Charitable Getting

Charity in the twenty-first century is a game. The players are artists, salesmen, and idealists, all working together to get something for nothing.

At the center of the game stands Bo Sparks, charismatic CEO of SparkVISION Consulting, which runs campaigns for the charities under its care. Surrounded by the wealthy and the desperate, Sparks just wants to do a little good in the world. But this holiday season he has more than his fair share of worries, between a secretive blogger who might be one of his staff, a journalist determined to uncover who it is, and a client who not only doesn’t want to pay their fee, but wants to sue Sparks for telling the truth.

Sex scandals, embezzlement, gossip, clandestine love affairs, and one misplaced cake: it’s all in a day’s work for SparkVISION.

Charitable Getting has a wordcount of roughly 85K words.


The gong was a point of contention in the office.

Sparks had picked up the idea somewhere, probably from the Zen Management seminar he and Erin had been to earlier in the year. He’d spent hours looking at gongs online with Cee, debating gong size, reading about gong philosophy. Apparently it created a sense of community within the office; none of the gong websites mentioned that the sense of community came from a unified sense of loathing.

Nobody had thought Sparks would really buy one, but someone had slipped him a Craigslist ad selling a gong made from the radiator of a classic car. That was clearly too much for him to resist. (Ian had no regrets.)

Charitable Getting is available for sale through Lulu.com and can also be found as an ePub edition at Lulu.

What People Are Saying About Charitable Getting:

…a cheerful office novel, full of the ordinary dramas of people’s lives. It’s very readable and funny. It does have greater depths, though, and for anyone interested in the internet this is an important book, both in terms of the story and in terms of the writing of the book itself.
The Green Room

The truly delightful aspect of this book is the characters. […] No one is one-dimensional, and one finds oneself wanting to know more about all of them. Starbuck deserves special kudos for the character of Bo Sparks — he’s lovable and often plays dumb for both his own and his employees’ amusement — but when it comes down to it, he’s wonderfully intelligent, and far more insightful than people give him credit for. It’s difficult to write a character like him well — but Starbuck does it beautifully.
— Lesley Hastings on Goodreads

There’s even been fanfic of the book!

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