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Literary Titan Gold Book Award September 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

INFINITY: Book of Matthew II by Catalina DuBois

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

All The Demons Of The Past

The Curse tells the story of a boy who is invaded by a mysterious demonic spirit that manipulates his mind and lures him toward something dark and sinister. How did you come up with the idea for the setup to this novel?

Honestly, Joseph’s backstory comes from my own, minus the evil entity possession. Witnessing his mother’s years of abuse at the hands of his own father is similar to my own childhood. Writing his story in a way was like my own private therapy, releasing all the demons of the past. As I brought the Shadow, a.k.a demonic spirit, into the story, his character represents all the trauma I carried throughout my life. So, my fictional characters, Joseph and the Shadow, represents the battle between good vs evil. Adding my Breedline characters to the story just gave me a channel to express my imagination and love for the supernatural world.

What were some ideas you wanted to explore with the relationship between Joseph and Carrie?

I’m a sucker for a fairytale love story, so I wanted to create two characters who were somehow brought together by fate. And no matter what crosses their paths, nothing will break the chains that binds their love.

How do you balance story telling for long time fans with making your book accessible to new readers?

This is a tough strategy, especially for an indie author. For me, although I’m excited to introduce a new book to my series, it’s important to showcase each one. Advertisement and continuous promotion are key components.

What excited you about writing this book?

Although the story is based on Joseph and Carrie, I was excited to reintroduce a character from my fifth book, The Immortal. Without mentioning the character’s name, I believe bringing “him” back into story at the end will give the readers closure to “his” character.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Set in the world of the Breedline—a secret species of humans born with the power to shape-shift into wolves—The Curse tells the story of a young boy, Joseph, who, grieving over his mother’s death at the hands of his abusive father, finds his world turned upside down. While his father awaits sentencing, Joseph is placed into the system, going from one foster family to another. And just when things couldn’t get any worse, an evil entity invades his body, introducing itself as the Shadow.

Twenty-one years later, this mysterious demonic spirit continues to inhabit Joseph’s body and manipulates his mind, luring him toward something dark and sinister, something that is beyond his control.

Carrie Randall, a substance abuse counselor who is unsuccessful at dating, comes face-to-face with death when two men approach her in a dark alley. Amid her assault, something resembling a werewolf, comes to her rescue in the nick of time. As she tries to process everything, unsure if what she witnessed was real or fantasy, her world suddenly collides with a handsome stranger as though they were somehow brought together by fate.

Despite her past relationships, Carrie finds herself spellbound, falling for Joseph Parker, a handsome, yet mysterious, journalist who works for an esteemed newspaper in Berkeley, California. But when Carrie discovers his terrifying secrets, she begins to fear for her life.

Now, Carrie is forced to make the hardest decision of her life. She can turn her back on Joseph, or stay and help him fight the demon who desires her soul.

The Curse

The Curse is another outstanding novel in Shana Congrove’s Breedline Series. This rousing dark fantasy novel follows the Breedline Covenant as well as Joseph Parker, who is possessed by a demonic spirit called the Shadow. We also follow Carrie Randall, an unlucky-in-love counselor who’s world collides with Joseph’s. While trying to track down Joseph, the Breedline Covenant finds out about illegal experiments being done on humans and about vampires.

The world in the Breedline series is well established at this point but if you haven’t read the other books in the series then the author provides plenty of backstory at the beginning of this book to bring you up to speed. The book focuses on setting up the world and the characters first before launching into the heart of the story, and the action.

The story also takes time to describe what the character looks like, so they are clear in the mind of readers before the story moves on. Readers are also reintroduced to Breedline characters as well. Each character is described so that we understand who they are, what they do, and what their power/ability is. This provides a lot of information that new readers will find helpful in understanding the world that has been built in the Breedline series, but longtime fans of the series will find information they’ve picked up in previous books.

I enjoyed getting into Jena’s head. I was pulled into the story during this section, which made it extremely enjoyable to read. I also found the vampires interesting, although I would have liked more information about them so that I could understand them better. The ‘biters’ are the evil ones, and we also have the good ones that are ‘Daywalkers’ or hybrids. I found this division interesting, but I would have liked to have seen their roles more clearly defined in the story.

I enjoyed the premise of this paranormal romance novel. I loved the werewolves, vampires, battle angels, shapeshifting, and the fight against evil. I enjoyed that this is set in the modern world as well. The Curse takes a slow-burn approach to story telling that utilizes most of the pages to build character and the world before jumping into the action.

Pages: 447 | ASIN: B0B5B6DGQK

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Death and Rebirth

Efthalia Author Interview

Phoenix: The Rise follows a demi-god and a vampire who are struggling to defeat a powerful enemy while protecting humanity and trying to get married. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The set up was established way back in book one and this was just a natural progression of where and how I wanted the characters to evolve. I also wanted them to experience a level of drama that the reader could relate to.

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

As writers, we often talk about character types, and I always come back to trying to make them as three-dimensional as I can, and for that, there needs to be interaction, reflection, and some form of decision making. It is through the reflection stage that we can dive just a little bit deeper to see what they are made of, and it is at that point where we can either sympathize or feel their anger, joy and other emotions. It is how we make a connection with them. Sometimes that can be a hit-and-miss situation, and I am always biting my nails and hoping I got it right. 😊

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

Death and rebirth. I hate to say it, but I had to kill one of my darlings. It was time. Another theme was the magical element of Carissa’s power. I wanted to explore a little more of that and the danger of having such a gift. And of course a big battle scene, that encompasses the theme of good vs evil. No story is complete without one of those.

This is book three in your Phi Athanatoi series. Do you have plans for book four?

Book four is Kane’s story, so we get to see what makes him tick. The gods are also present, and of course there will be a little of Carissa Xen in the story too. Sadly, that will not be released till early 2024, but things do change. I am currently working on a new three book series, The Willow Witch Chronicles. Book one is scheduled for release in November and is already up for pre-order. There’s more information on my website.

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

She wants justice. He wants to make things official. But for a demi-god and vampire there are bigger battles.
Demi-god Carissa Alkippes has fought her equal share of demons and Olympian gods, when one battle ends another begins. Only this one may destroy the thin veil between supernatural creatures, gods and humans. To make things worse Zeus offers her a ‘get in and out of Olympus’ card, which paints a dangerous target on her back. Now she must get a handle on her power.
With new enemies hunting her down, Carissa must use everything she knows to protect those she loves from being collateral damage.
Xen Lyson, has seen much in his immortal life and walking Carissa down the aisle is at the top of his vampire list, but when an ancient libation bowl turns up, so does Discord and Death.
Now they have fight not only to protect humanity, but themselves too. Will they defeat their enemies in time to tie-the-knot?

ThePhi Athanatoi is a paranormal, fantasy romance series featuring; vampires, werewolves, witches and Greek gods. If you love stories with strong heroines, adrenaline-filled drama, prophecies, Greek mythology and immortal warriors, then you’ll love the Phi Athanatoi.

Phoenix: The Rise (Phi Athanatoi Book 3)

Carissa Alkippes is a demi-god, daughter of greek god, Ares. She is unable to control her powers but is learning to get a better grip on it. Being a demi-god can be dangerous, but has its wonderful moments (such as having cool powers and visiting the home of the gods, Olympus). Having danger around every corner means Carissa’s loved ones are in danger. She is determined to keep her grandmother and Aunt Paula, as well as mankind, safe from the darker things that lurk in the shadows. Along with her close friends, and mated vampire Xen Lyson, she fights the creatures most people have nightmares of.

Carissa is a strong and well thought out character that I loved following. She is put in situations that most people would not be comfortable with, as we expect with action packed paranormal novels, but what I enjoyed most about her character was how she thrived in those situations and how she handled them. This made her character a compelling protagonist to follow and one readers will easily enjoy following over a long series.

Xen Lyson and Carissa share a telepathic bond that gives their relationship an intriguing depth. Though they are placed in tough situations, the couple’s relationship doesn’t waiver which, to me, makes this novel stand out from other paranormal romance novels where the couple in the story often, and easily, struggle with this kind of stuff. In this novel author Efthalia has transcended that issue and taken her characters relationship to a new level.

Adam and Kane, Xen’s friends and colleagues, are also interesting to read about because they keep the story light and entertaining, which is welcome in a novel that is dramatic and emotional. The scenes about Greek gods add a fascinating layer of complexity to the story. The unique feel the author is able to imbue in her story with the creative use of mythology is something that kept me coming back to this novel again and again. While I enjoyed this rousing paranormal action novel I would have liked to have seen the characters challenged a bit more in the fighting scenes. The action scenes were fun, but I wanted to feel the danger a bit more.

Phoenix: The Rise is a gripping urban fantasy novel with alluring characters and a story that feels deep and meaningful. Well written and surprisingly deep, this is a great read and a fantastic addition to a spellbinding series.

Pages: 342 | ASIN: B09GKVX173

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Fallen Snow Is Just Reality

Abby Farnsworth Author Interview

Fallen Snow follows a woman who must cope with problems she never dreamed of having in a world she never knew existed. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

Honestly, there were no immediate sources. Every good story relates to humanity. That’s what Fallen Snow does. Some people think it’s a little bold or dark for a YA novel, but I think it’s exactly what the genre needs. Reading is an escape, but it’s also a good way to learn things about humanity that are better to experience through the life of a protagonist. Fallen Snow is just reality. It’s raw on a level that some people aren’t ready for. Athena pulls back the curtain on real life, causing some people to face the truth about humanity, and others to be relieved that they can finally relate to a character.

Fallen Snow wasn’t written to make a point or solve an argument. Yet it is bold in a way that causes people to stop and think. Maybe it can make someone a little more gentle with themselves or another person. Maybe it can even help someone. That’s the point. Good stories do more than relate a series of events, they make you feel something.

Athena Jackson is an intriguing and well developed character. Was there anything from yourself that you put into this character?

It seems that with many of my characters, I unintentionally reveal a little bit about myself. So yes, I did. Writing Athena was really relieving. She is probably the closest I’ve ever come to being so raw and vulnerable with my audience.

I’ve never gone through exactly what she did (in terms of the physical abuse or pregnancy), but for a long time, I was in a very toxic, co-dependent, and emotionally abusive relationship. Along with other factors, it caused me to develop mental health problems and an eating disorder. Athena is where I think I might have ended up a few years down the road if I hadn’t gotten out of that relationship. She’s very special to me.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

Well, most of the scenes were pretty sad. I remember first writing the hallway scene–the prologue–and I really enjoyed that. I felt confident about how the story would progress from there. I cried a lot writing this book. It was so important to me that I needed to make sure the story was flawless. The hospital scene was very important to me. It wasn’t fun to write, but I poured a lot into it.

This is the third book in the EverGreen series. Do you have plans for a fourth book or are you working on a different project?

Fallen Snow is the last book in the EverGreen Trilogy. My newest novel, Scarlet Whispers, the first book in The Shades of Us Trilogy, was recently released. I’ve already finished writing that trilogy. At some point I may come back and write a companion novel (related to the story, but more of a spin off) between Moonlit Skies and Fallen Snow, but I’m not sure when that will be.

Author Interview: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

“Each time his lips touched mine, sparks shot through my mind.”
Less than a year after Lily Rhodes Marx delivers twins John and Mina, Athena Jackson finds herself facing an unplanned pregnancy. With Lily and Rowan’s support, she prepares for the arrival of her baby. Ginger, Drew, Giselle, Omar, Jack, and LeAnne also join in encouraging her as she begins this new chapter of her life. In the midst of her journey, she falls for a man who just might be everything she’s ever wanted. But when all of her plans for the future begin to crumble, Athena will have to cope with problems she never dreamed of having in a world she never knew existed.

Pursuing Love Rather Than Fear

Abby Farnsworth Author Interview

Moonlit Skies is book two in your EverGreen Trilogy. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that was different from book one?

Moonlit Skies is definitely a little darker than EverGreen. It’s not in any way as dark as Fallen Snow, but it’s somewhere between the two. In Moonlit Skies, I really wanted to highlight Jack, because I thought everyone deserved to know about his redemption arc. Many of my readers really love Jack, and I wanted them to know that his life isn’t permanently filled with sadness. I also felt the need to show a different side of Giselle, one that I think is very relatable to many teenage girls who struggle with mental health problems.

I also really wanted to elaborate on the Watchers. Obviously they were included within EverGreen, but I really needed to show the extent to which their radicalism could take them. Cults have always interested me. One thing I’ve found is that they are always motivated by two things: a desire for power, and uncontrollable fear. The Watchers are no different than any other cult. But the hopeful side of the story is that LeAnne is capable of seeing past her family, and pursuing love rather than fear and violence.

Moonlit Skies really delves deeper into the world of EverGreen, and is definitely relatable to a lot of my readers. People can connect their own lives to Jack and Giselle’s. It takes the story to a whole new level.

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

A big part of making my characters well developed and intriguing is not taking away their humanity. They are flawed, broken, and sometimes evil people. Each of my characters can be connected to someone or something in the reader’s life. That’s what makes them feel real. I treat them like real people, and I don’t hide their flaws.

Giselle is so relatable to women. She’s insecure, fun, dramatic, and loving. She’s a hopeless romantic with dreams of love and a happy life. Women see themselves in her. I think that’s wonderful.

Jack is the funny, slightly lost friend that everyone has. Maybe you see him as your brother, son, friend, or partner. No matter who he is to you, he’s the kind of person you can’t help but love. Jack will always be an incredibly important character to me, because he’s inspired by someone within my own life.

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

The EverGreen Trilogy as a whole centers around eugenics. Of course, the series is YA Paranormal Romance, but there are also other meaningful aspects. Mental health is an important theme within Moonlit Skies, as well as loyalty. These themes continue to be relevant in Fallen Snow.

What can readers expect in the final book of the EverGreen Trilogy?

Fallen Snow completes the EverGreen Trilogy in a bold way. It strays from the sweet, innocent nature of EverGreen. EverGreen provides a glimpse at first love, and two people, Lily and Rowan, who have to fight to be together. It is, in many ways, a very pure love story. Moonlit Skies follows the lives of two minor characters in EverGreen, showing that even in a loving, magical community, there is darkness. Fallen Snow then completes the story, showing the most raw aspects of the characters’ lives.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

“I wanted nothing more than to run into his arms, to collapse into him and ignore the world around us.”
One year after the events of EverGreen, Jack finds himself lost, both physically and mentally, with nowhere to go. When he unexpectedly meets a few strangers, his life erupts into chaos. Meanwhile, Giselle struggles with depression and insecurity in the weeks leading up to Ginger and Drew’s wedding. Everything changes when she meets a compelling stranger who appears to be infatuated with her. When a terrifying threat begins to loom over Lily, Rowan, and their unborn children, Jack and Giselle will work together in an attempt to save the lives of those they love.

I Wanted to Contribute Something New

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

The Mortal Vampire follows a 300 year old vampire that slowly starts to regain parts of his humanity, including the ability to love again, can he figure out what is causing it? What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In the beginning of the story, the vampire Remy has no idea what’s causing the unwelcome physical and mental changes he’s experiencing. All he knows is that the changes seemed to have begun when he first met the mortal Angela. He had pursued Angela in the hope that she might’ve been able to shed some light on the cause of his strange, new illness. She was, but not in the way he’d thought she would. As to my inspiration, I love the horror genre. I’ve always felt the urge to write a vampire story, but I held off because I wanted to contribute something new to the vampire mystique. I didn’t just want Remy to be a lustful, bloodthirsty vampire. I also wanted him to be vulnerable, to have a conscience, and for some part of him to subconsciously be tethered to a past that was completely at odds with his current vampire persona. The idea for a large part of my story came from a zombie movie I’d recently watched.

Angela is mysterious and compelling, drawing Remy in. What was the inspiration for the relationship that develops between the characters?

I’ve always been inspired by love stories that start off in a tumultuous way, but end on a high note. In the beginning of The Mortal Vampire, the relationship between Angela and Remy is strained, mostly because Remy is afraid of the influence that the mere mortal Angela has over him. It was no small feat for him to overcome this fear, but gradually he did. His fear was replaced by trust, and that trust blossomed into love. By the end of the story, Angela had become a sort of spiritual beacon to Remy, a guiding light that helped him find his way out of the darkness. A true soulmate. I wasn’t able to see their relationship developing in any other way.

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

Redemption. Faith. The power of love.

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

I just finished a full length novel titled Lilah’s Limit. It takes place in New Orleans circa 1870. It’s a story about a scarred man who falls in love with a mysterious prostitute. It’s pretty much ready to be published now, so with any luck, that will happen soon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook profile page | Facebook author page

Mystic Desire is a collection of short paranormal romance stories. This is a chance to read and discover the work of a diverse group of very talented authors.
The themes in this book are varied, as are the collection of characters and artifacts, including Native American dream catchers, mystical jewelry, and characters such as lustful vampires, hot warlocks, a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, a zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night.
From soft and tender love to hot passionate, kinky sex, there is something for everyone in this anthology.
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