The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Fairest #scifi #fairytale

Sorry for being late this month. I forgot to schedule my post. For those of you in the US, be safe out there today. If you’re at home, please enjoy this hop.

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: Fairest
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pages: 256
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG-13 (violence, brutality, doom, mature and dark themes, adult situations, oppression)

After reading Cress, I wasted no time jumping into this long-awaited backstory into the life of the Wicked Queen, aka Levana. I can barely find the right words to describe how much I enjoyed this book. I’m so afraid of giving away spoilers that I’m purposefully making this a short review.

I will say that, dang is this woman’s life messed up. She is all kinds of damaged, from an early age, and she just spirals into, what I consider, insanity. What she does, what is done to her, what the what…. I just can’t. This is such a sad, and brutal, and terrifying story. You want to feel bad for Levana, but she won’t let you. Her crazy out does any wrong done to her and any sympathy she didn’t ask for.

I absolutely love this villain. I so want her to lose so I can feel bad for her and be completely satisfied all at once… See, just reading her story has made me a little crazy.

Totally recommended to fans of this series, fans of psychological sci-fan, and dark fairy tale retellings.

I give this book a 5.

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

Happy Thanksgiving from #OuAuthorGang & Toi Thomas

Today I’m hanging out over at A Small Gang of Authors sharing one of my best Thanksgiving moments, along with other blog members from the U.S. While this is not an international holiday, it is an international sentiment. I’m so thankful to have found this really great group of author/bloggers to work with.

In other news, I’m heading to a family Thanksgiving feast in charge of dessert, rolls, and drinks. I got it all and am ready to regret my choices tomorrow. It’s going to taste soooo good.

Before you head to A Small Gang of Authors, I just want to say that I’m thankful for my pet turtle Betty, my little red-head Margie (the scaredy dog), my ever-patient and kind husband Eric, and my entire family. I know that I am truly blessed.

Find Thanksgiving Adventures here.

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

Remakes Blogfest! The best & worst of #books, #film, #music & more


Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather M. Gardner.

Remakes – most of them suck. Now and then, one comes along that is as good as, if not better, than the original. And after all of the bad ones we’ve endured, we want to know about some good ones.

On November 13, 2017 (hey, that’s today :D), blog about your favorite remake: movie (or television show into movie and vice versa), song, or book – or all three! Post a YouTube video and links where we can find these treasures. Tell us why THIS remake doesn’t suck!

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This post is basically an excuse for me not to do some other posts I’ve been meaning to do, so I plan to make it count. Here it goes; some of my best and worst remakes I know. *DISCLAIMER: Most of the titles listed here are the result of me putting multiple options into a random number generator and posting about the one that came up on the list. There are just too many remakes to consider. There are remakes out there that people don’t even realize are remakes, especially if you go as far back as the silent film era and the golden age of Jazz.

Movies—->Movies

BEST- King Kong

I’ve always loved King Kong, starting with the 1933 film. I’ve watched most of the movies under that title including some of the really bad Japanese movies completely unassociated with Godzilla. When the 2005 film came out, it brought back my childhood and the feeling I had that first made me a fan. This movie pays homage to the original on so many levels and then expands to make it into something new. It introduces a whole new generation to an amazing character and story and does it justice with really cool special effects.

WORST- Clash of Titans

Even with the outdated special effects of claymation, the original release of 1981 was, for me, ten-times better the special effects driven storyline of the 2010 remake. Plus, they got rid of Bobo. :p Not much else to say here.

TV—–>Movies

BEST- Mission Impossible

I only ever watched the original Mission Impossible TV show when it came on classic TV, late at night. By that time, my parents had given up on trying to get me to sleep at night, especially since I seemed to be a well-functioning night owl and only stayed up to watch old TV shows and movies. When the first, Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible movie came out, I was excited. The movie was pretty good and got people talking about the original show, a little. That’s what I think a good remake should do.

WORST- Starsky and Hutch (Never saw the Baywatch remake)

Not sure why they took a decent (well, not terrible) 70’s cop show and turned it into a ridiculous farce/comedy, but it didn’t go over well. Not the first or last mistake like this.

Book/Comic Strip—->Stage Play/Movie

BEST (gender swapper?) Annie

So the original stage-play musical is said to have been based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”, but isn’t that comic strip just a gender-bender for the Oliver Twist story? Well, that’s what I’ve always thought. In any case, this still qualifies as a remake and I’ve so enjoyed the many small stage versions of the play I’ve seen as well as both theatrical film releases.

WORST- IDK, need to think on this more.

Books—->Movie

BEST- Cloud Atlas

This is a fairly recent book and movie remake in the scheme of things. There are many people who didn’t get the book by David Mitchell, so I’m sure the movie wasn’t high on their list either. Me on the other hand, I loved the book and the movie. Of course, I could tell you a list of issues I had with the film adaptation of this book, but overall, the film’s ability to grasp the multiple themes, story plots, and depict reincarnation is such a clear and vivid way, deserves recognition. I enjoy watching this film just for the visual representation of complicated storytelling techniques you only expect to experience when reading. The effects are good for sure, but it goes beyond that.

WORST- Cat in the Hat

I think this movie was supposed to be cute and funny, maybe a bit mischievous, like the beloved children’s book, but it wasn’t. It was weird. It failed and was totally unnecessary since there have been really good cartoon versions of this and other Dr. Seuss stories around for quite a while.

Songs—–>Songs

BEST- With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Coker

I have always considered Joe Coker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends to be one of the greatest popular-music song remakes of all time for 4 main reasons.

1) the original song is phenomenal but difficult to pull off without sounding cheesy unless you are The Beatles.

2) Coker not only performs the song well, he makes it into something almost unrecognizable from the original, making it a classic in its own right.

3) Childhood nostalgia will always remind me that I’m amongst friends as I reminisce about “The Wonder Years” to which this song was the intro.

4) I have this song on its original vinyl and the sound is amazing. I can listen to this once a week for the rest of my life and not get bored with it.

WORST- Blue Monday by Orgy

Blue Monday by New Order is not one of my favorite songs in the world, but it’s a decent song; definitely a product of the 80’s. The remake by Orgy didn’t do much to make it stand out other than to make it really really heavy. I just think this is a remake that could have been passed on.

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CONTRIBUTING TO THIS FUN HOP.
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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

Hardcover Release Blitz for The Rite of Wands. #fantasy

Mackenzie_Web_Banner_02
One of the most frequent questions I am asked as an author is what inspired me to write The Rite of Wands. I have always found that question interesting because when you think about it, inspiration is different for everyone. It may be a memory, a character from a book, song lyrics, a political speech, a TV series, or even an actor’s performance. Pure imagination is in all of us—we only need to discover it, and sometimes storytelling helps. Inspiration can come to us in any shape or form; you never know what or who may inspire you.

Mackenzie Flohr and BHC Press are pleased to announce the upcoming release of The Rite of Wands in hardcover!

In this special edition of the first book in the award winning young adult series, The Rite of Wands, releasing November 11, 2017, readers will be enchanted by a brand new short-story never before published!

For more information, visit: http://www.mackenzieflohr.com/theriteofwands.html

Blurb:
One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during template-1-12172901503297868-largehis Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

Excerpt:
“For God’s sake, get out of the road!” he heard a voice shout from the direction of the out of control carriage. “Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee…”

Mortain stared forward, frozen, unable to move. Life at that very moment seemed to slow to a near standstill. He could hear his heart beating in his ears as the horse and carriage barrelled down upon him. His mind concluded that this was how his life was going to end, rather than the way his Rite of Wands had dictated. There was nothing more tragic than being unable to be who he was.

“Vorbíllion!”

Mortain was abruptly lifted off the ground and thrown into a nearby water trough. As he sat up, feeling the water soak through his robe and tunic, he watched a beautiful woman wearing her long black hair in a twist to the side substitute herself in the place he had been previously standing.

She gazed over to Mortain with annoyance, her green eyes shifting into what appeared to be snake eyes as she reached out a bare hand towards the carriage and shouted, “Concye halímo!”

The horse snorted and quickly came to a halt.

Bio:
DKQIJ2hUQAAc9IJ.jpg-largeMackenzie Flohr is the author of the popular young adult fantasy series The Rite of Wands, which has caught the attention of Doctor Who and Harry Potter fans worldwide. Readers agree that Mackenzie has crafted a robust tale of secrets, mystery, and uncertain destiny that rivals the works of Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling.

Mackenzie grew up in Cleveland, OH, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the city had to offer. Yet, it wasn’t until she was on a trip to Indiana, viewing a Lord of the Rings exhibit, that the innermost desire of her heart became clear to her.

Fans have become enchanted by Mierta McKinnon, describing him as an innocent, rambunctious, trouble-seeking, realistic, and believable character whom has quickly become a fan favorite. The Rite of Wands follows the young warlock as he seeks to fulfill his destiny and cure the land of Iverna of a horrendous disease called The Shreya. Readers will find themselves immersed into his story and feel like they are a part of his journey.

For more information on Mackenzie, visit her website at: http://www.mackenzieflohr.com

Other Social Media Links
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MackenzieFlohrAuthor/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MackenzieFlohr
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mackenzieflohr/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/mackenzieflohr
Amazon Author Page: com/author/mackenzieflohr

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

#Giveaway Winner Announced & the #BloggerAmbush Blitz

This is an unexpected Monday post for me. Usually, I leave this day open to reblogs and promoting others but since I wasn’t booked and realized I had way too much content to stuff into my IWSG post on Wednesday, I thought, ‘Why not do a Monday blog?’ It’s not that unusual for me… In any case, here’s what I got.

I had a rough birthday this year, but there were some highs that made it all worth it. Oh, and I have a winner for my birthday, Top 5 Angel books, giveaway.

Sherry Fundin
 I hope you enjoy this prize!

Now let’s talk about one of my current pet projects that means so much to me, the Blogger Ambush Blitz, hosted over at #ReadingIndie.
The idea of this blitz isn’t something I came up with, by far, but it’s an idea that I thought was great the first time I saw it and think it’s worth giving a go time and again.

The original idea was for bloggers to unite to visit and support one blogger among the group all at once to give them a boost, engagement, and simply make their day. It was such a good idea that the blogger list grew to outrageous proportions. While I loved getting the notification that it was time once again to spotlight someone, I think many became defeated with the notion that their turn would never come. Plus, the spotlights were sporadic, not giving members a sense of routine or stability. I’m not sure if this original blitz is still going on.

My idea for the Blogger Ambush Blitz is simple. We ambush one random blogger from the list of members each week until everyone gets a turn. Our aim is to grow the list to 25 members, offering each member a chance to be ambushed (or spotlighted) twice a year. For me, I personally hope the idea catches on and grows to the point where I can set up multiple blogger lists. I can imagine having Blogger Ambush Blitz’s for major fiction genres, just for writers, just for inspirational quotes, and so much more. With the blitz only requiring members to visit ONE blog a WEEK, I don’t see why this can’t be the next step in blogger support and networking.

At least, that’s my dream 😀 .

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