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A PayPal Warning

A PayPal Warning

Several years ago I joined, a writing site. I was impressed, and enjoyed it enough that I was moved to donate $25. I didn’t make it recurring, but fully expected to donate each year.

A year later, the site asked if I wanted to do it again, and I said yes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t watching my bank account closely enough that month, because they made two deductions of $25, a day apart. I’m guessing that even though I hadn’t selected the recurring option, the site owner checked it for me. And when I said yes to the second year, he established a second $25 yearly donation. But I didn’t learn that until May 5th and 7th of this year, when both “donations” repeated. Making things even worse, because I wasn’t expecting a $50 charge, that account had insufficient funds to cover the unexpected withdrawal, which meant a $37 overdraft fee.

Making matters worse, I was no longer a member of that forum. Because of a dispute with an overzealous moderator, my account had been closed, weeks before.

I initially assumed that the charge was a mistake, and wrote the site’s owner. When I received no response I opened a dispute with PayPal. But a week later, with no request for data, or any communication from PayPal the dispute was canceled. And, though I have tried to contact them more than a few times, my communications have been ignored.

So here’s the problem, and why it relates to you: PayPal is not a bank, and not based in the US. So they can do pretty much what they care to with your money. If you’re a seller they can freeze your account and lock up your money. And there’s nothing you can do about it. As a buyer, if someone makes a charge you dispute they can ignore it, as they did mine.

In this case, a man has stolen $75 from me by means of fraudulent billing, and cost me an additional $37. And PayPal? They literally doesn’t care, so they are obviously comfortable with being complicit in the commission of a crime.

And of course, for you writers, The WritingForums site is a good one, But be very careful about donating money, because, like it or not, they will take it as permission to tap your card over and over again.

Spread the word, because anyone using PayPal should be aware of how they do business, and of how little protection we have.


Posted by on May 26, 2018 in Uncategorized



It Never Gets Old

It Never Gets Old
     Releasing a novel is very much like releasing your grown children into the world. You’ve had your time to shape and guide them, but now your job, that of preparing and advising, is complete. Now it’s time for them to accomplish whatever they can on their own.
     But still, like any proud parent, I cannot help but point with pride.
     And so, Foreign Embassy, my third released novel, appears—hopefully to provide as much pleasure in the reading as I enjoyed during the writing. I’m especially pleased with the cover, a Deron Douglass original. Using my comment that the Talperno Embassy—the foreign embassy of the title—was a slightly futuristic, albeit flying, office building, he captured exactly what I’d been visualizing.
     Embassy is a first contact story, but not one you’ve seen before. The Talperno didn’t just come visiting, they came prepared. Forget the idea of traditional spacecraft and intergalactic landing fields. They flew the whole damn office building, then set it down on the grass by the reflecting pond, next to the Washington Monument.
     It’s only three minutes after landing and they’re already open for business, welcoming their very first guests, a group of boy scouts from Philadelphia.
     There’s an excerpt, here.
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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


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A Small Yippee

A Small Yippee

I started this blog with the idea that it would focus on some writing help for the beginner, a sample of my own writing for fun—and to demonstrate that I follow my own advice—as a sales tool, and as product pages for the released novels.

But today’s blog is for none of them. It’s a small yippee, and a thank you to Double Dragon Publishing for having offered me a third novel contract, this one for, As Falls an Angel.

Angel was great fun to write, and literally told itself, which made it exciting to write because I was never quite certain of where it was going, so in many ways it was like reading the story. I began with the idea that I was creating a light romantic short story, based on the premise: Angels exist, and can do amazing things, but must work within the framework of existing natural law.

That was the plan, but my characters refused to stick with the script, and began to meddle with the plot. And as so often happens, I fell in love, and could deny my characters nothing—especially my angel.

Before I knew it characters were screwing with gravity and going into battle. At one point I found myself typing, “Twenty years later,” skipping two decades of my character’s lives—something I never expected to do when telling a story.

And in the end I learned that Satan’s real name is Suzanne, which, when you think about it, may explain a lot.

No idea of when it Angel will come out, I still have to sign the contract and await an editing slot, but my guess is some time before the end of the year.

I’m stoked. After all, I stand to make tens of dollars from this.

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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


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