Author Archives: Literary Titan
The Attunist grew accustomed to making a difference, even though it earned him the label “serial killer.” If he just gives all that up, can he have a normal life? Is that possible? Can’t he just savor a cup of coffee in the mornings?
Since he first found out that he can take out drug dealers and entire terrorist organizations with little chance of accountability, The Attunist has done his best to make the world a safer place. This daunting task was made easier by the love of his life, FBI Agent Carla Bright, but when her colleagues caught on, the manhunt drove him to Mexico.
Being wanted by federal, state and international law enforcement agencies made life problematic. Being hunted by furious, unknown criminals obsessed with exacting revenge upon him and everyone he knows makes his situation even more difficult. Hiding in remote places has advantages but when nature also turns on him, the real challenge is simply surviving the next few moments.
The Attunist continues from the cliffhanger ending of The Attuned, and completes the Attune Trilogy. But why? Does he not survive his own decisions? After having his entire life derailed, and his family’s hundred-year-old cabin in the Rockies confiscated by the FBI, will he also lose friends and loved ones? Read the trilogy finale!
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Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel by David Church is a gripping page-turner. The main story follows John Dawkins, a man who, following the death of his former mentor Thomas Edison, is given a mysterious device that seems to grant him the ability to speak with the dead when he first activates it.
Two years pass, and the device never offers such a display again, leading John to think it was all in his head. That is until one day, when it unexpectedly begins to move, carving out a message telling John to find a former associate of Edison’s who has been kidnapped. This leads John on a thrilling journey to discover the secrets Edison left behind before they fall into the wrong hands.
This creative historical fiction book offers an entertaining alternate history starring many of the big names of the 1930s. Edison is, of course, a major character, but we’re also introduced to such memorable personalities such as George Gershwin, Groucho Marx, (both of which I feel don’t show up enough, if at all, in historical fiction novels) and the Roosevelts.
I would call this a historical thriller with some sci-fi and fantasy here and there that twist the story in fascinating directions, but so much is encompassed that it frankly seems to defy the traditional genre. The comedic moments sprinkled throughout earned a fair amount of chuckles from me, and there were even a few scenes I would classify as being genuinely effective horror. This occasionally creates some tonal issues, but nothing that diminishes the quality. I appreciate the writer’s ability to move between those moments and include them in one story.
The characters were written in such an engaging way that I wish we had gotten to spend more time with a few of them, which I think would have helped eliminate any trace elements of tropes and alleviate any issue with ‘fridging’ readers might notice. This is a sequel, but the story definitely stands on its own. The author also included just enough background information that readers will be able to follow the general setup, though not in a way that would be intrusive to anyone who has followed the series from the first amazing book.
I highly recommend Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel to anyone looking for a fun and action-packed romp through 1930s America.
Pages: 270 | ASIN : B0BT4874XW
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The Celine Bower Story follows a woman whose need for revenge after she’s viciously assaulted changes her into a new and vengeful person. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
I was living in Blackpool in England, and I woke up one morning and realized I was going to be late for work. I left my house in a hurry; all I had on me were my keys and my phone. I was running down this street trying to get there on time when I got to a crossroads. In front of me was this dark alley, and I could go down there, or a couple of blocks up was the city street, but I thought ‘nah, I don’t want to be late’. I ran as fast as I could down this alley. It was dark and scary; there were dumpsters and vans and doors slamming and at one point I looked up and saw this vision of a woman coming out of one of the buildings and walking down the fire escape. I stopped to watch her for a second, then I realized I was going to be late for work, so I started running again and by the time I got there I felt like I knew her whole life story. The Celine Bower Story began on paper napkins.
Celine Bower is a compelling character that goes through a dramatic transformation. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?
The driving ideals behind Celine’s development were that her purpose would still revolve around her service to others and in making the right choices based on her abilities and strengths. If one were to consider Celine a superhero or vigilante—it is the traumatic event that becomes the catalyst for change which drives our heroes to take the law into their own hands. Celine didn’t strive to become a hero; she became one by taking vengeance on those who had terribly wronged her. I think she would have loved to have stayed the same person she was before she was attacked and left for dead; that kind and loving free spirit, but instead, based on things that happened and her need for vengeance, she was forced to adapt and become more than what she had planned for herself.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Some of the themes that I thought were of importance had to do with the events that led up to Celine becoming a vigilante. Vengeance, which was something that Celine had never considered as a response to anything that had happened in her life before she was attacked suddenly became relevant to her and what she considered to be an appropriate punishment for rape. The other theme that I considered of great importance was the need for my character to pick herself up and brush herself off after what happened to her, and not in such a way that her suffering or trauma was trivialized, but to demonstrate that she possessed an inner strength she didn’t know she had, from which to draw from in order to move on from the terrible event that changed her life . I wanted her to not only survive but to thrive after what she went through.
What can readers expect in Chronicle Two?
Readers can expect Celine to be back in action in Chronicle Two which was released in August of 2022. I traveled to the jungles of Borneo in Southeast Asia myself to conduct the research for the second book. I think it’s really exciting and readers will enjoy catching up with Celine once again.
Posted in Interviews
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Perception is a collection of writing, drawing, and photography by various artists demonstrating the power of art to challenge a person’s perceptions on different subjects. Why was this an important collection for you to put together?
In my junior year of college many of the writers of “Perception” including myself published our poems within “The Grackle”, Chestnut Hill College’s literary magazine and were a part of the Poetry Club. In a small college everyone typically cross paths in one facet or another – mainly our paths all crossed at the open mic spoken word poetry events we held on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights. We would at times have up to a hundred people sitting in attendance to enjoy the ambiance or to read a piece they wrote.
When I returned from winter break of junior year I decided to gather a collection of my best poems at the time. While I was putting the collection together and editing them to be publication prepared I started to think it would be a wonderful idea to put together an anthology of some of my friends poetry collections who I’ve interacted with in the poetry club and open mic nights. I selected fourteen writers, including myself, altogether to participate in the anthology: J. A. McGovern, K. G. McLaughlin, Alex Garcia, Kairi Suswell, Nicholas Raspanti, Zachary Grubb, Marcus A. Hayes, R. S. Flores-Drennen, Yannick Wallace, Ashley Lynn Pavone, Christopher Dunn, Jr., Zander Donaldson Calomeni Tippett, Colleen Laura Tozer, and Ariama Long.
After I found my team of writers I realized this anthology could be truly special to not only represent writing: poetry, prose, song lyrics, and short stories – I found an illustrator, Christopher Lee, and photographer, Keaton Shane Nahan, to participate.
While I was handling the details of searching and finding a publisher and after finding one creating the book layouts and finding an editor to clean up the illustrations; I told my team to only focus on their work and gather the best collection of all their pieces they had or were creating for the anthology by the publisher deadline.
I selected the members of this team very carefully, I had a vision when describing what the message of the anthology would contain – there are no boundaries to art, only the ones created within our minds. Every artist within this collection, I had up to that point in putting together the team: many different conversations, listened to their work at open mic nights, read each other’s work to provide feedback, and looked through all the illustrations and photography ahead of time. I was systematically building a diverse team coming from even further diverse backgrounds with each artist creating work differently from one another. I wanted to create a project which could lead not only to discussions from all the different themes presented within the anthology but at least one piece would speak to the reader: bring joy and laughter, sorrowful tears, help with an issue they may be experiencing, or possibly inspire them. Every artist I informed there wasn’t a particular theme, each artist had their own creative space within the anthology and used their creative liberties to write, draw, and photograph whatever they desired. There wasn’t a selection process, whatever they wanted to put in the book to express themself creatively I completely supported and through this method I believe we were able to express ourselves best and provide the audience our best work.
Along with the purpose of reaching a vast audience with the project, the most important purpose for creating “Perception” is every artist in this anthology was a friend to each other and I wanted to create a moment in time, after years pass and when each artist picks up this book they will smile and reflect to a special project they created. I’m honored and privileged to be published along side every artist within “Perception” – and to see the project finding an audience and receiving recognition is fulfilling to our original collaborative dream.
With so many different contributors to this project, what was the collaboration process like?
The collaboration process between the team of artists is similar to every collaboration process with a group of people. I knew working with the publisher would be very tedious and at times frustrating to achieve the project exactly how I envisioned it – it was. I probably edited through twenty different rounds of proofs through the two to three year process but overall I was able to keep intact the original creative vision and obtain exactly how I wanted the anthology to appear.
Also, at the time I understood how a long and arduous process such as this can be discouraging for people, even creatives, which is why I took that aspect on. Since this was a self-published anthology the issue of money can typically come into play. I was happy to see with an evenly distributed full cost, there were no issues, everyone paid their portion in a timely manner.
Team interactions with each individual artist I didn’t see any serious issues, a couple meetings to keep us on track with deadlines but that was about it. I believe there weren’t many issues in collaboration at the time because we were all working through school: classes, activities, and part-time jobs – while simultaneously working on all our individual collections of work for the project. There wasn’t much time for difficulties between each other. It’s refreshing when projects work out in the long run with minimal issues.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
Since there were no specific ideas or themes for the anthology and all of the artists expressed creatively any theme they wanted I feel it was a wonderful way of not only expressing different points of views on shared themes between the different artists but touched on a variety of themes. I’m an advocator in reference to any artist creating they maintain their creative liberties and don’t change anything for the sake of an audience, benefactor, or feedback with the only exception being if the artist takes the feedback to heart reflecting and decides to alter the work with purpose. In reference to themes within “Perception” when I had the first set of proofs all put together and it was my first time reading through each artist’s section and I was happy to see universal themes: Love, Peace, Racism, War, Inspiration – what I most enjoyed was seeing the different depictions of the themes where they began to cross into intertwined themes which made very interesting reads. Also, I found another aspect I most enjoyed even flipping briefly through the pages to reflect on this particular moment in time – the styles of each piece, which was wonderfully noted within the review of the anthology, are not similar between any of the writers, photographer, or illustrator. I believe we all did a wonderful job, whether intentional or not, creating a completely original concept – I’m most proud of this accomplishment.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I hope readers will take away from “Perception” there are no boundaries to the concept of art, only the walls within our minds. Allow an artist to work and create to their desires and expectations and don’t dictate what an artist is creating – the results and originality of the creation will always surpass if allowed to be created only through the artist(s) vision. I truly hope “Perception” inspires people to create for themselves and believe in their work strongly enough to find the inner courage within themselves to share with the world their personal endeavors and expression.
A group of sixteen artists, of various walks of life with even more different perspectives within the concept of art, came together overcoming struggles and defiance and published their first book, “Perception”, together, not only as friends but as an artistic family. They will be remembered.
Posted in Interviews
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I Can Do What Mommy Can Do follows a young girl as she helps her mother around the house and has a lot of fun doing it. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
I wanted to show kids that they are capable of doing anything they set their minds to. Plus, most kids look up to their parents so I wanted to show how it can be fun learning things from the parents.
The art in the book is wonderful. What was the art collaboration like with illustrator W. Smiley Isaac?
Smiley is actually my daughter. I gave her the words and she created the characters and the backgrounds.
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
Spending time together. Children being encouraged. Creating a desire for kids to be helpful.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I actually just released a coloring book for black and brown girls that includes positive affirmations. I haven’t come up with another concept for a children’s reading book just yet. But you never know.
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Manifest Destiny: By Any Means Necessary is the thrilling second entry in the Manifest Destiny series by author Jaiden Baynes. Many centuries have passed since the events in An Unholy Alliance, and the universe has somehow stabilized into a futuristic dystopia, which is rife with issues such as slavery, poverty, mass incarceration, and cannibalism as the lowest tier of survival.
Readers will enjoy how things in this book also parallel happenings in the first book, although the book takes it to a dramatic and entertaining level. Unlike the first book, which featured a select few characters that the story revolves around, it is hard to find a single character to focus on in this sequel. There is a variety of exciting and fun-to-follow characters. Each character gives readers a unique view of this vast and detailed world. They come from all kinds of backgrounds, and they have all kinds of occupations and different levels of freedom. I enjoyed the diversity in the cast and felt it gave the story an ensemble feel.
The world-building in this book is still spectacular. The author has made some improvements since the first book in the series. The dialogue is amusing and fun and helps to move the story along. This book has a handful of battles, and every encounter drives forward an agenda and provides some social commentary. This book focuses much more on developing this universe’s politics and philosophy, and the dialogue supports that the best it can.
Manifest Destiny: By Any Means Necessary is a riveting space opera filled with complex world-building and memorable characters. I would highly recommend it to readers of the first book or anyone looking for a fun science fiction story in an expanding and alluring universe.
Pages: 501 | ASIN : B0BPCS6M24
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The Mole Vol II by Ron Raye is a book of poetry that takes an in depth look at both the perpetrators and victims of slavery and the lasting impacts of that institution. Raye doesn’t pull any punches as he dives into the sensitive topic, following the journey taken by many slaves and exploring both their individual stories and their collective pain. From the woman who is raped and beaten, to the returning character of Willem, who appears to “[serve] as one of the architects of slavery,” Raye manages to use a variety of characters and stories to convey the depth and breadth of the history he is dramatizing, and he does so without romanticizing, dehumanizing, or trivializing.
Some pieces seemed to end but not and vice versa, so readers will need to read closely. There is a repetition to some of the pieces and I can see the reason for that repetition being an illustration of the continued suffering of the characters and others whose stories are not told. However the sheer power of these pieces and the stories being told is captivating.
Raye does a fantastic job of bringing characters to life in a way that feels raw and real; these aren’t just caricatures of villains and victims, but engaging people and stories that connect readers to real struggles. His language is incredibly evocative, painting a picture that is so vivid and at times uncomfortable that Raye succeeds in not just making you hear what he has to say, but feel what he means you to feel.
Pages: 307 | ASIN: B0BBJVZGMX
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From Peacock Lane: the Poetry and Prose of Emily Evans Volume 1 is a collection of evocative poetry and prose written by Victoria Winifred’s late mother, Emily Evans. It’s a unique and personal glimpse into the 1930s, featuring nostalgic moments in time, from fabric textures and living on a farm to more impactful experiences that can be unexpected and, at times, conjure a sense of fear of the unknown or sadness.
Evans does an exceptional job of creating a vivid atmosphere so that the reader is immediately transported to a cornfield with chirping crickets, to the scent of brewing coffee, city scenes, and the rugged countryside. Each poem brings a slice of the past to life, with just a few, vibrant words that ignite the imagination, painting a clear picture in the reader’s mind. I found the book easy to follow, with groups of poetry and prose divided into themed chapters, which flow smoothly from beginning to end.
Evans masterfully evokes a strong emotional response with a few, strong words and phrases in each poem. I enjoyed her work’s simplicity and the natural flow of one piece to the next for seamless reading. It’s a great book that deserves to be read in one setting, over a weekend at a cottage, or in a quiet location, where you can absorb the author’s scenery, tone, and message. It’s an easy book to re-read and reflect on the author’s experiences, feelings, and the historical setting, which I found intriguing, and kept me turning one page after another.
From Peacock Lane: the Poetry and Prose of Emily Evans Volume 1 is a wonderful collection and a very promising start to a series of poems and prose. It’s a fantastic book with a refreshingly simple but engaging style. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from the author.
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