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Murder in the Atchafalaya

Murder in the Atchafalaya (Hawk Theriot and Kristi Blocker Book 1) by [Riley, Jim]

Jim Riley’s book, Murder in the Atchafalya, is the story of treasury agent, Kristi Blocker who bravely delves into the swamps of Louisiana to solve the murders of her two fellow agents. Things go bottom side up relatively quickly for Kristi. Some villainous figures force her hand, and she defends herself. Subsequently, she flees deeper into the unfamiliar bayou. She finds herself literally up a tree in order to survive the elements and alligators. Lucky for Kristi, Federal Agent, Hawk Theriot shows up on the scene none too soon.

The book begins with Kristi looking for answers about the murdered agents. As quick as a blink, tables turn and turn back as there is a power struggle between the agent and a man who could be involved in the murders. Quick-witted Kristi proves over and over that she will never give up without a fight, and she can generally outsmart anyone in her path. With a new teammate in Agent Theriot, the pair seems like an unstoppable duo.

This is a great book that will keep readers interested from the very first page. The agents always have tough and dangerous work to do. It feels like there is danger around every corner. Tackling, gunslinging, and dodging bullets paired with the already dangerous Louisiana bayou compounds the hazard. This builds the excitement level and keeps things interesting. There is hardly a dull moment. All of these things make the book a real page-turner with the makings of an action movie. I did notice a few (very few) errors in the book. Over all, though, it was very well-written, exciting, and an enjoyable read.

Readers will likely notice the good vs. evil sort of theme that is prominent in age old tales present in Atchafalaya. Our hero figures are met early in the book as they are fighting the forces of evil from the jump. We are thrown into the good guys fighting the bad, and the bad fighting back. The main characters are likeable, and there are corrupt, menacing characters that readers will love to hate. It doesn’t hurt that the agents are smart, capable, tough, and charismatic.

I also love the use of local color in the book. I can just see the store called T-Bob’s Grocery that is frequently mentioned. The language of the Louisiana natives, as well as their customs and cuisine are present throughout the book. Hawk shops for crawfish and shrimp boudin in the store, helping to bring that undeniable Louisiana basin feel.

Riley made a fan of me. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and would love to see where they go from here. I enjoyed Riley’s writing style and the southern influence that crept in. I highly recommend it.

Pages: 209 | ASIN: B084SPW5G6

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Literary Titan Book Awards February 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

Transference by [Keaton, B.T.]The Enigma Beyond (The Enigma Series Book 11) by [Breakfield, Charles, Burkey, Roxanne]

The Reefs of Time: Part One of the "Out of Time" Sequence (The Chaos Chronicles Book 5) by [Carver, Jeffrey A.]

The Last King of the Mountain: Book One of The True Queen of the Lathai by [Daytona, Camryn]Plague of Witches by [Kennedy, John Patrick]

BADAJOZ: Sometimes you find the truth. Sometimes the truth finds you. by [DE VAL, MIKE ]Grass Miracle from the Earth (Hearing Others’ Voices) by [Campbell Callender, David]

My Daddy Might Be A Wizard by [Hebert, J. J.]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Cecilia House by [Gandossi, Simon]Planet of Gods (Enigma Book 1) by [Crane, David]

The Wrath of Leviathan (The BetterWorld Trilogy Book 2) by [Weber, T.C.]Somewhere Enchanted by [J.F.T.]How to Feel Sexy: The Art & Science of Feeling Sexy and Being Confident by [Salhi, Amine]

Dark Times (EuroSec Corporation) by [Gerhartz, Michael]Cycles of the Phoenix: The Whole Interlaced Souls Series by [Nicholas, C.A.]

The Warramunga's War by [Kater, Greg]

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

 

 

The Journal

The Journal by [Stevens, R. D.]

The Journal, by R.D. Stevens, is the story of a young man’s search for his older sister after she goes missing in Cambodia and the police have given up looking for her. As he navigates an unknown country without any real plans, he realizes his trip isn’t just about finding answers to questions about what happened to his sister, it’s also about finding answers to questions he has about life. In his travels throughout Southeast Asia, as he meets people along the way who help to uncover the events of his sister’s life, he learns to challenge what he thinks he is capable of and to see the world in a different way. In the end, he learns a lesson about what is really important in life.

I thought this story was captivating and that Stevens did a great job of pulling the reader in through a relatable narrative. The narrator shares his thoughts, feelings, and fears with the reader in a way that seems real, relatable, and honest. The regular use of aphorisms in the story is a unique way to not only give the reader some food for thought, but also to help the reader understand the characters better and to get insight into what they are thinking. The way the author plays with time, switching between the current story line and the events of the past, helps to keep the reader’s interest and to slowly develop the characters and their personal histories in an interesting manner.

Although the book itself was compelling, I don’t feel like the title is. It’s vague, nondescript, and, in my opinion, doesn’t really capture what the story was about. In addition, although I found the plot to be well conceived, it bothered me that everything seemed to be a bit too perfect in some parts, a bit too coincidental in the way everything seemed to work out. I felt that the conclusion felt rushed. After taking so much care to build up the characters, the ending came in a few quick paragraphs that didn’t do justice to the complexity of the characters.

That being said, I really enjoyed the book. Although I think there is some room for improvement, the overall quality of the writing was exceptional and the story was engaging.

Pages: 253 | ASIN:  B078C7SH7N

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Sublime Adoption: A Tale of Love and Mendacity

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Sublime Adoption: A Tale of Love and Mendacity by M. Oliva is a heartwarming tale of adoption. While there are moments of warm, tingling feelings, it also delves into the complexities and emotional responses to adoption. Different characters in the story deal with certain situations in their own way including lies and other forms of deception. While this is a fictional story, there are elements that have truth to them as the characters are confronted with everything that comes from this journey of love. Sublime Adoption is a tale that brings together adoptees, adopters and those who made the ultimate sacrifice of allowing their young to find a better life filled with love.

The author has an astounding voice; she draws the reader into the story from the very first sentence. Every sentence is riddled with emotion and pulls the reader in more. The story doesn’t tell one story but three, that of those who are adopting a child, and that of a woman who gives her daughter up for adoption as well as the young woman who was adopted. The story is filled with deception and lies from the birth mother which in turns causes stress and fear on the adoptive parents. The characters are realistic and complex.

The author takes her time telling the story in a progressive way. She does not leave anything out. She creates a compelling tale that invokes strong personal emotions. There are moments in the story when the reader thinks they can predict what will happen, but then the character would do something completely shocking and surprising. Just when the reader thinks the twists and turns have ended, Olivia throws a wrench into the story and throws her readers for yet another loop. This is a book that draws the reader in and sticks with them, it was definitely difficult to put the novel down. In a few short pages M. Olivia won my heart and admiration.

 There were moments that felt as if this story could have possible truth behind them, that maybe some of the things discussed could have been things the author experienced herself. A common thing throughout the book was the use of poetry to express emotions and inner thoughts. Each poem was a beautiful addition to a beautiful story. They each told the reader how the poet was feeling at the time without the use of inner thought or dialogue. It was a fantastic touch and reference to the beginning of the story which was a group of girls hanging on the words of their literature teacher.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt story of families coming together under the revealing of long kept secrets. It is a great story for those who have been adopted, or planning to adopt. There were small moments of grammatical errors and long winded sentences, but despite these minor downfalls the book was a wonderful read.

Pages: 193 | ASIN: B019CI5V18

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