My Favorite Email Scam of the Year

I got this email today. I am so excited. I’ve won a BMW "Saloon car" (I guess it comes with a wet bar) and "a cash of $850,000,00."

The BMW Group UK.
International Awareness Promotion Department.
22 Garden Close, Stamford Lincs, PE9 2YP
London, United Kingdom.

Ref: BMW/2551256003/23
Dear Lucky Email Owner,

We are happy to announce that you are a lucky winner of the BMW International Awareness Promotion. This makes you a proud owner of a brand new BMW 5 Series, M Sport Saloon car and a cash of $850,000.00. The car comes with a special BMW Insurance Cover for one year and a one year warranty and FREE repairs at any BMW Automobile depot or service station worldwide.

For you to collect your prize, kindly contact our Prize Remittance Unit through email stating your receipt of this notification. When sending an email to the office, you are to send the following information which would enable him process your prize.

2. SEX:
3. AGE:
6. CITY:
11. FAX:

BMW Prize Remittance Unit (Spain) E-mail:
Tel: +34-63- 401-5428

Congratulations once more, and keep trusting BMW Automobile for top quality

Best Regards, Graddon Danny Ray II (Engr.)Online Promotion Manager.

This email was sent from an email account of BMW (UK)  Limited which is a
company registered in England and Wales with Registration Number 1378137 and has its offices at Ellesfield Avenue, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8TA.

Hollywood and Crime

Bob Levinson, the dashing fellow on the far left in the photo (he’s always the dashing fellow at the far left, we call that "The Levinson Pose"), sent me this souvenir of the first HOLLYWOOD AND CRIME signing at Mystery Bookstore. The other suave gents are bookseller Bobby McCue, myself, and fellow anthology contributors Ken Kuhlken and Gar Anthony Haywood (also known as "Ray Shannon"). We’ll be gathering again at Men of Mystery in Irvine next month and at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks….where we will be joined by Dick Lochte and Gary Phillips.

Going After Airleaf

Over seventy authors who were screwed out of thousands of dollars by the Airleaf Publishing scam are banding together in the hopes of exposing "a company founded on fraud" and putting the owners in jail. The effort is spearheaded by Bonnie Kaye, a relationship counselor who paid Airleaf $1800 to publish her book on "straight/gay" marraiges.

My book came out the same week that former Governor James McGreevey’s book “The Confession” was released. I launched my own media campaign, and I was interviewed Paula Zahn on CNN and the national FOX news. Sales were booming. Airleaf kept telling me that I was their most successful author.

I was feeling so good about Airleaf at that point of time that I volunteered to talk to prospective authors who were on the fence. I now live with the guilt of convincing them to follow me down the road of doom.

But Airleaf didn’t cough up her royalties and she’s since learned of authors who have lost as much as $20,000 on the scam.

Author Frederick Martin-Del-Campo – Chronicles Of War And A Wanderer. Airleaf royally diddled me: I invested over $10,000.00 to have my one book turned into a best seller, and another taken to Hollywood and turned into a movie. They utterly made a fool of me, let alone the countless other authors they defrauded. The Airleaf agents gave me a runaround of answers when I tried to inquire about my investments and publication of books. Now, no one has deigned to reply. They have totally screwed me!"

Her many quotes from her fellow Airleaf suckers is doubly infuriating:  you’re pissed at the Airleaf conmen for preying on the desperation and ignorance of these wanna-be authors…but, at the same time,  these people were so stupid and painfully gullible that it’s hard to feel any sympathy for them.

Boring Sex

_1189052226 TELL ME YOU LOVE ME is supposed to be oh-so-racy, raw and edgy…but the show is so ponderously dull and heavy-handed that even the sex scenes are boring. A very clever friend of mine had the best comment about the sex scenes:

They’re so bad I can watch them with my wife.

This Will Cause a Fanfic Frenzy…

The Associated Press reports that JK Rowling made a surprise revelation in New York this week when asked by a fan at a signing if Dumbledore every finds "true

"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and

She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival
Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between
good and bad wizards. "Falling in love can blind us to an
extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore’s feelings, adding that
Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down."

Dumbledore’s love, she observed, was his "great tragedy."

"Oh, my god," Rowling concluded with a laugh, "the fan


Guilty Pleasure

Gordon_ramsay I am ashamed to admit it, but my favorite new show of the season is Gordon Ramsey’s KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (though I was already a fan of the BBC version). Every episode of the American version is the same — a loud-mouthed, arrogant imbecile is running a failing restaurant with an incompetent staff serving lousy food. Gordon Ramsey comes in and, using as many expletives as possible and rubbing his chin constantly, tells the loud-mouthed arrogant imbecile that he is running a failing restaurant with an incompetent staff serving lousy food. The arrogant imbecile gets offended and yells at his staff some more. Gordon Ramsey redecorates the restaurant, comes up with a new menu, and teaches the chefs how to make good food. The restaurant pulls in a crowd and succeeds…at least for the few days that the film crew is there. The arrogant imbecile promises to be less arrogant and a lot smarter and thanks Gordon for changing his life. And yet, as formulaic and repetitive as this show is, I find it addictive and ridiculously entertaining…more so than his HELL’S KITCHEN gameshow, which I got tired of after one full season and one episode of season two, and any episode of THE BIONIC WOMAN.


I have just added the Snapshot widget to my blog, which gives you a "snap shot" of the webpages I’ve linked to just by passing your cursor over the link. I’ve seen it on other blogs I visit (and I like it) so I decided to try it out on mine. Let me know what you think!

Why A Strike May Be Necessary

Howard Rodman had an excellent article today in the LA TIMES on the issues the WGA is fighting for…and why we may need to strike to get a fair deal for writers. He says, in part:

First, the companies are still refusing to raise the rate they pay in DVD residuals. […]That decades-old formula is such a thin slice of a thin slice that on each disc, the companies pay more to the manufacturer of the box and packaging (about 50 cents) than they pay in residuals to the writer, director and actors combined (about 20 cents).

[…]Published reports show that the operating income of the entertainment segments of the nation’s media conglomerates has grown at a compound annual rate of 12% between 2000 and 2006, from $8 billion to $18 billion. I guess they just don’t have enough to pay the people who made those revenues possible.

[…]What’s more, the companies refuse to let writers share appropriately in the revenue stream from material distributed over the Internet. They claim that this torrent is at present only a trickle, that there is no "business model," that this all needs to be "studied." And while they search for that elusive business model, they are offering to pay us at those antiquated fraction-of-a-fraction rates. Never mind that, even now, this unstudied trickle is making them millions: Each studio or network has cited $500 million or more a year in online revenue.