Saturday, June 29, 2019

Editor and Cover Designer Appreciation Day

Let's give thanks our Editors and Cover Artists today

Book cover artists and editors contribute to the success of every book published and rarely get the recognition they deserve.

Readers don't really look at the copyright page to find out who edited the book, who created the cover, or formatted the book interior.

Authors, honor the people today who made possible for you to publish a well edited and aesthetically pleasing book.

Click on the links FACEBOOK and TWITTER which leads you to the posts.

Add your book links to the posts and tag your editors, book cover artists, and those who contributed to the publishing of your book yet stayed in the background.

If you're an author:
Click on this link to view the GBBPub free promos:

Friday, June 28, 2019

Happened today: something about the Pride month

June is called the Pride Month, where many cities worldwide are organizing marches and events to celebrate diversity not as something special, but as something that belong to human nature.
But why was the month of June chosen? Here in Helsinki the Gay Pride is scheduled for Saturday 29th (tomorrow).
The choice was indeed not randomly made, and those who have lived enough to remember the riots happened at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village, New York, know something about it.
The final years of the sixties were already on their own a period of societal turmoil, homosexuality wasn’t considered something acceptable, and the law condemned it.
It wasn’t an easy time for the LGBT community, and people felt the need to hide their nature for their own safety. The only places where they could get along in freedom were the gay bars, and one of the most popular was the Stonewall Inn.
The Stonewall Inn was an old horse stable and was once upon a time used as a restaurant, then it was turned into a gay bar in 1966.
Since it didn’t have any license to sell liquor, and it was generally in bad shape, the owners used to bribe Police officers to turn a blind eye on the business.
At 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes policemen in dark suits, and two patrol officers in uniform arrived at the Stonewall Inn and took over the place. Generally, they would have asked for the ID of those who were inside the bar, and those who were dressed as women were brought to the restroom to verify their gender. If they were male, they had to be arrested.
This procedure would have gone smoothly without any resistance act from anyone, but not that night.
That night, people refused to give their ID and refused to be identified as men or women. On that night people, although they were still scared of what could have happened to them, they felt it was more important to shout out their right to be, and within minutes, over 100 people gathered outside the Stonewall Inn.

Although the Police tried to restrain the crowd that was gathering to support those who were arrested, things started to escalate quickly, as the crowd soon outnumbered the Police officers who were forced to find shelter inside the bar.
The Tactical Patrol Force of the New York City Police Department arrived to free the Policemen trapped inside the Stonewall, and few officers were hurt by flying debris, thrown by the crowd.
The riot didn’t stop that night and continued for weeks, and many people sympathized with the rebellious, attending organizational meetings seizing the chance to take action.
Things were about to change, and the time was right, those who were feeling oppressed, now they were empowered. That was a day that marked an important date for gay rights, and it was going to leave a mark.
The following years, marches were organized to remember what happened on that day at the Stonewall Inn celebrating a milestone in the gay empowerment movement.
So, today we are celebrating that day, and try to shout out to those people living in countries where being gay is still a crime, in some cases punishable with a death sentence.

I will be off on Saturday, mixing with the crowd because although I am not gay, I do believe that it is nobody’s business who we love or how do we identify ourselves.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Doing What You Love is a Blessing by Erika M Szabo

I'm blessed to be able to do what I love

I loved being a nurse for so many years, but now, physical limitations prevent me from continuing this noble profession. Writing had saved my sanity after the disappointing fact of not being able to take care of patients any longer.

Art has always been a passion and now I use my artistic abilities to create book covers, design book interiors, and marketing tools for fellow authors.
I'm blessed to be able to do what I love all my life, and I hope I can continue doing creative work for many years to come.

I finished the portfolio for Cindy J. Smith yesterday, which I'm proud of

This is a trailer for Lorraine Carey's trilogy

I hope you enjoyed the short introduction of what I do.
Everyone is dealing with problems and limitations and perfect health exists only for a short time in our lives. Live your life to the fullest possible, and tailor your activities to your limitations.

See more on the GBBPub website

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Missing by Rick Haynes


My life was as empty as a cracked piss-pot. And with each day merging into the next I had no idea of time. With my best friend, Cissy, missing, my world had collapsed. The taste of any food was like chewing cardboard. It made me retch, but being so weak, I had to force myself to eat something. Eventually, I opened a can of baked beans; with hot sauce the taste was palatable. Starving to death was no longer an option but I still cried every day. 

Why did she disappear? Is she still alive? How did I allow this to happen? No matter what I thought, the idea of me being responsible never left me. Trips to her favourite place, attaching posters to telegraph poles and placing pictures in shop windows, all failed to produce any results. Even the police showed little interest.

A week passed. The telephone rang. A man with a deep voice spoke in harsh tones. His English was poor and he frequently repeated himself. He demanded money. I was worried about how Cissy was coping without her medication and without thinking, I instantly agreed to his demands. He gave me specific directions about where and when we should meet and I was warned that Cissy would die if I didn’t comply. The bank asked questions about my withdrawal of £1000 in cash, but my insistence paid off.

The relief in knowing that Cissy lived was like a lottery win that didn’t exist. I was overjoyed she was safe, yet terrified I’d never see her again if I made a cock up. I imagined she was tied up, blindfolded, perhaps tortured. Nothing else mattered. My lass had disappeared and as long as I followed the instructions, all would be well.

Going over his directions one last time, I set out to be reunited with my beloved, Cissy.

The clouds had finally decided to play elsewhere. After my long climb through the forest, I could now see the top of the disused lighthouse. Inhaling deeply, I took in the clean air lightly scented with salt. Weathered steps of stone curled around the stone colossus but that wasn’t the route I was instructed to take. Looking to the right, I saw another track overgrown with thick bushes and low slung branches.

Once more my mind wandered. Would she be waiting? Would she be unharmed? It was time to make the last ascent. Slowly, like an old man in fear of falling, I placed one foot in front of the other and followed the track towards my destiny.

A shaft of light arrowed through the greenery before instantly disappearing. Would it be my star of hope? Without thinking, I quickened my pace. Calling her name made me want to believe she would greet me at the summit. Faster, I told myself as I ploughed on. The treeline ended and all trace of the shadows vanished as a sunray illuminated the small clearing in front of me.

And there she was, securely tied to an old tree. I looked around, saw the empty bag, placed the cash inside, untied Cissy, picked her up in my arms, kissed her and quickly retraced my steps. Little did the kidnapper know I had left a tracer inside the bag and spread a little poison over the notes.

Rot in hell, I mumbled as I walked back down the slope.

No one steals my dog, my best friend, Cissy, and gets away with the crime.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Good Teacher

The Good Teacher

Lorraine Carey

Got Family Secrets?

Every family has a skeleton in the closet—right? Most families have secrets but some are darker than others.
So is the case with The Good Teacher, book 1 of the Women of the Willow Wood Trilogy.

Daniella Reyes knew from early on she had a strange gift but wasn’t sure how to define it at such a young age. She’s a strong emapth and sensitive. She’s felt the physical pain and emotional abuse from others, not to mention her ability to communicate with animals.

It’s not until her early twenties that she learns of her gifts and becomes aware of a most ancient and secret society of women living in New Mexico. Another surprise is that her own aunt is a member! This comes at a time when Daniella’s life is about to be thrust into the world of the Supernatural—and not by her own choices.

Something wicked this way comes!

~ An excerpt from The Good Teacher

"There is no cure for this gift you possess, only a means to control it. That's the secret—to control and use it for the good of all intended. I happen to know Josephina Deluna has a class over at Desert Mirage for sensitives and empaths. You'll learn how to ground and protect yourself there."
Something told me she knew much more about this than she was letting on. I flashed back to my day at the shop when Josephina’s eyes had lit up at the mention of my aunt's name.
"So, who's this Josephina lady, anyway?"
"I told you: I met her years ago when I attended the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales where we had a close-knit group for women. The two of us seemed to hit it off, and one day she invited me to her shop. I even took a few of her classes. She's what you would call a “white witch."
"You . . . you took classes? And from a witch?" I was taken aback by her confession—my family were devout Catholics.
"She's well-versed in the art of the old ways of the Women of the Willow Wood and their worship to Santa Muerta. I'm still a Christian, Daniella. Do you think I'd have a shrine to our Lady if I weren't?
"This gift runs in the family. It can be of great benefit if you use it wisely. If you don't, it can destroy your life and the lives of those around you."
I looked at her in amazement. "Tell me about these Women of the Willow Wood." I was picturing  women with long robes, traipsing around the woods at midnight.

Book 1 is available @ Amazon

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Publishers and Publishing Help

You wrote a fantastic story. Now What?

There are many selling sites where you can self-publish your book.
However, it takes a long time to learn the requirements such as correct book formatting and uploading the manuscript, have an attractive book cover made, register copyright, and when the book is published, promote and market your book. Not every author has the time to learn the process.

Traditional publishing:
When a reputable publisher accepts you book, they do every step of the publishing process and they don't charge any fees. Your book is published under the publisher's name and they pay you the agreed percentage of the royalty collected from sales. Traditional publishers make sure your book is edited and they market the book because their investment return depends on the high number of sales.

Vanity publishers:
They accept any book and offer publishing packages ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 or more. They format your book, create book cover (usually don't edit) and publish your book under their name and pay you royalty. Vanity publishers are not interested in marketing and selling the book, they make their profit by selling the publishing packages to authors and the books are usually priced very high, therefore there is very little chance of getting sales.

Self-publishing services:
Publishing services provide assistance to authors who can't or don't want to learn the entire publishing process. Some services do only certain steps of the publishing process such as formatting or book cover design.
Others do the entire process. The author gives them the edited or unedited manuscript and they every step with the author's approval. they publish the book under your selling site account, under your name, and you collect 100% of the royalties earned.

When you have the manuscript ready, shop around and find the best way to publish it. Author support groups are great to get word of mouth recommendations from those who worked with the services before. Best of luck with your new books!

Golden Box Books is a Publishing Service Provider.
Click to read our portfolio below and visit the WEBSITE

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Galactic Safety Council

Title – Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully

Series – Galactic Safety Ambassadors
Author – Christina Weigand
Genre – MG Fantasy
Publication Date – October 24, 2016
Length (Pages/# Words) – 87 pages
Publisher – MuseItUp Publishing
Cover Artist – Charlotte Volnek

Book Blurb/Synopsis –

Nathan and Paul have a bully problem. Billy, the school bully, has chosen them to be the target of his aggression. Paul, along with Sir E. Robert Smythe of the Galactic Safety Council, discovers the root of Billy’s issues and strives to convince the bully to change his ways.

When Billy runs away from home, Paul goes after him. Billy’s dad, the cause of Billy’s anger, finds the boys and threatens them. They are rescued but not before each are injured and Billy’s dad escapes.

During their recovery they learn more about each other and face Billy’s dad once again. Can they overcome their differences and confront the bullying going on in their school before someone gets seriously hurt?


Paul plopped on his bed and stared at the computer screen. Mom had grounded him and said no computer time, except for homework, for a week.
     He tried to explain what had happened without ratting out Billy, but hadn’t been successful. He didn’t know how long he could keep this up. Sooner or later something was going to have to change. “I wish there was someone I could talk to about this,” Paul said out loud to no one, “but mom said no computer time so I can’t even call Nathan.”
     While brushing his teeth he thought about the great uneaten lunch mom packed, and the paper airplane Billy threw. He didn’t even see what was on the note before Mrs. Chrinshaw took it from him. It wasn’t until he was in Ms. Harris’s office that he got a glance at it and saw the monster that Billy had drawn. He had to admit Billy was a pretty good artist and wished he could draw like that. The only thing he could do well was run fast, and climb trees. There wasn’t much chance to use those skills in school, unless running away from Billy counted.
     Well no use worrying about it now. He might as well try and get some sleep. Paul pulled the blanket over his head and switched on the flashlight he had under the pillow. Grabbing the book he was reading for school, A Neverending Story, he finished a chapter before falling asleep.
     The bed shook and a bright flash of light startled him awake. The book fell to the floor as he threw his blanket off. Sitting on the foot of his bed was a creature unlike anything he had ever seen. Paul wasn’t sure whether to be afraid or brave. The purple and lime green creature had the head of the family’s Saint Bernard, the body of a large jack rabbit and the tail of a lion. A bowler hat sat on his round head and a monocle graced his one eye. He wore an orange vest with a chain and watch attached to it. In his hand he held a jade blue parasol.
     “You asked for someone to talk to,” the creature said in a proper British accent.
     “I did? Oh yeah, I guess I did. But what…who are you?”
     “Quit blubbering, Paul, we don’t have much time.”
     “You know my name? Who are you?”
     “Of course I know your name. As to who I am, Sir E. Robert Smythe, Senior Safety Ambassador for the Galactic Safety Council, at your service. You may call me Sir E. Robert. I have come from the planet of Gwill. Queen Sage realized you were in trouble and sent me to aid you. Now tell me about your problems.”
     Paul proceeded to explain everything that happened. When he finished, the creature sat on the bed in silence for several seconds and Paul began to wonder if this was real. He pinched himself. “Ow, that hurt.”
     “Of course it did. Why would you hurt yourself?”
     “I thought maybe I was dreaming.”
     “This isn’t a dream. Humans can be so obtuse at times. Now be quiet while I think.” They sat on the bed a few more moments and the creature started to talk. “We seem to have a twofold problem here. First, this Billy person has some anger issues. We have to discover the source of his angst and then we can better confront what is bothering him and put an end to his torturing you. Second, I sense that Morton the Morph has a hand in this and Queen Sage will need to be notified posthaste, before we can begin to solve the problem.”
     Before Paul could respond there was a flash of light and the creature disappeared.
     “Hey, wait! Where did you go? I still have questions.”
     A voice echoed in his room. “I will be there when you need me.”
     Paul punched his pillow and pinched his arm again. “Not a dream. Not much help either.”

Title --Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective

Series – Galactic Safety Ambassadors

Author -- Christina Weigand
Creator -- Ricci Moore
Genre -- Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publication Date -- November 2017
Length -- 95 pages
Publisher – MuseItUp Publishing
Designer -- Charlotte Volnek

Book Blurb

During summer vacation, while Anna and her brother Ben along with Bridget and her brother, Sam are participating in the Summer Reading Adventure at the local library the town council announces that they are building low income housing for the homeless. While the housing is being constructed a tent community has been established on an old soccer field on the other side of a haunted swamp. Sam is upset by this turn of events, but his anger is only beginning.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to them, the girls befriend Zoe, one of the homeless people living in the tents. The girls spend time together tracking down clues supplied by the books they are borrowing from the library that will eventually lead to a prize at the end of the Summer Reading Adventure.
When Bridget and Sam’s grandfather dies in a tragic car accident Sam’s anger increases it is discovered that Zoe’s father was the drunk driver in the truck that crashed into grandfather’s car. The family lawyer reveals in the will that the farm and house have been left to the community to build low income housing for the homeless.
Sam’s anger reaches a boiling point and he directs it at Zoe and hatches a plan to get back at the people he thinks are taking away everything he holds dear.

     “All right. Love you mom.” Zoe kissed her mom on the cheek and ran back to the camp.
     She found the book on her cot in the tent and started to head back to the park. Passing the swamp she noticed Morton the Morph, the yellow toad like creature and his small blue pear shaped panngoes playing on the edge of the swamp. One of the panngoes bounced into the swamp.
     “Hey, you guys shouldn’t go in there,” Zoe yelled.
     “Oh don’t worry about them. They’ll be fine, just a bunch of panngoes,” Morton answered as more of the creatures bounced into the swamp.
     Zoe heard some dogs barking and one of the panngoes squealing. “One of them might be hurt. Shouldn’t you go in there and check on them.” She heard another sound, children talking and laughing. “Oh no someone’s coming. I have to hide. Mamma doesn’t want me to talk to any strangers.” The swamp would be the best place to hide, so she followed the panngoes into the swamp.
     One of the bigger ones had fallen in a hole and was calling out for the others to help him. Zoe followed the sound of the crying.

     Sam stomped through the kitchen door of their two-story house. “Some animal dumped the trash cans again. Why does it only happen on the days I have to take out the trash?” He snarled as he grabbed a trash bag and a pair of rubber gloves.
     “Sam, stop your complaining and get it done. We’re supposed to be meeting Hunter and Anna to go to the park for the Reading Club kick-off,” his sister, Bridget said.
     “Yeah, I’d rather head over to the Gullies Swamp soccer field for a quick game of soccer. I’m sure Hunter would too. I’m too old for the reading club.”
     “Well, you can’t do that.” Sam’s dad said. “Didn’t you see today’s paper? They voted to take that field on the other side of Gullies Swamp and turn it into a homeless community while they build some low cost housing for the homeless.”
     “Why the heck are they doing that?” Sam said. “Where am I supposed to play soccer?”
     “The high school field is open and the new field at the park.” Bridget answered.
     “But we always play at the Gullies Swamp fields.”
     “Well I think those fields are creepy. You have to go past the haunted swamp.” Bridget said.
     “It’s not haunted.” Sam said.
     “But you told me…”Bridget said.
     “Bridget, how many times have I told you not to listen to your brother’s stories about the swamp?” Mom said. “He does that just to scare you so you’ll stay away. Sam, finish cleaning up the trash so you can take your sister to the library.”

      Sam grabbed the broom and stomped out the door slamming it behind him.

Purchase Links


Monday, June 17, 2019

Glorie Townson and It’s Like the Full Moon

Hi there, Toi here. Today, I’m happy to share a bit of my alter ego, Glorie Townson, with you.
But first…
Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.

In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the States and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.

A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?

Add on Goodreads 
So, Glorie Townson is a name I came up with to represent all the aspects of my personality that lean more towards tales of romance. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with publishing multiple genres under the same name, but when you are known as a geek girl and have most writing credits in the speculative genres, finding a better way to reach a new audience isn’t a bad idea. The few people who’ve reached out to me to tell me that they’ve enjoyed my debut romcom, have all found it a bit surprising that my real name is Toi and that I am not known for writing romance.

For me, this means two things. 1) I had good instincts when I thought Glorie sounded more like someone who writes romance than does Toi. 2) I may have dug myself a little hole. My entire web presence is built on my platform of being a book-loving geek girl who likes comic books and movies. I never really put much out there to support Glorie. I honestly never thought anyone would read It’s Like the Full Moon.

Oh well, lesson learned. Someone did read the book and I’m glad they did. The planned sequel has been in the works for a while and I hope it entertains as much as the first one when it’s ready for release.

Until then, why not check out the chapter by chapter playlist I created to accompany the book. It’s quite a ride.



On a completely separate note, Happy Juneteenth (June 19th) to my US brothers and sisters!

Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Are You a Super-taster? Find Out

Does your tongue turn blue when you eat foods with blue food coloring?

When I was a child and licked blue ice cream or sucked on blue candy with my friends, I was so disappointed when everyone's tongue turned blue but mine.
Later I learned why.

Humans are born with the ability to detect five types of taste – sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and umami (of the five basic tastes and is best described as a savory or “meaty” flavor) – though our individual sensitivity to each is determined largely by genetics.

If you write a list of all the foods you like and dislike – and how much you like or dislike each one – you’d end up with an exhaustive list that was completely, uniquely yours. Kind of like fingerprints that changes over time and shaped by culture and family and everything you’ve ever done.

In fact, they tend to change in certain predictable ways as we age. Take sugar, for example. Enjoyment of sweetness is innate – nature’s way of making sure we take in calorie-rich foods – but we tend to enjoy it less as adults than we do as kids. The opposite is true for vegetables, which we tend to like a whole lot more in adulthood than we do in our earliest years.

How can we explain this?
Scientists believe one reason for kids’ love of sugar, for instance, may be that they seek out more calories to fuel their growing bodies, giving them an advantage when food is scarce.

Actually, we shouldn’t like green vegetables at all. Evolution wired us for an aversion to bitter tastes, a trait our ancestors developed to protect themselves against accidental poisoning. The problem with this, of course, is we’ve generally figured out by now which plants will kill us and which won’t, yet the aversion remains – even though plenty of bitter compounds, like those found in vegetables, are actually important sources of nutrition.

Childhood experiences also play a role in our taste preference. Maybe you once saw a family member get sick shortly after eating a certain food and then tripped and hit your head. Those negative impressions were enough to cement an aversion that stays with you.

Even the smallest of experiences, in other words, can shape our food likes and dislikes in ways we don’t even realize – and sometimes these fleeting moments can override culture, evolution, and everything else.

One biological mechanism for why we perceive tastes differently is in our taste buds. Scientists categorize three different groups of people, based on genetics: ‘”super-tasters”, “non-tasters” and “regular tasters”‘.

Are you a super-tater or sun-taster?
To find out, put blue food coloring on your tongue. Blue dye doesn't stick to taste papillae, so if your tongue doesn't get very blue, you're probably a super-taster. The bluer it gets, the greater the chance you are a sub-taster.

Super-tasters are those who have more “papillae” taste receptors, and can taste certain things like bitterness more intensely and often find strong flavors overwhelming. This leads to a higher likelihood of aversion to foods that are bitter, spicy and hot. They add cream to their coffee and order food mild instead of spicy.

Sub-tasters, on the other hand, have low papillae density and prefer their food super hot and super spicy. "More hot sauce please!"

Hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new.
~Erika M Szabo

Click below to find out what I do

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Deadly Deception -The Devil's Deal-

By P. J. Mann

With this book, we arrive at the end of the trilogy, where we are going to meet some new friends and as well some old friends. As the investigation in Tbilisi, reached a sudden and unjustified stop, Lieutenant Avaliani and detective Sheen, will start to collect all the pieces of the puzzle scattered in front of their eyes.
The murder of the prostitute in Tbilisi (Book I) finally, finds its connection with the mysterious disappearances, and everything seems to gravitate around the figure of Dr. Wright. For this reason, all the former patients will be brought back to reconstruct the facts to get a clear idea of the dynamics of the events. Yet, they soon will realize that the murder and disappearance are just the tip of the iceberg in a case that becomes more and more complicated.
Julius feels like he’s losing the grip with his life; grappling with low esteem, overwhelming nicotine addiction, and a complicated relationship with an overbearing father.
As he finds himself in the studio of the eminent psychiatrist Dr. Wright, Julius is proposed to leave for a two weeks’ experimental therapy to get rid of his addiction.
At the same time, Detective Bochorishvili of Tbilisi Police Department and his cousin Lieutenant Avaliani of the Bureau of the Investigative Services in Boston start to reconsider an old case involving a patient of Dr. Wright, and the web of shadows spreads from the Georgian capital to Boston and begins to whirl in a vortex around the figure of Dr. Wright.
Suspicions rise and fall, spies lurk in the darkness, and mysteries call out to be solved before more individuals meet their fate at the ambitious hands of evil.
Closing the trilogy The Devil’s Deal will bring to light a question; will justice triumph, or will it be another Deadly Deception?

It was late evening on Christmas Eve; Gabriel was alone drinking a whiskey in his usual pub. He wasn’t out for fun; he was there for business.
Dirty business, he thought with a smirk on his face as he sipped his whiskey. He looked around the semi-empty pub, which generally at that time of the evening would have been full of people.
But Christmas was different than the other holidays, and many people preferred to spend the evening at home with the whole family gathered together at the dinner table.
Christmas never really meant anything to him, just another day where people who do not have a companion either keep themselves busy with their job, stick with the family or consider suicide, he thought.
He was also going to spend that day alone, but rather than thinking about suicide or spending time with the family, he preferred to keep busy with his business, whatever it meant, and on that particular cold, foggy night, his business was finding a victim for Dr. Wright’s research.
He sipped the last of his whiskey and stood up from the chair, grabbing his leather coat ready to start his job.
With a sigh and not a steady thought in his mind, he started up the engine of his car and, slowly he started to drive towards Lyndhurst Street, at the corner with Washington Street, where at night, would have been populated with drug dealers and prostitutes.
“The Hell Zone,” he grinned as he slowed down his ride looking for the right target when he finally spotted her. “Believe me, baby, maybe it is better this way. Life is only sorrow, and for people like you it might be more humane to die soon,” he whispered as he pulled over and rolled down the window.

Links to the book:
ebook on :

Links to the complete trilogy:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Christina Weigand

Anne Frank was born on June 12 1929 in Frankfurt Germany. She was the youngest child of Edith and Otto Frank. Her father had an extensive library so she along with her older sister, Margot were both encouraged to read.  In 1933 the family moved to Amsterdam where Otto started a company that sold fruit extract pectin. The girls were enrolled in school, Margot in public school and Anne in a Montessori school. Margot demonstrated and aptitude for math while Anne showed an aptitude for reading and writing.

In May 1940 Germany invaded the Netherlands and began to persecute Jews. Otto tried to arrange for his family to emigrate to America, but the U.S. Consulate was closed and all of his paperwork lost. Anne was excelling in her studies, but when it was decreed that Jews could only attend Jewish schools she was enrolled in the Jewish Lyceum. In the meantime Otto had taken precautions to protect his family and businesses by transferring his shares in the companies and resigning as director. Because of these steps he was able to earn a minimal income.

In June 1942 Anne received a diary for her thirteenth birthday and
began writing in it almost immediately. In July 1942 the family was forced to move into hiding to prevent Margot’s relocation to a work camp. They moved into a three story space entered from a landing above the company offices and were later joined by the van Pels and Fritz Ffeffer.

Anne recorded all of this in her diary along with her observations of the happenings in the world outside of their hiding place. She examined her relationships with members of her family and the strong differences in their personalities. Anne felt closer to her father, while Margot was closer to their mother. As time passed and the girls matured they confided in each other and consequently became closer.

The sisters hoped to return to school once the hostilities were over, so continued their studies through correspondence courses as well as continued reading and writing. Anne constantly wrote and edited her diary entries in which she included a narrative of events as they occurred  as well as her feelings, beliefs and ambitions. She aspired to become a journalist

Her last entry was August 1, 1944.

On that day their hiding place was discovered and the family along with the others was taken into custody. The family was eventually sent to Auschwitz concentration camp where her father was wrenched from his family.

Anne and the other women were stripped naked to be disinfected, had their heads shaved and were tattooed with an identifying number. She along with the other women was used for slave labor, being forced to haul rocks and dig rolls of sod. At night she was crammed into an overcrowded barracks. Anne became ill and was moved into the infirmary and then in October 1944 was transferred to a labour camp. Her mother was left behind and died of starvation.

Early in 1945 a typhus epidemic spread through the camp and other diseases including typhoid fever were rampant.  It was in these horrible conditions that Anne died and was buried in a mass grave at an unknown location.

Otto Frank survived and after the death of the sisters was confirmed, Miep Gies, the woman who hid them, gave him the diary and a bundle of loose notes.

After several tries at publication, finally in 1947 he was successful. This was followed by more printings over the years. In 1955 a play based on the diary was premiered in New York City and followed in 1959 by a film which was a critical and commercial success.

Anne Frank as a writer and a humanist has grown through the years. She is frequently identified as a single representative of the millions of people who suffered as she did.

Over the years many people have tried to prove that the diary was a forgery. Fortunately all claims were disproved and the diary stands as a testament to the horrible actions of the times.

Photos and Bio from:

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Multi-Author Colaborations

Multi-Author Box Sets and Anthologies are the worth the effort?

Anthologies are awesome in theory. You get samples of the writing styles of various authors usually for a pittance.  For the contributors, we get a little publicity with the possibility of increasing our fan base.  Avid fans of an author will often buy anthologies they are part of and, theoretically, they will read the books and see what the rest of us do!

How exciting, and it seems to be one of the easier methods of promotion.  One short piece and you have permanent exposure. Or so we believe.

Well, theory and reality don't always meet in the middle.  I remember being so excited when my poems "Balloon" and "Mausoleum" were accepted to be part of Cogs In Time.  I was over the moon!  They were my first attempts to write Steampunk, so I did not really think I had actually met the criteria. To be included with all the talent that was in that collection gave my ego a big boost. I continued to offer poems for any anthology.  

The Cogs In Time anthologies were just done for their promotional value. I actually was included in Cogs II but declined being in Cogs III.  At the time I could not guarantee that I would be able to promote as much as I should.

Others I was part of offered their royalties for good causes:  Read For Animals and  Authors Against Bullying were for social issues.

While Klarissa's Dream, Un-Turn This Stone, and Not Enough To Quit are to help raise money for cures.

One, Touched by Shadow, Caressed by Light,  I just participated in for the sake of seeing if I could write erotic poetry, lol.

For all of them, I enjoyed being part of the process.  There was camaraderie and mutual respect shared among all the participants.

Except for the ones raising money for cures, they are no longer even available, except as resales of paperbacks. Once the hype of the release events were over, there was no more interest. The books got very few reviews and they were mainly from the authors who had taken part. There was no increase in fan bases, no new readers, just another book that got lost in the internet.

Multi-Author box sets I believe are suffering the same fate.  Although they get some sales, "15 books for 99cents" is a great deal. I do not believe many people actually read them.  They may read the one their "fave author" included but I think that is the end of it.

I am guilty of this attitude myself.  I will help out my fave authors, if they are in an anthology/box set I will buy it. If it is for a good cause, that is just a plus.  However, I would bet I will never open the first book.  I was made aware of this trait recently when Eva Pasco released her novella, Mr. Wizardo.  I have Once Upon A Fabulous Time, the anthology that it originally was published in...bought it the day it went on sale.  It is somewhere on my kindle.  I bought her book as a stand alone, and actually read it.  My only disappointment was realizing I had this entertaining work gathering cyberdust instead of being enjoyed.

I think these types of collections could do all they are supposed to.  I will continue to offer my support for any good cause, be it by participating or by purchasing the creations.  But in all honesty I will have to admit I won't read them.

I just believe that there are too many free and underpriced books out there filling up peoples electronic bookshelves that no one could ever read them all. Big time authors will be read, and us Indie Authors have to keep our fingers crossed hoping someone will take a chance.  I do not see how flooding the few true readers will ever be beneficial. 

What do you think?  Do you read all the collections you buy?

Monday, June 10, 2019

The ToiBox of Serials 1: Heart of the Golden Stag

Over on my personal blog, The ToiBox of Words, I’ve experimented with short fiction quite a bit. I’ve entered many blog writing contests and sometimes, just played around with it. In most cases, I’ve found myself expanding the stories I started on my blog and turning them into something more. All the stories in this series will be a product of what I started on my blog and then later added to in private. I will be sharing these stories in parts and encourage readers to leave positive or critical feedback (rude comments will be deleted). Perhaps, one day I’ll publish another personal anthology with these. Enjoy.

Side note: This story has never actually appeared on the ToiBox blog but was derived from a contest I entered and did not win. Still, the submission process was a good learning experience for me. This story is a retelling/reimagining with a twist. 

Heart of the Golden Stag, part 1
     Rosy morning light shone down and warmed the dark olive flesh of a thin arm before it retreated beneath a blanket of golden hair. Shimmering in the pink light, the hair rippled as the body beneath wiggled and stretched awake. Soon, Aaron sat up with a wide yawn as he craned his neck to turn away, shielding his eyes from the glare. With a short sigh, Aaron flipped the long strands of hair over his shoulders before heading toward the washbasin.

     After washing and dressing, Aaron tip-toed around the confined quarters of his room, in the convent’s tower, to seek out his most prized, and secret, treasure. Wrapped tightly with blankets, Aaron pulled the bundle from underneath his bed and quietly revealed the cold and clear metallic glint of the looking glass.

     Staring at the feminine reflection before him, Aaron scrunched his nose before pulling his golden locks away from his shoulders to expose the boy disguised within. Aaron recalled the day the nuns first told him why he had to grow his hair long and wear girl’s clothing. Sister Norman sat the young Aaron in the middle of an expansive ivory hide and told him the story of his birth.

     It was the first night of the Twilight Moon, a full fall moon that rises in the East just as the sun is setting in the West, causing the sky to turn violet and allowing both the sun and moon to shine in unison for one enchanted hour. The Ivory Doe, the goddess of the North Woods, burst through the forest into our garden and pleaded with its eyes for us to conceal it. In the distance, the horns and treads of hunters could be heard and felt as they drew near. We hurried the large creature into our shed and then spread our numbers in all directions to throw-off the hunters’ tracking dogs. I alone remained; I was there when the Ivory Doe gave birth to her son, a golden fawn unlike any I’d ever seen.

     The mother stared into my eyes and called me forward. I placed my hand upon her antlers as her son fed at her teat. Mentally, she conveyed her story. Chased for months by the hunters seeking her magic. Being with child, she conserved her magic instead of using it to dispel the hunters. As her life began to reach its end, she wanted to make sure that her son would live. She impressed upon me that until her child reached full maturity, he was at risk of having his magic stolen. Should he live to see that day, he would become invulnerable and powerful. If he should find a human worthy of his love, he would grant them a great blessing. With her last pained breath, the Ivory Doe enveloped her fawn in white light and then faded away, leaving behind an infant boy, wrapped in her preserved hide.

     Hearing his name being called from elsewhere in the convent, Aaron quickly concealed his mirror and rushed off to assist the sisters. All these years, they had been so good to him, helping him to remain hidden and teaching him what they could of the Ivory Does. As Aaron’s eighteenth birthday drew near, his toes and fingers constantly tingled with anticipation as magic pulsed through his body. Aaron longed to love the nuns as they loved him, but their shelter had confined him and suppressed the transformation he yearned for.
To be continued...
Heart of the Golden Stag 2018 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas 

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