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Literary Titan Gold Book Award December 2022

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

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 writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Gold Award Recipients

Friends, Lovers, Enemies by Vera Zegarac

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

Literary Titan Silver Book Award December 2022

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

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 writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Silver Award Recipients

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

Open Sorcery

When apprentice Tad opted to undertake his apprenticeship at the great house of Harrold and Harrold he never expected the mundane and tiresome work; much less being granted the embarrassing nickname “Tadpole” by his colleagues. But everything changes when Jack Harrold, the late Jonathan Harrold’s son, and nephew to his brother Joseph Harrold, enlists him for a vital job; to save their dying house in the wake of modern, big-name firms. After trying to solve the mystery of their client’s request to fix their spell demon, it becomes clear that something is afoot. Something sinister is attacking the house of Harrold. Can Tad, Jack, his cousin Daphne, and the other spellbinders work together to solve the mystery?

Open Sorcery is a creative and sharp fantasy novel steeped in an intriguing world where magic is the norm, and even glamorous, and spells are the name of the game. We follow apprentice Tad’s journey as he is forced to team up with Jack Harrold to complete a job that may very well save the house of Harrold and Harrold. Though not all is what it seems, and there is more to this job than meets the eye. Imminent danger threatens the brave spellbinders and their livelihoods.

I was enthralled with the enchanting and rich world that author Rob Sheely has created. It feels like a mix of Luke Arnold’s The Last Smile in Sunder City and Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series. This is a world that I can see being explored further in future novels as I felt like we are only scratching the surface of the world’s lore in this book.

Tad was a likable and adorable character with an awkward personality that will make you smile while simultaneously impressing you with his intelligence and tenacity. I liked the romance between him and Daphne Harrold, who is a smart and assertive character that you can’t help but respect. The rest of the characters were just as compelling and fleshed out with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. This is most evident with Jack Harrold, an ambitious and reckless young man that is eager to prove himself worthy of the Harrold name. I particularly enjoyed reading about the Harrold brothers and how the guild came to be.

While I would have enjoyed a speedier pace I think that the story is entertaining from start to finish. Fans of fantasy mystery novels will revel in Open Sorcery‘s magical world and the fascinating details of the magical elements.

A Portion of Malice

A Portion of Malice by Lloyd Jeffries is the first book of the Ages of Malice series and presents an intriguing concept that mixes fantasy, history and religion.

Hopeless Emery Merrick is ready to end his life, but destiny has something else in store for him. At what he thought was the last moments of his life, he meets a strange and commanding man. He’s not a complete stranger though: Thaddeus Drake, famous global figure, has made a name for himself as a peacemaker and now has a once in a lifetime proposal for Emery: to write his biography. Soon Emery finds out Drake’s darkest secret, an unimaginable reality that will change the course of his life forever. When proof comes out about ancient biblical stories having truly occurred, and we find out that some of the people that were part of those stories are still alive as a punishment from God, the intrigue of the book increases exponentially, bringing something unique and enigmatic to the table.

From the beginning of this darkly alluring novel the characters introduced were intriguing, since each of them held some darkness hidden in their pasts: immortality, cruelty and power. Immortals roam the Earth, and the most vicious seem to be the ones with the most ambition. Throughout the story readers meet figures that they’ll recognize from Bible stories; and I was always excited to see them because I was interested in seeing this particular author’s take on those characters. As we see Cain himself attempt some sort of revenge against God, we see a clear representation of human greed and barbarism. Leading living members of the Roman Legion, Cain has a master plan to shape the human world as an act of defiance against God. I never knew where the storyline would go next, the creativity imbued in the plot is unparalleled in the occult thriller genre.

What is the fate of humanity? Cain has his own plan and is willing to commit the most atrocious crimes to reach it. The narration style lets the reader see through different timelines the evolution of these ruthless immortals. Jumping back and forth, we get to connect the dots, which makes for an engaging and intricate plot.

Though slow at times, the pacing of the story allows the readers to digest the depth of the ideas and the nuances of the characters. This is a visionary story with a fantastically strange aura of mystery. By the end, some reflection into the human psyche will be necessary to understand where these dark characters come from and where they’ll most likely be going in the next installments of the Ages of Malice series. I can’t wait.

Pages: 364 | ASIN: B0BG8ZPY7D

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I Needed An Outlet To Vent

Stephanie Cotta Author Interview

The Conjurer’s Curse follows a young man who was born with a curse that causes those he loves to die prematurely. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I got the initial premise due to Covid. Mid-January of 2021, I grew disheartened with the social distancing and how many people acted like everyone could be carrying the “plague.” I experienced something to this extent firsthand, and it left such a bad taste in my mouth, I needed an outlet to vent. So, I laid in bed that night thinking, “What if a teenage boy bore a curse that actually did kill people if they stood in his midst?” I got up that morning and started writing what became the 1st chapter of THE CONJURER’S CURSE.

Also at this time, being shut in and with most places of “fun” closed, I was desperately in need of an adventure. My love for The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and its adventurous beats inspired me to make this book a fantasy-rich journey. Like Bilbo, I wanted Rowan to explore a new place, setting/environment, or people group in the early chapters, and of course, I had to through in skirmishes with scary monsters and dangerous creatures. Every good adventure story needs to have a monster to face, and THE CONJURER’S CURSE doesn’t shy away from it!

Rowan just wants to belong and not worry about everyone he loves to die because of him. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted Rowan to have a selfless and integrous heart, putting others’ well-being ahead of his own. He would rather live a solitary, lonely life, than for his life to cause harm to those he loves. I wanted him to be courageous and compassionate, despite the way he was ostracized in his village, and have a strong sense of perseverance.

It was important for me to demonstrate how a positive role model can impact the life of a young person’s identity and future. Many of the attributes Rowan exemplifies he owes to his fourth guardian-mother, Naja. It’s her teachings and her mantra that guide him as he faces tough obstacles.

I also wanted Rowan to have an innocence about him as he went on his journey, so everything felt new and foreign to him—to be naïve at times in the ways people can be treacherous or unscrupulous.

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

Hope is always a theme I endeavor to show in my stories. Even when circumstances are at their bleakest, the spark of hope is never absent. This has been the case in my own life, so it hits home when I incorporate this belief in my writing. And so, early on, I have a character remind Rowan that there is hope for him, even though he’s cursed. It’s simply an obstacle he must overcome.

I loved exploring Rowan’s search for belonging and acceptance. I think it’s a universal theme everyone can align with, especially young people. To find a home, a place of belonging, individuals you can call family even if they’re not related, is something people may search their entire lives to find. But when you do, to quote my character Tozrah, “Tis a special feeling.”

Rowan also struggles with the shame of who he is, how he looks, the stigma of his birth, his past. This is something I know many people wrestle with. A close loved one experienced the shame and rejection of being abandoned as a baby by his mother, and so much of his struggle to come to terms with this terrible reality is what inspired Rowan’s tumultuous past.

I felt it important to weave forgiveness into Rowan’s story, considering the actions of his mother and the devastation it causes in the lives of her sons—one who forgives and one who does not. Rowan realizes holding grudges or having hatred in his heart will only damage his soul. That is a lesson we can all learn from.

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

I have finished writing the sequel to The Conjurer’s Curse, and I hope it will be ready a year from now. Aside from that, I am currently working on a YA steampunk fantasy that I hope to finish any day now. It will go through beta readers, and then I’ll be ready to pitch it off.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Seventeen-year-old Rowan is a walking, breathing curse. He just hasn’t realized it yet. 

Since birth, Rowan has been the object of scorn in his village. The reason? He’s a dikyli-an outsider with albino skin and an ominous mark blazoned on his neck. So when his fourth guardian-mother is found dead, all blame falls on him, and he is banished before his life-draining curse can strike again. The only path left to Rowan is clear: He must discover who cursed him and alter his horrible fate-or forever lose everyone he loves. 

From facing treacherous seas, soul-devouring Moonshades, and desert terrors, Rowan battles for his very survival to reach his homeland-the far-off kingdom of Shandria, a land rife with hostilities. Dark surprises and back-stabbing betrayals emerge as two devious Iron Barons-who know the scandalous origin of his curse-plot to imprison him in the Mountain of the Damned with the rest of the accursed. 

To make matters worse, Rowan’s curse threatens to claim another life when he meets Tahira, a spunky, pertly persistent Shandrian who vows to aid him in his quest despite the overwhelming odds. Their alliance of trust and necessity develops into love-a love doomed to end in death if Rowan remains cursed. With the hope of a future hanging in the balance, he must overcome the greatest challenge of his life. For the only way to end his curse is to slay the Conjurer who cast the life-draining spell.

I Thought It Would Mean Something To Many

J W Nelson Author Interview

Pentagon Pirate Gang: Secrets of the Orchard follows five children who are attending a magical school in the woods, where they discover a dark secret the school has been hiding. What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration derived from a few things.

My 2 children’s primary school is called Orchard Primary School.

I wanted to write a YA book with an adventure that had children investigating misdeeds at a school and that held a deep dark secret.

Following one of my earliest point s of note about writing (use the area around you, where you live as you know it well) I chose Sherwood Forest as the setting – also I thought it would mean something to many, as its the home of Robin Hood (even though this is a mystical adventure).

Finally I wanted to show that not all teachers are good and behave well as adults, especially when they have their own agenda…

All the characters have unique characteristics and personalities. Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

Yes I still have this working document. I created the main players; gave them some depth (hopefully) and I have added notes as I have written on the player and the their link into the overall story (its a storyboard with what should happen when, this also keeps the story (and me) on point as I create a hook, then I can go back to it later on and so on). Some of the story was created organically as I wrote new ideas that I felt suited the story better and were inserted over and above the planned storyboard.

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

Several.
Friendship and the strength that can bring as a group. The feeling that must give a child to feel part of something bigger.

The ability to put main characters that are from ethnic backgrounds with relevance to the story (one key character is from Nepal and that area of the world has a significant bearing on all the books).

Resilience – I put the characters through the mill and the 5 children are of mixed ages (from 8-14 years old), which means they all need their own voice for there age, and react differently due to life experience and maturity (or immaturity).

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

They’re are 5 books in the series (hence Pentagon) – and the number 5 is another key stakeholder in the grand scheme. I will be querying for an agent later this month and see where that goes and look at other publishers. This will hopefully lead to the 2nd book in the Series. Pentagon Pirate Gang and the Poisoned Apple.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Do you want to know the secrets of the Orchard?
Five students enter a summer camp at the School of Fruit Teaching in the middle of the deep-wooded Sherwood Forest, to find the secret. They pit their wits against the spiteful and vicious headmistress, Mrs Blackfruit and her right-hand man the deputy-head, Mr Thornby. What they discover will change their lives forever.
Their adventure and investigation, with help from a couple of the teachers, leads them to unearth a powerful, mysterious, secret, that the headmistress and her deputy have tried for decades to hide.
They think that’s enough – but no. An event that occurred fifty years ago has returned to affect what is happening at the school, to the children and to everyone involved, including their parents.
How will the newly formed Pentagon Pirate Gang cope with the challenges?
And what will become of them when the tables are turned…?

Dream Walker – Book Trailer

Koyu thought she had done her duty, but deep inside she knows it will never be over. She is bound to her master forever and will have to execute his every command. But when he demands she’ll invade his sworn enemy’s dreams, she chooses to rebel. Koyu risks her existence to help the ‘other side’ by purposely disobeying her master’s orders. Koyu knows she’ll pay with her life for her impertinence. Is there, indeed, no hope for her?

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‘Well, they’re witches, of course!’

SJ. Turner Author Interview

Immortal Treasures follows a young girl with magical powers who wants nothing to do with them, till she discovers she is the one the vampires have been waiting for. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The story started with the idea of the resurrection key, but then while discussing the concept with another author, Dorian Keys, he made a very valid point. ‘How will they know how to use this key?’

‘Well, they’re witches, of course!’ 

But that was not an answer that would suffice. So, I returned to him a few days later with the idea of the Timekeeper Journal, and that was when Immortal Treasures really began to form. 

Olivia just wants to be a normal girl despite her family’s background with magic. Overcoming her fears, she finds inner strength and a new purpose in life. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Even though Olivia was afraid of the magic seeping through the journal, she was inevitably drawn to it and eventually drawn into it. This left her no choice but to experience the lives of the Laurent vampires and a type of magic she could never have imagined. Though she was initially reluctant, the journal entries, her grandmother’s persistence, the comfort of her cat, Cassian Laurent’s presence and, of course, the need to preserve humanity all gave her the drive she needed to break out of her shell. 

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

While writing Immortal Treasures, I researched the London, England area, took a brief course on medieval times and learned about the black plague or blue sickness as they had called it. I also had to explore herbs and witchcraft. Not that I didn’t create a few things along the way, but I still wanted to keep the story grounded. 

Will there be a follow-up novel to this story? If so, what aspects of the story will the next book cover? 

There is always a possibility for a follow-up. If enough readers are interested in the story continuing, then I will have no choice but to answer. 

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A story of old-world vampires and modern-day witches. An alliance destined for centuries between two natural enemies is brought together by powerful ancients for the best of all mankind. Of course, nothing ever runs that smoothly. The only witch that can mend the past and secure the future is afraid of magic.

When Clara Redfearn—a retired high priestess of the Eternal Flame Coven— purchases the contents of the old Stepney Castle, she has no idea what they will find. Though given the Castle’s history, being occupied by the original Vampire Sovereign, Julien Laurent, and his family, the items should draw a curious crowd to her new antique store—Immortal Treasures.

Sorting through a box of vampire artifacts, Olivia Parker —Clara’s granddaughter— unknowingly discovers an ancient Timekeeper Journal. While she is frightened by its magical pull, there’s a part of her that can’t seem to put it down.

As she cracks the spine on the ancient leather-bound tome and begins to read the first exquisitely written inscription —Julien Laurent ~ SOV— every vampire named within its pages suddenly stops. Until today, time has been frozen within the cover while it waits patiently for its chosen interpreter— Olivia.

They’ve been waiting more than a century for her. The one witch who can unlock the secrets inside the journal and the only witch capable of activating the resurrection key.

What the vampires don’t know yet is that Olivia Parker may possess the power, but she has no idea how to use it, nor does she care to learn.

 

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