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Stockboy

Stockboy by [Duffy, Thomas]

Stockboy by Thomas Duffy is the story of Phillip, a man who is in his dead-end job. Stuck with no relationship. Stuck in his mundane life. Phillip is a good guy. He is smart. He has a degree. He has an excellent work ethic. However, he feels like he is only spinning his wheels and wasting his time on a life that is going nowhere. He feels his life ticking away while waiting for his love life to work out, his bosses to see his potential, and fulfillment to come his way.

Phillip is such a relatable character. He is sort of an “everyman” underdog. Everyone has felt unfulfilled at some point in his or her life. Readers will definitely identify with this character. He is the typical good guy who finishes last. He’s smart and capable and a great worker. He also gets passed over time and time again for promotions or wage increases at his bookstore job. When he does find a woman he loves, his life tailspins in that area as well. He can’t catch a break. As my grandfather would have said, “If it’s not one thing, it’s the same thing.” Phillip lives a “Groundhog Day” sort of life on his cyclical hamster wheel of a life.

The themes in the story fit right into our current social climate. Wages are stagnant. Growth is slow. College students owe student loans they can’t pay while working jobs below their qualifications. People can’t go to the doctor because they can’t afford insurance. When they do get insurance, they are still scared to go to the doctor for fear that the condition will be worse than they expect. People are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Opportunities for a better life are few and far between. People still manage to get up, put their torn sneakers on, and go back to the grind everyday. This is Phillip. He personifies a big chunk of the American workforce, and likely those abroad.

The writing is great. It is simple and direct without being boring. It doesn’t feel pompous or overbearing. Thomas Duffy is a good author that way. He reels you into his stories and his characters in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling he’s attempting to make up for content with flowery language. The content is there, so he doesn’t have to put on airs. I saw one or two simple typos. Beyond that, the spelling, sentence structure, etc. are great. This was an easy read. The book is easily digestible and could be knocked out in a weekend. Duffy books are always page-turners for me.

Other than a few minor errors the writing is solid, the characters are relatable and the situations they find themselves in will hit close to home for many readers. I like this writer’s style and have read his work before. He delivered again and didn’t disappoint. I’d love to read more of his work.

Pages: 200 | ASIN: B00CA517C8

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Escape to the Biltmore Trailer

It’s 1895. Beautiful Dr. Anna St. James has won the battle to earn the M.D. after her name when her father dies, suddenly throwing her into great debt. After moving to a shabby boarding house on the Lower East Side of New York, Anna receives a marriage proposal that would cancel her father’s debt but would chain her to a man she neither loves nor trusts.

Desperate to escape, she applies for a position at a TB clinic in Asheville, North Carolina, close to the home of her friend, Daphne Vanderbilt, who invites her to spend Christmas celebrations at Biltmore Estate. On her journey Anna meets the handsome Dr. Richard Wellington. She is captivated by the dashing British physician, but she soon becomes convinced that he is like every other male physician at a time when the American Medical Association does not admit female doctors into its membership. Can they put aside their differences and allow their love to flourish?

Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community. Visit us at hartlineagency.com.

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Literary Titan Book Awards December 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

House of Pain (The Forsaken Ones Book 1) by [Holm, Denna]Apex Five (The Plane Book 1) by [Katz, Sarah]The Infinite Wisdom (The Snow Adventures Book 2) by [Estes, Danny C]

American River: Confluence: Book Three of the American River Trilogy by [O'Connor, Mallory M.]

From Despair to Hope and Healing: One Woman’S Journey in Poem by [Mezera, Barbara K.]An Indian Goes Around the World – Ii: What I Learned from My Thirty-Day European Odyssey by [Prabhakaran, M.P.]Once Upon a Blog: Then and Now by [Hallmark, Shelley L.]'A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: the Great Norwich Flood of 1963, a Survivors Story by [Moody Jr, Thomas R.]

East Wind Blowing by [Leeward, C. U.]Seven Ghostly Spins: A Brush with the Supernatural by [Bossano, Patricia, Gerard, ft. Kelsey E.]So, You're Raising Your Grandkids!: Tested Tips, Research, & Real Life Stories to Make Your Life Easier by [Hodgson, Harriet]Christmas with Snowman Paul by [Lapid, Yossi]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

The Mage's Tome: Cry of the Acere Duology: Book I by [Hampton, Arisawe]

Damnation: A Grimdark Fantasy Political Drama by [Valec, Igor]Phoenix : A Novel by [Arti Chugpai]Destiny Revisited by [Tremayne, Eleanor Tremayne]

Kumite For Love by [Malcolm, Judy]Angel Virus: A Novella Trilogy by [Squire, Joshua]Sunken Spanish Treasure Quest by [Johnson, Richard Joseph]

Frolicking Friends by [Welsh, Karen Leis]

Anticipating Temptation by [Perrin, Randi]Paper Safe: The triumph of bureaucracy in safety management by [Smith, Gregory]

 

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

 

Phoenix the Brave Bird – Trailer

It does not matter what your eyes see, just believe.

After the evil came to the woods and destroyed all that was beautiful and good, his hope was the only clue that Phoenix had when he went out for the unknown help to restore it.

That hope was the magical power of love and friendship, which made Phoenix find whom he was looking for, and although the solution seemed to be simple, the degree of conviction inside of him had the final word.

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The Choices We Make

Eleanor Tremayne Author Interview

Eleanor Tremayne Author Interview

Destiny Revisited finds Gabby at an ex-boyfriends funeral where she is handed a ‘death box’ that sets off an unexpected chain of events. Where did the idea for the death box come from and how did it develop in the story?

In my first novel, Destiny Revisited, the objective was to encourage the readers to reflect on how the choices we make influence our entire lives. The novel is layered with irony, juxtaposition, and symbolism. The Death Box was one way to achieve this.

Preserving past memories is a well known practice. When Gabby Girard sees Jake Chevalier for the last time she has no idea that the cardboard box she hands him will forty years later be returned to her as The Death Box. Once Jake becomes the new keeper of this box, he now symbolically renames it The Death Box, representing the “death” of his relationship. Ironically , however, it also becomes Jake’s “lifeline” to Gabby. What follows after she opens that box is Jake’s final expression of love. It is a gesture that I know most readers will appreciate.

The Death Box was created in the early stages of the novel’s conception. It also becomes the catalyst for what follows in Gabby’s life, as well as, a link to the sequel novel, Destiny Revealed.. At that point Jake’s journals, found in The Death Box , becomes Gabby’s guiding light.

Gabby’s character is well developed and the relationships she has are heartfelt and heartbreaking. What were some sources of inspiration for you when creating Gabby’s relationships?

Gabby Girard believes that literature has the answers to all of life’s questions. Creating this character my intention was to illustrate how powerful authors words are. To achieve this I relied on my own favorite writers, James Joyce, TS Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Toni Morrison, and Dante. Inspiration also came from various cinematography heroine. Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Katie Morosky, in The Way We Were.

Every romantic relationship that Gabby faces, she hopes will lead her closer to happiness. Unfortunately, not until Jake Chevalier releases her will she ever find peace.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

There are many complex issues that Destiny Revisited addresses. If there is one idea that I would like readers to contemplate, it would be how much control do we really have over own destiny?

This book is the beginning of a series. How many books do you have planned and how far do you want to take Gabby’s story?

Destiny Revisited ended as a cliffhanger. It was always going to end in that way. What I did not expect was how many readers would request a sequel novel. That was when I decided to write Destiny Revealed. This novel allowed me to include more details about Caden Cassidy Sterling Powers, and Selina Cassidy.

Understanding Caden’s life in Ireland before moving to Savannah, Georgia, adds depth to his character. Similarly, Sterling was a real mystery that I wanted the reader to learn more about.
Once I decided to add a new character, Maggie Mendoza, everything began to develop nicely. The novel took a new life of its own. No longer was it now only a romance, it became a mystery novel.. Although I once considered another Destiny novel, I came to the conclusion that I like the way it ended. Although it is difficult to “walk” away from Gabby, I knew it was time to move on.
My next novel, Seven Days in Lebanon, is a historical fiction, based on the real life story of my grandmother’s exile in 1917 from St. Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution and her marriage to the last Prince of Kiva. It is in the final editing stage. It will be released early next year. Currently, The Mermaid’s Grandson, a work in progress, is a fantasy fiction that will touch the heart of every reader who ever experienced the joy and loss of a child.

Author Links: Amazon | Twitter

Destiny Revisited by [Tremayne, Eleanor Tremayne]

When Gabriella is handed the death box at her boyfriend’s funeral, she has no idea how her life is going to change. Her life becomes more than a stage; it becomes the looking glass through which the past and future can be seen.

Destiny Revisited begins in a Boston chapel in 2001, where Gabby flashbacks to the beginning of her journey–to Savannah, Georgia during the early sixties. Her memories take her to the university where she escapes a tragic love affair and finds herself living an extravagant, but ultimately mundane lifestyle in Kentucky. That is, until multimillionaire Sterling Powers, introduces a naïve Gabby to his special world of sexual intrigue.

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Anticipating Temptation

I listened to this novel as an audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the narrator’s voice and dramatic affect along with character voices. This sultry novel brought to us by Randi Perrin introduces us to Char Brown. She is a 30-something woman working at a magazine with her closest, and maybe only, friends. She admires the slim, physique of her best friend, Jenny, and begrudgingly attempts to eat salads in an effort to attain a slim physique of her own. She has a strange relationship with her boyfriend, one where he hides her from his mom, so she’ll allow him to continue living at home. When I heard that part, I knew that Char clearly struggles with her self-esteem and you see this theme permeating throughout the beginning of this story.

Things quickly change for Char as the boyfriend breaks-up with her, in a terrible way, and leaves her feeling low and unworthy. Fortunately, she has good friends who get her out and suddenly her world changes and she is caught in a web of seduction woven by a handsome cowboy type…who also owns a wine bar and has a literature degree! I absolutely love how Darryl is immediately drawn to Char. For anyone who has experienced love at first sight you know how that feels and that it exists. Some people might find it creepy that Darryl was able to hunt down her phone number in under 12 hours, but I understand that when that intense chemical attraction occurs there is nothing that will stand in your way. This book brought back happy memories of my own meeting with my husband and how it took me by surprise and swept me away. For that reason, I had an extra appreciation while listening to this story.

It is always refreshing to read romance where the male character is working hard to build the confidence of his female interest out of admiration and respect. He doesn’t just try to bed her but shows an interest in who she is and truly finds her beautiful. It is so common for a woman to experience low self-esteem due to the world and men beating them down. It is nice to see Char experiencing this affection and adoration and starting to realize her worth. There is definitely a kink in the sexy cogs where Char is disillusioned and brought back to her former beliefs about herself but that is totally normal, and I appreciated that it wasn’t all just roses.

I am not a drinker but there was a lot of wine knowledge embedded in this story that a true connoisseur would enjoy. There are a lot of sexy wine metaphors as well! There is a little erotic action, but it is done respectfully and not in a raunchy or distasteful way. This was a fun read with a beautiful and romantic story that got me feeling all warm and fuzzy and wanting to relive my romance all over again.

Pages: 126 | ASIN: B073HF2LG8

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Soul Taker – Trailer

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out. When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows. Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell. Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil and torture.

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Truly Unique Characters

Arisawe Hampton Author Interview

Arisawe Hampton Author Interview

The Mage’s Tome is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a fantasy, romance, and paranormal as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

About ten years ago I became interested in possibly writing a fantasy novel of my own. After several years of planning the breadth of storylines and plot, and quite a few inspirational reads, a few truly unique characters literally popped into my head while I was on a camping trip with my friends. After that, I had no choice but to write my series.

The characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?

It just happens that The Mage’s Tome, my debut novel, has quite a few quirky characters that grow during the span of the duology. They all hold a soft-spot in my heart, but I’m particularly fond of my main hero, Pyrus. He’s rather lovable. even though I’m sure he’d disagree.

I felt that the backstory of the world goes deeper than most fantasy novels. What was the inspiration for the world your characters inhabit?

I did spend a great deal of effort building out the world in The Cry of the Acere duology. On one hand, you get that medieval type of feel that is common in fantasy, but I also included some contemporary elements. The quest really takes place in a pre-industrial type fantasy world (think Wheel of Time), and my characters speak like they’re from our time-period. Our modern-day language and slang create some pretty funny situations for Pyrus. Oftentimes, saying something as simple as “what’s up?” brings about some very affable responses for him.

This is book one in the Cry of the Acere Duology. What can readers expect in book two?

In The Mage Attendant, I begin to reveal a lot more about the direction my characters are headed. Pyrus, certainly has a lot more opportunities for him to show off his self-deprecating, sarcastic sense of humor. It also has some exciting warring that takes place! My readers will also be pleased that it has a rather romantic and happy ending that they might not expect!

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebook | Website

The Mage's Tome: Cry of the Acere Duology: Book I by [Hampton, Arisawe]The Acere have spoken; the tome must come to the mage.

Among the rubicund grasslands to the forests of Roan, a quest begins at the onset of royal betrayal. The fate of Roan rests on the hermit mage, Pyrus, who has singular powers but is loathe to help. Yet, the susurrus words of the ancient Gods have promised that he will be instrumental to their plans. Their entreaties show him the nature of their magic. He must first avow to create the soldier, and he must also protect the Lady.

Meanwhile, seething in the pit, the Hellion will soon emerge.

They all will be tested, yet it is Pyrus who holds the key to camaraderie and purpose.

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Kumite For Love

Kumite For Love by [Malcolm, Judy]

Kumite for Love is a compelling story about Aiyana Amari. A Japanese-American that learned martial arts from her father before he died in a tragic accident. Aiyana is obsessed with winning an international Kumite, a type of Japanese martial arts, tournament in Japan to save their families gym. Once she arrives in Japan, she encounters genuine artifacts in the back of a souvenir shop. She leaves the shop with a beautiful comb at the insistence of the shop owner, and after placing it in her hair, finds herself transported to 1850’s Japan. Aiyana meets an intriguing ship Captain, has a hand in a few historical events, and struggles to find her way back to the present, while wondering if she’d rather stay in the past.

Kumite for Love by Judy Malcom is a very well written romance novel with a lot of depth and historical intrigue. The book had a background setting that is more interesting than you’ll find in a lot of romance novels. It was really interesting to read about Japanese culture and historical events and to journey with Aiyana as she is mistaken and subsequently becomes a geisha in the 1850’s. Captain Blackburn is an American ship captain posing under a Dutch flag in 1853 Japan where American traders are not welcome. He seeks out a geisha at a local establishment and there he finds Aiyana. The romance and building of the two main characters is done really well and I was rooting for, and very attached to, their love by the end of the book. Not to mention, the love scenes are hot.

The beginning of the book starts off with Aiyana and her friend Peter at the gym practicing karate. There are only a few pages of discussion about Aiyana’s present-day life before she flies to Japan and ends up thrust back in time. I wish there had been a little more build up and description of her current life and background before she flies to Japan and jumps into the story line from the past. I think it would have helped tie the book together better and would help you become more invested in Aiyana’s struggle when she is stuck in the past with no way out.

Throughout the book, Aiyana struggles with indecision as she becomes more entrenched in the world of Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Captain Blackburn. She wants to get back home, so she can compete in the Kumite tournament and win the money her family needs to save their gym. She also worries about never seeing her mother again, whom she had a fight with and left on a sour note before she flew to Japan. At the same time, she is enjoying this new life, the time she gets with Captain Blackburn, and sharing her knowledge of history as its occurring. She doesn’t know what the right answer is or what to do. Should she keep fighting to return to the present? Or embrace this new life in the past?

Pages: 179 | ASIN: B073YKFCZV

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Destiny Revisited

Destiny Revisited by [Tremayne, Eleanor Tremayne]

Destiny Revisited by Eleanor Tremayne is the story of the life of Gabriella Girard. The book starts with Gabriella attending the funeral of Jake Chevalier who she had not spoken to for thirty-three years. After the memorial service, she receives a ‘death box’ from Jake’s wife. It is the same box Gabby gave to Jake on New Year’s Eve in 1967, the last time they had seen each other. Gabby’s mind goes back to the first day she met Jake, and the next section of the story takes place in Savannah, Georgia, in the 1960s, during the three years Gabby and Jake spent together as teenagers in love. They had promised to stay together forever and were planning their lives together after high school. But then Jake joins the marines and goes off to war, to fight in Vietnam. And everything changes for them, and Gabby’s life spirals off course.

I immediately became involved with the characters, which is why I didn’t like the way Jake treated Gabby after he made the decision, without even talking to her, that they could no longer be together. He claimed he still loved Gabby, but he didn’t contact her to tell her the relationship was over. Instead, he returned home engaged to another woman. Though I understood his motivations, I would have liked to see him handle the situation in another way, since his actions not only affected him, but Gabby, as well, for the rest of her life. Although Gabby had relationships with other men, she never again found the happiness and love she’d known with Jake.

I really liked the part where Gabby traveled to Europe after she finally opened the ‘death box.’ This section of the story was so sweet, but also very sad. Especially the part about the proposal. It was a very emotional remembrance of lost love and regret for all the things they had planned to do, which never happened.

The story ends abruptly, without showing what exactly happens to Gabby which left me anxious to know what happened after that point. I wanted her to have a happy ending after everything she had gone through in her life.

I enjoyed the poems and quotes that were included at the start of each chapter. But there were some grammatical issues that distracted from the flow of the story. Although it became less noticeable as I continued reading and was pulled into the story of the young love Gabby shared with Jake.

This book is a fantastic emotional roller-coaster with twists I certainly didn’t see coming. This is a character driven story that delivers intrigue by getting you invested in some dynamic and well developed characters.

Pages: 390 | ASIN: B073QFZF98

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