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.
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In the Orbit of Sirens by T.A. Bruno is a bone-chilling science-fiction thriller that warps fiction, fantasy, and reality in wonderful and scary ways. It begins when humanity is left stranded after a starship destroys the Sol-System. They head to Kamaria where an intriguing and deadly alien species is also in competition with them. The main characters of this book are Denton and Eliana, both of them intelligent and resilient people who go on an action-filled adventure to save their world. There are also flashbacks used to make a more detailed and well-drawn world, but these are well-written and only add to the non-stop momentum of the plot. It’s hard not to get sucked in from the get-go as fantasy and science mix to create a delightfully balanced and quick-paced story.
One of the author’s main skills is his ability to write a creepily believable alternate universe. Kamaria, the Earth-like planet, for example has many elements reminiscent of Earth but there’s just a few things that are off that make it a scary and seemingly hostile place. The mountains and rivers are strange and dreamlike, with strange arches and technicolor waters. And of course, the airborne bacteria causing the “lung-lock” affliction. Which is terrifying at any point of time, but especially when our own world is in a pandemic. It might be a little too close to home for people in search of pure, unadulterated escapism, but I personally enjoyed it and thought this plot element was woven in perfectly with the rest.
Eliana and Denton were endearing characters, both in how they were smart yet grounded and practical. I was on edge while waiting for their paths to finally cross. Although the story is broader than just their relationship, I found I was rooting for them two and found a lot of joy in their interactions. There’s a lot of creativity in the storytelling, both in the non-linear timeline and the way the worlds are built: with horrific aliens and the transmuting Undriel. It is a violent story without being nonsensical or gratuitous.
Ultimately, In the Orbit of Sirens is a story about humanity’s ability to fight the odds till the end and emerge stronger, if not victorious. I was grateful for the ending as I was definitely in need of such a sentiment, and I’m sure many people are too. Although it is a dark and atmospheric story, I think it ultimately shows the best in its characters and humanity in general, so it’s perfect for anyone who has even a little bit of interest in the science-fiction genre.
Pages: 516 | ASIN: B08L1BT3QS
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My Life My Story My Journey & A Tall Tale is an autobiography that details how meeting your twin flame forever altered the trajectory of your life. Why was this an important book for you to write?
This was an important book for me to write for the simple reason. As more and more people become awakened to their spirituality. And the soul’s evolution continues. Clarification and answers can be found in other souls documented journeys. Letting them know that they are not alone. And insane they are not. The importance of this book is to engage the reader and open their hearts to the spiritual beings that they are. And to let their souls fly far beyond the density consciousness of the third dimension.
What were some themes that were important for you to focus on in this book?
The twin flame phenomena was of great importance for me to focus on in this book. For without Theresa this book would never have been written. Her being the catalyst to my awakening. Paved the way for the book to unfold and transpire to what it has become. It is our story to share with the world. In hopes that the reader will embrace the reality of the soul’s evolutionary process. That is upon mankind at this time.
What is one thing that you hope readers take away from your story?
I hope that readers will take away from this book. The fact that we are all spiritual beings have an experience in a human body. And that we will all awaken at one time or another. And hopefully our story will engage the reader to search further into the realms of their own spirituality.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on a continuation of My life My story My journey & A Tall Tale. Written in real time as it has unfolded. At this time I have no idea when it will be available to the public. Book two is complete and I am working on book three at this time. I have been very humbled at the reviews received so far. And send out sincere gratitude to those who decide to open the book and read its pages. I thank Theresa once again for giving me the courage to speak my truth to the world.
Posted in Interviews
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1 Law for All – Gator is the third installment of a Billy Angel’s political thriller series. This book is a suspenseful crime fiction story set in modern times. There are two storylines that this book follows; Dominica and her upcoming nuptials, as well as the Fair and Freedom Foundation, which is an organization consisting of mostly millennials who fight against voter fraud. They have sought help from the 1 Law for All Foundation as the organization has drawn attention from dangerous people. With the backdrop of a wedding and the action-packed dangers of the political waters, Gator country is in trouble.
There is a lot to unpack in this book thrilling book. It felt like an alternate timeline to our current situation in the U.S. There was great detail put into the the plan to tamper with the election by the Democrats in this high stakes political thriller. They were heavily involved with having votes changed by various nefarious means, Russians were involved, and there was even mention of Clinton conspiracy theories at one point. All are uncanny portrayals of the extreme views both sides take in todays turbulent political climate and that same tension is successfully reflected on the page in Billy Angel’s riveting thriller. I appreciated how well thought out the plan was to commit election fraud as it made it feel real, which allowed me to get further invested in the story and the characters. This story utilizes right-wing conspiracy theories to great affect. Those theories in our current political climate can be dangerous and delegitimize our democracy, but Billy Angel, like any good fiction writer, asks the question of ‘what if’ and sets his story on a path that is entertaining.
1 Law for All – Gator is an intriguing fictional take on election fraud, even introducing nanobot technology at one point, which having a bit of science fiction infused in the story was surprising but welcomed. It was this futuristic take on how to change the votes that I enjoyed. Fans of political thrillers that like complex storylines and well orchestrated action scenes will enjoy this well written book.
Pages: 335 | ASIN: B08HVG8PT1
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What was the initial idea behind Blood Divided and how did that transform as you were writing the novel?
I wanted to continue to show how the world I built is full of shades of grey. These people are doing what they must to survive. The good guys do bad things, and the bad guys do things that, depending on which perspective you view them, may not be so bad.
BLOOD DIVIDED was always meant to be the story of the next generation. How will they grow and move forward when a time of peace is jeopardized? Four children with four different desires and goals. I found it fun to grow with them in each edit of the book. I am incredibly happy with how it all turned out for this, the newest version.
What was one of the hardest parts in Blood Divided for you to write?
Some of the back story in the beginning. It was hard to write it without it being a little too much “telling”. I would have loved to have had a prologue, but my editors and publishers always advise against them. LOL.
Other than that, it was smooth. I had it all very well imagined before I started writing it and I feel confident I conveyed the messages I wanted to.
The characters in Blood Divided are complex yet relatable. What is your process for creating such deep characters?
Although I write in fantasy, urban fantasy, and horror, I always try and write characters with realistic flaws. I have always believed that it is our flaws that make us relatable.
When I was young, my uncles would always call and brag to my dad about my cousins’ accomplishments; they all had good grades all the time. In turn, my dad would tell my uncles all about my trials and tribulations. I did not get good grades. I did not like school and was often bored and unmotivated.
So, when I was a child, I did not gel with my cousins and my parents never realized why.
When I was in college, I felt like I was the only one in the family people truly related to. Why? Because they knew the building blocks of the foundation of the person I had become.
Who were my cousins? They were the people with good grades. I never knew much more about them. Did they struggle to pass their driver’s exams? Did they have health issues? Surgeries? Migraines? Did they all go to their number-one-pick colleges? Did they ever fail a class? Have a bully? Win or lose a physical fight? Who knows? So, to me, my cousins were mostly one dimensional and uninteresting.
I learned for this experience, which is one reason why I write my characters the way I do.
(FYI- I grew to better understand some of my cousins over the years. I even like a few of them. Okay, maybe two. LOL)
Where does the story go in the next book and where do you see it going in the future?
The next book takes place a few years later with two of the characters returning to Illyia and Kel Tora. I do not want to spoil who, but one is returning for honor and the other for family. These two have had a very eventual time away. And they are returning in much different roles then they left with.
The book is written, and it is so big I had to break it into two. So, the original three book series is now four books long. I can’t wait until the publisher puts out the next one. It is tentatively called: HEART BOUND.
Posted in Interviews
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The Hainan Conflict is a superb follow-up to book one in your The Net thriller series. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?
There were several ideas that I wanted to include in The Hainan Conflict. Interestingly, they were all based on elements of truth. The very first chapter hits on one of those elements: A female Russian virologist developing biological weapons and selling them to various countries and/or terrorist groups, along with the deliberate release of a deadly strain of smallpox in Kazakhstan in order to test its potency.
The next factual element I wanted to include was the mid-air collision between a US spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet in airspace over the South China Sea, resulting in the US spy plane’s forced landing on Communist China’s Hainan Island. This actually occurred on April 1, 2001, and set into motion a highly charged political situation of top-secret US intelligence possibly getting into China’s hands. A lot of research went into the characteristics of the planes involved, the base where the US plane had originated from, etc. to make the story as believable as possible. My husband and I were living in Southern China at the time (we had even vacationed on Hainan Island) and we were (naively) surprised at how different the news accounts were between US and China sources. It was at that point that I realized that having a free press doesn’t guarantee the truth any more than a government-controlled press. I think that is something we as Americans take for granted, and wrongly assume that our news isn’t editorialized.
The next factual element was Hainan Island itself. It is just as beautiful as described in the book. And, here again, truth proved stranger than fiction! The descriptions of the resort/beach area, Wild Boar Island, the unusual military training camp on the beach, the primitive village with female leaders bearing facial tattoos, the hidden caves, even the modern computer in a plastic tent, were all facts based on personal experiences there. And, the island’s history of a native women’s group defeating the government’s army is factual. A dear Chinese friend was kind enough to research that information for me.
So, where does truth end and fiction begin? I leave that for the reader to figure out.
The relationship between Yi and Sarah was consistently intriguing. What were some ideas that informed their conflict?
The characters of Yi and Sarah are composites of the best qualities in some of the friends and judges we knew in China. Such qualities included a fierce loyalty to family and country, and a dedication to seeing China rid itself of poverty and corruption. However, some of the characteristics of the average Chinese man were not so charming. These included excessive smoking, spitting, and a tendency to treat women as second-class citizens. It was not uncommon to see a man step in front of a woman in line–simply because she was female. (This infuriated me, and I tapped a few men on the shoulder to point out their error!) The conflict between Yi and Sarah certainly comes from the issue of his being American and a spy (and therefore unable to confide in Sarah his true identity and purpose). Adding to the conflict and intrigue, Yi’s character had to be different from the average Chinese male. So, he regularly does things more typical of an American. This confuses Sarah. The fact that he’s an attorney by profession rather than a spy gets him into trouble on several occasions. Plus, he misses his life in America. Much of Yi’s conflict stems from Sarah’s life in Tibet with Buddhist/vegetarian traditions being so different from his Christian American ones. Yet he is fascinated by her beauty, her brilliant legal mind, and her strong female personality. He struggles with the distraction of falling in love, while being in an uncomfortable situation that could cost him his life.
What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?
The main goal was to be true to the facts. I researched and tweaked the story until I could fit it into the timeline that the facts dictated. That was not easy!
What can readers expect in book three of The Net thriller series?
Although book 2–The Hainan Conflict–is more standalone than book 1 (which was written as an introduction to the series, its intertwining stories and character development), book 3–The Panama Contagion–continues the story of the Net organization’s attempts to secure world power, the vendettas between the evil characters and our hero Yi, and the romantic struggles between Yi and Sarah. As readers of book 2 know, the Net acquired bioweapons from a Russian virologist. The use of these weapons culminates in book 3 by way of unsuspecting travelers on two cruise ships returning to the States after a trip through the Panama Canal. A pandemic ensues. Also carried over from book 2 is the Net’s plan to disrupt international shipping channels by destroying parts of the Panama Canal. The question is, can Yi stop the Net’s destruction while fighting off a psychopathic killer, and trying to mend his relationship with Sarah, all while the CIA is ignoring his warnings? You’ll have to read it to find out.
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Dee is a surfer who has lived an eventful youth. Managing to survive one dangerous scenario after another, she has pretty much experienced it all. From swimming with Orcas to experimenting with drugs and trying to outwit known criminals, Dee and her friends knew no boundaries. Her summers were filled with one breathtaking encounter after another. She recalls these times fondly and describes the thrill associated with each of their close-calls with an unmatched level of nostalgia. As the years passed, Dee’s family grew and her family meets with their own challenges and successes. Theirs is a life many would look upon with amazement.
Random Summer Storms, by Denise Ann Stock, is the third book in contemporary fiction a series. Main characters, Dee and Ian, have a past rooted in turmoil. They have known nothing but drama since their youth on the coast of California. Wishing to leave their past behind and begin a new life, Dee and Ian set their sights on Florida for their fresh start.
Stock’s third book in a series is, by and large, a narrative. With few exchanges between characters, Random Summer Storms reads more like a memoir than a story with a clearly-defined sequence of events. Dee, the narrator, relates a detailed description of every family member’s activities and challenges. From her own husband and children to her extended family members, she paints a clear picture of each one’s celebrations as well as their business dealings, legal or otherwise.
Random Summer Storms is written in a unique style. While I prefer more dialogue in my realistic fiction, I enjoyed the feel of the memoir. I would have appreciated a little more organization to the story as I felt like it was a bit aimless at times, which left me with questions. This family fiction story felt as though it contained a little bit of everything, there was a motley collection of striking dilemmas and curious conflicts.
Random Summer Storms has the potential to be a truly engaging story, but I felt like the characters are not given an opportunity to flourish in a well-developed plot. Had Random Summer Storms been touted as memoir-esque and edited to read in a more diary-type narration, it could have been quite a fascinating piece of literature.
Pages: 252 | ISBN: 1952269474
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Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book 1 by Norman Westhoff is a captivating adventure story full of inspiring narratives! In the story, we follow Keltyn, a geologist who is exploring a now defrosted Antarctica. Keltyn is trying to find iridium around Mount Erebus, a volcano that the local Onwei tribe has predict will erupt soon! While on her mission, Keltyn makes friends with two teens from the tribe; Luz and Joaquin. While on their adventure, the trio grows, learns, and discovers the ulterior motives of a certain Oscar Bailey! Keltyn must find a way to stop Oscar before it’s too late!
Despite the hardships found within this story, Westhoff has managed to create a heartwarming tale that I could not get enough of! He touched on so many relevant topics, including colonization, global warming, and cultural diversity!
The character development was spectacular and a particular focal point of this novel. We watch Luz grow emotionally from a naïve young girl to a fierce young woman by the end of the novel. I must say, I really enjoyed Luz’s relationship with her mother in this book; it strayed away from the typical nuclear family unit.
The world-building was fantastic! Westhoff took a risk using the real-life issue of global warming as a plot device and world-building tool, but he handled it with grace and elegance. His portrayal of the issue left me with a hopeful outlook, despite it being fiction.
Westhoff’s storytelling abilities are also praiseworthy! He can keep you hooked from page one all the way to page 299; it is incredible! There was never a dull moment; wait until you get to chapter 13; you will not be able to put the book down!
The writing style also captured my attention. It’s simplicity made the story easy to follow and a joy to read. There was never a moment where I had to go back and reread a passage due to intricate text, which can be a common issue amongst indie authors. The chapters where Keltyn was narrating were my favorite!
Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book 1 is a thrilling adventure story that touches on important topics while always entertaining the reader.
Pages: 386 | ASIN: B085YF4RWG
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