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Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol

Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol (Skylar Robbins mysteries Book 5) by [Carrie Cross]

Skylar Robbins has been preparing for this for months. Daniel made a promise to be her partner in the next ACE adventure, and she believes he meant what he said. As part of the elite group of students who take part in the Accelerated Courses and Experiments program, Skylar and Daniel are no strangers to adventure and mystery. The only mystery right now, however, is how Hannah Hilton made it into the program and why Daniel seems to have forgotten that Skylar exists. What promised to be a fantastic summer is now looking like a huge disappointment. Will the trip to Koma Island turn things around for Skylar or will it be more than they all bargained for?

Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross, is centered around young Skylar Robbins–gifted and talented and a member of ACE. With all the angst and stresses of late middle and early high school years, she is the perfect protagonist for today’s young readers. It is refreshing to still see writers placing an intelligent and forward-thinking female lead in their stories, and Skylar rivals and surpasses the budding detectives many of us are used to–Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Kudos to Cross for putting motivated and capable young women at the forefront of her series. Our middle school readers need to see this more regularly.

Mysteries need to pop. They need to move quickly and hold the reader’s interest, especially when younger readers are the group toward which a series is aimed. Cross is a master at this. Skylar thinks quickly on her feet, and her friendship with Alexa provides a nice sounding board for her ideas. There lies within Cross’s work an amazing little cast of characters that provides readers with plenty of opportunities to visualize a vast array of personality types. It’s nice to see such a well-drawn cast of characters–all having wonderful quirks and offering their own contributions to Skylar’s role in the story.

Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross is a rip-roaring young adult adventure/romance story that will keep readers on their toes. Centered around current technology and full of references younger readers will appreciate, this book has everything needed to engage readers and keep them coming back for more from Skylar and her gifted cohort.

Pages: 237 | ASIN: B08P5VXBQ5

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Phoebe’s Identity is Revealed

L. Samuels
L. Samuels Author Interview

Phoebe Douse: The Return has a dramatic turn of events that test the students abilities and reveal Phoebe’s destiny. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?

New ideas introduced would be that book 2 answered some unanswered questions from book 1. An important part of Phoebe’s identity is revealed. And the elements of life and death danger and fear, I believe, are intensified.

I thought this story was fun and I enjoyed the unique twists. What was the funnest scene for you to write?

I’m so happy you enjoyed all the different twists and turns in the story! One of the funnest scenes to write was the chapter called, The Factory. I wanted it to have a very intense, mysterious vibe that heightened the drama of the story and have a big reveal. Definitely a chapter that I like to reread, even on its own.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

My main challenges were setting mini deadlines for writing so that I could finish the book on time. Another challenge was making sure that I remained true to each character as the plot developed. I knew I wanted there to be growth and conflict within each character as well as between characters, but at the same time, I didn’t want to veer away from the essence of who each of them are.

This is book two in the Phoebe Douse Trilogy. What can readers expect in the final book?

Honestly, this is still a mystery even to me. I’m currently outlining the plot, which has been a bit tricky since I have so many ideas and ways in which I’m imagining the story could go. I’ve decided that I’m not going to plan too much ahead. For book 3, I’d like for the story to develop organically. So I’m excited to see where this final book will take me!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | | Instagram | Facebook | Website

The Fadrix wasn’t destroyed. It never can be. And its return helps Phoebe during a wild, unexpected holiday detour into the bustling city of London. While literally escaping the dangerous clutches of rogue members, Phoebe must use the little time she has and work alongside Renaud and Colin to decipher an important vision. Making their way back to The Murray School, Phoebe and her friends remain secluded as they continue their training. But are they safe? With all its secrets, the school has a way of bringing out the truth. Friendships are challenged. The seen and unseen lurk about. Students’ abilities are tested. And the imprisoned Headmaster Duff has made an unusual request―he will cooperate with S3A2 if, and only if, he speaks with Phoebe alone. In this second book of the trilogy, difficult choices have to be made as the survival of S3A2, Phoebe, and her friends hang in the balance. And Phoebe discovers a shocking truth that reveals her destiny but also threatens her entire world.

Literary Titan Book Awards May 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

Silver Award Winners

Quick Quirks, A Quick Book by Benjamin Anderson

 

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

 

Equally Frightening and Intriguing

Christy Cooper-Burnett
Christy Cooper-Burnett Author Interview

Finding Home follows a convict sentenced to serve life in another time. I loved the idea behind this novel. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The first book in the series, No Way Home, follows protagonist Christine Stewart, who works for the government as a transport agent. I thought for book two, it would be interesting to write the story from the prisoner’s perspective.

I have often contemplated what the effects to society would be if the overcrowding finally became too much for our justice system to handle. What if the public refused to tolerate it? With technology advancing so quickly, it makes sense that cyber-crimes would fast become a leader in white collar crimes. What better way to exile non-violent criminals than to transport them to a time where technology was non-existent and their skills would be useless to them? The thought was equally frightening and intriguing to me.

Malcolm is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

I wrote Malcolm as an ‘every-guy’. A man who was in a slump of sorts. He had no real future to look forward to, and he made a rash decision that was out of character for him, but one that would set him on a path he couldn’t veer from. I did not want him to be a sword-wielding hero. He needed to be relatable to explore how a normal, average person would react to being exiled hundreds of years to the past to start over.

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

I felt it was important to see Hannah’s transition from a fearful, abused woman who had lost herself, to a confident, capable woman surviving in unthinkable conditions.

I also enjoyed exploring Christine’s mindset regarding her job. She struggles with the guilt of exiling prisoners with little chance of survival on their own. Yet as a law enforcement officer she took an oath to do her job to the best of her ability, and she tries to strike a balance between the two emotions.

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

Book three in the series, Escaping Home, takes Christine and her crew on another adventure to 1790, Virginia and 1908, New York. Book three differs from the first two, in that the time-travelers are forced to make some very risky decisions that ultimately become life-changing. Escaping Home is slated to release on November 18.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

An exiled prisoner. A desperate woman. A time travel agent willing to break the rules.

Malcolm Aldred is starting over in 1868, Oklahoma. There’s just one problem—he’s an exiled prisoner from 2070.

In 2071, Los Angeles, housewife Hannah Cole is desperate to escape her abusive husband, and begs Cyber Criminal Enforcement Agent Christine Stewart to send her somewhere, anywhere, in history. When Christine agrees to send Hannah to 1868, neither woman has any idea the events that sets in motion.

Malcolm and Hannah adapt to pioneer life in an untamed world full of danger and unimaginable hardships, but falling for each other was never part of the plan. When a deadly hunter tracks Hannah to 1868, fate intervenes and catapults her back to Colonial America, threatening to destroy their future before it ever begins.

Can Christine save Hannah in time or will they both be lost to history forever?

The Creation of an Anti-hero

Malcolm Boyd Author Interview

One Way In, No Way Out follows an underworld figure who gets mixed up with the DA’s daughter and unwittingly lands in the middle of a dangerous situation. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

There was no true inspiration to this story, other than the story itself. I did my best to think outside of a pre-set step-by-step process; instead, I let it happen organically. To give it a more simplified answer: take four wheels, two axles, stick them on a crate, jump in at the top of a large hill, and see what happens next!

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

The creation of an anti-hero: Mann Walker is NOT the usual suspect. He is not the ‘good guy’ as easily identified in most novels. Mann Walker knows who he is and the dangers of his profession. All he wants is to make money and to stay alive while doing it.

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

That the line that separates ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ isn’t as solid, as thick, or as clearly black or white as people think. In this novel, sometimes your best friend can be your worst enemy, and this is applicable to Mann’s businesses, his people interactions, and how the characters and individuals treat themselves.

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

As an author, I’m having fun with the fictional life that the story has created! Book Two of the Mann Walker trilogy is “Mann In The Middle,” which is currently available on the http://www.MannWalker.com website, as well as at http://www.Three-LeggedElephant.com, and on Kindle in e-book format.

I am currently wrapping up Book Three of the Mann Walker trilogy, “Good Night, Bad Day”, and it is slated for an early Summer 2021 release.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Meet Mann Walker, a very lethal partner in one of the world’s most dangerous businesses. He’s quick on his feet in a high-stakes situation, and absolutely fearless about taking what belongs to him!

All Things Small

ALL THINGS small by [Norman Schwartz]

All Things Small by Norman Schwartz is a charming literary fiction novel following the journey of Nathan Epstein in the city of Rome, an innocent, directionless American tourist struggling with everyday interactions in the local language. Nathan is wandering the streets after quitting his job and he is trying to make his way through the city with the help of a popular guidebook. While placing an order in the restaurant  he unexpectedly encounters Sergio. The chance meeting helps him find an affordable residence, means of living, and even an opportunity for new life. But where will it all go? Is everything as good as it looks like or is something else going on? As the quote in the book by Cicero goes, “The beginnings of all things are small.” More important things will happen, for better or for worse. Only time will tell.

Author Norman B. Schwartz gives readers a thought provoking contemporary story that is takes readers in unexpected directions. The characters, the scenes, and the plot all come alive with the authors easy yet engrossing writing style. The book has a a fascinating aura of mystery that permeates the story, as well as a bit of melancholy as beauty and gloom are contrasted well in this riveting story. I enjoyed how the author provides a sharp contrast between shiny famous monuments and the dark underbelly of the city that is full of crime and lust.

Another fascinating aspect of the book was the generous sprinkling of Italian language; I felt that it adds to the exotic appeal and increases its authenticity. The graphic depiction, architectural details, and sharp and imaginative presentation of it all makes the reading experience immersive. While I thought the book was a bit slow to start, it eventually picks up and takes readers on a well written and entertaining ride that is full of alluring characters.

All Things Small by Norman Schwartz is a highly captivating book that keeps you engaged and yearning for more. If you love historical events, picturesque landscapes, architecture, and a mesmerizing story of human experiences in a foreign land, this book is for you.

Pages: 210 | ASIN: B08ZS9CXCQ

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Liz, the Neighbour – Book Trailer

It all started when the bad guys tried to get clever in covering their tracks. Things get complicated.

Now a Special Forces operator, a Hollywood star, ex-soldiers, gangsters and cops are all lurking in the shadows, trying to catch one another and to purge the other team before they do them.

Liz and the gang get caught in the middle after accepting a seemingly straight forward case – locate a 75-year old missing aunt.

In this book, Liz and the gang team up with 3 retirees and a whole host of other colourful characters, to solve mysteries that revolve around a retirement home and the murder of a news reporter.

Who will survive?
Who will end up behind bars?
Will Liz find love again?

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To Be A Spec Ops Warrior

D. C. Gilbert
D.C. Gilbert Author Interview

Serpents Underfoot finds JD Cordell facing a terrorist group that plans to detonate nukes on US soil. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

This story grew out of thoughts I have had about what it would be like to be a Spec Ops warrior. I served in the military and spent most of my time overseas. I served in the Army infantry, and when I enlisted, I scored high enough on the ASVAB test to get Ranger School in my contract. Unfortunately, when they discovered I had a slight speech impediment, they would not send me to Ranger School. There were going to let me out because they couldn’t honor their end of the deal, but I asked to stay. Hell, I could still shoot pretty darn well. So, I guess it is, at least in part, a fantasy about what might have been.

Combine that with a lifetime study of martial arts, the political climate at the time, my interest in Asian culture, and you have the birth of this story.

The rest is simply a bunch of “what if” questions. For instance, what if a soldier in Vietnam married a Vietnamese girl who saved his life? What if their son became a Navy SEAL, and what if his team uncovered a major terrorist plot? What if it involved high-ranking US government officials? You get the idea …

JD Cordell is essentially a composite of several people I have known and respected. While I was a bit too young to serve in Vietnam, I was old enough to have several good friends who did. One friend, in particular, served as a medic on long-range reconnaissance patrols in the region the first few chapters of Serpents Underfoot is set in. I also know a couple of former Navy SEALS, one of which recently passed away. He was actually an Underwater Demolition Team member and served in the Mekong Delta region during the Vietnam War. The UDT teams were essentially forerunners of the Navy SEALs.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

I guess you could say the writing challenges were pretty extensive, and they essentially set themselves. Serpents Underfoot was my first serious attempt at a book. I am still amazed that I finished it, published it, and have gotten some pretty rave reviews, including Literary Titan’s excellent review and many great reader reviews. It even got a good review from Kirkus.

And I did make a lot of newbie mistakes. It was self-edited, which I learned right away is not a good idea. I used an editor, Beth Kallman Werner, for my second book, Montagnard. She was a great help and worth the investment. But for Serpents Underfoot, there were several frantic re-edits and uploads of the book’s interior as readers pointed out problems or typos to me. I knew nothing about launching a book release or marketing. I mean, in reality, writing it was probably the easy part. It has even gone through four different cover revisions.

All that being said, I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience. I grew so much as an author during that process. We learn so much more from our mistakes than our successes.

What draws you to the military action-thriller genre?

It is a genre I have always enjoyed reading. I like action thrillers of all kinds and have read a great deal by authors like Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, W.E.B. Griffin, Ken Follett, Greg Iles, Vince Flynn, and Ian Fleming, to name just a few.

I was also a huge Louis L’Amour western fan, so I guess this kind of thing comes naturally. I like stories where despite terrible odds, the good guys win. Louis L’Amour had a great quote I’ve always loved, “There’s no stopping a man who knows he’s in the right and keeps a-coming.” I think JD Cordell personifies that quote.

And I also love reading military history, especially World War II and the Vietnam War. As I mentioned, I have had several friends over the years who were Vietnam Veterans, and I was appalled by how this country treated them on their return to the US. So, I like to write stories that cast American military members in a positive light; who stand on principle and won’t back down.

Serpents Underfoot is the first book in The JD Cordell Action Series. What can readers expect in book two?

Book two, titled Montagnard, is already out. I sort of did this “review thing” out of order. Montagnard also received a 5-Star review from Literary Titan and even won your Literary Titan Gold Book Award for August 2020. I was shocked but very thrilled. I have to give a lot of credit for that to my editor. Beth told me it was good and that I should submit it for review. It was that success that prompted me to submit Serpents Underfoot as well.

In Montagnard, JD Cordell and a few buddies try to rescue his mother, who disappears into Vietnam after traveling there to find her adopted brother. Dish, of course, played a significant role in Serpents Underfoot. JD’s mother, Mai, inadvertently falls victim to an old feud between her adopted brother and a former Viet Cong colonel. During the rescue mission, JD also receives assistance from a half-Thai, half-American nightclub owner, a great character full of surprises.

I am currently working on book three, titled Reciprocity. This tale picks up where Montagnard leaves off. In Reciprocity, JD finds himself drawn into a deadly conflict with a criminal gang trafficking young women forced into lives of prostitution. In this case, two young women you meet in Montagnard. It is a dark topic but, sadly, all too relevant in today’s world. I hope this book, while fiction, will help bring this topic to more people’s attention.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.
JD Cordell believes in freedom, honor, and hard work. The son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife, the Navy SEAL is proud to serve as SEAL Team 5’s K9 handler with his dog Ajax. But when his team uncovers a deadly terrorist plot in Afghanistan, he never expected a cover-up that could reach as high as the White House itself.
As JD gets drawn in deeper, he unmasks a mastermind hell bent on detonating nukes on U.S. soil. When an assassin working for the terrorist strikes close to home, JD’s fight to save America gets personal.
Can JD protect the American way of life, or will sadistic terrorists turn America into a nuclear wasteland?
Serpents Underfoot is the first novel in a nail-biting military thriller series. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense.
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