Today I am so pleased to welcome Timoteo Tong to Joyfully Jay. Timoteo has come to talk to us about his release, Magic, Monsters, and Me. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

After school, I was studying Potions for Dummies, the large black and yellow book opened before me on the wood table in the center of the dark, shadowy Qu’elicadêro, a magical laboratory in the basement. Aunt Christine stood among half a dozen boiling pots, wearing goggles. Her familiar, Pinky, floated over her left shoulder, its fur changing from pink to red to purple to orange. This afternoon, I was learning all about potions, elixirs, and magical elements.

“We’re going to make a potion to turn any object invisible!” Aunt Christine said, holding a beaker of bubbling clear liquid in one hand.

“Does that include boys like me?”

Christine shook her head. “Now why would you want to be invisible?” 

“So Mom couldn’t find me all the time and make me do things I don’t want to,” I explained. 

Christine smiled softly. “Your mom means well.”

“You don’t believe that do you?”

Christine shrugged. “I’ve taught you how to use magic to carve out some time for yourself, Elijah,” she said, her eyes sparkling. “Now let’s get back to potions!”

She held the beaker in one hand while pulling a reddish-looking twig from a green glass bottle. “Add the M’na root.”

A cloud of purple smoke rose from the beaker followed by a purple hummingbird that flitted around the room.

“Crap!” Christine shouted. She frowned, waving her hand around, trying to use magic to capture the hummingbird. “Quick!” she called to me. “Catch it before it escapes and mates with real hummingbirds! We have enough half-magical creatures in the backyard.”

I chased the bird over several large tables crammed with magical roots, herbs, liquids, and elements all stored in colorful glass jars on practically every surface in the stone-floored room.

“Got it,” I said, snapping my fingers to catch the bird that buzzed a few steps from me.

The problem with my magic was that the cloudy window behind the bird opened farther rather than closing as I wanted, allowing the bird to fly out into the garden.

“Well, crap,” Christine snapped. “You need to get better at controlling your powers.”

My face turned red. Christine softened. “I’m sorry,” she said, reaching for me. “I shouldn’t have said that.”

“That’s fine,” I replied, sitting on a stool in front of the bubbling pots. “I’m not good with magic anyway. I’ve only been practicing for a few years now. You’ve been doing it your entire life.”

“You are good!” Christine said. “You’ve come a long way, sweetie. I can still remember the little boy who couldn’t cast a spell, create a potion, or stop time!”

“When I first came here, we thought Mom had died, but Devlina had actually kidnapped her.”

“You were such a baby,” Christine said, sitting down on a wobbly stool across from me.

“I was fat back then,” I said, sighing. “Well, I still am.”

Christine frowned. “You weren’t fat back then, and you’re not fat now.”

“I feel fat,” I mumbled.

“Stop!” Christine said. “Where does this come from? You’re in great shape. I think you’re in your head comparing yourself to your dad who is fat. That’s not fair to you.”

“My life isn’t fair.”

Christine looked at me. “You look tired.”

“I’m fine,” I said, rubbing my head with my hands. “I got four hours sleep last night. That’s a lot for me.”

“You need more sleep,” Aunt Christine suggested.

“Tell that to my schedule.”

“You should be learning magic and spending time with Boxey and your friends, maybe falling in love,” Christine said. She then giggled as she pulled a dozen red roses from one of the steaming pots on the table before us. She handed them to me.

“Are you in love, sweetie?” Christine asked.

My mind raced back to summer camp, Lake Shasta, Áurmiddo and me, and our kiss. Was she reading my mind?

“No, I’m not in love.”

“I was madly in love with a boy at your age. Darnell Hopkins. An Astroísto! A wizard! He could summon huge storms, then we would surf the tops of clouds. God, that was fun,” Christine reminisced, staring off into space.

“Your friend Sweetie,” I said, changing the subject while staring down at my feet. “What do you think of him being married to a man?”

Christine looked at me as purple, pink, and green steam rose from the pots in front of her. “I love Sweetie,” she said. “He’s an amazing friend. He’s tough, sweet, kind, and fearless. A gay man fronting a heavy metal band! That takes guts. And I love his husband, Tony. I love that they have each other.”

I played with some Cu’ma root. It squirmed in my hand. Cu’ma root was used in a potion to animate things such as dolls or stuffed animals. A toymaker and Encantreino in Minerva long ago used it to animate the stuffed animals in his toy store. Those stuffed animals broke free from his store and became the Taxadérmu?us of Minerva, stuffed toy animals talking and living like humans. I wished Ocho talked to me. I could animate him with Cu’ma. No, I already had Boxey to keep me company at night when I was alone with my thoughts. I didn’t need two talking animals.

“Why do you ask?”

I gulped. I Shit. didn’t want Christine to ask me more questions I wasn’t prepared to answer. “This kid in class was talking about how men should only love women, how marriage is between exactly one man and one woman.”

Christine waved her hands over a pot, summoning hundreds of yellow butterflies

 that flew overhead spelling out the phrases “Screw that” and “Love is love,” along with a rainbow that floated over our heads.


Blurb

magic monsters and me coverSixteen-year-old Elijah Delomary loves the City of Angels. The sunshine, the palm trees, the ocean. He especially enjoys battling the monsters infesting the dark corners of the vast metropolis.

As he starts his junior year at Burbank High School he meets a new friend, Austin who also fights monsters to keep Angelenos safe. As their friendship develops and love blooms, Elijah’s arch nemesis Devlina reappears, threatening to use magic to destroy the world.

Elijah must now juggle pursuing his feelings for Austin, meeting the lofty expectations of his affluent and influential family, and fulfilling his destiny to combat the forces of evil and save his hometown.

Warnings: Bullying, racism, homophobia no HEA cliffhanger

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Bio

Timoteo Tong grew up on a quiet street in Burbank, a suburb of Los Angeles located in the San Fernando Valley. He dreamed of one day living in a Victorian mansion with many rooms filled with antiques and artwork. He imagined himself fighting monsters.Timoteo grew up and began writing stories of a family of fighters battling monsters to save humanity.

Timoteo currently lives with his husband and a plethora of houseplants in San Francisco. He enjoys reading, writing, drawing, naps and binge watching TV. He loves cheese pizza, Pepsi and Vans.


Giveaway

Timoteo is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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