Crowdfunding for Social Good by Devin D. Thorpe – Book Tour & Excerpt

Crowdfunding for Social Good: Financing Your Mark on the World

by Devin D. Thorpe
Over the last year of writing my Forbes blog, I have had the opportunity to really dig deeply into the world of crowdfunding. I’ve just completed my first draft of my new book, Crowdfunding for Social Good: Financing Your Mark on the World.

The book is a guide to successful crowdfunding for people who want to change the world.

The book is not a sequel to my book, Your Mark On The World, but it is written in the same spirit. I’ve studied a dozens of successful crowdfunding campaigns, interviewing the people behind them to learn their secrets for success.

Devin’s Book, Your Mark on the World, was downloaded over 75,000 times and reached the #19 spot on Amazon’s free book list–among all free books. It remains on the top 50 free nonfiction books at Amazon.

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Shaun King Brings Hope(Mob) to Crowdfunding
This article appeared on on March 28, 2013. It is included in Crowdfunding for Social Good by Devin Thorpe and is reprinted here as an excerpt from the book.

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Shaun King, founder of the nonprofit HopeMob is revolutionizing crowdfunding for social good with his web site that, unlike most crowdfunding platforms, actually comes with a crowd.
Born in Kentucky in a working class family, as a fifteen-year-old he was beaten so badly in what was one of the first registered hate crimes in the state that he needed a series of surgeries that required two years. He notes, “When bad things happen to some people it hardens their heart, but for me it softened my heart.” He attended Morehouse College where Martin Luther King had attended and was required to do service.
While at Morehouse, using bulletin boards and chat rooms, King began using technology to rally people to volunteer for causes.
When he graduated, he took a job teaching civics and continued using technology to help nonprofit organizations. Eventually, his career morphed until he became a technology consultant for nonprofits.
In 2008, he became a pastor in Atlanta. He visited an inner-city school and promised that his church would provide each student a toy and a new uniform. He didn’t appreciate that it would cost $55,000—money the church didn’t have.
In the earliest days of Twitter, he used the social network to raise the money.
His work caught the attention of the media and in 2009 he raised $1 million for flood relief in Atlanta and organized 10,000 volunteers there. In January 2010, the earthquake in Haiti caught his attention and he raised $1 million for relief there.
He then created HopeMob, to make it easy for people to give to a cause or to people in need. HopeMob has now raised more than $5 million for causes of all sorts. HopeMob is different from other crowdfunding sites, he says.
“If you don’t have your own social network it’s almost impossible to raise money on other crowdfunding sites.” At HopeMob, Shaun and his team are actively involved in vetting the stories to validate the needs and then they help to write up the story and bring the money from the HopeMob.
HopeMob has over 450,000 followers on Twitter and 113,000 likes on Facebook. In addition, everyone who signs up at will get email notifications of people in need. While many crowdfunding platforms are better described as peerfunding platforms where you bring your peers, HopeMob brings the crowd.
In addition, HopeMob doesn’t charge any fees to the fundraiser. Every dollar raised for a campaign on the site, goes to the campaign. At check out, donors are asked to volunteer to pay a little extra to help cover these costs. Corporations sometimes “sponsor” a campaign and cover the costs. HopeMob is also working with Dwolla to reduce transaction costs; Dwolla charges just $0.25 per bank transfer over $25 and waives the fee entirely for transfers under $25.
Shaun wants HopeMob to become all that crowdfunding promises to be for those in need.

About Devin:

Devin D. Thorpe thinks he is the luckiest person alive. After being “let go” from the best job he’d ever had—as the Chief Financial Officer of the multinational food and beverage company MonaVie—he and his wife ended up living in China for a year where he wrote Your Mark On The World and embarked on the career he’d always wanted yet hadn’t dared dream.

Now, as an author, a popular guest speaker and Forbes contributor, Devin is devoted full time to championing social good. His current life isn’t much like his past.

As an entrepreneur, Devin ran—at separate times—a boutique investment banking firm and a small mortgage company. He served as the Treasurer for the multinational vitamin manufacturer USANA Health Sciences years before becoming CFO for MonaVie. Over his career he led or advised on the successful completion of $500 million in transactions.
Devin squeezed in two brief stints in government, including two years working for Jake Garn on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee Staff and another year working for an independent state agency called USTAR, where he helped foster technology entrepreneurship during Governor Jon Huntsman’s administration.

Devin is proud to have graduated from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, which recognized him as a Distinguished Alum in 2006. He also earned an MBA at Cornell University where he ran the student newspaper, Cornell Business.

Today, Devin channels the idealism of his youth with the loving support of his wife, Gail. Their son Dayton is a PhD candidate in Physics at UC Berkeley (and Devin rarely misses an opportunity to mention that).

Twitter: @devindthorpe
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Cache a Predator by M. Weidenbenner – Excerpt

Cache a Predator

by, M. Weidenbenner

Officer Brett Reed will do anything to gain custody of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn. But when the man-hating judge grants Brett’s drug-addicted ex-wife custody and slaps him with a protective order for losing his temper, he fears for Quinn’s safety. Who will protect her now?

When Quinn is found abandoned on the streets, Brett’s worse nightmares turn toward a dark path. His daughter is placed in a temporary foster home until Child Protective Services can complete an assessment. It should only take a few days.

But a lot can happen in a few days.

Especially when there’s a deranged psychopath on the loose, someone who’s attacking pedophiles, someone who wants to protect children like Quinn, and someone who’s planting body parts in geocaching sites.

Cache a Predator is a novel about a father’s love, justice, and the unhinged game of hide-the-cache.


All he had left was a stub.
I giggled and held the flesh up for the tombstone people to see. “Look!”
Smiling, I placed it in the bag and pinched my fingers along the top, sealing it shut.
After retracting the blade, I set it on the towel, opened the backpack and placed the supplies inside. I returned to the body, pulled up his pants, buttoned the top, and fastened his belt.
A laugh started low in my belly. It rose into a wail as memories came flooding back. Him touching me. Damaging me. He’d dragged me out of the toolshed that day and into the house. I’d kicked and curled into a ball, but still he came at me.
Now, grunting, I balled my hands into fists and beat his chest.
Again and again until my fists burned.
I inhaled and exhaled deeply, then released the hinges of the casket and dropped each lid with a bang.
Who’s the big man now?
After locking the coffin, I rolled it back into place, slid the granite face across the floor and lifted it to the opening. The anger gave me strength.
The casket clanked and clattered back into place. I scooped the rosette key from the towel and refastened the hardware. An opera sang in my head, the singers’ voices getting louder and louder, keeping rhythm with my heartbeat.
After gathering my supplies, I wheeled the lift back into the closet, took out the antibacterial wipes in my bag and wiped down the floor. I flung the pack over my shoulder and onto my back, then glanced around the room. No mess.
Once outside, I shone the flashlight on the lock and left it the same way I found it.
When that was complete, I flipped my flashlight off and began my trek to the cache site, counting the rows and stones. The drums of the concert played their final beats, and my mind went quiet. I glanced at my watch. I was on time.
There was much to do. I needed to keep to my schedule. I shuffled out of the cemetery, mumbling in rhythm. Find. The. Cache. Box. Bury. The. Stub. Find the cache box. Bury the stub. Find the cache box. Bury the stub.


About the Author

Michelle is a fulltime employee of God’s kingdom, writing and encouraging writers every day. She’s often a sucker for emotional stories, her sensitive side fueling the passion for her character’s plights, often giving her the ability to show readers the “other” side of the story.

She grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital Michelle cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting—without drama, Michelle discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which might come in handy with book reviews.

Michelle is living her dream—writing every day and thanking God for the stories He puts in her path. When Michelle isn’t writing she’s winning ugly on the tennis court. She’s known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.” No joke. It’s ugly.

Follow Michelle: FaceBook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads


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Keeper of Reign by Emma Right – Excerpt

Keeper of  Reign

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it?
For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema.
Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn’t get himself killed first.





Is Ralston alive? Can I save him? Slowly, he stood and dashed in and out of the sweeping blades of grass toward the mossy plot. Quiet at first, his lips pressed into a determined line, he made sure not to snap a twig as he threaded through the tall grasses. He ran so fast that the edge of a blade cut his forehead. As he neared the fowls he yelled at the fourth crow in hoarse madness. The bird’s yellow eyes flitted to him. It squawked and in three big flaps its beak honed in on him, talons still clenched onto Ralston. Staring the bird in the eye, Jules flung the red stone at the black bird’s beak but the stone struck its eye instead. Better than he’d expected. “Yes!” Jules shouted and beat his fist in the air in triumph. The raven dropped Ralston, almost on top of Jules, who swerved away just in time. The other three birds swooped to the mossy spot and made a ruckus, as if scolding the fourth. Jules braced himself for another attack but something else caught his eye. A cloud of dark mass was flying in their direction. The droning hum the dark mass made reverberated and filled the air. Jules clapped his ears shut. What was happening? He’d heard of mutated insects the Handovers had experimented with, but they were supposed to only inhabit Handover. Not here in Reign. Could they be invading now? After all, the Scorpents had started coming. But when one from the mass broke away he saw he’d been mistaken. Fiesty! As Fiesty flew over Jules’s head the mass became identifiable: a swarm of dragonflies. More than a hundred of them whizzed in and out, targeting the ravens’ eyes and nostrils. In obvious fury the afflicted ravens thrashed their massive wings at each other. Kneeling beside Ralston, Jules sucked in his breath, hardly daring to breathe. “Ralston,” he whispered at last. Getting no response, he shook Ralston vigorously. “Hey, wake up!” But still, his brother didn’t stir. He pounded on Ralston’s chest, hard. “Breathe, Ralston! Breathe!”


About Emma:

Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves reading, and when she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before children came along.

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The Acid King by Maggie Abbott – Excerpt

Four long-estranged friends from London’s turbulent Sixties scene of sex, drugs and rock and roll are thrown together after seventeen years when one of them accidentally discovers the secret identity of their betrayer; a man they knew only as The Acid King, a charismatic figure who orchestrated a weekend of alluring drugs ending with a bust, jail time and death.

    • What the friends don’t know is that a New York FBI Agent, another old enemy of the Acid King, has been on a long frustrating manhunt of his own, driven by the same rage for revenge. Until, by coincidence, he discovers the mystery man’s hidden Los Angeles location and tracks him to his lair. Resulting in a dangerous confrontation that puts lives, both guilty and innocent, on the line.
    • The Acid King is the thinly veiled story of the famous Redlands drug bust of 1967; an event that put Mick Jagger and Keith Richards behind bars and nearly destroyed the world’s most famous rock band. All orchestrated by an unidentified man who set them up and then disappeared.
    • By a strange twist of fate the Author (former film agent for Mick Jagger) met the Acid King in Los Angeles and became involved with him for several years, never knowing who he really was, until her friend Marianne Faithfull (former lover of Jagger) surprisingly identified him.


Pete’s face registered the strain of remembering an image from that night he’d never forget. It was one of several horrors that burned in his mind when he opened the hatch on that particular subterranean area called sixties memories he had cut out of his biography. This one was King Leo sitting in Jeremy’s high-backed antique armchair, primly nursing his silver attache case while the local constabulary slowly felt inside all the pockets of every jacket, trouser and coat they could find in the house, looking for evidence of illegal substances.

The dealer had just glibly persuaded the cops to keep their hands off his case of precious unprocessed film. It was outrageous. “I’m a filmmaker, that’s my life’s work in there, my movie, exposed film that would be ruined if you touch it,” he’d purred and pleaded.

Everyone in the room knew what was really in those foil-wrapped packages, but couldn’t say anything without incriminating themselves.

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About Maggie:

The Acid King tells the fictionalized story of what she imagined could have happened afterwards.

Maggie Abbott started writing novels when she moved to Palm Springs after a long, successful show business career in Los Angeles, London, Rome, and New York.

A casual job as a secretary at the William Morris Agency in Rome introduced her to the exciting scene of Cleopatra, Fellini’s and The Pink Panther, with the city’s influx of big stars calling by the office every day, and triggered her lifelong love affair with movies.

Over the years, Maggie has enjoyed being in the most interesting places at the best of their times, while working as the movie agent for some exciting stars: Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Charlotte Rampling, Jacqueline Bisset, Martin Sheen, Raquel Welch, Christopher Plummer, Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Peter Sellers, Richard Chamberlain, Peter O’Toole, Britt Ekland, Ken Russell, John Boorman, and many more.

Somewhere in between, Maggie was the production assistant on three Broadway plays, and a producer and studio executive at Columbia Pictures where she developed and got production credits on two movies.

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Cuspian by DC Hall – Excerpt


by DC Hall

Twins, Kendal and Kennedi Myles are the envy of their peers with: a second string spot on the varsity football team, smartass but loyal teammates, miniature pores, and a killer spray tan. They had big plans for sophomore year, until their mother is slaughtered during a botched robbery.

Forced to move with their estranged father, Kendal becomes fixated with finding their mother’s killer, while Kennedi tries to settle into life with their dad. After the discovering a trail of unsettling clues, the pair to believe their mother’s death was part of a conspiracy. As the teens’ investigation digs deeper into their mom’s enigmatic past, a mysterious agency stumbles upon them, and the twosome learns they are Cuspians—individuals gifted with supernatural abilities. Kendal and Kennedi are soon faced with the challenge of staying concealed from the shadowy organization hell-bent on enslaving powerful Cuspians while trying to solve a murder.

Family secrets, bloody breadcrumbs, and deadly obsessions guide the twins through tough decisions and awful mistakes. Desperate for their lives to return to normal, the pair found normal is not written in the stars for either one of them.

Purchase on Amazon / Barnes and Noble



Dirty copper.
People say it’s hard to describe the scent of blood. But as I woke up clothed in the now-hardened substance, I knew the very essence of life smelled like…like a grimy penny forgotten at the bottom of a purse.
I pushed up on my elbows, not caring how I’d ended up on the floor or what that squishy sound in my torso meant. I dragged by body across the floor, determined to escape the awful smell. I stopped after a few feet, road blocked by Beau’s body. I didn’t need to push up higher on my elbows to see that the other bodies sprawled out across the room belonged to Savannah and Logan. I rolled to my side and poured my insides out. Vomit mixed with the blood that carpeted the floors.
Blood. Vomit.
Life. Shame.
I vomited and cried until my stomach ached from dry heaving and spasmed from overuse. When there was nothing left in me I curled into a ball and cried. I tried to take more shallow breaths to ease the sharp pains of breathing. I was lightheaded. Darkness came shortly after.


DC Hall is obsessed with argyle socks, the smell of books and believes he is the smartest person in the room. Granted he’s usually alone when he thinks this but it still feels good. When his nose isn’t stuck in a book, DC is usually writing or trying to teach his dog, Brooklyn, how to wash dishes (success remains elusive.) DC is from the south where the teas are sweet, distance is measured in minutes—not miles, and the skies are always Carolina blue.

If you are interested in learning more about DC:


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