Just One Week!

That’s right, after dozens of rewrites, hundreds of revisions, and lost sleep over stray commas, it’s finally here.

My YA novel, These Great Affects, comes out one week from today. It’s the story of a girl who meets a guy and falls in love with him . . . after he dies. Early reviews have been positive (I’ll post them on Facebook), so I hope it remains that way with all of you.

It’s a big day for Endever, being our first book release. I fully hope that you all will come around to buy it on Amazon. I want to throw out there too, that it opens up with a short story by the talented Ryan Morris, marking his publishing debut.

And that’s not all. One week after that, on October 27, we’ll be releasing our second novel, A Deathly Compromise, by Coral Rivera. It’s the story of Dee, an angel of death who solicits a Portland hospital for patients who are ready to leave this world. You’re seriously going to be in for a treat with this one!

Read below for an excerpt from These Great Affects. 


Another long un-awkward silence drifts by and Trill asks, “What are you thinking?”

“What?” Adelle asks. She swallows hard. She doesn’t know how to answer. Here sits the great and immortal Trill Vikus—in her room—and he wants to catch a glimpse of what’s going on inside her head.

But what is there to tell? What is she thinking? She’s given up trying to figure out why he’s still here, and at the moment she’s thinking a hundred different things, and yet nothing all at once. It’s like her thoughts are a carousel spinning wildly out of control—they’re a blur and she can’t stop the spinning to articulate just one thought. Adelle tells him the only thing she can think to say. “I don’t know.”

“Come on,” says Trill. “Try me. Give me a good Affect.”

She’s thinking about how hard it was letting go of him and she’s both angry and happy that he’s back in her life. But she wonders for how long. It’s a question she hates to ask because it suggests the end of something good. The end of the one good thing in her life.

“I’m thinking about last goodbyes,” Adelle finally says.

It’s such a weird thought that she expects Trill to scoff. But instead he says, “Which kinds? Like ‘see you later’s’ or permanent goodbyes?”

“Like deathbed goodbyes,” she says. “Hospice kind of goodbyes. The ones you know are the last ones.”

“Right. Or if you’re in a cult and you’re all about to kill yourselves,” Trill suggests.

“That’s morbid,” she says, suppressing a smile at his weirdness. “Or what about if you’re an astronaut and you’re losing oxygen and you’ve got only ten minutes to talk to your family via video transmission.”

Trill guffaws and says, “Did you really just use the word ‘via’?”

Adelle laughs along with him, realizing that “via” is a word much better read than said. It’s the sort of laugh that is generally reserved between close friends.

When they begin to calm their laughter a little, Trill asks, “Say you’re that astronaut losing oxygen and you’re talking to your family via video transmission. These would be like, not only the last words you’d say to your family, but the last words you’d say ever. In other words, you’re not extracting your own Affect but you’re leaving one behind for someone else. What would you say?”

“I don’t know,” Adelle admits solemnly, trying to take the question as seriously as he asked it.

“No, really. This is your greatest Affect you’ll be leaving for your family. These words are the epitome of your very existence. These are the words you will be remembered for saying long after you’re gone. These words will be read on major blogs all across the world and plaster the cover of every magazine from Health and Beauty to Playboy.”

“Okay,” Adelle says, sitting up from her bed now, accepting the challenge. “I’m about to die. My greatest Affect. I guess I’d say, ‘Mom, Dad . . . ’”

“No, no,” Trill interrupts, shaking his head. “Pretend it’s your kids and your husband. It’s more dramatic that way.”

Playing along, Adelle clears her throat and says, “My kids and my husband. Okay. ‘Timmy . . . Verdell . . . Mr. Hitchens,’” Trill loses it completely and it takes all of Adelle’s nonexistent stage talent to keep a straight face. Somehow she’s able to, and she continues, “‘I’m about to die now. But even though you won’t have a mommy anymore, just remember . . . I will always love you.'”

“Seriously?” asks Trill. “That’s what you’d spend your last ten minutes saying to your family? I mean, you’ve got ten whole minutes! Are you just going to stare at each other the rest of the time?”

“What’s wrong with that?” Adelle says, “Everyone says that before they die.”

“Exactly! Why do you want to sound like everyone else? Your kids are going to grow up wondering if those were their mommy’s last words or Bruce Willis’. The point is, say something that they’ll remember—something that comes from you and only you. Try again.”

Feeling motivated, Adelle sits up straighter, takes a deep breath, and says, “Kids . . . Husband . . . I love you. Very much?” she adds.

Trill shakes his head and puts his hands together in a slow-motion applause with a full two seconds between claps. “Beautiful. Just. Beautiful. That’ll be engrained on my heart forever . . . very much.”

“Shut up,” Adelle says, throwing a pillow at him. If she could shove him, she would. “What sort of wise and heart-wrenching prose would you share?”

“Well,” says Trill, sitting up now too, “seeing that I’m not likely to get married or have kids, and you’re the closest to a wife I had, I’ll just say it to you.”

The rising sun is striving to peek through the white curtains and illuminates his face, which is the most serious she’s ever seen him. Trill clears his throat. “Adelle Hitchens. Though I may have only minutes to live, I want you to know that every move you make, every breath you take, I will always be with you.”

Adelle realizes she has been holding her breath in case he says something that will threaten to take it away. When it’s clear he isn’t going to continue, she raises her eyebrows and leans forward. “That’s it?” she asks. “Mine was better than that, and a lot less creepy.”

“I didn’t say I had anything better,” says Trill, spreading his hands. “That kind of thing takes a lifetime to come up with.”

“I mean, ‘I will always be with you’?” she says in mock offense. “How cliché. And besides, what does that even mean? Like, I can’t do anything in private? Ever? Because you’ll always be with me?”

“You’ll just have to go your whole life wondering,” says Trill, with a sexy sly smile playing at his lips.

“That’s like saying, ‘When a breeze blows across your face, that’s my breath on your cheek.’ That’s so gross. And creepy!”

“Or what about, ‘When the grass tickles your bare feet, those are my fingers reaching up at you.’”

Adelle snorts and adds, “Or how about, ‘When you’re in the shower and the water is running down your body, that’s—’” she can’t finish because both she and Trill give into another fit of laughter.

“So we’re agreed then,” Trill manages through breaths, “that when we say our last goodbye, we won’t be A) cliché or B) creepy and disgusting.”

“Deal,” Adelle says, wiping the tears from her eyes. “I’m glad we’ve got that covered, otherwise we would have been severely disappointed with one another.”

It’s an odd conversation to have with someone who didn’t get their last goodbye in, but as they sit there laughing with each other, it’s easy to forget that Trill Vikus already did have his last words on this earth.

Two New Books For YA and Paranormal Fans!

As promised, here are the covers to Endever’s first two publications! Feel free to read through the synopsis’s of each book, admire the designs, and mark your calendars for the release dates. All credit on these beautiful covers goes to Kyle Richardson of Born on the Frontier fame. Enjoy!


Adelle is the center of this upcoming young adult book, These Great Affects by Andrew Toy. Adelle and Trill meet in an unconventional way. They also are forced to say goodbye too soon, even before they have a chance to kiss, hug, or even hold hands. When Trill’s life is cut unexpectedly short, Adelle begins to believe that love just isn’t for her. But she has second thoughts when Trill comes back to visit her as a ghost, and at first it seems they’ve been given a second chance. But soon they realize the awful truth: will she really have to say goodbye to him again? Spoiler alert: This is not a love story. This is a loved story, about the past-tense love. A love that really, doesn’t last very long, but goes farther than can be imagined. 

These Great Affects will be released on October 20, 2016.


A Deathly Compromise by Coral Rivera: 
Meet Death — Dee, for short — the queen of the underworld incarnated into the form of a young woman who has taken up residence in a Portland hospital. With a killer attitude and a playlist to match, she spirits away the souls of the dying for their journey to the great beyond. The only problem? She’s been housed in the same host body for centuries, and she’s growing restless waiting for the next great disaster to strike. Enter Aria, a precocious young patient who challenges her perception of humanity, and Lux, a handsome stranger with an advanced form of cancer. Soon Dee finds herself locked in the struggle of her “life.” Will she follow the path that the Book of Fortune has set aside? Or will she go against the Fates and begin to write her own destiny, compromising her heart in the process?
A Deathly Compromise will be released on October 27, 2016.
Tweet which title(s) you’re most looking forward to, to @EndeverPubStuds: #TheseGreatAffects or #ADeathlyCompromise
For every ten Facebook shares or Twitter mentions we’ll release passages from these books!
Love the cover designs as much as we do? Visit Kyle Richardson at Born on the Frontier. I recommend checking out his site even for some fun browsing. He has also been a real pleasure to work with these past few weeks, a great asset if you’re looking for creative talent. 

Submit Your Short Story, Win $150!


Yesterday I posted the big announcement of my new publishing company, Endever Publishing Studios, and introduced you to my co-founders/co-owners, Joseph and Lynn. I am so excited to keep you abreast of the company’s growth and for you to get to know my partners through the next several months.

Thank you SO much for your support and likes and Facebook shares (127 in under 24 hours!). But remember, it doesn’t just stop there.

Your short story submission is vital to our company’s birth. Here’s why. The $10 fee goes  to the following:

  • The $150 cash prize for the winner of the writing contest (chosen amongst three finalists who will have their work published on this blog). On top of the monetary prize, the winner will have his/her story published on this blog and Endever’s blog which will be up soon, AND have the opportunity to write a short story to be featured in one of our upcoming books published through Endever.
  • It costs around $250 to resister the company in the state of Kentucky.
  • We’re looking at up to $150 to purchase an ISBN number for our first book (that little barcode on the back of all of your books).
  • Any remaining money will go toward a professional cover design artist to give our first book (which we decided on today) a professional look and feel.

Friends, I implore you to keep sharing this link to our writing contest, spread the word, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, submit your short story for consideration to win the prize and help fund Endever.

Endever Publishing Studios, I believe, is just the first step to revolutionizing the publishing industry, and your submission can be a part of that much-needed change.

Thank you so much for your support and good luck!

Click here to submit!

Follow Endever on Facebook and Twitter to watch us grow!

Any questions, please email us at endeverpublishing@gmail.com

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Book Rec: Looking for Calvin and Hobbes


There are very few people who do not have fond memories of reading the morning paper with a cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal, and the first thing they flipped to was the funny pages. Not for Peanuts or Garfield, but to read more adventures of a boy and his stuffed tiger.

77122In these strips, you were almost guaranteed a laugh to start your day off. Sometimes you’d be forced to ponder a philosophical topic. Sometimes your heart would break. Sometimes you’d nod your head in agreement or shake your head at Calvin’s silly antics and oddball disputes with his tiger Hobbes.

But who was the man who made millions of people laugh on a daily basis? Every Calvin and Hobbes strip was signed by “Bill Watterson,” and we all owed a debt of gratitude to him, but who was he, and where could he be found?


That’s what Nevin Martell asks, and he takes it upon himself to travel wo0Kzthe country in search of the greatest cartoonist our generation (and quite possibly the world) has ever seen.

But don’t worry. Martell is not out to exploit our dear friend, Mr. Watterson. He’s not simply after a juicy topic. His goal, as he states early on in his book, is to show Mr. Watterson how much he’s appreciated and missed, and to reveal the man behind the strip so his readers can have a tangible person to thank for his brilliancy.

In essence, Martell’s book, Looking for Calvin and Hobbes, is a love letter written on our behalf. There’s not a single illustration of the boy and his tiger except for the Calvin’s shoe walking in one direction and Hobbes’ tail cutting off on the other side of the cover. Illustrations in this book would not have been needed because the author captures those strips so perfectly that you can recall those original scenes as clear as day.

Martell does a supberb job at anazlyzing the strip as though he were a serious seminary student bent on dissecting a New King James Bible commentary. On the outset, some might think it kind of embarrassing how much he pored into this strip, viewing it from all angles, analyzing themes and recurring situations, and hypothosizing Watterson’s inspiration for the strip.

Calvin-Hobbes-calvin-and-hobbes-23762778-1280-800But really, it’s not embarrassing at all, because given the chance, we’d all do the same thing. So as fans of the strip, we’re indebted to Martell for doing the hard and tedius work for us.

I’m not going to lie. Some parts of this book made me tear up quite a bit. Not because the author was unsuccessful in tracking down his subject, or because it turned out that Mr. Watterson never took his seat in the limelight for all to admire and lavish praise upon, but because the author handled to topic with such care and attention that I felt like he truly did understand my own personal love of Calvin and Hobbes. And there were instances where I truly felt like I was back in my wooden fort in my backyard with copies of Calvin and Hobbes collections splayed all around me.

On a more personal note, Calvin and Hobbes had such an impact on me that it, in many ways, inspired my debut novel The Man in the Box. Calvin had such a vivd and wild imagination that my protagonist could have had the same childhood experience as Calvin. (The imagination, as you know, catches up with my protagonist, Robbie Lake, and he’s thrusted back into a more cynical, darker version of his childhood dreamlands. Not to mention all the countless ways Calvin reinvented the box.)

So lovers and fans of Calvin and Hobbes will adore their own personal walks down memory lane as Martell gives us permission, as adults, to have one last playtime with Calvin and his stuffed tiger.

You can read more about Nevin and his work here.

Read my review of the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson here.


Book Reviewers Wanted and Cover Reveal


All right, readers, my second book, I Am the Lion,  is gearing up for publication on Amazon KDP!  I am still thrilled by the wonderful reviews and feedback I continue to receive from my debut novel The Man in the Box (2012). I’m looking for 10 willing book reviewers to receive free PDF copies of I Am the Lion to review for their blogs. If you’re interested, specifics are listed at the bottom of this post.  Please continue reading to learn more about my next book.

First off, let me give a big, huge thank you to artist and graphic arts designer Kyle Richardson for designing the cover. I had a pretty good picture in my mind when I told him what I wanted it to look like, and, as usual, he exceeded expectations. You should give him a holler and check out his artwork and inspirations at Spur Creative and The Roundup Blog.

I Am the Lion will be a wonderful book to read for the holidays and a great gift for the readers in your life. It is the story of a young girl, Lydia, raised by her widowed, bipolar father who struggle to find common ground. Only when Lydia’s fourth-grade teacher steps into their lives do they slowly build a connection, but that bond is threatened when a secret comes out that threatens to scar Lydia for the rest of her life.

You can read the first chapter here.

In order to qualify for an ARC (advance reader’s copy), there are just two things I’m looking for.

1. Book reviewer must have at least 100 followers on his/her blog

2. The book is about 37,000 words, so it’s a short one. That in mind, I would like for the reviewer to be completed with the book and have a review posted on their blog by November 21st

If you can fulfill both qualifications, please email me at andrewtoy1208@aol.com with a link to your blog and I will be more than happy to send you a copy. Please note that there is some brief strong language.

Happy reading!

4 New Book Announcements from the Author of The Man in the Box

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It’s been a busy year for us Toys. Aside from bringing our beloved foster daughter into our home, having some major job changes, helping one of our pups recover from back surgery, I’ve also been very busy writing my next few books.

Many of you may have read my debut novel The Man in the Box, and may be excited to know that a bigger, more suspense-filled revised edition is due sometime down the road. But in the meantime, I’m excited to share with you brief details about my next four books.

I Am the Lion (2014) fiction

The story of a young girl, Lydia, raised by her widowed, bipolar father who struggle to find common ground. Only when Lydia’s fourth-grade teacher steps into their lives do they slowly build a connection, but that bond is threatened when a secret comes out that threatens to scar Lydia for the rest of her life.

Purchase I Am the Lion for your Kindle

Oskar (2015) young readers

Meet Oskar, a dachshund who lives in Germany in the year 1940. He aspires to be a Nazi like his role models, but when he meets a young Jewish girl, he learns what the Nazis’ agenda really is, and changes course.

Untitled Ghost novel (TBA) teen 

A boy and a girl are best friends until he dies in an accident. He visits her as a ghost, living life vicariously through her, laughing with her, playing with her, singing with her, and falling in love with her.

Tomorrow’s War (TBA) fiction

Several families struggle to survive as unknown forces affect the earth’s weather from above.

Leave a comment below. Which book are you most looking forward to? And happy reading!

They Risked All

The-American-Patriots-Almanac-365-reasons-to-love-AmericaThe following is taken from The American Patriot’s Almanac by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb.

On July 4, 1776, delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence. The men who issued that famous document realized they were signing their own death warrants, since the British would consider them traitors. Many suffered hardship during the Revolutionary War.

William Floyd of New York saw the British use his home for a barracks. His family fled to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees. After the war Floyd found his fields stripped and house damaged.

Richard Stockton of New Jersey was dragged from his from his bed, thrown into prison, and treated liked a common criminal. His home was looted and his fortune badly impaired. He was released in 1777, but his health was broken. He died a few years later.

At age sixty-three, John Hart, another New Jersey signer, hid in the woods during December 1776 while Hessian soldiers hunted him across the countryside. He died before the war’s end. The New Jersey Gazette reported that he “continued to the day he was seized with his last illness to discharge the duties of a faithful and upright patriot in the service of his country.”

Thomas Nelson, a Virginian, commanded militia and served as governor during the Revolution. He reportedly instructed artillerymen to fire at his own house in Yorktown when he heard the British were using it as a headquarters. Nelson used his personal credit to raise money for the Patriot cause. His sacrifices left him in financial distress, and he was unable to repair his Yorktown home after the war.

Thomas Heyward, Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge, three South Carolina signers, served in their state’s militia and were captured when the British seized Charleston. They spent a year in a St. Augustine prison and, when released, found their estates plundered.

Such were the prices paid so we may celebrate freedom every Fourth of July.