Author Archives: Literary Titan

Freya, Fynn, and the Fantastic Flute

Freya, Fynn, and the Fantastic Flute : A Dance-It-Out Creative Movement Story for Young Movers (Dance-It-Out! Creative Movement Stories for Young Movers) by [Once Upon a Dance, Marjorie Thompson, Emilia Rumińska]

Freya, Fynn, And The Fantastic Flute by Once Upon a Dance is a cute children’s story with a unique interactive twist. In the story, we follow Freya and Flynn as they visit their eccentric Aunt Gail. Their aunt’s home is rumored to be haunted because you can often hear music and movement coming from the attic throughout the night. But is it true? Find out and get moving in Freya, Flynn, And The Fantastic Flute!

If I could use one word to describe this book, it would be ADORABLE! The mixture of dance/movement along with beautiful storytelling through writing and illustration adds something new to the children’s literature market. The author introduces a clever way to get kids moving and exercising and is a great way to have parents interact with their children. I enjoyed the story so much that I was sad when it ended and felt as though it ended abruptly. I wanted to know more about the creatures in the attic. The structure of the book leads me to believe there will be a sequel to this story, which I hope there is because this was a blast.

Freya, Fynn, And The Fantastic Flute is a fun children’s adventure book that will get kids moving through an ingenious combination of dance and storytelling. Parents and educators with young children needing to burn excess energy will find this book very handy.

Pages: 40 | ASIN: B09K5XC9DD

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Paradise Taken

Paradise Taken: The Diary of Eden Flores Part I by [Omar Gonzalez]

In Paradise Taken author Omar Gonzalez tells the story of an American girl born to a naturalized Hispanic father. The author describes him as a physically abusive companion to his wife and his children. When their mother leaves them with their father, he escalates his alcoholism and physical violence. His daughter, whom he prefers, dresses like a boy and becomes the subject to his sexual violence. She does not disclose this to anyone, and it eats at her. When they finally leave their dad to go to their uncle’s, they are reunited with their mother, and some semblance of closure is achieved.

Paradise Taken is an emotionally-charged memoir that progressively escalates the plot by explaining the main protagonist’s life from different points of view. The narrator portrays her abusive father as a rounded character, protective and caring for his family but also a drunk, violent, and a sexual offender. In this way I think the book does a great job of showing the duality of a person.

I like how the author extracts from Eden’s journals in the chapter “Like a Boy,” giving a glimpse into what it was like, living in a constantly oppressive environment—added to the fact that they are also immigrants. A bias that exposes their dad to a racist interaction with a police officer. 

The way the author uses the third person perspective to highlight this family’s development gives readers first-hand experiences of the oppressive environment they were in. The letters by the protagonist make the pain of her abuse along with that of her mother’s are very relatable.

Paradise Taken is a remarkable translation of Eden’s story from her diary. This is a stirring and thought-provoking biography that is relatable across genders and social structures. This is an illuminating and impassioned story that is guaranteed to stick with you long after you have put the book down.

Pages: | ASIN: B09CW9P87B

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Completely Out Of Place

Joseph Calev
Joseph Calev Author Interview

The Paramount Dimension follows a scientist into an alternate dimension where he must win the heart of his love and fend off impending disaster. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

It was honestly a challenge my son Nathan gave me: write a better book than Ready Player One. At the time, it was his favorite book, and when I stated I could do one better, he asked me to back that up. Today, The Paramount Dimension is still his favorite.

Jason and Raynee are intriguing characters with an interesting relationship. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted Jason to be someone everyone could relate to. He’s completely out of place in The Paramount Dimension and is frustrated by how complex that world is. This is something most of us feel. For Raynee, I wanted a countering force: someone completely confident and adept, who’s always one step ahead of Jason.

What were some scientific ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

Neil Degrasse Tyson and Kip Thorne were huge influences here. In fact, the way wormholes and teleportation worked came straight from Kip Thorne, even though I ignored his statements that they’re both impractical. I also was moved by statements that our four basic forces could have been different. That made me think of which forces would have been cool to have instead, and so I came up with resonance, avalance, orasance, essonance, and cenosance.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I just released a new novel in Allen, King of Seattle. It’s closer to a children’s book, and is a lot sillier.

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Jason falls in love with Raynee almost the moment he sees her. She thinks he’s a turnip. What the heck? Turns out, he was.

After watching his home and the city of Seattle destroyed by an alien force, he’s tossed out of Earth and onto the paramount dimension, where strange forces capable of materializing objects, crossing dimensions, and seeing the past apply. There, Jason is stunned to learn that the Earth itself may have been but a class demonstration. Yet that’s the least of his concerns in a place where basic concepts like gravity and atoms don’t exist.

In this world where he meets a six-year-old expert in quantum physics, he’s not even smart enough to pass Kindergarten, let alone to enter Raynee’s school for the gifted. Yet even where black holes and supernovas are mere musical instruments, he’s the attraction as the only former-vegetable in history. Jason realizes that he has a monumental task in front of him to win Raynee’s heart, but first he has to learn how to walk and eat in this new world.

His chance of proving himself is made even tougher by the deadly nightmare hanging over the planet by the name of Mordriss, who might even be Jason’s father.

Accountability, Honor and Loyalty

Peter Zaccagnino
Peter Zaccagnino Author Interview

The New Cold War finds Russia on the brink of a technological innovation that can bring about a new cold war and one agent is tasked with stopping them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Any time we stand on the shoulders of our predecessors without the correct philosophical understanding of how we got there, we go down a road that inevitably leads to problems. Quantum computers may offer some incredible breakthroughs, but we need to stop and consider the possible ramifications of the technology or the wrong intentions could create a world-wide disaster.

Chris Hodge is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Chris Hodge is guided by asking metaphysical questions in the truest fashion to learn what is really going on in this world. He holds the belief that we are all world citizens and as such have a civil duty to ask these questions. The abbreviated answer is accountability, honor and loyalty.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

One of my personal tenets is always asking the question “why” and not simply following what is told to you. Right now we live in a world where a leading news outlook starts the conversation with “This is what you NEED to know”. How could they possibly discuss the issues for the average world citizen in 1 paragraph? I hope that this book encourages readers to ask questions and think more deeply about a variety of topics.

What can readers expect in book three of the The Relevant Series?

Readers can expect a continuation of Hodges development as he pursues his ideologies across the world in a stand-alone story with ties to the first 2 books in the series. Perhaps some old characters will make an appearance under new circumstances. The story will confront key developments in espionage related to cyber topics and the misguided understanding that the world has on the topic as a whole. Why is Russia attacking worldwide interests with hackers, and to what end? What are China’s real goals 20, 30 and 50 years from now?

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The New Cold War: Defending Democracy From Russia’s Secret Tech Weapon, is the second entry into the Relevant spy novel series featuring elite CIA agent Chris Hodge.

“Those who are looking for chinks in America’s armor think they have found it: our rapidly growing reliance on quantum computing. And now it is going to take some of our nation’s smartest geeks to keep us all safe and free. Peter Zaccagnino has penned a compelling thriller here. Read it now. Or wait and read the real-life version of the story in the newspapers in a few years.” – Don Keith, author of more than 35 books, including WARSHOT and ONLY THE BRAVE

“You’re asking me to solve a problem before it’s a problem. What’s our plan?”

When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, it appeared that a new world order had emerged, one where democracy prevailed and autocratic communism was rendered obsolete. Some claimed it was the end of history. Except the Russians had other plans. They weren’t ready to abandon their power on the world stage without a fight.

After over a decade of development, Russia is only months away from finalizing an advanced quantum computer that can break all known encryption in less than a microsecond. When the CIA unearths intel on Russia’s progress, they turn to agent Chris Hodge, the man judged by the Agency as best equipped to lead the team tasked with sabotaging Moscow’s advanced quantum computer.

If Chris Hodge and his team succeed, democracy will continue to prevail.

If Chris Hodge and his team fail, Russia’s victory on the technological front will lead to Moscow’s unbridled power.

Will Chris Hodge remain relevant after the most difficult mission of his career?

The Unknown In Human Society

Jon Gray Lang
Jon Gray Lang Author Interview

Secret Matilda seized by the Consortium while creatures invade and revolution ignites the edges of space. What were some sources that guided this novels direction?

One of the ideas that held fast to me was how would an oppressive government that had shortchanged its military handle an invasion and a burgeoning revolution at the same time? One of the more recent historical examples I researched was how the Chinese National government handled the invasion by the Japanese military during World War II, and how this fomented the revolution fronted by Mao Zedong. Another example I read up on was the Russian Empire during World War I and after for context. My story and characters are not an analog of these events, but they both made for good examples to work from.

Something else I had to research heavily and modify to fit my story was how would a nomadic people exist in such a ‘world’. An obvious example is the Romany people, but I also dug into the Sami people of Norway and Russia. Other pieces came from the gatherings of ancestral family groups where trade, marriage and the like would occur. Human history is rich with information, and I can never know enough.
On a more fun note, I had already done tons of research on tardigrades you know… because you do. To be honest, that was the part I was most looking forward to, and ‘Surprise!’ it was my favorite part to write.

What were some challenges you felt were important to defining your characters in this story?

Some of the challenges I wanted to showcase was how the crew of the ship each have their strengths and weaknesses and how those play into their decisions. How would each of them respond in a highly tense situation? How would each of them respond to capture or dealing with the unknown in human society? In the end, it was important to me to show how they truly work best as a team… as a family.

Equally challenging was how would Galena make sense of what is happening to her? She isn’t alone under the skin of her body or in the confines of her mind. This was easily the hardest part to write for me, but also one of the more interesting.

Another thing I wanted to highlight and give some precedence to was Jacquotte Delahaye. We’ve only come to know her a little bit, from being born on the Matilda and living her life onboard. But there is more to her. This book gave me the chance to flesh out more of her story.

What has been the most surprising reader reaction to your series?

One of the more interesting reactions to me over the whole story is how certain characters seem to resonate with different readers. It’s been a fascinating experience talking with readers and how some really like one character and not like another only to get the reverse from the next person! As the story has unfolded, some of the readers have warmed to the ones they didn’t like or at the very least, seem to understand them. I mean I love them all, and I know some of them are not very likable folk… at all. So, it was a lot of fun to learn this.

But one of my favorite responses is that moment when the reader realizes that all of the chapter titles and all of the book titles are song titles from Luli’s playlist. It makes me grin like a Cheshire cat every time!

What can readers expect in book five of the Matilda series?

What wouldn’t you expect? More action! More adventure! More mystery! Some answers! New tarnished bits of the universe to explore! And finally, the story of the Matilda will come to a close.

The real question is, with only Galena on Jacquie’s mind, will a dead engine stop her? Will the alien invasion get in the way? Will the revolution be a roadblock? Can anything stop her and her intrepid crew? I can’t wait to find out!

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Rebels. Crime Lord. Cyborg. Doctor. Prisoners.

Far off into the future in a distant part of the galaxy, the Consortium controls the human colonies held together by the jump gates. Where the Consortium doesn’t hold sway, crime flourishes. Through the use of a hellish engine that goes where no one should, the crew of the Matilda slips its way between the two. But it all went pear-shaped once the Consortium seized them.

Revolution ignites on the edges of controlled space. Nightmarish creatures invade other systems. All while Jacquie and her crew remain powerless under the boot of the Consortium. And the thought on everyone’s mind is, where is Galena?

What does the organism within Galena want? Is there a chance Jacquotte Delahaye can find her friend when no one knows where she is? With a shot-to-hell Matilda in lockdown, is escape even possible?

Burn your sublight engines hot and blast into the fourth book of the series, Secret Matilda.

Thorn of Secrets – Book Trailer

In love with the same face that haunts me….

The falling leaves of autumn are like the deceit in my family lineage. Closing the door on the infinite cold—winter blossoms into the spring of new beginnings. In the next season of my life, I’m mending the pieces back together. Opening myself up, I even begin to date, which is a big step for me.

After graduating from high school, a shocking development causes me to be on alert. When nothing comes of it, I move forward, wanting desperately to put the past behind me.

About to start college, I bump into someone from my complicated past, and my heart is torn. The dilemma I struggle with: Do I let other people’s opinion define who I am? I must decide if I’ll push through the ridicule and pave my own path. Could the face that’s scorned me be the key to my resolve? I’ll never know if I take the easy way out.

I’ve unlocked my darkest secret only to have it return to torment me. As the thorns of his obsession encompass me, I discover I’m part of a twisted ploy. If I don’t figure a way out of this predicament, then the life I’ve known may cease to exist.

Don’t miss the riveting sequel to Madison’s story that will have you dangling on the edge of your seat.
Recommended for 16+ due to mature themes including, drugs, sexual content, assault, and mild language. Some scenes are inspired by true events.
If you’re not a fan of forbidden romance, then this might not be the book for you.

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Literary Titan Book Awards December 2021

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Award Winners

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

The World Between Us by Diane Farrugia

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

 

Two Faces of Janus

Two Faces of Janus: A Short Story of Ancient Rome by [Linnea Tanner]

Two Faces of Janus by Linnea Tanner is a short story set in 2 B.C. Rome. The story follows the life events of Lucius and is told from the perspective of Lucius Antonius, the grandson of Marcus Antonius. The book is aptly named Two Faces of Janus, as the story revolves around how Janus, the two-faced God of beginnings, seemingly opens one door for him to rise politically, but then Lucius is faced with the storm that breaks his family apart.

Author Linnea Tanner is able to expertly introduce an entirely new period, create a vivid backdrop to the story, setup intriguing character dynamics and introduce and conclude a dramatic plot all within six chapters without compromising the quality storytelling. This speaks to the authors fantastic writing ability and I walked away impressed with the story and the author.

The author’s note towards the end of the book that goes further into the details of the historical facts associated with the story under the regime of Augustus Caeser helps the reader further understand and appreciate the storyline. I appreciated this as, not only did it give me more information, it also showed me the amount of research that went into this short story.

Although initially, the book feels like it will be hard to understand because there are a lot of references to the Roman time period, and for a complete beginner like me, it can be quite intimidating. However, the author does a brilliant job of conveying ideas in an easy to understand manner, ensuring readers will be quickly swept up in the riveting story.

Two Faces of Janus is a spellbinding historical fiction novel with deep character development and a gripping plot that is made all the more impressive by the stories short length. I would recommend this book to readers looking for a short but exciting read that stands up to the intensity of a full length historical drama. This tiny six-chapter story packs itself with everything from love, betrayal to scandal and ends with a slight hint of optimism, which is enough to leave room for a sequel. It’s hard to not finish the entire story once you pick the book up.

Pages: 39 | ASIN: B098BH11V3

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