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Literary Titan Gold Book Award December 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

Friends, Lovers, Enemies by Vera Zegarac

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

Literary Titan Silver Book Award December 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

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

Masterly Misled

Masterly Misled A History of Deceit by Gregory Bathgate is a thought-provoking and intriguing book that explores the conspiracy theories floating around the circumstances of the clash between the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser HSK Kormoran off the West Australian coast on November 19, 1941. In this book, the author has explored every bit of evidence present at the time of the clash, plus the committee’s rulings. Then, the author explores this case in great detail using these facts and some assumptions.

Author Bathgate provides a collection of data ranging from charts and images to interview snippets and records of the investigation, which I found to be interesting and almost like watching a documentary. However, I did feel that the author’s writing came off as a report conceived to state the facts in their basic form, making me feel like I was one of the investigating officers.

The data collected is arranged topic-wise and presents the arguments to the audience without much ornamentation. I would’ve liked a little more drama to the story and maybe have the investigation reports mixed with a particular form of storytelling or more narrative. However, many details and data are provided, allowing the reader to form their own opinion and try to solve the case alongside the author. This book comes off as a factual read, but I was captivated by all the data and evidence.

Masterly Misled A History of Deceit is a historical look at the mystery of what happened on that day, November 19, 1941. With detailed facts and evidence obtained by the author, readers will be able to come to their own conclusions as to what ruling is correct, if either. I recommend this book to those who enjoy watching detective shows where evidence is provided and the reader ventures alongside the investigator to solve the crime. For readers venturing into this book to search for an interesting conspiracy, this book is for you.

Pages: 351 | ASIN : B0BJ1SXSD3

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Payback

Pay Back by Malcolm Chester is a thrilling read that is filled with edge-of-your-seat action. Ralph Tager has been through a lot over the span of one month, from losing his brothers in arms due to an ambush, to his nine year old daughter being abducted, to his wife being killed while trying to protect their daughter. Now he seeks revenge. After retiring from the Navy, he is hired by a billionaire to be part of a group called the Pay Back, who hunt and kill pedophiles.

This explosive novel reads just like an action movie, and reminds me of the hit TV show 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland. Ralph Tager is an interesting character and one that readers will enjoy following. I feel like he is someone that many readers think of when they fantasize about being an action hero. He is good looking, smart, skilled with weapons and has a loving wife and daughter. He is the epitome of an action hero and I was left wanting to know more about him. All of this changes once he loses everything and you see his rage drive his decisions. I couldn’t help but root for him even though in law enforcements eyes he is breaking the law.

There are a lot of dimensions to the plot, but author Malcolm Chester keeps things relentlessly moving forward. I enjoyed the quick pace and succinct dialogue that gets right to the point. Ralph’s experiences were laid out neatly for him. I would have enjoyed seeing Ralph challenged a bit more because I felt like he was well equipped to handle the obstacles in front of him and I was rarely worried about him. Ralph’s character goes through many transitions in his life which I felt flowed seamlessly into each chapter and made it easy for the reader to visualize the time lapse.

This is a riveting action drama that goes into some sensitive subjects that some readers may want to avoid. Pay Back is a book that is laser focused on entertaining the reader with drama, action, suspense and a strong protagonist driving the story forward. I would recommend this book to readers looking for an action adventure story that removes the fluff and turns the action up to eleven.

Pages: 228 | ASIN: B07Z9Q5FST

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Contracts For Sale

The disappearance of a wealthy CEO, corporate murder, and a ‘stealth’ company Eradication Inc. that operates below the radar providing a sophisticated hitman service: all of this forms the crux of Edward Izzi’s latest crime novel Contracts for Sale. This story begins with a chillingly efficient disposal of a well-dressed corpse in a vat of hydrofluoric acid—the perfect crime that leaves no body, no witnesses, no DNA. Paul Crawford, a journalist, along with the Chicago P.D and a news anchor Chaz Rizzo, work in a friends-and-enemies dynamic to solve the cases of Eradication Inc.’s ‘Houdini Victims’ with no discernible links to each other disappearing throughout the city of Chicago.

The irresistible lure that power and money has, coupled with the desire for revenge and control, is made very clear and is brought out well in this gritty story. Despite the millions that each of the seven shareholders of Eradication Inc. receive every year from the company’s nefarious activities, personal motives compel some of them to put out contracts against their personal enemies—something that the company strictly forbids.

The author does a good job of holding the reader’s attention with his account of the company’s workings, proven in the fact that the reader knows Eradication Inc. to be responsible for the murders within the first few chapters and is still engrossed in the story. The worlds of reporting and policing are de-glamorized in this book, with Crawford and Detective Dorian working to deadlines, reporting to superiors, and playing by the rules, something that is rarely shown in most police thrillers.

Contracts for Sale by Edwrad Izzi expertly combines strong characters, knowledgeable descriptions of Chicago’s geography and its environment, with the various fields of journalism, detectives, the mob underworld, and upscale society to tell a grounded and realistic police procedural story that is thrilling and compelling.

Pages: 334 | ASIN: B0BK4VQ21V

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Hollyland: A Novel

“I began to wonder if it’s even possible to have passion for your work and passionate love at the same time.”

Deanna Schwartz is a timid poetist and contemporary fiction writer who also has a degree in psychology and neuroscience, with a doctorate in art education and an innovative line of research. Ryder Field is a glamorous Hollywood actor and full-time playboy, widely known to the public for his iconic role in a successful action series and for his long list of failed relationships to acclaimed actresses and models.

Their paths cross on a side street adjacent to the entry of a night club in Los Angeles, and they strike up a conversation that has an undeniable spark. A weekend together. Dee teases her companion, goes skinny-dipping and dares to act bold in ways that would leave those who know her with their mouths agape. Rye goes to a farmers’ market, listens to an intimate live reading of her poetry and meets her closest friends on a brunch at her place. At a gala dinner, Rye tries to swoon a prestigious producer for his new series, and the night takes a turn for the unexpected as Rye and his associates discover that professor Deanna, the shy scholar and poetry writer, has some cards up her sleeve that reveal a whole new side to her relationship with arts. One day, though, a tragic event from Rye’s childhood catches up to them in a terrible coincidence, putting everything at stake.

Author Patricia Leavy does an excellent job of building up her characters in this enthralling romance novel. I enjoyed diving into the details of Deanna and Ryder’s characters. While this novel, by the end, utilizes a beguiling and suspenseful mystery to really ramp up the tension, I picked up this book again and again just to see those two together. They are characters that are interesting on their own, but when they’re together the story is alluring and enchanting. Their love for one another is reiterated throughout the story, but I think fans of love stories will still enjoy the story.

Hollyland takes the opposites attract trope to a new level by creating characters that are deep and compelling against an intriguing Hollywood backdrop. This will make a perfect feel-good beach read. The casual language and competent writing make the pages fly by. A bit melodramatic, heavily romantic, and all kinds of fun, Hollyland is a novel that left me smiling.

Pages: 224 | ASIN: B0B8H78CNT

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Acknowledge Her Vulnerability

Lisa Towles Author Interview

Salt Island follows private detective Marissa Ellwyn as she sets out to find her missing father and crack a cryptic mystery. What is your writing process like and what is the biggest hurdle you often face in completing your books?

My biggest hurdle continues to be carving time every day to write. I seem to be able to easily carve out time for marketing and promotion, but the “create” energy comes from a different place and so it has different requirements.

What were some questions you wanted Marissa Ellwyn to answer in this book?

I wanted her to really acknowledge her vulnerability instead of pretending to be superwoman all the time. I think she (Mari) did a good job revealing her emotionally and psychological need to not only find but be reunited with her father in this book, and that relationship is still evolving. Book 3 (the last in the series) will likely be out in summer, 2024. 

What has been the most surprising feedback you’ve received from fans of your books?

I’m always surprised to see how many readers buy the hardcover versions of my books, and also surprised that readers like reading longer books. My novels are typically shorter, under 80,000 words, and that’s not by choice – they just sort of come out that way.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tiktok | Website

“The E&A Investigations Series by Lisa Towles, are always winning choices when it comes to selecting mysteries. Readers will find the quick pace and snappy dialogue in Salt Island refreshing. Above all else, Marissa Ellwyn is a character who jumps off the pages and into readers’ hearts. Her earnest search for truth will grab readers and make them instant fans of Towles’s work.” – Literary Titan

The World Has Never Been More Fragile

Janet Kravetz Author Interview

Sky Curse: The Chosen Five is a sci-fi and fantasy novel that follows five young adults, who are chosen to fulfill a Mayan prophecy and must locate crystals that will hopefully save the Earth. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Sky Curse series aims to bring hope for Earth’s future, while analyzing causes that might bring its demise, like environmental chaos. It was important for me to bring up the mighty Mayan civilization that disappeared abruptly and the recent research that suggests that human-made environmental disasters had caused their demise.

The protagonist Cecilia is just like any one of us. She’s quite ordinary with a lot of problems of her own. At the beginning of the book, she has nothing to do with climate change activism. Until she gets hold of a mysterious crystal that gives her some magical powers. With her newfound abilities, she tries to save the world from an impeding apocalypse.

Readers say Sky Curse is a page-turner that…

  1. reads like “news from the future,”
  2. which helps understand the present,
  3. while learning from the ancient past (the Maya, Roman Empire, etc.)

As for the inspiration for the setup – many people, especially teens and young adults, suffer from climate anxiety, but unfortunately feel helpless to do anything about it. They give up. They call the subject “depressing” and steer away from it. They get depressed about their future and the future of the next generations. That’s exactly how I felt before I started writing the Sky Curse series. Sharing my feelings on the subject with the world made me feel that I’m actually doing something about it, however small. It’s an empowering feeling to have and it’s that exact feeling that I want to share with the world. I would like to start some empowering and educational conversations around topics that cause climate and even AI anxiety. This book aims to inspire sustainability-related action without causing any feelings of guilt or inferiority to the readers.

Did you create an outline for the five chosen ones in the story before you started writing or did the character’s personalities grow organically as you were writing?

I did a little bit of both. I had had an initial outline for their characters, but later I added intricate story layers to the manuscript during the editorial process. The new and improved plot drove the characters’ personalities to grow organically and dramatically with the story, while I was reviewing the storyline over and over again.

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

This is a highly entertaining, action-paced novel that touches upon topics such as the environment, mental health and resilience (happiness and self-fulfilment,) the future of ai and technology, spirituality etc.

I believe that the world has never been more fragile than it is now, but it’s definitely worth saving. We live in unprecedented times when our sustainability efforts as well as our technological advances and failures will soon define humanity. We must discuss important questions: will humans soon live, work, collaborate, compete, and integrate with machines? Will humans become an interplanetary species? Will human cloning become the norm? If so, what would that look like? What are our collective and individual roles in imagining and then shaping this future?

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

First, lets’ mention my previous book. Reaching Beyond Ourselves: Leading a Spiritual, Peaceful and Diverse World is my poetry book that tells my own personal story of enjoying different cultures and speaking different languages on my journeys from Ukraine to Israel to Canada. You can find it on Amazon Books.

As for the next book – the outline of the second book in the Sky Curse series is mostly written at this point and the novel will be called Sky Curse: Trial by Fire. It will shed light on some of the unresolved mysteries of book 1, while presenting new mysteries and adventures. Expected to be available in 2023. Please subscribe to my website to get notification about its release.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Sky Curse series follows Cecilia Miller, a coder of artificial dreams living in the year 2045. It’s a time when climate chaos has become the norm and the collective mental health of humanity has fallen to a grave state. The world’s population has grown to a horrific twenty-five billion people, maxing Earth to its limit. Most are planning to abandon Earth and leave it to its fate as they colonize a new world through Titan pioneering (those beings are called Universalists). However, there are those who still hold on to hope for Earth and a humanity untainted by AI (those beings are called Localists). As humanity struggles to survive, it seems like only technology can help, and Cecilia is determined to be the one to bring it about. When planet Earth faces apocalyptic events, she must summon her resolve and resilience if she’s to have a chance to save this world.
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