Blog Archives

Curious About The Afterlife

Maria A. Palace
Maria A. Palace Author Interview

Chapter Thirteen follows a woman who tries to reclaim the life that was taken from her and the young journalist who holds the key to her success or failure. What was the inspiration for the setup to your thrilling story?

I grew up in a very religious environment, so I was always curious about the afterlife. My mother was also extremely superstitious, which I found to be quite diverting. When I was young, I would oftentimes stay up late into the night watching her “read” cards to see what our future would hold. About five years ago, I took a tour of the purportedly haunted Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California. The moment I laid eyes on the sprawling stately Victorian, I knew it had to become the backdrop of my novel, thereby transforming it into “The Brewer Mansion.”

Katy is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Katy, as well as Evelyn, basically lived in a bubble when they were young. They were both quite spoiled and had doting parents. When their mothers died, each had a strong father figure to support them along the way. Katy drew from her bond with her widowed father to become the equally strong single parent for her own daughter. The driving ideal is that every child needs at least one person in their lives to provide them the strength needed to overcome whatever obstacles life might throw at them. I guess, the moral to the story is that love conquers all.

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

As I grew older and began to ponder my own mortality, I became very interested in the possibility of reincarnation. In my research for Chapter Thirteen, the more I learned, the more fascinating it became, which led me to explore mediums, hypnotism, past lives, etc. It just evolved from there.

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

I don’t want to give too much away, but my next novel is a mystery which takes place on a cruise ship. I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of the year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Website

Chapter Thirteen is a paranormal suspense/thriller about an old woman who will do everything in her power to reclaim the life that was taken from her and the young journalist who holds the key to her success or failure.
On April 13, 1936, in Morganville, Pennsylvania, a fire occurs at the well-known Brewer mansion, resulting in a mysterious death. Fast-forward to August 28, 2005: After attending school in New York for six years, Katy Barton returns to her hometown of Morganville, when she lands a job as a reporter for the local news station. The antiquated mansion is scheduled to be demolished and Katy is assigned to get a story from the reclusive old woman who still lives there.
Katy is a “survivor” or so she’s been told, although years of therapy have not reconciled her with her own tragic past, to which she has long since been plagued by nightmares. Each time she goes out to the estate, her nightmares are amplified by unexplained visions. When she finally meets the eccentric recluse, Evelyn, she finds that her early portrait bears an uncanny resemblance to her own high school graduation picture–and the more she learns of Evelyn’s past, the more she finds that it is eerily similar to hers. As Katy is lured deeper and deeper into the old woman’s mysterious world, she begins to question her sanity, to the point where she seeks out a hypnotherapist.
In an odd twist of fate, a handsome firefighter comes to her emotional rescue, spiraling her into a whirlwind romance that appears too good to be true. Hoping to resolve her issues, both past and present, Katy reluctantly undergoes hypnosis, where she is confronted with the truth from her past and ultimately, what could be her future. But is the life she sees her own, or is it Evelyn’s?

Satanic Panic: A Homage to 1980’s B-Movie Horror

Satanic Panic: A Homage to 1980's B-Movie Horror by [Daniel P Coughlin]

As an homage to 80s B-movie horror, Satanic Panic has so much that the genre offers; sex, death, depravity, and a trio of neer-do-well stars that we follow into the breach.

In the first chapter, a flash-forward scene of terror unfolds which sets the tone for the rest of the book. Even within the next few chapters which introduce our characters, best friends Lance and Brock, then our leading-lady Brianna alongside her skater boyfriend Grady, those first few pages loom over all of their frat-house fueled follies.

For most of the story, sexual panic reigns supreme. Some horror stories are balanced between terror and sex, and this book certainly leans hard into the flesh. Each chapter poses a mental tug of war within the budding love triangle all peppered in-between with the killer’s point of view. These three friends are being stalked, yet the reader is the only audience to how much danger they are heading toward. The most important thing on the minds of Bianna, Brock, and Lance is what is in each other’s pants.

There is an aspect of the Giallo film genre here, in that we don’t see the stalker or who they are, and they fit the black-gloved killer mold to perfection.

Red herrings are used to good effect here. While we spend most of the book with three characters, we realize there has actually been a large cast, and characters, like a professor who is only mentioned for a page or two, are so unique and well portrayed they come back to us as people we met. So, very strong characterization all around.

While some of what goes through the mind of Brianna is incongruent; she is a strong-willed woman but only seems to focus on her looks while alone and thinks of nothing other than the men around her; it doesn’t weigh the pace down as the voice of each chapter is split between the three main characters, the killer, and sometimes the goofy boyfriend Grady who is kept in the dark when it comes to the sexcapades going on around him.

The college theme could be what lowers the stakes here in that there is nothing the characters are striving for beyond the bedroom and the next keg party. Had there been something more on the horizon for any of the teens here, it may have had more impact. And more panic, although the central theme is about trust. The actual Satanic Panic that hit our evening news shows was more of a question of who could a community trust than it was about Satan worship. Even within the pages of this homage to that era, the author makes clear it is more about who is doing evil things than why they are doing evil things.

We do get helpful insight as to how each person thinks but the real mystique lies in how our characters see one another. The dialogue and relations may seem outlandish at a glance, but getting to know each person they all fit and their dysfunction comes across as natural.

If you look for the sexiest story when perusing horror flicks in the bygone era, and want the horror version of a bodice-ripper then Satanic Panic fits the bill with four blazing inverted stars.

Pages: 271 | ASIN: B07RVKDCNF

Buy Now From B&N.com

A Paranormal Casebook

A Paranormal Casebook by [Robert Lee Dean, Crissha Figarella, J.N. McLaughlin, R.L. Dean]

A collection of short stories from West Texas, A Paranormal Casebook by Robert Lee Dean starts strong. Unsettled spirits feature alongside our narrator, who begins as a deputy in a rural Sheriff’s Department. Each story weaves in elements of death, loss, and haunting as we learn about specters he encounters, year by year.

The tone of the chief character is sparse, becoming a welcome voice. We read terse descriptions, not unlike case reports, with the awareness of surroundings that law enforcement officers often have. This creates punchy prose with nothing outwardly violent, terrifying, or grotesque; we see these unexplained phenomena alongside one with feet solidly planted on the ground and who has a gun in their holster. Few ghost hunters can call for armed backup, although it may not be needed, yet it helps the reader maintain a sense of safety when confronted with the unexplained.

Ghostly folk tales as outsider art make this a unique entry in the genre. The author is not a writer by trade and didn’t set out to write a book. That these stories were recorded gives us a rare and unique perspective, as he had written them as fleeting notes and hadn’t kept them. Luckily, someone did.

Some tales in A Paranormal Casebook have the familiar feel of urban legend or folk tales but are fresh through the eyes of a cop. We follow this rational, friendly man with his worn cowboy hat and love of pizza into ghostly adventures easier than a skeptic or frenzied ghost chaser. This is a riveting collection of short stories, and if you are looking for something new in the paranormal genre and want just the facts, this is a great pick from the Lone Star State.

Pages: 89 | ASIN: B091N8ZCQV

Buy Now From B&N.com

Literary Titan Book Awards May 2021

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.

Gold Award Winners

Silver Award Winners

Quick Quirks, A Quick Book by Benjamin Anderson

 

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

 

The Walrus: Monster in the Mist – Book Trailer

Paul Tonetti, Jr., at 14 years of age, was on the verge of taking the darker dark path towards adulthood. But then George and Lucia Albert moved in next door and everything changed. Was George the superhero Paul perceived him to be, or something much less super and more sinister? And what about the vacant lot nearby, which seemed to defy the laws of nature? In the “shake, rattle and roll” world of spirts and demons, the Walrus knows all the answers.

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Fae Princess

The Fae Princess (The Pacific Princesses Book 2) by [Ektaa Bali]

Prepare for magical delights and dark creatures in The Fae Princess by Ektaa Bali! The second book of The Pacific Princesses series follows 10-year-old faery princess Vidya. She resides deep within the Bushlands of Australia in a hidden faery realm that oversees and communicates with plants. Everything is fine until the first day of Spring. Their annual feast is put to a sudden halt when a mysterious darkness begins to overtake the land and puts the adult faeries to sleep. The fate of the kingdom is on Vidya’s shoulders. Can she save her kingdom?

Author Ektaa Bali has created a fun and imaginative children’s fantasy story. Her ability to craft a story that both meaningful and easy to read is something I greatly appreciated. From the imaginative world-building to the intriguing characters, Bali has set a high bar for indie middle-grade authors.

Bali introduces us to a majority of the ideas and concepts of the fae kingdom within the first three chapters. We see her describe who the fae are, where they are from, and what they do within the confines of only 43 pages.

I also enjoyed her magical descriptions of both real and mythical plants. She did not go into overt detail but gave you just enough to be satisfied and understand what you were reading – which is a great writing style for younger readers.

Watching Vidya come into her own as she has to save her kingdom added a beautiful message to an already magical story! We see her become braver, use her intelligence, and rise to the occasion. Young girls everywhere will find a wonderful role model within Vidya. Although I thought Vidya is a rousing character that I loved following, I felt that she sometimes sounded mature for her age.

The Fae Princess by Ektaa Bali is a story infused with adventure and creativity. This is an exceptional book for young girls everywhere, but any young reader will surely get swept away in the story. This is a fantasy story that is empowering as well as entertaining.

Pages: 236 | ASIN: B08X3YPZL4

Buy Now From B&N.com

Riddled with Violence

Brooklynn Dean
Brooklynn Dean Author Interview

Deification follows a gang leader on a bloody quest to restore her dark saviors powers in the end times. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I have always been interested in Christianity and Catholicism as theological fields of study, so much of my research material was the Christian Bible.

I love the concept of angels and what they can and cannot do, their connections to humans, and even their punishments for taking humans as spouses. I enjoy the Book of Enoch even though it isn’t widely accepted as part of the canonical Bible, and in it are descriptions and stories that are beyond fascinating to me.

But what I really wanted to discuss through Torrence and her devotion to this dark savior was the idea of idolization. I often wonder why we spend so much time praising others and so little time praising ourselves. Torrence’s past was already riddled with violence; Why then was she so quick to worship Conrad for his?

What draws you to the horror genre and inspires you to write?

Though this is my sixth published work, it is my first horror story. I’m always inspired to write as a vehicle to explore greater concepts, innately human ones. The theme I wanted to consider here was idolization and hero-worship, and placing a character on a mission to complete someone else’s divinity instead of attempting to deify themselves as the god of their own life seemed a theme best explored by the darker elements of that type of admiration. How far will someone go for the person they view as their God?

The book has some fantastically unforgettable scenes. What was the funnest scene for you to write?

Thank you for saying so! It’s hard to pick one. I had a lot of fun with so many of the scenes. The end was certainly fun to write but for the sake of spoilers I won’t explain why. Honestly, though, I think I enjoyed War’s sections the most. It was nice to take a step back from the darkness and remember that there is room even in the worst of us for something purer, even if it’s just our feelings for another person.

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

I am working on a sequel to Deification, but I’m not even to the halfway point of its completion. I’d hope at the very latest I’ll have it completed and ready to release by the summer. Hopefully much sooner, though!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The sky has opened. Angels descend to earth in fiery fury. Some claim to have seen these creatures, others claim to have been touched by them. Those with psychic abilities find their gifts magnified by the spiritual presences rising from Hell and falling from Heaven. Yes, the end is near. Or is it the beginning? After a life of violence and crime, gang-leader Torrence provides meaning to her groups’ destructive endeavors through discovery of Conrad, a once-possessed orator of demonic doctrines. Destroying virtues for the sake of sin, Torrence leads her band of bad-boy brethren to murder, blood sacrifice, and supernatural ritual in an effort to restore her dark savior’s powers so the apocalypse can be an unholy paradise.

A Fairly Straight-forward Haunting

Thomas A. Bradley
Thomas A. Bradley Author Interview

The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow follows a group of teens that go into the Wickersham house and awaken a malevolence that has lain dormant for centuries. What was the inspiration for the setup to your thrilling story?

Wickersham Hollow actually started under the name Witch Hill and was intended originally to be a fairly straight-forward haunting. But as the characters developed, so did the story. The further I went, the more I realized it had to be told in both the past and present…each leading in circles to the other.

The story is told from the viewpoint of different interesting characters. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I think my favorite character to write and develop was Mother Cassandra. Getting the reader to hear her Jamaican dialect as they read, without pulling them out of the story by having to struggle with it, was a challenge – one I hope to (and have seemed to, so far) met.

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

I think the most important theme was relationships. It’s the ties between people, be they best friends or relatives, that drive any meaning into the telling of a story. Without relationships, without connections, characters become flat and one dimensional. I think that’s pretty true in life as well.

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

I’m nearing completion on the first book of a new series. The title of the book is The Bones of Sarah Golescue. The series is based around two characters from a previous novel, Blood Tracks. I see it as a kind of “Supernatural” meets The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

If all goes well, I plan to have it up for pre-sale by the end of March (2021)

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

On a Halloween night…
300 years ago…
…an evil was born of lust.
Now it’s awake … and hungers.
When seven teenagers go into the old Wickersham place in search of a Halloween thrill, they get more than they bargained for when they awaken a malevolence that has lain dormant for centuries.  Barely escaping with their lives, they learn that the past never dies.
For … in a house that hungers…
…no soul is safe.
When a young couple set about restoring the old place, the evil resurfaces.  And those who faced it once before just might be the couples’ only hope.
Will they find the courage to reunite…
…and face a terror they’ve tried to forget?
And if so…
Will anyone survive?
You’ll love this old school horror tale, because some things that go bump in the night are real.  Don’t forget your night light.
Get it now. 
%d bloggers like this: