The Shape of Water #TheToiBoxOfWords #film #review


It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review so I didn’t even bother trying to write it down. I simply went straight to YouTube.


So, here’s a movie that people will either get or not. For that matter, some people probably won’t even give it a try, but I can’t blame them. This is a weird movie. Still, I enjoyed it; after getting over the initial shock of what was happening in front of me…

I don’t think I’m doing a good job of expressing how I really feel about this movie. It’s best you watch the review. If you want to skip a semi-spoiler I provide, watch the video in the YouTube browser so you can access the skip link.

In any case, I gave this movie a 4 ½ of 5 stars (bumping up to five because I’ve never really done halves before).

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

Reblog- #Music, My Muse: part 2 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

Today, I’m hanging out over at A Small Gang of Authors with part 2 (finally, sorry it took so long) of my series on music and writing. I’m starting with the topic of mood music and interpretation. Please check it out.

From Pinterest via PicMonekey
“Today, in part 2 of the Music My Muse series, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on mood music (see part 1here).

I feel like most people have the same general idea of what mood music is. It’s all about setting the tone or atmosphere for something specific, usually romance, but not always.

In terms of romance, people often imagine a fancy restaurant with lit candles and a suited man playing a violin. However, some people will imagine star-lit mountains in the background of a small campfire with someone playing an acoustic guitar. What’s more, some people might actually imagine pink silk sheets, a bottle of champagne, and either a sappy rock ballad or a smooth R&B groove. Not one of these is better than the other, yet they are all setting the same tone of romance, in very different ways…”

Read more at A Small Gang of Authors.

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

#IWSG January 2018: Schedules, Blog Fests, eBooks, oh my!


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: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I’ve written and blogged on a rotating schedule for years. Of course, that means I’ve started schedules I haven’t stuck too. This year I’m keeping things simple. I have an extremely small window of my day not devoted to sleep, my day job, or basic life functions. It’s between 4:30 and 9:00 on weekdays and Saturday. I don’t count Sunday because it’s my day of rest. If I happen to do some writing that day, it’s a blessing and or task from God. Outside of my brief window, I’m not going to stress about writing or blogging. I either get to it or I don’t.


Now on to the personal updates (you know, year-end stuff).

I read 56 books last year and reviewed 54 of them.  Two of them aren’t currently listed online to be reviewed, but I’ll get to them eventually. I surpassed my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

I said good-bye to Reading Indie and hello to A Small Gang of Authors, to which I’m currently working on a blog series on music and writing.

I totally dropped the ball on my YouTube channel, but I’ll give it another go this year.

I’m taking my writing in a new direction which caused me to put a halt to all my active WIPs. We’ll see how things go with my new direction before I give any updates on that.

Lastly, I’m currently about to finish The Weekend Novelist for the IWSG Book Club. Looking forward to our discussion.

Well, that’s enough about me. Here’s some cool stuff to check out.


Flaming Crimes Blogfest

Prompt: What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

After making sure my husband, dog Margie, and tortoise Betty were safe, I’d probably go back inside to save my favorite vinyl records, comic books, and my Kindle. I’d also try to grab personal editions of books I wrote along with some of the art work my husband has produced.

CLICK this image to see my review!

Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304
Digital Price: 4.99
Print Price: 16.99
Author Rating: Spicy (PG13)

Amazon Barnes & Noble
The Wild Rose Press

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could’ve been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they’re trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:
Website / Blog / Goodreads
Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Before you check out some other stops on this blog fest, be sure to scroll down and read below, for another tasty treat.


Electric‘ because they are ebooks.
Eclectic‘ for the various styles, genres and authors who write them.
And ‘Novelettes‘ as not to mislead readers they are anything other than short, sample books; introductory books to new authors and new genres.

Electric Eclectic books are written by some of the best indie authors in the world, each Electric Eclectic Novelette delivers wonderful and entertaining storytelling to a high standard.

People searching for their ‘next favourite read’ can rest assured in the knowledge that Electric Eclectic Novelettes have undergone a rigorous selection process, ensuring the stories meet or exacting standards.

This means you do not need to read through a bunch of ‘hookey’ or substandard books, or spend out on a random book hoping you will enjoy its content.

With each Electric Eclectic book costing, just 1.00 (dollar/euro/pound), it is a small price to pay to ensure a thoroughly entertaining read and an introduction to your next ‘favorite’ author.

Once you have found the right style of stories, the ones you love, you will have found your next favourite author and can start to work your way through their full-length books and novels knowing you will thoroughly enjoy their writing.

Download a handful of Electric Eclectic Novelettes and give yourself a literary treat?

What is more, Electric Eclectic Novelettes are easy to find.

The first way is to visit the Electric Eclectic website where all the Novelettes are shown, along with author insights and links to their personal books and pages.

The second is to go to Amazon books and type ‘Electric Eclectic books’ into the search bar. (In the USA you will need the Kindle search page.)

Alternatively, if you are on you can follow this link:

Website link: (This site is available to view, but not fully functional or edited. Estimated date of completion Mid-January 2018)



Are you going to try a schedule for your writing this year?

What are you grabbing on the way out of your burning house?

Interested in Electric Electic Novelettes?


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Tyrean Martinson,
The Cynical Sailor,
Megan Morgan,
Rachna Chhabria, and
Jennifer Lane!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #57).

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

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Armada #scifi #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.

Last month I talked about reading Armada, so this month I’ll post about finishing it. But first…

I finished my reading challenge for the year and might even add to it before January 1st, but we’ll have to see. Since I’ve neglected my YouTube channel for the last few month, and update on what I read and how my challenge went is in the works.

On a completely separate note, I started a new blog series on music and writing over at A Small Gang of Authors. Give it a look, if you are interested.

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Toi has
completed her goal of reading
50 books in

Title: Armada

Series: NA

Author: Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

Pages: 368

Reading Level: Teen-Adult

Content: PG-13 (some language, violence, bullying, war, combat, espionage, genocide)

This is a fun story. It’s not the most clever sci-fi story ever written, but coming from the man who gave us Ready Player One, it’s still pretty cool.

The story of Zach Lightman is literally one we’ve heard before, but the changes and twist are still fun to watch unfold. Perhaps you’ve heard of Luke Skywalker, (cough, cough) Wade Watts, heck even Daniel LaRusso aka Daniel Son- well then, in a way, you’ve met Zach Lightman already.

In Ready Player One, Cline showed readers a world where virtual reality was the only reality that mattered. In Armada, he shows how conspiracy theories and art (i.e. science fiction) is a true reflection of reality. By comparison, instead of being trapped in the Matrix, our characters are living in Zion, the last human city, getting ready to learn that the Matrix exists. They’ll have a few brief moments to decide if Zion is worth fighting for or concede to be consumed by the program…

A little dramatic I know, but that’s kind of how this book is. Plus, I’m pretty sure it makes reference to every science fiction book, movie, and TV show to ever be Tweeted about. It’s not an original idea, but the execution is great and the characters are entertaining.

The beginning is slow but humorous and then the sh** hits the fan. There are secrets being kept from all sides and a mystery that only a few are willing to pursue. It’s a good story, but somewhat predictable. Still, I liked every minute of it. I let myself get caught up in all the characters, however brief their stories might have been, ‘cause some didn’t make it very long, and I think that made all the difference.

The ending was a bit unsettling for me. If there’s going to be a follow-up, I think it’s a fantastic ending, if not, I feel it leaves too many unanswered questions; it harkens back to the ending of Childhood’s End (see not so original, but still good). In any case, it’s still a satisfying ending, if not also sad, in some ways.

Recommended to fans of science fiction and video games. For this one, I fear that people who are not into at least one, but probably both of these criteria, may not enjoy or even “get” this book.

I give this book a 4.

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

Reblog- Angel Lore: part 5 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

Sorry if I haven’t been adding a lot of original content here anymore. I’m mostly sticking to my IWSG and Cephalopod Coffee House monthly posts from now on, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see other book or movie reviews at random intervals or WIP updates (’cause you might).

BTW- Today I’m over at A Small Gang of Authors finishing up my series on angel lore. I think it’s a pretty good finale (if I do say so) and it gives you a teaser for the next blog series I’ll be writing (in case you’re interested).

From Pinterest via
The Fairy – basic version by Bogdan-MRK

Today, in part 5, the finale, of my Angel Lore series, I’ll be sharing more angel knowledge with you from U – Z, as I complete my trek through the alphabet (see part ONE, part TWO, part THREE, and part FOUR). But first…

Do I believe in angels? Yes, I do.

I’ve come across many depictions of angelic encounters and find that they, or beings like them, have a place in almost every major religion and culture…

Read more at A Small Gang of Authors.

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