Credit card companies want to censor what you read.

UPDATE: On March 13, 2011 PayPal modified their policies to allow legal fiction. Thanks to everyone who supported the rights of authors, publishers, and readers.

Credit card companies and/or financial institutions are telling PayPal and Smashwords authors what they can write and what readers can read.

PayPal told Smashwords that their crackdown on erotic fiction is necessary so that they can remain in compliance with the requirements of the banks and credit card associations (likely Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, though they didn’t mention them  by name).

(NOTE: PayPal’s parent company eBay sells material focusing on rape, incest or beastiality as I wrote here.)

I don’t read or publish erotic fiction, it’s not of interest to me. I do support the right of readers and authors to fight censorship.

According to Mark Corker of Smashwords fame, “PayPal is asking us to censor legal fiction.  Regardless of how one views topics of rape, bestiality and incest, these topics are pervasive in mainstream fiction.

We believe this crackdown is really targeting erotica writers.  This is unfair, and it marks a slippery slope.  We don’t want credit card companies or financial institutions telling our authors what they can write and what readers can read. Fiction is fantasy.  It’s not real.  It’s legal. ”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) have recently joined the discussion on this matter.

The EFF blogged about the issue a few days ago:

ABFFE and NCAC issued a press release:

How you can help:

All writers and their readers should stand up and voice their opposition to financial services companies censoring books.  Authors should have the freedom to publish legal fiction, and readers should have the freedom to read what they want.

These corporations need to hear from you.  Pick up the phone and call them.  Email them.  Start petitions.  Sign petitions.  Blog your opposition to censorship.

Encourage your readers to do the same.  Pass the word among your social networks. Contact your favorite bloggers and encourage them to follow this story.  Contact your local newspaper and offer to let them interview you so they can hear a local author’s perspective on this story of international significance. If you have connections to mainstream media, encourage them to pick up on the story.

Encourage them to call the credit card companies and pose this simple question, “PayPal says they’re trying to enforce the policies of credit card companies.  Why are you censoring legal fiction?”

Contact information for Visa

Contact information for  American Express

Contact information for MasterCard

Contact information for Discover

Contact information for Ebay (owns PayPal)

Update: On March 7th MSNBC reported on this issue with credit cards.

UPDATE: Visa Writes “This is Not Our Doing”.

Ms. Madeleine Morris of wrote to Visa. Part of  the reply from Visa: “Relevant to this situation, the sale of a limited category of extreme imagery depicting rape, bestiality and child pornography is or is very likely to be unlawful in many places and would be prohibited on the Visa system whether or not the images have formally been held to be illegal in any particular country. Visa would take no action regarding lawful material that seeks to explore erotica in a fictional or educational manner.

You may read the complete article at the Banned Writers web site.

If I Had A Tattoo picture ebook for children

A rhyming picture book story of young boy who thinks he’d like to have a tattoo. He thinks of all the monsters that help him make his bed, do his homework, play sports, and do other things so well and decides those are the kinds of tattoo’s for him. But what if he gets laughed at for having monster tattoo’s? 14 colorful pictures and 6 printable full page black and white drawings of dinosaurs for your child to color and draw tattoo’s upon. Suitable for ages 2 to 102.

You may download a free sample, or purchase for $0.99, here. Available soon at other major online retailers.

Chris Brashear and her publishing lawsuit

On April 7, 2008, Chrissy Brashear filed suit against Ellora’s Cave alleging that she was entitled to a distribution of profits from 2005 until the date at which defendants bought out her 5% shares.   EC’s response to the litigation was to not participate.

The trial brief also asserts that Ellora’s Cave is diverting assets away from the company.  First, by borrowing money through commercial lines of credit and loans in EC’s name and then transferring those loan funds to Engler, Marks, and others at substantially lower interest rates.  Second, EC is paying above market rate rent to its landlord (who happens to be Tina Engler).  For example, in 2009, the market rent is around $40,131, and EC was paying to Engler $97,200 in rent.

All told, Brashears claimed about $350,000 in actual economic damages as well as damages for defamation and punitive damages (designed to “punish” the wrongdoer as opposed to “compensatory” damages that are designed to make the plaintiff “whole”) and attorneys’ fees.

Full story here.

My Kindle ebooks

Two of my ebooks are now for sale on Amazon.

Dopey stories make you say "huh?"








Dopey Stories is a collection of 7 short stories: Bob the Road Painter, Minnie Tushi meets her love in Bald Knob, Bob and the Dickheads, An Ordinary Man, The Dumb Clucks Who Caused All The Trouble, Sal Acious meets Tim Orous, and The Beautiful Ms. Ann Thrope. The stories may make you say “huh?”, as they are a little weird.

Bragging can blow up in your face







Bubble Trouble is an entertaining and educational picture book fable filled with colorful pictures, including large black and white pictures for coloring. It is about a young girl, Glorybee Toebiter, who likes to brag. But her bragging blows up in her face, with terrible results. This book is suitable for 2-5 year old children and those young at heart.

NOTE: Not all digital ebook devices may display color photographs, nor print out full page B&W pictures.

50% discount on ebooks during “Read an Ebook Week”.

For this years Read an Ebook Week celebration I’m offering 3 of my ebooks at a 50% discount from March 6 to March 12, 2011.

“Final Decree. A Dead Dog Divorce” is a story about a thieving wife, Elspith Winters, who loots her and her husbands joint bank accounts. She then convinces her friends her husband is having an affair in order to cover her tracks. Despite the years of planning she did in preparing for her Final Decree, she never planned on the courts not believing her many lies. Based in part upon a real divorce. On sale one week only for $0.99.



Joint Effort, by Ted Summerfield

Joint Effort. It’s the 1960’s and drugs are making inroads into schools. There is a demand for drugs, so a group of high school friends begin selling pot and hash to their friends. From that humble beginning, this story leads you through how they expanded their operation, how they cleaned their cash, how they moved their product, and how they later built their underground bunkers for pot production. This ebook contains swear words. On sale one week only for $0.99.


"Dopey Stories new cover"


Dopey Stories is a collection of 7 short stories: Bob the Road Painter, Minnie Tushi meets her love in Bald Knob, Bob and the Dickheads, An Ordinary Man, The Dumb Clucks Who Caused All The Trouble, Sal Acious meets Tim Orous, and The Beautiful Ms. Ann Thrope. The stories may make you say “huh?” as they are a little weird. On sale one week only for $0.99.



Thousands of other ebooks on sale at 25% to 75%, plus many free ebooks during the Read an Ebook Week:

New face

Today I’ve put a new face on my blog by adding a new header and using a new theme. I’ve also added images of my ebooks on the right side of the page, which will link to free samples of my ebooks, including my children’s coloring ebooks which contain both color and black and white pictures,  when a visitor clicks on an image of an ebook.

The blog is flexible and ‘should’ display better on mobile devices.


Thelma and Ziggy, part deux

Thelma and Ziggy has been on Smashwords only a few days now and is doing surprising well. Thanks everybody!

Here are a couple of miniature sample pictures of the black and white pictures included in the appendix area of Thelma and Ziggy. The pictures in Thelma and Ziggy are full page size or nearly full-page size:

Golfing fish, from Thelma and Ziggy by Ted Summerfield

Butterfly from Thelma and Ziggy by Ted Summerfield

I include black and white pictures in all my ebooks for children so the pictures may be printed out and colored. I also included educational links for different animals in Thelma and Ziggy, so readers can discover more about the animals in the story.

You may read a free sample of Thelma and Ziggy, or purchase it for $0.99, here.

Joint Effort ebook now available

My latest ebook, Joint Effort, is now available on Smashwords in epub, mobi, and other formats.

Joint Effort, by Ted Summerfield
Joint Effort, by Ted Summerfield

It’s the 1960′s, and there is a demand for drugs in schools. This ebook tells the story from the inside, of how a group of high school kids expanded their operation, how they cleaned their cash, how they moved their product, and how they later built their underground bunkers for pot production and became one of the largest producers of pot in BC.

Joint Effort ebook by Ted Summerfield; Inside Cover.










You may download a free sample or purchase my ebook for $1.99 on Smashwords here.

“Joint Effort” ebook in the works.

I’ve been working on a new ebook, “Joint Effort”, for a while now and thought I’d post a picture and a blurb about it.

Joint Effort is about a group of high-school kids who go on to become one of the largest producers of pot in British Columbia. From the group forming at high school to how some of the money was laundered and the pot bunkers built, it is one story of the BC Bud industry. All fiction of course.

Joint Effort, by Ted Summerfield

Joint Effort, by Ted Summerfield

Dead Dog Divorce

The death of all those dogs at Whistler brought back so many painful memories of when Liz Summerfield, my now ex-wife, lied to the South Burnaby Veterinary Clinic and had them kill my dog Punzhu.

Killing an animal to speed up a divorce, or for any reason, is never justified.

I suppose reliving all my anguish over the cruel death of my young dog brought forth the thought of changing the cover of my ebook Final Decree.

Friends of mine who have read my fictional ebook, “Final Decree”, had previously suggested I should have included something about the death of my dog in the title.

I had discussed with my editor a title of “Dead Dog Divorce”, but she felt that was not an attractive title to her and so Final Decree was chosen and the ebook published.

Final Decree, a dead dog divorce, is a fictional account about the divorce between my former wife, Liz Summerfield, and myself. It is based in parts upon real events of our divorce, including her lying to the South Burnaby Veterinary Clinic and having them kill my dog Punzhu.

I’ve decided to change the cover and include the words “A Dead Dog Divorce”, which you may view here. Link opens in a new window or tab.

Trying simple animation for Bubble Trouble cover

I’ve managed to get the cover of Bubble Trouble to reproduce a simple animation, but have had no success in adding animation to MSWord for ebooks published on Smashwords.

Mark Coker of Smashwords advises me that animation would be messed up by their meatgrinder even if I were able to get MSWord to accept animation.

This is the animated cover I’ve uploaded to Smashwords, which at Smashwords you have to click on to animate. You may have to click on this image for animation sometimes.

Bubble Trouble animated cover

Bubble Trouble animated cover. If not displaying animation here or at Smashwords, click to see animation.

My new novel “Final Decree”, and “4-letter words” sample

It took some time, a couple hours really, to upload my new ebook “Final Decree” to Smashwords when it was only #14 in the queue. I checked the output after going through their meatgrinder process and found a couple of errors, one of which was my own stupidity in that the pictures for “I came…” card in the Appendix didn’t copy properly when I moved the MSWord file to the OpenOffice document format for uploading to Smashwords.

I had uploaded my new novel, my first novel on Smashwords, originally in the MSWord format, but had horrendous problems with the linking within the PDF document after the conversion process by Smashwords. I’d had this problem before using MSWord (When will I learn not to use MSWord???) on my 4-letter words puzzle ebook on Smashwords, which you may read about on my blog post here.

I made the image corrections to my novel and uploaded it again to Smashwords. Now I am waiting for the book to be processed by their meatgrinder into various ebook formats.

My book the “Final Decree” is about a divorce and the problems a woman, Elspith Winters, has during her Examination for Discovery. Elspith is driven by inner forces to divorce her husband, who is baffled by her determination. Her passion leads from love to an odyssey of despair, ruin, and alienation as she emotionally crumbles during her Examination for Discovery.

If you enjoy stories with a touch of realism to them, a bit of humour, stories that are a cautionary tale, then you may enjoy reading my new novel. It is a work of fiction and and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental even though Final Decree is based upon actual events.

Free samples of both Final Decree and 4-letter words are available at all major online retailers including Barnes & Noble, Apple, Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo/Chapters Indigo, Sony, select libraries, Flipkart in India, and other fine retailers.