#IWSG June 2017: New Adventures, Counting Blessings, Blog Break, & Can’t Quit


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: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I’ve never said I’d quit writing once I started and really understood what I was doing and how much it was a part of me. I have thought about saying “I quit” to blogging from time to time, but that’s usually due to me feeling like I never have enough time. Even if I decided at some point not to pursue publication anymore, I don’t think I would ever stop writing.


Now for some personal and professional updates. 1) I’m taking a one month break from this blog to regroup my focus and put some work into another project. I need to get my head together so my posts will go back to being regular and consistent.

2) I recently shared a few blessings on social media that I’d like to share here now. Over the Memorial Day weekend, here in the US, I did not run any kind of a book promotion, but I still managed to get a spike in my Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel sales. A few days after I realized this nice blessing, I got a fan email from a woman who bought my romcom, It’s Like the Full Moon, at a local Con and loved it. It made my week.

3) New adventures abound for me. I’m working to develop a new blog community, but it’s not what I think other people think it is. I don’t want this blog to be competition for other book blogs and I don’t want to do this all by myself. My hope is to create a collaboration that helps bring indie books mainstream.

As blog admin for the Reading Indie blog, I want to:
-create a list of other book and author blogs to help readers find the kinds of books they are interested in.
-promote books even if they aren’t free or discounted and show readers that authors are people too.
-give authors an outlet to build up their SEO with guest posts, interviews, and creative link backs.
-create a gift box prize that intrigues readers into wanting to know more or experience more that indie has to offer.

4) My adventures don’t stop there. I’m attempting to plan two blog events for the Reading Indie blog:
-one for Indie Pride Day (July 1st I believe). Would you like to be featured in a book promo video?
-one for International Authors Day (July 14th). Would you like to do a blog swap promo?


So, ever thought about saying, “I quit” to writing?
Thinking about taking a blogging break anytime soon?
Wish me luck for my Reading Indie adventures? :/


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
JH Moncrieff,
Madeline Mora-Summonte,
Jen Chandler,
Megan Morgan, and
Heather Gardner!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #64).

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

#IntAuthorsDay interview & #giveaway with author Charity Ayres @versweet #fantasy

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, Charity Ayres. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down… And since today is International Authors’ Day, I’m also sharing an in depth look at Charity’s book Ice Burns over at “Who is so you?” Be sure to visit my side panel or head over.  But first…


IAD 2016 Banner
Created & hosted by Debdatta at b00k r3vi3ws

I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. I’ve been discovering so many new authors lately and have really been loading up my TBR list. I’ll admit that I’ve been reading a lot more than I’ve been reviewing, but I’m working on fixing that. I actually just loaded a bunch of book reviews I should have written ages ago. You can check them out here if you want. As an author, I know how important reviews are and I’m making a point to do better about writing reviews. I just get so swept up in wanting to devour my next read… but hey, that’s just my love of reading.

Before I dive in, I just want to say that I’m offering a $15 USD or less digital or print book(s) giveaway, no erotica, from either Kindle or Book Depository. Check it out below.

For today, I’m interviewing an author I recently discovered at RavenCon. I just finished her book, The Secret in the Wings, see my review here. I’m halfway through Loki Bound, have acquired a copy of Loki Hellbound, and am interviewing her, here today, to learn about her latest release Ice Burns. Enjoy!


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

CharityAyresCharity: Hi there, Toi.

Toi Thomas: So tell me, who is Charity Ayres?

Charity: A title? I’m not sure I can make myself fit into a specific title. I’m an author (Loki Bound, Loki: Hell Bound, Secret in the Wings, Ice Burns), veteran, teacher, mom, wife, animal lover, self-proclaimed comedienne, lover of the written word in any form.

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

Toi Thomas: Who is so you and why?

Charity: I always wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara as a kid, but I’m completely different. I would say I’m a combination of an Agent of Shield, Rachel Ray, and Garfield.

Toi Thomas: What makes you geek out?

Charity: New technology and anything Marvel.

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

Charity: I loved “Gone with the Wind”.  I really think it was because it was the first BIG novel I’ve ever read. I’ve also always loved anything Jack London.


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

Charity: Mark Twain or Theodore Roosevelt. Both men are absolutely fascinating to me. I would ask about their struggles in the public eye and with depression. I’d also ask what they think about the world as it is today.

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?

Charity: “Ice Burns” is classic Fantasy with a Dark Fantasy twist. The story is about Chandra who is a magic-user in a world where magic is banned by any not in the royal family. The problem though, is not having magic, but Chandra’s lack of control and the destiny that has been placed upon her that eventually forces her to make some hard and dangerous decisions including killing others to save herself.

Toi Thomas: So who’s starring in this 2 dimensional script read of Ice Burns?

Charity: Chandra is coming of age and struggling with who she is vice who she’s always been expected to be. She was groomed to be this amazingly powerful magic-user and heir to her mentor’s position but could never control her power. When control begins to come it is paired with this taint that seems to be more powerful than any magic Chandra has ever known. She has to decide who she’s going to be and deal with the consequences of that.

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

Charity: Excitement and darkness and magic (oh my!). I really think it is a great example of what Fantasy was always meant to be: magic and the struggle to control it and use it well.

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

Charity: Sometimes I am very structured in that I make a chronology, but I never know everything about my story until it is done. I try not to look too deep, to be honest. I feel that if my story surprises me, it will also surprise my readers and I like that. I hate picking up a book and knowing the ending three chapters in.

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

Charity: Twain, London, Lackey, Bradbury… I think I really have to say Marion Zimmer Bradley was a huge influence.

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

Charity: Sure.

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

Charity: The Mummy.  Don’t ask me why but it makes me laugh and I just love it.

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

Charity: Coffee, my computer, and an ax.

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?

Charity: More books, lots of random conversations with people about books and writing, and more coffee than any one person should consume.


Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from Charity Ayres, check out these great links:

Website: Author Charity Ayres

Facebook: Charity Ayres – Author

Twitter: @versweet

Instagram: charity.ayres

Pre-order link for Ice Burns: Amazon.com | Print and other Online Retailers coming soon. Online release party is August 12 – 16, 2016.

This has been a


Enter to Win your choice of print or digital book(s) valued at $15 USD or less, no erotica, from Kindle or Book Depository.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unfortunately, I can’t display the linky list becuase it disables my comments, but PLEASE click HERE and  follow along with this amazing and supportive blog hop. There are more books and authors to discover as well as GIVEAWAYS galore.

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

Happy Belated International Authors Day! I have prize winners. #IntAuthorsDay


Trying to blog while on vacation is hard enough without the many technical problems I’ve been having, but I’m moving forward anyway. Sorry I was late with the announcement; my Rafflecopter widget malfunctioned and I had to use a random number generator to hand-pick my winners from a spread sheet. What fun that was. 😉

Without further a do, the winner of a free ebook copy of Defined by others and a sneak peek at my up coming release is: Nancy LaRonda Johnson.

The winner of a sneak peek at my upcoming release is listed as bn100.


I will be contacting both of these winners shortly.

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

#IntAuthorsDay is coming! Review: Defined by Others & a #giveaway. Hosted by @b00kr3vi3ws.


The idea behind International Authors Day began with book blogger Debdatta. Last year she realized that there was no day set aside to praise all the authors (traditional or self-published) who have provided us with years of entertainment. Debdatta has declared July 18th as International Authors Day and for that, we all love her. From July 14th thru July 18th book bloggers and authors will be sharing posts about their favorite books and or authors- oh and there will be lots of giveaways! Check out mine at the end of this post. Be sure to check back with this hop on July 18th – International Authors Day, see if you’ve won a prize.

Today I’ll be mentioning a few authors I enjoy and then I will feature the author of a wonderful book I’ve just reviewed.

Mini Alex 2Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and co-host of the A-Z Challenge. His awarding winning Cassa Series is now an affordable boxed set and his Dragon of the Stars continues to increase in popularity. What are the Kargrandes?

Stacey Rourke is the awarding author of the Gryphon Series and The Legends Saga, for which I had the pleasure of revealing the latest cover for here. She writes with a quick wit and isn’t afraid to go beyond the norm. My review for book 1 in The Legends Saga, Crane, coming soon.

Ian Mathie is an awarding winning memoirist with a life story worth writing about. He has an incredible outlook on life and is definitely an author worth getting to know. He’s also written some fiction. I’ve just finished Chinese Take-Out and will post my review soon.

And last, but definitely not least, is M.C.V. Egan.  This author writes in genres that I’m just not all that interested in, at least that’s what I thought. She changed all that with her Historical-Metaphysical novel The Bridge of Deaths. She’s at it again with her latest release, a Contemporary (Women’s Fiction), entitled Defined by Others. See my review below.

 Defined by Others (Defining Ways Series Book 1) by M.C.V. Egan

I give this book a 5


This author has a way of intriguing me that always manages to entice me into reading outside my preferred genres.

Defined by Others, on the surface, is the tale of a mid-life crisis gone terribly wrong, but it’s actually much more than that. It tells the bounce back journey of Anne, a woman who likes to define moments in a single word, only now she’s a little speechless and unknowingly open to pursue other actions. She is after all trying to bounce back from learning that her husband is leaving her for a man, her father has just been hospitalized, and an old frenemy has just died- but not without leaving Anne a parting gift.

‘Manipulation’ is the single word that would define this book. It’s very dark, but glossed over with pretty wealthy people and little white lies, that turn black in the blink of an eye. That’s how the end comes at you. You see it coming the whole time, but when the “stuff” hits the fan, it catches you off guard- even with the metaphysical aspects in the story.

People often complain about the dangers of social media much in the same as they do the use of firearms. I’m not going argue either case here, but as many would agree, it’s not the “weapon” it’s the user. Anne and her friend Connie take their old frenemy’s gift and turn Facebook into a weapon of mass emotional destruction. When they say misery loves company, they must be thinking of Anne and Connie- but is Anne really looking to destroy lives or is she simply hurting, lost, and confused?

I didn’t fall in love with any of these characters, but I did become enthralled in this story. The whole time I read it, I kept thinking, “There are crazy people out in the world just like this, for real. I’m so glad I don’t have this kind of drama in my life.” This book made me appreciate the small number of close friends I have and made me appreciate how wonderful my husband and family really are. One word to define my feeling for this book would be ‘grateful’, plus is was quite entertaining.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes to read Women’s Fiction or Contemporary fiction with a hard edge. This is purely an adult read, though it does not contain erotic material. It deals with mature concepts that young children will not understand and that hopefully teenagers aren’t currently dealing with (but consider the times we live in).

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

And then there’s me, Toi Thomas. I write to entertain and read to be entertained. I’m very proud of my Eternal Curse Series, and am currently working on a contemporary romance, It’s Like the Full Moon, which I plan to release in late 2015 or early 2016. If you want to know more about me and my writing, just take a look around this site…And now for the giveaway.

Please visit the button below to hop around and celebrate with all those participating.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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