Sixteen year old Jude is just trying to get through life while using photography as an outlet. He faces many hardships that a teenager shouldn’t have to face, from his mother leaving to a father who doesn’t understand him. Along with his only friends CeCe and Abel, they are just trying to make it and find their way through life. Jude struggles with telling CeCe how he really feels about her while CeCe tries to help Abel and Jude keep it together. On top of it all Abel has to deal with school bullies because he is gay and considered not normal. How will the three friends overcome the obstacles that life has given them?
Demon’s Land by Sarah Ferguson is an emotionally-charged coming-of-age story that utilizes sharp writing to elevate a contemporary literature story into something that is sentimental but powerful. Jude’s character is dark and brooding. He just wants someone to love him. I found his character to be well-crafted, relatable and endearing. His character gives hope to those who are going through hard times as he channels the same worries that we all have, but the author conveys those emotions in a way that feels sophisticated. I appreciated that CeCe’s character is the voice of reason and she genuinely cared for Abel and Jude. I enjoyed Abel’s character because he is not ashamed of being gay and Jude accepts him for who he is. This makes the novel a fantastically uplifting LGBT novel that feels authentic.
Fergusons is a fantastic storyteller with impactful writing. Her way with writing tells so much in such a short read that I didn’t have questions even though the ending leaves the reader hanging. There are serious topics that are explored throughout the story, but the author handles it beautifully. I felt the isolation and hopelessness that the characters felt and I was rooting for them the entire time.
Demon’s Land is a heart-felt and inspiring coming-of-age novel. I recommend this book to readers who are looking for a profound young adult story that deals with trauma in a way that feels grounded and poetic.
Pages: 120 | ASIN: 0645355992
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Coming Alive is a vibrant and inspiring memoir that follows the author’s spiritual journey, an Italian-American with a deep passion for religion and spirituality. The book is diverse and authentic and details how the author comes to terms with who she is, her sexuality, and how society can be, at most times, closed-minded.
Ierardi’s tone is calm and positive, with clear values and goals. She spends her life looking for the best way to achieve her purpose. The author is determined to never give up, as she conquers many obstacles and difficult situations along her journey. When faced with challenges, Ierardi lets humanity guide her down the right path.
As the author takes the reader through various experiences and situations, she covers many aspects of religion, spirituality, art, astrology, family life, and sexuality. Ierardi delicately but directly discusses how sexual orientation and identity can present a setback where there is a lack of acceptance. However, the author never lets obstacles stand in her way and instead lives valiantly during a time when coming out risks being ostracized by family and community.
I enjoyed the author’s determination and strong spirit, as she presents a clear picture of how she navigates through her family, community, and experiences in life. It’s an immersive story that gives you the holistic view of everything Ierardi goes through and how her journey includes different reactions and experiences as a part of the LGBTQ and feminist communities and movements. Ierardi does an exceptional job of weaving the modern history of social justice and equal rights while searching for a more authentic life.
Coming Alive by Anne Ierardi is an excellent book for anyone from any religion or sexuality. It’s a great read highlighting the personal reward of coming alive while challenging the reader to find their true self and follow an authentic path.
Pages: 241 | ASIN: B09TRZL91W
Tags: Anne Lerardi, author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Coming Alive, ebook, goodreads, ierardi, indie author, kindle, kobo, lgbt, lgbtq, literature, memoir, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, true story, writer, writing
Sparks in the Dark paints a fascinating futuristic world where space travel and alien interactions are the reality. It’s a story inspired by classic science fiction series such as Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Doctor Who. You’ll find many twists in the plot development, including the unlikely pairing of two characters, their respective challenges, and a relationship that is rife with sexual tension and dual points of view, shifting back and forth with a seamless transition and excellent narration. The author handles the complex nature of these characters expertly, engaging the reader from the start.
Cutter and Buzz are complex main characters with strong personalities and intense chemistry. Their on-and-off intensity between intimate and not-so-intimate moments will reel you into some intriguing and captivating dialogue. While the description paints vivid visuals, it is never overdone, and you feel as though you are a voyeur, watching each scene as it unfolds. The reader is guided through the story, learning more exciting developments and diving further with anticipation without feeling overwhelmed with too much information or confusion.
The build-up towards the story’s ending does not disappoint, and readers will find the crescendo of excitement build as they progress through each chapter with bated breath. It’s a cleverly written book with a few sharp twists, including how the plot shifts suddenly, moving in a very different direction. Siewert’s incredible world continues to hold up throughout the story, filling the reader with amazement from beginning to end.
Sparks in the Dark by James Siewert is a creative, science-fiction tale. It is an excellent addition to the genre with an LGBTQ twist. The characters were not only complex and personable, but I found them entertaining throughout the book. I highly recommend giving this excellent story a try, as it is an exciting read that brings new enjoyment to the world of science fiction.
Pages: 251 | ASIN: B0B8DWC41S
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, gay fiction, goodreads, indie author, James Siewert, kindle, kobo, lgbt, lgbtq, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, science fiction, scifi, space opera, Sparks in the Dark, Sparks in the Dark: Buzz & Cutter: Episode 1, story, writer, writing
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
INFINITY: Book of Matthew II by Catalina DuBois
Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.
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The Touch of Her Voice by Sara Scott is a beautiful, realistic story narrated by Jensy, who falls deeply in love with Sophie. In a sudden whirlwind of unexpected romance, Sophie and Jensy develop a deep connection, which evolves into an incredible journey together. As with many relationships, Jensy and Sophie experience an initial powerful and electric bond. However, as Jensy is preparing to finish graduate school and has dealt with many challenges in the past, including previous relationships, Sophie offers her a clean, new slate in life and a brighter future ahead.
The author’s first-person narration is captivating and emotionally exciting. Jensy’s mixed feelings about diving into a new relationship are genuine and authentic. She knows the impact of heartbreak and considers getting too close to Sophie. They grow together through difficult life experiences and good times, which ultimately shape their future with unexpected twists throughout their lives.
As Jensy and Sophie take the next step in their relationship and move in together, Jensy consistently ponders over her past and whether or not it will haunt their relationship. Will she fall into the same pattern as before or move forward into a better place with Sophie? As their love grows, Jensy must work through many obstacles in life, and ultimately, both women will face a life that is both rewarding and challenging.
Sara Scott writes a fantastic story that is both heartwarming and gut-wrenching at the same time. She gives the reader a well-written, engaging account of a realistic love story that details how the natural magic of love can become complicated and that sometimes, the most devastating hurdles in life are unavoidable. I give Sara Scott’s The Touch of Her Voice a solid 5 out of 5 stars for the refreshing, well-written story that is all too real and sentimental. The love story and journey of Jensy and Sophie will captivate you from the very beginning and keep you holding on throughout the book.
Pages: 321 | ASIN : B0B29J6KVW
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, contemporary, ebook, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Lesbian Ficiton, lgbtq, LGBTQ romance, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, Sara Scott, story, The Touch of Her Voice, writer, writing
Grayality follows two friends who set off to try and restart their life in a small town, only to be faced with hate and judgment while trying to find love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I transitioned in a tiny rural town in Montana. I haven’t faced anything as direct as Pate and Oakley encounter, but I have experienced subtle issues. For the few other transgender people I know here, they have encountered pretty nasty prejudices. Personally, I have found it hard to be open with who I am since there is little support here. I also feel lucky, however, because as someone who transitioned later in life, I have more financial resources and independence than many college students undergoing these changes. I wanted to share both the internal and external struggles that sometimes exist. A great deal of my own personal challenges is portrayed through Pate, but as I reread it now, I know that I have grown. I embrace myself a lot more.
My husband inspired Oakley. He married me when I presented as a woman with neither of us knowing at the time that I was transgender. I know that sounds strange, but I had assumed that I had to live my life presenting as a woman for a long time. He adamantly believed that he could not be romantically or sexually involved with a man. However, he came to realize that it’s the person that counts. I will proudly say that his attraction for me has not faltered. I wanted to convey his internal struggles with sexuality that stopped him from supporting me for nearly three years. However, in the end, he showed me that love knows no gender.
Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?
My inspiration for this entire book comes directly from my life, but I will add some more to the first question in this regard. I struggle with social anxiety and have experienced some bad bouts of depression. As a mental health counselor, it is important to me to share these experiences without shame. I did reveal a lot of them through Pate. Sometimes it is difficult for me to even read those parts of the book, but they are a part of my journey. Also, it is hard for me as a transgender person to share my own internalized transphobias that were present when I first transitioned, which is also portrayed through Pate. I am in a better place now with my identity and even see it as a gift rather than a tragedy. I wasn’t always there, so I am happy with my progress.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
This novel has some very heavy themes to it. Identity is a major theme in several ways. Foremost, Pate is coming into his identity as a man while Oakley is discovering his bisexuality. However, both characters are young and are still figuring out what direction they want to take in life, making this a coming-of-age novel.
I would also say that prejudice is a theme. While there is obvious prejudice against LGBTQIA people, readers could also say that Pate and Oakley show some prejudices against rural communities. Stormy was created as a character who shatters these preconceived notions about ranchers. Lastly, I would say acceptance is a theme. The characters learn to accept themselves while also discovering that others will accept them, too.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next novel is Acing the Game, which is getting published through Extasy Books and will hopefully get released either later this year or the beginning of 2023. This novel is a contemporary LGBTQIA+ romance about two married bisexual men – a popular small-town chef (trans and ace) and a shy and reserved high school principal (cis and allo) — who are thrown for a loop when the latter finds himself yearning for more sexual discovery. Through a surprising dive into polyamory, they explore every side of their compatibility. . . and just might learn how strong their romantic bond can be.
Shep Lee thought he had it all. A successful restaurant, a loving husband who understood his asexuality and, most of all, the ability to be himself, a popular chef in the small town of Cloverleaf, Montana. That is, until his husband Elmer Eshler began pushing Shep more on sex. Elmer doesn’t understand why he can’t turn his partner on – aren’t they perfect for each other? And Shep loves him, right? Shep, meanwhile (while confident with his body) is and always will be sex indifferent. Why has Elmer suddenly changed his tune? But he doesn’t want to lose the man he loves so much. What can they do?
Shep convinces Elmer to try a polyamorous relationship. Elmer gets to have Shep and the sex life he has always wanted. Shep gets a cooking buddy and a chance to experience a relationship, and even try sex, with a woman, as his authentic gender. Shep isn’t sure at first but finds himself coming around – this feels safer than opening up the relationship. All three of them will be romantically involved, so that should ease any jealousy, right? But when Willow Saint, a free-spirited, boisterous and saucy young woman, comes into their lives, neither are prepared for the emotional and sexual rollercoaster that follows. Enthralled by Willow’s charm and kindness, Elmer and Shep struggle to understand what this means for their own bond.
Can they become one happy family? Or will this ruin everything?
Acing the Game is a novel about loving others, loving oneself and the intricate nuances of asexuality, sexual insecurity, polyamory and relationships. Starring three memorable characters who find each other in completely different but wholly satisfying and sexy ways, (and with plenty of emotionally erotic scenes and a lot of heart), Acing the Game shows that there are many dimensions and paths to satisfaction and love.
Posted in Interviews
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First Born Sons follows five different groups of people in the LGBTQ+ community whose lives end up intertwined due to a series of events. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
All the major characters in First Born Sons have come from three of my previously published novels, Four Calling Burds, Tio Jorge, and Deluge. Though I’ve never written sequels, several of my fans expressed an interest in knowing what happened with these characters. At the end of the respective books, all of them would have been living contemporaneously and in the same geographical area. I had the idea of not only continuing their stories, but having them interact and in one case fall in love. The background to the events is the Covid pandemic, but it’s not really about the pandemic. The personal issues the characters are dealing with are complicated by the health crisis though it’s only one of many crises that take place in 2019-20. Others include wildfires, Black Lives Matter protests, divisive politics, and general racism and homophobia.
What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?
In general the characters confront the notion that families, both alternative and traditional, can give us strength or tear us apart depending on how one handles the issues. Simple love doesn’t alone conquer all. It takes perseverance and being true to oneself.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
One narrative tackles gender identity and how transition causes upheaval not only for the person changing but the loved ones around them. Another story revolves around extremist politics causing disastrous consequences for a family. Still another examines an older gay man finding love when he no longer believed it could happen. And one of the main themes is two gay men trying to protect their mixed-race son as he deals with the complications of becoming a teenager in a society that still struggles with racism.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Since I’ve gotten over my hesitancy to write sequels with this novel, I have embarked on a new project, which follows the story of the coming-of-age character in my novel The Mayor of Oak Street. It’s 45 years later and he is dealing with growing old after a life of love and loss. My intention is to make it more of a romance, but we’ll see how things develop.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fiction, First Born Sons, goodreads, kindle, kobo, lgbt, lgbtq, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, Vincent Traughber Meis, writer, writing
The LGBTQ+ community has become more mainstream and visible than ever, but for those who live in small or rural towns, they may still struggle. Pate Boone, a young transman in his 20s, knows this all too well. When he moves to the tiny rural town of Cloverleaf with his best friend Oakley Ogden, he does not expect much. Neither does Oakley to be honest, but to their surprise, both end up finding love with mixed results.
Grayality by Carey PW is a raw look at what not only transgender people and those questioning their sexuality/identity go through on their road to acceptance. At times, Pate and Oakley’s story can get downright uncomfortable. Homophobic slurs and behaviors are thrown about in a way you would expect from a conservative and judgemental community. However, it does the job of painting the environment these friends are trying to navigate and survive in. Despite this, they still put their heart out there, trying to look for love. For queer kids, more is at stake than just their hearts.
No character is a hundred percent perfect. Pate and Oakley, themselves have their own flaws. The author creates these three-dimensional characters that you can’t help but root for. Some villains or bullies might appear two-dimensional, but any queer kid living in a small town will tell you how persuasive homophobia can be. This is yet another thing Carey PW gets perfectly in this book. He truly holds nothing back in his depiction of these homophobic townies (such as Bullet) who are fueled by their hatred.
I am giving Grayality written by Carey PW 5 out of 5 stars for its authentic portrayal of what it is like to be on the LGBT spectrum and the harassment that can be directed towards them. This might be a difficult read. Yet, this makes it such a memorable one! It holds no punches and has readers on edge till the end.
Pages: 297 | ASIN : B0B1F4TJJX
Tags: author, bisexual romance, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Carey PW, contemporary romance, ebook, gay fiction, goodreads, Grayality, kindle, kobo, lgbtq, LGBTQ romance, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romantic comedy, story, Transgender romance, writer, writing