October 31, 2017

Trick-or-Treat Reads Blog Hop - FREE EBOOKS


Trick-or-Treat Reads is an annual Halloween event where authors put their books for free and readers go trick-or-treating to get the books. BOOKS ARE THE CANDY!


Disaster Crimes Series:
Hurricane Crimes #1
Seismic Crimes #2
Lightning Crime #2.5
Tsunami Crime #3


A freak lightning storm unleashes its energy on Central Florida. Bolts of lightning crash to the ground. Torrential rain soaks everything within seconds. And the power goes out, casting Beth and Donovan’s apartment into darkness. Beth is already on edge after receiving a menacing phone call several months ago, and this storm doesn’t help with her nerves.

Donovan tries to distract her from Mother Nature’s tantrum, but someone else has other plans. When they find the front door to their apartment wide open, they soon realize it isn’t an accident. Someone is in their apartment with them.

What crime can happen as fast as lightning?



October 23, 2017

Diverse Characters - V + W


There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol

Here are the diverse characters for V:








Vietnamese Individuals



Voodoo Priestesses

Here are the diverse characters for W:


Wealthy Individuals


Welsh Individuals




Wiccans (Real Witches)




SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with V or W let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.

Have you written about a character from my list?

October 20, 2017

Toi’s Top 5 Angel Books Blitz / #Kindle Sale + Paperback #Giveaway.

In celebration of author, Toi Thomas’ birthday, on October 21st, all her ebooks are on sale $0 - $1.99 from October 20th – October 24th. All these books are also available in print and come with reasonable shipping through Createspace.com, if you don’t have Amazon Prime. Check them out below and then stick around for Toi’s Top 5 Angel Books and giveaway.


Legend of the Boy, In the Window, and Other short stories 

sale $0.99 |Createspace $9.99

Collection of multi-genre stories including science fiction, romance, and paranormal. The first title story is that of a boy who must destroy the world so he can save humanity.

It’s Like the Full Moon 

sale $1.99 | Createspace $14.99

A romantic comedy and the first in a series. The mild-mannered Rebecca gets caught up in a most unlikely love-triangle and her BFF Lisa isn’t much help.

Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel  

sale $1.99 | Createspace $14.99

Giovanni’s a creature out of time. Mira’s a doctor trying to classify him. Beauty and the Beast meet Jekyll and Hyde in this paranormal romance with biblical influences.

40 DAYS AND NIGHTs OF ETERNAL CURSE- a nonfiction companion guide to the novel
sale FREE | Createspace $5.99 

Eternal Curse: Battleground 

sale $1.99 | Createspace $14.99

A family saga that touches the past and future. Giovanni’s story will bring you to tears as loss and duty blur the lines of hope for what is to come.

BATTLEGROUND SURVIVAL 101- a nonfiction companion guide to the novel
sale FREE | Createspace $5.99 

Chip and Skip Need Each Other  
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

What Does Joe Need 
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

These two simple, yet vibrant stories teach young children, and those with special needs, the difference and importance of needs and wants, at home, school, and overall. Sold separately.

Plants and Animals Change Over Time 
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

Land Changes Over Time 
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

These two simple, yet vibrant stories teach young children, and those with special needs, the importance and inevitability of change in living things and the world. Sold separately.


Hi there; I'm Toi. If you aren’t familiar with me yet, don’t worry; this is your chance to learn that I love Batman, Betty Boop, Star Wars, and Angels. I like all kinds of angels. Good ones, bad ones, and creatures with wings that look like angels but may not actually be. I don’t think it’s just a matter of wings either. There are other winged creatures I like, such as dragons, but there are also some I don’t like such as flying monkeys or seagulls. LOL! But seriously, I’ve grown a fondness for angel lore and stories about and or containing angel-like creatures. Heck, I even write about them in my Eternal Curse Series. While my books are influenced by Bible tales, a great many angel stories are not. Either way, if it’s about angels, I’m probably going to like it. So, here’s a list of the Top 5 angel books (or books with an angel or angel-like character) I’ve read in at least the last ten years, and in no particular order.

Angelfall - Book Depository | Amazon

The Conduit - An older edition cover; same awesome story. 

The Devil’s Daughter - Book Depository | Amazon

Mercury Falls - Book Depository | Amazon

Secret in the Wings - Amazon

If you like angels or supernatural and urban fantasy stories, you should enter my paperback giveaway (open to US only) of the books mentioned above. I’ve enjoyed them and hope you will too. If you are looking for discounted print books with free international shipping, give Book Depository a try. Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me... And remember, book reviews are every author's life force. :)

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October 16, 2017

Empowering Women - Viktoria Modesta

Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:

Viktoria Modesta

I found out about Viktoria Modesta a few years ago through Facebook when her debut song “Prototype” come out. She is a Latvian-born English singer with a prosthetic leg. She suffered health struggles from birth, leaving her with a dysfunctional leg after 15 surgeries. Inspired by creative imagery of Alexander McQueen and Matthew Barney, she had her lower limb amputated and replaced with a prosthetic to finally have control over her body. This was the end of her limitations and soon she entered the music scene.

She uses her creativity to mix “fashion, sensuality, and physical augmentation in a progressive way.” What she does with her prosthetic is much like what Lady Gaga did with her outfits.

Vikoria is bringing a new awareness to people with physical augmentations, and she's fighting the stigma that augmentation is ugly. She's never identified herself as disabled or let herself be constrained by her physical body.

She was also part of Coldplay’s performance at the Paralympics in 2012 where she portrayed the Amazing Snow Queen.

She is a model, singer, and fashion icon.

In 2014, she launched a collaboration with Chanel 4 for the campaign Born Risky, presenting herself as the world’s first bionic popstar. It was this video that amazed me. What she does with her prosthetic is stunning.

October 09, 2017

The Artist's Way / Books for Writers

NOTE: I will be giving away a paperback copy of this book in my October 24th newsletter. Are you subscribed? Make sure you are so you have a chance to enter. Sign Up Here

If you’re not a spiritual person, there are things about this book that you may not like, but there are also things that you’ll benefit from. NOTE: There are mixed reviews. Much of the book I didn’t connect with, but many techniques I found to be smart and clever.

One of these techniques is morning pages. Julia Cameron encourages you to wake up each morning, and before you do anything (even have the first cup of coffee), write 3 pages of whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t have to make sense or be descriptive. “Nothing is too petty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included.” Even if all you write about are your problems, get it down, because that negativity is lowering your creativity.

Julia discusses our censor. This is where out critic is, and Julie says, “always remember that your censor’s negative options are not the truth.” She prompts us to find a cartoon image of our censor (perhaps the shark from JAWS), put an X through it, and post it where we write.

“Just making the censor into the nasty, clever little character that it is begins to pry loose some of its power over you and your creativity.”

And two pieces of advice that rang true to me: 

“Judging your early artistic efforts is artistic abuse.”

“…you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself the permission to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, overtime, a very good one.”

This book is also a 12-week course “to becoming and discovering your creative self.” Julia walks you through tasks to help you get to know yourself and your dreams, and she pushes you to meet those dreams by taking easy steps. Some of these may seem silly, but I’ve always enjoyed self-help books. I couldn’t do all of the lessons because I got the book from the library, but I did create wish lists.

QUESTIONS: What image would you use for your censor?

October 04, 2017

I'm Stepping into the Audiobook World


A couple of months ago, I found out my publisher was doing audiobooks for their authors. I immediately put in a request for all of the Disaster Crimes books. On September 17th (Sunday), I got an email letting me know all of the books' applications were uploaded to ACX.com. The next night (Monday), I was given 5 auditions for Hurricane Crimes!

It was strange and neat to hear my words come to life. I chose an audition I liked where the narrator did a marvelous job of not only sounding real but added emotion. The contract was sent to her for Hurricane Crimes. There might be a male narrator for the other books, which I'm okay with since Hurricane Crimes was only in Beth's POV, but the other books include Donovan's POV. 

Now I'm going to have to figure out how to promote audiobooks. ANY IDEAS?


Yolanda Asked Me: Can an Author make a Success of His or Her Books without being on Social Media? This video provides my answer.


For October/November, the IWSG Book Club is reading: 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

In a poll in our group, structure was voted #2 for what our members want to learn more about, and this book is a great example of story structure that works.

The discussion will begin November 22nd.



My very own ebook Ghost of Death is part of this prize! :)

To celebrate the release of her latest novel, Carry Me Homeauthor Jessica Therrien is hosting a HUUUGE BACK TO SCHOOL BOOK GIVEAWAY! The giveaway includes nearly 50 books, all from different authors. Keep scrolling for prize info and how to enter the giveaway.

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