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Literary Titan Book Awards May 2018

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

Don't Call Me Chip by [O'Donnell, Neil]A Game of Life by [Musewald, Anna]Descendent Darkness: Book Three: Redemption by [Macready, A.J.]

Stillness of Time (Seeker of Time Book 2) by [Buckler, J.M.]Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries by [Anastasiou, Mel]My Name is Nelson: Pretty Much the Best Novel Ever by [Fairchild, Dylan]

Returning Souls by [Colombo, Ernestine B.]Traits and Emotions of a Salvageable Soul: A Conversation with a Touch of Class: Volume 1 by [Crawford, Keeshawn C.]The Ancient Sacred Tree: Birthing a Hero by [Brenner, Dawnette N.]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Masks by [Restokian, Nataly]Beyond the Code by [Barthel, Kelsey Rae]

YEGman by [Lavery, Konn]The Ice Factory by [Phillips, Jason Roger]

In Darkness, There is Still Light (Wheeler Book 2) by [Zalesky, Sara Butler]Lessons from a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us by [Elliston M.A.T, Sarah H.]

Fire in the Heart by [Mooney, Lesley J]

The Ghetto Blues by [Brooks, Tammy Campbell ]Man with the Sand Dollar Face by [CassanoLochman, Sharon]

 

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

 

 

It Just Kind of Happened

M.L. Sparrow Ghetto is a dystopian novel where the people must fight against segregation. What was your inspiration for the ‘ghetto’ and the injustices the people face within it?

To begin with, Ghetto started as an idea for a story based on WW2 and the Holocaust. Clearly, other inspirations took hold and I decided to go another route with it! However, that was the inspiration for the Ghetto, the fight against segregation and all the other terrible injustices. Maybe one day I’ll actually write that WW2 story…

Sunny Beaumont is a sheltered computer geek that gets caught up with rebels fighting against the same government her father leads. How did you handle her transition from a pampered life to one where she’s hit with a dark reality?

Like most things when writing a story, I found it just kind of happened! I know that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but it’s the truth! I did try to make the transition slow and gradual, in an effort to make it realistic, giving her clues here and there, then letting her slowly connect the dots until she realized the reality of life in the Ghetto.

Many young adult novels have strong female protagonists. Why do you think that is a popular trend and why did you choose a female character as your lead?

I think it’s a popular trend, because people want to show that girls can be the strong ones too, that we’re not always the damsels in distress. This, however, wasn’t why I chose a female lead character – my reasons weren’t as good as that! My main reason was that I find it easier to write from a female perspective, but also because (no offense intended) I often find that women are more emotional and often open-minded, which was something I really needed in this book to make it work.

I thought you did a great job in this story with pacing and tension and setting a realistic mood. What is your writing style like and how do you use that to achieve a well written scene?

Although I’ve been writing all my life, I’ve only started doing it seriously in the last few years and I don’t think I’ve settled into a writing style just yet. Thinking about it, I’m not sure I want to… I just try to fit my way of writing into a way that fits the type of book I’m writing. At first, I found Ghetto difficult because I’d decided to write it in first person, from Sunny’s point of view, which was something I’d never done before. When I start writing a scene, I don’t really think about how I’m writing it, usually it just flows. However, when doing an action scene or something fast paced, I do try to keep my sentences short and simple as I feel that it helps to give the scene a ‘snappy’ pace. On the flip side, to slow a scene down I like longer, more complex sentences.

Are you working on another book? If so, what is it about and when can I read it?

Yes, I am. This one’s a bit different from my current works, as I’ve decided to steer away from Sci-fi and fantasy to create a contemporary romance based at a Texas university, between a British scholarship student and the schools star quarterback. Star-player (I’m still undecided on the title!) will be the first of four books in the What Happens on Campus series. I’ve almost finished it, actually, but it still needs a lot of editing! A tentative release date would probably be some time in the Autumn, maybe late Summer depending on how quickly I edit, but no promises! For more information, you can always check out my website which I keep up to date.

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website

GhettoMy name’s Sunny Grace Beaumont. Branded SGB/2/6895/03.12.93. Only child, self-taught computer geek and cancer survivor. Oh, and did I mention my dad’s the President? As you can imagine that’s sometimes a little problematic, especially when I want to sneak out. But it never got me into quite as much trouble as the night I ventured into the Ghetto – don’t ask me why I was there in the first place… it was stupid. Everyone knows that the Ghetto is where hardened criminals are sent to live out the remainder of their lives. At first the men that kidnap me are just as I’d imagine, mean and thoughtless, but slowly I begin to have doubts. I meet a guy. His name’s Sin, he has no Brand – a crime punishable by death – and he’s the rebel leader. I should hate him… but I don’t. Instead he opens my eyes to a whole other side of the Ghetto, where people are innocent of the crimes they’re accused of and helpless children suffer dreadful poverty. Is it possible that I’ve been lied to my entire life… that the governments been deceiving everyone? And how can I challenge the law my own dad is adamant to uphold?

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Ghetto

Ghetto4 StarsSunny Beaumont is the protected, pampered teenaged daughter of President Peter Beaumont. It might seem like a charmed life, but Sunny is trapped in a class-based society where her only friends are her stylist and her robot. She’s a budding computer genius and tinkerer, keeping herself busy with low-level hacking and rebuilding obsolete equipment for fun.

When Sunny needs a part for her project, she discovers it inside the Ghetto—the compound where criminals are confined for the good of society. When she ventures in to retrieve it, she’s kidnapped by the resistance. Her experience helps her discover that the rigid class system is hurting innocent people. Can she use her position to change society? Or will she accept the status quo?

If you’re a fan of the film District 9, you’ll enjoy Ghetto by M.L. Sparrow. The book examines similar social issues including segregation, guilt by association, and injustice. Though it was a little slow to start, the author uses the first few chapters to provide a lot of detail about the world Sunny lives in. Every member of society carries a brand that’s impossible to remove and mandatory for living in the city. The brand is so important that it’s a capital offense no not have a brand. It’s definitely written for a younger audience, but the fast-paced plot and rich descriptions make it a good read for any age. Told in the first person, Sunny shows us her world in her words and helps readers understand her actions and her motivations behind them.

When Sunny is kidnapped, she’s initially terrified, but the longer she stays as a “guest” of the resistance, the more she realizes that things aren’t right. She questions herself, even wondering if she’s experiencing Stockholm Syndrome until it’s clear to her that the system that was supposed to provide safety and security has gone terribly wrong.

She starts to make friends with other group members like Maya and Kit and develops a crush—and a tentative truce—with Sin, the leader. Of course, a romance slowly develops between Sin and Sunny. I really enjoyed that it wasn’t sudden, or forced, and they butted heads and fought until they were friends, and the romance came naturally. She also makes real friends for the first time in her life, people who like her for who she is, not her social position.

One thing I really liked about the book is the action. The author is very good at pacing and tension and setting a mood so realistic that at times, I felt like I was part of the story. There are only a few instances of actual violence, and those are handled in a realistic manner. It was also refreshing when Sunny realized that violence wasn’t the solution; the real fight was in the arena of public opinion.

The biggest problem with Ghetto wasn’t the story, or characters, or plot. There are too many errors in the text. No book is perfect; I see typos in nearly every book I read. But there were enough punctuation problems and homonym errors that I got distracted and couldn’t overlook them. A good proofreading pass would catch these, and would make this gem of a novel shine brighter. That said, it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story.

Overall, I recommend Ghetto for the great characters and the rich world that M.L. Sparrow builds. If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, science fiction, or you’re just looking for a good romance, you won’t be disappointed!

Pages: 382 | ISBN: 1516913744

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