Xhoseti Moon is an intergalactic, generation-spanning dystopian thriller that contains some amazing pop culture plot elements; It is Brave-New-World-meets-The-Avengers-meets-Artemis-Fowl. And then some more.
We are introduced to a post-nuclear-war universe in which the fallout has destroyed most of Earth’s population. The genetically chosen few are saved and continue to survive.
We follow Chris, the new Grand Master of the Galaxy as he plans to wake the Guardians, an omniscient ancient race, and set up a power plant on the Moon. With him is a powerful and skilled team composed of seven acolytes. They navigate through a host of problems- from treachery to mind-controlling mistresses. Then there are the Xhoseti. The horrific, insect-like creatures that were thought to be dead, but are out to avenge themselves. They want all the power, death, and destruction that they can get their disgusting little claws on. Various other story lines are entangled within the plot and serve to enrich the story. Such as that of Luke, the moon miner and Greta, the gorgeous but entirely evil lady.
One of the most striking parts of this novel is the clarity with which it describes the workings of this universe and its elements. Robert J Stephens provides engaging and lengthy detail for everything from the Xhoseti reproduction process (oviposition enthusiasts- this one is meant for you) to the power plant set-up on the Moon. You are taken on an extremely informative guided tour, at the end of which you will know every nook and cranny of this universe.
However, the believability of the setting is never out of reach. Issues are raised that can be linked to the current state of the world, like the ruin that follows fossil fuel greed. The characters are interesting and flawed, likable and human, because they have the ability to fail. The lust for power and revenge fuel antagonists in the plot, a scary reflection of our society’s authorities. It concludes on an exciting and fearful note, leaving room for speculation and imagination.
It is a complicated and danger-ridden world that we live in, and this novel is a distorted, futuristic vision of that. Without getting too preachy, it has warnings of nuclear fallout and total environmental collapse laced throughout. The scariest futures are the ones that are entirely within reach.
Pages: 201 | ASIN: B07KX1KYZ9
In her third book in the Community Chronicles series, Jenn Lees continues the adventures and perils of a world that is spinning into chaos after a major stock market crash. Set in the year 2061, Saving Time is the story of brave Scotsman and his companions who risk their lives to save Scotland from nuclear destruction. In a world where the government has deserted its people and bandits are always a threat, the story’s hero must take matters into his own hands even if that means risking a trip back in time to get the information he needs. Through her story of loyalty and betrayal, Lees shows readers the meaning of self-sacrifice for the betterment of all.
Although the book starts off a bit slow, I found the story line increasingly compelling as the book progressed. The topics of love, time travel, and impending worldly destruction that run throughout the book are ones that are likely to appeal to the reader and keep their interest. In terms of grammar, flow, and ease of reading, the book was well written and enjoyable.
I felt like the time travel part of the book was not as compelling as it could have been. It didn’t seem integral to the plot. The reasoning for traveling to the past seemed vague, especially when the information that the characters acquired from this journey was ultimately unnecessary in dealing with the nuclear threat. I thought that the surprise assistance that showed up for the ultimate resolution of the threat seemed coincidental and made the original plan seem unnecessary.
The characters were interesting and well developed. When they make their way through 21st century England, I enjoyed the outsiders perspective, but would have enjoyed a deeper contrast. Rory and Siobhan’s relationship reflects that kind of contrast and I savored the experience of watching the slow development of their characters.
Overall I thought the book was enjoyable, particularly after reaching the second half where the story really picks up speed. This would be well suited for anyone looking for post apocalyptic fiction with a time travel twist.
Pages: 255 | ASIN: B07PWYVYJC
High Flying follows stunt pilot Skylar when she’s flung back in time and has a chance to investigate her origins. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
I have always loved time travel stories and have been intrigued by the idea of changing our personal history if given the chance. Our parents have a great deal to do with who we are as individuals but sometimes we don’t understand them and knowing about their past lives become a true education and door to our future. In addition, my father worked for United Airlines for years and I remember sitting on his shoulders, watching planes take off from the tarmac at LAX. I’ve had the opportunity to virtually fly around the world and the idea of bringing my passions together seemed perfectly natural.
Skylar is a well developed and endearing character. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in her character?
I wanted to creating a troubled young woman who was damaged by the choices her parents made and negatively impacted by the people she’s lost in her life. By being forced to experience her parents’ lives first-hand, she has the opportunity to grow, let go her anger and self hatred, and ultimately discover the compassion she holds inside.
Skylar is orphaned when she was young and she tries to reconcile that throughout the book. What were some driving ideals that were important for you to explore?
I initially wanted to make readers aware of the thought process behind cutting—a troubling behavior that was introduced to me by a dear friend. It is more common that people would like to admit or believe and is becoming a common practice among young girls in our society. Bullying and isolation often leads to this method of dealing with anxiety, as well as physical or mental abuse. Skylar finds her release through martial arts and eventually flying. Her struggles with overcoming the neglect she’s known is what makes her a stronger person and a more endearing character in this story.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on a sci-fi thriller that involves reincarnation and stolen souls. So I guess I’m pushing myself to try genres outside of my comfort level, which has been great fun thus far. I typically write one book a year, so I would watch for this one in 2020!
Skylar Haines has struggled with personal demons most of her life, going to dark extremes to subdue anxieties rooted in her tragic past. On a perpetual hunt for the next adrenaline hit, she discovers a passion for flying and becomes a hard-edged stunt pilot, verging on obsession. In the sky, following her most daring airshow, she encounters a mysterious storm and almost collides with another aircraft, sending her into a perilous dive. Guided by a mysterious voice, she manages a safe landing but finds herself transported to another time.
Eight months before she was born. One week before her father was murdered.
Though baffled by her circumstances, Skylar soon arrives at a single certainty: Before her lies a remarkable chance to change her family’s destiny drastically for the better — or possibly even worse — depending on the choices she makes, before her window of opportunity closes.
Commander James Cody disappeared into a wormhole created by his own invention 100 years ago and is currently only a fable. This is all unbeknownst to him. He shares a cell with a creature so perfect she might as well have been conjured up in his head. She is the leader of a fierce group of fighting women. With mutual mistrust between them, can they come together to make it out alive?
The author has woven a delightfully strange and completely engrossing plot that bounces between James past and his present. The story evokes different kinds of emotions at different junctures which leaves the reader feeling bereft when the story comes to an end. The story pulls the reader in and goes on a whirlwind journey through different time periods as well as through Commander Cody’s mind.
The story moves quickly and efficiently. The setting is drawn so realistically, and scientific facts handled so deftly, that it’s hard to tell fact from fiction at times.
The book has a classic plot that is elevated with unrelenting wit and some lighthearted moments. The Optical Lasso is filled with shocking twists and action packed scenes colored with creative genius.
I enjoyed the characters in this book and thought they were all uniquely different yet relatable. Lt Cat is not to be messed with but she still maintains her femininity in a way that makes her character likeable. Commander James is friendly and extraordinary all at the same time. I found him to be a wholesome contradiction. Both characters were unexpected but still captivating and interesting.
This book is suitable for young adults and adults alike. It has characters the YA crowd can admire and be inspired by. They might not completely connect with the interactions but they will for sure love the plot and Marc’s imagination. The adults can relate to the characters and simply enjoy the adult adventure they embark on. You’ll feel like you’re on a first name basis whit the characters by the end of this book.
Pages: 349 | ASIN: B07QFC1WZL
Experiment X: Sacrifice is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a science fiction, fantasy, and action as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
The story itself happened organically, but the genre-crossing was planned. I started writing it after reading the Hunger Games and binge-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I had been toying with the idea about a story of super soldiers created in a lab, it just fell into place. I just thought placing people in the ‘real world’ with these elemental powers would be pretty neat.
Karen is an intriguing character that I enjoyed following. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?
I’m glad you liked her character! She was fun to write. I wanted to show people that they can escape abusive situations. I wanted to show people that you can find family in more than just blood. Despite tragedy you can come out on top and that you’re so much stronger than you think.
The powers displayed in the book were fascinating and used in interesting ways. What were some sources of inspiration for the different experiments?
A lot of it came from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Certain elements of them just came from my boyfriend, Mike, and I sitting down and mulling over what they could do. He’s the one that came up with the Air Elements being able to control/conjure lightning!
This is book one in the Experiment X series. What can readers expect in book two of the series?
They expect more of the inner workings of the Lab, new Experiments/new Subjects. Someone who was dead is alive. Shawn discovers a new power. Not everyone is who they seem and the characters must do whatever it takes to survive.
I lived a normal life until Jack showed up.
He tells me that there’s a government facility that houses an army of super soldiers known as Experiments.
He tells me I’m a key part of it and that they’re after us.
I know he’s dangerous and I know he’s capable of murder, but he’s the only person who can help unlock what’s been hidden inside of me.
Now the only thing that will keep my loved ones safe is to help destroy the very thing that created me.
And even that might not be enough.
A vengeful fire burns deep within in and I must take down the Lab if I want to keep the last remaining strands of my sanity.
I only need to make it out alive.
Imprint Legacy follows detective Miers as he tries to solve a bizarre case while missing a chunk of his memory. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?
First I would like to thank Literary Titan for reading and reviewing my novel.
The question I posted myself was how would one react to such an event? I explored some concepts and realities and delved in the realm of science fiction to answer it.
Although I must admit that the premise of this story is not based on a single idea rather a group of ideas and facts, as of the time of this writing anyway.
One of those facts is that the universe is really big and to think that we are the only life form to inhabit it it a little short sighted.
Another fact is that life, at least as it exists on Earth, is very rugged, life seems to always prevail.
Beyond the above mentioned facts, is the reality we live on. Our planet is inhabited by multiple species, each of them are amazing in their own way.
We as humans have taken over our planet and in essence, run it.
It is not far fetched to imagine humans colonise another planet, look at what Space X has in store for us.
Another fact is the reality on the ground, one doesn’t need to go far but turn on the evening news and realise that humans are in constant conflict with one another.
The Caretakers are those geniuses that sometimes get left behind in the shadows, unrecognized. And Earth is full of them.
The Survivors represent the victims in us. Who can blame a victim for behaving the way they do? I certainly can’t.
Robert Miers is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideas behind his creation?
Before I explain about Robert let me say the following.
I love my grandfather, though he has passed away.
A few years ago, my mother sent me one of my wedding pictures taken with my wife. She placed a picture of my grandfather on his wedding day next to it comparing my grandfather and me. The semblance was striking.
Robert is a family man first. A man that is trying his best to do well by them and at the same time do his job.
I hope we’re not giving away spoilers here, but I found the mystery behind this story to be one of the most original I’ve read this year. Was this planned or did it develop organically while writing?
About thirty percent of the mystery behind the story was planned, the rest evolved as the characters interacted with each other.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
Many of the beta readers and readers who purchased this novel expressed their desire to know more about this world.
The next novel happens in the same universe and it will address a few questions about how we shape our reality and our future and what could happen if we get distracted.
I am currently writing as much as I can, editing will begin sometimes around summer with a tentative release sometimes at the end if this year.
Detective Robert Miers is in trouble. His partner is missing, he’s suspended from work, and he’s got a gap in his memory that he can’t explain. Uncovering the truth means plunging into a bizarre new reality far beyond his comfort zone, an inescapable reality where memories can transfer from body to body, secret factions fight for control, and human life extends far beyond Earth. Is taking sides worth the risk-to his job, to his family, and to himself?
And does he even get to choose anymore?
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
It’s OK to be Different by Sharon Purtill
Silver Award Winners
The world of Telbyrin is no stranger to the high fantasy wonders of, Elves, magic, legends, and lore. The story unfolds as our two heroes strike out on a pilgrimage turned epic adventure. No sooner do they leave the confines of their beloved farmland do they quickly run into danger left and right. A fearful evil rises once again in Telbyrin threatening the peace and all its inhabitants. At the same time, the Eternal Flame is found extinguished throughout the land causing panic and dread.
From reading Br. Benedict’s book, I can spot his fantasy influences as well as his admiration for the genre. The plot is straight forward but with that Br. Benedict’s builds an elaborate world that is deftly created with care. The author has clearly spent a good amount of time developing and establishing name and traits for each concept presented in The Flame of Telbyrin. With so much effort gone into creating such a rich world, I would have liked to experience more substance in the writing. The story moves quickly and I quite enjoyed the fast pace of the novel. It added tension and suspense to the plot. But with that came less time to evoke a well-crafted setting and character development.
The Elves, Orilin and his wife Larilyn carry the plot as they traverse the land of Telbryin in search of an answer and hope to the fast-approaching Meldron, an arch-nemesis to the Elvish population. The black and white portrayal of morals between Elves and Meldron sets the reader up for a clear choice of who to root for. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is among the first of a few books Br. Benedict’s has written. The novel keeps the quest like adventure and characters simple and rarely deviates from the commonly used fantasy tropes.
It is evident that Br. Benedict loves the genre deeply and enjoyed developing and building the world of Telbryin. I enjoyed reading this book with the knowledge of Br. Benedict’s hard work and dedication to the novel. The Flame of Telbyrin is brimming with potential to become an epic fantasy novel with intriguing characters. I look forward to Br. Benedict further cultivating his ideas and giving us a fuller view of his imagination. The Flame of Telbyrin was a joy to read and I recommend it to any fan of the fantasy genre that is looking for captivating characters inhabiting an intricate world.
Pages: 171 | ASIN: B07HKT4441
The Korpes Agenda finds Master-Tech Korpes overworked and leery of both friends and enemies as the tension between Korlune’s military factions reach their breaking point. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?
The Korpes File gave the Diasporan perspective and offered the reader a glimpse of what it’s like to work for Korlune Military Research & Development. The Korpes Agenda showcases how divided the Korlo are over the issues of equal rights for Diasporan, social Rank, politics, and power. In book one, Clan Destine was on the rise with a part of Korlune’s military, and a Ranking family backing them, but now factions within the organization are jockeying for position and threaten its future. What begins as a quest for justice slides into the mire of revenge and ruin, and everyone touched by it either transforms or shatters.
In The Korpes Agenda, we get to see the vulnerable side of Nash Korpes. Was this a side of him you always imagined he had, or was it a result of his circumstances?
Circumstances with a caveat: I knew the vulnerable side of Nash existed, but it wasn’t until he and the Muse got together and wrote a couple chapters that I got a more dimensional grasp of his psyche. His social anxiety became a problem in his teens (just after he joined KMR&D), add to that a couple of TBIs, loss of his family, and what he went through surviving Junelle… Nash is a poster child for untreated PTSD. By book two, he’s worn thin; work and completing his agenda are all that’s keeping him going… Davis, Royce, Jack, and Bee would be willing to do more, but he’s careful about what information he shares; he keeps them at arm’s length to keep them safe. No one other than him knows all the details. When Tannis gets past his defenses… it costs them both.
The world building in this book is detailed and meticulously developed. Did you have a clear design for this book or did the story develop organically while writing?
Thank you, but if I’m going to be honest, I’d have to claim both. The overarching plot for the series is already scripted and is immutable, as is the technology, the racial divides, the geography, and the elements. I’ve learned to keep everything else flexible as often the characters suggest better ideas than the ones I was running with.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on book three of this series, The Korpes <insert one-word summary here>, and it picks up right where book two left off. Nash is MIA, Korlune teeters on the brink of Civil War, and those who were left to pick up the pieces band together in unexpected ways. There’ll be more of Clan Evora, the Seep, the Collective, Nash of course, as well as a tour of Ankoresh, the country to the South. Due to the ‘Butterfly Effect’, subtle changes I made in book one caused ripples in book two, and have now reached tsunami proportions for book three; this means I have to rewrite most of it. I was hoping to make it available in 2020, but it may be as late as 2021.
I’ll be releasing a character sketchbook in 2020 – available through my Patreon. Other art books will follow.
Something dark is stirring in Korlune, and there’s only one person who sees it; brilliant, but haunted, Master-Tech Nash Korpes.
Freshly escaped from the clutches of Korlune Military Research and Development he finds safety within the ranks of tech giant Harlo-Fyre. On the surface, the future appears bright, but dangerous forces lurk in the periphery. Nash is plagued by self-doubt, unreliable friends and a punishing work schedule that could tip him over the edge.
As the line between friend and foe blurs and friction between Korlune’s military factions reach boiling point, Nash is forced to act. Will he ever find peace, or will he be distracted just when he needs to focus?
Avenge the Silenced picks up where we left off after the deadly events of 2065 that changed the world. What were some driving ideals behind this story?
Firstly, I wanted to expose the inner workings and thought process of the Crimson Angels and UNR leadership and soldiers. These different perspectives, that of the politician, the soldier, the freedom fighter, and the civilian, help flesh out a world that isn’t always as simple as it appears. Secondly, I wanted to explore government responses to acts of terror. Sadly, in this day and age, there are very few countries that are untouched by terrorism. It’s that real-life fear that I wanted to be reflected within the world I’d created. Of course, it’s a double-edged sword: for every bit of technology and policy meant to prevent such acts, freedom is curbed. I hope readers walk away from AvS cautious of this.
Has your perception of the story changed since you went back and wrote the prequels?
Oh yes, definitely. For one thing, my perception of the story expanded. The first four books were concerned with the viewpoints of UNR citizens and rebels. Starting with the VOCA trilogy, we are slowly starting to get a global view of what’s at stake in the story. This reflects a personal view of mine that is shared by probably billions of others: we should strive to better our nations, but it should never be at the sake of other countries and their people. We should strive to see the viewpoint of others at all times.
What is one reaction that readers have to your books that surprises you?
The Reverence series is usually known for either fast-paced action and/or its alarming dystopian setting. There have been a few different responses, however. One reaction that always surprises me is how people zero in on religion in the story. I did not intend for either side to be outright saints or demons, but readers have often referred to characters such as Will and Halsey as saviors, even Messiah-like. The interpretation is interesting and there are a few parallels. I’m glad readers can get different things from the book series.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
First there was Reverence Itself. Then there was the EOK arc which was a direct follow up and brought Will and Venloran’s storyline to a close. Then there was the VOCA arc, serving as a prequel for the entire series. AvS is the first entry in the Scourge of men arc, and next up is Reverence: Creeping Darkness. We will continue to follow characters such as Gabby Neeson, Captain Halsey, and Patrick Noels, while exploring many new characters as well. The scale, as readers will find out, has grown massively. What I’m most excited for is Vanzetti editions to the story. I enjoy writing villains, and he is one of my absolute favorites to write. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say this: Chancellor Venloran is DWARFED by Vanzetti. If Damien hopes to win against the forces of Europe and their allies, he may have to cross a line even Venloran dared not touch.
The next Reverence entry will be available around summer 2020. Long wait, I know, but fans won’t have to wait too long. I’m also working on my first urban fantasy novel. I’m aiming for a December 2019 or January 2020 release date for that one.
Last we left off, October 23, 2065 went down in history as a night of bloodshed. The International Summit was rocked by an attack led by William Marconi. After hours of brutal fighting, the smoke cleared and revealed heavy losses on both sides. Even though both sides are wounded, neither will back down. Damien, the son of Will Marconi, must rally the surviving UNR Cabinet to lead the country and carry out justice. Under their tutelage are the nation’s deadliest cyborg warriors, among them Pamela King and Ptolemy Jethro, but who shall command them?
Meanwhile, Gabriella must pick up the pieces of their attack on the International Summit. The Crimson Angels should be rejoicing, but instead they are near broken. On top of that, their allies are weary of their every move. With enemies seemingly on all sides, she’s no longer sure who to trust.
Watching from atop his tower, Secretary General Vanzetti revels in the upheaval. There is money to be made and graveyards to fill, and the man will see his own vision to the end. Unlike all the others, however, he is determined to do so with a smile. The story continues with Avenge the Silenced.