Discover an author! #IntlAuthorsDay #giveaway

Happy International Authors Day!

“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic historical fantasy series including “The Redoubt,” voted one of 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading 2016, and ”The Lost King,” awarded the All Authors Certificate of Excellence. She also wrote “Detour,” ranked in the Top Ten Thrillers in Preditor/Editors Readers’ Choice Poll and “The Zen Detective,” a finalist in the Golden Books Award Contest. She co-authored the contemporary thriller, “Naked Came the Sharks,” with Jed Donellie, contributed to “Masters of Time: a SciFi/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology,” and “Magic Unveiled: An Anthology,” and has several Mystery Mini Short Reads to her name. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives in The Barefoot Palace on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky.


On the road to Zen enlightenment, homicide detective Will Mansion takes a seductive detour down the path to perdition. When a bust goes terribly wrong, Paradise City detective Will Mansion nearly dies while saving his partner. On leave, Will seeks relief from post-traumatic stress disorder through Zen meditation and abstinence. He responds to the plea of the cryptic Sister Clyde to find a man missing from her soup kitchen, a man who may provide a lead to the vicious drug dealer who nearly killed Will. The search seduces Will away from the healing he seeks and he finds himself on the smarmy Miracle Mile. Alcohol, sex, and the potent drug “Nearvana” numb Will’s pain better than his infant Zen practice. He slips further and further into an underworld of the lost and hopeless only to find himself facing death—again.

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If you liked this, check out what I have to offer over at Devorah Fox’s blog.

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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

Coming Out Of Egypt by Angela Joseph Interview #Christian #Fiction

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’m sharing a special interview with author, Angela Joseph, about her fiction book entitled, Coming Out Of Egypt. Enjoy!

Where did the idea for Coming Out of Egypt come from?

Many years ago when I was a teacher in Trinidad, there were rumors about two sisters who were being sexually abused by their father. Nothing was ever done about it, as far as I know. Fast forward to living in the US, I now work with women, as well as men, who have suffered this horrible fate and who continue to bear the emotional scars of their experience.

How did the title of this book come about?

Coming Out of Egypt is a metaphorical and literal title for the story that depicts the journey of two sisters, Marva and June, out of the bondage of an abusive past. It’s metaphorical because it is based on the exodus of the Israelites from the bondage of slavery. It’s also literal because after Marva, the older sister, commits a horrible crime as a result of that abuse, she and June flee their home in Egypt Village, Trinidad, in order to escape from the law.

What genre is this book and why did you choose to make it so?

Coming Out of Egypt belongs to the women’s fiction genre. While the story has a strong romantic element, the subject matter deals more with the journey of the main characters out of the bondage of their past experiences.

What would you say is the overall message or the theme of this book?

The theme of this book is one of redemption. My aim in writing this book is to bring hope and healing to women, and men, not just those who have been abused, but those who have been in bondage of some sort and feel they are no good and do not deserve to be loved. I want to show them they can “come out of Egypt” with God’s help.

Tell me about the experience of writing this book; how long did it take.

You may not believe this, but this book has been 13 years in the making. First, I could only write on weekends because I worked full time, then I attended a writers’ conference where an editor told me I had too much material in one book. She suggested I make the teacher in the story the protagonist and focus on the romance between her and the detective. This I did, but then I couldn’t get an agent and my writer’s group felt it didn’t have the punch the first book had. Back I went to the keyboard and came up with not two, but three books. My research focused on the effects of sexual abuse on women and their partners.

Tell me about the main storyline within this book.

After accidentally killing her father and dumping his body in a nearby river, seventeen-year-old Marva and her younger sister June flee their home in Egypt Village, Trinidad. Marva ’s goal  is  to forge a new life for herself and June and forget the memories of their abusive past. But, desperate to elude the ruthless detective, control her rebellious sister, and hold down a job in a man’s domain, Marva’s new life is not what she envisioned.  While she yearns for love, understanding and forgiveness, Marva knows she deserves only punishment. Will she get what she yearns for or what she deserves?

Who is the protagonist of this story?

Seventeen-year-old Marva is the protagonist of the story. She is  taciturn, strict with few friends, desperately longing for love, but afraid of men in general – although she does harbor some romantic feelings for her childhood friend. She is fiercely devoted to her younger sister June and is not afraid of getting into a fight to protect her.

Thirteen-year-old June is almost the opposite of her sister. Even though she too was abused by her father, she craves the attention of the opposite sex and uses her beauty to win them over. She loves her sister, but tries to wriggle out of her control.

Who is the antagonist of this story?

The antagonist is David, the detective, who is investigating the murder of the girls’ father. Even though he is not a bad guy, he thinks Marva is guilty and is anxious to carry out his duties. She sees him as her archenemy and tries to avoid him at all costs.

What is the major conflict in this story?

The major conflict centers on Marva’s attempts to elude the detective who, she knows, suspects her of murdering her father. She moves to another city where she thinks she will be safe, only to discover that not only does her former teacher, who has always shown an interest in her, now lives in that city, but she is engaged to the detective. As circumstances conspire to bring Marva and June into closer contact with the teacher, Marva wishes she could confide in her, but she is scared, not so much of being brought to justice, but of what might happen to her sister.

Where and when is this story taking place?

The story takes place in Trinidad in the mid-80s. The country, which lies at the northern tip of Venezuela, formerly a British colony, is now a republic, rich in oil, natural gas, and asphalt. The population consists mainly of people of African and East Indian descent with a smaller percentage comprising of Europeans, Chinese, Hispanics, and people from the middle east. The two main characters are of Venezuelan descent.  The story makes lavish references to the diverse cultural influences of this fun-loving nation.

Who is your favorite character in this book?

Apart from Marva, the protagonist, my favorite character is Cicely, the school teacher, who plays a great role in helping Marva overcome a lot of her weaknesses and become a child of God. Cicely is kind, warm-hearted and generous. She was also molested by her father as a young girl and was, therefore, able to empathize with Marva and give her the love and support she so much needed.

Are there elements of your personality or life experiences in this book?

Quite a few of my life experiences were brought to bear in writing this book. As I mentioned before, I was a teacher in the same school that I write about in the story and knew two sisters who, it was rumored about, were being molested by their father, but they were never my pupils. Also, I work with patients in behavioral health who have been sexually abused. As far as personality, I think I am somewhat like Cicely.


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. To obtain your copy of Coming Out of Egypt, please visit the link provided.

This has been a


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


-229Days -4Hours -57Minutes -36Seconds

#Review: The Affinity Bridge #mystery #paranormal #book


Title:  The Affinity Bridge

Series: Newbury and Hobbes #1

Author: George Mann

Genre: Steampunk, Sci-fi

Pages: 350

Reading Level: Adult

Content: R (violence, drug use, scary and mature themes, some gore)

I bought this book at a bargain bookstore and almost feel like I ripped them off. Even though I didn’t love this book, I still underpaid for it.

I’ve been wanting to dive into the steampunk genre for some time, but I keep getting distracted by my faves. Every now and then, though, I do pick up something steam and always seem to enjoy it. The main problem with this book is that it has a reputation and I let myself get caught up in the hype. I was expecting, maybe, too much from it. In any case, I did like it and here’s why.

The story is a mystery in the manner of Sherlock Holmes but set in a world of steam with large blimps floating over London and zombie-like creatures lurking in the dark. This isn’t a spoiler, this is how the book opens up- and what an opening it is. Holmes and Watson are played by Sir Newbury and his assistant Miss Hobbs (who I liked right away).

Punch card powered Automata are at the center of the great mystery which involves royalty, a blimp crash, and a few murders. The pace ebbs and flows and the promise of “dark arts” is lacking. The descriptions were probably my favorite part. All in all, I can’t complain too much. It’s a good story and a credit to the genre. I plan to read more in this series (I think it’s a series).

I give this book a 4.


This review has been posted to GoodReads.

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

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

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

Charade & The Truth About Charlie #Review – Mock Squid Soup No.21 #cinephiles #film #mystery









Let’s recap my clues from last week:

Clue #1– Both leading ladies are British actresses with a dancing background; one black, one white.

Clue #2– Both leading men are known for their looks, though the original actor has more acclaim.

Clue #3– The original blockbuster movie released 1963; the box office bomb remake released 2002.

So what do you think, was I too vague or was my movie just too obscure? I think I had everyone stumped.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching these movies, click here (Charade) and here (The Truth..) to see my notes.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

1. What is this film about?

Charade is the story of the unhappily married Regina, who discovers that she won’t be needing a divorce because her husband has been killed while she was away on holiday. To make matters weirder, three strange and dangerous people are trying to capture or kill her in hopes of retrieving money her late husband stole. Then there’s the charming “Peter” who’s there to offer her comfort and aid.

The Truth About Charlie is the remake, with some notable changes here and there. The major difference between this and the original is the additional influence of the “Shoot the Piano Player” film, and trust me, it makes all the difference.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

The original trailer for Charade is quite campy but when your film stars Audrey and Cary, does it really matter?

My interest in the remake stemmed from its association with the original and the fact that I like Thandie Newton.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

I actually think all the leading performances, aside from Wahlberg, were pretty good; he was only okay. I do wish Audrey’s Reggie wouldn’t have been so dim at times, but it was a different time, I guess. I do wish that Thandie would have been given a little of Audrey’s runway treatment. Her character lacked the glamor that the first Regina had. Oddly enough, I found the instant attraction between Thandie and Mark more believable, but the way Audrey’s character chases after Cary’s is priceless.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

The original was shot like a typical spy film of the time, but with a bit humor and fashion thrown in. The remake however, was a bit confusing. I think this is where the “Shoot the Piano Player” influence took things too far. The remake felt like an art film, a study in emotional expression, something that just didn’t go well with the plotline. Weird camera angles, color filters, quick flashes of unrelated content to the story at hand- yeah, it just didn’t work for me.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

The original movie didn’t have a whole lot going on in terms of music. I like the intro music which seemed to repeat as needed throughout the film. Though more than odd in some places, the soundtrack for the remake, was quite fun. There was lots of variety. Some songs set the perfect mood while others set matters askew.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

Since both stories are essentially the same, and I mean that (I was expecting more changes in the remake), I can say that I actually like both stories. I like the mystery and how it all unfolds, plus what’s a mystery without multiple false identities?

7. What did I not like about the story?

For Charade, I’d have to say that the way Reggie’s character was so dim and helpless was a turnoff.

For The Truth About Charlie, the odd way in which it was filmed and the fact that very few changes were made, made the movie a bit disappointing.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others?

Yes, I’d actually recommend both films.

Charade is a film that a classic movie lover should see; plus the fashion is amazing.

The Truth About Charlie isn’t a bad movie, but it is a bad remake. Anyone who hasn’t seen the first film might really enjoy this one. If for no other reason, I recommend both films for comparison sake.

9.What would I rate this movie?

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give Charade 4 reels


and The Truth About Charlie 3 reels.


10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

Not exactly. I’ve not written a true mystery, though I do incorporate elements of mystery in my Eternal Curse Series. While I don’t know a whole lot about fashion, I do try to utilize elements of fashion in my world building.

Watch, rent, or buy Charade movie here.

Watch, rent, or buy The Truth About Charlie movie here.

Mock Squid Soup – Film Society

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to movie reviews. We invite others to participate and post their reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀

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