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Deification

Deification by Brooklyn Dean is a violent, sexy, supernatural whirlwind of a story that follows Torrence, a young woman that has survived the opening; tearing of the sky that indicates the end times. Angels and demons now roam the earth, carrying out their personal and spiritual plans. Torrence is on a deadly, seemingly Satanic, mission to capture and murder seven virtuous people, a set of communion rituals assigned to her by Conrad, an individual that may or may not be a demon. The path she cuts through this new world is grim, edgy and immensely entertaining.

This book does a great job of turning on its head the common theme of the seven deadly sins being defeated by a hero on their path to righteousness. Instead, this book deals with dark themes, flawed characters, and it does it all as the main character seeks to invite those deadly sins into her body by murdering individuals that represent the virtues that oppose them.

I’ve seen other authors try to delve into these kinds of topics get caught up with too much sexual content, too much violence, or other issues that make other stories feel off-balanced and immature. Author Brooklynn Dean though has truly struck a masterful balance in this dark supernatural thriller, all while leaving the reader to wonder if the main character is truly on the path she believes, or if those holding the cards are keeping secrets.

If there is a weakness in the story, it comes down to flashback scenes that are perhaps a little too numerous and stretch out just a bit too long. It’s not major, and I’m sure many readers will actually enjoy these scene changes that round out the secondary characters.

I am absolutely enthralled by this story, and I hope there is a follow-up installment coming soon. Deification is a horror novel that takes evangelical themes to some uniquely sinister extents in riveting style.

Pages: 137 | ASIN: B08TGS2D1Y

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The Day Albert’s House Went Quiet

The Day Albert’s House Went Quiet details the life of a young boy named Albert who experiences a change in his home: peace and quiet. Albert wakes up one day and finds that his mom is not getting angry with him because of a missing sock and finds that his family too is not arguing or shouting. This is a big change for Albert, because he is used to chaos–so accustomed to it that he and his group of friends at school bonded over the chaoticness at home.

Author Dr. Debbie Obatoki has created a great children’s picture book that teaches young readers that there are always solutions to our problems. This story also illustrates how change is not always a bad thing, for Albert the change that happened was for the better and it strengthened his family. This book is a perfect way to start a conversation about change with your kids. The bright and emotive digitally rendered graphics compliment the light-heartedness of the story and will allow children to learn and understand different emotions. This is a wonderful story with a great message. The Day Albert’s House Went Quiet provides plenty of educational material in one feel-good story that will entertain any young one.

Pages: 46 | ASIN: B08SYN76R7

 

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Facing The World And All That It Has Become

C.S. Kading
C.S. Kading Author Interview

Sanctum: Sands of Setesh follows a Knight Wanderer on a final quest but the desert proves deadlier than expected. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Honestly? We live in Arizona, so we are surrounded by the desert, and it is always trying to kill you, if you aren’t careful. The Pandemic had just started, and the Governor had just placed our State under lock-down. Tony and I were sent home to work from our houses, and had only our household companions and the internet to keep us company. We had often written little stories and side quests for a couple of groups that we belonged to (We are old-school fantasy gaming nerds). So we just started to write a scene back and forth in Google Docs about these two characters. Well, ok, they are kinda cool – but… how did they meet? What did that look like? Next thing we know, our little story (that was designed to keep us sane) was 50,000 words and growing. So we decided to turn it into its own story… and here we are. Did the current environment play into the formation of the plot? Maybe a little, can’t lie.

Isolde du’Avalonne is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

Isolde really is that young woman who is seeking to make her mark on the world – in this case, a world that may not be too thrilled to accept the path that she has chosen for herself. She is an idealist as well as being steadfast in her friendships; even when those friendships may involve a people that her own might have avoided historically. She is the eternal optimist – not because she always finds the silver lining in every rain cloud, but rather because she chooses to recognize that challenges and hardships are part of life – she can either embrace those hardships as potential for lessons and become stronger for them, or allow them to consume her. If she (in her youth and inexperience) can still manage to continue the battle, even when offered a reprieve … she stands as a beacon of hope for others who might otherwise throw in the towel.

Being perfectly honest, I think see a lot of my daughter in Isolde – a young woman, coming into her own, and facing the world and all that it has become. She’s a pretty inspiring kid.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There are a lot of hidden (and not-so-hidden) themes in Sands of Setesh. We have an overarching theme of acceptance that we see in the relationship between Isolde and Tulok. Not only do they have to come to terms with their differences in faith, but also their racial and cultural differences. It was really important that when we wrote Sands, that Isolde did not become a “white savior” type of character. She is in a strange land, with different people, and different customs, and she has to figure things out on their terms…and she gets her butt handed to her more than once in the process. She has to learn about these people, and their land … and their Gods… to survive. Her own faith helps to guide her; but not to the detriment of the Seteshi.

We also see the psychology of nature versus nurture in Tulok. Man versus Monster. Intellect versus Passion. He has chosen the path of the faithful, which has cut him off from his own people. Does that make him LESS than what he would have been otherwise?

We have some obvious call-outs to embracing female heroes as worthy of their own leading roles, and not merely being labeled a romanceable side-character.

Being honest – it’s more than a little about racism, and overcoming it – being better, and doing better than those who came before us. Finding the similarities in cultures, celebrating and embracing these as well as appreciating uniqueness instead of denigrating for difference. It’s the realization that we are all in this together, and without each other, we are not gonna pull through it on our own.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

We are currently working on a follow up to Sanctum: Sands of Setesh where we travel to Isolde’s homeland and continue our adventure there. Working title is Forests of Avalon. No more spoilers there; except to say you will get some deeper insight on the complexity of the cultures of Sanctum and what the Reaping meant for other lands. We are about ¾ of the way done with the 1st draft and hope to have it finished around the same time this year (September) as last.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Every faith has a story of how the world ends. It’s hard coded in their mythologies. But when the end of the universe actually happened, it was unlike anything ANY of them predicted.

Saved from the desert sands of Setesh by Orc priest Tulok, Knight Wanderer Isolde du’Avalonne must complete the last quest of her Lord, Ser Reynard the Swift; but the denizens of the desert have other plans for the foreigner and her savior.

A tale of the Daring and the Divine.

Welcome to Sanctum.

Just as Unforgiving

J.R. Dunbar Author Interview

J.R. Dunbar Author Interview

Saint follows a man who’s given his wish to be a superhero but finds that the super hero life is not what he expected. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

To be honest, part of my inspiration comes from a fleeting, and perhaps juvenile, frustration. Every so often I find myself pondering the fact that superheroes don’t exist, yet super villains kind of do, you know? As soon I have this notion of a hero coming out of the woodworks to save humanity, it is quickly checked by the reality that it just wouldn’t work that way in real life. That is where Saint’s flaws come from; he played hero out of passion and it killed him, then he came back as what he had dreamed of, yet life was just as unforgiving.

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

Thank you! I liked the idea of a truly altruistic protagonist, yet wanted a character who wasn’t afraid to kill when it was necessary. I enjoyed exploring this concept because it initially seems contradictory, and is intended to make the reader question their assessment of ethics. His journey from a rock-solid, “perfect” character into a flawed, heavily emotional character is also derived from contradiction: “How can I make this character get better in some ways, yet worse in others?” was my mindset. I find it can be boring if characters go in one direction or have too much linear development.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this graphic novel?

An important theme in Saint is self growth while staying true to yourself. Jake stumbles upon his new life as Saint, but ultimately has to revert back to his roots when his back is against the wall. Another theme readers will find is vengeance. I really tried to layer the vengeance and feuds to create a classic cat-and-mouse feel.

Do you have plans to continue this comic series or develop it in other types of media?

Yes! I have plans for two more volumes of equal length, as well as two short novels that will fill in the gaps between. I may explore other media in the future, but for now I am just writing away!

Author Links: Instagram | Website

Jake Barker always wanted to be a superhero. Acting as a vigilante for years, one day he finally got his wish…too bad he had to die for it. As the world’s first superhero, he’s finding that his new life is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Now out for vengeance, will his abilities be enough, or will vengeance find him first?

This contains the full compilation of all 5 chapters, plus an epilogue and bonus art!

When We Read Together

Miss Leanne Brown
Miss Leanne Brown Author Interview

Daniel’s Dreams: Monster Mountain follows a boy who goes on an adventure to a magical land filled with monsters that teach him an important life lesson. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration is two fold. My daughter inspires me to write. She has such a creative and imaginative mind and I adore how innocent her thinking can be. The idea of her going to different places and putting on accents when she is playing filled me with such joy. I wanted other children to experience these feelings when they read my books. Reading is something that we have always done together since she was a little girl. It is something she loves to do and its a nice moment in the day where everything is just focused on where stories will take us. When we read together, I often wonder if I could write books like the ones we read together. As an English teacher, it was always something I wanted to do, but when the Pandemic hit and the world came to a stop, I took the opportunity to sit down and write something in the hope that it would be enjoyed and that it would help children all over the world. I always hope to make my daughter proud, and if she enjoys the stories I write then I am making progress with my dreams.

My second inspiration was children in general. I had always wanted to help children, which is why I became a teacher. When teaching became more about data and ticking the right boxes than it did about the children, I decided to leave my teaching job in a secondary school and joined a special educational needs school. It was there that I was able to be of more help, but I wanted to help more. It was evident that children were suffering more than ever with their mental health and that they needs a way of understanding. It was important to me to help children with mental health, as I too have suffered with mental health, and know just how difficult it can be to understand and to express. If I can help one child understand mental health then I am on my way to accomplishing just what I wanted.

The art in this book is exceptional and really brings the story to life. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Leanne Brown?

When writing the book I had in mind exactly how I wanted the monsters to look. I researched different mental illness, the colours that represent them and the key features. I then had a written description of what I wanted as well as a rough drawing of what I wanted. I then sent all this over to Bear With Us Productions who commissioned Yogesh to do the illustrations. I had seen Yogesh’s work before and really liked his style of illustrations. Yogesh read the descriptions and took guidance from me on colours and key features that represent mental illnesses. He worked his magic and I must say that I am over the moon with what he has created. They are just what I had imagined in my head. He really made everything come to life for me and the story. I am already looking forward to working on the next book with Yogesh. I can’t imagine the characters any other way than they are now. It is exciting to see how he will bring the new character Preston to life as he suffers with depression.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Children’s mental health is really important to me. I have worked with children who have suffered with mental health but have been unable to articulate how they feel and how to understand their feelings. It is easier to show a physical illness than it is a mental illness, so I wanted children to know that they are not alone and that there are numerous people out their suffering with a mental illness, and that there are thousands of people wanting to help. I hoped my books would go someway to explaining why a child might feel the way they do and how they can deal with those feelings. My hope is to continue to write books for the series of Daniel’s Dreams, focusing on one particular mental illness at a time. This will be done through the idea of Daniel returning to Monster Mountain and meeting previous monsters and new ones.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book is the second in the series of Daniel’s Dreams which will focus in Depression. We will meet a character called Preston who suffers with depressions. His monster friends find it hard to understand why he is behaving the way he does. They feel that Preston let’s him down a lot. Daniel tries to understand what is going on with Preston and gets the monsters to show more understanding. Daniel, too, needs to understand what depression is so that he can take this back the ‘real world’ where he wants to help his friends and next door neighbour, Josie.

The book is currently in the process of being finished off before it goes to editing and then production. I am hoping it should be out and available later on this year, 2021.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Daniel is worried, he must do something at school that he finds difficult. But when he meets Dex and is taken to the magical world of Monster Mountain, Daniel finds the tools he needs to cope. When it comes to the big day at school; will Daniel be able to keep his cool?This book is a beautiful story about a young boy, Daniel, who is shy, kind and often worries about things that happen in his life. When he goes to sleep at night, his dreams take him on magical adventures where he meets new people and goes to new places. However, this particular night is different. He meets Dex, who appears in his bedroom, and takes Daniel to a truly magical place called Monster Mountain. Daniel notices that every thing he meets there is very unique. Whilst there, he notices someone who really needs his help. In the process of helping his new friend, Daniel learns some ways to help himself. The ideas behind this book are to raise awareness of mental wellbeing and mental illnesses in children. The underlying story will offer strategies to cope and show symptoms that can be identifiable to both children and parents. However, there is a lovely story that can be enjoyed without having to focus on the mental wellbeing and illness.

Charms and Quirks Tell the Story

T P Graf
T.P. Graf Author Interview

Tumbleweed and Dreams follows a man who starts over in Texas and finds a more rewarding life than he had expected to find in a small dusty town. What made you write a story about this topic? Anything pulled from your life experiences?

I worked for several years at the university in Alpine, but it wasn’t until I took a couple-year break from life in IT that I was really able to immerse myself in the cultural diversity of this remote part of Texas. I was, for a time, first a volunteer and later the director of the county food panty and became a close friend of the previous director. The experience gave me personal connections to both the generous people (of their time and money) who supported the work and the clients who benefited from that generosity. On a personal level, I found living in the desert very nurturing. Work took me away for a number of years, but we plan to return there to live in 2021. Writing the trilogy sealed that decision as we found ourselves quite homesick.

If Hollywood came knocking what actors and actress’s do you picture playing the leading roles?

None come to mind though I can see Jane Lynch (coach on Glee) making a pretty convincing Sallie. I would hope for a very strong casting director who really “got” the book to find relative unknowns well-suited to the peculiarities of each character. Particularly, in the case of Sallie, Billy and Ernesto, the match of physique and personality is integral to defining their character as well as the musical talents needed for Jaime, Billy and Ernesto.

You always write such grounded and authentic characters. Were you able to relate to your characters while writing them?

I’m glad you perceive them in this way. When I wrote, “Stories for Tyler,” I found it surprisingly easy to relate to very ancient characters and to try to tell their story in a fresh way. For each of the novels, the characters become familiar companions. I just try to get out of the way and let the sum of their experience, charms and quirks tell the story.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have completed the other two books in the trilogy—“Night Air Descending” and “Seeds in the Desert Wind.” Right now, I am working with my friends on the final edits. “Night Air” will be released in March and “Seeds” about a month or so later.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Jaime Cruz is a native Californian whose dream of the good life has ended in abject failure. With little more than peanut butter and an old Ranger pickup, he heads to a west Texas town he’s only seen in a movie where he longs to find a new life and some glimmer of hope he’s ever really known.
What he finds in this remote, desert town is a host of characters that slowly work him into their lives as he works them into his own. Jaime can’t conceive of a plan for his life—instead he takes each day as it comes. In the captivating, generous and unpretentious lives of the people of his adopted home, he finds that humor, solace, joy and dignity abound.

In This Strange Universe

Konn Lavery
Konn Lavery Author Interview

Into the Macrocosm is a collection of dark and bizarre stories that follows a character that observes 22 unique deaths. Did you write these stories specifically for this collection, or did you write them over time?

I wrote these stories over time. In 2018, after the launch of my thriller novel, YEGman, a friend of mine suggested writing shorter fiction – lower investment and a chance to explore new writing styles. The short stories have lived on the blog as a monthly release for my existing readers and to entice new ones. Over time, enough of them accumulated to make a collection.

A few additional short stories snuck their way into this book, like Inspirer, Crusaders, and Mr. Super. The stories were revised before being brought into the collection, allowing me to clean them up and improve the ideas and styles.

The overarching storyline with Malpherities was added specifically for this collection to support the growing Macrocosm that encompasses all my stories. This storyline was written in the second person with the Nameless One as a tribute to my readers over the years, letting them – in a way – be in this strange universe. Malpherities also plays a crucial role in my dark fantasy series Mental Damnation, so it was fun to bring him back for this book.

This collection fits within the universe you’ve created with your other novels. What are some moments fans can look forward to in this collection that connect directly to your other novels?

Malpherities, the ghoul, has the most prominent appearance within Into the Macrocosm. He has always been inspired by the Cheshire Cat and is quite versatile from a writing perspective.

We also get a new look into The Kingdom of Zingalg, where Mental Damnation takes place. Malpherities comments on the mystical land as humanity shifts into the modern world, leaving the fantastic things lost in history.

A fun cameo is Allen Oil Site Solutions, which makes appearances in my horror novel, Seed Me, and my upcoming horror, Rave. The company has been in the background for a long time, but I’ve got sinister plans for it in the future.

I really enjoyed the different ideas explored throughout this collection. What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Death is a common theme in all of my writing. We’re alive for a tiny blip in the universe’s history and its future, which makes life such a precious gift. I ponder what defines being alive a lot, which unintentionally led to many of the shorts having characters either dying, contemplating death, transcending, or barely surviving it.

The overarching plot with Malpherities and the Nameless One was written about a year ago when the pandemic started. Our world entered a weird state of limbo with the lockdown in Canada. Naturally, I started to dive further into philosophical ideas, spiritual concepts, and where humanity is going in the long run – as we see with the SciFi shorts Harvesters and Scrappers.

The most essential theme in the book is living life. I hope readers feel a resurgence to live it and enjoy this short gift. Hence the “observer” concept with witnessing others’ lives. We’re too often passive with technology integrated into our day-to-day activities, and we forget to pause and be here now.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

My next book is a horror novel titled Rave. It will be out in the spring of this year, most likely in June. Here’s a one-liner summary:

Seth, cursed by his cousin’s crime, love, and desire, has no sweet release at the Rave after he and his friends carelessly get their DNA on an unexplainable murder; the RCMP will believe that these drugged-out kids saw a horned man-beast decapitating people – right?

I am also continuing the monthly short stories. They have migrated from the blog and onto my new Patreon that launched in February 2021. Like on the blog, they are short stories found within the Macrocosm. The shorts include audio versions I narrate and high-rez downloadable covers for smartphone backgrounds.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Patreon

Genetic Freaks. Celestial Beings. A Talking Goat Head.
Enter an obscure universe through the lives of 22 souls as the Nameless One and their ghoulish companion attempt to unlock the mysterious past of how they died. Yet, danger lurks even in the post-death realm, the Midway, and it is not keen on mortal visitors.
Award-winning author Konn Lavery’s short story collection explores his expanding macrocosm, sharing the same universe as his previous works such as the horror novel Seed Me, thriller YEGman, and the dark fantasy series Mental Damnation. These interconnected tales bring everything under one, strange, unsettling, cosmos.

Literary Titan Book Awards March 2021

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

Trust vs Lust… a biography by Ian D. Niall

Intrepid Spirit by David Tunno

 

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

 

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