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The Man in the Box, a great book with a terrific plan

10 Dec

Hello my friends!  When I see a good thing, I can’t help but to share it with others. If you like reading a good fiction book, then I encourage you to buy,  “The Man in the Box,” by my friend, Andrew Toy. Andrew has a blog on WordPress called adoptingjames.  Andrew and his wife, Sarabeth,  have a goal of adopting a child in 2013.  He calls his plan 1600 by 2013.  The goal is to have $1600.00 worth of books (paperback or e-book) sold  by Jan 1, 2013. If enough people buy his book , this will enable the funds to proceed with their plans. Please help Andrew out if you can. This book would make a great Christmas present.  As a parent myself, I know the joy of raising and care for a child, so my heart goes out to them, and I pray for success on their plan of adoption. Would you please pass the word and tell your friends about this project. Andrew’s book is available at at the current low price of only $13.29! As word gets out, I’m hoping that Andrew’s goal is achieved, and that  the Toys can welcome a child into their loving home. I thinks it’s great to be able to provide a place for a needy child. What better thing can a person do in this world?   I encourage you to head over to Andrew’s blog,, and finding out more information. Andrew’s book is a wonderful read and you won’t be disappointed. He is a great writer and his work shines in this awesome book!

For Thriller/Suspense lovers: There are some very dark scenes in The Man in the Box, charged with tension and terror/suspense. Blogger Cherese Vines says, “This was a heart-stopping suspense adventure like I haven’t read in a long time. The author does a great job of interfusing light humor with the intense action moments–and there are a lot of them. From battling dinosaurs to ghost-demons, I was always anxious for Robbie and wondered how he would make it out of the danger. Now that is building suspense.”

Here is a sample from The Man in the Box. Copyright 2013 by Andrew Toy and used by permission.

Chapter 2 

Robbie Lake pulled into CipherMill Publishing House at 1606 8th Street. In just two days he’d be sitting in coach, strapping himself in and watching Seattle vanish beneath the clouds with a Bloody Mary in one hand and a bag of peanuts in the other. But not for two more days. There was still one more day of work left and one day devoted to packing. He nodded to the security guard behind the desk as he walked through the lobby. As soon as he summoned the elevator, Don Stentson swaggered up behind him and stood uncomfortably close, breathing hard. The jaunt from the car to the elevator was clearly too long of a walk for a three hundred pound man.

“They’re talking again,” said Don.

“Hmm?” Robbie asked, disinterested.

“I overheard Kurt talking on his cell phone yesterday. I shouldn’t have been listening, but it sounds like they’re going to be laying more people off today.”

The prospect of layoffs weighed heavily upon the few faithful employees who had survived the first wave of terminations seven months ago, and Robbie was no exception. The menacing thought always reared its ugly head: Would this be his last year? Self-publishing and electronic books had become a huge sensation, and book editors like Robbie suffered greatly for it. They had just fired a handful of people seven months ago and the company was cut almost in half. The only reason Robbie didn’t get hacked was because of his tenure. He wouldn’t be protected by that this time around; anyone still working had been there as long as he had.

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” said Robbie. “You probably just misunderstood.” The elevator doors opened and they both stepped in. Robbie wished he had taken the stairs, or at least that Don had taken the stairs to burn a few calories for his own good.

“What part of ‘I’ll start calling people in tomorrow’ would I not understand? I saw him holding a list of names,” insisted Don.

“Was your name on it?”

“I don’t know. I couldn’t see.”

“Then how do you know it was a list of names?”

“He said, ‘I’ve got the list of names right here.’ I almost just put in my two week’s notice, but then I wouldn’t get any severance.”

“I’m sure you’ll be okay,” assured Robbie as the elevator doors opened. Truthfully, Robbie was a nervous wreck, but he was determined not to let it get to his head today. Not the day before his vacation. “No one’s getting fired today.” But as they stepped out, they saw Bill Donahue walking down the hallway carrying a box. Robbie’s heart sank. The first lay off.

Strangely he wasn’t as worried about losing his job as he was about losing his hard-earned time off.

“Morning guys,” said Bill, as he walked past.

“You seem a bit chipper,” Don commented, half offended. “What, did you hate working here that much?”

Bill shrugged and said, “It’s fine here, I guess. I’ll be back. I’m just dropping this box off down at the warehouse.”

Robbie and Don looked at each other and broke into grins. Bill didn’t ask, and he just continued on his way. “Kurt brought donuts in, by the way,” he said over his shoulder.

“Pity food,” said Don, resuming his pessimism.

They continued forward.

When they reached the suite they each headed to their own offices. Don, of course, grabbed a plate full of donuts on his way.

As he walked past the editor in chief’s office, Robbie stole a glance through the window. Darrin Mackey was seated across from Kurt, and his head was drooped.

Maybe Don was right. It was only nine o’ clock and Kurt always had his office door open in the mornings. Was he just getting this out of the way? That’s what he had done during the last set of lay-offs.

Robbie quickened the pace to his office, shut the door behind him, threw his briefcase on the chair in the corner and flipped on his computer. He pulled up sales records of the previous four months and compared his name with other colleagues. He matched what books were represented by whom with which ones were pulling in the most revenue. Just as he feared, he fell right in the middle. It all depended on where Kurt drew the line.

Who would have had enough foresight eleven years ago to know that books would eventually go electronic? Facebook was no more than a small community of networking nerds at that point. Still, he blamed himself for getting locked into a dead-end career.

There was a knock at the door and Robbie froze. Was he next? Why wouldn’t Kurt just call him from the phone? Before he could say anything, the door opened and Don barged in with his plate of donuts. He shut the door behind him and flopped down on one of the chairs. Normally Robbie would have been irritated at this intrusive behavior, especially coming from somebody he didn’t really know that well.

“Darrin’s gone,” said Don, sinking his teeth into a pink frosted donut, spilling sprinkles all over his tie. “Kurt just fired him. I didn’t have the heart to see who was next. I told you this was it!”

Robbie knew who was next because he just saw the sales records. It was Don. He couldn’t lie. He couldn’t tell him everything was going to be all right. Instead, he said, “He might be calling some people in for different reasons.”

Don shoved the last donut into his mouth and mumbled, “You think so?”

Before Robbie could correct himself, Don’s cell phone buzzed. He looked at it and his drooping jowls fell even further. He cried, “It’s Kurt. He probably tried calling my office.” A peal of guttural sounds rumbled around in his fat stomach.


Don nodded and brought the phone to his ear with a shaky hand. “Hello? Yes, sir. I’ll be right there.” He hung up and looked at Robbie with watery eyes. “He wants to see me.”

Robbie closed his eyes and nodded his head knowingly. Don just sat in his chair, stunned, looking off into space. Kurt was waiting for him, and Robbie was starting to feel uncomfortable. “You should probably just get it over with.”

Don dully nodded, then stood up, and ever a man of drama, thrust his hand out for Robbie to shake.

“Maybe he wants to give you a raise,” suggested Robbie jokingly as he shook Don’s meaty hand.

“You think?” Don asked, lifting his head.

“No. I was joking, I’m sorry. Go get it over with.”

Don nodded and disappeared behind the door.

Robbie needed a game plan. But he had nothing to fall back on if he was going to be fired. He’d taken his posh job for granted, even during the current economy. The unemployment rate meant nothing to him until today. Now it was just a little too personal. He’d have to update his resume and rehearse his interviewing skills. These were things that did not fit into his life plan. And until a few minutes ago, his life plan was to take his family to Kona Village for a couple of weeks and escape the humdrum hell of everyday life.

It didn’t take long. Robbie saw, from out the window that overlooked the suite, Don leaving Kurt’s office. Don’s head, like Darrin’s before him, was down. Was he really crying? Robbie watched as he dragged himself over to his office and a few minutes later he emerged with a box packed with his stuff. He left the building in a hurry, not even stopping to look back.

If Kurt was firing half the office, he, Robbie, would be among them for sure. It was just a matter of hours before he would be cleaning out his own desk.

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