Tag Archives: spiritual journey

Featured New Book Spotlight: Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel by Toi Thomas


Let’s welcome author Toi Thomas to West of Mars! Toi stopped in last week to see what song made her friend Alex think of his book and decided to hang around and step into the spotlight, herself.

Brave woman!

Let’s get right to it: Toi, what song makes you think of your book?

When I wrote the story, Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel, that of a gray man and his search for a purpose and transformation; romance was the last thing on my mind. During the developmental stage, I realized that Giovanni needed a new relationship to replace one that was fading. I wanted it to be a friendship, but with the new character being a likable and attractive woman (not a bombshell by far) soon romance was on the page.

There’s a scene where Giovanni is drawn to the woman, Mira, who has left him temporarily and gone to another state. It was the next scene that made me realize that this friendship was a romance. Giovanni finds Mira across many miles, when he’s not even looking for her, because of a compulsion. Later, I heard the song, When Can I See You by Babyface. That scene came back to me and I thought, “Giovanni just couldn’t wait to see Mira again.”

Ooh, this sounds by turns deep, spiritual, uplifting, and maybe even a little bit scary. Don’t believe me? Check out the description!

“You have plenty of time to change your mind. You have not yet seen the monster I can be.” — Giovanni

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.

Do you need to read this book? I think I do! And you know what else I need to do? Check out more Babyface; I’ve never really explored his music, but hearing him take on James Taylor? You betcha. That’s how you open doors and get someone to listen to a new artist: expose ’em to a cover of a song that’s got some sort of attachment and make ’em curious. I approve!

Pick up your copy of Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Curse:

Connect with Toi; she seems really cool!
Website/Blog: The ToiBox of Words
Toi Thomas Facebook Fan Page
@toithomas on Twitter
YouTube Channel
Amazon Author Page


Back Home Again


We rolled into town just a few minutes late on Wednesday, and I’ve been playing catch-up ever since. It’s easy to tell which clients don’t read my blog or Facebook; I heard from all of them while I was gone!

(note to self: work on client-only mailing list)

As always, being in Yellowstone is a spiritual thing for me, and where I left last time desperate to return, this time, I left with the quiet knowledge that I’ll be back — the same goals from all my adult trips still remain to be met — and the surety that I’m where I  belong in life right now. That, as tough as running what is essentially a freelancing service business is, it’s the exact right thing for me to be doing. So all you authors who worry I’ll give up the ship, stop. I’m in it for the long haul.

Wildlife was surprisingly scarce, but the meadows were in full bloom and the mountains were demanding and the campground was quieter than the few nights I spent under a roof. Norris remains my favorite of the geyser areas, and I think Canyon and the Lamar Valley have become my absolute favorite parts of the park.

The Old Faithful area was the most disappointing. Older amenities — we stayed in cabins near the Lodge — way too many people (especially after being the only ones on some trails), and even dinner at the famed Old Faithful Inn wasn’t as good as the dinner we’d had in the Canyon restaurant. Interesting to note that most people only know Yellowstone for Old Faithful, which is a shame. The park is so much more, so much better.

Mammoth Hot Springs seems to be drying up. That was also disappointing, although for a different reason. Yes, still too many people and after six days we’d had enough of the people who insisted on posing in front of features and parking their photographer five feet away — and getting angry when we’d walk right on through. If we waited for all those people to take their snapshots, we’d still be there. But that’s not the part that made me saddest: it was that the springs are drying up. The place has an eerie, haunted feel to it. It’s a relic of a bygone day, and that’s sad. Even the last time I was there, it was more alive than this. I mourn its loss, and you can almost feel that the place is mourning, too.

Back to those other tourists for a moment. To be honest, I don’t understand the need to take pictures of yourself in front of a feature. Oh, sure, there’s the whole “Look where I was!” bit that’s a lot of fun. No argument there. The part I don’t get is the part where your back is turned to whatever it is you’re posing in front of. That means you’re not looking at it. You’re not seeing what’s going on. Sure, you may see it when you get home and look over your pictures, but you’re not experiencing it, and if you’re not there for the experience, why are you there?

I’ve been to Yellowstone four times now. Each time, I leave with memories and spots seared into my memory. The mailbox near the outhouse at what turns out to be the entrance to the Slough Creek campground. Fountain Paint Pots. The tree at Mammoth that I have taken pictures of three times now. I don’t need pictures of me posing for me to know I’ve been there. Part of me never leaves. But just in case, here’s me. Experiencing the view. Conquering something private — and resolving to come back and finish what we started.

Selfie on Mt. Washburn