My Secret Love Affair

booksYou don’t get many options in life, but with books, the options are nearly endless and the pleasures never get old.

No matter what demons or challenges I’m facing in my own life I can choose out of millions of characters with whom I want to share my cares and woes. And to celebrate with! Even when I’m at my lowest of lows, I can share in the victories of my fictitious or historical friends.

Because most days, their victories are my highlights.

Even if I’m reading about a character undergoing tremendous suffering, I are reminded that I am not alone.

The only bad thing about a great book is feeling the number of pages grow thin as I measure them with my right thumb. And the closer I get to the end the more often I bring the book underneath my nose to inhale that reminiscent smell.

It’s the only smell in the world that simultaneously puts me in a peaceful place in the midst of today’s chaos and re-encompases me in the bubble of comfort that protected me from the chaos I sought to escape as a child.

From the beginning books have been my most reliable source of protection from a world gone wrong.

They ground me in reality through fantastic imagery and stories filled with the most bizarre, yet relatable characters.

If done right, the feel of each individual page, the twirly font of the page numbers, and the ribbon-like designs swirling around them all come together in a sort of ambiance for a most enchanting experience no single person can provide.

As far as I know, I’m the only person in the world reading that exact line on that exact page at that exact moment, and so for a time, my books and I share a connection that only belongs to me.

I love stopping mid sentence just to close the book and admire the cover.

I can control the pace of the story. Since I like to marinate in suspense, I can slow my speed down and extend the glorious misery that is not knowing what’s to come.

To me, few things in life compare to the joy of reading a book. Whether it be because of the knowledge they offer or the thrill of being gripped by an original storyline, all these elements and more are what come together to make reading the most original, stimulating, and exciting experience on the planet.

So happy Valentine’s Day, books! I love you!

Spread the love if you do your part in keeping real books alive by buying them or checking them out at the library.

Also, make sure to submit your short story by February 25th for a chance to win $150 and be published by Endever Publishing Studios.

What Do All Great Stories Have In Common?

IMG_0540

As an author and soon-to-be publisher, I’ve been wrestling with this a couple of months.

I began looking at some of the greatest stories of all time, both books and movies, and I’ve asked myself, what makes them great?

And to take it a step further, “What do they all have in common?”

Surely there’s some underlining theme, or common thread, that connects all the great stories together?

Stories like, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Rings, Frozen, and (I hate to admit) Avatar. 

(Though that last one FINALLY got it’s but kicked in the box office by the amazing Force Awakens!!!)

If you’re going to help me answer this question, you have to be unbiased. You have to be willing to admit that The Great Gatsby is one of the greatest books of all time, even if you don’t think it’s that great.

There’s something in these renowned stories that draws millions of people to them, year after year, and generation after generation.

So, what is the one theme that attracts millions? Consider two of the highest grossing animated Disney movies, Big Hero 6 and Frozen. Hiro had to learn to let go of his brother (who lives through Baymax), and Elsa’s life-changing act was, well, letting go.

But does “letting go” have anything to do with The Lord of the Rings? Forrest Gump? The Hunger Games?

It’s a process-of-elimination kind of question. I want to hear your thoughts! It’s killing me!

WHAT is it that all great stories have in common?? Leave your comments and suggestions below. Let’s discuss!

Follow me on Twitter: @atoy1208 and Facebook and watch my adventure in starting my own publishing company! 

ATTENTION ALL TEENS AND TEACHERS!

Do you want your name (and/or blog) published in a book?

A chance for a video of you to be posted for thousands to see?

Bragging rights to be the first to read possibly the next big teen book to hit Kindles all over campus?

Here’s the rub.

In several weeks I’ll be completing my new teen book called These Great Affects. Set in Louisville, KY Adelle Hitchens meets Trill Vikus. He’s a bit of a rebel, kind of insensitive, but really cute. Adelle is a “hardcore introvert,” overly sensitive, and struggling to find her voice in this world. Trill is about to change all that. Adelle begins to fall for him, but the romance is cut short when Trill is unexpectedly killed. But that doesn’t stop Adelle from falling more in love with him when he visits her as a ghost and they must figure out how to love without having each other.

Interested?

If so, email me at author.andrewtoy@gmail.com and let me know you want to read it when I’m finished with it. I will then send you a PDF copy and when you’re done reading it, you can do a video review of the book, which I’ll splice together with other reviewers.

(Oh, along with the book, I’ll send you the list of songs to accompany the book which I’m using as a soundtrack to propel the story.)

If you review it, I’ll publish your name in the final version, along with your blog name if you have one, or Youtube channel, or whatever you want publicized.

If you love the book then you can tell all your friends and teachers to read it. If you hate it, well, your name will still go in the book and you’re not obligated to tell anyone about it.

Email me at author.andrewtoy@gmail.com. Also, if you’re a high school or junior high teacher, you might want to consider this as an extra credit activity for your class, so email me and we’ll chat.

Please share this post on Facebook and Twitter and get the word out there to all the teens you know.

Follow me on Facebook to get latest updates on These Great Affects and my other books.

These Great Affects

okayokay

Do you like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green? I do. If you didn’t like it or don’t care to read it, this post isn’t for you.

Chances are, when you finished that book, you closed it and cried for an hour. Or your thoughts were, I … can’t … breathe … You may have tweeted something like, “If you text me I can’t talk. I’m too busy de-reddening my eyes.”

Want to know what I thought?

I thought: I’m going to do one better. 

So I began drafting a story idea for a teen book that I hope will be the next Fault in Our Stars.

I’ve got a ways to go, but I think you’re going to eat it up.

I want some help from my readers! I want to know if I’m going down the right road. I’m not ready to reveal all of it except that it’s about a girl who falls in love with a boy. But he’s dead, so…

Open up those floodgates and season John Green’s heart – he’s about to eat it.

Don’t get me wrong! I loved The Fault in Our Stars; John Green totally rocked it. But that’s what’s great about books – great stories begets great stories.

So! If you’re interested in following the progress of my teen book, These Great Affects, start by joining my author Facebook page and I’ll be posting hashtags (#TheseGreatAffects) and you can like or respond or help spread the word about this thing.

And let’s face it. I like the attention; it puts me at my writing best, thus you end up with the best book I can possibly write for my readers.

Okay?

A Letter to My Readers

A few weeks ago I announced my next book, Profit Over Patients. 

It’s the powerful true story about a man who grew up in poverty and beat the odds to spend his life doing what he loved to do – treating patients in his own medical clinic. He and his wife had three beautiful children, and he built their house on a property tucked beneath a desert mountain.

For Dr. Jeffrey Nordella, life was perfect. final-web-cover

And then a phone call came to his office one day. The girl on the other end said she was from an insurance company and they couldn’t pay a patient’s claims. After a long back-and-forth, and Dr. Nordella refusing to let the patient’s claims go denied, he took the insurance company to small claims court and won – thus establishing himself as a patent advocate.

But doing the right thing almost always comes with a cost. And vengeance is an ice-cold knife that never misses its target.

For the next fourteen years Dr. Nordella endured harassment, retaliation, lies and deceit, all in an effort to destroy the practice he had worked so hard to build.

But at one point the fight against Goliath would be the least of his concerns as hell would unleash its greatest horror on Dr. Nordella and his family. Ultimately heightening the stakes for the final courtroom showdown.

The book is a whirlwind of emotion and has been the tallest mountain I’ve claimed thus far. I am glad to say that the release date of Profit Over Patients has been delayed. Dr. Nordella and I thought we were close to the summit, but the clouds parted and it turns out we have a few more miles to go before we release our book to the public.

But the good news is, we will no longer be releasing a B book, but rather an A+ one. And I hope you the readers will anxiously await the release of what I believe is one of the greatest true-life stories of endurance, hope, and passion to emerge since Unbroken. 

Stay tuned and please be so kind as to spread the word of our book around.

-Andrew Toy

The John Grisham Challenge: The Pelican Brief

32499

I’ve just finished the third book in the John Grisham lineup as part of my #JohnGrishamChallenge, and holy crap, what a wild ride!

The Pelican Brief is one of those books where I (brace yourself for the cliche) literally “couldn’t put it down!” It’s a cat-and-mouse chase through and through, and the victims of the murders catch you off guard every single time.

I said there’s murders, but the book’s not scary by any stretch of the imagination. Heck, it’s hardly even a law book. It’s just about a fresh law student who happens to pin the target in an extracurricular brief she drafts up about the mystery murders of two Supreme Court Justices.

At this point through his books, I can safely say that Grisham’s books are gaining more and more momentum and are getting more and more hard to put down.

Have you read it? Share your thoughts below or go to #JohnGrishamChallenge to submit your Grisham book reviews.

Big Announcement This Thursday!

question-701-question-mark-design

Be sure to check in this Thursday, October 15th for the biggest announcement of my writing career thus far! You’ll also understand why I haven’t been posting much on here. Anyone care to venture a guess?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,162 other followers