Where Is the Feverborn Review? There Isn’t One.

feverbornBy Jen

*Updated 1/24/16

Please know that I have given this subject a great deal of thought. I initially wrote this opinion piece to call attention to a post on Karen Marie Moning’s Facebook page. In it, she voiced support for audiobook narrator Phil Gigante. Reader comments on that thread linking to articles on his arrest were hidden, and I felt like that information should be available to readers. So I provided it here.

Since that time, Moning has apologized and severed ties with Gigante. But that is not the only thing that has happened. Fandom has blown up. Everyone is angry. Many people are hurt. Others are reminded of their own experiences with sexual abuse. It’s not a simple debate; it’s an emotional one that touches people deeply.

I feel like there has been enough exposure to this story that readers can make an informed decision about whether they want to support Gigante’s work. If not, a simple Google search can give you the basics of his case. I hope, soon, we can start taking steps to heal our fractured community. I hope our conversations can become more constructive. I hope those who have felt hurt can start to heal.

I know other blogs have linked to this page for the screen grabs I made when this all started. I will leave them below for that reason. I support each person’s choice to make their voice heard.

I hope you understand where I am coming from. I think the dialogue this has sparked is important. I hope that in the aftermath of what has divided us, we can start to come together again.

original Capture






  1. This is interesting. Reading through the first news report you linked, my immediate response was – wow, what a creep. Even if he did think he was sending naughty pics to an over 18 (who he met whilst volunteering in a school – erm), he’s 49. That’s just gross and he should have known better.
    Then I thought about the implications of KMM supporting him and not only that, refusing dialogue on the subject. Even if she has absolute proof that he isn’t guilty in her eyes, that’s a very poor business decision to back him publicly. Her asking her fans to blindly trust her decision is a hell of an ask and deleting posts is just wrong.
    I’ll still buy Feverborn at some point when it isn’t a tenner on kindle, but KMM’s decision doesn’t sit comfortably with me at all.

  2. Very well said Jen. Thank you

  3. This is very upsetting. I am two books behind on this series, and haven’t bought them because of the cost, but do have some of the audiobooks Mr. Gigante has voiced. Not sure if I am going to be able to listen to them again. This is very sad, especially for the young girl involved. He pleaded guilty, so that really should be the end of any discussion about if he did it or not. It is fine to try to support a friend who has made mistakes, but to deny the existence of a guilty plea is pretty terrible. What kind of message does that send, especially to the victim? I am sure I have read and loved books written by people who were pretty vile, but in the “old days” no one talked publicly about what they did, and it could stay hidden. I know I will never read the Mists of Avalon again, a book I loved, because of what came out about what Marion Zimmer Bradley did to her daughter. In the age of our connected social media, things like this do not remain hidden. KMM is making bad decisions here. She is just an author. The courts have had their say, and that is the judgement we should rely on, particularly since he admitted guilt.

    • I agree, hopefully he’ll do his time, get therapy for whatever is ailing him and rehabilitate, everybody deserves a second chance, said that, just staying away from the topic would have been better for KMM, she can offer all her support privately and respect all the women that have been through this and worse violence.

  4. Yes Yes Yes 🙂 Me too–I returned my copy even though I had read 100 pages. If he was just arrested that would be one thing (innocent until proven guilty) but he plead guilty. That means he accepted that he did something wrong. I know there are 1000’s of reasons to plead guilty but going on a Sexual Predator list for the rest of your life has to mean that in this case it meant there was guilt. It isn’t like he couldn’t afford good attorneys (look at his light sentence) *sigh* YEP I am still pissed at how it is being handled.

  5. Pamela @SpazP says:

    So well said. Thank you for this post.

  6. This so much. Thank you, Jen.
    “It doesn’t matter. Because she is a child.” – Yes especially that.
    I a) haven’t read KMM b) don’t listen to [any] audiobooks. But I still think as a member of the romance community I’m a stakeholder and just to turn a blind eye is not okay. JPG is a Tier II sex offender. That’s not a minor thing.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      I think as members of the romance community, we are all stakeholders. I think it’s so important to think about the readers who aren’t on social media –who would otherwise never know things like this. They deserve to be able to make informed choices. We all do.

  7. Excellent post and this needed to be said. I was waiting for this series arc to end because I hate the cliffhangers. But now I have to regretfully give up this series and future books by KMM because of her stance. I totally understand why she would want to stand by a friend and support him but she’s asking readers to ignore what has happened and many may not know about this and would be shocked and angry or even worse triggered by this. Also seeing the comments on her FB page that she deleted was distasteful and awful with victim blaming. She was 14 years old and he is 49 there is no excuse what so ever.

  8. Well said, Jen. As I don’t do audios, refusing to listen to him isn’t an issue, but I did return the book unread and am subsequently refusing to support KMM or anything from her henceforth Her whitewashing of the situation and her attempts to silence those who didn’t agree with her is despicable. And yes, the whole “trust me” did not sit well with me. Like you, I don’t know her beyond the fact she writes books I have enjoyed in the past. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that all this stemmed mainly from her wanting the money his voice generates. No sympathy for the girl…just sly innuendos that SHE knows the truth and he is the real victim.

  9. Thank you for saying it. I was a huge fan of the books, especially the audio, but my interest waned with the release of Iced. Still haven’t read Burned and now I never will. I can’t support an author who stands behind a child molester–even if no touching ever took place.I have a daughter not much younger than the child in question, and if I found out that anyone, no matter their age, was speaking to her in an inappropriate manner or exchanging photos with her, I’d hunt them down like a dog.

    If I could figure out how to return my old KMM books I would. Since it’s been years since I purchased them, I doubt Amazon would allow it. So, I’ll just delete them and be on my way.

  10. Great post and very well said. I will not support anyone who has plead guilty to child sex charges of any kind. That is all I need to know/. Period. Any thing else is mute. Her handling of the matter is horrible. She should’ve just deleted the post and walked away if she wanted to support him.

  11. Excellent post. I’m so glad you did this. I didn’t quite know what to post, so I haven’t yet. Now I think you’ve done a great job so I might just link to yours.

    I know KMM and he are friends now, but this is not the hill to plant her flag on. He pled down. He potentially had higher charges on the table and pled out. That doesn’t mean he’s innocent.

  12. I can’t help but be a little saddened by the fact that people are dismissing the value of this man’s professional excellence because of something that he did in his private life.
    Yes. I agree that what he did was reprehensible.
    As a mother of three daughters, I am especially angered by that.
    Will that stop me from buying his work?
    Hell no! He provides a service that I enjoy. A stress reliever for the rigors of my day.
    And whether or not I agree personally with what he did! I refuse to take away from his professional excellence.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      I don’t dismiss his professional excellence. In fact, I made it a point to mention what a fantastic voice he has. I also made it a point to say that it was up to you whether his arrest would be a determining factor in your decision to buy his work.

      The entire reason I wrote this post was to allow you to make an informed choice for yourself.

      I, personally, do not believe in financially supporting someone who I find morally objectionable. I would not go to a Bill Cosby show, for instance, knowing what so many woman have said he did to them. But before all of the allegations were made public, I could not have made an informed choice.

      I’d rather know the truth and spend my money elsewhere. I’m not trying to take your choices away from you. Quite the contrary. I just don’t want people to hide things from you… or from any reader… that could take an informed choice away from you.

      • Exactly. I don’t watch Woody Allen films. I used to love The Mists of Avalon and I reread it every year, until I saw that the author supported the man who molested her children. That book is no longer in my home.

        I worked with large population of sex offenders and it’s my experience that there’s always more than one victim. I don’t want my money to put food on his table. I don’t care what kind of service he provides. He could lay golden eggs and offer to give them to me for a dollar and I still wouldn’t do it. But that’s me.

  13. Until the whole truth comes out, I don’t have the right to judge. I always say there are two sides to every story and most people have seen what media has printed. Media prints to sell, they can twist words to mean what the want . The total truth is not stated and gossip has gone crazy. I have read a second side to this story and it is far from what is being mentioned here. Until the total true facts are known, I will not judge and will continue to like and listen to Phil. I am not saying he is totally innocent, I am saying facts have not been publically stated and facts have been misconstrued. I also support Karen in her stand.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      I would be very interested in where another side of this story is available to read. Where could I find that?

      You may also be interested to know that Moning has reversed her stance, saying she did not have her facts straight. She will no longer be working with Phil Gigante.

    • This man has pled guilty and been properly adjudicated. He was sentenced, will have to serve time and be listed on the sex offender registry until 2040. I don’t care what kind of fairy tale you have heard to wish those facts away. He is 49 years old and he exchanged indecent images with a 14 year old child on Facebook. A child I might add that he met at her school so he can’t say that he was misled about her status as a minor. As for KLM’s stand…she has already reversed herself and admitted that she DIDN’T actually have secret knowledge that would exonerate him. She is back paddling so fast that she could probably qualify for the next Olympics.

      You can enjoy his voice all you want but it is never going to change the fact that you are supporting a sexual predator. Just don’t hide behind statements such as “until the truth comes out”. It has already come out and now is the time to support the victim. Who is NOT Phil Gigante or the tone deaf Karen Marie Moning.

  14. KMM just posted on FB that she apologizes, did not know all the facts and WILL NOT be using Giganti in the future.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      Yes! I was updating the post as you commented. Thank you!

      • I am glad she did the right thing. Will you read the book now or wait and see?

        • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

          I don’t think I will.

          I recognize that the apology was the best thing she could have done at this point, but it doesn’t make me feel ok about what has already happened. Everyone has to figure out what all this means to them as readers, consumers, and human beings.

          For me, I just don’t want to read it anymore.

  15. Moning couldn’t have mismanaged this more poorly. I can’t separate the man from the artist. Will not be listening to anything he’s narrated. Thanks for both the original and updated posts.

    Btw, Moning needs to replace her recorded backlist.

  16. I find Moning’s handling of this matter very unfortunate. I *nearly* didn’t buy Iced because of some of her comments prior to release when people were uncomfortable about grown men sniffing around Dani waiting for her to become legal. I gave her the benefit of the doubt that time… But yeah, I’m a mother and this stuff bothers me. Big time.

  17. I am not supporting or saying that the man in question isn’t guilty. I haven’t read the book or listened to the audio book. I would just like to say that lots of people plead guilty for many different reasons. Usually because you get “rewarded” for telling the “truth” with lighter sentences.

  18. Steph from fangswandsandfairydust says:

    I think it is interesting she now says she won’t use him in the future. She must have gotten more information.

    • Or her publisher has told her some hard truths about the backlash that awaits her if she continues to support a convicted sex offender. They themselves may be culpable of hoping that this would pass unnoticed and they could continue working with the this undoubtedly popular narrator. However, they have whole departments devoted to public relations and marketing so they knew that once word leaked that they needed to cut ties quickly.

  19. Carolyn Young says:

    Too late. Damage done. Thank you for the stand you have taken.

  20. I absolutely agree that what this man did was not ok, and I agree with not purchasing the Audio books because why support him? What I do not get is everyone’s sudden hatred of KMM. I personally believe my friends are telling me the truth all the time. In my opinion KMM was lied to by a friend of hers and apologized once she realized it. I think we have all put our faith in the wrong person at one time or another. Heaven forbid she be a friend first and a business person second. I just do not understand punishing someone who did nothing illegal. I think if we all had a lot more compassion this would be a better place.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      I can only speak for myself. I do not hate KMM. I don’t fault her for believing in a friend. I think we all need to do what we feel is right in our hearts. I was upset with the decision to silence the voices who didn’t share her faith in him. I was upset with the deletion of the links to reports of his arrest and plea. I was upset with choice to leave up the comments from fans that insinuated the victim was to blame. Clearly the thread was being moderated, as dissenting posts were being hidden, but the posts about the victim were left for all to see.

      I’m not now, nor have I ever been trying to start a witch hunt. I simply wanted fans to have access to the legal elements of the story and I felt like in that thread –for those 24 hours or however long that was– that access was being subverted. I wrote this post because I felt like I was being denied another forum to share awareness about something I thought was important.

      I hope that makes sense.

      • I did not witness her leaving up negative comments about the victims, I only witnessed a deletion of all posts about the subject. I do not think it is ok to delete only the negative and retain the positive, or vice versa. I definitely think it’s an all or nothing. However, the only posts I saw on her page were posts pointing to news stories about the issue. I did not witness those being deleted until everything was deleted. Either I missed a few hours or Facebook showed me different information. However, I do not believe that KMM is the moderator of her page or that she is even the person who normally posts on it. Over the years it has been a member of her staff posting on her behalf the majority of the time. Therefore, while this is clearly a PR nightmare and evidence of poor decision making on who to trust, Karen still did not commit those crimes. It seems to me that instead of focusing on her we should instead focus on the criminal and boycott all of the audio books that he created vs. singling out a single author who had the misfortune of having faith in the wrong person. KMM is not the only author to use him, but she is the only one where people are saying to not buy the books. So she gets punished while he still makes money off of his other audio books? I think the focus in this entire situation is backwards. The only person who really did something wrong is Phil and he is who should be punished.

        • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

          Here she is in her own words, acknowledging the deletion of the news links:


          I will acknowledge that admins often maintain fan pages. But when the response comes with the author’s name, photo, and a blue check mark, it clearly speaks for her.

          I understand what you are saying. And, again, I only speak for myself when I say I do not hold her accountable for the crimes another person committed. I can only reiterate that my issue with her comes from the way I witnessed that post was handled. I followed it throughout the day. I, myself, put up links and comments that were hidden. Others on social media at the time commented that it also happened to them.

          I hear you when you say you did not witness what I am saying with your own eyes. But everything I wrote about in this post about what happened on that thread… I did see with mine. Including speculation and insinuation from some fans in the comments about the way some teenage girls act and the things they do that could put a man in such a position.

          I’m not trying to convert you to my point of view. I understand and respect how you feel about this. I hope you understand why I feel the way that I do, as well. And for what it’s worth, I am not calling for a boycott of her work. I only make decisions for myself. I wouldn’t presume to tell other people what to do with their money.

          • I completely understand what you are saying and completely agree that deleting the news articles was in no means ok. I only saw them Posted and not deleted. I too would be frustrated by the article being deleted. I think that you delete everything or nothing and picking and choosing what to delete is in no way ok. What I don’t understand is why KMM is being singled out on this when no one has questioned any of the other main stream authors that use his services. The article has not been posted on their pages, nor has anyone asked if they will use them or redo their old audio books. Why just her? I personally don’t want to listen to any of his audio books because I don’t want to support him. Why are people in only posting news articles and questions for one author and not the others. It seems very one sided. Again I completely understand where you were coming from and don’t think you are trying to start a witch hunt!

      • I replied to you below I’m not the best at this blogging thing, I definitely see where you are coming from, but I disagree on some points.

  21. Jen at Red Hot Books says:

    KMM is taking the heat because this started on her Facebook page, when she made a post talking about how great Gigante is and that there were issues preventing him from narrating Feverborn. (But the bright side was that he would be back for Feversong.) Several people thought it worthwhile to explain to other readers that those “issues” involved his guilty plea and jail time. Their comments were deleted and this beast was born.

    No other authors (that I am aware of) were putting up pro-Gigante posts. It was the genesis of everything and it only got worse over time.

  22. That makes sense because she was pro Gigante,which I’ve previously stated how I feel about that poor choice. However, she posted originally because people were asking about him already (I’m guessing deleted posts as well?) I’m not sure though I did see at least one post asking before she posted anything. Either way, this was clearly a poor decision of hers to support him. However people are blaming her for his actions and probably still blindly supporting him by buying other authors audio books. If people are so offended by what he did why aren’t they asking that all audio books that he created be redone? Or for profits to be shifted to the victim? I feel Ike KMM has become the major focus of this story vs. the person who actually committed the crime. I think more needs to be done across the board about his works. That said I completely agree that Karen handled this situation completely wrong, especially with the comments you’ve shown. I guess I’m just more forgiving of people having faith in the wrong people as I work in the criminal justice system. Thank you for an intelligent, polite discussion. While I still have my own opinions I appreciate seeing things from another side, it definitely helps color my opinions!

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      Thank you as well. How we talk to each other matters. At the end of the day, we all share the romance reading community. It’s sad to see how antagonistic much of the dialogue has become.

      • I completely agree. I think that was so much my issue with this entire situation (not your post). I felt like everyone was picking extremes and fighting amongst each other which hurts everyone and accomplishes nothing!

  23. Dick Grason says:

    Not sure I understand all the outrage. There is nothing disgusting about it at all. Your thoughts notions and illicit urges are your own and if we had access to what goes on in the minds of people and punished them for it, every humans on earth would have to hang their heads in shame and 99%would be up on charges. So he had problems controlling his impulses, we all do He’s not monster nor has he done anything most of you have had your own pervy notions on.

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