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THE ADVENTURES OF JULES KHAN – A TEENAGE MUSLIM SUPERHERO

The Adventures of Jules Khan: A Teenage Muslim Superhero by [Devji, Karim Kassamali, Devji, Karim]

The Adventures of Jules Khan – A Teenage Muslim Superhero, introduces the world to a fictional project that is shifting the narrative on how teenagers and adults consume faith, fiction and entertainment in mainstream media. This unique and creative story is a narrative on North America’s newest Superhero Jules Khan…

An enormous responsibility is bestowed upon Jules Khan. He is basically still a child and could not possibly fathom the true meaning of this responsibility. The whole of humanity is depending on him for survival. He must keep the book safe. Most importantly, he must keep the book away from the National Weapons Association. He will use his natural superpowers while relying on prayer and friends to remain grounded. He is about to uncover many secrets and find information that will rock him to the core. Will mankind be saved from the evil association?

Karim K Devji has crafted a thrilling and action filled tale of human triumph. He has masterfully woven a tale of a brave young man who is not expected to fulfill his role quite so efficiently but does so anyway with gusto and wisdom. He has told a story the only way it deserves to be told; with great energy. This story pulls in the reader right from the beginning. You get to meet fascinating characters and wander in the mind of Jules Khan freely. The author is a very vivid storyteller, using descriptions that are breathtaking.

As the story takes us through Jules’ journey of bravery, I was inspired by the lengths this young man goes to to bring peace to the world and his determination to instill the idea of respect for all regardless of their life choices or situations.

The book touches on numerous sensitive topics from religion to politics. In this era of over-sensitivity and overreactions, these are very difficult topics to converse about. However, the author navigates that particularly muddy puddle with expert ease. Everyone is represented in this book and does not focus on any one religion. The Adventures of Jules Khan – A Teenage Muslim Superhero is a wonderful adventure book that delivers a message of peace and respect to whoever reads it.

The story takes place in WWII era and captures the feel of the time and place well. The author’s commitment to the story and the intended message are announced in no uncertain terms by the simple brilliance with which the book is presented. It is rare to find a action packed book that would be suitable for both children and adults but The Adventures of Jules Khan- A Teenage Muslim Superhero is able to entertain and inspire.

Jules Khan should be a welcome addition to the MARVEL or DC Superhero Franchise as their newest Avenger or hero that uses his tremendous earth based superpowers and pluralism to easily handle the bad guys.

Pages: 169 | ASIN:  B07F1GYLN4

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Marley Faces Reality

Marley Faces Reality by [Mooney, Lesley J]

Marley and Richard have only just met, but the spark is there, and it is real. Things begin to move quickly when Richard comes to work in the same business as Marley. In addition, he is strangely close to their new manager, Ross Gilmore. The buzz in Marley’s office is all about Ross and the wealth that he has accumulated. However, Marley’s sights are set on Richard, and she is much less concerned about his association with the new man in charge. With dreams of marriage, a family, and a horse farm of their own, Marley and Richard set out to make a life together. Something… just a little hint of something… isn’t as simple as it seems.

Marley Faces Reality, by Lesley J. Mooney, is the story of Marley Bollane, a young woman working hard and waiting patiently for her turn at love and a family. Unlike many in her peer group, Marley has chosen to remain a virgin until marriage. She doesn’t realize how quickly that marriage will arrive when she meets Richard. Their relationship moves quickly and all seems well. There remains something quite unsettling about Richard’s friend and business associate, Ross. Marley can’t shake the feeling, but she also can’t put a name to it.

The underlying and brewing drama is drawn out well throughout the book. Mooney keeps readers guessing and makes it interesting to watch Marley try to piece together the clues she begins to pick up along the way. Marley’s life with Richard moves along at a rapid pace, and the reader becomes easily absorbed in all of their triumphs.

Though the main characters’ lives move along quickly in the first few chapters, it takes a while to get to the meat of the story. When it finally happens, the author brings readers in headfirst. The drama is well-planned, multiple characters are impacted, and Marley is still clueless enough to keep readers yearning for more. When she fails to notice the changes in her children and the impact her brother-in-law has on their lives, readers become irate for her.

Ross, who begins the book as a mystery, becomes quite the villain, and does so fairly abruptly. He returns in one way or another throughout the plot. Whether he is in a face-to-face confrontation or whether previous dealings with him come back to haunt Marley and Richard’s little family, Ross is always there. His presence helps make the book much more than the romance it seemed at the outset.

There are some points in the beginning of the book where the dialogue feels a bit wordy. Some of the exchanges between characters feel much more like narration than genuine exchanges between two characters.

Readers who enjoy an element of romance in their thrillers will find Mooney’s work satisfying. Mooney has created relatable characters, a dramatic story-line with multiple twists and turns, and a heroine to be remembered.

Pages: 276 | ASIN: B07ZNC36XG

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Dvorah: Prophetess, Judge, Warrior

Dvorah: Prophetess, Judge, Warrior: The Simple Girl Who Grew Up to Lead Israel (Fierce Bible Women Book 1) by [Lalli, M.J.]

Dvorah is the only child of Eleazar and Ajalon, and as such she is trained in many different skills to help her parents. Her childhood in Israel is simple, but happy, surrounded by family and friends. One day, late in her teens, her entire life changes when she receives a message from God telling her to sit in judgement of the disagreements between others. She does this to great acclaim for three years before being given an even bigger task- to lead an army of thousands in war, alongside her cousin, Barak. The battle will change their lives and shape their future together.

In Dvorah: Prophetess, Judge, Warrior, M.J. Lalli tells of Dvorah’s life and lessons on her way to becoming the jewel of Israel. The book begins slowly, detailing Dvorah’s daily life with her playmates, time in training inside the wool tent, and time spent learning to make perfect bricks. Through it all, Dvorah’s persistence, precision, and level headedness are consistently referenced as some of her most remarkable traits. In the meantime, Lalli paints a vivid picture of Biblical-era Israel and infuses the text with many stories from the Bible, but never seems overtly religious. Many of the stories are told in the context of Dvorah’s challenges and belief. Other characters don’t feature very prominently, with many of them coming in and out of the narrative just a time or two, and some others appearing only once. Dvorah and her horse Zenja are the most constant players in the tale.

Faith, and remaining true to how you have been taught, stand as the primary themes of the book. Throughout the course of the novel, Dvorah never strays from the faith and religion she was raised on, and in due course is rewarded for her diligence. As a contrast, her childhood friend Simona is used to illustrate the dangers of straying from the path of their religion, suffering all manner of tragedies along with her sins.

Dvorah herself is a well written and well-rounded character that succeeds at her tasks, but never in a way that feels convenient or out of place within the narrative. She works hard for what she achieves. The book is also well written in that it has a religious foundation but doesn’t once feel preachy in the way it’s presented. However, the slow start makes it difficult to get into the story, and the parables, while relevant, are often long winded. The second half of the book does pick up the pace dramatically as Dvorah fulfills the second of her heavenly callings. Dvorah: Prophetess, Judge, Warrior is a thought provoking novel that many will enjoy reading.

Pages: 246 | ASIN: B07VG5J8H7

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Literary Titan Book Awards December 2019

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

Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days by [Wilson Woods, Andrea ]RUNAWAY by [Simonson, C.A.]Tellus (The Thanatos Trilogy Book 2) by [Hackett, Tyffany]

Mango Rash: Coming of Age in the Land of Frangipani and Fanta by [Pokerwinski, Nan Sanders]

Amulet's Rapture (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 3) by [Tanner, Linnea]Spectre: A Kirk Ingram action thriller by [Misquita, Douglas]Harvest by [Werby, Olga]

His Name Was Ezra by [Moody, Craig]The '49 Indian by [Moody, Craig]The Stars of Locust Ridge by [Moody, Craig]

The Fate of Wolves (Legends of the Pale Book 2) by [Smith, Tarrant]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

XHOSETI: FIRST CONTACT by [STEPHENS, ROBERT J]JUMP!: An epic travel and soul adventure by [Louw, Lenerd]

Talon, Come Fly with Me by [Sedlmayer, Gigi]Beloved Mother by [Hunter, Laura]Heart Land: A Novel by [Stuart, Kimberly]

The Progeny: A Novel (Descendants of the House of Bathory Book 1) by [Lee, Tosca]The Mars One Incident by [Curtis, Kelly]

PALE FACE & THE RAVEN by [Dighton, Stacey]

Journey to Children of Bwola Dances by [Amaya]

 

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

Murder On Spirit Island

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Murder on Spirit Island by Jim Riley is a thrilling murder mystery novel set in Louisiana, following Niki Dupre as she attempts to solve the disappearance of a wealthy businessman, Henry Welker. Gunmen, alligators, and a bigger conspiracy is afoot, Niki uses every bit of her impressive skill and experience to get to the bottom of the situation, all without ending up at the bottom of the Mississippi River. With all of the danger surrounding her, she still makes time for John, a high school flame from many years ago, who gives her the Welker case to start her perilous journey.

Murder on Spirit Island is a very well constructed story, as it kept me guessing at every turn. The chapters are short, and many of them enticed me to keep going. The characters were colorful and easily recognizable, although there was a bit of confusion when initially learning of the group of men that often met on Spirit Island. Other than that, each one has their own personality and style, and each one could be the murderer on the loose.

Niki’s character is one that the reader will want to succeed. She is trying to prove herself in an industry where men typically rule the roost, but she doesn’t let it get in her way. The reader will move through the story with baited breath to see the decisions she makes and how she might manage to escape the next source of danger, no matter who it is. She’ll even flirt with a police officer, if she has to.

The story even has some good comedic aspects. Mr. Riley is certainly a quick-witted individual, and he does well to bring in some lighter points. An early example involves some yoga stretches and an unexpected guest entering Niki’s apartment to an… interesting view.

With these fun moments mixed in, this is a mystery adventure that manages to be entertaining in every aspect. With twists and mis-directions sprinkled throughout, the reader will be itching to learn the truth behind each murder.

Pages: 371

Masks (AudioBook)

Anna, a woman who is lying her way through her marriage and relationship with her lover, is laying plans to meet another man, Joe. This man, with baggage of his own, desires to make Anna his prize. Neither of them is looking for a commitment–they have their own supposed committed relationships. Neither of them wants more than a night together, but they both feel the pull that is trying to keep them from ever separating. Anna’s life as a television host, and celebrity in her own right, serves to fascinate him in a way he can’t explain. Her life in Lebanon is one she herself can’t fully explain as she faces the end of what was supposed to be their only night together.

Masks, by Nataly Restokian, details the life of Anna, a highly successful young woman who has managed to make a name for herself in the world despite the challenges she faced growing up. She is outspoken, loved by all who watch her on television, still lacking something in her life. As hard as she has worked and as much as she wants to maintain her lifestyle, Anna can’t help but feel that all of her success has left her empty. Restokian is a masterful storyteller and manages to make Anna relatable and draws the reader into Anna’s fascinating life.

The main character’s history with her family is integral to her success–and her struggle. It is easy to see why Anna fights so hard to make a difference and to make her name synonymous with achievement. Readers will appreciate the description of her youth and her parents’ treatment of her. Many can relate to the sermons she receives from her overbearing mother and the difference Anna’s parents make between her and her sister.

Restokian’s book begins as a torrid romance and soon turns into a touching account of Anna’s past and how the decisions made by both her and her family lead her down a new path–one that she never saw herself needing. I assumed by the tone of the first few pages that Masks would be similar to other romance plots I have read. However, it was soon evident that Restokian took a different tone. The author does not use vulgarity to describe intimate scenes. Instead, she tastefully details touching and loving scenes between Anna and Joe.

I listened to the audiobook version of Masks. The narration is well-done and makes for an easy listening experience. Narrator, Nicole Rene, is adept at tone, making appropriate changes in dialogue delivery, and bringing the reader into the story-line.

Restokian’s work goes far beyond a romance. It speaks loudly and clearly about women’s rights, honor, and determination. Anna, the main character, stands boldly as both a victim of society and an example of survival and triumph. Masks is a must for anyone looking for a romance with an intellectual and poignant message. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Listening Length: 7 hrs 48 minutes | ASIN: B07YVM9TQW


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720 Heartbeats

720 Heartbeats by [Tomc, Jaka]

Rok was living a great life. He was a detective, something he’d aspired to be since childhood. Even better, he was working each day with one of his oldest friends. His girlfriend was more perfect for him than Rok could have ever imagined. Things were good. Until his stolen laptop is returned in the mail, containing a diary entry dated the following day. Each day brings a new update, eerily predicting events in the next 24 hours. As Rok tries to understand the why, how, and who of the situation, everything in his previously idyllic life is upended and he realizes he no longer knows anything.

720 Heartbeats, by Jaka Tomc is an intriguing mix of noir style detective drama, traditional love story, and mind bending science fiction, in a story that comes full circle before its end. What begins with Rok and his best friend Boris on an assignment soon turns into an unwanted and improbable adventure. When Rok’s laptop mysteriously reappears at home, he finds the journal entry but doesn’t give it too much thought. It isn’t until a couple of days have passed that he realizes it gives an accurate, albeit vague, glimpse into the future and by then, Rok is plagued with questions about how it can happen, and who is writing the diary. Things only get weirder when he decides that the only explanation is that it’s a future version of him, which spurns many discussions with Sara about alternate dimensions, the non-linear nature of time, and whether the decisions of present day Rok can change the outcomes of events for future Rok. To complicate matters further, his professional life becomes muddled when he learns some hard truths about people he thought he could trust. Within a week, and with the return of his laptop,  Rok’s entire life changes.

Tomc does a wonderful job with his character’s development and dialogue, namely between Rok and Sara. Their conversations feel sincere, and cover the necessary points of the story without feeling forced. The other characters, while very much important to the plot, nonetheless remain very much in the background. Their interactions are still good, but slightly more flat. The story itself is frequently interrupted by Rok’s inner monologue about the randomness of life, the beauty of love, and various other philosophical musings. Although thought provoking the first few times, these tangents quickly become repetitive and, with a few exceptions, add little to the story. Despite that, the book is truly captivating and unique in the way it weaves genres together. 

720 Heartbeats isn’t lengthy, but manages to contain plenty of action and mystery, and I had a hard time putting it down. The subtle implications presented at the end truly screws with your head as you wonder… what just happened?

Pages: 145 | ASIN:  B07DS81NZR

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The Progeny

The Progeny: A Novel (Descendants of the House of Bathory Book 1) by [Lee, Tosca]

Are we defined by the ones who were before us, or do our actions define us? Do the actions of one individual condemn their future descendants to a dire future?

The Progeny is a thrilling adventure story, echoing the suspense of Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series. The beginning of the story is a little slow but the story picks up and is quickly entertaining. Things keep on rolling as our lead character, Audra and her small group of people find themselves in situations that quickly turn sour. Despite the frailty shown, the characters rise up to the challenges that face them, which made me emotionally invested in the well drawn characters. I frowned when I read about the zealots who were hunting descendants of the most infamous female serial killer in history. Why? They are not the killers. Why harm them? But then people do tend to carry grouses for years, maybe some are crazy to carry ones that pass on from generation to generation. These thought provoking themes kept me hooked. I especially loved Luka character, who loves Audra without any motives or benefits. The author describes the revelation in layers which is all the more warming to my heart.

There are many more layers to the story than initially appears. It shows the depth with which Tosca Lee has crafted her narrative. Overall the story is well written and continues at a good pace.  We get a glimpse into the past of the characters, but thankfully the story does not dedicate too much time on it. The one thing that I did find odd was the persuasion power that every descendant of Elizabeth Bathory (mainly females) seems to have. Why it appears, or what is the reason for it is not explained. Even more curious is that it goes away after a certain age. Why? I need to know! Needless to say, I am invested in this enthralling and thoroughly entertaining novel.

Pages: 337 | ASIN: B010MH9YUW

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The Stars of Locust Ridge

The Stars of Locust Ridge by [Moody, Craig]

Genevieve Delany doesn’t have the easiest of lives. Nestled in the Tennessee hills, she resides in her family’s cabin virtually alone, attending high school, and alternately checking on and being checked on by her mother’s troubled brother, John. Gen, as she is called by her small family, finds herself overcome with any and every emotion possible for a young girl her age. From her newly discovered feelings for Kenneth, the son of Sevierville’s doctor, to her fascination with the moving stars that dance above Locust Ridge, to the night terrors that have begun to plague her, Gen is dealing with more than any one girl should ever face.

The Stars of Locust Ridge, by Craig Moody, is a mesmerizing tale of a young Tennessee girl caught up in a madness she cannot explain and isn’t sure she wants to fully understand. Genevieve is wise beyond her years but at the same time, she is terribly naive and impulsive. Raising herself and depending on occasional comfort from her uncle, who has his own set of issues to face, she remains confused about the way her teenage life is changing and has as many questions about her feelings as she does about her own background. Unanswered questions seem to be the focal point of Moody’s work.

I flew through Moody’s book and allowed my sleep to be preempted by the tragic turns of Genevieve’s life. There are so many things I want to expound upon, but I won’t spoil Moody’s work for readers. I will say this–Moody begins the book with numerous loose ends that the reader sees flying about like so many fall leaves in a whirlwind. They all seem to be related, but the reader doesn’t see how they could possibly ever connect. The true beauty of Gen’s story is that they, indeed, are connected and tie together neatly and into one fantastically written gift by the book’s end.

I am not sure I can say that Moody’s work isn’t completely realistic fiction. The way Moody presents Gen and her feelings about her supernatural encounters, the reader is left wondering, if not hoping, there might actually be life out there beyond our planet. I can honestly say that Gen’s humble life and her innocent outlook on her close encounters leaves me with a feeling much different from any other book I have ever read on the topic. The way Moody intertwines her tragic life with the notion of extraterrestrial beings is unique and captivating.

I could write for days on the treasure that is The Stars of Locust Ridge. Craig Moody, a new author for me, has skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorites. At just under 250 pages, it is a quick read with charming characters and a truly engaging plot that will leave you guessing to the very end. Nothing is more satisfying than trying to outguess yourself as you read, and Craig Moody succeeds in providing readers with just that type of reading experience.

Pages: 244 | ASIN: B07KSXPGJK

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Donal Grant – Trailer

The twelve novels MacDonald set in his homeland make frequent use of Scots dialogue, which has posed a problem for many would-be readers. This new edition of DONAL GRANT, the sequel to SIR GIBBIE, and book four in the translation series, provides the complete original text, but places English side-by-side with the Scots. Also featured is an introduction by renowned MacDonald authority and best-selling author Michael Phillips, along with more of the distinguished artwork of SIR GIBBIE’s illustrator Carrie Stout.

In his preface, translator David Jack praises DONAL GRANT as “a story-sermon par excellence” in which MacDonald blends his powerful mythmaking with his no less powerful preaching: the result being “a kind of fairy-tale for grown-ups.” Donal himself he compares to the author, claiming that both bring us (as Donal brings the proud but unhappy heiress Lady Arctura) “news from a far country, for the lack of which she had been slowly perishing.”

Unique features of this edition of Donal Grant:
***English translations of all Scots dialogue side-by-side with the original text
***Ten original illustrations by artist Carrie Stout
***Introduction by best-selling author Michael Phillips

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