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Literary Titan Gold Book Award December 2022

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

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 writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Gold Award Recipients

Friends, Lovers, Enemies by Vera Zegarac

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

Literary Titan Silver Book Award December 2022

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

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 writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Silver Award Recipients

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

Payback

Pay Back by Malcolm Chester is a thrilling read that is filled with edge-of-your-seat action. Ralph Tager has been through a lot over the span of one month, from losing his brothers in arms due to an ambush, to his nine year old daughter being abducted, to his wife being killed while trying to protect their daughter. Now he seeks revenge. After retiring from the Navy, he is hired by a billionaire to be part of a group called the Pay Back, who hunt and kill pedophiles.

This explosive novel reads just like an action movie, and reminds me of the hit TV show 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland. Ralph Tager is an interesting character and one that readers will enjoy following. I feel like he is someone that many readers think of when they fantasize about being an action hero. He is good looking, smart, skilled with weapons and has a loving wife and daughter. He is the epitome of an action hero and I was left wanting to know more about him. All of this changes once he loses everything and you see his rage drive his decisions. I couldn’t help but root for him even though in law enforcements eyes he is breaking the law.

There are a lot of dimensions to the plot, but author Malcolm Chester keeps things relentlessly moving forward. I enjoyed the quick pace and succinct dialogue that gets right to the point. Ralph’s experiences were laid out neatly for him. I would have enjoyed seeing Ralph challenged a bit more because I felt like he was well equipped to handle the obstacles in front of him and I was rarely worried about him. Ralph’s character goes through many transitions in his life which I felt flowed seamlessly into each chapter and made it easy for the reader to visualize the time lapse.

This is a riveting action drama that goes into some sensitive subjects that some readers may want to avoid. Pay Back is a book that is laser focused on entertaining the reader with drama, action, suspense and a strong protagonist driving the story forward. I would recommend this book to readers looking for an action adventure story that removes the fluff and turns the action up to eleven.

Pages: 228 | ASIN: B07Z9Q5FST

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Acknowledge Her Vulnerability

Lisa Towles Author Interview

Salt Island follows private detective Marissa Ellwyn as she sets out to find her missing father and crack a cryptic mystery. What is your writing process like and what is the biggest hurdle you often face in completing your books?

My biggest hurdle continues to be carving time every day to write. I seem to be able to easily carve out time for marketing and promotion, but the “create” energy comes from a different place and so it has different requirements.

What were some questions you wanted Marissa Ellwyn to answer in this book?

I wanted her to really acknowledge her vulnerability instead of pretending to be superwoman all the time. I think she (Mari) did a good job revealing her emotionally and psychological need to not only find but be reunited with her father in this book, and that relationship is still evolving. Book 3 (the last in the series) will likely be out in summer, 2024. 

What has been the most surprising feedback you’ve received from fans of your books?

I’m always surprised to see how many readers buy the hardcover versions of my books, and also surprised that readers like reading longer books. My novels are typically shorter, under 80,000 words, and that’s not by choice – they just sort of come out that way.

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

“The E&A Investigations Series by Lisa Towles, are always winning choices when it comes to selecting mysteries. Readers will find the quick pace and snappy dialogue in Salt Island refreshing. Above all else, Marissa Ellwyn is a character who jumps off the pages and into readers’ hearts. Her earnest search for truth will grab readers and make them instant fans of Towles’s work.” – Literary Titan

Salt Island

Marissa Ellwyn has spent the better part of the last two years wondering where her father might be. His secretive lifestyle and cryptic postcards have shaped her into the woman she is today–one incredibly determined woman. When she plans a secretive getaway of her own with her sights set on finally discovering her father’s whereabouts, she can’t possibly imagine what awaits her. Will she find her father in paradise? Or will he continue to outwit everyone, including his own daughter? Marissa’s journey to discover his truths is really just beginning.

Salt Island, the second book in the E&A Investigations Series by Lisa Towles, follows private detective Marissa Ellwyn as she sets out to find her missing father. For two years, she has received periodic postcards from him, and enough is enough–she has to know the wheres, whys, and hows of his disappearance. Towles does a phenomenal job of setting up Marissa’s adventure and integrating elements and characters from Book 1. Readers will quickly feel caught up and while this is a second installment, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. The introduction of an additional storyline centered around her detective business gives this incredible novel an added layer of mystery and suspense.

Towles’s books are consistently thrilling. It is difficult to find well-written mysteries or thrillers that combine an engaging storyline with excellent character development, but Towles manages to do just that in one neat package. The rapport shown between Marissa and her partner Derek is unmatched. I love reading their interactions and watching them try to outthink one another. It’s a relatable match and one that is both fitting for the plot and believable as a pairing.

Towles is a master when it comes to parallel storylines. Following two simultaneously evolving storylines can be tricky and, if they are not well-thought-out and well-written, readers can quickly lose interest and trust in the author’s ability to pull it all together. I have to say, I was curious from the beginning and truly wondered how Towles would follow the targeting of Jack Darcy and his company while at the same time keeping readers engaged in the plot point focused on her missing father. She does it, however, and does it with ease.

The E&A Investigations Series by Lisa Towles, are always winning choices when it comes to selecting mysteries. Readers will find the quick pace and snappy dialogue in Salt Island refreshing. Above all else, Marissa Ellwyn is a character who jumps off the pages and into readers’ hearts. Her earnest search for truth will grab readers and make them instant fans of Towles’s work.

A Cool Motivation For A Serial Killer

Daniel McKay Author Interview

The Black Swan Killer follows a philosophical detective who is hired by the police to consult on a serial killer trying to prove humanity is selfish and thus deserves to die. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The Black Swan Killer was my attempt at writing what I know. I’ve done some fantasy books before but I thought I’d have a go at something I have some more expertise in and I’m a philosopher for my day job, so it seemed like a natural fit. Then it was just about making a story that was fun. I had been marking essays on psychological egoism (the idea that everyone is ultimately self-interested) and the idea of falsification at the time and together they seemed like a cool motivation for a serial killer.  

John Consequent is a unique detective unlike any I have read about before. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

To hear my friends (and wife whose name is Sophia) tell it, I just put myself in the book. That isn’t true, but it isn’t entirely untrue either. I feel like I took elements of my personality and magnified them in order to make John, though I’m borrowing a little from House and a few other similar characters.

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

I mean there’s a few obvious ones with self-interest, the meaning of life, and arrogance being chief among them. But the value of the impractical (or, maybe the non-instrumental) and what people are entitled to in a relationship and in the breakdown of a relationship come up too. 

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

The second book “The Heavens Fall” just came out a few days ago. It has John trying to defend two people for murder charges amongst other legal shennanigans. I’ve started the third book, but that could be a way off at this point.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

John Consequent is the world’s only philosophical detective. He can’t tell you whether your wife has been cheating or find the Maltese Falcon but if you need someone to convince you that your wife exists or find the true nature of consciousness, he’s your man.

So, when the police hire him to consult on a serial killer that’s trying to prove that humanity is ultimately selfish, it’s not his usual sort of case. To make matters worse, a group of nihilists are out to kill him for explaining the meaning of life to one of their buddies.

John’s going to need more than a clever argument and a comfy armchair to get out of this one.

The Black Swan Killer

The Black Swan Killer by Daniel McKay is a thought-provoking mystery novel that follows John Consequent, a philosophical detective, on a mission to save someone. This sounds fairly standard, as far as crime novels go, but the path that winds through this novel is anything but standard. And the beauty of the story is the way in which the author flips the genre and its familiar detective archetype on its head. When John eventually teams up with Detective Maria Salazar they initially clash but eventually combine their expertise. When they’re tasked with finding a serial killer who wants to be caught and have something proven to him (a bit like Batman’s Joker), John must be willing to break the rules to solve the case. He’s determined to solve the case even as the danger increases, threatening his life and those closest to him.

The author has a creative way of building unique characters and I absolutely loved it. John Consequent was such a compelling character, and sort of reminded me of Tim Roth’s character in the TV show Lie to Me. Although The Black Swan Killer is much more cerebral and a bit mind-bending if you think about it too much, as I uncovered multiple layers to this fascinating story and I wasn’t sure if it was part of the story or just in my head. Or maybe that’s what John Consequent does? In any case, this is a stimulating novel with a unique character driving it forward.

If you’re reading another mystery novel, stop it. Pick this one up. It’s better.

Containing some philosophical musings, an intriguing mystery and an original protagonist, this is a story that long time mystery readers will find refreshing. This was a surprisingly fun story that uses sharp writing to tell a story that is entertaining from start to finish.

Pages: 193 | ASIN: B0BG6188RS

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After The First Two Murders Happen

Carolyn Summer Quinn Author Interview

The Final Comeuppance follows an author who has put the abuse she suffered at a private school behind her, until the headmaster winds up dead, and she needs to help find the killer. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Amanda has done a stellar job of attempting to move on from the hideous school she once attended, but can’t fully do that simply because she never knew the full story of all that was happening there. After the first two murders happen, her cousin the cop finds evidence they were connected to the now-defunct school then asks for her assistance with the case, and she finally has an opportunity to not only help him but to get a more complete picture of all that happened. In a way this case isn’t just about the murders. It’s Amanda’s own mystery, too. It’s what really propels her to help.

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

I wanted to explore the theme of how childhood trauma can impact the rest of a child’s life, especially when it leaves unanswered questions. Even after Amanda has transferred away from the wretched private school where she was treated abominably, the bad memories go right along with her. She doesn’t know the motivations of the sick adults who ran the place and is left with endless speculations of why she was targeted by these terrible people. She only really knows half of her own story at the beginning.

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

I work on more than one book at a time, so I’m thrilled to report that the next one is already available. It’s another mystery, and it’s a cold case about a child from a rather wacky family who goes missing in a Jersey Shore town in 1988. It opens in March 2020, and the last remaining family member, Bethany, still doesn’t know whodunit. It’s called CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF ANSWERS. I had a wonderful time writing it!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A bad private school.  The boomerang of corruption!  Amanda Conway has been haunted for twenty-one years by the emotional abuse she endured as a child at an “exclusive” but unscrupulously run private school.  One scandal ultimately led to the school’s demise, but more went uncovered, and now a killer is exacting retribution on the adults who once made certain children’s lives almost unbearable.  When Amanda’s cousin, Detective Pablo Conway, enlists her help in understanding the now-defunct school’s past, she reluctantly agrees to become a special consultant to the police, even though she thinks if any homicides could ever be called justifiable, these could.  As the bodies pile up, they try to figure out what happened in the past to cause murders in the present.  Who is behind this series of murders?  What was going on way back when?  And where so many irresponsible adults were once never caught doing wrong, can anything ever be set right?
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