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Amazon changed my titles. Apparently #readers are easily confused. Let’s help #dumbreaders

compareSo apparently the books above, which have been available for sale for three plus years, are confusing to potential readers. Amazon is so concerned that readers might not be able to figure out the difference between the fiction books and the non-fiction companion guides that they are making me change the titles and covers (ebook only, apparently they don’t care about the paperbacks). Seriously.

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I will say that I liked some of their listing requests since they will help me better categorize these companions, but beyond that, they are taking this too far. Let’s just ignore the fact that each of my companion guides are titled after the blogs they were originally written as and say that the titles are catchy and fun, while the changes are not.

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I don’t know if I’m more annoyed at Amazon for thinking people are dumb or if I’m pissed at the fact that people might actually be this dumb. And, if I’m offending someone at this point, I really don’t care (well, I do a little). I think this is ridiculous.

40questAccording to Amazon, I can’t list my name on the book because it might confuse people. WHAT?

According to Amazon, I can’t call it a companion, I have to call it a study guide because it might confuse people. WHAT?

According to Amazon, I can’t use my current title at all. I literally have to call it A Study Guide. WHAT? (I’m using it somehow.)

battlequestSo now my paperback and ebook covers won’t match unless I change it across the board. I don’t even know if I care enough to do so at this point.

Are they crazy or is it me?

Seriously, I want to know. Tell me.

Have I been confusing people for the past three+
years or has Amazon lost their minds?

#BeAFriend #TellTheTruth :/

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Review: The Affinity Bridge #mystery #paranormal #book

Goodreads

Title:  The Affinity Bridge

Series: Newbury and Hobbes #1

Author: George Mann

Genre: Steampunk, Sci-fi

Pages: 350

Reading Level: Adult

Content: R (violence, drug use, scary and mature themes, some gore)

I bought this book at a bargain bookstore and almost feel like I ripped them off. Even though I didn’t love this book, I still underpaid for it.

I’ve been wanting to dive into the steampunk genre for some time, but I keep getting distracted by my faves. Every now and then, though, I do pick up something steam and always seem to enjoy it. The main problem with this book is that it has a reputation and I let myself get caught up in the hype. I was expecting, maybe, too much from it. In any case, I did like it and here’s why.

The story is a mystery in the manner of Sherlock Holmes but set in a world of steam with large blimps floating over London and zombie-like creatures lurking in the dark. This isn’t a spoiler, this is how the book opens up- and what an opening it is. Holmes and Watson are played by Sir Newbury and his assistant Miss Hobbs (who I liked right away).

Punch card powered Automata are at the center of the great mystery which involves royalty, a blimp crash, and a few murders. The pace ebbs and flows and the promise of “dark arts” is lacking. The descriptions were probably my favorite part. All in all, I can’t complain too much. It’s a good story and a credit to the genre. I plan to read more in this series (I think it’s a series).

I give this book a 4.

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This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Get a print copy with free international shipping at this link: Book Depository.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

No movie review this week.

Sorry for not posting a movie review this week. This first week back to work has been exhausting. It’s about 8:15 pm on Thursday now and I’m still playing catch up with the other blog hops I participated in earlier this week. Hopefully, as the month continues I’ll adjust to my schedule and ready to take on next month with lots of energy.

Please, stick with me. I promise it’ll get better.

#IWSG September 2016: finding time to #write & WIP update

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

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If I’m really being honest with you and myself, the truth is, I don’t usually find time to write. I’ve tried many times to stick to a writing schedule, but being the worrier that I am, I found that it only stressed me out more. I do make a conscious effort to write regularly, but that could be anything from blogging, editing, formatting, creative writing, outlining, and more. Then I also find time to do social media and read for pleasure. It doesn’t help that I keep taking on new projects either. I guess, all in all, my main goal is to publish or release something each year; even if it’s not a full-length novel or the long unfinished third installment of my Eternal Curse Series.

But…
On the note of publishing something each year; I’m just a few steps away from releasing a quartet of educational children’s books. For those of you who read this post each month, you know I’ve been talking about how I wanted to write and illustrate these myself. Well, I did it. I just got them back from a few educators I trust and admire. I have a few minor things to change and spruce up and they’ll be out to the public just in time for my birthday in October. I’ve attached the covers I’ve mocked up as a sneak peek of what I’ve been able to do. I have another children’s book in the works, but I’m not illustrating that one myself. I really want a professional to do it justice. Know anybody I could try?

On a personal note, I’m back at my day job; back to teaching. It’s exciting and scary all at once. There are many lows to what I do, but the highs and kids make it all worth it. I will admit, though, it’s really going to be difficult to finish my series now that back to work, but I’m determined to at least finish a draft.

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How do you find time to write?
Releasing any books soon?
Stuck trying to finish a long unfinished piece?
Know any good and affordable illustrators?
Think they’ll do a payment plan?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
C. Lee McKenzie,
Rachel Pattison,
Elizabeth Seckman,
Stephanie Faris,
Lori L MacLaughlin, and
Elsie Amata!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #72).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 15- What kind of music best speaks to you? #MusicMonday

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “What kind of music best speaks to you?”

First, HAPPY LABOR DAY, USA!

And now, to the music…

I find it hard to comprehend the notion that some people just don’t like music, but I know it’s a fact. I’ve interviewed a few of those people. I can understand people having musical preferences and not liking certain musical genres, but to simply not like any music baffles my mind.

I can’t imagine living a healthy and satisfying life without music. I even ask authors I interview about their musical inspiration, but I think many of them are turned off by how I phrase the question, “When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?” I personally think it’s a good question; that’s probably why I never have and never will change it.

I, for one, use music in all aspects of my life. Music is for praise and worship, celebrating, grieving, relaxing, creating, and everything else. I sometimes think of songs that would be great for the soundtracks of my books (if my books had soundtracks). I created storyboards with song inspiration on Pinterest for both Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel and Eternal Curse: Battleground. I went all out for my one contemporary story, It’s like the Full Moon, and created a playlist assigning a song to every chapter (see Side A here and Side B here).

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GOAT 1 by Eric Thomas hanging over a custom shelf for storing vinyl records also made by Eric Thomas (my husband). Can you guess who goat 1 is?

But, if you want to know what music really speaks to me, it would all depend on when you’re asking. It changes constantly. Right now, Big Band music is playing in my head. Last night, my husband and I played a few Louis Armstrong records (I feel vinyl is way underrated. Good vinyl has an amazing sound quality people overlook because it’s not digital). Usually, when blogging, I listen to jazz or oldies. When I’m writing, I listen to classical, opera, and very rarely techno, but not that repetitive over-sampled house music you hear in European night clubs. There is a time and place for that, just not when I’m writing.

For daily life, I’m still a sucker for popular music, though as I get older, I find it hard to like a lot of it. Still, I like it more than many of my peers. I’ve always appreciated Hip Hop and R&B, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with the old school chart toppers as of late. Even though I’m not opposed to country music, I find that I just don’t listen to it much. I do however have a few Bluegrass records that I’ll play over and over. Again, this is not the repetitive foot stomp’n, burning fiddle music you mostly thing of (again, a time and place for that), but good Bluegrass is like an orchestra with a southern style and twang, and can be quite inspirational.

I think I’ll stop here. I could go on and on, but there are others to visit in this hop and I want to be sure to see what they all have to say.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I can’t wait to see what other music and or songs speak to others.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords