Thursday, December 18, 2014

Can You See Me??



Hey guys!
 
With Facebook's ever changing rules on what people can and can't see on their newsfeeds, I've been looking for different ways to reach my followers, fans, and potential readers. So here are some new ways you can follow me and stay up to date on all important information.
 
If you're on Tsu, follow me! If not, what are you waiting for? Tsu actually pays YOU to interact on their site. Granted, it's not a lot. In fact, I think I've only made .06 in a week or two, but that's more than Facebook gives me. On Facebook, I have to pay THEM if I want my posts to reach more than 2% of my followers. To join, you have to enter in an existing member's handle. You can use mine.
tsu.co/rachaelduncanauthor
 
Also, I've put together a newsletter. I promise I won't be flooding your inboxes with random messages, just pertinent information on my upcoming releases and events. You can click on the link here to sign up, or use the bar on the right of this page to enter in your email address.
 
I've got a lot of new things coming up starting the first of the year, so you guys don't want to miss it!
 
XOXO,
Rachael

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Authors in Atlanta



I'll be attending Author in Atlanta on September 5th, 2015. It's being held at the Convention Center. The signing is free and open to the public. Tickets for the after party are $25 and available for purchase here.

I hope to see you guys there!

XOXO,
Rachael

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Carolina Book Fest



I'm excited to say that I'll be attending the Carolina Book Fest 2015. It's being held at the Hilton University Place on August 15, 2015 in Charlotte, NC.

Tickets aren't for sale at this time, but when they go up I'll update this post.

Be sure to "like" Carolina Book Fest on Facebook to get up to date info as well as a list of attending authors. 
I hope to see you there!!

XOXO,
Rachael

Friday, November 21, 2014

Authors in the City


Anyone in the Myrtle Beach area? 

Authors in the City will be hosted in Myrtle Beach, SC on March 14, 2015 at The Sheraton Convention Center. I'm super excited to be attending and can't wait to meet all the readers and authors that will be attending. Below is all the info you'll need to attend!

Click here to purchase tickets.
$10 to attend the signing.
$50 to attend the signing and after party.

For a list of attending authors and other news, be sure to "like" the Facebook page.

See you guys there!

Rachael

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When Taking the High Road Doesn't Work

I received a cease and desist letter from an attorney representing Jaime Whitley. Upon receiving it, I immediately complied until I could have an attorney look at the letter as well as my original post, which is located below. I have been advised by an attorney that I'm not legally obligated to comply with the letter unless signed by a judge or court official. Further, after reviewing the post and all evidence attached to it, it was determined that I am in no danger of violating laws involving slander, libel, or defamation of character since everything I have posted is factual and backed up with physical evidence. There were some aspects of her conversation with the merchant that could be deemed "personal or private" and have nothing to do with the issue at hand. I have blocked those portions out of their conversation.
Also, I have included a receipt showing that I had to bring the account out of the negative since it was on the verge of hitting 30 days. I'll be filing paperwork today to seek legal compensation.

*****************************************************************************


There are a multitude of reasons why my partnership with Jaime Whitley didn’t work out, this being the primary reason:

Back in August, I was looking at our joint business checking account for Lena Nicole, LLC where our royalties go. I was owed money by my partner, so we agreed that I would take it out of her half of the royalties. When I logged on to do the math, there was a debit for $148.95. I didn’t know what the charge was for and the description only said PAYPAL SEDUCTIVERO before it was cut off. I called my partner and she immediately denied making the charge and told me to report it. So I did.

I used to work at a bank while in college, so I know a little about the info that they can see on a given transaction. I asked if they could tell me any information about the purchase. Who the vendor was, etc. They said that my partner’s debit card was the one used (I knew it wasn’t mine since I’ve never activated it), but the pin number wasn’t entered. It was run through as a credit. As I’m on the phone with the bank, my ex-partner text messages me and informs me that she shredded the card months ago. (We never kept a balance in the account. As soon as our royalties went in, we would write ourselves a check for our half and deposit it into our personal accounts.) I relay that message to the customer service rep, she notes it and we file the claim. She informs me that I just need to go to the bank and sign the affidavit and the money will be credited back in 3-4 business days. Below is a copy of the claim showing the last four of my partner’s debit card number. I have also included a picture of my debit card for the account to show proof that it did not go to my card.





On October 2nd, I had received a text from her saying that the charges were found to not be fraudulent and they would be debiting the account on October 9th for the amount of $148.95. That didn’t make sense to me. What would the bank have found that would lead them to this conclusion? She said she was on the phone with them, so I waited to hear the explanation. The conversation we had while she was trying to sort it out is below.







Something didn’t sit right with me. Why would the bank declare the charges legitimate because her address was on the account? If that were the case, all fraudulent claims would be denied. It had to be something else. So I called the bank myself. I also wanted to make sure the account was actually closed and that she wasn’t telling me that so I wouldn’t know the account went into the negative when that money came out. 

I asked the bank to explain to me why the claim was rejected. They said that the vendor had verified the billing and shipping address and that the product was delivered on August 16th. They couldn’t give me any more info on the vendor as to who they were, but said that they are mailing the documents the vendor provided to my partner per her request. Funny, she never mentioned anything about that. Since my address isn’t the one on the account, I was told I had to go to the branch to obtain these documents. I was also informed that just because the account was closed (she had confirmed it was closed that day) doesn’t mean that money won’t come out. It’s in a pending status and could still clear. After learning this information and the fact that the purchase went back to all of her information, I voxed her. The link to listen to the vox is below.


This was her response a couple hours later.

 






Fast forward to last week, and I started thinking about the charge that was made. Life got crazy and with my husband’s work schedule, I never made it to the bank. (I was trying to avoid taking the kids so I could talk to the people at the bank…again.) I was talking to a friend. I hadn’t gone into the details of what happened, but I told her I was trying to figure out what this charge was. That the bank statement says “SeductiveRo” and cuts off. I was thinking Seductive Romance maybe. I told my friend about my hunch and she knew exactly who that was since she was good friends with her and had ordered swag from her previously. After a little investigating and confirming stories, this is what I found out.

The description on the bank statement is the email address used for a PayPal account. The owner of that account makes swag for authors to give away or sell for their books. My ex-partner had just ordered swag from her. And, since it’s such a small world, my friend happened to be really good friends with her. My friend asked her and it was confirmed. 

What’s crazy is that PayPal had taken the $148.95 away from the swag maker when the claim was filed until she could prove that this was a valid transaction. In the meantime, Jaime had messaged her and apologized for the inconvenience and said, “My writing partner reported it as fraud and I don’t know why.”

Seriously??

As you can see from the screenshots above, I was told repeatedly that she did not make these purchases and no products were delivered to her house. She told me that back in August when I noticed the charges, and again in October when we received the notice.

Around the time we got the notice from the bank stating they were debiting the $148.95 out of the account, Jaime had contacted the swag maker and asked if her writing partner had contacted her. She said no that she didn’t know who her writing partner was. (Jaime never said my name probably so that she couldn’t contact me to ask why I reported the charge.) She said, “Okay, good. If she contacts you, just ignore whatever she says.” Clearly she thought the walls were closing in and I was getting closer to the truth.

The next day after finding this out, I went to the bank to get the documentation. They have on file a copy of where Jaime had SIGNED for her package that was delivered to HER HOUSE, as well as a tracking number. Below you will see those documents. I have blocked out the address, but left the house number so that you can see it matches with the original claim shown at the top of this post.







Now she’s claiming that she did pay for her swag, the same swag she denied ever purchasing, and has the receipts as proof. Well, she did pay for it. Out of this account and then had the charge reported for fraud when I questioned it. So technically, she hasn’t paid it since the bank debited the money back out of the account and it now has a negative balance of $148.95. And I guarantee any receipt she has for the transaction on August 14, 2014, will have card number ending in 4714 on it. The bank informed me that a letter of overdraft was sent to the address on file (Jaime’s) and would be charged off in 45 days. Should she choose not to pay the account, I have no choice but to pay it and take her to small claims court. And when the judgment is in my favor, I will post that documentation as well. I will not tolerate my integrity being compromised by someone who intentionally lied to cover her tracks.

I wouldn’t feel the need to publicly disclose this debacle if it weren’t for the fact that she intends me financial harm by affecting my credit. Furthermore, I refuse to let someone damage my integrity by spreading lies and making false accusations. You can all draw your own conclusions as to whose word to take. I’ve provided the facts along with legal documentation. 

Thank you,

Rachael

UPDATE


It’s come to my attention that Jaime Whitley has “proof” of where she paid for her purchases. And I have facts to dispute it.
This is a screenshot of her Facebook post showing her receipt. Please take notice that the date is marked out. The invoice in question was paid on August 14th. I know that this is an invoice that was paid on October 2nd. Again, bare with me while I present the FACTS.


                         


I have personally spoken with the lady that made her swag. Up until I made my initial post this morning, she believed every word Jaime told her. She sent me over all the documents showing that Jaime is in fact lying in an attempt to clear her name and tarnish mine.
Here are messages between Jaime and the merchant. Please take notice of the time stamp that Jaime has said “Paid.” 




 
I’ve previously disclosed this document, but I want to bring it back up because if you look at the time stamp, it is exactly one minute before Jaime messaged the merchant that payment was sent. PayPal is on PDT, or Pacific Daylight Time, and Jaime is on Eastern time.


Here is a copy of the original invoice, paid on August 14th, which is the date of the disputed transaction. 
Again, take note of the time stamp above in the red box. It correlates with the documents provided to me from the bank where the Lena Nicole account was used. The same charge that was then reported as fraud because Jaime denied making the purchase.


The claim was disputed on August 21st. The following images show conversations she had with the merchant in regards to the dispute.
 








 Please note the time stamps, circled in red, on all of these messages as well. Each one directly relates with an issue involving the disputed charge to our joint business account. She reached out to the merchant claiming she gave her the wrong credit card on August 21st. That's the same day I noticed the charge and the fraudulent claim was filed. Refer to the beginning of the post to see the documentation from that with the date. August 29th is when the money was taken out of the merchant's account and she was sending another invoice for it. (I'll post that in a minute) And October 2nd she suddenly wants to pay the invoice. That's the day we got the notice from the bank that they were debiting the $148.95 that they had credited us while they were investigating the fraud. In the last message she even says that she will repay the bank since they were going to take it out. She never did.
(Also, I've never paid an invoice from her PayPal account or her computer. That was her card information for OUR joint account. It wasn't just my account, it was OURS under Lena Nicole, LLC.)


The merchant offered to refund the money and reinvoice Jaime, but she didn’t want to do that. She wanted to let the bank handle it and then get another invoice. A copy of the second invoice is below. Please note the red box where product was already shipped but rebilled because of dispute. That invoice was paid on October 2nd. Also, the time stamp shows this invoice was paid October 2nd at 10:24 PM. In the conversations listed above, she asks the merchant if she got the payment on October 2nd at 10:24 PM.



Here’s a conversation I had with the merchant in regards to the “proof” Jaime posted on Facebook. Even she acknowledges that this is not the invoice from August, it is the one from October. All of the pertinent information to show proof that this was indeed the receipt has been blacked out. There’s no date, no last four of the card number to prove that it didn’t come from the account in question, nothing.



The below document also shows why the charges vary. You will notice that the transaction amount is $156.95, but the chargeback amount is $148.95, which is the amount in question. I called PayPal to ask them to explain the difference to me when a dispute is filed. They said that the transaction amount is the total that was billed. The chargeback is what came out of the account. Meaning that there was a credit on the PayPal account balance that was used before the funds were debited out of the approved account.
 





I tried to settle this in a quiet manner and have her pay the amount owed to the bank. All she did was deny the charges. Again, I won’t have my good financial standing compromised and I don’t think it’s right that I should pay for her swag either. I also won’t have my character attacked with baseless claims of slander. It’s not slander if it’s true.
I have since had to pay the overdrafted balance. Here is a copy of that receipt.
 
Before I close my computer for the night, I need to make an apology. This has weighed heavily on me for a month and I didn’t know how to go about making it right, but here it goes.
Jaime had a falling out with an author at an author signing earlier this year. Now that I know Jaime likes to play the victim card, I’m not sure how much of what she told me was the truth. In any case, she painted this author in a horrible light and I didn’t like her instantly. I was mad she would upset my best friend/writing partner and ruin her first signing like that.
Shortly after the event, the below review was brought to our attention. Jaime was firm in that she did not talk badly about anyone while at the table. I believed her completely. We both believed she had someone on her team write up this “fake” review and post it. More specifically, we thought it was Georgette Geras with G & Co Book Blog that did it. Jaime informed me that her husband’s friend could trace the review with no problem. Great.
 


So I waited and waited to hear something back from her about it, but it had been several weeks and not a word. In July we were going to the Tennessee Valley Author Event. It was my first and I was a little nervous because that author and Georgette were going to be there. Jaime told me not to say a word about all the drama, and I agreed completely. We could all avoid each other and it would be drama free. That didn’t last. As soon as there was a group of authors together, she immediately jumps into the story about the author and how she treated her at this signing.  The story got more interesting that night.
There’s about 6 tables all wedged together out on the patio at Wild Wing CafĂ© where we’re sitting with a bunch of authors. Jaime takes that moment to tell them, again, how this author treated her. Then she talks about the fake review and says, “I had my husband’s friend trace it back to Georgette.” This was news to me. I said, “Oh, it did?” She looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Yes.”
I was furious. This is the first time I’m hearing that it went back to her and I’m upset! How dare she try to negatively impact our careers like that. Jaime told anyone willing to listen about this, and I was sitting there backing her up. “Can you believe they’d do that? How messed up is it to attack someone’s reviews?” I’d say after she told the story.
Too bad none of it was true.
I recently found out that Jaime had lied about that too. That review never got traced back to Georgette or anyone on this author’s team. It went back to someone in Canada. My heart sank and I felt sick to my stomach learning that this wasn’t true. I had inadvertently helped her spread lies and damaged the reputation of two people. I don’t care how much I dislike a person, I would NEVER make up lies and spread them like wild fire in an attempt to turn everyone against them. But that’s exactly what Jaime did. Actually, that’s what Jaime does.
When I learned of the truth, I private messaged the author and Georgette to apologize. I know it doesn’t undo the damage that was done, but I wanted to own up to my wrongdoing in the matter. To Georgette and this author, I am truly sorry. I had no clue.
 
 **********************************************************************************
December 17, 2014
Hopefully this is the last update and I'll be able to move on from this once and for all.

As I said I would, I did file a small claims case against Jaime Whitley to recover the costs listed above. Our court date was on December 9th. Of course, she didn't show up. I presented my case to the judge with all the evidence I have show to you above. The judge was actually quite shocked that in light of all of this, she still denies any wrong doing. He said he hasn't seen such a well put together, clear cut case in quite some time and that I "should have been a lawyer." The proof against her was overwhelming and a judgment was made in my favor. Below is the judgment ordering her to pay me.

 
The reason I'm updating this is because she is still yelling her innocence from the rooftops and calling me a liar. I just wanted to be clear that I'm not the liar, as if that wasn't obvious from my post above. I think it's telling that she decided not to come to court. In fact, she was on her way to the mountains via a social media update from that day. Personally, if I was innocent of an allegation, I would make sure I appeared in court to defend myself. Clearly she knew she was going to lose and had no defense and didn't want to have to face up to her wrongdoings. 

Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement and pushing me to do what was right. I've told many people who have messaged me that I didn't take pleasure in posting this. In fact, I hated it, but something had to be done and she needed to be exposed for the person she truly is.