A Small Gang of Authors: Book in the Spotlight from Joe Bonadonna #OurAuthorGang

I’m so excited to be a part of the new group. Check out what one of my new pals posted today.

Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser 

Joe Bonadonna

“Valdar is a city of swordslingers and necromancers, witch cults and half-human races. It’s a city in a world of darkness, black magic and creatures of the night . . . a city where demonic entities serve the needs of any witch or magicman who can open a doorway into their domain.  This is my city. This is my world . . . a world of magic, mystery, murder, mayhem and monsters. I hunt anyone and anything that poses a threat to the people of my city.

My name’s Dorgo. Folks call me the Dowser.

Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser, by Joe Bonadonna. Winner of the 2017 Golden Book Readers’ Choice Award for Fantasy.”…Read more: A Small Gang of Authors: Book in the Spotlight from Joe Bonadonna #OurAuthorGang

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Cress #scifi #fairytale

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: Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pages: 560
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG-13 (violence, brutality, doom, war, mature and dark themes, adult situations, oppression)

I honestly didn’t see the girl trapped on a satellite turning into a Rapunzel retelling, but it totally works. I love how the author embeds plot points from the original fairytale into this futuristic saga in ways that actually make perfect sense. I won’t geek out about it too much because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but if you like the Rapunzel story, you’ll appreciate this installment of the Lunar Chronicles where Thorne kind of plays the role of the prince.

Before I say more about what I liked in this book, I’ll mention that there wasn’t enough Wolf and Scarlet interaction for me. I understand why they aren’t focused on too much and appreciate where the story is going. I will also admit that I’ve been on the fence a bit about whether or not I really ‘get’ Cinder as the great hero and this story really helped me to appreciate her more. I already liked her, but I just had trouble seeing her as a hero, knowing that the character struggles with that notion herself, makes her feel more real.

I also found that this installment made me appreciate Emperor Kai more. As I read the story, I was pleasantly tasked with reminding myself that these are young, teenage, characters trying to save the world. Too often, for my taste, YA stories make me wish the characters were older. I felt it was a mark of superb storytelling and character development that allowed me to accept the, few and far between, teenage angst because I realized that the story needed light tones from time to time.

Being a sucker for “the one” tales, I really enjoyed how Cinder began to hone her Lunar gifts and complement them with her cyborg advancements. I appreciated the uniqueness of her character and role she plays in bringing light to issues of stereotyping, superstition, and discrimination. I also love that Iko got more involved (can’t wait to read her graphic novel).

Recommended to teen and adult fans of fairytale retellings, cyborg or machine tales, and a good fantasy and sci-fi mash-up.

I give this book a 5.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like a Kindle copy of this book, try this link: Amazon.

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

If you’re up for it, I could really use some support for my Thunderclap campaign, which promotes my 10 Kindle book sale and 5 paperback giveaway.

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

Why I unfollowed over 100 blogs?

adventures in blogging
Haven’t seen this image in ages. May be time for an update.

I don’t know just how many blogs I follow, or at this point, followed, but it was too many for me to keep up with on a regular basis. Between my WordPress Reader, Feedly, Bloglovin, and the Feedburner digests, my head was spinning.

With my WordPress Reader, I get to decide whether I want to receive posts instantly, daily, or once a week. The only problem is, I don’t get to choose the day of the week. I end up with 70+ blog posts in my inbox every Monday. Feedly and Bloglovin don’t have these options, but their format is a bit different. They are already digest platforms so I guess I could simply take the time to pick and choose the posts I want to read. Then there’s Feedburner. They don’t give you any options. You get an email each time there is a new post.

It’s all just too much.

So, I unfollowed A BUNCH of blogs.

FIRST, one thing you must know, I unfollowed blogs that hadn’t posted anything in the past 3-4 months. They aren’t currently an issue, since they aren’t posting, but in the spirit of keeping things nice and tidy, I figured why keep these around? Outside of those, I still had to unfollow about 50 blogs.

SECONDLY, before you think me a bad person, I have a plan to continue supporting these blogs in my own special way. I’ve been making an effort to leave a comment every time I read a blog. I’ve already made the habit of sharing posts I read on social media, always Twitter, and sometimes Google+ if I remember. Since I’m already going weeks, at times, not visiting some blogs because I’m so overwhelmed, I’ve decided to schedule my blog visits.

I’ve created a spreadsheet with most of the blogs I currently follow. I have a four-week rotation of Monday thru Saturday blog visits. Most blogs, I’ll simply visit once a month, some twice. Even though I won’t be visiting as much, when I do visit, I’ll be commenting, liking, and sharing. On this spreadsheet, I’ve even scheduled days to check my Feedly and Bloglovin feeds. I’ll only be making a point to read the most recent posts and then moving on.

LASTLY, there are some blogs that I thoroughly enjoy to the point that I will read them every day if they post daily. Those blogs will remain as they are. Plus, I’m joining a new blogging group, an opportunity I almost messed up (more on this in a bit) and I want to make sure I have adequate time to participate with it and still keep up with my new writing schedule.

Sooo, back to how I almost messed up an opportunity. There’s a blogger group I really wanted to be a part of. I was supposed to have sent them some information last week after reviewing some of their work… To be honest, I felt inadequate and intimidated after looking over their work. I know their accomplishments should have no reflection on my ability to contribute to the group, but I felt like a small fish in a big pond… In any case, I reached out to them and was honest with them about my actions, stating clearly that I had no good excuse for not sending the requested information sooner. Luckily, they still gave me a chance. 😀

I’ll be making a few changes to this blog soon in the areas of how I format my posts. My post schedule won’t be changing, but it will become more solidified. That’s all I got for today. If you’re up for it, I could really use some support for my Thunderclap.

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

What Happened to Monday? #TheToiBoxOfWords #film #review


I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been watching much TV or movies lately, and I definitely haven’t had time to prepare any videos. I don’t even really have time to post this, but here I go. In lieu of an actual review, I’m simply sharing the line-by-line notes I usually link to. These are the thoughts that pass through my mind as I’m watching a movie. They don’t always make sense, but are always entertaining. They shouldn’t have any spoilers either.


So here are my thoughts.

Excited to see the actress from the original “Girl with the Dragon tattoo” movie.

Dull intro credits.

Climate change, overpopulation, genetically modified crops, mutated babies.

Child Allocation Act.

Ah, Glen Close.

Love Willem Defoe. Great when he’s great. Awesomely bad when he’s bad.

Sunday- smart business look, seems sweet. It begins.

Nothing like ripping a child from a mother’s hand.

The doorman is on to them

Saturday looks like trouble.

Thursday goes first.

Nope, I was wrong. Thursday is the troublemaker, but sometimes that’s good.

What happens to one happens to them all… That’s sad.

Monday is the brave one.

Monday- the big day.

She’s short and he’s tall.

Monday is off the grid.

Friday is the smart one.

Tuesday- two outside at once.

Jerry is more than just a d*ck.

The flirtatious guard; a possible ally.

No need to kill the only other black person in the movie. Cliché. Bad writing.

These chicks are scrappy.

Wednesday- no need to pretend anymore.

Wednesday is cool, a little jumpy, but cool.

I really like Wednesday right now.

That was freak’n awesome!

She’d totally be dead or paralyzed.

There’s always a ghetto. Fight the power.

Thursday is not what she seems. I like her more now.


The guard was seeing Monday?

I could do without this scene. It’s not vital to the story. Just fulfills some people’s need for nudity.

Thursday- three left; Monday is alive?

Yep, Monday.

Well, at least Saturday got in one good adventure.

Turns out, Friday was the sweet one.

He really cares about Monday.

Of course, the plan was a lie. At least it’s not soylent green.

Monday is not what she seems either.

Two of them in one big ballroom! 😀

That’s messed up.

Gonna check it out?

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

#Bookreview: Torn from Troy #epic #myth

This is a special post I do once a month to highlight a book I reviewed some time ago, but never actually featured on my blog. Because this is an author blog and not a book blog, I don’t always feature all the books I read. Like all good and dedicated fans of the written word, I do my part and leave reviews on,, and sometimes other places, but don’t always bring attention to what I’m reading, unless you follow me on YouTube… hint, hint, wink wink 😉 In any case, please enjoy this review of a book I read at some point in my life.



Title:  Torn from Troy

Series: Odyssey of a Slave #1

Author: Patrick Bowman

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: Audio Download (199)

Reading Level: Teen

Content: PG-13 (violence, adult situations and content, oppression)

It doesn’t take long for the action of this story to pick up, none the less, I had trouble getting into it. I received a free audio version of this book from a summer reading program I signed up for and was determined the give the book a fair shot. I’m glad I did. The overall story and lasting impression was good. It’s a different spin on an ageless tale and I’m glad I finished the first installment.

After the fires of the Trojan War have burned out, Alexi, a 15-year-old Trojan is taken as a slave by the Greeks and sent abroad to serve them on their journey because he just happens to speak Greek. The typical tale of the Odyssey is there in the background of this story, but all the vantage points are skewed. The great Grecian heroes are perceived as dirty barbaric oppressors and poor Alexi is caught between doing what must be done to survive or deciding whether or not there’s any point to trying to escape.   With dangers lurking around every corner, path, and even wave, being a slave to the Greek armada might just be the safest place for him, if they don’t kill him first.

For me, this story is interesting enough to warrant me reading the next book, but then I do have a thing for finishing what I’ve started. I think this adventure will greatly appeal to the younger readers it’s targeted to, especially since many of them may not be as familiar with the original story as I am.

I’d recommend this to pre-teen and teen readers as well as anyone who likes new takes on old myths.

I give this book a 3.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

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

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