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Literary Titan Gold Book Award October 2022

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

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 writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Gold Award Recipients

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Captive Attraction by Patricia Crumpler

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

Literary Titan Silver Book Award October 2022

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

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 writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Silver Award Recipients

MacGregor’s Final Battle by Joe Clark

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

The Last Conspirator

This is a riveting historical fiction novel set in 1640’s Portugal under the rule of King Filipe. The discontent of those who live under him continues to grow. The people begin to revolt against the many changes that benefit only one person, the king. A masked man, also known as Captain Gualdim, fights the king’s soldiers in order to give back to the townspeople. Three knights Don Diogo, Don Afonso, and Don Pedro, all considered fine men by anyone’s standard, set out to unmask captain Gualdim and find out who he is once and for all. The three knights fight for the hand of Laura de Noronha, the beautiful daughter of Don Antonio de Noronha, who has become involved with the masked man. Will Laura’s secret life be uncovered? Will the knights discover who the masked man is?

Author Isabel Ricardo provides readers with an action-packed historical fiction novel that’s colored with Portugal’s rich history. Each character is introduced with a description of what they look like and their mannerisms. While I think this makes it easy for readers to visualize the characters, I would’ve liked to have the characters introduced through the story, rather than the author telling us. I like that Laura’s character is still feminine, but she also has a spunky side to her. This makes her character fun to follow because you don’t know what she’s going to say next.

The author’s writing style is playful yet serious at the right times. I enjoyed the playful banter between the three knights. The flirting between Laura and Don Pedro is sweet and it shows his charming side. The tension begins to rise as everyone in the story begins to suspect that one another is the masked man. This made the story hard to put down because I too wanted to know who he was. The plot twist threw me for a loop and was something that I did not expect. It was a shocking but pleasant surprise and I wouldn’t change the ending.

The Last Conspirator is a lively historical fiction novel for fans of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers or for readers looking for an adventure story that channels Johnston McCulley’s The Curse of Capistrano.

Pages: 476 | ASIN: 1949868699

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Skull’s Vengeance – Book Trailer

A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.

AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent’s stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin’s head.

To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin’s cause.

Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?

Skull’s Vengeance

This historical fantasy story is set in the first century AD, where Brittania is at constant war with Gaul. The protagonist, Catrin, is a Celtic warrior who has a difficult romantic decision to make when her secret Roman lover, Marcellus, refuses to join her as her king in Brittania. She can either live without him in her homeland or live with him in Rome as his scorned foreign mistress.

I enjoyed the depth of Catrin’s character and how her bravery manifests throughout the story. She is a strong female protagonist that reminds me of Lagertha’s character in the TV show Vikings. Catrin has a wicked half-brother, Marrock, who is a powerful sorcerer who will stop at nothing to destroy her. I reveled in Marrock’s character probably just as much as Catrin’s character. I enjoy a good villain and I think that it’s the villain that really sells a fantasy story, to me anyway. Catrin has no option but to join forces with former enemies. The dramatic turn of events throughout the novel is unpredictable and makes it difficult to choose when to put the book down. I was always interested in seeing how Catrin was going to handle the next twist.

As the fourth book in a series, the action relies on the considerable backstory to make sense of the plot. Tanner does make an effort to fill in the details to get the reader up to speed. I think this book is better as a continuation of an epic rather than as a standalone story, but if you don’t mind missing a few details you’ll still find plenty to enjoy in this novel. The best part of this book, for me, is the way the action is set amongst real-life history and well-known legends. The story fits within the lore of King Arthur and mystical Druids, giving this novel an authenticity that many fantasy stories lack.

Skull’s Vengeance is an evocative and gripping fantasy adventure that long time fans of the series will heartily enjoy. This is a fast-paced read that will appeal to fans of epic fantasy that are looking for a bit of history infused in their fantasy lore. Skull’s Vengeance has well-defined characters, a deep backstory and a well-drawn plot. I think it’s best suited to adult readers who don’t mind some graphic violence and sex scenes.

Pages: 402 | ASIN: B0BC2GCFGG

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Peyton’s Promise

When Peyton arrived at Calumet Castle for a summer job, she had only a vague idea of what to expect. She knew of her wealthy employers and that her progressive ideas and choice of career made her a target for the social circles but little else. It came as a huge shock to find herself working alongside her childhood best friend, Patrick, and in turn, they were both shocked at how much their three-year absence from each other had changed them. Rekindling her relationship with Patrick, navigating new feelings for him, rediscovering her faith, trying not to anger the staunchly old-fashioned housekeeper of the castle, and doing her actual job give Peyton a busy and conflicted summer to contend with.

Peyton’s Promise is the third novel by Susan Mathis in her Thousand Island Gilded Age Series. Set in the Thousand Islands, on the St. Lawrence river, these stories take the setting and make it a palpable part of the story being told. Peyton’s Promise is no exception, describing the sights and homes of the area with beautiful depth and recreating what it might have been like in the early years of the 20th century when the area was a popular destination for many of the wealthy elite in society.

Mathis is adept at weaving historical figures into her fiction and has done so in this story with the Emerys. Calumet Castle’s owners function as the mostly absent champions of Peyton’s work, an upholsterer beyond her apprenticeship. Mathis always includes a brief note to explain the real history she has included, with details about the families, their homes, and more about the area.

Peyton’s Promise has a similar feeling to the other Thousand Island stories. Readers will find enjoyment and take comfort in returning to the beloved landscape and having the experience of revisiting a favorite vacation location. The storyline moves quickly with an internally conflicted heroine, a love interest that seems too much at odds to ever succeed, and a rival antagonist that seems on the cusp of bringing disaster more than once. This book is truly wonderful and difficult to put down! The pacing has readers engaged from start to finish. Additionally, the amount of detail included about the Islands is just enough to encourage some further research. They are perfect for a light read for those that love a Christian historical romance novel.

Pages: 291 | ASIN : B09N6J5X6M

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The Devastation of War

Andrew Tweeddale Author Interview

Of All Faiths & None is a coming-of-age tale focusing on the relationships of the characters and how they fall victim to the tragedy of a needless war. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I marched against the Iraq war and wanted to write a novel that showed the needlessness and brutality of war. The following year I visited Castle Drogo on Dartmoor. There is a room in the castle that is a shrine to the memory of Adrian Drewe, the eldest son of the tea baron who commissioned the castle in 1910. It seemed to me to be the perfect setting to tell a story about war. I wanted to introduce the reader to characters they would grow to like and then have each of these characters deal with the effects that war has on people’s lives. I therefore created a fictional story set around Castle Drogo that led up to the final tragedy of a lost generation.

Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Thank you. I did not want to create stereotypes but rather rounded characters with flaws. I wanted to take ideals such as faith, duty, conscience and honour and see what would happen to characters when faced with the devastation of war. In many cases the ideals that the characters believed in are questioned or lost by the effects of the war on their lives.

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

The necessity of war and its consequences on those caught up by it. However, I also wanted to look at what drove people to enlist and how people dealt with tragedy.

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

The book I am currently writing looks at the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya and considers whether it is ever right to use torture and oppression to stop an enemy who uses the bloodiest tactics imaginable. It has a working title of ‘The Nuremberg Paradigm’ and should be completed within the next two years

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In the autumn of 1910 the famous architect, Edwin Lutyens, receives a letter from Sir Julius Drewe for the commission of a castle on Dartmoor – Castle Drogo. The design for the castle focusses on both the past and the present and reflects Britain, which at that moment is in a state of flux. Lutyens’ daughter, Celia, becomes enamoured with the project dreaming of chivalry and heroism. The following year Lutyens and his family are invited to a stone laying ceremony at Castle Drogo. Celia meets Sir Julius’ children: Adrian, Christian and Basil. Adrian has an unbending sense of duty and honour and is seen as a hero by Celia when he rescues a farmer from a fire.

The novel moves to 1914, and the start of the Great War. Christian Drewe returns from Austria where he has been working as an artist. He has reservations about joining up, unconvinced that the war was either necessary or right. He meets a nurse, Rose Braithwaite, when he is stuck at a railway station by fog. They subsequently meet again when Rose invites Christian to a party she is having for her birthday. Despite them being of different classes, there is a mutual attraction and during the evening they kiss. However, Rose is engaged and a fight breaks out between Rose’s fiancé, who arrives much later, and Christian. Both Rose and Christian decide never to see each other again. Christian’s moral conflict about enlisting comes to a head when he is handed a white feather – the sign of a coward. Eighteen months later, during the war, Christian is injured and is treated by Rose at a hospital on the front line. Both realise their mistake of following their heads rather than their hearts. Christian is sent back to a rehabilitation hospital in England where Celia is now working.

Adrian, when on leave, visits Christian and again meets Celia. The relationship is now one of equals. Celia, a headstrong young woman, decides that she must try and develop the relationship or risk losing Adrian. Adrian is torn between his desire for Celia and his need to protect his family, who are now having financial problems. The story moves from the battlefields of Flanders to Castle Drogo, where the characters are reunited for brief periods. Faith and love are stretched to their limits as each character is affected by the relentless brutality of the war. Of All Faiths & None is the story of a lost generation. It is a novel that focuses on the relationships of the characters until those relationships are shattered. It is a coming-of-age tale and a social commentary on the tragedy of a needless war.

Wasn’t That a Time

Wasn’t That a Time by Chip Hannay is riveting military romance novel set during the Vietnam War that touches on many aspects of life and struggles, including duty, passion, love, and camaraderie. The heart of the story focuses on Gid Bubchek, a Marine chopper pilot, and Ginger Lee, an enigmatic feminist, and the complicated emotions they experience together, in their respective positions, and within their relationship. The author candidly covers many challenging aspects of preparing for war and living in dangerous conditions while exploring diverse characters, their storylines, and their sense of humor.

Author Chip Hanny, a war veteran himself, gives the reader an authentic and unique perspective into soldiers’ lives leading up to the war and how they support each other the most during uncertain and challenging experiences. The author provides vivid details of overhead military helicopters and combat scenes amid the intense humanity throughout the story, despite the battle’s unfortunate circumstances and horrors. The book focuses heavily on character development, which carries most of the plot, and allows readers to get a close-up and raw look into their lives.

This is an excellent romantic thriller that is perfect for readers looking for a military fiction novel with a heart. I especially enjoyed this story because of its particular view of the Vietnam War and the way the story shows how it had a lasting impact on the generations of people that followed. This thought-provoking story gives readers a lot to reflect on about war and its effect on society. I recommend Wasn’t That a Time for the author’s ability to relay his experiences as a veteran into an entertaining book that contains a personal reflection on the impact of war. It’s a raw and explicit but thoughtful story that delivers a powerful message on the importance of camaraderie.

Pages: 253 | ASIN: B0B5HMFVHQ

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