Lottery Island or Jackpot Island?

Union Island

You decide the title: Lottery Island or Jackpot Island? Titles of books cannot be copyrighted, but the word “Powerball” is a registered trademark, and should not be used in the title (or so I’m told by Powerball legal, a different employee there whom I can’t name saying, “sounds like a great book!” And there is a 2014 novel at Amazon titled “Powerball.”) Anyway, there is a disclaimer at the end of the novel, partly based on a true story, reading, “This is a work of fiction. No connection to MUSL is intended or implied. Please play responsibly. Unlike Howard.” Howard Rosen is a dweeb solo Powerball winner whose first winning ticket is photographed but lost…so he is made the brunt of jokes on late night TV. (You can’t cash in a photograph, even if no one comes forward and you can prove you bought it at the place identified as selling it. They are very strict, and forbidden from endorsing anything. (LEGAL NOTE: No endorsement is implied.)  There is a woman who sued to remain anonymous, losing many thousands of dollars in interest, because she was unaware that signing her winning ticket legally allowed them to publish her name. In Howard’s fictional case, he wins again ($500 Million after taxes), and doesn’t sign, but erases all traces of him via a hacker so no one can track him….with a plan to reemerge a hero, famous for more than just 15 minutes of shame by financing a coup against a corrupt Caribbean island dictator. …Speaking of hackers, what’s up with this, below? McAfee is a giant internet security firm, which John McAfee left and dissed after it was acquired by Intel. McAfee himself became the target of hackers, announced he was running for President in 2016 under the Cyber Party (there’s also a Coffee Party few know about), and now the popup screenshot you see below is associated with the virus Advanced Mac Cleaner…one of the few viruses able to penetrate Apple software, and nearly impossible to delete. If this were a real popup, and you clicked on it (Mac only), you’d be hacked and wormed. Scary, huh. The other day my sister got a call from someone who knew her name, phone number, address, friends, and part of her cancer medical history. Very friendly and chatty, the woman finally said, “Do you mind if I transfer you to our records department?” Another woman came on and asked to verify her Social Security number. Sis asked the woman to say the number first…the number they had in their record. The woman hung up. Their return call number was 000-0000.


Back to our story, Lottery Island is at Amazon for Kindle, Jackpot Island is at iTunes iBooks and for Nook and iPad. Same book, different title. If you have Kobo or just want PDF, it is at Choose your pleasure. Currently in preorder for March 1 release, sales in April will also determine your vote for which title ultimately wins, and goes to audio. My novel Postmarked for Death, endorsed by Clive Cussler and John Lutz, will be going to audio in March at Audible and iTunes, as well. Think postal shootings and a serial bomber like the Unabomber, hunted by a rookie postal inspector. The USPS TV series The Inspectors is just starting up again. Good timing? We shall see. (Am told the new episodes was financed by seized property.) Again, the novel is partly based on true stories of shootings, like the one at Royal Oak, Michigan that killed 14. For the lottery novel above, based on the true story of John Caldwell, he and his sons once fired Enfield rifles over the heads of invading renegades that had taken Union Island, and came for his: Palm Island. He let the Marines park helicopters on his island (leased from St. Vincent’s government for 99 years at $1 year plus 12% of future profits) during the Grenada invasion. I was there writing an article on him for a sailing magazine, but his true story inspired mine. Add Powerball, and off we go…

The Inspectors

LEGAL NOTE, Postmarked for Death: No endorsement by Ariana Grande or the Postal Service is implied. Although I’m pretty (pretty) sure she’d like the novel, since the postmaster for whom I once worked did love the book, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s