Author Spotlight – Toi Thomas

Introducing Toi Thomas

I’ve been at this for about 10 years. I’ve entertained paranormal fans with my Eternal Curse series, an angels, demons, and others tale with a Christian world view. I stretch minds and imaginations with my short story collection, Legend of the Boy…, featuring works of science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, romance, and suspense. Glorie Townson, my pen name, brings along a bit of romance and comedy in the first book of my Sayings Series, It’s Like the Full Moon. I’ve even delved into the world of educational children’s books to enlighten and entertain little minds. Something for the whole family, here.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

A self-proclaimed techie and foodie, I was born in Texas, but consider Virginia, USA to be home. I enjoy reading, cooking, painting, geek culture, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with my family. Currently working as a special education teacher’s assistant while blogging and writing full-time, I find comfort and peace of mind in chocolate, green tea, and naps. My husband and I have been married for twelve years and share our home with a tortoise named Betty and a Redbone Coonhound named Margie, who’s sure to inspire future publications.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

I’m currently working on two different sequels, but the one that’s pulling me the most is for my Eternal Curse Series. When I first wrote Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel it was a pivotal moment in my life. I had no idea I was writing a book. I just thought I was piecing together remnants of a reoccurring dream so it would finally go away.
As I developed the story, I realized that I didn’t want it to end. I’d grown attached to the gray man, who later became Giovanni. Giovanni was a sad and secluded character, and it was my job to fill his world with purpose, wonder, and even a few companions. What I created, still to this day, blows my mind. I don’t think it’s the greatest story ever conceived, but the fact that it came from me, humbles me.
Giovanni’s story makes me laugh and cry and wonder; what if? By the time I finished the first draft, I realized it was a book and had finally decided to share it with a small few for feedback while starting a blog to help me plan out the developmental details. It was amazing to see Giovanni’s tale of literal and emotional transformation evolve and develop into the story it is now.

Who is your intended readership?

Most of my work is written for adults, but is suitable for teens. I write adult fiction, mostly in the speculative genres, which is why I took on the pen name, Glorie Townson, when I decided to delve into romantic comedy.  Recently, I allowed my day job to influence my writing by developing four educational children’s books. For those, I saw no need to take on another pen name; it’s simply an extension, another part of my writing spectrum.  Most of my promotion is split between catering to adult readers of speculative fiction or readers of contemporary or romantic fiction. The children’s books tend to be bonuses discovered by satisfied moms or dads.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I look back in retrospect, it’s clear that I’ve always been a writer. I’ve found old notebooks filled with stories, drawings, bad poetry, character ideas, and more. For me, though, writing was never something I considered as a career. I’ve also loved technology since I was a kid and got my degree in computers, even interning for a short time with N.A.S.A Langley. When I begin to crave a creative outlet beyond my amateurish paintings and baking from scratch, I began to develop a love of reading and writing that I’d let slip away from me.
When a reoccurring dream began to haunt my days with figments of a story that made no sense, I began to write it down until I had something to base a whole book on. Once I completed that story, I knew writing was the one thing missing from my life. I’ve never stopped since. I may not always pursue publication, but I will always write.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

This question requires two answers, sort of. When I look back at the many stories I read in my youth, before school work tainted my love of reading, there were so many authors who made me feel like I could do anything. There was one, however, who brought out my creativity. What would now be considered fanfiction, as a kid, I paid homage to J.M.Barrie with by writing my own tales of Neverland with me as one of the many lost boys. That story, at the time, made we want to create new worlds and characters.
As an adult, I’m influence by everything around me; of course, that includes what I read. I try not to take what I’m reading too seriously, unless it’s nonfiction. I’ve rekindled my love of reading simply for pleasure and try not to let my writer’s mind get in the way. At the moment, I’d say my favorite authors are Stacey Rourke, Marissa Mayer, Deborah Harkness, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Tricia Drammeh.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

For a young or aspiring writer, I’d say it’s important to know why you are writing.  I think the why is one of the most overlooked, yet powerful, struggles a writer faces. Are you writing for pleasure? Are you writing for therapy or understanding? Are you writing for publication, just to put something out there? Are you writing for money? Are you writing for fame? The why will determine the course of action you take in your writing life. It will decide if or how much research and effort will go into the development of your work. It will decide if or how much time and or money will be spent on promotion, and so much more.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

I once wrote a short story about a gray cat who stalked me and my sister around the little town in Texas, where we lived at the time. Everyone thought it was a good and creepy story I wrote for the Halloween season, but in reality, it was a true story. Yes, there were some exaggerations, but it really happened.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I’m a geekgirl. I collect comic books and action figures (guess that makes me a bit of a collector too). I also collect vinyl records. I love the cinema and taking pictures of my family and my dog, Margie. I like to bake and cook, from scratch when I can, but it’s not required. I’ve been struggling to find the right balance between my faith and all my other interests, and since I’m still seeking, I feel like I’m on the right path (I don’t feel lost and I haven’t given up).

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I have a ridiculously long list of WIPs at the moment. Because of this, I’m taking a year off from attending major live events and am scaling back on my blogging. Aside from the sequels in the works for the Eternal Curse Series and my Saying Series, I have a new fantasy I hope to release soon. It’s set in a world were magic is tied to the land and should be used, but is being suppressed. A garden hidden in a library and an unknowing young mage are about to change this world forever.

Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel


“You have plenty of time to change your mind. You have not yet seen the monster I can be.”
Giovanni has been waiting his whole life to meet someone like Mira, someone from the outside world who might be able to help him. He wonders if there really is help for him as he continues to hold tightly onto dark secrets and even darker memories. Giovanni wants to be hopeful and he wants to accept Mira’s help, but first he has to look himself in the mirror and face what he truly is- and that is a reality no one is quite ready to accept.
Searching for new purpose and meaning in her life, Mira meets Giovanni online and an exciting and, in some ways, scary friendship is developed. Mira decides one day to meet Giovanni in person, at his secluded country home, in order to aid him on his journey of self-discovery. What these two are able to discover will not only test their strength and will, but it will stretch the limits of their minds and catapult them into a world where earth, Heaven, and Hell collide.
Giovanni’s Angel is the story of a man who may just be the answer to a spiritual war swiftly heading his way- but for now, he just wants to be a man.

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Toi Thomas:

Website & Blog (The ToiBox of Words), Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook

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Book Spotlight – “Mating Two Dragons” by Ariel Marie

Book Blurb

Dragons must bond with their fated mates or risk the Dragon Curse…

The talons of the Dragon Curse are upon three dragon shifters who have scoured the Earth’s surface in search of their fated mates. Each dragon longs to find the other two-thirds of their heart. Only in a triad will a dragon shifter feel complete.

Serni, Raven, and Colton are desperate to find their mates because they know without a mate, their dragons will succumb to the Dragon Curse. It becomes a race against time for them to find each other.

Fate steps in at the Mating Ball, an event where shifters can come to seek out their mates. After centuries of failed searches, it looks like the dragons may have a chance after all. But will they find each other and complete their triad before the Dragon Curse claims them?

WARNING: This book contains material for mature readers (18+ and older) only. This book contains steamy MFF, bisexual ménage paranormal romance.

 

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book

From the Author

Ariel Marie is an author who loves the paranormal, action and hot steamy romance. She combines all three in each and every one of her stories. For as long as she can remember, she has loved vampires, shifters and every creature you can think of. This even rolls over into her favorite movies! She love a good action packed thriller! Throw a touch of the supernatural world in it and she’s hooked!

She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where she currently resides with her husband and three beautiful children.

Where To Find Ariel Marie

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, Instagram, Website, Newsletter

Book Spotlight – “Elements of a Broken Mind” by Heidi Angell

Book Blurb

Psychics have no place in police work, but that doesn’t stop Clear Angel from being a detective’s secret weapon in the search for a serial killer who is kidnapping and holding women hostage in their town. When Clear goes missing, will Grant be able to find her before it’s too late?

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book

From the Author

Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith. She is the author of The Hunters Saga, The Clear Angel Chronicles, The Hell School Series and Survivalist Bible series releasing Fall 2017. She also created Royal Prince Vince, Creative Exercises to Inspire, and A Penslinger’s Ponderings. In September, 2017 she joined the executive team at Our Write Side as Executive Publishing Director. When she is not reading and writing, she can be found spending quality time with her family.

Where To Find Heidi Angell

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog, Website, Newsletter

Author Spotlight – Renee Scattergood

Introducing Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood, author of the dark fantasy serial, Shadow Stalker, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. She loves reading, watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I live in Australia with my husband and daughter. I’m originally from the US, but I met my husband online and came out here for a visit. We were married three months later and I’ve never looked back.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Currently, I’m finish up my Shadow Stalker serial. It’s about a girl who is destined to enslave her world, but she is determined to make sure that doesn’t happen. Of course, sometimes there are some things we can’t control. Really it’s her struggle to create her own destiny. Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6) is available free in most online retailers for those interested in checking it out.

Who is your intended readership?

This is a hard one to answer. I guess dark speculative fiction is the best way to describe it since it has a mix: a dark fantasy with elements of science fiction and thriller. It’s been described as having futuristic technology in a primitive world. There are also some themes (such as torture), which may be uncomfortable for some readers. It’s recommended for mature young adult readers and up.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved telling stories, but it never occurred to me to be a writer until I was in my mid-twenties. I was in college and my English instructor suggested I get some of my work published. Before that, I had always done badly in English, so writing wasn’t something I would have ever considered.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I’m inspired by various people for different reasons. Terry Goodkind inspires me by getting me into a creative mood. J.K. Rowling inspired me with the way she maintained control of her work and didn’t sell out simply for a shot at glory. And there are many indie authors who inspire me every single day to keep doing what I’m doing.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Something I was told, and it’s turned out to be the best advice I’ve ever gotten, is to keep writing. If you finish your first book and it doesn’t sell well, keep writing. If your second doesn’t sell well, keep writing. And don’t keep yourself in a shell either. We live in an age where authors don’t have to be hermits. The internet gives us a limitless platform for connecting with our readers (and potential readers). So get yourself out there and let people see who you are as a person as well as an author!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I really haven’t had much time for hobbies. I used to love doing crafts, but arthritis keeps me from that now, and I have an autistic daughter as well who keeps me busy. I love watching movies and reading though.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Well, I am starting work on a new serial. It’s basically the shadow stalkers’ origin story. And I’m working on my first novel series as well. It’s called A God’s Deception. I’m still working out the details of the story still, but I think the title tells a lot. 🙂

Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)


Auren learns she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy.

Buy Now: E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords

Where to find Renee Scattergood:

Website (Renee Writes), Twitter, Pinterest, Blog (Renee Writes), Facebook

Book Spotlight – “Hell Bent Arc 1” by Kayla Matt

Book Blurb

Travis Malone and Dr. Spencer Abbot never expected their lives to devolve into a sheer nightmare until they encountered Jesse Lynn Belle.

Visions- A quest that began with a hunt for an anniversary gift turns into a struggle to stay alive.

Retribution- Five months after the Visions Incident, Travis and Spencer learn that they still aren’t safe.

Destruction- Another four months pass. And Travis is taken from his home and loved ones and thrust into his own personal hell.

This collection brings the first three books of the Hell Bent series together into one volume, a full chronicle of the struggle between the Malones, Abbots, and Jesse herself.

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book

From the Author

K. Matt is a graduate of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and uses her Illustration degree in relation to her books. In addition to her workaholic nature, she is also a fan of comics, anime, animation in general, horror…a number of things, really. When she’s not writing and illustrating her own books, she can usually be found writing short stories or drawing other people’s characters. In much of her writing, she seems to enjoy making certain characters of hers hate her, thus making her quite thankful for that little thing we call the Fourth Wall.

Where To Find Kayla Matt

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, Blog

Event Spotlight – 4th Annual Brain To Books CyCon

Introduction To The Brain To Books CyberConvention

CyCon is a virtual version of the San Diego Comic Con, but our theme is books. We organize a number of events, celebrating every genre, reader, and undiscovered author out there, and we host dozens of events all crammed into three days. To experience CyCon is a lot like attending a State Fair, only CyCon is 100% online. There is simply so much to do that it’s impossible to do it all in one day and there is something for everyone.

For three days, Brain to Books shines the spotlight on authors not seen in bookstores as a means to welcome in the new season of book releases. Working to increase reader awareness to these hidden treasures, authors, publishers, and retailers are coming together world wide for the largest book event designed just for you, the book lover!

We’re giving away books, presenting readers with never-seen-before content, and featuring the world’s largest collection of undiscovered talent available today. We have blog hops, panels, discussions, contests, games, prizes, story time, book readings, sales, and exclusive content only available for these three days.

This is content you won’t find anywhere else!

#B2BCyCon spans the world, is free to attend, and boasts everything a live book convention has without the expense of travel, food, and lodging, making this the fastest growing convention available today.

What is the B2BCyCon?

The Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo—or B2BCyCon for short—is an online event modeled in the likeness of a State Fair and a comic book convention.

Authors have virtual tables or “booths” just like at a real fair where readers can go and browse the selection.

But unlike other events, the B2BCyCon is not just an event on Goodreads. It not just an event on Facebook. The Convention is a single three-day event stretched across all the internet world wide. We are on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, more than three dozen websites, and http://www.b2bcycon.com. We are on blab, Google Hangouts, podcasts, the radio…

We are in Greece, Japan, Australia, Bristol, New York, California, Alaska, Hawaii, South Africa, Jamaica, Israel, and India!

If you found us through Goodreads, you found only a small branch of the Convention.

If you found us through word of mouth, you only saw a sliver. With 160 in our first year, we quickly grew to 800 in our second year. Our third year projected an attendance of more than 2,000.

We are the event for book lovers.

Some Highlights From The 2017 Event

The first Brain To Books Anthology was released:

Brain to Books presented its first anthology, “Book Dreams (Volume #1). Here we present a collection of short stories and poems featured in the 2017 Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo.

Authors included Ani H. Manjikian, Adam Dreece, W.J. Howard, Toi Thomas, Timothy Bateson, Laura McHale Holl…

A ton of events happened across multiple genres:

Take a look at the list of genres we covered, and then click through to see everything that happened in each genre. There are just too many things to list in a short blog post…

And Here’s Your Invitation To Participate in 2018

Brain to Books is inviting readers from across the globe to join us again, for the 2018 Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo.

Benefits of an online expo include:

  • No travelling
  • No costs to readers
  • The chance to discover some amazing indie authors, and books that you won’t be able to put down

Mark Your Calendars For:

April 6th-8th 2018

And Join In One Of The Most Exciting Online Events Ever!

Black Cats On All Hallows Eve by Suzanna J. Linton

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m referring to Halloween! I adore everything about this holiday, from the costumes to the food, from the horror movies to the crunch of brown leaves under the feet of trick-or-treating children.

In late September, while driving to a friend’s home, I passed a house already decked out with grinning pumpkins: fake, real, large wooden cutouts, and hanging signs. It reminded me of the other common theme in Halloween decorations—black cats.

In the States, black cats are often associated with darkness, evil, and witchcraft. In fact, so deeply ingrained is this stereotype that many people believe black cats adopted in October will be used for ritual sacrifice or abuse.

Shelters like the Kentucky Humane Society are inundated annually with well-meaning animal lovers begging the shelter not to adopt out these coal-colored felines for their own good. In reality, there is no statistical evidence to support this urban legend. Also, black cats take longer to be adopted. Humane societies often use the Halloween season to push any such cats they may have.

Black Cats as Disguise

Black cats didn’t receive suspicion until the Middle Ages, when people came to believe they were witch’s familiars. In 14th century France, a group of witches were accused of worshiping Satan in the form of a large, black cat. Two hundred years later, people believed witches changed themselves into black cats.

In one English folktale, a man and his son, while walking home one evening, saw a large black cat. The son feared it was a witch’s familiar and threw a rock at it. The stone struck the cat in the left leg. The cat screeched and ran under the stoop of a house belonging to a woman long thought to be a witch. The next day, the pair met the old woman at market. She limped on her left leg, confirming to the local villagers that she was, in fact, a witch.

This shape-shifting ability carried over to the New World. During the Salem Witch Trials, everyone believed in the superstition and it no doubt played a part in the proceedings. The belief traveled from puritanical New England to the South, where people spread folktales about both witches and demons disguising themselves as black cats. A funny but spooky folktale called “Wait Until Emmet Comes” is one such example.

Superstitions Today

In modern England and Scotland, black cats are good omens. Finding a strange black cat on your front porch indicates coming prosperity. In the midlands of England, a black cat is considered a good wedding gift to a new bride! On the coast of Yorkshire, the wives of fishermen believe that by keeping a black cat, their husbands will come home safely. A black cat walking toward you is a sign of good fortune while a cat walking away means fortune will leave you.

In the United States, it’s still considered unlucky for your path to be crossed by a black cat and there remains an association of black cats and witchcraft.

Your Pet and Halloween

Because I’m an animal lover, I feel like I should slip in a “public service announcement” regarding pets and Halloween. As cited above, there is no data to indicate black cats are more likely to be killed, mutilated, or abused over this holiday. However, that doesn’t mean owners of both cats and dogs shouldn’t be vigilant.

When trick-or-treaters come to the door and you’re busy giving away Snickers bars, it would be easy for a pet to slip out. Always be sure to keep your pet secured so that Mr. Fluffy doesn’t bolt for freedom.

Also, chocolate is toxic to dogs, so make sure Bruno doesn’t get too interested in the goody bowl. In fact, be sure that your pet doesn’t become interested in any of the candy or Halloween decorations. Your vet should be able to give you a list of foods and items that are a danger to your four-legged companion.

Have a happy Halloween! And if you see a black cat, wish for luck.

Introducing Suzanna J. Linton

Suzanna J. Linton is fantasy and urban fantasy writer. She grew up in the swamps of South Carolina, where she learned the love of books at her mother’s knee. From an early age, she enjoyed scribbling in anything and telling stories about her imaginary friends. Now grown up, Suzanna continues to love scribbling and telling stories. She lives in Florence with her husband and their pets. Her first novel, “Clara” was published in 2013. Learn more about her and her books at her website.

Where to find A.L. Mabry:

Website (Suzanna J Linton), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog (Suzanna J Linton), Facebook