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Patch Man

Patch Man by [Rick Stepp-Bolling]

Patch Man opens with bombs going off in the war torn country of Summia. One of these bombs injures a one armed child that the Patch Man heals with his magical patches. The ensuing events propels Patch Man and this child on a whirlwind adventure. They accumulate a band of intriguing companions on a treacherous quest into the depths of a dangerous labyrinth where they seek the key to ending the war.

The thrill of reading Patch Man does not stop even as the reader digs deeper into the book. Rick Stepp-Bolling has written a science fiction adventure novel that hearkens back to the classic fantasy epics of the 70′ and 80’s. The flow of the story is compelling and gets to be exciting with the revelation of every new plot twist and new character. I keep wanting to compare Patch Man to other epic fantasy novels because it captures that same feel while remaining within the science fiction genre. Reminding me of the movie Mad Max which is able to accomplish this same balance.

Patch Man and his young female companion have been prophesized to end the war, but even knowing this did not keep me from second guessing their ability to pull it off. While on such a nail biting adventure it is easy to overlook the prophesy and only see the danger ahead. Patch Man was an impressive character. His patches give him a unique ability I have not seen in any other fantasy novel. His skills made him feel like an original character, even within the confines of some fantasy tropes. The other supporting characters in the book were equal parts alluring and compelling. Each added a new ability to the group, and a new personality that added depth to the overall story.

The action oriented plot and the heavily detailed world makes this a book that is easy to get lost in. The story line had me hooked from chapter to chapter as the events continuously build tension. Patch Man is a great book for readers who enjoy science fiction, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories.

Pages: 324 | ASIN: B0759F9WDH

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The Deck of the Numinon

The Deck of the Numinon is an epic fantasy novel by GJ Scherzinger. The story takes place in a mysterious universe surrounded by magic. Where cities battle each other for dominance and control, and in faraway lands women in convents known as Sybellines study magical artifacts and train in the arts of shapeshifting. When a deck of magical cards with the power to manipulate people and time falls into the hands of a player with malicious intentions, cards are drawn and a series of catastrophic events follows. As generals and diplomats from the different kingdoms blame each other for the destruction of the fabled towers of Safrasco and prepare their armies for war. The Standish general Artis Ferriman enlists Cerra, a bling girl of humble means, as his agent at the embassy in order to find the culprit of the attacks. Cerra sets off on her journey, accompanied by her demon lover Yutan. Unaware that both of them represent cards in play. While dealing with diplomatic life and an unexpected loss, she soon finds an ally in Havi, a Sybelline trainee entrusted with the mission of finding the deck and removing it from the player. As Cerra navigates a mysterious world dominated by greed, lust, and betrayal, she discovers that her mission goes beyond spying, she is a player in the game representing The Queen of Quills and must embrace those qualities in order to locate the “seer” and stop the game before she runs out of time.

The Deck of the Numinon is an engrossing and riveting novel. From the carefully detailed world to the incredibly original plot, The Deck of the Numinon is everything any fantasy reader can dream of. Once you start reading, there’s no putting the book down. It never gets mundane as events play out smoothly, each with schemes and backstories left and right. The author does an incredible job of describing characters that are complex and unpredictable. Cerra, the main character, is a pacifist unwillingly thrown into conflict, which makes her fun to follow. She is blind, yet her remaining senses compensate for that loss, which makes for a different kind of power. She feels the world in a way that any reader can relate and connect with on a personal level, I know I did! As for the writing, the story is extremely well planned and portrayed, and really has to be to accomplish such a deep story on an epic scale. But the language used is quite complex and can be hard to grasp, an important observation for anyone looking for a light read. All in all, I highly recommend this book for its originality and engaging plot. I definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.

Pages: 562 | ASIN: B08CQ937B4

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Master of the World

After escaping the Adversary, Shawna Keys is left alone in her quest to find her protégé, Karl, and stay alive, all while trying to find out who is truly the master of the world – in the second part of the serial Worldshapers. In this steampunk, Jules Verne-esque world, our protagonist learns how to deal with and use her unique ability to shape her fate as she enters a whole new world she knows nothing about.

Shawna Keys has a power that almost everyone has wished to possess at some point in their lives – the ability to shape and create things with just a thought. Cool, right? Not for Shawna. Being a Shaper is not that fun when you’re all alone in a world you’ve only ever read about in books. Torn by the constant pressure of not knowing who she can trust, Shawna has to rely on her brains and abilities in order to learn more about the world – and herself, in the process.

Master of The World is the second installment of the Worldshapers series. I would suggest reading book one because there is a lot happening. Luckily, Willet’s style of writing and meticulous skill of storytelling is very easy to follow, creating the feeling of a mutual flow between the author and the reader. This, in combination with the constant excitement and the connection to the great Jules Verne, is what makes this novel a splendid and detailed piece of fiction.

The thing that adds extra excitement when it comes to literature is fantasy-fiction novels. The reason is in the two key segments that these novels nurture: the appearance of a fascinating, almost parallel universe we’ve seen only in our dreams, but never had the privilege to experience; and the element of an almost childish fascination that keeps reminding us to take care of the fragile, unbroken, and innocent little kid that we all carry inside of us. Another criterion, which is not by any means less important than the others, are the skillfully crafted characters that ground us and let us know that, no matter how realistic it looks, we are still indulging in a fantasy world, created by an author that knows how to make that same world magically appear in your head. It seems as if this is exactly what the author has been aiming for in this extraordinarily-written book. Edward Willet has given us yet another rare piece of perfectly-combined fantasy and fiction in his book Master of The World.

Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07LDT9299

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Literary Titan Book Awards September 2020

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.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

A Little Bit Extraordinary by Esther Robinson

A Saint and a Sinner by Stephen H. Donnelly and Diane O’Bryan

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Mountain Heat by Natrelle Long

Pandora’s Gardener by David C Mason

 

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

 

Immortality Wars

A. Keith Carreiro
A. Keith Carreiro Author Interview

The Penitent: Part II follows Evangel who is struggling to cope with her abilities while evading those who seek to hurt her. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting novel?

I wanted to see if I could stir the writing cauldron some more and contribute a 21st century flavor to sci-fi/ fantasy storytelling with an added sprinkling of faith–based Christian themes, especially in terms of the heroes being on a spiritual adventure as well.

Could I gather together the sensibilities of these inspirational sources and could I create a brand new and seminal story for our time?

The inspiration for the second book of the Penitent comes from a variety of sources. One of them is my love of fantasy and science fiction, which partly influences the creation of The Immortality Wars series. The first and third books, deal directly with the young warrior Pall Warren and his quest for understanding what is happening to him and to those around him. I wanted to have him fall in love with someone who could match him, not only in terms of strength of character, but also provide him with a source of support for faith and belief in God. Evangel surrounds him with prayer for protection against those who try to destroy Pall and his world.

A second influence is my love for the stories and poems about the medieval ages regarding Great Britain and France. I wanted to see if I could write a 21st century story that has an epic sweep to it similar to the works of older writers like Sir Thomas Malory, Chrétien de Troyes, and modern writers represented by T. H. White, Stephen Lawhead, Parke Godwin and Marion-Zimmer Bradley.

I also love the storytelling of science fiction authors like Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card as well as those of fantasy authors, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Ursula K. Le Guinn, which is the third wellspring of inspiration for Part II of the Penitent.

My fourth source of inspiration is from storytelling about the Bible that were created by writers and by the cinema. Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, written by General Lew Wallace (1880), and the 1959 movie; Lloyd C. Douglas’ (1942) The Robe, and the 1953 movie; and the work of the Scottish author George MacDonald, are examples of inspiration that fueled my hopes of writing something similar, yet unique for our contemporary age.

With these above influences, I wanted to see what could be created if I put together the voices of Tolkien, Lewis, MacDonald, Stephen King, Dean Kuntz and Lee Child.

Evangel is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I wanted to have a strong and compelling young woman as a major protagonist in the first trilogy. I thought she should share some of the attributes and personal history that Joan of Arc experienced in her life. I also wanted a complex individual with other characteristics and traits. As a boy, I was very much influenced by reading the poem “Evangeline”, which was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1847. This influence helped deepen Evangel’s personality as well as her spiritual understanding and perspective. She wants to live a quiet life with her adopted grandfather, Matthew, but swirling forces are around her and The Refuge where they live battling for supremacy of power. Like Heidi in Johanna Spyri’s (1881) novel with the same name, Evangel is an orphan and grows up in the wilderness. I hoped to create a woman whose innocence is deepened by the power of God. The core of this innocence will be tested by hell itself. Yet, she has the ability to keep her mental and moral balance. I wanted her to be wise as well, but in this part of her story, she’s growing into such wisdom. She becomes a major ally of one of the other main characters, Pall Warren, in the Penitent. Indeed, they fall in love from afar with one another.

I enjoyed the world you’ve created in your series. What were some themes you wanted to focus on while crafting your world?

It is difficult for me to answer your question as I don’t want to spoil the plot and overall background context of the series. I am hoping to write a trilogy of trilogies, or an ennealogy. It is partly based on the concept of a Russian doll, one in which there is a doll within a doll, within a doll. The three trilogies represent three different sets of realities stacked over one another. The first trilogy is the smallest one. The second, the Pilgrim, and the third trilogy, the Prophet, set up a thought experiment about what the nature of life will be like in the 26th century. The present time of the story is 2562, but despite hints through the Penitent, the characters and readers of the story are witnessing a tale seemingly out of the Middle Ages. However, all is not what it seems.

What will the role of science and technology play in our lives five hundred years from now? Will there still be believers in God? What tension will exist between faith, science and technology? Besides being a sci-fi, fantasy saga this series is also a spiritual adventure offering a glimpse of the future where heroes, demons, blessed and cursed battle over an elusively sought potion for everlasting life. For the majority of those alive in 2562, science offers a Jacob’s ladder to immortality. Faint echoes from religion barely register in the awareness of those living in this era.

“The end of suffering. The demise of death. Life unchained. Time conquered. The elixir of life found. The jewel of forever in the palm of life’s grasp…”

This is book two in your Immortality Wars series. What can readers expect in book three?

Book three is a return to Pall’s quest to meet again with John Savage after being separated from him in a dreadful battle that occurs at the beginning of book one against marauders and a demon named Ünger, who simply tears apart any human being it can find. Pall continues his quest not only to reconnect with John Savage but also to summon the strength and courage to continue his search for meaning. The role he must play by determining who he is forms an integral part in the destiny of everyone around him.

Pall’s journey is reached at the port city of Seascale where he soon discovers that the realm of West Fundlund is also imperiled and under attack by the renegade priest Kosem Mungadai, a thaumaturge of the 13th level in the occult arts.

Will Evangel’s prayer of protection still surround and preserve Pall from wickedness? Are courage, strength of arms and the blessings of love capable of enduring and overcoming the corrupting power of malign forces seeking the utter ruin of his world?

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The next novel in The Immortality Wars series continues . . .Her parents are viciously murdered by a band of killers. Hidden in the bottom of a roadside ditch as a baby in swaddling clothes, Evangel is only steps away from them. An old hermit, Matthew Greatworth, finds her the day after this tragedy unfolds.She is touched by a rare spiritual power and raised by Matthew in the heart of a sylvan wilderness. Evangel grows up in the quaint hermitage Matthew built years ago.In her 17th year, outlaws terrorize Matthew while she is away. The young girl reaches him just as his eyes are carved out of their sockets and placed on a stump before him.The miracles and struggles against those seeking to kill her, as well as those disbelieving the power of her presence, all come together in a battle of good versus evil. In a vision of clarity and prescience amidst her struggle for survival and meaning, she finds her future soul mate, Pall Warren, on a battlefield of death, and casts a prayer of protection around him. Evangel’s remarkable journey to save herself, her newfound friends and then those who believe in her, brings to the reader a hauntingly beautiful and startling tale of wonder.

Dark Days

Dark Days is a story about a girl named Maya. who is an outcast because she hasn’t completed a traditional rite of passage known to her people as the Leighesan sect. While being born to the Leighesan sect, she belongs to the Dempsey clan and spends her days training to become the best she can be. Her goal is to achieve knowledge and skill that surpasses people of her age and the elders as well.

Maya must compete in the Cluiche which is an ancient set of games and competitions that, for years, has showcased the best of the best. Little does she know that by competing in the Cluiche, she will not only have the chance to change her future but the prospect of clans everywhere. Learning who she truly is and standing for what she believes is right, she begins her journey with her two friends Jeremias and Willum, and finds support and hardship in places she never thought she would. War is budding on the horizon and the appearance of a figure that for a time only she could see, she knows that time is running out, and her destiny might be coming sooner than she thought.

Dark Days was a compelling read that was consistently entertaining. The book’s ending leaves the reader desiring more as well as wanting to see what happens next. One minor complaint I have is the ending of the book seemed a little rushed. Maya’s strength is inspiring and I admired her ability to not care what others thought of her. It’s a nice change of pace to see such a strong and intelligent female character in a book.

D.W. Saur does an excellent job of developing complex characters such as Maya’s friends Willum and Jeremias. There were times when I wanted to yell at Willum because he wasn’t serious when the stakes were high. This shows the level of attachment I had with the characters and how much I had invested into this epic story line. Maya made some decisions that were a little questionable, and I wish she had been a little more honest with her friends, but I understand where she thought she had no choice. I am still not completely sure who the villain is and am looking forward to finding out in the next book.

Dark Days plunges readers into the depths of a complex dark fantasy world that begs to be explored. D.W. Saur sets up intriguing characters that face some enormous challenges, but watching them overcome them is half the fun of this adventure novel. I look forward to reading the sequel when it comes to fruition.

Pages: 278 | ISBN-10: 1646630491

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A Labyrinth of Shaped Worlds

Edward Willett Author Interview

Edward Willett Author Interview

Worldshaper follows Shawna as she discovers the ability to shape her world, but also discovers that their’s an evil entity threatening her world. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?

I’ve always thought it would be interesting if authors could live in the worlds they’ve created. The setup for the Worldshapers series makes that a reality. So that was one bit of inspiration.

The other was simply my desire to come up with a series idea that would allow me to write all sorts of stories. I like to compare it to Doctor Who, the greatest storytelling concept anyone has ever crafted. You can tell any story within Doctor Who because the Doctor has the ability to travel anywhere in time in space. So there have been stories set in Victorian London, in the far, far future, on strange planets…literally anything is possible. The Worldshapers series, where Shawna is tasked with travelling from world to world within a vast interdimensional Labyrinth of Shaped worlds, gathering the knowledge of their making to take to the mysterious Ygrair so she can save all of these worlds from the Adversary, likewise permits any kind of story I want to tell.

Shawna’s ability to shape worlds is intriguing and I loved exploring it in the book. What were some driving ideas behind this ability?

I think it goes back again to the power we have as writers to make changes within our stories. Most of us have had the experience of writing entire scenes or chapters that we changed our minds about and discarded. What would it be like if you were living in a world where an author did that? Something you experienced would simply never have happened…but the author would still remember it. That’s exactly what happens when Shawna shapes her world. She’s essentially a writer editing what she created on the fly. But just like changing scenes in a novel can have unexpected consequences later on, forcing the author to replot or perhaps even to change the ending from what he or she originally planned, so Shawna’s Shaping of her world keeps having unintended consequences that complicate her life.

Shawna visits many different worlds throughout the book. What were some scenes that were you favorite to write?

She only visits one world in the first book—her own—but she sees quite a lot of it. I think my favorite bits were the journey on the sailboat, the Amazon (named after a boat in a favorite series of mine as a kid, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome) and then the adventures in the tunnels of the mysterious island at the end, which reminded me of playing Dungeons & Dragons. Oh, and the time in the mountains, especially the encounter with the bear…

This is book one in your Worldshapers series. What can readers expect in book two? 

Book 2, Master of the World, just released in mass-market paperback (after coming out in trade paperback and ebook formats last fall), sees Shawna on her own, separated from her companion, Karl Yatsar, and having to make her own way across a world inspired by Jules Verne—so it’s full of strange flying machines and steampunk submarines and floating islands and weird weapons. I had a ton of fun with that one.

Book 3, The Moonlit World, will be out September 15, and the best way to sum it up is my unofficial working title, “Werewolves and Vampires and Peasants, Oh My!” It indeed takes place in a world Shaped by someone very fond of werewolves and vampires…as, of course, am I.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebook | Website

For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.

But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They’re about to kill Shawna. She can’t believe it’s happening–and just like that, it isn’t. It hasn’t. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna’s friend never existed…

Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna’s shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others–if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth’s heart.

Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.

Alathea: Goddess & Empress

Alathea: Goddess and Empress by Dylan Madeley is an adventure-filled fantasy novel that is sure to please fans of  epic fantasy like the Game of Thrones. The name of Madeley’s novel intrigued me from the very beginning, and the novel kept me engaged through the closing pages with its fast-paced chapters and unexpected plot twists. Reading this in 2020 when many of us are stuck at home with few options for escape, it was certainly a treat for me to follow the adventures of the characters in Alathea: Goddess and Empress across the Coast Empire and through the streets of Port Selumer.

The novel centers on its namesake, Alathea, who is the young heir to the Coast throne. Alathea’s age is vague, she is not a girl although net yet a woman. Alathea is educated in the ways of the world by her sage tutor, Rheb, yet she has much to learn if she seeks to assume control of the throne. Alathea’s father, Emperor Maximian, is an abrasive character who frequently lets his rage get the better of him when dealing with both friend and foe. As the course of events unfolds, Alathea finds herself taking on the responsibilities of the throne and defending her kingdom from enemies at many angles who wish to usurp her power. With the support of Rheb and Einar, a young warrior from a northern clan, Alathea takes on new powers, both earthly and mythical.

With Alathea: Goddess and Empress, Madeley has created a novel that you can hardly put down due to the excitement and action contained within its 300-odd pages. I frequently found myself staying up past my bedtime to finish a chapter to see how Rheb and Alathea triumphed over their challenges, and Madeley does a good job of keeping the plot fresh and surprising. The novel struggled, though, with its main character: Alathea is not particularly likeable, and I frequently found myself feeling annoyed with her actions and her gratuitous self-indulgence. I struggled to relate to her emotions and felt she was a bit too unsympathetic of a character to be a protagonist for whom I would want to cheer. Thankfully, Alathea is surrounded with good people, and Rheb and Einar are strong supporting characters. Rheb was perhaps my favorite character, and I would love to read a novel by Madeley about his development and experiences. His vast knowledge and mysterious aura really appealed to me, and every chapter from his perspective was a delight. Madeley also excels in his descriptions of hand-to-hand combat – these scenes truly blew me away with their detail and expertise!

Alathea: Goddess and Empress is creative and engaging, with several very positive supporting characters. The world that Madeley has created in the Coast empire is one worth exploring and I hope for future installments in this literary world.

Pages: 288 | ASIN: B085LDXDZX

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