The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: My Father Didn’t Kill Himself #YA #book

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

So, the end of April came way faster than I was prepared for. Today, I’m prepping for the RavenCon and am feeling a bit jittery. I feel bad about not putting forth my best effort with this review so let me be clear now, this is not the full and complete review. I will be more thorough at a later time and post my complete review on Goodreads and Amazon (if they let me). Since I’m pretty much a member of the author’s, Russell Nohelty, unofficial fan club, I get a lot of his content in bulk and at discounted prices. I support almost all his Kickstarters and thus, that’s how I acquire his content whether digital or print. In any case, I’ll provide a brief review of this ebook below.

Title: My Father Didn’t Kill Himself
Author: Russell Nohelty
Genre: YA, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 305
Reading Level: Adult
Content: R (adult content and situations, mature themes, drug and alcohol use, language, sexuality)

So first, I have issues reading YA in general so that’s not a reflection of the author’s ability to tell a story. I had trouble relating to teens with I was one, so reading about them is always a little difficult for me. With that said, this is a very hard book to read. Some of the subject matter is just painful, in an emotional way, but it’s good. Sometimes you have to be uncomfortable to really experience something that sticks with you. Overall, this is a good book I’d recommend to a select few I feel would really connect with it and benefit from it.

I give this book a 4.

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

Please stop by and see what others have read 😀

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

Woop, woop! Brain 2 Books Cyber Convention Blog Hop – Yay #B2BCyCon2017!


Hi there, Toi here, and welcome to my ToiBox of Words. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by my booth yet, a.k.a my Author Showcase, be sure to do so.

I have some pretty cool stuff to share. I’m inviting everyone who signs up for my email list to receive a FREE short story, Clepher’s Heart (featured in the Of Past and Future anthology). It tells the story of how time travel and advanced technology might test the love of two brothers, but never break it.

Speaking of Anthologies, I’m one of the contributing authors to the B2BCyCon’s first anthology, Book Dreams Vol. 1. Please take a chance on this lovely collection… I heard that some of the authors are giving some freebies with it.

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Fantasy Scavenger Hunt, check it now. It’s loads of fun.

For this hop, I have quite a sampling to share with you, including insights into my creative thought process, book trailers, and fun games. Feel free to take it all in or simply peruse, picking and choosing what looks good to you. And, just for taking a chance on this hop… I give you my B2BCyCon GRAB BAG! Enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed yourself here. See all of my books (print and digital) in one place by visiting my Amazon Author pages. Please follow one of my pages to help increase my ranking and be notified of my new releases.

US | UK | France | Germany | Japan

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  * Click below to see who comes next.

Zachary Chopchinski

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Monsters In Our Wake #horror #ebook

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: Monsters In Our Wake: A Deep Sea Thriller
Author: J.H. Moncrieff
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction Thriller
Pages: 190
Reading Level: Adult
Content: R (language, gore, suspense, dark theme, mature and adult situations, violence)

This book caught me off guard and I’m glad. I was expecting a great monster story but got something else entirely. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the classic monster elements are there, but the differences make all the difference.

The story is about a strange connection between an ancient sea creature and a marine geologist. As a single mother, Flora takes a job on an oil rig purely for the money, but between her anxiety and the machismo on the ship, it doesn’t take long to wonder if it’s worth it.

Then there’s Nokken and his dysfunctional (sea creature) family. A bit of sport with an oil rig, something that looks like a toy to him, starts the drama that unfolds. Nokken is somehow torn between sticking to his nature and having compassion for the creatures that could destroy his home.

Being familiar with the reputation of Moncrieff, I was expecting an intense horror story to boggle the mind. That’s what I got, but I felt like the story was more of a science fiction thriller, which make sense because thriller is in the title. Because the story is told from the perspective of both the humans and the sea creatures, there’s an element of terror missing, but it’s still scary.

Right from the start, the creatures are humanized to the reader and the story plays out like a crime drama or thriller from then on. The story becomes a mental battle for the sea creature (Nokken), who has the upper hand in all aspects, to decide what is the right thing to do. All the while, back on the ship, the real monsters begin to show themselves as survival takes a back seat to individual self-preservation. And none of the humans come off looking very good, even Flora.

While she’s the best of humanity on the ship, some of her actions or lack there of, don’t make her the fittest in terms of survival. I wanted to like her more, but I didn’t. There were other characters with likable traits and some who did heroic things, but I didn’t really ‘like’ any of them. Of course, I sympathized with Flora and wanted her to make it out alive more than anyone else; I just don’t know why I didn’t like her more. I can relate to her, though, in one respect. Anxiety is crippling in a way no one can understand unless they’ve experienced it.

Overall, I’d recommend this to horror and sci-fi fans, and to anyone who appreciates a good monster story or one with a twist. Not suitable for pre-teens and young children.

I give this book a 4.

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

Please stop by and see what others have read 😀

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

Back of the Drawer #WEPFF Challenge No. 4 featuring “He Knew It; I Knew It” #amwriting #flashfiction

Surprise, surprise, I waited to the last minute, but here it is. Hope you like it.

He Knew It; I Knew It

No one saw what happened, but I did.

He knows I saw, but he doesn’t care. He knows I have no voice and he knows about my spells. He knows no one would believe me even if they did take the time read my handwritten statement with is childlike lettering.

I can’t help being what I am. I was born this way. I can’t help that sleep doesn’t always come so easy for me. And I can’t help that I was out digging for worms to put in my tank the night Larry turned dangerous.

It had just stopped raining and the ground was soft and sponging. The perfect time to pluck out worms, causing them little harm, and the perfect time to drag a body around. One sweep of the garden hose and the evidence would disappear with all the other mud and leaves that the rain washed away.

I tried to hide myself as he passed by, huffing and straining against the heft of the body. He never would have seen me had I remained behind the bush, but something caught my eye and I could ignore it. I ran out and scooped it up. That’s when he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me to my feet.

Tears ran down my face and my fists clenched in agony. When looked into my eyes and saw my silent scream, he dared to chuckle, but quickly silenced himself. He dropped me to the ground. “No one can hear your scream, stupid mute girl. No one will come to your rescue if I end you right here.”

I curled in the fetal position and protected my jar of worms from the point of his boot. Vomit spewed from my mouth when the blow hit my stomach. He ran for the hose and sprayed the evidence away, dousing me just for fun.

He walked to put the hose away as I rocked in my cradle of protection, hoping this was the end of my pain. Hoping that he’d simply kill me or leave me there to pass out. When I heard birds chirping and sensed a brightness behind my lids, I knew he’d spared me.

I opened my eyes to let the sun burn away my sleepiness. I could hear the morning nurse, Samone, screaming for help as her heavy feet thudded toward me. “Oh Clara. Oh Clara, what are you doing out here? Are you hurt? You’ll catch your death.”

She tossed a blanket over me and rubbed my head. Soon Terence followed and scooped me up. “What happened Miss Samone?”

“I don’t know. Looks like she was collecting worms again.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t on duty last night.” Terence winked at me and slowed his pace as he turned a corner, so as not to bang my head. “I never would have let this happened if I had been.”

Samone was livid. “Don’t know if you could have stopped her. This one is stubborn. Seems the harder I try to keep her safe, the more harm she causes herself.”

Terence placed me down on a cot and two more nurses rushed in to tend to my cleaning and injuries. One of them called out, “Go get her note pad. See if she can tell us what happened.”

Terence began to step out of the room, but I kicked my feet and shook my head. I stared at him, willing him to look my way. He paused a moment, leaning his head as if baffled by my sudden outburst. Then he looked me in the eyes.

I blinked as fast as I could and extended the jar still wrapped in my arms. Terence smiled at me and stepped forward. “It’s okay Clara. I’ll put them in your room.” He slid the jar out of my hand and I exhaled. “Get better so you can take care of these little guys.”

After Terence left, a note pad was shoved into my hands as my soiled clothes were ripped away and warm soapy water washed across my skin. Samone grasped my hand, “Clara, tell us what happened.” Despite her strict rules and military-like marching about, Samone really did care about each and every one of her patients. I hated to see her so worried over me. I was happy to tell her exactly what had happened, but then he walked past the exam room.

He stood there, outside the window, with a broom in his hand pretending to clean the floors. I couldn’t stop myself from reacting. I flinched and kicked my feet again. Samone became agitated with not having the answers she sought. Leaving the other nurses to finish my clean up, she ran out the room and retuned shortly with a needle. It was time for me to calm down whether I want to or not.

After I was calm and fully treated, Samone asked me again what happened. Again he was there, outside the window of my room. Surely his shift was over. Did no one else wonder why the Larry, the night custodian was still hanging around? Under his scrutiny, I couldn’t tell the truth.

I wrote slowly, “I fell on the ground and hit a rock.”

Samone rubbed my head, clearly blinking to hold back tears. “You were collecting worms, weren’t you?”

I shook my head.

“Why, why do that alone in the middle of the night? What if you had an episode and suffocated in the mud?”

I nodded my head, “I couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry.”

After a while, Samone left me to attend to other patients. Larry walked by my room few more times that day before finally heading home. A week went by and Larry was starting to act smug, no doubt thinking no one would ever find out. None of the other nurses or staff could explain why Gail had stopped coming to work, but she was new and they all agreed that this wasn’t the right job for every nurse.

One Saturday afternoon I convinced Terence to play cards with me in the kitchen. We programmed my communication board to say ‘go fish’ and “you got any…”, then all I had to do is hold up the card I wanted. Terence and I had played the game a lot and figured a single suit of cards for me to use as choice options was the best way to go.

As we played, Ron the handy man came through to fix one of the drawers that had gotten stuck at some point during the week. It held all the specialty utensils for grilling, and with family day coming up, we’d surely need those.

Only partially paying attention to my game, I watched Ron out the corner of the eyes as he banged on the drawer trying to loosen it. Finally, the drawer snapped out and fell to the floor with a crash. Then Ron yelp.

“Oh my God!”

Terence was already on his feet, standing in front of me protectively. “What it is Ron?”

“Look what’s in the back of the drawer.”

Terence patted my shoulder and then stepped toward the drawer. Just then Samone and Larry came rushing in from the hallway, each just starting their evening shift. There it was; even with the sparkly new engagement ring missing, the moon shaped birthmark gave it away.

Terence yelled, “I think it’s Gail’s finger. Gail’s finger is in the back of the drawer.”

Samone covered her mouth and gasped. She blinked a few times and then pulled out her cell phone. “I’m calling the cops. I hope no one here has anything to hide.”

Larry stared daggers into the back of my head, but I didn’t bother turning around to look at him. He knew I’d done it; just like I knew he’d done it.

1306 words – He Knew It; I Knew It © Toinette J. Thomas 2017



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. 19- “What was your “growing up” moment?”

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, the first Monday of each month.

Happy New Year Everyone! Let’s jump right in.

This month’s question is: What was your “growing up” moment?

I don’t think I can narrow this down to any one specific moment. Being one of those kids who was always told I was wise beyond my years, I matured early and became a realist shortly after. Here are a few things I think helped me grow up rather quickly.

1) I was too young to really experience the years of my mother being a single parent because she soon got remarried to the man I call Daddy, but she always instilled a since of independence into me and my sister just in case. Still, I have a few post toddler memories of doing things for myself so my mom wouldn’t have to.

2) I went to stay with some cousins when I was about 8 or 9 and remember ironing my own clothes for the first time because I was the youngest and didn’t want anyone to have to wait for me to get dressed. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did it anyway.

3) The first year my mother, sister, and I lived in Virginia was a tough year in many ways I’d rather not discuss right now, plus my dad was still in Texas finishing up a degree (He went back to school for it). I was either 11 or 12 and I prepared my first Thanksgiving dinner… If I didn’t do it, we would not have had one that year. My sister helped, but it was still a life altering experience for me.

4) During my older sister’s rebellious teen years, my parents often left the house and car keys with me if they had to leave for the night or over the weekend. I couldn’t even drive yet, but it was up to me to see that my big sister didn’t destroy anything. (In retrospect, she really wasn’t that bad; I was just a boring straight edge that my parents trusted more at the time.)

Lastly, at the age of 16, when I found myself trying to mentor a 13-year-old-girl into not having sex just to be liked more by boys, I knew my childhood was over. It was time for me to be an example to other young black women and show them that they didn’t have to be a teen pregnancy statistic if they didn’t want to be.

Sorry, that got a little deep.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I’m curious to see if others had really deep or easy-going growing up moments.

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