Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gale Reads: Shattered Trust vs KS: Romano 2

Hello again! I have thought deeply the whole day if I should post about this here on my blog or not. But this is still my personal blog and I can put anything on it, right? And I wanted to share this with you all because I believe a lot of people should know the truth about this.

I know it is a sensitive topic as it might have legal implications to the parties involved but since I have already shared my initial thought about it last month on my FB, and a lot of people thought bad about me that I was just causing trouble to their idol, I wanted to do a full pledged blog post to objectively compare the two books whether or not the issue of plagiarism is true.

Although I have read one chapter last month (when the news broke out), I have just finished reading the whole book of Shattered Trust by Jacqueline Baird last night because I got so busy with the holidays. It is the book that is alleged to be where Martha Cecilia's Kristine Series #23 Romano 2 is based.

TITLE: Shattered Trust
SERIES/#: Harlequin Presents #1359
AUTHOR: Jacqueline Baird
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Books
Nick's words were not reassuring. "I want my son," he'd said. "And I always get what I want."

Since Nick's cruel rejection, Abby had built a satisfying new life for herself and little Jonathan. And now Nick needed his son and was quite ruthlessly blackmailing her into returning him.

But he needn't think he'd have everything his own way; this time Abby was determined to show that she was more than a match for him. If only the old attraction between them weren't still so powerful....

TITLE: Romano 2
SERIES/#: Kristine Series #23
AUTHOR: Martha Cecilia
PUBLISHER: Precious Hearts Romances
“I need you back in my life, Bobbie, with our son. And I always get what I want.” 

Halos ikamatay niya nang itanggi ni Romano na anak nito ang dinadala niya and accused her of having an affair with another man. Binigyan siya ng pag-asa ni Kendal Quidd, isang negosyante, at isinama sa isang isla sa Carribean, ang La Crouix.

When she thought she was almost over him, muli silang nagkaharap ni Romano, threatening to take away her son.

- The places where the scenes happened and the background of the characters were almost similar in nature but not directly copied.

   ST            KS
Abby       = Bobbie     - an artistic female who loves interior decorating
Nick        = Romano   - a rich businessman
Jonathan  = Troy         - the 4 year old son who thought his dad is dead
Melanie = Joanna       - the secretary of Nick/Romano that is believed to be his mistress
Harry     = Kendal      - the businessman (around 50+ y/o) who became the fake fiance of Abby/Bobby
St. Ives  = La Crouix  -where Abby/Bobby escaped after the marriage ended
Greece  = America      - the place where they spent their happy marriage life before the separation

 - The plot, scenes, flow of the story and even the emotions of the characters are the same in context.
1) Chapter 1 of Shattered Trust vs Chapter 2-3 of Romano 2
--This is where the first meeting happened after the 4 years of separation. An "accidental" meeting in a hotel set up by Nick/Romano to see their ex-wife Abby/Bobby again. Nick/Romano is with their secretary who their wife thought is his mistress. While Abby/Bobbie is posing as a fiance for their businessman friend who is a lot older than them. Nick/Romano wanted to order Gin and Tonic for Abby/Bobby like her usual but Harry/Kendal used this opportunity to show her taste have changed and ordered something else which made the guy angry. They danced together and threw insults and parted with a clash of words saying both their lovers were too drank for the night to be of use to them in bed.
2) The one who confirmed about the infertility issue: the family doctor for Abby and the brother-in-law (Kurt) for Bobby.
3) The reason why Nick/Romano wants to get back together as told by their secretary which is believed by Abby/Bobby and made them resentful and angry: They needed a heir to claim their inheritance from their dying relative.
4) The one who died in the family who will give inheritance: the father of Nick and the grandmother of Romano.

5) The whole story evolved in the husband having misdiagnosed of being infertile, the wife getting jealous of the secretary that ended in 4 years of separation, the husband learning the child he didn't acknowledged is his, the misinformation that they got back together for the "sake" of their dying relative, etc...almost all the conflicts are the same and resolved the same way.

* There's a lot more but it would take too much time and space to note everything here since it's the whole book so I just some*

- MC deleted some of the intimate bed scenes and condensed some scenes to make the story shorter (since Tagalog pocketbooks are only 127 pages) and made the background of the main characters to fit Kristine Series and the Filipino cultures and beliefs.
        1) There's no divorce in the Philippines so they were not legally separated compared to Nick and Abby who were divorced and need to be re-married.

        2)Nick built their dream house and that's where they stayed while Romano didn't and the scenes happened in their ancestral house.
-The difference in nationality: Nick was Greek and Abby was English while both Romano and Bobby were Filipino.

- The age difference of the couple: Nick is 15 years older than Abby while Romano and Bobby were almost the same age (in their 20s)


I can't think of a better statement to describe this but "translated word for word". Almost every important scene is copied.. together with the flow of the dialogue and the emotions. It's really a direct translation to Tagalog and was edited in a certain way to fit the Filipino culture and beliefs and to fit the theme of Kristine Series.

I suggest you pick up both books and read for your self so that you can compare the two. I won't be reading the other 2 books that were confirmed to be copied also because I'm not interested anymore. It was already proven by my friends anyway and I don't need to see it myself to believe it.

Thank you for dropping by and I hope I have compared the two objectively for everyone.


On a personal note: 
If you have been following my blog for at least 2 years, you might know that I personally know Martha Cecilia. I was part of her fan club for 7 years and have been a fan of her Kristine Series since High School. I collected all her KS books and I have re-read each titles so many times that if you say a dialogue I can automatically say who said it and from where. So imagine my surprise when one of my friends told me to check out Shattered Trust (and 2 more international books) because KS#23 is an exact copy of it. She told me that the rumor about Martha Cecilia plagiarizing other books is true and she have read all 3 alleged titles to compare. She was so disappointed about that because we were both fans since HS and both of us really tried our best to complete the collection upto this point. I really wanted to prove her wrong but after reading even 1 chapter of Shattered Trust, I lost all hope.

So, yeah, we were actually hurt because we were fooled that all her books were original stories and that all the accusations to her were false. I can't even stop myself from asking which ones are hers and which ones were just copied. I even told Martha Cecilia how I felt and asked her to please explain it to me and why there's no disclaimer on her books that states it is "based on this book..." but surprise, surprise... We didn't get a response about the issue and just told us we are people who didn't value the 7 years of friendship we had with her and the club...and so we just parted ways civilly as I told her I can't close my eyes to the truth... and I learned from a friend inside the fan club that almost everyone there blames me for making a public accusation because they don't believe it's true..  ='(

I know the truth now and I just wanted everyone to know it too. I have a solid proof that says I'm not lying so I'm not worried about their accusations that I'm a liar and trouble maker. At least I'm not a blind follower like them who believes their fave author can't do anything wrong.


jehan said...

Hi Gale! Happy New Year!!!

growing up with people who love reading, i was surrounded with all kinds of english novels while growing up. it was only when i was like 21-22y.o. when i first read a tagalog romance novel. a roommate was collecting them. out of curiosity, i tried to finish one novel. i just couldn't bear reading Taglish conversations. add to that the "feeling" that you've already read the story from somewhere else and that it's gotta be from an english novel. so it's really no surprise for me to read about her plagiarizing but really still saddening...

Crystal Gale said...

Hi Jehan! I love English novels too because I get irritated with Taglish conversations but the way Martha Cecilia writes makes me feel like I'm reading an English novel. I really enjoyed them...it's just sad to learn that they are exactly based from English novels :(

Cquey Perez said...

Hi Gale! It's nice to find your blog. Akala ko nga namalik-mata lang ako habang nagbabasa ng blog mo about sa Kojie San- yung nabasa ko name mo sabi ko sounds familiar. Mabuti may picture mo. :) It's really sad what happened to MC. Marami na rin ang nagtanong sa kanya tungkol sa isyu na yan and yet she doesn't give a direct and honest answer until now. Like you Gale, my eyes are not close about the truth about it. Kasi if hindi nya naman kinopya, masasabi nya yun ng diretsahan at hindi kailangan magpaligoy-ligoy pa. :(

Crystal Gale said...

Hi! hehe buti nakilala mo ako. Thanks for reading my blog :)

I do agree with you. If she's not guilty about it, she can give us a direct answer that she did based the story from another book. Uso naman na ang translated diba? We won't mind since maganda pagkakagawa. It's actually the deceit that saddens me :(

Cess Pun said...

You nailed it Gale :) Very well written, I was able to read some of your blogs once in a while and this one stands out. I admire you for your courage and honest-to-goodness opinion about this matter. By the way, I'm Pong an ex-member also of that fan club. :)

joanne reyes said...

Hi.. I was in college when I first read martha ’s sensual then months after I was able to read Linda Howard’s After that night and I totally shocked because it was almost the translated version. I even reread sensual just to make sure and except for the different name and place the story is almost the same. After that I lost confidence to MC. Wala naman kasing masama kung i acknowledge nya ang original author eh.. Nung nabasa ko ang blog mo it validated my suspicions na maaring plagiarism nga ang ginagawa nya. Nakaka dismaya talaga kasi it does not just ruin her reputation as writer but it also reflects on the image of us Filipinos. Hindi naman mababawasan ang credibility niya if she just admits the truth na based yun sa mga librong pinag kuhaan nya talaga.. Anyway thanks for making this blog

veronica said...

hi, MC was the reason why i started reading tagalog pocket books, because of her, i started to love precious romance, i was so dissapointed when i found out, how she just copied linda howard story, i first read linda howard "after the night" , when i bought a PHR by MC the sensual i was shock. at first the plot seems familiar, then i read the last part. i was shock, she copied it not just the beginning but all of it. now im doubting, how many of her books did she really write and how many our those books she copied. she thinks she can get away for translating an english novel into tagalog. she should be sued, for all the money she make to fool other people.

Chie Co said...

Same here, I was seriously bothered upon reading After the Night...at first I was in denial because I was a huge fan of MC when I was still in highschool..all the way to college and then recently I've read After the Night because it was highly recommended in goodreads..and goodness, just like what joanne here said it was so identical I was just like reading an english version of Sensual..I was so shocked , I felt betrayed in a way because I do idolized her before.