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Literary Titan Book Awards January 2022

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

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Storm Front 8 by Steven Paul Germane

 

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

We’re Not Heroes

We’re Not Heroes, by Helen Daniels, is the story of a group of friends that are stuck at a farmhouse after what they originally thought was an earthquake hits Australia. They have suspicions on what actually has happened after their electricity goes out, cars stop working, and the mountains are on fire. Maree and her husband Jon are worried for their children so they set off on a journey to find them.

The author, Helen Daniels, transports readers to the Great Southern region of Western Australia. The level of detail describing the scenery and people in her story transports the readers right into the action. Following along side Jon and Maree as they are fighting for survival will have readers turning pages quickly to see if they can make it to their children and survive this changing world’s destruction.

The characters are well developed and relatable. Readers will want to keep reading because they get invested in the personal emotions and stories of the characters. You begin to understand why certain characters in the story make the choices that they do in a time of crisis. The story builds slow before catapulting into the action. With a strong balance of narrative and action readers will feel like they are part of the story, racing to find their loved ones.

We’re Not Heroes by Helen Daniels is a riveting, captivating and suspenseful post-apocalyptic novel that will have you hooked to the very last page. Readers of action, adventure, suspense and post-apocalyptic science fiction will enjoy this relentlessly entertaining survival story.

Pages: 330 | ASIN : B09K4V6FH8

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That SOB Deserved That!

Gary Hickman
Gary Hickman Author Interview

The Light Reapers follows an elite team on a mission to rescue a scientist while battling hordes of zombies. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I initially wrote the story during COVID and I was thinking about how the zombies were created. As I thought through different options, the media kept saying CORONA Virus and that stuck with me. For my first book, I wanted to write something that I was familiar with but also wanted to have fun with it. I have always loved zombies since I first saw Dawn of the Dead (the original). Zombies and the military seemed like a good combination. I mean, plenty of people had done it before successfully, so why not me? There are actually quite a few events in the book that were based on real life. The fighting, the tactics used, the interactions between some of the characters all had a significant influence on what I wrote. There are a few of the characters who are based on real people I served with. I obviously removed the enemies and put in the infected, changed the names and locations due to counterintelligence reasons, but most were still based on truth.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene in the story did you have the most fun writing?

Chapter 19, the scene with Randy. I didn’t like writing the situation so much, but the end result I had quite a bit of pleasure writing. Something in most books that aggrivates me is the vilan causes all this pain and suffering only to be shot dead to fall off a building. I wanted there to be some moments in the book where people said, “Yeah!”, that SOB deserved that!

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

Brotherhood of the soldiers. Acceptance of the others whowere not originally part of the team. Retribution on those who chose to do evil, even though the apocalypse was on them. Just shows some people’s true character. I wanted to show that even though there lies no obligation to people, they stucktogetherand made a life as best they could.

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

I am working on the sequel to The Light Reapers, this one is “The Light Reapers: Fight for a New Beginning”. The book is about 80% complete as far as writing. Then comes the editing. I could have done much better on the editing of the first book, so I am hiring a professional to edit the second book.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Light Reapers are a Special Operations Unit who had served numerous campaigns together. They were an expertly trained and elite group, but could they ever prepare for what was to happen next.
Under a shroud of darkness and maliciousness, a viral weapon was being produced by an alliance of terrorists bent on the destruction of their respective enemies. When double-crossed by an ISIS faction, the viral weapon is stolen and prematurely unleashed on the planet.
Now facing a worldwide epidemic, The Light Reapers are deployed to rescue a scientist who may be able to develop an antidote. If that wasn’t difficult enough, they also must track down the ISIS faction and eliminate them. All while battling hordes of the infected.

The Light Reapers

The Light Reapers: End of the World by [Gary Hickman]

Media about zombies always seem to fall between two categories. You have the slow-and-somber kind like Max Brooks’ World War Z and George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead, and then you have the guts-and-gore kind like the video game Dead Rising and Stuart Gordon’s Eaten Alive

Before opening this book, I didn’t know which category Gary Hickman’s The Light Reapers: End of the World falls under. I didn’t even know this was a zombie novel at all. But by the time I closed it I was glad it was the latter. From page one, blood and viscera start flying out of the page, and it hardly ever stops to give you a chance to catch your breath. 

It tells the story of the titular Light Reapers, a special operations unit with members that will annihilate anything that steps in their way. Everything goes south when they infiltrate a terrorist lab where a mysterious bioweapon is being created. Prior to the mission, they have little to no information about the lab or the weapon. The mission was supposed to be simple: “make it to the lab area, assess the situation, infiltrate the facility, secure the formula and any other intel, then exfil.” What they find is anything but. Now the virus is unleashed on the planet, driving the whole world into darkness and chaos. 

As crazy as the synopsis may sound, Hickman chose to ground the story in reality with references to real-world events. Still, that doesn’t make it any less imaginative and entertaining. The moments of extreme gore sometimes happen so suddenly with such detailed descriptions that they border on cartoonish. Still, like the obviously fake blood in early Romero films, that’s the beauty of it. The thought of the world’s population turning into a mindless undead horde is a tad depressing, so you got to have a ton of fun to balance it out. And by “fun,” I mean blowing-chunks-off-a-zombie’s-torso kind of fun. 

Now that you’re reading this review, it may be too late to say that the best way to experience The Light Reapers: End of the World is to go in blind. Walk in thinking you’re about to read a war novel, then come out with a new zombie book instead. But at the end of the day, it’s a bloody good time, and gorehounds will surely lap it up.

Pages: 303 | ASIN: B0945G5MMQ

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Legend of the Horizon Vengeance

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance (The Two Revolvers Saga Book 2) by [Dave Matthes]

Rancid Mahoney has received a letter–a letter from someone from his past. Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to seek Rancid out. As life has continued following the apocalypse, Rancid has moved on and forgotten much about his life as a young boy. The letter, however, holds the key to a new adventure and a dangerous one at that. The letter requests he make his way to a place called The Throat and to do so as quickly as possible. There are now decisions to be made, and Rancid faces the possibility of a reunion he never expected.

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance, by Dave Matthes, is the second book in The Two Revolvers Saga and follows the apocalyptic life of Rancid Mahoney and the man who took him under his wing. Theirs is a unique if strained relationship. Boarding the Moonlady in order to take part in Frank Delmont’s plan isn’t exactly what Rancid had in mind, but he doesn’t exactly have too many directions to turn. His fate aboard the ship seems sealed–swabbing, scraping, and scouring. Frank seems determined to teach Rancid some survival skills he believes he may still be lacking after all these years apart.

Matthes’s work reads much like a western. Set in apocalyptic times, readers will appreciate the writing style, the absolutely vivid descriptions, and the fantastic exchanges between characters. Matthes does include some particularly graphic depictions of carnage. He paints quite the picture of a world seemingly set on destroying itself.

Rancid and Frank have a strange relationship. Their bickering throughout the story keeps readers on their toes. There exists a kind of electricity between the two, and as much as I wanted them to come to terms with their history and move on, I wanted this dynamic to continue. The two completely make this novel what it is. They possess the perfect mixture of qualities of protagonist and antagonist.

I highly recommend Legend of the Horizon Vengeance to any fans of action/adventure series. I was particularly drawn to the setting of Matthes’s story. I have not often seen post-apocalyptic tales set on the open sea. This one is expertly told, is driven by well-developed characters in a thoroughly engaging plot, and contains the ideal amount of humor combined with peril and suspense. It is the perfect addition to any fiction fan’s library.

Pages: 478 | ASIN: B097C9SJ81

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We Go On A Journey

Christopher St. John
Christopher St. John Author Interview

War Bunny follows a young bunny who’s banished from her warren and must face a dangerous post-apocalyptic world alone. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

When my partner and I first started collecting rescue bunnies ten years ago, I knew nothing about rabbits. Like most people, I had been acculturated to think of rabbits as living plush toys: 24/7 snugglers created to be pets for tween girls.

I was surprised to discover how complex their lives were. How territorial they were. And how fierce.

We were bringing home rabbits one or two at a time from rescue organizations, and we gave them free run of the house. We did not know then that rabbits who don’t know each other may be highly suspicious on first meeting, and very protective of their perquisites.

We attempted to make them all one big happy family (called “bonding” in rabbit parlance) and were shocked to learn they had minds of their own.

The rabbits eventually organized themselves into two opposing gangs, each with its own leader. They competed for territory. They competed to control food, even though there was plenty for everyone. And they competed to monopolize the petting that came from the two amiable herb-dispensers and litter-box attendants who hovered over their world. Watching this, I was amazed at how “human” they were. 

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

Making any change in the world also means making changes in yourself. We go on a journey with Anastasia and she struggles to find her way out of the maze of beliefs she has been taught. The innermost kernel of herself is her guide. That is the thing that she will not give up. It’s her foundation in terms of judging what to do next.

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

Often the “truths” about the world are drummed into us at a very young age. In our own lives, we see enormous evils that we are taught cannot be changed because “they have always been this way.” Acquiescing is what the predators want you to do. If a rabbit can take on a world that assigns her the role of “victim,” so can you.

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

War Bunny is the first book in a series. The next book, Summerday, picks up right where War Bunny leaves off. I’m working on it now and it will be published in 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

War Bunny: Book 1 in the War Bunny Chronicles by [Christopher St. John]

A young rabbit fights back against a world that assigns her the role of “victim.”

In a post-apocalyptic world where humans are extinct and animals thrive, rabbits believe their god, Yah, has decreed that they must be Glorified by a Blessed One. That means becoming a predator’s meal, accepting their fate in a surrender called the Giving.

But Anastasia, a brown yearling doe living in Bloody Thorn Warren, is different from the other rabbits. She starts asking pointed questions of the warren elders and gets exiled for it.

Without a warren, she’s enormously vulnerable, but she reaches out to others in desperate straits. Soon, she’s leading a group of outcasts in a ferocious battle for survival—and maybe even freedom. It’s a fast-paced story about friendship, honor, love, and coming of age.

A great adventure read for teens and adults! (Fantasy, 13+)

Summerday, Book 2 in the War Bunny Chronicles, will be published in 2022.

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In A Destroyed World

Igor Generalov
Igor Generalov Author Interview

Russian HellwayZ follows a group of people on their way back to Moscow and face a post-apocalyptic country ravaged by zombies. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve never been interested in zombies before but then I watched TV series “The Walking Dead”. It was a game changer for me. I was struck by the fact that the dramatic destinies of people were so harmoniously inscribed into the zombie apocalypse and intricately intertwined with each other in a destroyed world. So I decided to tell my story.

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

The images of the characters are collective, but every one of them has a prototype that I have met at some point in my life. Biographies, criminal cases, events that happened to the heroes before the Apocalypse, were all taken from the real life stories. And, of course, the social environment that once surrounded those characters, descriptions of cities, villages, people’s lives in different layers of society, their behavior – this is all for real.

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

Any end of civilization is a rapid fall of humanity into the Dark Ages. For some this is a collapse of everything: the loss of status, money, the opportunity to live in comfort. Some are simply ready for an extreme change, and for others “the social elevator” would turn on which would never had the chance to do so in the ordinary world. And the most interesting thing is that all these people were brought together to one point in space and time. The question is: what will win at the end? Will it be their primitive animal nature, or their ability to conceive a new civilization for humanity?

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

You know, literary translation is very expensive, as is editing. I hope that “Russian HellwayZ” will start selling well and we can see the continuation as soon as next year 🙂

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

In Russia, a socially divided country where corrupt rulers and capitalists often prey upon ordinary citizens, eight men endure harsh conditions beyond the Arctic Circle to work in the uninhabited Far North. One day, the workers lose all contact with civilization, and their supply deliveries cease. Upon learning that humanity has been plagued by a virus that turns people into zombies, the men agree to return home to Moscow. Together, they must travel several thousand kilometers to reach the capital—confronting bloodthirsty zombies, brutalized survivors, and widespread chaos that will test their strength and compatibility as it exposes civil grievances within a displaced society. Will they make it to Moscow alive?

Literary Titan Book Awards September 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

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

La Florida by James D. Snyder

My Hidden Fear by Luan Nguyen

 

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

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