Today I made an announcement. My charity series Rescue Me - Animal Anthology is over. I published two books with plans originally for three more and who knows what could have happened after that. Each book was set up to donate to a different charity based on their theme and I personally had contacts with each organization. I was so proud to create the series and even happier whenever we published a book.
When I published the first book there was an immediate concern from one of the contributors that required her story be removed. It turns out when they submitted the story they did not have the right to use it. They signed a waiver saying they did but the owner of the dog was threatening them so I had to remove the story. It was frustrating but I understood the owner's point of view. Once that issue was resolved I looked forward to promoting the book and raising money and awareness for our charity. It wasn't long until another problem arose.
A second contributor from the book suddenly had a problem. It wasn't the inclusion of their story or anything to do with the dog. They were mad at me. The dog was named after a celebrity and I had the opportunity to meet her. Because the family wasn't able to afford a trip all the way to Las Vegas and tickets to the event, something for a family that size would have been well over a thousand dollars, I found a way to let that celebrity know about the love the children of my contributor had for her. We recorded a video of her saying hello and expressing her appreciation for their support. I was so excited to share it with the family. Instead of being happy though they accused me of rubbing it in their face that they could;t go and blamed me saying I should have paid for them to make the trip. I was shocked.
It took a good deal of time to get past that. I did not publish the second book, The Feline Edition, until just before Christmas last year. Within a week I had a contributor contact me accusing me of stealing their story. I instantly emailed them back with the original submission to show they had indeed sent it to me with permission to include it in the book. Then they attacked me for working with charities outside my local area. For the record I volunteer hands on and participate in several fundraisers in person within greater Las Vegas. I have many friends in the rescue community that see me at least monthly at events.
I did my best to defend myself and my books. I spoke about why I had chosen the groups I did but they were relentless and even brought legal action against me. Word of that made the family that created he problems in the first book step forward to bring a lawsuit against the charity for the book they were a part of, accusing them of terrible and completely unfounded things. The legal issues will abate. The people with too much time will find someone else to torture but for me this is the end of the line. I am emotionally drained and cannot put my heart through the drama that the series became. It is being handed over to a group I fully support Rock & Roll Saved My Soul. They will revise, relaunch and be in control from now on as I step back. I will regroup and find a way I can be more helpful here at home. I am heartbroken but sometimes the best way to move forward is to simply move on and let go.