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Harper Collins author 'fired' and another author will be writing under her name?

There is nothing outragous, or underhanded, or wrong going on here...It is what "work for hire" means. You agree to be paid to write something that someone else owns and yes they can put anyone they want in instead of you. It is a standard practice that goes on for decades...Ever notice how the Star Trek and Star Wars books all have multiple authors? It's called work for hire. Many people make a good living doing it. It's not "for me" because I like creating my own stuff and keeping ownership to it - but others just care about a steady paycheck.

Now...there are some contracts that will try to turn your work into "work for hire." You make a world and set of characters and there may be a clause that states by signing the contract the publisher now has rights to create other books in this universe independent of you. Well guess what...don't sign that contract - or get your agent / IP lawyer to strike it first. Anyone who signs a contract without reading...and understanding what each clause means has no one but themselves to blame.