I think by now no one should be surprised by this. Certain authors have been gaming bestseller lists from Amazon to the New York Times, getting away with it, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop them. This article I'm linking to now talks about a Pastor who allegedly bought his way to several bestseller lists by using a marketing firm that specializes in this type of unethical behavior. I'm not sure it's criminal, but I would like to see the FTC get involved just once. I would imagine it is a form of consumer fraud, but don't quote me on that.
That’s according to new reports outlining how Mark Driscoll, an evangelical pastor, paid $210,000 to ResultSource Inc., a professional firm in the business of making bestsellers. The result? Driscoll’s book, “Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together,” which he wrote with his wife Grace, skyrocketed onto the New York Times bestseller list before dropping abruptly off.
You can read more here.
If you're feeling industrious today, here's another link to Forbes on authors buying their way to bestseller lists.
This web site gets slammed a lot because they don't reveal anything about themselves and they make some very strong, serious allegations, but they also have a few interesting posts on the topic. As far as I know, none of the authors they've named with these strong allegations have become the slightest bit litigious. But don't quote me on that either.
And if you just do a simple search for "authors buying their way to bestseller lists" you'll find so many articles you won't know where to start.
There's no need for me to go in-depth with this link to Urban Dictionary. The term dogging came up the other night at a dinner party and I was surprised so many didn't know what it was.
Basically, it's having sex in a car, in a public place, with people watching or joining in.
ooooo, i went dogging lst night at the local car park. it was jolly good fun!
You can read more here. Side note: when I quote anyone I don't edit mistakes, I quote verbatim.
Priest Tweets Porn
And not just any old porn, it was allegedly gay porn.
Reverend Richard Coles Twitter followers were sent to a porn website instead of a picture of Jesus, in an unfortunate Twitter mistake this morning (18 April).
Gay British priest Richard Coles had an embarrassing Twitter mishap this morning when he was tweeting a series of Easter related images for Good Friday
Now there's an Easter message you don't see all the time.
You can read more here.
Faggot T-Shirts in Soccer
The FIFA World Cup is being hosted in Brazil this year, and there are places where T-shirts that call soccer players "faggots" are being sold.
The simple T-shirt designs call Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo ‘gay’ and retired Argentine footballer Diego Maradona a ‘maricón’ (a faggot).
The designer defends the T-shirts, which are being sold for around €62 ($85), as ‘irreverent’ and not offensive.
He is also claiming they are selling out in stores across the country.
‘The collection has a irreverent theme and the T-shirts are made for those who want to cheer for Brazil but do not want to wear the official kit,’ Sergio K said, as translated by Gay Star News.
‘It’s not homophobic to me. Homophobia is something else. The T-shirts do not incite violence.’
I'm not too sure about that...the violence part. If you call the wrong gay guy a faggot you might find yourself picking up your teeth with twisted fingers. We're not all skipping around in pink fairy wings.
You can read more here.
FREE Gay Excerpt
Here's the conclusion of yesterday's free excerpt, from Chapter One of my latest unpubbed novel in the Chase of a Lifetime series, Chase of a Rainbow. Once again, this is the raw unedited version. In order to get what's happening you should check out the link to the first excerpt. Because this is part of a series I like to sneak in some back story for people who prefer to read the books in random order. All are stand alones.
Len shook his head. “Why is that disgusting? It’s the truth. You are a power bottom.” He looked at Arturo. “Isn’t he?”
Arturo nodded. “Oh yeah.”
Arturo nodded. “Oh yeah.”
Jim couldn’t deny he liked his sex, and he knew they were only joking around with him. So he lifted his head and said, “You’re both disgusting.”
The truth was things hadn’t always been this carefree and casual with Len and Jim. Len was about twenty years older than Jim and they had a long history. Len and his first wife, Janet, had been best friends with Jim’s mom and dad, Radcliff and Helen Darling, back when they’d all lived in Dallas. To make things even more complicated, Jim had been best friends with Len’s son, Cain Mayfield. Jim had grown up around Len and he’d always called him Mr. Mayfield because Len had been living in the closet most of his adult life. When Jim returned to Dallas as an adult after he graduated from Princeton, one thing led to another and Len and Jim wound up falling in love with each other in spite of trying to do the exact opposite. And when their families discovered what was happening, it nearly destroyed everyone. It set off a chain of horrible, dramatic events that led Jim and Len to leave Dallas and move to Los Angeles. But not after a great deal of tears had been shed.
Len set his card down and declared victory. They were playing gin rummy and everyone knew he was unbeatable. “I’ll show you how disgusting I am if you want.”
Arturo’s head went up and he didn’t seem to mind that he’d just lost a hand. “I’ll help.”
“You grab him and I’ll pull down his pants,” Len said.
“Seriously, guys,” Jim said. “I really have to work on this campaign so I can get this guy to buy the dispensaries. I don’t have time for that tonight.” He glanced at Arturo. “And you have to deal with the dude ranch manager job tomorrow.” Along with Arturo’s responsibilities as Jim’s marketing assistant, they’d also promoted Arturo to ranch manager of COAL Ranch and he was interviewing new ranch managers for the gay dude ranch next door.
Len ignored Jim and picked up the cards. He started to shuffle, and he looked at Arturo and said, “One more hand, and then we go after him.”
Arturo said, “Loser gets sloppy seconds.”
They fist-bumped and Len said, “Deal.”
“Oh, you two should take that act on the road,” Jim said. “But don’t get too excited because I have a lot of work to finish tonight. I’m meeting this guy tomorrow and if he likes my ideas to promote the dispensaries online, we sign the papers later this week and I’ll never have to deal with medical marijuana again in this lifetime.”
Arturo cut the cards and spoke in more serious tone. “Aren’t you going to miss it a little?” He knew how emotionally attached Jim was to Cain and Carol Greene.
Jim couldn’t deny he had emotional ties to the business. Carol Greene had been the most flamboyant transgender male to female he’d ever known. On a conservative day she’d resembled a cross between Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, and Dolly Parton. But his ties to her didn’t just stop with Carol saving Culum’s life. Carol had also been deeply in love with Cain Mayfield, and she’d mourned Cain’s death almost as much as Len and Jim had. Cain had been dating her and that’s how he’d gotten involved with the medical marijuana dispensaries. Although Cain used to flirt with Jim and tease him a lot, Cain was straight and there had never been anything sexual between them. Jim had loved Cain like his own brother and there wasn’t a day that went by when Jim didn’t miss him. Cain was also Culum’s biological father, but Jim and Len had legally adopted Culum when Cain’s college girlfriend wanted to abort him. Len had been having serious father and son issues with Cain at the time, but Len refused to let anyone abort his grandson and he literally begged the girlfriend to let him adopt and raise Culum. So much in Jim’s life seemed to lead back to his friendship with Cain he often wondered how it had all happened. And part of him felt sad about selling the dispensaries because he knew that would be his final legal tie with Cain.
But he also had Cain’s biological son, Culum. And he saw traces of Cain in Culum as each day passed. So he smiled at Arturo and said, “It’s time to move on. I have no real interest in selling marijuana and I’d like our lives to move forward.” Then he smiled at Len. “I want things to be simple someday. Just us and the ranch.”
Len glanced over at him and said, “I agree. It’s time to sell.”
Jim wanted to get up and hug him, but Hal Robertson answered another question on the computer and he started talking about how bottoms should prepare to have anal sex.
Jim cringed when he mentioned plastic bottles filled with warm soapy water.
Len’s eyes opened wide and he laughed. “Here we go. Now we’re getting personal anal sex hygiene habits from good old Hal. I’m not sure I want this guy to buy the dispensaries. He’s a fucking wing nut.”
Arturo shrugged. “At least we know he’s a bottom. No top knows about things like that.”
Then Hal said, “Before you even think about being a good bottom, you have to make sure everything is impeccable and clean down there, so to speak. It’s the classy thing to do for the man you’re about to pleasure.”
Jim groaned. “Dear God.”
Arturo stared at the computer and said, “He’s serious. He’s actually going to give a detailed demonstration now.”
Jim felt his face getting warm. Even though he knew what Hal was saying was true, he didn’t want to listen to it in front of Len and Arturo. “I think I’ve heard enough now.”
But as he reached to switch off the computer, he heard an odd noise. There was a bang and then a screech. It sounded as if someone had knocked over a chair. He heard a small dog barking in the background. He looked at the screen and noticed Hal had left his mark and the chair had been knocked over, and Jim could only hear voices somewhere else in the room.
Len and Arturo looked up from the cards.
“What happening now?” Len asked. “Is he actually demonstrating the art of anal douchery.”
“I’m not sure,” Jim said. “I don’t think it was planned. I think he’s on the other side of the room.”
Jim turned the volume up higher and they all heard Hal’s wrecked voice in the background. “Get out of here,” he said, with a strong hint of fear in his voice. “Get out of here and leave me alone.” The dog had stopped barking.
After moment of silence, Jim pressed his palm to his throat when he heard Hal begging. “No. Please, no. Leave me alone.”
“What’s happening?” Len asked. He stood up and walked over to the desk where Jim was sitting.
Arturo got up and joined them, too. “Where did he go?”
“I’m not sure,” Jim said. He had a bad feeling about this.
“I’m not sure,” Jim said. He had a bad feeling about this.
“Maybe he went to get a double-headed dildo,” Len said.
“Stop joking,” said Jim. “I think something’s seriously wrong.”
Less than a second after Jim said this, there were three loud gunshots and the window on which they’d been watching Hal’s show went black. Jim grabbed his chest and said, “Holy shit. What was that?”
Len blinked and said, “If this isn’t a joke this guy needs some serious help.” He looked down at Jim and asked, “How do you always seem to get involved with people like this?”
Jim ignored that comment and reached for the phone. He did tend to attract the most unusual people into his life. “I have no idea what just happened, but I’m calling the police to make sure everything is all right.”
“Do we have to get involved in this?” Len asked. He’d always been more detached to this type of event. One of his favorite sayings was, “Don’t make your problem mine.” He’d learned how to put up the proverbial invisible wall to keep from dealing with too many unimportant demands. He’d always claimed it was his own brand of self-preservation.
But Jim couldn’t be that nonchalant about what he’d just seen and heard. “Yes, we have to get involved. We can’t just ignore it.”
Len frowned. “Maybe someone else who was watching called the cops.”
“What if we were the only people watching?”
Len made a face. “You have a point there.”
As Jim dialed the emergency number he took a deep breath. His heart had begun to race and he had so many thoughts crossing his mind he wasn’t sure where to focus. He didn’t really know Hal well. They’d met once and spoken on the phone a few times. But he did know Hal had a slightly questionable reputation and he hung out with some of the same criminal types Carol Greene had known. Hal had also mentioned that he’d been an investor in a porn web site Cain had once worked for called straightdudehouse.com. At the time, Jim just brushed it all off as being part of the territory with medical marijuana dispensaries. He’d learned they weren’t always as legal as everyone thought they were and the complications ran deeper than what most people realized. This was also why he wanted to sell. He didn’t want to be involved with anything that questionable.
And now there he was, on a quiet night when he should have been in bed with his husband, phoning the police for a shifty guy he barely knew who did webisodes about double-headed didoes. But worst of all, he grew overwhelmed with guilt when it occurred to him that his chances of selling the business would be ruined if anything had happened to Hal Robertson.