Author Archives: Literary Titan
A rampant epidemic wipes out a large chunk of the world’s population, leaving behind a meager percentage to fend for itself and save humanity from extinction. With the use of highly sophisticated scientific and technological methods, man attempts to increase his chances of survival by creating floating cities and Metrofloat New York finds itself among them. The levitating city is run by five powerful members of the OligCouncil and everything seems peachy untill tragedy strikes. Someone begins to murder the ruling members. Detective Heart and Sergeant Stanton are called upon to find this harbinger of death before the equilibrium of the city’s government is disrupted and chaos rises. But they soon discover that sometimes, things aren’t as they seem.
William Quincy Belle’s Metrofloat New York is a gripping science fiction thriller set in post-apocalyptic times. Marked by tremendous advancement in science and technology and its adaptation to man’s peculiar circumstances. The author paints a vivid picture of the changes the world has gone through by introducing several elements like flying vehicles, brain siphoning weapons, ingrained ID chips, mutated bacteria and surprisingly, new meals devoid of any form of meat but dominated by insects and worms.
Although SciFi novels describe new realities, the best of them involving humans reveal that though times may change, our fundamental values, prejudices and quirks will not. Metrofloat New York does this with its resonating themes. For example, the writer shows that although tools of social stratification may become incredibly limited in the future, man will still get creative. In the book, we discover that the very human frailty which we are currently trying to subvert can be turned into a marker of status when it becomes a rarity. Also, we see that man’s present shallowness and pettiness will not be suddenly altered by the alienation of over half of humanity. He will still struggle with common defects like greed and the belittlement of others who seem slightly different. But thankfully, we won’t get to retain only our cynical traits, the qualities of compassion, love and solidarity will also remain with us. The writer also emphasizes the complexity of the core of humans: our thought process. Our consciousness is so intricate that it might prove impossible to recreate.
One thing I like about the book is what William does with the characters. He makes them real by progressively unraveling their traits, thereby reiterating the fact that people aren’t always what they seem. Based on first impressions alone, one may consider one of the key characters; Detective Heart, a frivolous and shallow-minded bum, but upon subsequent encounters, one soon discovers that he is far from that.
If you are one who fancies a SciFi novel whose plot rolls along quickly but still provides sufficient thrills and is greatly imaginative, then this book has your name on it.
Pages: 216 | ASIN: B07K631LDS
Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord by Braxton Cosby begins with an intriguing and haunting scene. The protagonist, Steel Reign is expressing his regret over a massive mistake that he has made. Just from this singular scene, it is clear that he will go to any means to bring back his lost sister, Olia. She is aboard the ship Eclipse and involved in a treacherous game under the space pirate, Forge. Reign does not have the means or credits to find her. His sole plan to acquire an artifact and exchange it for credits has fallen through. He keeps having to devise Plan Bs to reach his sister. Along the way he manages to acquire a ragtag bunch of friends and colleagues: nerdy Gifford, the novice Stink, and Sereas. On top of these struggles, he is also combatting the deadly virus DX that has practically taken his eyes.
Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord manages to hold a quick-paced, thrilling tone, as Reign is thrown from one dangerous situation to another. The prologue also returns in a more meaningful way later in the story as Forge’s sick game becomes clearer.
Throughout the story, a lot of different species and creatures kept cropping up. At first it was a bit jarring and difficult to keep up with, but the descriptions were so fun that I couldn’t resist being drawn in anyway. Take for example the Donthras that are described as being “multi-sexual” and “open to trying anyone and anything” Although there was an underlying intense tone to the story, the moments of levity were perfectly captured and made me laugh out loud.
Reign himself isn’t infallible though- which I personally love in an action/adventure protagonist. So often they seem to fall prey to being all around superhumans (see: Jack Reacher, Stephanie Plum) but Reign knows his strengths and weaknesses. He even manages to acknowledge that he was the brawns in the sibling relationship and Olia the brains. The pair has had a difficult upbringing but share a very sweet and strong relationship. I felt immediately sympathetic and connected to Reign whenever he reminisced about his sister.
Steel Reign was a solidly entertaining novel- a strangely perfect amalgamation of science-fiction, revenge drama, and ensemble comedy. It hit all the right spots for me and was a great weekend read.
Pages: 337 | ASIN: B082S82S8P
Neil Killion believes in the philosophy of a 12-year life cycle. It is the idea that big life events happen every 12 years with a sort of preliminary event 7 years into that cycle. He has examined this theory in the context of several human elements like relationships. This book examines life cycles with regard to coincidences and is the fourth book in the life cycle series. The author uses events in his own life as well as the lives of celebrities; he tells the story of how the Beatles were first signed by George Martin and the story of Star Trek among many others. This gives readers a chance to verify the facts for themselves as these are well-documented stories.
One thing that stood out to me in Life Cycles is how coincidence happen to coincidence-sensitive people and that these things are subjective. This idea adeptly stated by the author, grabbed my attention. What one person sees as coincidence, someone else may see as a logical progression. This book highlights the profusion of incidences of coincidence throughout history to convince the reader of the theory of life cycles. He uses a range of disciplines to challenge the popular viewpoints on life cycles and coincidences and bring about a new dimension from which to view life events and coincidences.
There was obvious evidence of extensive research throughout the book. Neil Killion has researched the subject and provides an abundance of evidence that, I think at least, will beg you to question and ponder the possibility. One thing is for sure, you will find yourself examining your own life for coincidences and trying to see if the life cycle methodology applies to you. I also found it intriguing how the author mentions coincidence-sensitive people. This book has a way of asking you to be one of those.
Neil Killion offers fresh insight into the subject along with an interesting new viewpoint and dimension of the methodology of life cycles and coincidences. I found his writing to be engaging and left me with little choice but to participate in the challenge that hides between the lines. The language is actually simpler than I would have expected for such a complex subject. The author has not written this book for academics. He has written this book for regular people. It seems to have a quality that pulls the reader’s interest and absorbs them in the subject matter. I was engrossed with this book within the first five pages.
Life Cycles is thought-provoking and makes you question things that you may have assumed were normal before. Life Cycle – Coincidences is recommended for anyone who might be curious about life, achievements, failures, pain, joy and everything in between.
Pages: 230 | ASIN: B004I6DOVE
What I Tell Myself FIRST provides readers with an excellent source of support as questions and self-doubt arise throughout early childhood. Why was this an important book for you to write?
A: I am not an author by trade. I became one by trauma. I am the product of child abuse. The reasons? I still couldn’t tell you what I had done to earn physical chastisement. Usually, children remember some of the things they did to earn punishment. I don’t. I then began to hate my mother. I never understood, as most children don’t, why a mother who is supposed to be your guardian would physically chastise me like she did. I then began to run away into the arms of my grandmother.
Growing up, I would move between my mother’s and grandmother’s homes from time to time. In both homes, my brother, sister, uncle, and I went to various churches. As time passed, my mother inherited property as a result of my great-grandmother’s death. My mother appeared to have been fascinated with the church, as is the tradition among African Americans to have either been born into Christianity and attend church or seek Christianity, its assistance, and fellowship in a time of need. A building plan was finalized and donations were being solicited from the church members to erect it.
My mother, believing bigger giving equaled bigger and faster lottery-like blessings, refinanced her inherited property, being our residence. She then donated over 85% (approximately $30,000) of the finances from the loan to the church. The building would never be built. Her donation and neglect of the duties for which the funds were acquired resulted in foreclosure of the property and us being in a homeless state, with mother never to question the disposition of the donation or demand its return. Why did a mother with children do such a thing? The need for assistance and association in time of need, I would later learn, is the doorway by which some self-proclaimed pastors capitalize on those in said state to acquire, among other things, monetary donations while delivering spiritual stimulation as the payback. Mother gave all selflessly for the promise of earthly riches that would never come. She passed in 2018.
Fast-forwarding to late 2019, I was helping an anger management client with issues related to her anger. In doing so, I learned that a great percentage of anger happens when childhood voids, created by broken parents, are imparted in children thereby continuing to reside in now-anatomically/statutorily mature adults. These voids are the motivations for the often ill-prepared or toxic choices we make as adults. This would be the revelation I would learn in the wake of mother’s passing: those who seek to use you will spot your voids and capitalize on them for their own gain. I then could not continue to hate my mother for the pain she caused, for I now knew the motivation which influenced her choices. She was broken. As a result, I became broken. I then loved her again. I understood her. I then set out to find solutions to change what parents don’t do and what children don’t know: how to address the real world and prepare for the inevitable to achieve self-actualization. I always heard of affirmations. Plenty of books have them, usually filled with “I am” this and that. But they leave out the real-world attacks that parents know are coming. They hide the truth from our children.
I loved the art in this book. What was the art collaboration like with Zoe Ranucci to create the look for this book?
Zoe was amazing. Her artwork and customer service was unmatched. It was like a friend. She provided me some guidance when I needed it. And when she didn’t like some things (not with the work per se, but the publishing company I was going to go through, she voiced her professional opinion which was the impetus to get me to look over the contract again. That was an excellent move. She was and is amazing.
I thought that this book is a great way to have conversations about self esteem with children. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
I hope they take away from this book a greater understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and positively self-actualize into our best self. If the needs in Maslow are not met, we become fixed at that need until the need is met. Parents, don’t lie to your child. Parents who do this are concerned with how they look in the eyes of their child. The lying parent sees the child as their friend, not their child. You can’t protect your child from a void you haven’t protected yourself from. Your experience is the master class. You are the master teacher. Expose your past to save them from a past and yourself from a future occurrence. Ask any doctor. There must be some infliction of pain in medical operations to cause healing. Not every pain can be numbed. Even numbed, when you wake up in recovery, you will feel it. Pain precedes most healings and recoveries. What you reveal may hurt your children. But the lessons you will have taught them from the revelation, likened to the rung bell that can be un-rang, will be etched in their mind when you are no longer around and that lesson appears at their feet. They can’t dodge the bullet you neither told them was coming, nor bulletproofed their mind towards repellency and rebounding.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
What I Tell Myself is a series. FIRST is the foundation upon which the other books will be written. I will keep expounding on Maslow, for educators know all too well, “In teaching, you can’t do the Bloom (Bloom’s Taxonomy) stuff until they do the Maslow stuff.” – Alan E. Beck. Individual characters have names and adventures that will be Maslow-focused. I have already penned two books currently in editing and illustration. The titles are What I Tell Myself: About Self-Protection, What I Tell Myself: About Talent and What I Tell myself: About NO!
What I Tell Myself: About Self-Protection gives children various options for protecting themselves. It is powerful. I read it and feel empowered! I raise my children not to be victims. I want my readers, both parent and child(ren), to avoid victimization. I like active books that give solutions. I want my books to be roadmaps for action. In life, actions get things going. Let’s cry silently along the way. But, get off the “X”. I guess that is the military/police officer in me.
What I Tell Myself: About Talent explores the inquisitive mind of a child who wants to be everything and anything at the same time. Keeping with the page in What I Tell Myself FIRST, “I am great at some things…” a child told me he didn’t know what he liked to do. Lightbulb. Stay tuned.
What I Tell Myself: About NO! helps children understand the importance of hearing the word NO and its importance in our lives. Children who can’t take No become adults who can’t take rejection. And if what it is true about failure being a part of success if we learn from the failure, understanding rejection is tantamount to that lesson.
Written by a US military veteran, this children’s book, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, will instill in children the answer to bullying, body-shaming, hate, and attacks on the self through daily affirmations. Author Mike Brown has learned many life lessons and hopes to convey some of those lessons acquired from public and private service in the Army, as a police officer, an anger management specialist, nonviolent crisis intervention instructor, educator, as well as the real-world wisdom accumulated so far, to everyone that reads this book. Teaching a sense of self-love as well as self-acceptance and giving a framework for both parents and children to help build their lives into sturdy and happy homes is his goal. What I Tell Myself FIRST: Children’s Real-World Affirmations of Self Esteem is to readers what the AED is to a heart: it instills the defibrillator of self-esteem so powerful for when times are tough and your mind is under attack. Mike hones in on his military past and the methodology behind why servicemembers say creeds in various forms and military occupational specialties. This book will serve its purpose not for when times are good. But for when times are bad, when one is on that dark road and it feels like no one is there. It will serve as the proverbial jump pack to the battery of the mind. Like the hug that you needed but did not get. Like the words you needed to hear but did not hear. This book of reality-based daily affirmations are the “I wish I had this” of books. We MUST instill in our children the answer to bullying, body-shaming, hate, and attacks on the self through daily affirmations.
Cuttle follows Nora, who struggles with her own overwhelming thoughts day in and day out while navigating romantic relationships. What was the inspiration for the setup to this heartfelt novel?
With a few amazing exceptions, I think people like Nora on the autism spectrum are a little underrepresented, and sometimes misrepresented, in novels that focus on relationships. Even many well-meaning writers present non-neurotypical traits as something to be overcome, and it’s difficult to read these as fully realized characters. At best, they’re tolerated, and at worst, they’re confused with narcissists or people who are incapable of empathy.
So I’ve never really felt like these stories were for me, and this seems wrong, because people on the spectrum certainly have all these experiences—our lives are full, too, of decisions about things like work and friendships and romantic relationships. My intention with Cuttle was to offer at least one slightly different perspective. Nora’s not a traditional romantic or “chick lit” heroine, but I hope some people can relate to her experience and see this demographic as capable of engaging in happy, fulfilling relationships.
Nora is a unique character that posses INTJ personality traits. Why did you want to explore these personality traits in your story?
I think INTJ’s are actually a little overrepresented right now in pop culture. So many of the amazing psychological thrillers published in the last handful of years really lean into their INTJ villains, and the most recent article I read about INTJ relationships focused on how to identify if you’ve inadvertently found one of us and safely get out of the relationship. INTJ’s make the best Hannibal Lecters, Professor Moriarties, and Emperor Palpatines.
…But most of us aren’t really take-over-the-galaxy kinds of people. I wanted to bring up Nora’s “type” because it’s mentioned so much less often to describe scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and any number of other not-eating-people paths like Nora’s. Nora talks a lot about her “choosing” times, and most INTJ’s choose not to become sociopaths; Sherlock Holmes is an INTJ, too, and we also claim people like Nicola Tesla, Steven Hawking, and Jane Austen.
I enjoyed the supporting characters in this novel, and Nora’s relationships were always interesting. What were some themes you wanted to capture in their interactions?
I think one of the biggest challenges for all of us is finding our “tribe”–people who simultaneously accept us as we are and support our (healthy) growth. I used to think tribe-finding was a life stage, but now I think we’re always finding and updating our tribes as they grow with us.
Nora has a diverse tribe that’s really important to her but, like everyone, she spends a lot of time trying to distinguish between even well-meaning influences that hold her back and those which challenge her in positive ways. Characters like Heather and Lillie are able to expand their conception of Nora’s capacities with Nora, for instance, but the Milners of her life obviously need to go.
When and where will Cuttle be available?
Cuttle will be available September 1, 2020 through Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and other ebook retailers. Paperback, hardback, and large print copies will be distributed by Ingram.
The Taming of Lions is a heartfelt and compelling tale of determined love, fate, the quest for purpose. What were some sources of inspiration that influenced this novels development?
Honestly, I have always found the human emotion and experience to be a powerful, inspirational tool. My goal with this book was to weave in situations and feelings that readers of all ages could relate to on some level. When I started penning the story, I went in with the intention of just creating a centralized theme around the characters being true to themselves and their passions in life. However, as the story progressed, it became much more than that. My characters were more complex with their individual journeys than I originally anticipated. Therefore, if I had just focused on my original theme, it wouldn’t have felt as authentic.
I loved the varied and carefully developed characters in this novel. What character do you find you most identify with?
It’s a mix between Charlie and Edward. They were very ‘yin and yang’— so to speak. I created these characters out of my own personal struggle between the idea of who I once was and who I have yet to become.
This novel confronts contemporary concerns in thought-provoking ways. What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Following your dream in life and staying true to yourself were very important themes for me. It wasn’t until later in the story when Edward’s focus changed to his romantic life that I quickly realized that he needed to find love with himself first before he is able to find love with someone else. To me, that it was one of life’s greatest lessons and a lesson he still has yet to learn.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently penning the sequel The Pride of Lions with the intention of releasing it by the end of this year.
What if the key to your future was to unlock the secrets of someone else’s past? “I was once a lion tamer…Or was it that I herded sheep?” Is the burning question etched in Charlie Gates’s mind. For a man who forgets things so easily, he seems to have an easier time recalling memories of a life that wasn’t exactly his. Or was it? Struggling to piece together his forgotten past, he ends up befriending Edward Barrett, a young man who needs a little help of his own —but with his future. Through the bonds of an unexpected friendship, crossing several generations of past and present time, the two men learn that sometimes fiction, although not always real, has the power to expose the most truth. Readers of Water for Elephants and The Notebook are calling The Taming of Lions ‘an inspirational and thought-provoking read!’
The Third showcases the unique and stunning mind of Aryan and follows him through the trials of his life. What was the inspiration for this thought-provoking novel?
The inspiration for the book was the realization of the fact that human life eventually is about sorrow unless the human being corrects his misplaced identity in his body and mind. Directly or indirectly, the cause of all sorrow is the unconscious realization by us that we are limited beings and that there will be an end to us, the way we think we are. This is also inspired by my personal focus on the fact of human conditioning, the myth of decision making, will vs fate deciding our life, surrender vs struggle as a way of living, among other things…
Aryan represents the common man except that to highlight the point above, he has been portrayed as a brilliant mind capable of handling any difficult situation which can be handled by the intellect. He represents the mind taking charge of the self while the narrator is the soul or the higher self who comes in to point out to the mind the fact that he is essentially limited and should know his role in the whole story of life. That’s the truth that frees a human being.
Aryan is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
Aryan’s character development had to have the point that he was an exceptional mind who was observant enough to notice why his life was going wrong. He therefore, tries a thousand things as the mind does in any given situation. He succeeds in several situations but eventually has to find out the thread he has been hanging from. The fact however, is realized later – that only when the mind, which is no more than a collection of thoughts inspired by memories, gives up having seen the uselessness of itself and its thoughts, does it become open to seeing what really is – the existential appears and the psychological disappears.
This could not have been done without the mind trying its hardest and given up. The point being made by his turning to addictions even with all successes, which in fact, is another way of release from the mind but that’s essentially going below the mind, not beyond it.
I enjoyed the poetry sprinkled throughout the book. Was this poetry you wrote separate from the book or did you write it for the story?
Thanks. I am glad you liked those. The story has been in the making for a decade. I had written pieces of the story and the poetry to go with it and only a few of those appear in the book. The story continues in the next book which is a sequel to this.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on the sequel to this story of The Third. The prodigy of Aryan will have a lot to choose from as he gets to a self-realized/ enlightened state while it will be difficult for him to communicate his point of view to others as the magic realism is considered pure fantasy by others. So, Aryan will choose what he does with his life and how the other participants in his life are helped by him, if at all. The story also hopefully, continues to help unravel the wisdom in the scriptures with such powerful one-liners as “I, myself, am God!”
I am hoping the book is available by April this year.
If there was one root cause of all the pains in this world that all living beings go through, would we not want to solve that forever and live in bliss and peace. We invent the Superman and the Iron Man for the same reasons that we invent Gods but we ignore the fact that our pursuit is on the path to failure because we have forgotten who we are!The problem with finding that out is that we use the wrong tool, the wrong measurement instrument. The human mind is as useless in the discovery of the root cause of all human miseries, as a 6-inch scale ruler in measuring the height of the Himalayas.Aryan, the prodigy, the man of iron will, goes down the same path of ruin until he experiences this miracle that ends him…
Legend of the Storm Hawks is a intriguing start to your Rootstock Saga, weaving multiple story-lines into one overarching story that brings the world to the brink of war. What were some sources of inspiration that influenced this book?
Rootstock Saga is about evolution, about becoming something more. It’s also a “what if” exploration of how The Patterns of our own cycle might have turned us down different paths. Scottish history, especially leading up to Culloden, is one example. What if the Scots had opted for peace instead of fighting for a Stuart king?
I enjoyed the varied cast of engaging characters throughout the book. Who was your favorite character to write for?
Nigel was my favorite. His confidence. His snark. Though Brynmohr is a close second. He is evil good, and good evil. From the start, you sense he is someone he doesn’t want to be. I enjoyed his arc. And, of course, Isobel. She regains her damaged sense of self in book one, and is ready to come into her own in book two.
The characters need to choose between wielding their power or keeping their secret. How did you balance magic and its use throughout the story to keep it believable?
Evolution again. Magic is a genetic adaptation. Mindgifts don’t suddenly appear like flipping a light switch. It’s more of a slow burn, an awakening. Magical realism is a perfect fantasy style for conveying that, I believe. Besides mindgifts, the other “magic” in the story appears as remnants of technology from the last cycle of dragonkind. The swift gates seem magical, but they’re just dragon science we don’t understand yet.
This is book one in your Rootstock Saga. What can readers expect in book two of your series?
Expect an expanding world. Across the ocean, Tallu is a compelling new setting. Book two balances the narrative of our beloved Rhynns and the Este protecting their land and their way of life. Twelve years have passed, and the Storm Hawks are raising families. We see them deal with the oppression that festers after they chose peace over freedom. We meet the new generation, the Children of Promise. More magic awakens and we come face to face with dragonkind, the Kazera.
Legend of the Storm Hawks introduces the Rootstock Saga, four novels all due to release in 2020. Not a light read, this is serious fantasy for serious fantasy fans. Set on a future Earth, our own history echoes from the shadows. Adversity awakens gifts in this tale of evolution and survival. Science meets fantasy in a burgeoning of psychic and psionic power, and the mindgifted struggle with bigotry, abuse, theocracy, gender roles, climate change, and the temptations of power and privilege. Their intricately interwoven POV voices and plots converge in a long, rewarding end game.
A master player convinces the pawn the move is its own. Nigel has been at the game longer than most, but lately the pawns keep turning into rogue knights. It’s damned inconvenient of them, considering the world is about to end again.
The Watchers will soon declare this cycle over, as they have so many cycles before, shrugging off yet another rise and fall of humankind, and giving the dragons another turn at dominion.