Blog Archives

Literary Titan Book Awards October 2019

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.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

A Lone Wolf by [Fields, J. C.]Demon of the Black Gate by [Scherzinger, GJ]

From Miracle To Murder: Justice For Adam by [Lefler, Joyce A]Myth Agent by [MacFadden, L.A.]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Makers of Destiny - Sequel to Die to Live Again by [Crane, David]The Cruel Romance: A Novel of Love and War by [Osipova, Marina]

Floating on Secrets by [Bensko, Tantra]High School Queens (The High School Queens Trilogy Book 1) by [Ryan, Zachary]

Twisted Pines by [Baker, Lane]My Kill Play: When a Virus Hijacked the Roller Derby by [Patten, Tim]

The Conflict of Desires: A New Rhythm in the Tangle by [DASH, JAYAJIT]

MORALITY VS. REALITY: HOW THE POWERS OF THE WORLD ARE SHIFTING FROM RELIGION TO MEDIA IN ORDER TO GAIN CONTROL OVER PEOPLE by [Tareen, Farooq]

 

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

 

High School Queens

High School Queens (The High School Queens Trilogy Book 1) by [Ryan, Zachary]

What is it about high school that brings out the worst in people? The hormones, the pressure to know your future, the mind games? Probably all of the above. Zachary Ryan pens his first book in a series, High School Queens set at Johnson Prep, and complete with all the rich, narcissistic, angst filled teens that any drama queen could ask for. This story delves into a darker, edgier version of high school antics, with exhortation, blackmail, physical and emotional abuse. A One Tree Hill meets Lord of the Flies vibe.

High School Queens packs a deep emotional punch and the depth of the character’s issues are interesting and intriguing. The book tackles a myriad of issues: Alcoholism, eating disorders, self harm, family loyalty, abuse and a whole gamut of complex issues that face youth today. Zachary Ryan attributes the necessary attention to these issues with detail and heart equally. However, I felt that there was detail lacking in certain places? What does Johnson Prep look like? The picture of the story feels incomplete for the lack of setting.

Johnson Prep has a lack of diversity, which is not surprising, but the one Spanish character is poor and the one Indian character is trapped in a ultra traditional family. The cliche here is painful because the author has a clear knack for creating intriguing and well defined characters otherwise. Readers can relate to Andrew, Danielle, Aman and Delilah, root for them and become invested in their characters. The endless cattiness and shallowness by the Marked Queen starts as fun and entertaining but gets repetitive where I would have liked to see creative twists.

The climax of High School Queens is set against the back drop of prom, but the character’s stories don’t all end on the same note and there were some surprises that were developed and unveiled superbly. There is a cliffhanger that sets up for the continuation of Johnson Prep’s students but for next installment of High School Queens to match the high bar set here I expect to see more flavor, humor and twists.

Pages: 311 | ASIN: B07PXFZVLF

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Left on Main

Left on Main (Heart of Madison Series Book One) by Crystal Jackson is a contemporary fiction story. Freelance travel blogger Libby Reynolds moves to the small town of Madison, Georgia after her marriage falls apart, and she is determined to make a new life for herself. But it’s hard for her to move on when she was blindsided by her husband’s desire for a divorce. Then she meets Seth Carver, the owner of Lost Horizon Antiques, and she can’t deny that she feels drawn to him. But is she ready to take another chance on love? Especially with a man who has his own reasons for protecting his heart. Or will they allow their fears and past hurts to tear them apart?

I enjoyed the romantic element of this story, and I liked the characters because they were relatable and believable. The descriptions of the town and various businesses, as well as the changing seasons, painted a vivid picture of Madison, Georgia. Libby and Seth both had interesting jobs (travel writer and owner of an antiques shop), which were different from other books I’ve read, and I liked that unique aspect of the story. After their past heartbreaks, I wanted to see a happy ending for both of them.

The story starts out a bit slow with too a lot of focus on secondary characters. At the beginning of the book, there was a lot of interaction with secondary characters and not enough interaction between Libby and Seth. Libby doesn’t meet Seth until Chapter Five, and then after that brief introduction they are apart again until Chapter Fifteen. During the first quarter of the book, there was an issue with repetition, when the same information was mentioned more than once as Libby related the same details of her upcoming coffee date with Seth to multiple characters. There were so many characters–at the tea room, the coffee shop, the newspaper office, the antique shop, and all Libby and Seth’s family and friends–that it was hard to keep track of them all and remember who was who.

Once the story shifted to focus more on Libby and Seth’s romance and less on the secondary characters, things began to pick up and the book held my interest. I would have liked the story to end with a proposal and Libby saying ‘yes,’; but I suppose that’s just me being emotionally invested in the characters. There was a sneak peek of the next book at the end of this book, and I’m interested in reading more of Libby and Seth’s story.

Pages: 249 | ISBN: 198828175X

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The Cruel Romance

The Cruel Romance: A Novel of Love and War by [Osipova, Marina]

During World War II a young Serafima Krivenkova’s life changes forever after her lover, Vitya leaves the village to go to the front. Soon after Vitya leaves, Serafima’s home is taken over by Germans, and she and her mother are forced to follow the orders of the German officers who live there. Despite the hardships, Serafima tries to stay positive and often thinks about her future life together with Vitya after his return from the war. But something terrible happens that will make Serafima the target of hurtful gossips in the village and destroys her dreams.

The Cruel Romance by Marina Osipova is a sensational historical fiction  novel about war, love, distress, cruelty, faith, and tragedy. The story takes place mostly in Russia, 80 miles from Moscow in the 1940’s and 1950’s and describes the life of Serafima, who continuously has to adapt to the difficulties and cruel circumstances caused by the war. Although the story is fictional, I got a deep insight into the cruelty of World War II and how it affected the lives of Russian citizens. Osipova has in depth knowledge of the topic and the Russian-German conflict during that time in history. The author uses different narratives to show the events, which helps to reveal new information about what has happened.

The story was consistently interesting but also depressing at the same time. At first, I thought that this would be a typical love story that, despite the difficulties, finishes with a happy ending. But it’s an unconventional story with many unexpected turns. In the beginning, the story builds slowly, but later events come fast and the years go by quickly. I would have preferred the time jumps not to have been so large, but this is mostly due to the fact that I wanted to stay with the interesting characters longer.

The characters are well-chosen and I liked that they have unique personalities. Osipova focuses on the description of what happened with the characters and what feelings they have rather than giving a detailed portrayal of them.

Overall, the novel is a great read. I would suggest this book to everyone who likes historical love stories.

Pages: 342 | ASIN: B0794VPFRW

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The Hunt – Trailer

Having been homeschooled until now, Maeleigh is nervous about starting at her new high school. She knew things would be different, but there was no way to prepare her for Gearden. Nor was she prepared to hear his voice in her head. Born deaf, she hasn’t heard anyone’s voice clearly before so why now? And how?!

That’s not the only weird thing going on in town. There’s a whole other society living amongst the norm. And she’s not just thrust into it, he tells her she’s a part of it, too. If that wasn’t enough, she now has to deal with someone out to harm the people she’s come to call family. Only, there are still too many secrets for her to navigate all that’s happening and know who to trust.

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Heart of a Warrior (Immortal Warriors Book 4) – Trailer

Elena Murphy is devastated when Gabriel walks out of her life. When her granddaughter is abducted by aliens and left to die on a hostile world, Gabriel is part of the rescue party sent by his Council to find her. From the start, Elena feels a strong connection between them, but she fears Gabriel is embarrassed that she is only half vampire while he is a powerful Hunter who has lived for over three thousand years. But when two children under her care are abducted, Elena will do anything to get them back, even if it means swallowing her pride to beg Gabriel to take her with him to find them.

Gabriel has spent thousands of years searching for his destined mate, his eillelé. When he finally finds her in Elena, it is to learn she is half human. He knows this makes their options as a couple limited. If he takes her back to his world, Laizahlia, his Council will force him to convert her fully to vampire, and he knows she might not survive with her mind intact. It is forbidden for their kind to live on Earth, so rather than risk her life, he chooses to turn and walk away . . . until two children under her care are taken by Slavers, and it’s his fault the Slavers were there.

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Literary Titan Book Awards September 2019

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.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

End Times: More Great Adventures in Real America by [McCord, Michael]

Blood on the Chesapeake (The Haunted Shores Mysteries) by [Overbeck, Randy]

BUTTERBALL Goes to the Beach by [Seaborn, Julia]RESCRIPT the Story You're Telling Yourself: The Eight Practices to Quiet Your Inner Antagonist, Amplify Your Inner Advocate, & Author a Limitless Life by [Georges, Colleen]

Phoebe Douse: S3A2 by L. Samuels

The Farthest-Reaching Ball: A Memoir of Motherhood by Sandra Bowman

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Die to Live Again: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel by [Crane, David]Experiment X: Exposed by [Haase, Nikki]Immortals' Requiem: An Epic Grimdark Fantasy by [Bobbe, Vincent]

Love and Happiness by [Burgess Jr., Ben]The Dream Defenders: A YA Sci-Fi Adventure by [DenHartog, Neal]

Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series Book 2) by [Quiroz-Vega, Vashti]

The Eighth: Intro to The Alt-World Chronicles by [Somerville, Sunshine]The Line Between: A Novel by [Lee, Tosca]

 

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

 

Their Trials and Tribulations

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Love and Happiness does an exceptional job of portraying a relateable relationship and the many obstacles that a relationship can face. What were some driving motivations for you while writing this book?

I did a lot of research with married couples (15) Interviewing 15 of them and at least 20 married women to help get the voice down for Karen. I asked them about their trials and tribulations with marriage and what would make them cheat. I also looked at my own relationship as motivation. Like Chris, I’m more of an “I’ll show you I love you more than I’ll tell you I love you” type of person. By listening to all of the interviews and writing both characters I felt I was able to learn and improve on my own relationship.

Chris and Karen are complex character that I was able to empathize with. What were some ideals you wanted to capture in your characters?

I wanted readers to see that neither Karen or Chris was innocent. Their actions had consequences to them. I wanted readers to see that if they are going through problems in their relationship that they are not alone. Every relationship has its trials and tribulations but communication is key.

Are you a fan of the urban fantasy genre? What books do you think most influenced your work?

For me, Eric Jerome Dickey is my favorite author. He talks to me in person, gives me advice and motivates me to keep writing. His books are what influenced my work. Cheaters, Milk in my coffee, Liars game, and the other woman to name a few.

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

The book that I am currently working on is called “Mothers” and I hope to have it released early next year. Hopefully in time for Mother’s Day.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Karen has it all: a handsome husband, beautiful twin daughters, a lovely home, and a great job. She also has a secret: she’s cheating on her husband with not one man, but two. On the outside, her life seems perfect, but Karen feels neglected, bored, and unappreciated. Yearning for affection and excitement, she falls into the arms of first Raheem, and then Tyrell. Out of fear of losing her husband, Karen ends the affairs, but things don’t turn out how she planned. When Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed, she must fight to keep her family together.

Chris is doing all he can to hold his marriage together. He loves Karen, but she’s been growing more distant every day. When she starts coming home later and later, he suspects she is being unfaithful. When Chris accidentally takes her cell phone, what he finds changes their lives forever.

Tragedy strikes, and Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen, because he still loves her despite her infidelity. If they do stay together, will they ever find love and happiness again?

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Son of the Serpent

Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series Book 2) by [Quiroz-Vega, Vashti]

Son of the Serpent by Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a fantasy novel of vengeance and revenge told from the dual perspective of Dracul, the Son of the serpent, and Lillith, his mother.

Dracul arises in a cave and discovers that he’s encased in a demonic body. He’s filled with agony and confusion as he pieces together his memories to determine how he arrived there. In a painful and shocking epiphany, he realizes that he is the son of Lilith, and that Lilith had tried to kill him. He vows to find out what happened and avenge himself. On this bloodthirsty journey, he faces death, destruction, and betrayal. People, encounters, and events further cement his determination for revenge. The author breathes new life into a host of fantastical characters, often from Biblical settings. Their lives and stories are familiar, yet enshrouded in darkness.

What I found most striking about the book was the depth of its darkness and morbidity. Vivid, gory scenes of slaughter left me uncomfortable, but totally engrossed. Lilith’s sections were almost unbearable. Scenes of Lilith’s cruelty towards others was always accompanied by a fascinating glimpse into her psyche. There’s a lot going on in her and just a surface glimpse was enough to leave me mesmerized. It’s been a while since I encountered such a well-portrayed and dislikable antagonist.

Dracul was just as well-written. His struggle to be good in the face of his own destiny was oddly inspiring. To fight where he came from, to whom he belongs, and the core of his being- his pain and loneliness were palpable. The ending was unexpected, but upon consideration, entirely perfect. Maybe it’s not inherent to him, but it’s clear that Dracul is a good creature.

The Biblical settings and references provided a whole new perspective on the worn-out stories. From angels to Cain and Abel, the otherworldly features heavily in this book- and not always in a favorable light. The Biblical events portrayed from a first-person and real-time perspective were super imaginative. I think it would be difficult to assign a genre to this book. Although it is set primarily in a fantasy world, the dashes of horror, romance, and the occult would make it an interesting read for nearly anyone. The world created by Vashti Quiroz-Vega is totally immersive. I was glad for the escape from reality and I would definitely visit again.

Pages: 303 | ASIN:  B07HS4C3B7

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I, Claudia: A Novel of the Ancient World

I, Claudia: A Novel of the Ancient World by [Wilder, Lin]

The somewhat untold fictional story based on real historical events during one of the most infamous times in human history. This novel explores the story of the persecution of Jesus Christ from the perspective of the wife of the man who ultimately sentenced him to death, Pontius Pilate. 

This story does a fantastic job of showing that despite history painting Pilate as a villain, he was actually a very wise and valiant man who, with the support of his patient and earnest philosophical wife Claudia, did everything to try and save Jesus from the High priests.

This story is a fantastic retelling of one of the most famous times in history. You get to explore the rise of Pontius Pilate and see the human side of him that the gospels leave mainly untold. Plus, much of the story focuses on his wife and her upbringing and events that led her to becoming the woman beside one of the most vilified rulers in the bible. 

This story goes into the heart and mind of the man history has held responsible for the fall of the son of god, and the woman who many believed sat idly by and allowed it to happen. Whilst being technically historical fiction, the plot line and events are very believable and with the fantastic background stories of the main characters being explained properly, you begin to really connect with Pontius and Claudia very early on. 

There is a good dose of suspense and romance sprinkled through the adventure and by the end of it you actually feel genuine sorrow for Claudia and Pontius Pilate because the author did such a remarkable job of making these historical villains into suffering humans just like all of us. 

With the weight of the world on their shoulders, they managed to make the right decisions time after time and you are rooting for them the entire way through the story, hoping for them to succeed and not let the problems of the Empire destroy the idealistic world they created.

Pages: 301 | ASIN: B07LB8NKN4

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