You might have thought you'd heard the last of "Regina Milbourne" and her "non-fiction" book Miami Psychic. But you just aren't that lucky. I wrote about the book in this earlier post, but to refresh your memory, here's the way HarperCollins is promoting the book and its authors (Miami Psychic's co-writer is Yvonne Carey, a freelance reporter who has done a lot of work for both the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel):
"Regina Milbourne first realized her psychic gift two weeks after almost drowning in an unattended swimming pool when she was twelve. With only a sixth-grade education, and half her life spent as a practicing psychic, she is coming clean to leave her past behind. She lives in Miami, Florida."
Well I dug into the mysterious Milbourne's identity and found out she is really Gina Marie Marks, a member of a notorious Gypsy tribe. She actually lives in Broward County and hasn't left her past behind at all -- Marks is still telling fortunes, despite her promise in the book that she was giving it up. Oh, and she was implicated in a fortune telling scam in California that, needless to say, wasn't mentioned in the book. Marks escaped criminal charges in the scam when her attorney Jim Lewis (best-known for representing Lionel Tate) arranged full restitution for the victims.
HarperCollins, according to a publicist, had no idea that Milbourne wasn't really Milbourne. The book, in short, is fiction -- bad fiction. Here's a link to my article on it. (Carey, who is currently working as a "special correspondent" in Weston for the Sentinel, hasn't responded to interview requests).
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
This is one of those weird double-edged stories. It's righting a wrong, but don't be surprised to sales shoot up because of it (the story has already been posted on Jossip.com ). And that is clearly a disservice that one can't truly appreciate unless they've had the displeasure of actually reading the book.