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#HeroLost & the #IWSG minds behind it; a #fantasy anthology.

The last, but certainly not least, stop on the tour. Let’s do this!

Hero Lost
Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Anthology
Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

 

 

So, today, dear readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, I have a special treat for you. I got a chance to ask some of the contributing authors some questions and even put them to a bit of a challenge. Please, enjoy!

1) What’s your name and a cool tag line?

Jen Chandler  – Artist, Author, Cat Herder (I really suck at tag lines…)

Ellen Jacobson – Purveyor of eccentric travel adventures on water and land.

Renee Cheung – a wanna be technomancer

Erika Beebe – a.k.a. “Cloud Nine Girl”

Sarah Foster Well, my blog says “The scribblings of a girl trying to become a real writer” (wait…am I a real writer now?)

Elizabeth Seckman – unrepentant daydreamer AKA writer

Olga Godim – My tagline would be “Fantasy and more”. That is what I write: fantasy and more.

Yvonne Ventresca – Because I primarily write young adult fiction, my tagline would be: Keeping teens turning the pages.

Tyrean Martinson – Writer, Daydreamer, Believer

I love these taglines. Each one gives a certain insight on the writer within the person.

2) What is the genre and title of your entry?

Jen: My story is a dark fantasy tale entitled, “The Mysteries of Death and Life”

Ellen: “The Silvering” is a fantasy story about a hero lost.

Renee: “Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight” – Fantasy, subgenre, technomancy

Erika: “The Wheat Witch.” Adult fantasy.

Sarah: “The Last Dragon” – a pretty straightforward fantasy, dragon skeletons and magic and such

Elizabeth: “Mind Body Soul” – Romantic Fantasy

Olga: “Captain Bulat” is a traditional fantasy story set in a quasi-medieval world.

Yvonne: “The Art of Remaining Bitter” (dystopian)

Tyrean: “Of Words and Swords” – high fantasy, humor, purposeful use of fantasy tropes

See now, I was worried that asking for the genre would be redundant considering it’s a fantasy anthology, but I’m glad I did it. I like discovering subgenres and important genre-blends within the overall genre. Thanks guys.

3) Without giving away your story, can you relay what Hero Lost means to you?

Jen: A Hero Lost is a lost soul, someone who, after a long time helping others, needs someone to come along, to be unafraid to confront them, and help them back to themselves.

Ellen: A Hero Lost initially struggles to do the right thing, but eventually finds the courage to stand up and fight for their principles.

Renee: For my entry, the theme of hero lost unfolds through the story someone who tried to do the right thing with unexpected and tragic consequences.

Erika: A “Hero Lost” is the lost soul mentality, the fall from your brightest and shiniest state in life, then something happens to knock you down to your knees.

Sarah: Someone who may have once been a hero, but for whatever reason has lost his way.

Elizabeth: Heroes make mistakes, too.

Olga: Exactly what the phrase says. A hero is lost. Nobody can find him. My protagonist is searching for him.

Yvonne: To me, “Hero Lost” means not having enough support and guidance to do the right thing.

Tyrean: A hero lost faces a dark night of the soul – a mid-life crisis or a world-changing expanse of horror.

Oh my, what a variety of responses; not one more fascinating than the other. I have a feeling this anthology will more than entertain people. It will help them in ways they didn’t know they needed.

4) Pick a song that represents or relates to the story you wrote?

Jen: Sarah McLaughlin’s “Building a Mystery” is the song that came to me when I started writing it and it stayed with me throughout the telling.

Ellen: Gorecki’s Symphony #3, also known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.

Renee: “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas (The theme that all things fade away resonates strongly with my story.)

Erika: “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival

Sarah: “Smoke and Mirrors” by Imagine Dragons (The band’s name had no influence on my choosing, I swear.)

Elizabeth: “Heroes” by David Bowie

Yvonne: “Hey Jealousy” by the Gin Blossoms

Tyrean: “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback ran through my head repeatedly and I used one line of the chorus in the story.

Man, you guys are good. Finding inspiration in such different songs, yet they all are impactful on their own, and you all used them to write “lost hero” stories. My mind is a little blown.

5) Assuming that you do, ‘cause why wouldn’t you, tell me why you love the IWSG?

Jen: It’s nice to know that once a month, I have a group of people stopping by to share in my insecurities or who may need a little encouragement.

Ellen: It’s the people that make the IWSG so awesome. Their support and encouragement is phenomenal.

Renee: The IWSG is an awesome community with great information. It  has become an invaluable resource for a newbie like me.

Erika: IWSG is truly about people and caring. I’ve connected with so many amazing talented people I would have never met.

Sarah: It’s such a supportive group (it’s right in the name!) and there are always new people to meet.

Elizabeth: It’s cheaper than therapy.

Olga: Ha! IWSG has an in-built community of readers for my blog.  

Yvonne: Because it’s such a welcoming community, and it provides support and opportunities for writers.

Tyrean: I love the encouragement! Plus, I love the inspiration, helpful tips, and thought-provoking posts that deepen my writing.

I agree with you all. IWSG is so many things and all of them are positive. I count myself blessed to have stumbled upon it and made it part of my home on the web.

6) Think you all could collaborate once more? Add one sentence to this story chain.

Leaves fluttered in the greying sky like birds suddenly robbed of their flight. A sound, not unlike a gunshot, careened through the empty streets, sending a shock wave through the man standing alone in the park. He turned toward the noise, the leaves crunching beneath his feet as he nervously shifted his weight back and forth. His eyes darted back and forth, seeking the source even as dread crept up his back. They had caught up to him, he knew, deep in his bones, but he would face them with all the dignity he could muster. Two black shadowy figures materialized next to an old withered tree. They whispered to each other, too faint to hear. A wind careened between them, carrying to the man a smell and a single word. “Silence.” The word swept over him with a salty brine smell and he struggled to call up his power with his mind. The peace in that silence opened his mind to power of the nether world channeling strength to his body and clarity to his mind. He turned towards them, bowed his head briefly and then pulled a small, wooden box out of the pocket of his robe. He opened the box, reached for the weapon he so desperately needed. His fingers grasped at the wooden walls of the box, and he lifted his eyes, breathing a heavy sigh. At last he found the answer he’d been seeking, it wasn’t what he expected, not at all.

Oh snap yall! You guys just made me turn back to my southern roots. That was sooo good… And did you see how I snuck my own two cents in there at the begining? Dream come true. I wrote a story with the authors of the Hero Lost anthology. Yay! 😀

7) So, now, what are your overall thoughts on anthologies?

Jen: It’s fun to know that your story is nestled in a book with so many other works and that you are buffered by so much talent!

Ellen: It’s a fun way to explore a particular genre and discover new authors.

Renee: Anthologies are a great way to sample different authors and their writing styles. I own quite a few myself.

Erika: It was an amazing opportunity and I’m so happy I chose to get up and write something different.

Sarah: As a writer, I think it’s a great opportunity to get your voice out there and team up with other writers.

Elizabeth: Excellent way to read when you’re busy. I’m loving anthologies as much as snacks between meals.

Olga: They give many writers a voice, especially new writers. Besides, multiple writers make promotion easier.

Yvonne: Writing can be a lonely endeavor, but an anthology offers an instant mini-network of writers with a common bond.

Tyrean: I love them!

Here here. I’m loving anthologies too. As a reader, they offer the most variety and bang for your buck and fit into a busy lifestyle quite well. As a writer, they are great for networking, exposure, and learning from peers and teamwork.

Well, that’s all I have for today. Since I plan on stalking… I mean, following all of you, what’s your favorite social media platform? 

Jen: Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jenchandlerwashere/

Ellen: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheCynicalSailor/

Renee: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/writerrenee

Erika: Twitter: https://twitter.com/cloudninegirl1

Sarah: Twitter https://twitter.com/Sarah_A_Foster

Elizabeth: I still enjoy my blog. www.eseckman.blogspot.com

Olga: Wattpad – https://www.wattpad.com/user/olga_godim

Yvonne: Twitter https://twitter.com/YvonneVentresca

Tyrean: Blog http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

This has been a

 Be sure to check out any stops you missed. They’re great!

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

New blog, #ReadingIndie, caters to readers & offers #free promo to authors.

Hey guys. I’m happy, excited, and a bit nervous to tell you about a new project I’ve taken on. The Reading Indie blog is the pet project of the Authors Professional Co-op. This Facebook group is dedicated to offering support and education to indie authors but has decided to try something new. The original idea became the blog, Author Promo Co-op, but the platform didn’t quite work out and so, faded away. As a former Author Promo Co-op Admin and a current Authors Professional Co-op Admin, I decided to contact the founder of the APC to see if I could have a go at creating a reader-targeted blog with the sole purpose of promoting indie authors. This new blog would be powered by the APC, but not limited to it. This blog will be open to all indie authors. She thought it was a great idea, so I started planning.

For weeks, I approached the group with questions and polls to make sure I was putting something together that they would actually want to be promoted on; that’s even how the name was decided. It was all voted on. Once I had a small admin team to help with the development, we took over and put hours and days into making a place that would showcase indie books and authors to excited readers. Since the development of the blog was completed, life has gotten in the way of some of our efforts and some of my team has stepped aside. I’m still going forward with trying to launch this new blog, but will always be open to taking on more help. Click here if you are interested in helping out.

Now, all Reading Indie needs are some amazing indie authors to feature. We have so much to offer and hope that authors, bloggers, and readers will take advantage of our efforts. We are now, and will be each month, running a giveaway to feature the book covers of four authors, for one week on the landing page of our blog. The more the blog grows, the more influence that landing page will have. We are so excited about the possibilities and hope you will join us and follow along… Seriously, please follow this blog. 😉

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 May 2017: Being Overwhelmed, Weird Research, & Another Con

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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: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

At this point in my writing, I haven’t really had to research anything too weird yet. I guess I could at least mention a few cool things I’ve researched, like: scientific terms and effects of two moons for a story I haven’t started yet or how to create a language for a story I’ve been developing for about three years.

For now, I’d say the most interesting thing I’ve researched is angel lore. After I completed the first draft of my first book, before I even knew it was a book, I decided to look into the different worldviews of angels to see if anything interesting could be added to my story. I bought a book online that had high ratings and was recommended by several different sites. Can’t for the life of me remember the title now. I still have the book, but it’s in storage somewhere.

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So, the month of April was a bit crazy for me. I did a virtual convention, went on Spring Break, took a trip with my sister, did a live convention, and battled and assortment of illnesses- some still in progress. I’ve had a lot of low points in the past month, but the high points made it all bearable.

I only finished one book in the month of April and I still need to write a thorough review for it. I’m struggling to finished up the first installment of “We Are Jardin”. Who knows when that will be ready to publish. My YouTube channel will suffer a bit this month. I’m working on a RavenCon wrap up video and have no real Reading Challenge update to offer. Plus, I have two more author events coming up that I’ll have to work around my ongoing medical issues.

All in all, I guess I can’t complain too much. I’m busy in a good way and my health is always an issue. If I waited around to be healthy all the time, I’d never get anything done.

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What have you had to research for a book?
Read any good books last month?
Hope this post finds you in good health.

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Michelle Wallace,
Nancy Gideon,
Tamara Narayan, and
Liesbet!!

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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 #66).

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

2017 #MothersDay Kindle Fire #Giveaway

2017 Mother’s Day Kindle Fire Giveaway ($250 Value)

The price of a Kindle Fire has come way down in the past few years but this giveaway is still valued at $250. That’s plenty of cash to buy a Kindle Fire AND load it full of books. The winner will have their choice of a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card or $250 in Paypal Cash!

Thanks to this awesome group of authors, bloggers, and publishers for making this giveaway possible.

Sponsor List

I Am A Reader
Kathy Habel
Laurie Here – Cont Fiction and MORE
Heather Boyd, Regency Romance Author
Author Mary Ting
Author Dorothy Dreyer
Helen Smith
MagicalCoolCatMysteries
Toi Thomas
Heather Gray, Author
Glistering: B’s Blog
Geybie’s Book Blog
Wishful Endings
Prism Book Tours
Lori’s Reading Corner
Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance
Joshua David Bellin
Author Crystal Marcos
Jo Noelle
Cynthia Luhrs Author
Pauline Creeden, Author
B. Kristin McMichael
Joyce DiPastena
Lise McClendon – Author
Simple Wyrdings
Auggie @ AuggieTalk
LeahSay’s View

Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 5/13/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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