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I am honoured that my new release Abigail Cottage has been named Pick of the week by thriller writer Lorrie Struiff

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Abigail Cottage

When Abigail falls in love with Justin she can’t begin to know the world of hurt she is heading into. Gorgeous, kind, rich – he’s the man we all dream to meet. BUT, all is not what it seems because Justin is a true demon from hell, disguised as a mortal being. He wants her and will do, kill or maim anyone who tries to stop him. Namely Shaun the real hero, who wants Abigail more! So what does a mortal man do against a demon? He enlists the help of a gypsy of course. But not any old gypsy. Rosa knows Justin very well and has the powers of the spirit world on her side to fight him. Using crystals as a powerful weapon, the light of the spirit world to lead them, they embark on a battle with the whole of the underworld. Many loved ones will lose their lives. This isn’t a book where everyone survives. In real life, bad things happen. In Abigail Cottage, terrible tragedies occur too. Believe... not every story can have a happy ending.

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Monday, 20 February 2012

Welcome to Julie Hayes

Good Morning Everyone.
Today I am highlighting something that will affect many authors. I'd like your opinion on it and what we can do to try and make our voices be heard. So I leave you now in Julies capable hands.

And so it begins. The powers that be at Paypal, under the guise of morality, have begun practicing censorship, strong arming publishing sites into removing titles which PayPal finds objectionable and/or morally reprehensible, under the threat of freezing their PayPal accounts. As anyone who has an online business knows, PayPal payments are vital to the success of most businesses, so that is tantamount to having one’s lifeline severed, bleeding out potential profits all over the internet floor.
But wait, what right have they to do such a thing? Since when is PayPal the moral arbiter of anything, much less the authority for who publishes what and where? Where do they get off doing this?

Damned if I know, but I’m finding it extremely ridiculous and very akin to extortion. My question is, where will it end? If they aren’t stopped now, what will keep them from imposing these sanctions for anything which they don’t like? Including religious and political issues? Today it may be sexual content, but tomorrow? Who knows.
First off, it’s none of their business. They aren’t in business to legislate morality, but to move money. That’s what they do, and they do it well. People use their services to pay for many things, and it’s great. But it’s none of PayPal’s bloody business what they pay for.
Not to mention that it’s arbitrary. They think that they’ll stop these immoral goings on by identifying and halting the payment for such services which don’t meet their standards of morality. But let’s be realistic. How much money gets transferred under the general blanket of “services” which they have no idea what it’s for. And frankly, who cares?
I can send money through PayPal all day long for anything. But if I go into a legitimate bookseller site online and wish to purchase something, that’s my business, not theirs – and for being honest, I’m going to be penalized? There are definite double standards going on here.
And who’s to say what is right and what is wrong? If you don’t like a title, or what the author writes, do what I do—DON’T BUY IT! No one is forcing you to do it, so don’t. But don’t prevent those who want to from doing it, or put the kibosh on free enterprise because it doesn’t suit you in some way.
Your list of taboos is ridiculous. Are you applying these same standards, PayPal, to the major publishers? Because I’m damn sure their books have these same things in them. Subjects you deem immoral. But the difference is that they don’t care, because they don’t need you in the way the smaller booksellers do. So you’re a bully, plain and simple, pushing your views down people’s throats, threatening them in an economic manner, hitting where it hurts – in the moneybelt.
Shame on you, Paypal, for shame! Keep your nose out of other people’s morality. You’re not making a change for the better, you’re making yourself look ridiculous and interfering with people’s rights.
I understand that they’re including shapeshifters under bestiality? Seriously? Teenagers having sex? Yeah, like that doesn’t happen in the real world. The point here is that we’re discussing fictional characters, not real people. Characters who exist only in the minds of their creators, and maybe in the hearts of their readers. But not in the real world.
I think maybe PayPal needs to learn the difference. Reality vs a book. Real life vs fiction. They need to step off their high horse and get over themselves.
Censorship does not belong in the hands of financial institutions. It should be the individual’s right to judge for himself and make his own choices. If people want to read certain kinds of books, although you dislike them, then that is their right. It’s your right NOT to buy them.

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  1. Bravo!! I quite agree. Paypal has no right to censor what anyone buys. That's not their job. Paypal's highhanded attitude reminds of book burning and panning movies. Since I've got a mind of my own, I will choose what I read, write and buy. Sad state of affairs. Paypal seems quite unAmerican. Hope someone comes up with a solution something like Paypal but concerns itself to the money aspect and lets the buying to us.

    1. Perhaps if the publishers fought back and told them they won't accept their terms? Seek alternates?

  2. I'm with you and julie cassie. people have the right to choose what they want to read.

  3. Author, Cherri Miller is having problems logging into blogger- the story of my life lol - anyway i am posting this link on her behalf. Authors do have options.

    1. That does seem to be an alternative, but it's not in the author's hands, that would be up to the publishers and book sites.

  4. I do not want to 'out' myself, but my paypal account was started because I am a Tarot Reader and I believe the info on the account still reflects that.

    Tarot Reading is a very risky business. I started my business just as Miss Cleo was being exposed.

    It seems a bit strange that I haven't been contacted about this.

    Now-a-days, I am using paypal to receive royalties and make local and online purchases.

    Now that I've 'outed' myself, I'm going quietly back to work.


    1. I suspect they are after the so-called perverts of the world, to be honest.

  5. Fascinating article and comments. I'm new to paypal and the writing biz as a whole. Not that it matters, because like you said they are a way to pay, but can you buy kinky sex stuff via Pay Pal? Or weapons via Pay Pal? Or pornography? I believe Google and now Pay Pal are all part of a conspiracy of how the government keeps tabs on us. Not to plug my other book, but The Last Degree mentions all of this stuff. Dina Rae, author

    1. I'm sure you can buy a lot of stuff through paypal and just label is services or goods. Hypocrisy in action!

  6. I had already heard a lot about this and have signed the petition about it too.

    I think what they are doing is appalling.

    To pick one of their examples and their logic...

    Rape is a criminal offence and they do not want stories showing this sold.

    Okay, I don't particularly like this content either, but I don't read it. I don't presume to tell anyone else they shouldn't read it either.

    But let's pick another offence, say murder. Now are they going to take issue with Stephen King's publisher for selling that objectionable material, or how about Thomas Harris's publisher? Of course not! I am quite sure whoever their powerhouse publishers are, they would tell them where to go if they tried it.

    If they have the sort of power to dictate what people can and cannot buy then they have way too much power and need to be put back in their place.

  7. Julie. Do you have a link to PayPal's 'guidelines' on this? (or whatever they might be calling this drivel)
    How did you find out about it?
    Is there any organised opposition out there?

    1. I'm looking for it, haven't located it yet. I had it, I know. I read about it on other author's blogs. There's a petition, as LM Brown pointed out.

  8. Actually, it's not so much paypal as major credit cards whose terms of use state what they can and cannot be used for. Paypal is just the middleman and technically if they allow things their contract says they cannot do, then they are in breach of contract. According to what I've heard, whatever is inside the book is not the target; it's the title and the blurb and possibly the cover. I think the idea is that what you READ is your business, but what children could SEE from the "outside packaging" (cover, blurb) is not. Maybe it equates to having medication locked up in a cupboard or a pillbottle open on the table. Anyway, it seems to come down to the credit cards' "terms of use" contract. I seem to remember there was a problem a while back about stocking "adult" materials in the same venue as children's books. Technically, that meant all bookshops except children's book shops and all libraries except children's libraries were in breach of that law. I haven't heard about that since so I assume it was dropped or quietly forgotten. Laws or rules or contracts are often worded in such a way that they catch unintended fish in the mesh. For example, what DO we do about the no-sex-under-18 law when writing about a historical character who married (legally for the times) at fourteen? As a side note, the children's book Stepmother, by Gwendoline Courtney, could be in trouble with the Paypal net.

    1. I don't see them yanking VC Andrews books off the shelves any time soon, and they're filled with actual incest, not pseudo. Or Nabokov's Lolita. And if that's the case, then why is Bookstrand disconnecting indie authors and only allowed publishers to list with them? I'm sure it has to do with the Paypal edict.

      I doubt Bookstrand even sells children's books.

      Let's be honest - most children can navigate the Internet better than adults. If they want to go to adult sites, they can, even if you separate the books. They know how to push the button that says are you over 18, and they do.

  9. wow. Scarey stuff. makes you wonder where it will all end.



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