephanie, Grama Mazur will be attending a funeral, and Vinnie will be doing something with a duck that you'd rather not know about. That's Evanovich's schtick. I figured the combination of the narcotics and the Causey's schtick were combining to make me feel as if I'd read the book before.

I gave in to the sleepy drag of the pain pills (for a couple of days). When I woke up and started to read it again after the meds had worn off, I was very upset to realize that Charmed and Dangerous was the same book as Bobbie Faye's Very (Very, Very, Very) Bad Day. It had a different cover and title, but it was the same damn book. And, here's what really irks me...the same publisher. St. Martin's Press released this book with two different names and tricked me into buying it. I checked the other book I'd bought, Girls Just Wanna Have Guns and realized that it's the same book that was previously published as Bobbie Faye's (Kinda, Sorta, Not Exactly)Family Jewels. ARGH!

I can understand why SMP would want to rename the books because the first titles were long and tedious, but they should've thought of that BEFORE they were originally released. I know that publishers rerelease books all the time. SMP has republished a ton of Jenny Cruisie's older titles. In fact, they're rereleasing The Cinderella Deal next year. (I own a signed copy of the original.) However, the difference here is that they're calling it a rerelease and keeping the original title. Jenny's website has this info clearly posted, referring to the original 1996 release of the book. Causey's website, once you click on the "Enter the site" button (you can't see it from the home page) says this,
"I have exciting news for the Bobbie Faye series—St. Martin's Press is going to release the books in mass-market paperback this summer as a back-to-back trilogy! You'll see new titles for the first and second books (and there's a little something extra in both for the inveterate readers who want to have a copy in this format as well)"

I feel duped, ripped off, and pretty PO'd right now. I don't exactly have an unlimited book budget, you know? I wanted something funny and entertaining to read while I recover from surgery. Instead, I've spent money I don't have buying books I've already read. I feel cheated and tricked by the publisher and I'm not happy about it. I still think the books are good and I admire Causey's writing, but I can't help but feel angry enough to avoid her books in the future.

Does anybody know the background story behind this?

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