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Literary Titan Book Awards March 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

Trust vs Lust… a biography by Ian D. Niall

Intrepid Spirit by David Tunno

 

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

 

Our Decisions Define Us

Douglas Misquita
Douglas Misquita Author Interview

Trigger Point follows Luc as he must stop a terrorist plot while navigating a political and religious web of corruption as a deadly team is hunting him. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

I was intrigued by “The Islamist: Why I joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left” by Ed Hussain, “Radical Islam: Past, Present, and Future: What Moderate Muslims Will Not Tell you” by Anita & Vann Boseman, “God’s Wolf: The Life of the Most Notorious of All Crusaders: Reynald de Chatillon” by Jeffrey Lee, “A Common Word Between Us and You” by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, Kingdom of Jordan. There was also “The Entity: Five Centuries of Secret Vatican Espionage” by Eric Frattini. At the time of writing, the book was prohibitively priced to the extent I asked myself, ‘Who does not want us to read this?’. All-in-all, I wanted to challenge the stereotype of a terrorist and show that everybody has a propensity for violence if not checked.

Luc Fortesque is a consistently entertaining character. What were some character motivations that you felt were important to developing him throughout the novel?

In the first book of the series, The Apocalypse Trigger, Luc is the bad guy. Readers will hate him. By the time I wrote The Immortality Trigger, he seemed like the guy I wanted to return. So I set him on this path of redemption. He’d done some pretty nasty stuff and has always attributed his life-choices to external stimuli. But at the end of the day, our decisions define us, and who we become. That became the theme and we see it resolve in Trigger Point. The bad guy finds his soul, his righteousness. Also melds with my belief that everybody is doing what they can to survive in this world.

Was there anything taken from real life and put into the story?

Plenty. All the locations, vehicles are factual. Raynald de Chattilon and Nur ad Din were sworn enemies during the crusades. The syncretism of Catholic and Maya beliefs is real as is the ritual and the construct of the typical Maya village. Zombie Deer Disease is real, as is the (questionable) research that I caught onto and used to great effect. The Swiss vaults described in the book exist and nobody knows the true extent of the wealth or secrets stored there. The Japanese Unit 731 existed and its research was co-opted by the US after WWII. The Chinese AI entity is based on fact – Western companies are indirectly providing the expertise much to the concern of their home nations. I’ve done my best to be non-offensive yet informative in my exposition of Catholism, Islam and religious trends.

This is the third book in your Luc Fortesque Adventure series. What can readers expect in book four?

Visitors to my website will observe I’m happy doing trilogies before moving on to something fresh. For now, there won’t be another Luc Fortesque book. I’ve got another hero coming up and yet another that I’m concluding in another series. Then I’m contemplating a wild prehistoric adventure. Who doesn’t ?

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

Smuggling himself into Europe despite an Interpol Red Notice? Possible. Avenging a German BKA officer? Easy. Evading special ops teams hunting him for his secrets? Impossible. Things are about to get more… interesting for Luc Fortesque. An escaped terrorist threatens a landmark dialogue between Muslims and Christians. More terrifying is the theft of a bioweapon from a secret vault operated by the Holy See. That the damaging news is not public hints the weapon will be detonated. With cataclysm imminent, the world’s oldest espionage agency – the Vatican’s L’ Entity – must get Fortesque first, hoping he might possess the cure. Treachery and corruption infect the upper echelons of religion and government, and Fortesque must confront his past to be free of it. If he survives the confrontation.

Trigger Point

Trigger Point: A Luc Fortesque Adventure by [Douglas Misquita]

The third Installation of the Luc Fortesque series, Trigger Point by Douglas Misquita is an action-packed thriller. The novel follows the journey of Luc, who has acquired secret knowledge about an impending terrorist conspiracy. Forces are sent to get hold of Luc, as his knowledge puts the Holy See under the criminal radar. A former agent Raymond Garrett is on a mission to expose the EI Fantasma, but the drug mafia also has some plans in store for Garrett. Now the question is, will they be able to pierce through the veneer of rampant internal corruption, barbarism, and history of betrayal? Or will they be defeated in the face of intense corruption within the government and religious bodies? 

Douglas Misquita’s use of lucid language complements this intricately woven story. Trigger Point does an amazing job at keeping the reader glued to the pages from the beginning till the very end with action that is easy to follow and a story line that is deeply intriguing. Although the novel contains a plot that can easily stand on its own, you should definitely check out the previous two novels in the same series–The Apocalypse Trigger and The Immortality Trigger. Written in the same vein as the works of Dan Brown, this story aptly captures the nuanced deception running through various international, political and religious institutions.

This is an action thriller written for action thriller fans. It contains all the high points I wanted in a high stakes crime fiction novel, and one of the best character developments I’ve seen in a series in this genre. There are multiple twists throughout, leading to a tense reading experience. However, the incidents, while highly entertaining, are still grounded in reality, possibly due to the thoughtful descriptions and exposition throughout the novel. The author has brilliantly executed an array of ideas into a comprehensive whole, utilizing a unique writing flair that I’ve come to expect in Douglas Misquita’s novels.

Combine the intricate nature of Dan Brown novels, add the intensity and political web of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series, with the world building of Michael Crichton and I think you’ll understand what Trigger Point has to offer readers. The characters in the novel are as intriguing as the storyline itself. Never for a moment, did I feel that these are not real-life human characters. They come alive with their virtues and vices combined, giving them a human touch. The author has put extra attention towards the development of each character, making them even more appealing to the readers. 

The complex yet easy-flowing storyline, the rounded characters, and the infusion of action make Trigger Point an enthralling read that immerses readers in a tumultuous world full of adventure.

Pages: 417 | ASIN: B08S7Q8JSD

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Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny

Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny by [Ray Griggs]

Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny is the first installment in a suspenseful adventure series by author Ray Griggs. The story follows marine archaeologist Jack Spears. Tormented by his fathers mysterious disappearance and following the lead of a gold coin that proved the existence of an undocumented nazi U-boat allegedly containing Hitlers Spear of Destiny; a powerful artifact that according to legend, whoever weilds it holds the power to rule the world. Unfortunately for Sterling, he’s not the only one after the Spear, as there are powerful people willing to do anything to get their hands on it. Desperate to avoid the artifact from falling into the wrong hands, and to protect his friends and family, Sterling embarks on an underwater journey to retrieve the U-boat and its contents. He faces dangerous obstacles and uncovers dark secrets that may change everything. Will Sterling be able to pull through and do what’s right, or will he fall victim to the strong pull of the ocean’s secrets?

First time author Ray Griggs really got creative on this one, a washed-up archaeologist, a magical artifact, and a dangerous foe, all blend to make quite a thrilling historical fiction novel. The incredibly original plot is filled with cliffhangers and plot-twists that always kept me guessing. While I enjoyed this story overall I felt that there was some style choices, coupled with some grammatical errors, that slowed this story down a bit.

Jack Sterling is a well defined character that is intriguing and was a character I desperately wanted to learn more about. Sterling’s long-lost childhood friend Dymitry, offered the story a great relief, but the story remains focused on our protagonist’s development through this dramatic adventure. Jack was a character whos motivations were clear and the story is definitely one that thrives with a strong protagonist. The author leaves readers with a dramatic cliffhanger that perfectly sets up a series of novels that is sure to follow in the vein of campy theatrical adventures like Indiana Jones or The Librarians. Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny is an ambitions historical thriller that will take readers on a unique adventure.

Pages: 275 | ASIN: B08NTWC2NW

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The Human Toll of Superpower

Vahid Imani
Vahid Imani Author Interview

In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers follows a British spy plotting to sabotage American interests in Persia finds when an international scandal foils his plot. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Many years ago my uncle told me about the main event of the story. After extensive research, I decided to tell the story and explain the human toll of superpower roles in the lives of their prey.

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

Thank you. I studied the lives of many spies of the period, their skill sets, and how they merged within their surroundings. One of the examples was Lawrence of Arabia or T.E. Lawrence.

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

In my opinion 1920s were extremely important years in the development of our modern world. From the superpower’s race to modernizing Navy ships, to the expansion of the Bolshevik USSR and push for the export of communism and rapid discoveries of oil countries and political systems were tested against the rapid changes. These changes resulted in the world we currently live.

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

In May 2020 I published my memoir, LIKE THE WIND I GO, A memoir of Iran, America, my struggle to freedom. Which is a more modern history of the event in Iran in 1978. Currently, I’m working on a sci-fi novel.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When James Malcolm, a British spy stationed in Iran, plans his plot to sabotage American interests in Persia, he anticipates an easy promotion and a mission to the new Bolshevik Russia. But when his plot takes a detour in the wrong direction, an international scandal erupts. A Persian teenage boy’s accidental involvement raises the stakes and becomes a distraction. Malcolm’s clandestine investigation entangles him with unwitting American diplomats, treacherous double agents, and murderous Soviet spies all seeking to foil the oil grab of the British in 1924.

In the Shadow of the Kingmakers

In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani is a thrilling historical fiction novel set in 1920s Iran. We follow James Malcolm a British spy stationed in the Middle East during a tumultuous time in history. Malcolm plans on sabotaging American interests in Persia, but before his plan can unfold an international scandal erupts. Malcolm is thrown into the middle of a dangerous fight for oil and power between American diplomats, double agents and soviet spies.

Author Vahid Imani’s writing captured my attention from the start of the story and held it to the very end. The book is a little over 300 pages but because the story is so enthralling the pages go by quickly. The reader immediately travels back to 1920s Persia. The setting of the story is vividly described and expertly sets up an exotic backdrop to this rousing story. The plot of the story is complex, as international politics usually are, but Imani’s writing is smooth and gently eases the reader into the plot, making the story and the various characters easy to follow.

Throughout the story you begin to sympathize with Persian people and their families because they are in the middle of a political battle and are essentially collateral damage. The characters are expertly developed, grounded and easy to empathize with. I was able to easily connect with Malcolm because I understood his motivations. This leads to some really hair-raising scenes as you get fully invested in the character and the dangerous situations he finds himself in become much more suspenseful.

Author Vahid Imani has shown readers a different side of the petroleum industry as well as the key players involved. In The Shadow of the Kingmakers is an explosive and gripping read, with intense characters all set against a turbulent historical backdrop. Readers looking for a fast and complex historical thriller will find themselves lost in this story.

Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07NHC5XGX

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Death in the Cloud – Book Trailer

A commercial airliner departing Moscow is missing over France. Two days later, with world tensions at an all-time high, that same plane is headed for the White House.

Soon after, following a mysterious breach of the launch codes, US nuclear missiles aimed at Russia are poised for attack. A reciprocal attack is readied by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. The world is on the edge of a nuclear apocalypse.

Since his murder in a Queens restaurant, Alex Nicholas has been living a virtual life in cyberspace. Suddenly he finds himself on the big screen in the White House’s underground bunker, facing the President of the United States. He may be the only one who can save the world from mutual mass destruction. But to do so, he will have to allow himself to be “deleted” – this time permanently.

This latest addition to the Michael & Alex Nicholas series – which also includes Death Never Sleeps, Death Logs In, and Death Logs Out – features all the mystery, artificial intelligence, humor, food, and travel that fans have come to expect, but with even more twists and turns. Buckle up!

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When A Rook Takes The Queen

When a Rook Takes a Queen is a fascinating high-steaks political thriller following intriguing characters trying to gain control of Chicago. When the progressive mayor of Chicago is murdered just outside her home, the hit is a mystery. Nonetheless, the race is on between the most powerful members of Chicago’s society to gain control of the city and its inhabitants. Another high stakes race is also on to figure out who killed the mayor and the violence plaguing the city. Intrepid reporter, Lawrence McKay is on the case with his sharp-witted staff, but it seems there is also another brave journalist competing for the same story, one beautiful Talia Bowerman. As if there was not enough trouble in the city, mob boss, Tony DiMatteo, has big plans for his territory and with the help of a crooked priest at his side, he might succeed.

When a Rook Takes a Queen is full of wonderful details and twists that haunt the reader through every page. The details and small nuances are not too wordy, yet provide essential pieces of atmosphere and mood that allow the reader to feel as though they are observing events in real time with the characters. One of the additional aspects of the novel that makes it so unpredictable is that all of the characters appear to believe themselves to be making the best choices or doing the right thing, which makes it difficult to determine who is a “good guy” or not. There are many storylines woven together in the book that are told in exquisite detail, weaving together a narrative with just enough dramatic irony to excite the reader without giving the plot away.

The novel also shows a surprising reflection on the real world of politics and policing in large cities such as Chicago. The book showcases the strained relations between minority groups that have been systematically oppressed and officials who too often are not held accountable for their actions without villainizing either side. Although the conflict between these two groups is not the heart of the book, it is addressed with respect and understanding in these relevant times.

When a Rook Takes a Queen is suspenseful, enrapturing, and at times, humorous. It will surely keep readers up at night as I was. It is a book that examines both the cold cruel world of politics and the very human and vulnerable people in that race. I highly recommend this book for a bit of escapism and intrigue.

Pages: 403 | ASIN:  B08RY8G4L3

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