Swords Of Deception follows a woman on a mission to track down a rogue council member but her journey reveals dark secrets about the Council of Witches. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
To show at what length people go to hide their true purpose and misuse of power.
Ellemar is a character that was fun to follow and well developed. What were some challenges you felt were important to defining her character in the story?
To find the right timing when Ellemar loses herself in her anger and how she learned throughout the story to be more reasonable. Then finding the right moments how Ason patiently tries to help her, making it as believable as possible. Because Ellemar mostly relies on him but he wants her to think for herself. Stepping only in if she loses herself in her anger again.
With beta readers and my editor, it took us a while until everyone was happy with the outcome. So lots of changes had to be made, leading to some frustrating moments.
What were some sources that informed the development of the world and lore in your book?
The world I have created in my Black Eyed Witch series was still fresh. So it made it easy to write it with a different story, powers and characters.
This is book one in your Sword of Deception series. What can readers expect in book two?
That Ellemar will be mentally challenged. That’s all I will say as otherwise it will spoil a big moment betas and my editor didn’t see coming. One beta said she cried during that scene.
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Illyia (The Feigned Moon of Entiria Epic Serial) by E. A. Bagby continues the tale of Giels Deo, a son of his community’s leader, a famous Shaman, and a member of a long bloodline. The Deo tribe is set on continuing tradition with their son to strengthen and sustain their family’s future legacy in the community. As Giels had initially dreamed of becoming the tribe’s lead storyteller, he knows there’s a lot of responsibility in this role, though his journey in life took a very different path; one that neither Giels nor his family expected.
The story begins with a quick, enjoyable pace that leads the reader through the adventures of Giels, which take many unexpected turns in the second episode of this series. Giels is determined to follow his goal of becoming the Lead Storyteller while overcoming many obstacles in his path to greatness. Giels encounters other risks, heroic challenges, and adventures along his journey, all while focusing on his longing to be chosen for an essential role in his community.
The author paints a vivid landscape, with fascinating characters, haunted places, and challenges that continually take the reader through Giels’ adventures and his mind, as he both realizes and faces his biggest fears and challenges along his journey. While his focus remains undeterred throughout the story, he faces other feats that he must conquer in his mind when faced with a world of infectious spirits, haunted beings, and places that he must embrace to learn and understand.
As Giels narrates his story, the reader will find the story easy to follow, with a consistent flow of adventure woven into the theme of family responsibility, with various levels of personal and spiritual influence along the way. The story is engaging, especially as Giels discovers that the world he thinks he knows has much more in store for him.
Illyia is a riveting coming of age adventure story that follows a compelling character through an enthralling journey that is relentlessly moving forward. This stirring novel will appeal to readers who enjoy engrossing epic fantasy story with a well conceived backstory and a vivid world.
Pages: 150 | ASIN: B0979GD31H
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While still coming to terms with his destiny to lead the Keepers of Light back to Karelia, Garrett joins forces with his friends to rescue Breanne. Unfortunately, they face a perilous journey because the world is in utter chaos. Apep, an evil elf, has assembled the God stones to create an army he’ll take back to Karelia, and their power is messing with the earth. Not to mention that the elf is bent on killing Garrett, who has been prophesied to oppose his plan to seize the kingdom of Karelia.
In all of this, an unlikely third player rises in the form of earth’s trees. The God stones have given them consciousness and mobility. However, Apep’s plan to return to Karelia with his army and the God stones would condemn the trees to immobility again. The trees, angry at how man has treated them for centuries, want to retain their newfound freedom in exchange for sparing humanity. Now Garrett and his friends must save Breanne, stop Apep from waging war on Karelia and return to earth with a magical item that will ensure trees keep walking or watch them wipe out humanity.
The Days of Myth by Otto Schafer is the third book in the God Stone series. Not to worry, though; this exciting blend of adventure, magic, camaraderie and fantasy tells a story that you can get into with without having read the past sequels.
Schafer returns with his brilliant writing chops. He creates a steaming brew of steady storytelling and suspenseful moments that will keep anyone engaged as the plot unfolds.
Striking a balance between the familiar and unfamiliar is so vital to excellent writing. With relatable analogies, Schafer brings his story home. Actions, scenes and objects are more vivid due to the author’s spot-on description. I also love how he throws in amusing elements of frivolity like having a deranged, power-hungry elf correcting the grammar of one of his henchmen.
Sometimes you get stripped down stories that turn out flat, and at other times you get tales brimming with too many details. Schafer finds the sweet spot between these extremes. His is an intricate story with details tied together expertly. So you don’t have to stop to scratch your head wondering who’s who or what the link between certain occurrences is.
The book ends with a tantalizing cliffhanger to top it all off. It’s a master class in how to end a novel if you’re planning to continue the story in a sequel. And I sure can’t wait for the next part of the series.
The Days of Myth is a solid epic fantasy novel for me. Think you’re up for some fast-paced, magic-laden adventure? Then grab a copy of Schafer’s gripping piece.
Pages: 370 | ASIN: B095W2LYMP
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Rise of Serpents is the third book in your epic fantasy series and continues to build the mythos and world to even deeper levels. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
The Primeval Origins® story is based on a deep understanding of our ancient mythologies (most prominently Sumerian, Egyptian, and India’s Vedic writings) and our modern religions (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu). The story and its background integrates these mythologies and religions into a single story line spanning millions of years of earth’s history. Add to this our modern and speculative scientific and engineering knowledge and new discoveries mainly of the past (in archeology and paleontology) and in the fundamental sciences (physics, astronomy, geology, and many others)…and many elements from Ancient Alien Theory. The Primeval Origins Epic Saga weaves all of this into the story told starting with our oldest creations myths…the creation of the modern earth and of the ancient god’s creation of humans on earth in the ancient story and blends/integrates the ancient story with our modern end-time prophecies in the near-future story told in each book’s prologue and epilogue. The near-future story is a build up to the state and conditions of our world demanding the ushering in of our end-times prophecies, seen through the eyes of the Witness and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Primeval Origins® is an epic saga like no other attempted.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
Simply, telling the Primeval Origins® story in a character-driven experienced tale that readers will enjoy with curiosity and with characters readers will love to love and love to hate. Then, the integration of all the elements identified above into an epic story line spanning 65 million years. It was a challenge taking now over 30 years of research and over 10 years for background mapping of story and characters…and then the experimentation and practice in writing into what has been published in the first three books.
This seemed like a very fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?
In book three, Rise of Serpents, the prologue and epilogue were fun to write with the more mature and capable Rogaan and Aren kicking butt against hostile forces from multiple factions in our near future. Also, in the ancient story, the ship battle with the first grand description of Agni Powers and the same with the final battle between demigods and the future Horsemen of Revelation. A lot of action driven through the characters and their interactions with each other as they transform from naïve and innocent to becoming experienced and aware of the world they are challenged by.
What can readers expect in book for of your Primeval Origins Epic Saga?
In the future story, the characters will experience a United States and world in political and moral decline. Nikki starts realizing who she is as Rogaan and Aren battle the forces of tyranny aided in the end by the Fourth Horseman…Death. In the ancient story, the Four Horsemen take a major leap into becoming who they will eventually be as they struggle against and battle with the ancient gods, the angelic choir prior to their elevation as God’s messengers, and even more ancient beings…the First Angels.
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Rise of Serpents, by B. A. Vonsik, asks the question, “What if all of our myths and legends are true?” It answers this question as Nikki, a paleo-archeological graduate student, finds her life in upheaval as she runs from unknown forces. She experiences our hidden history: a history filled with tyranny, brutal beasts, ancient gods and heroes with huge hearts show the origins of our End Times.
Rise of Serpents is the third book in Vonsik’s Primeval Origins Saga. I found myself immediately drawn into the epic scale of the story and by the deeply intriguing characters. While reading the first and second book in the series will benefit readers, I don’t think it’s necessary. The prologue introduced me to Nikki, Rogaan, and Aren. While there are other characters who are important to the story, these three are the main characters the story revolves around.
The prologue drew me into the story right away. It gave me information about the world while grounding me with the familiar such as them coming to shore from a ship. This made it easy for me to immerse myself into this impressive world. Other familiar things to me is the characters “attending” a cosplay event, prosthetic limbs, and PDA technology.
I did get thrown for a loop when I got to Chapter One. No longer in the world introduced in the prologue, I felt adrift. The only thing that anchored me was that this chapter is from Rogann’s point of view. Still, I knew that I was no longer in the same place or time that I started in.
The Rogaan of Chapter One comes across as a bit naieve, unlike the mature hero I admired in the prologue. It took some time for me to begin liking him again. When he decided to take action, I started to see the warrior he was to become, and seeing the evolution was fascinating. Aren didn’t show up again until Chapter Six. I found him to be the more compelling of the main characters.
Rise of Serpents, by B. A. Vonsik posses a rich cast of characters and a compelling story that has evolved and gotten even deeper throughout the series arc, coupled with a history that feels is old, authentic, and enchanting. It’s at this point that I think I can truly appreciate the ‘epic’ in B.A. Vonsik’s Primeval Origins Epic Saga.
Pages: 328 | ASIN: B07T15RZ3Y
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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
Last Call by Randall McNair
Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.
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Prince Ewald the Brave is the story of a young prince who becomes a respected royal by standing up to his father. Where did the idea for this novel come from and how did that evolve as you wrote?
In my first novel “The Gift-Knight’s Quest”, I kept going to flashback time to show you the life and death of Derek’s ancestor Lenn. The antagonist in that flashback time is none other than King Jonnecht, who was presented there in his brief time as two-dimensionally bloodthirsty and petty. Since that novel isn’t about him, it leaves people with many questions; you never learn what happens to him after a particular scheme he perpetuates, you never learn if he gets punished or overthrown, or why he doesn’t just try a different scheme or attack the rival land of Wancyrik. Given that we know Chandra Kenderley will be his descendant in approximately a hundred years, that also raises questions of what it’s like having this man for a father; the family dynamic. And if he treated them exceptionally well compared to how he handles everything else, then why would his successors behave nothing like him, pursuing practically the opposite foreign policy? If they had, why wouldn’t the empire have collapsed from hubris long before Chandra was born? I wanted to answer those questions, and my first draft was actually called “The Mad King Jonnecht”. But the story became far more about all the people around him and how they live with him, and I no longer wanted to name the book after its most unlikeable character. His reign and fatherhood was a problem to be solved that’s central to the story, but by no means is he the hero. And given the weird political structure the Kensrikan empire has, no one would have been better suited to stop him than a family member–such as the heir. However, this heir shouldn’t solve problems the way his father does, or it would be difficult to imagine things getting better if he wins. From that complication came a novel-length story.
This seemed like a fun novel to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?
Well, some of Ewald’s night-time adventures in the city borrow from adventures of my own. I don’t go to medieval/renaissance reenactment parties nor is Ewald headed for alternative/subculture clubs that would make more sense in the twentieth century or later, so I had to imagine what an underground club could possibly be in such an age. I wanted it to serve a purpose for people of different social classes and backgrounds to meet each other in a more relaxed environment. I also wanted something masked, but not a ball; I use masks differently in my other novels, but this use was more of a nod to someone in my life who was known to be real and raw, but also to wear a mask, an interesting juxtaposition; he spoke to me early in my career when I was very lost and concerned about being famous and making a fortune, and he just wished I would be concerned with what my real and raw message would be. So, my candid social and political views make their way into my fantasies without restraint, and I try to be my real and raw self on social media, and I hope this would have meant something to him. We were very different people. Anyway, the nights out were fun. I would also like to give a shout out to my editor who insisted I go ahead with the wedding scene, because I was initially too scared that I would mess it up, but it turned out very satisfying to me and I know readers who agree with that.
What was something you wanted to do in this novel that was different from any other fantasy novel you read?
This might just reveal the narrow scope of my reading so far, but I wanted to look at what responsibilities a good leader should have, and the healthy/unhealthy dynamics between leaders and their following. I think there is plenty of literature about noble leaders who are born for their role and living up to their name or their destiny, and I don’t believe in that enough to write it. There are also many books about corruption, scheming, siblings and rivals backstabbing each other for an imperial throne–realistic and rooted in history, true, but this has been done many times and memorably. I wanted to focus more on the damage done when someone behaves like power is nothing but entitlement and all about what others constantly owe him. I wanted to contrast that with people who having achieved or realized their privilege understand what it is to offer a way up for others, or empathize with suffering and do something positive about it with these privileges, or who at least understand that the throne should implicitly come with responsibilities that can be very limiting to anybody who would rather just have the most fun in life. And then I wanted to spend time with all the characters who work hard every day to minimize the damage done by this irresponsible leader, and who will no doubt get blamed by that leader when things go wrong, though that has plenty of inspiration from contemporary politics; it doesn’t belong strictly to imperialism or monarchy. But I also wanted to show how very difficult it would be to unseat such an irresponsible person, without using the same toxic solutions that the leader would turn to (I already have a book about that called “Alathea: Goddess and Empress”). I wanted to give people hope that even in the face of corruption, in a system where people don’t want to put their privileges at risk, someone will learn what’s needed and reach out to others to solve a huge problem in the best way, before it gets worse for everybody. Instead of showing one hero destined to save them all, I wanted to show that making things better is a complicated issue and a team effort that should be enriched with different viewpoints and approaches. There have been so many fantasy books in and out of print that I suspect all of this has been covered before, but I felt like doing it my way.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book is a story about a melancholy Duke who finds something to fight for, a good lady who wants her people to be free by as peaceful means as possible, and three musicians who think they have landed the most extraordinary gig in their kingdom. The current working title is The Death of Lenn, and it would end the six part extended series that began with the Gift-Knight trilogy; it would be a good point to stop and think about writing a different story. I would love to have this out in 2021 to be able to say I’ve released two great personal efforts within a year, but budgetary constraints may make that a questionable timeline.
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The Bystander finds mankind trapped in time, never aging, which brings out the best and worst in mankind. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
My inspiration was a scientific theory that i read about. Please, don’t ask me, it’s a major spoiler for the story! And once i read it, the main story created in my mind.
The characters in your story were intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
The first thing i did was think about what characters i want to tell my story. Then, i made a storyboard which showed what journey would make every character from beginning to end. Τhis technique helped me develop my characters as best I could.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I wanted to explore three themes that intrigue me. The first was the hunger for power. The second one was how easy you can believe everything because you have the need to feel that you belond to somewhere. And my last and favourite theme was whatever political system you apply (good or bad), if some group of people want to destroy it, then they will find the way and they will do it.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
For my next book, i want to play with the theme of stereotypes. In another words, i want to break them. Αnd I know you will be immensely sorry for what I say, but I am at a very early stage.
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