Toi Reads “We Are Jardin” #wip #sample #fantasy

For anyone interested, I’m updating the free short story that comes with my email list sign-up. I’m offering a story that’s only been offered previously in an sci-fi anthology; you can have Clepher’s Heart free when you join my email list.

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WWIV – Darkness Descends by @ealake5 Interview by #thetoiboxofwords via @RABTBookTours #dystopian

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, e a lake, about his fiction book entitled, WWIV – Darkness Descends. Enjoy!

Where did the idea for WWIV – Darkness Descends come from?

I had a million scenarios running through my mind as I wrote the larger novels in this series. And because those novels focus tightly on one person or group, I wanted to give the readers an opportunity to experience the Darkness through many eyes, not just one set. Each novella is non-recurring, just like the primary series, so you get the view the world from as many points of view as I can create.

How did the title of this book come about?

It isn’t until the third book in the primary WWIV series that the event, which caused all the problems, is referred to as the Darkness. I wanted to write more about the Darkness, in short story form, so that readers would get a true feel for what happened around the world. Thus – Darkness Descends.

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

Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian. It fits; the event that changes the world – takes away all of our cool gadgets and even most vehicles – makes it seem as if a nuclear blast or EMP has occurred. (But I’m not telling what really happened until the last book of the Shorts).

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

The Darkness has arrived. And the world will never be the same…ever; though hardly anyone knows the scope of the issues. Learn what happened immediately before, and shortly after the event that will change mankind happens.

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

Since many of these stories were already floating around in my mind, this novella was a rather quick write. No more than four weeks as I recall. I did a chapter at a time, and let the characters reactions tell the tale. The only research I needed, was time zones around the world. Time is an important issue in the novella.

Tell me about the main storyline within this book.

In part one, it is nearly the same time throughout the world. Each chapter progresses by one short minute. Until chapter 6, when the event has just occurred. Part two deals with the aftermath, at various times. Instead of repeating the same order as part one, or even reversing the order, I arranged it willy-nilly. Demonstrating what has happened to our world.

Who is the protagonist of this story?

Each chapter has several characters that are highlighted. For the most part each of these unassuming folks are the protagonists. The same characters are highlighted in parts one and two. There is a bonus chapter at the end of this novella. It takes the reader inside the Oval Office in Washington. I will let you decide if the President is a good guy, or not.

Who is the antagonist of this story?

Truly – here in this novella – the event is the antagonist. Imagine someone or something that takes away all your electricity, all forms of communication. Most modern vehicles won’t even make a sound when the key is turned. The Darkness is the bad guy here – the true villain.

What is the major conflict in this story?

The Darkness is nearly the only conflict in each short story. Then, realizing what may have happened, people take over. This idea (people turning rotten, like unattended fruit) is more prevalent in the longer books, the main novels. But I hint about what happens to some of our humanity in several chapters in this book as well.

Where and when is this story taking place?

According to United States Central Standard Time, the event – The Darkness – descends upon our world at 2:33 a.m. It’s a warm humid evening in Madison, Wisconsin when it arrives. And all around the world, within seconds after that time, the darkness engulfs everyone. It is very silent, almost without commotion; but make no mistake, the world is about to become a dark place.

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

Since the story unfolds in eight different locations around the world, I used some very familiar settings. I grew up in southern Wisconsin, a mere ten miles from Madison. I’ve visited the Black Hills of South Dakota often (I even honeymooned there back in 1980). And while on business I once dined in Utrecht, Holland. I’ve met, in some form, all of the characters in this novella. Almost every character I’ve ever created is based on a real person from somewhere in my life.

What is something you wish wasn’t real and hope doesn’t happen to you?

It’s all fiction, so it’s all made up. But one thing I hope never happens, one thing I pray never befalls the earth, is the Darkness I’ve laid out in this novella. If it ever did, God forbid, all of humanity is in a lot a trouble.

Do you have any special plans for this book in the near or far future?

In the distant future, perhaps next year sometime, I would like to make this book available for free. Just in the electronic format, of course. But I would like to place this in the hands of any reader who would like it, always free. I’m still not sure how possible (or likely) this goal is, but I’d still like to try.

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 WWIV – Darkness Descends, please visit the links provided.

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The Brother’s Keep by @TessaStockton Book Blast & #Giveaway by @MasqTours #KeepBlast #fantasy

Four brothers… Four maidens… Four challenges…
Publication Date: May 6, 2015
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy
Series: The Brother’s Keep (4 Novellas in 1)

Four brothers are appealing in appearance and stature. Yet beneath the striking features, magnitude and charm, they are monsters, for each one of them have fallen to darkness and are cursed for all time. Possessed with unique power, along with the wrath to destroy, the brothers consume all in their paths …until unlikely maidens challenge them apiece.

Each of the four young maidens ventures out, vulnerable and alone, to battle unknown elements, demons, and strange magic. Risking all for the journey, they are set to find the demise of their monster. But the question of motive begins to infiltrate each of their minds. Are they really trying to save their people from the harm of the monster or redeem a heartless being for the sake of love? Because somehow, while daring, their own hearts are stolen in what could be the quickest path to destruction, the greatest betrayal of all.

Along the way, meet Lily of the Valley, Bright & Morning Star, Promise the King, and The Messenger, characters potentially aiding these impressionable young women who find themselves quite lost in the keeps of alluring yet unscrupulous brothers.



“Who are you?”

He pushed further back into the shadows as she strode closer. “Someone you need not know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

When he didn’t answer, she sighed.

“What a strange, terrible day,” she mumbled. “Well, at least tell me your name . . .”

He stood, speechless, knowing he shouldn’t be there at all—conversing with a Meleyan—especially not their musical deliverer that he was set to doom the day after tomorrow.

A peculiar grumbling interrupted her insistence, to his relief.

“Sorry.” She patted her stomach. He could see, even in the blackened night, how her face turned a deeper shade of red than her hair. “I’ve forgotten to eat. I guess I’m hungrier than I realized.”

He plucked an apple from the tree he’d nearly become a part of and held it out to her. The girl approached tentatively. She reached for the fruit but recoiled when her fingers brushed his.

“Is touching me so horrible?” he asked.

Her jaw dropped open and her delicate brow furrowed. She inclined her head. “It . . . hurt.”

“How?” he asked, for her fingers felt good to him, soothing. Warm. He wanted to try again.

“I don’t know how to explain . . .”

“Hum.” Unsatisfied with the answer, he tossed the apple to her and watched as she crunched her teeth into it.


“You’re not being very nice.” Syrena glanced in the direction of an especially loud wave that crashed against the shore, reaching to kiss the tips of her toes. She pulled her legs in and rested her head on her knees.

The three sisters lingered in silence for a spell, absorbing the sun’s offering for the day.

“Well, anyway,” Steffi said. “It’s high time you got over your fear of the sea. You’ve lived at its edge your entire life and you haven’t even put your feet in.”

“I don’t have to. And I don’t need to listen to you.” Syrena didn’t budge.

Gwyn snorted. “Grumpy this morning. . . .”

Syrena stood then, brushing off sand. She took several steps into the unknown, this time without her sisters, trying to feel her way back home but stumbled over driftwood.

“Here,” Gwyn said impatiently. “We’ll help you. We always do, you know. It’s because we love you and want to see you happy.”

“I know,” Syrena whispered. “Love you, too. Thanks,” she said, as her sisters grabbed a hand each and led her up the path from the beach.

A head popped out of the water not far from the coastline. Not one of the sisters noticed the keen eyes that watched the back of one girl in particular and had done so every day for a very long time. The wave he sent almost reached her this time, pulling her into his world. When would he ever hold her again?


Dagon dove to the darkest, deepest crook of his domain and sulked.


Gaping, Arekel tried to find words but couldn’t speak—only stare. Her heart palpitated in fear, yet she couldn’t pull away from him—couldn’t move.

He cocked his head. His brow furrowed. He pressed closer as if examining her. His snarl slowly wilted.

A strange sort of languish grew on the man’s face. His mouth and jaw shifted. Evil prevailed in him, yet it seemed as if Arekel opened a door to a dark room and in its depth a flicker of light, though very small, subsisted. In an odd way, it made her ache.

With tentativeness the man finally took hold of her face . . . but then his grip began to soften. He inclined his head again. “Warm,” he said, as if he’d never felt warmth. A long, cold finger delicately traced the line of her jaw. His voice purred like silk. “Fortunate,” he said, one side of his mouth curling upward. “You will live another day.”


Sasha’s heart hammered against her chest. She stared at Kilian, distrusting the vampyre. But after he had lifted her hands and brushed her palms with his sensuous lips, he sat upright with a deeply furrowed brow. “I don’t want to hurt you.” She could detect the tendon in his jaw that shifted as he glanced out the window at the falling snow. “That’s what’s strange.” He released her hands and stood.

She watched him, and felt the cloud of doubt that seemed to materialize from nowhere.

“The province from where I came is in the middle of an arctic.” He sighed. “My fortress is made of ice.” He lit a candle and then moved again toward the windows, whispering, “How I miss it.”

“I’m sorry for your unhappiness, Master.”

He turned partway and said, “Yes, you’ve said that before. At the water’s edge.”

“It’s true.”

“Well, then, I thank you.” He pursed his lips. “You are virtuous.”

She bowed her head.

He exhaled what sounded like the weight of his and her worlds combined. “Walk with me, Sasha.”

“I beg your pardon, Master?”

“A stroll. Come.” He extended his arm. Around his other arm draped a fur coat while heavy boots appeared at his feet.

She didn’t question his magic, but donned the items and then took his hand. “Will you not be cold, Master?”

“I cannot be touched by what I am. I am the cold, my dear.”

For whatever reason, Sasha felt glad Kilian didn’t address her as his sweet like he had Princess Kristyana. When he’d called her my dear, the endearment sounded dipped in a degree of respect. But that couldn’t be. She rubbed the fading sleep from her eyes. She was a slave and he, her master; she a fae and he a vampyre. Vampyres and faes didn’t go well together.


Tessa Stockton is a veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, having come from a long line of musical arts professionals. She loved seeing the world and absorbing the beauty of other cultures . . . an enriching life full of dance, music, faith, and interesting cuisine. Over the years, she also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today, she writes fantasy, romance and political intrigue novels.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads | LinkedIn


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

Review: The Between

by Glynis Rankin

I give this book a 4.


Everyone at some point feels like the black sheep of their family and it seems Michele is no different. I wonder if we, as people, sometimes project how we feel about ourselves onto others and blame them for feelings they may not actually have.  Add in an intense sense of grief and you have The Between.

I won’t give away the full meaning of the Between, but I’ve been there and I know others have too. This story is a typical triumph for this author. She has a talent for not only building emotion, but for expressing it and evoking reactions to it. This story is a long emotional journey through the altered perception of someone who is lost and hurting.

This isn’t the kind of story I typically read and was uncomfortable with the style, but after it was all said and done, the uplifting message won my heart. For those who read books like this all the time, I’m sure this would be quite a treat. This is a short story that packs quite a bit of punch in the category of drama.

I recommend this story to adult readers of fictional dramas and even non-fiction biographies and memoirs.

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

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

Major #discount on indie novella, Legend of the Boy! August 7-11, ’14.


At a regular price of $2.99, Legend of the Boy will be irresistible, newly updated and re-edited, and at a special discounted rate.

From August 7rd through August 9th, own your copy of, Legend of the Boy, for only $0.99. If life gets in your way, don’t let it get you down too much. You’ll still be able to save on this purchase from August 10th though the end of the day on August 11th for only $1.99.

About The Book

All young boys dream of having super powers and being able to do  great and wondrous things…except this boy. He’s not from this world, but he must save it, though he doesn’t know how. Legend of the Boy is a science fiction tale that combines the notions of power, might, right, and destiny in a complex pattern woven from threads of logic, philosophy, and faith. This is the tale of a boy, a stranger to this world, who not only has to save the world, but must also destroy it, in order to move the human race forward. Pain, tragedy, shock, and awe await you in the pages of, Legend of the Boy

Not a children’s book.

Please enjoy this excerpt.

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