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
The Narcissism of Small Differences by Dennis Dorgan
Silver Award Winners
What the boy hears when the girl dreams by Greame Friedman
PIZAHN by Axel Schilton
Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.
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We spend the majority of our adult lives in the workplace, dedicated to following instructions and completing projects. Faith is generally not something we dwell on when we are hard at work. Many of us simply don’t think about our faith on the job. However, Jim and Martha Brangenberg and Ted Hains share with readers the importance of keeping faith ever-present in every aspect of our lives–even at our jobs.
Jim and Martha Brangenberg and Ted Hains are the authors of iWork4Him: Change the Way You Think About Your Faith at Work. In this thorough look at the many ways our beliefs and faith impact our work lives, readers will find multiple examples of the ways in which our work relationships can be forever changed by allowing our faith to mesh with our daily activities. From business practices to taking a long hard look at why we work in the first place, the team of authors covers every nook and cranny of the workplace, whatever job it may be.
I was particularly struck by the authors’ examination of work relationships and the way faith plays a role in those day-to-day interactions. When you think about it, those we work alongside are the people we see and relate to most. Falling out with a coworker is difficult, to say the least. The authors’ very clear explanations regarding damaged relationships make it clear to readers that repairing them through faith only improves our work lives and even our relationships in our private lives.
Cover to cover, the Brangenbergs and Hains provide detailed scenarios from their own lives and keep readers invested in their stories while giving them opportunities to relate them to their own lives. Throughout the book, the authors give readers workbook-style sections to reflect and relate. As a teacher and someone who regularly makes notes in the margins of books that I find especially striking, I appreciate the chance to relate the text to my own experiences and to do so in writing.
After the year we have all just experienced, it is wonderful to read about ways to bring our faith into every aspect of our lives–the workplace being one of the most neglected. iWork4Him: Change the Way You Think About Your Faith at Work helps readers see their workplace as a mission field and gives them the tools they need to live out their faith.
Pages: 300 | ASIN: B096MX8QFQ
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Secrets of Broken Pottery challenges readers view of God and how they think he seems them. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Growing up in a legalistic, performance-focused church community distorted my idea of God, the Great Potter, for three decades. Looking back, it is nothing short of a miracle that I never lost not only the Potter but also the broken pieces of my life that scattered when my clay pottery broke. My broken pottery falling into the Great Potter’s loving hands is why I wrote this book. I want to share the secrets I’ve learned about Him and my position as His pottery. No pieces of your brokenness are wasted when the Great Potter collects the fragments and takes them to the Potter’s House.
In the book, God is referred to as a potter. How did the idea for this metaphor come about?
The Bible compares us with clay fashioned by the Great Potter Himself (Isaiah 64:8).
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
Secrets of Broken Pottery is about broken lives – broken clay pots, and their spiritual healing. Potteries crushed, shattered, cracked, smashed, crumbled, distorted, fractured, and demolished. Ruinations for every imaginable reason. Within this book, I hope, the reader will learn the Great Potter’s plan – how He holds all His clay together. I hope they will learn about His characteristics; His unconditional love, never-ending grace, and faithfulness to the generations. He will never forsake His potteries and He is always in charge of your restoration and reinstation.This book is not about a prosperity gospel or legalistic performance-focused gospel, and it does not promise that problems and brokenness will disappear if only you have enough faith, or do this and avoid that. Instead, this book is about the Great Potter, our Redeemer, who wants a relationship with His vessels of clay. Secrets of Broken Pottery – finding the blessings and spiritual growth in our brokenness.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
The book challenges the reader to reflect and re-consider their image of God, the Great Potter, the way they see Him, and the way they think He sees them. As broken pottery we are not only perfectly safe and loved in the Great Potter’s hands, but also cherished. We are loved with the divine love that surrounds our clay pottery inside and out. We are His most beautiful and precious pottery!
I hope the reader will claim for themselves the following truth:
- Even if I am marred or broken and destroyed, the Great Potter will start all over again¾He will make something new.
- He will launch a good process, and He will never give up on me – He will see it to the end.
- None of my broken pieces go wasted.
- There is strength in broken pottery…
I wish the readers will have the most therapeutic and beautiful process on the Great Potter’s table! I hope they will be fully integrated with His unconditional and unfailing love and never-ending grace!
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Bible Verses to Remember and Meditate on for Inner Peace provides readers with 150 Bible verses that inspire faith and love. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I believe in the power and wisdom of the word of God. Many of us can easily remember and bring famous books’ or films’ quotes and song lyrics to mind. Although the Bible is found invaluable by Christians and valuable by some non-religious people, most of us may not be able to quote more than a few verses. Also, we are in a time where positive affirmations are given a lot of value to turn our lives around positively. I believe the word of God has the power to do that in ways humanly impossible
What is your favorite Bible verse from this book?
My favorite Bible verse is 1Cor 13:8, “Love never fails.” God is love. Everything and everyone around us may fail us, even ourselves, but God never fails. He goes even beyond to do above what we think or imagine.
What were some themes that were important for you to capture with these verses?
The themes that I thought essential to capture were some of God’s attributes: His mercy, His love, His faithfulness, His power, and the promises He makes to those who love and serve Him. The Bible verses have been grouped under one of those categories. Love, mercy, faithfulness, and power have many facets, and I wanted to show that there was a demonstration of that love, mercy, faithfulness, and power in each verse under each category.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
I want readers to come to a better understanding of the immensity of God’s love, mercy, power, faithfulness, and the magnitude of His promises. I would like them to come to realize that no other words have more wisdom and power than the words divinely inspired by God and imprinted in the Bible. That storing them in their hearts is the best investment they could make to grow spiritually, bringing peace, joy, love, strength, and wisdom in their lives, the true treasures.
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Soul Afterlife shares your personal journey and the discoveries you have made along the way. What were some key ideas that you wanted to explore in this book?
That is an excellent question. Over a ten-year period, I noted more than a few explanations regarding the meaning of the phrase, “spirit of man”. It was, in part, an attempt to clarify the mind/body/spirit treatment concepts that were expressed in the psychiatric/behavioral health hospital industry. I explored medical, psychological, traditional religious, as well as philosophical justifications for using the word “spirit” – both in the positive and negative. In addition, I studied at a Taiwanese Buddhist monastery in Northern Virginia to understand deep-thinking Eastern philosophical views of the subject of human consciousness. At this holy place, I was introduced to the Buddhist/Sanskrit doctrine of anatman, also described with the Pali term anatta. My Buddhist friends argued that nothing is constant, everything changes through time – that we all have a constantly fluctuating stream of consciousness. In essence, there is no underlying substance that can be called a human soul or an independently fixed spirit.
I was conflicted over this when comparing it to everything that I was discovering. My latest book – “Soul Afterlife -Beyond the Near-Death Experience” – begins by documenting this debate: How can I bring into focus the Buddhist doctrine of anatman in the middle of everything I was uncovering? Ultimately, it required the discipline to look beyond obvious explanations – to remove the veil that seemingly walled in my superficial understanding. Only then could I begin to balance the scales concerning what was behind my continuation – that which I understand to be the consciousness of Bud Megargee.
My key ideas or strategies to explore all of this were:
First, if I place aside the doctrine of anatman, can I find my answers to the “spirit of man,” outside traditional interpretations of the human spirit and in a metaphysical account of what a soul and soul life might look like?
Second, in taking such a voyage I wanted companions – I did not want to travel alone. I wanted readers to become “co-pilots” and journey along with me into uncharted waters to challenging the authenticity of what we all have been taught about a life, death and our consciousness. The only requirements and tools that would be required? Our questions.
Have your spiritual ideas changed or evolved after your time studying at Wat Yaranna Rangsee?
I do not think that they have changed or evolved in dramatic fashion. Perhaps they simply have been categorically enhanced. Let me explain: My Buddhist monastery experience has not been one of deep philosophical enlightenment. Rather, I would classify it as settling on what “core” life beliefs, insights, and actions are essential to whom I have chosen to grow into. The voyage to become deeply self-aware is a weighty challenge. I found that Vipassana meditation – the dedication to self-examination and observation – provided the impetus to consider what I might need to change or adjust to become less flawed.
Confronting the notion that we are significantly more than we can imagine requires the courage to be self-forgiving, less imperfect and more compassionately aware. Perhaps, upon reflection, they would be the spiritual changes I would comfortably recognize.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before studying at the Buddhist Monastery?
I do not believe that there is a standard training pamphlet that exists prior to visiting a monastery but, here are several of my observations.
I remember initially standing in the entrance to the morning meditation room frozen by the level of respect that was on display between the monks, nuns and early morning visitors. Fashioned within the sounds of chanting and the periodic sound of the striking of an ancient bell, attentive monastic individuals were seeking the challenge of hunting for a moment of sincere enlightenment. Concentration, empathy and understanding are not just expressions for belonging within a Buddhist community. They are the needed building blocks for a heedful way of living.
So, to answer your question more directly – I would like to have been more prepared to understand that I would be an eyewitness to the heart of monastery attentiveness. That laced between the hum of an Om mantra, I would uncover the focused concentration necessary to grasp that, absent of my ego, I am more than I could possibly imagine.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
For the record, in the beginning, I never intended to write or publish anything as unconventional as life within the spirit world. Yet, with five alternative memoirs now in publication, including “Soul Afterlife – Beyond the near-Death Experience”, I am in the middle of organizing a sixth.
One theme that is universal throughout my mystical narrative accounts is the storybook temperament and collaboration of all energy. Within the literary limitations of “Soul Sins,” “Soul Mechanics,” “Soul Imprints,” and “Soul Afterlife,” there is an interconnection of energy with the natural elements that shape how we eventually act as a community.
It is becoming increasingly clear that stockpiled energy defines specific outcomes – individually, ecologically or within the intimate fabric of our society. As a result, I have begun to examine a detailed spiritual explanation of how the roles of water, fire, earth and air affects all life.
In “The Chaotic Energy of the Soul” I knowingly engulf my mystical narratives into the turbulence created by positive and negative chaos. Not everything that we experience is tilted toward disorder, but we need human warriors – those individuals who possess the indispensable energy to actively set the scales within nature’s basic elements, and in doing so, ensure that we all live inside a balanced world.
“The Chaotic Energy of the Soul” will be available in paperback, eBook and audiobook formats beginning Spring 2022.
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Ramzi Najjar wrote a remarkable book that will enable you to not only think about your existence but also question things that are considered the norm in society. The Ultimate Human Secrets is a valuable book that will help readers identify with what it entails to be human and how society and the environment one is raised in shape their views of life. Readers get to enjoy the content in Ramzi Najjar’s book because he writes based on facts and proved theories. I enjoyed reading this book mostly because the author was raw with the facts and data presented in the book.
A lot of people like living in fantasy. Some people do not want to embrace reality nor face facts. When you read this book, you learn that there is no escaping reality forever. In chapters that the author discussed reality and realism, I was able to learn about being responsible. As a functioning adult, you are supposed to take care of your mess. The author explains in detail why being a responsible human works best for you. This book has a dozen powerful life lessons.
Spirituality is a topic that is intimate for many. While reading this book, you get to learn why people choose the path of spirituality and how it works for them. The author is objective throughout this chapter and doesn’t show bias when highlighting his points. The chapter on awareness of dynamics and spirituality was so significant to me that I went through the text more than once.
By the end of the reading, one only thinks of prospering and how to align positive energy around self. Ramzi Najjar’s words are powerful.. The impact the author has on readers is massive. I appreciate the author for the wholesome content in the book and for writing about truths that many people are afraid of facing. This book will give you the confidence to face your fears. As a reader, you learn that the world is too big to be focusing on trivial issues.
The Ultimate Human Secrets is not only enlightening but also inspiring. This book takes readers on a thought-provoking and profound journey that will ultimately help readers take control of their life.
Pages: 130 | ASIN: B095PD5NLX
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Sacred Life shares your story to help set readers on a spiritual path to Awakening or Enlightenment. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Since a very young age, I had a strong interest in spirituality and wanted to be a healer. When I suffered traumas as a child and developed many psychological disorders as an adult, I have decided to devote myself to the study of the mind and psychology. By learning how to heal myself, I wanted also to help others in their own healing, and the universe miraculously helped in my endeavor by making my life a laboratory and a journey in healing and discovery of Truth. This book — which is a spiritual self-help guide written in the form of a memoir — is a result of this inborn passion.
What is the first step readers should take on their spiritual journey?
The first step is their ultimate discovery of their own divine Inner Guide within. It is the Sacred Choice that allows us to leave the ego that has been guiding our thinking and acting, which has led us to ever-growing conflict and suffering in our life. This is because the ego is based on the illusion of separation and it never works to bring us the true happiness that we seek other than fleeting feel goods, which are empty and meaningless. Sacred Choice happens when we value and want Inner Peace above all else having realized when we lose peace, we lose everything. By this core choice, our divine Inner Guide starts replacing the ego as the guide in our life. The Inner Guide is our spiritual Heart, and is the center for our direct silent Knowing, which when surrendered to, guides our thinking, deciding, and acting as well as our experiences. When we surrender to this divine Knowing, we are led by a universal Presence that bring peace, happiness and harmony to everyone involved and restores Meaning in our life. It is the only Truth there is, and the One that truly works to bring what we deeply want!
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
There are several revolutionary ideas that emerged throughout the 25 years that prepared the grounds for this book:
1) We are not a mortal body with a limited intellect based on the brain, but what we truly are is a Mind (or Consciousness) that is eternal and infinite.
2) While the intellect is personal, the mind is universal in essence, and is nonlocal (beyond time and space).
3) We do not exist in the world, but the world arises in our universal mind as mentations (universal thoughts), which collapse into energies when observed. And thus Einstein was right in asserting that matter is energy, yes, but what he missed to reveal is that energy is a mentation (universal thought). (And that makes Carl. G. Jung wiser in my book since he came closer to the idea of a collective universal mind.)
4) As we — nonlocal mind/consciousness — are the creator of the world, what we experience is merely the outward picture of the inward state of our mind. And thus, the world is the effect, but the true cause is the mind. Therefore, TRUE HEALING is always in the mind, and not in the intellect, or in the body/world. Traditional psychology and medicine fails as a result of this, and can best treat the symptoms.
5) Unlike how we seem to experience it, our CHOICE (or FREE WILL) does not reside in our thinking (intellect) or acting (body/world), but the only true choice we have is the choice we have in the mind, choosing our guide between the ego (felt as conflict) and the divine Inner Guide (felt as inner peace). The former acts based on thinking without knowing, whereas the latter acts based on direct Knowing, which then guides thinking, deciding, and acting.
6) The ultimate choice in the mind is then at the level of feelings of energies: between inner peace and conflict. There is no other choice. Once this choice is made, all our consequent thinking, deciding, and acting as well as experiencing happens according to the laws set by the thought system of our guide, and all our our perceived subsequent choices at the level of the world/body/intellect are mere illusions.
7) While choosing conflict in our mind makes us unhappy and lost in an imaginary separate world of our own making, only our choice for Inner Peace heals us, bringing true wholeness based on unity of Being/Truth and thus makes us truly happy.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I hope and trust readers can save time, hopefully years, in their own healing so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel, so to say, by benefiting from my life experiences of suffering and recovery, as well as the valuable realization and revelations that has emerged from my spiritual teacher and my Inner Guide throughout the years of my ceaseless devotion to divine Truth and Healing.
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Secrets of Broken Pottery: Seeing the Great Potter – Being Seen by Him is a great book for believers that are still trying to find their place in religion and their spiritual life. The author writes about the real world through bible stories. What I loved most about Heidi McKendrick is how the author gets the readers to reflect on self with just a few words. Heidi McKendrick is an excellent author because the content in the book is relatable to many readers. One not only finds answers to pressing questions about God, but also gets to understand higher powers and what is expected of Christians.
The first chapters of the book talk about the broken potter, getting readers to feel free about opening up on their failures and struggles. Heidi McKendrick will get every reader to have a self-defining moment through the text in the book. The second half of the book was also resourceful; especially for readers that often look for stories that are relatable to what they are going through. I like how the author painted the characters in the bible; they do not appear to be super-beings, rather, God’s creatures that went through what many believers go through.
Secrets of Broken Pottery is a fantastically enlightening book that will help readers boost their spirituality and be closer to God. The author’s tone is friendly throughout the discussions and makes readers feel like they are in a safe space. This book will change the way you see God and inspire those traumatized by their religious experiences to put themselves back together and walk with God once again. Author Heidi McKendrick takes readers on a spiritual journey of discovery and provides a salve for the soul.
Pages: 478 | ASIN: B0943TH8VC
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