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#IndiePrideDay Interview & Giveaway with author Jim McDonald @JimMacAuth #paranormal #myth

Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I have a treat to share. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful author named, James P. McDonald. A good time was truly had by all,, and here’s how it went down… And since today is Indie “Author” Pride Day, I’m also sharing an in-depth look at Jim’s book Unbound and Determined over at “Who is so you?” Be sure to visit my side panel or head over.

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Toi Thomas: Hi there James! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ToiBox Blog. I’m excited to learn more about you and your work.

James: Hello Toi.

Toi Thomas: So tell me, who is James P. McDonald?

James: I’m a business and technology consultant, and write urban mythology, professional development, tech, and business related material. I’m currently developing a Business 101 for Authors.

My fiction and some NF can be found at: http://www.jim-mcdonald.net/

Toi Thomas: Well before we dive into your special message today, let’s get to know you, the person inside the author.

Toi Thomas: What makes you geek out?

James: Space… The final frontier… I’m a big fan of space exploration and looking into using off the shelf technology to get us moving along this path even faster.

Toi Thomas: What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

James: My favorite authors are still Heinlein and Asimov. If I had to go with a favorite book from those years, it would still be Stranger in a Strange Land, the unabridged version.

And yeah, I probably read it when I was too young.

Toi Thomas: In terms of interviews, whose brain are you just itching to scratch?

James: I’d love to talk to Nikola Tesla and find out why he couldn’t just be a little more capitalist. We’d be much further along technologically, and I believe would live in a much different world.

And I could have a death ray.

Toi Thomas: Now that we know a little more about you, the person, let’s learn about you, the author, and dive into your special message.

Toi Thomas: So whacha got for me today?

James: Unbound and Determined is the third in the Home Summoning series. The best description is Harry Dresden dropped into the world of “Good Omens” and Machiavelli is the editor.

Toi Thomas: So who’s starring in this 2-dimensional script read of Unbound and Determined?

James: My main protagonist is a wizard type who has had most of his power stripped away because of something that happened in his youth, and even he isn’t sure what happened, but a lot of people including his parents were killed. He’s on trial for his life, and trying to find out what really happened first.

The greater arc is the traditional demigod journey, and seeing if he can survive it.

Toi Thomas: What’s so special about this story that’s going to reel in the readers?

James: It’s fast, fun, and more than a little twisted. And where else can you visit Hellywood?

Toi Thomas: Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

James: I’m always working on several projects. If I’m not writing, I’m reading, I’m listening to podcasts. I’m talking to people. If I don’t have 30 notes a day about potential characters, events, or plots, it’s a slow day.

Toi Thomas: What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?

James: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman have always been huge influences on me. They can write the darkest subjects with a light touch and humor.

Toi Thomas: Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?

James: What do you want now? 😉

Wikipedia

Toi Thomas: If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

James: Leon the Professional. It’s disturbing and a bit creepy, but there is a hopeful undertone in a dark world. Until the end.

Toi Thomas: When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

James: Bagpipes can do it all.

Toi Thomas: Let’s play zombie urban survivor. What 3 things do you need to survive a blackout in Central Park the day zombies attack?

James: A rope, a machete, and a lighter. After that, it’s all a bonus.

Toi Thomas: What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?

James: Seeing the nine pound abused and frightened dog we rescued become the 13 pound loving ball of fury he is today.

Toi Thomas: Last question of the day; here we go.

Toi Thomas: Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?

James: More books, more speaking, and more consulting. I want to help entrepreneurs build businesses, whether it’s authors, artists, or tech geeks.

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Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Want more IndiePrideDay fun and giveaways? Check out this FB event. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. Leave a comment below for a chance to WIN the ebook of Unbound and Determined. For more from James P. McDonald, check out these great links:

Website: Infinity Limited Group

Blog: Jim McDonald Author Page

Facebook: Jim McDonald

Twitter: @JimMacAuth

Purchase link for Unbound and Determined: Amazon.com

This has been a

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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

HeroPress: SIX OF THE BEST: The ToiBox Of Words

So yesterday I was featured on a really cool blog, to which I am a fan. I got the message to visit in the morning. I was so excited, but when I tried to go back later to read the article and share it with the world I experienced some computer issues. 🙁 Better late than never, please go check me out at HeroPress. Tim Knight is a really cool guy.

Read the article here: HeroPress: SIX OF THE BEST: The ToiBox Of Words

#FlashbackFriday: #Fantasy #Book Review: Breath of Air


Brought to you by, Michael G D’Agostino at A Life Examined, this is a time of the month (the last Friday) where you can republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant, etc. I’ve chosen to share old book and movie reviews because those are always relevant.

Originally posted Friday, September 21, 2012.

Breath of Air (The Dryad Quartet), By Katie Jennings

I give this story a solid 4. Almost everything you could want in a story.

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This is the story of an orphan named Capri who discovers that her suppressed dreams are actually memories and that she does actually have a family. You’d think that finding out something like that would be enough to carry a decent story, but Breath of Air takes this heartwarming tale for a good old fashion thrill ride. This wild, funny, and sometimes scary journey opens Capri up to a world of mystical and mythological beings and helps her cope with the idea that she may just be one of them.

Not my usual read, but so worth my time. I’m used to more intensity and less romance, but this wasn’t too much or too little of anything. I’m still wondering what happened to the fairies. Were they real or did I overlook something?

The whole story was delivered in a laid-back Sunday afternoon kind of approach, but that doesn’t mean it was slow or boring in any way. It was beautifully descriptive, but very simplistic making for an easy and enjoyable read. It took me a while to warm up to Capri, but I think it’s because I’m more like the character of Blythe. Once I realized just how important Capri was to the whole dynamic of the relationships around her, I fell in love with her. She’s just the kind of person I’d love to have as a friend.

There were several prince charming types, a charismatic one and a brooding loner one, readily available for rescues and romance, but it was the plethora of diverse and dominant female characters that stole the show, so to speak. Always a fan of mythology, I loved seeing how the characters and story plot would play out in this world of Euphorea.

Get a copy of this book here.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like.

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

Ex Machina #Review – Mock Squid Soup No.19 #cinephiles #film #scifi

Wikipedia

Please note, this review contains mature themes.

Let’s recap my clues from last week:

Clue #1– It’s a fairly recent sci-fi release that’s quite dark (now on DVD).

Clue #2– It won an Oscar.

Clue #3– One of its stars appeared in another recent sci-fi release that did not win an Oscar.

So, I think most people figured this out pretty quickly, but let’s see if people thought I liked or didn’t like it.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Ex Machina, click here to see my notes.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

1. What is this film about?

Caleb works for a Google-like company and has just won the company’s lottery (no one really knows what it is). He’s flown to meet the mysterious billionaire owner of the company where he’s faced with a Turing test.

I’m just going to go ahead and say that I’ve watched and read a lot of stories about AI, machines, robots, etc… I’m always looking for the next story to challenge my mind (this annoyed me).

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

I remember seeing a small teaser for the film and then refusing to watch a full trailer. (I have a theory that trailers ruin movies that I really care about. I find that I enjoy movies more when I don’t feel like I’ve already seen the highlights or good parts.) Being a fan a tech tales, man playing god, and so on, I figured this would be a great film for me to catch one day.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

I like Oscar Isaac, but his character in this film was despicable. I guess that means he played the role well. The other two main actors are unknowns to me, but I guess they did okay. One played an android and the other a pawn. There wasn’t a lot of stretch or imagination to these roles. I don’t think these will be defining performances for these actors (at least I hope not).

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

I like Alex Garland’s screen writing credits, but this film seemed lacking in direction. Maybe lacking isn’t quite the word… The film was focused to a fault. It just didn’t feel real in the slightest. I think he tried too hard to make it dark and eerie.

That’s pretty much all it was, dark and eerie. Plus, I thought there was a lot of unnecessary nudity.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

This movie almost made me dislike classical music. None of the music matched or felt appropriate to me. Again, it all felt like too much emphasis was put into making the setting dark and eerie.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

I like the theme of the story, but that’s pretty much it. I can at least say that I didn’t figure out the point of it all until the end. Usually I give a film points for that (so often I figure it out half way and am left disappointed), but not this film. I was still disappointed.

7. What did I not like about the story?

I just felt like it could have been better overall. The point of the film, to me, in the end was kind of lame. It all came down to sex and or manipulation through sexual arousal and false dependence. This is definitely a psychological thriller, but not one that comes off well.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others?

Probably not. I know a few people, who like me, will watch anything with this basic theme. I’d recommend it to those people just so we could compare our experiences. I get that some people will like this movie, but I’m not one of them.

9. What would I rate this movie?

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film 2 reels.

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10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

I’ve dabbled a bit with the idea of smart tech and AI. It’s a great premise to build a story around. You can be for it, against it, afraid of it, and more. I’ve sprinkled in a bit of robot tech into the second book of my Eternal Curse Series and I’m sure I’ll make attempts to write about it more. For the most part, though, I simply like to read and watch it.

Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.

Mock Squid Soup – Film Society

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MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to movie reviews. We invite others to participate and post their reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀

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

3 clues to guess my June ‘16 movie: A Mock Squid Soup Teaser #cinephiles #film #review

movieclueClue #1– It’s a fairly recent sci-fi release that’s quite dark (now on DVD).

Clue #2– It won an Oscar.

Clue #3– One of its stars appeared in another recent sci-fi release that did not win an Oscar.

Do you think you know what my movie is? Am I making this way too hard?

I can’t wait to see everyone else’s clues. I hope I guess some right. I’m so looking forward to the actual reviews that will be posted next week.

Mock Squid Soup – Film Society

41375-mocksquidsoup2

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to movie reviews. We invite others to participate and post their reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀

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