The New Cold War finds Russia on the brink of a technological innovation that can bring about a new cold war and one agent is tasked with stopping them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Any time we stand on the shoulders of our predecessors without the correct philosophical understanding of how we got there, we go down a road that inevitably leads to problems. Quantum computers may offer some incredible breakthroughs, but we need to stop and consider the possible ramifications of the technology or the wrong intentions could create a world-wide disaster.
Chris Hodge is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Chris Hodge is guided by asking metaphysical questions in the truest fashion to learn what is really going on in this world. He holds the belief that we are all world citizens and as such have a civil duty to ask these questions. The abbreviated answer is accountability, honor and loyalty.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
One of my personal tenets is always asking the question “why” and not simply following what is told to you. Right now we live in a world where a leading news outlook starts the conversation with “This is what you NEED to know”. How could they possibly discuss the issues for the average world citizen in 1 paragraph? I hope that this book encourages readers to ask questions and think more deeply about a variety of topics.
What can readers expect in book three of the The Relevant Series?
Readers can expect a continuation of Hodges development as he pursues his ideologies across the world in a stand-alone story with ties to the first 2 books in the series. Perhaps some old characters will make an appearance under new circumstances. The story will confront key developments in espionage related to cyber topics and the misguided understanding that the world has on the topic as a whole. Why is Russia attacking worldwide interests with hackers, and to what end? What are China’s real goals 20, 30 and 50 years from now?
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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
Silver Award Winners
The World Between Us by Diane Farrugia
Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.
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The Dragon of Russia finds Leila living with a team of Spetsnaz and facing down a sinister fate. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?
I wanted to expand further on Leila’s struggles with her personal demon and how she overcomes it by finding balance and learning to open herself for love again (romantic and friendships/found family).
Leila Wells continues to evolve in interesting ways. What were some challenges you felt were critical to her character development in this story?
I thought it crucial to show her hitting rock-bottom and how she begins to recover.
What scene did you have the most fun writing?
Pretty much any chapter with Alek (because he’s so fun), but I really enjoyed writing the scenes that has Leila delve into her psyche/reflects on herself.
What can readers expect in book three of your Phoenix Trilogy?
A return to the Rulers of the Realms Fighting Tag Tournament for confrontation with Bryan Foster, more drama that makes Leila question herself, and a worldwide paranormal threat revealed.
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The Matilda Series by Jon Gray Lang is the space saga that keeps on giving! Secret Matilda is book four of the series, and continues to be a riveting science fiction adventure and a page turner full of action that will satisfy the needs of every sci-fi lover out there. The book starts right in the middle of the action, setting the space-faring mood for the rest of the story. Chapter after chapter something new and exciting is introduced, the characters are always moving and the entire plot is incredibly dynamic. It is impossible to get bored while reading the story.
It’s so much fun getting to follow, yet again, the Matilda crew on their adventures and misadventures as they travel throughout Consortium controlled space. The bond between the members of the crew feels even more realistic as one can sense the worry and the love that they have for one another. Fans of the Mass Effect video games will enjoy this story as I felt the character relationships against a sci-fi backdrop were reminiscent of that game. This time, the characters find themselves once more in the middle of danger. Imprisoned and with Galena missing, they’ll have to figure out a way back to freedom to save their friend, having only worry, love and a need for survival uniting them on their quest. The characters are quite fierce and all around strong willed, however, as they deal with dreadful situations their vulnerabilities start to appear, a detail that is highly appreciated and has made them very engaging.
In this well-defined space opera we get to see a bit more of what could be happening with Galena Chadov, a mystery that has kept both readers and members of the crew on edge in the last books. With this though, new mysteries emerge and the plot thickens. Now, new possibilities are presented and the crew may have to encounter unknown dangers. Strange creatures seem to be creeping from remote dimensions, a serious threat that appears to be looming for the next books. The revolution against the Consortium is finally on its way as well, adding a new layer of complexity and intrigue to the story.
As with the other books, Secret Matilda has been brilliantly structured, with short yet gripping chapters that keep the story moving at full speed. The plot is quite complex, supported by unique characters with intricate motivations, and a highly creative setting that lets your imagination fly.
Author Jon Gray Lang has again created a captivating book filled with possibilities. The state of the Matilda perfectly represents all that the crew has been through, getting to escape each time just by luck. Is the end of the Matilda near? Will the crew find their friend Galena and save her? Will the revolution succeed? Or perhaps everything will be tainted by the appearance of these strange, yet highly intelligent alien creatures? These questions remain unanswered and one can only wait with lots of excitement for the next book of the series. Secret Matilda is a gripping space adventure whose characters will, with time, steal the hearts of readers.
Pages: 444 | ASIN: B09G5Y5YKS
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Life changes in an instant. Yesterday, Ekaterina was an heiress to one of the oldest noble families in Russia, famous for her alpine climbing. Now, she’s going by Bob, partnered with a group of criminals to steal some valuable artifacts before she herself is stolen. Ekaterina just wants to return a priceless artifact to her grandmother. Part of a collection that has long since been scattered across the world, a precious malachite is all the remains in the family’s possession. After it is stolen, with no way to have the police involved, Ekaterina vows to get it back into her grandmother’s possession… except it dos not turn out that way. Now, with an infuriating “fixer” named Daniel chasing at her heels and a dangerous crime boss making attempts on her life, Ekaterina finds that death-defying climbing is much easier than real life.
From the very first chapter of this crime thriller I knew I was in for a wild ride. As a fan of fast paced books, this heist story certainly did not disappoint. Author Anna Varlese has done an excellent job bringing her characters to life and setting them on relentless and perilous path that is always moving forward and is easily entertaining.
The Brooch Heist is an exciting and fast paced action novel and the ending has me wanting to read more of the mischief that Ekaterina gets into. While I enjoyed the story, I felt that the formatting of the book could have been improved, but otherwise it was not too distracting.
The engaging characters, intriguing plot, and complicated antagonists are all wonderfully set up. Anna Varlese certainly knows how to write a good story. The Brooch Heist is the beginning of what promises to be a suspenseful and entertaining crime series that will keep action-adventure fans hooked.
Pages: 317 | ASIN: B09HRF1FGD
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Working with a joint multi-law enforcement task force, Detective Pat O’Connor infiltrated a Ukrainian crime family. Headed by Dmitry Andruko. O’Connor and his control, Detective Paul Eiselmann were the lynchpins in the guilty verdict.
The two detectives thought it was over.
Eiselmann planned for a quiet weekend with his family at home. O’Connor planned on attending a high school soccer game and then head to Northern Wisconsin for a fishing trip with another cop, Detective Jamie Graff and four teenage, adopted brothers: George Tokay, Brian Evans, Brett McGovern, and Michael Two Feathers.
But Andruko is ruthless and vindictive. From his prison cell, he hires two contract killers to kill both O’Connor and Eiselmann and anyone else in the way. The killers can be anyone. The killers could be anywhere, and the killers could strike at any time.
The quiet weekend and the short vacation turn into a deadly nightmare as O’Connor’s and Eiselmann’s lives and the lives of the four boys are in peril.
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Scam at Old River, by Mike Mackay, is the riveting story of a man who stumbles upon a dangerous criminal organization. Jack Rhodes is a computer forensic expert with a rough past. He meets a girl in a bar and they go home together, but what happens when a goon comes knocking on his door the next morning? After a wild twist, Jack goes undercover to take down a criminal enterprise. Jack meets Debbie and is soon pulled into a mess she has made with her previous employer. Now that Debbie has entered his life and the criminals will also be coming after him, Jack decides to take on their organization and help the police bring them to justice.
Mike MacKay has an entertaining writing style that will keep readers engaged throughout the story. The characters are written so that there is a strong sense of self, each with their own unique characteristics that make them interesting but grounded at the same time. Jack is an intriguing character all on his own, I was always interested to see how he was going to handle the various provocative situations that come up throughout the book, as I knew it was going to be entertaining one way or another. I felt like all the other characters in the novel were there to support Jack’s character, or character development, throughout the story, but were nonetheless interesting in their own way.
This is a crime thriller with an alluring plot that takes its time to develop and evolve slowly throughout the novel. I would have appreciated a quicker pace, but if you are a reader who enjoys getting into the gritty details of a crime fiction novel then you will have plenty to enjoy here.
This is a character driven crime fiction story with a focus on the action and moving things forward at the expense of background information. The mystery at the heart of the story will appease amateur sleuths as it takes some work to piece together the puzzle, although I would have appreciated more clarity.
Scam at Old River is full of action, with an exciting main character, and a stimulating storyline that crime thriller fans will enjoy. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy action, mystery, a slow burn crime thriller and a strong male lead.
Pages: 305 | ASIN: B092Z81G7L
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The Treasure of Peril Island follows a penniless young man who sets out on a perilous journey to recover a treasure that was hidden by an enigmatic man. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
“The Treasure of Peril Island” is a derivative work based on a 1903 public domain penny dreadful, “Peril Island” by Sidney Drew. The original book had many issues – it was very dated, had no clear protagonist (for example, the characters of Drayton and Dane were prominent in the early chapters, then faded completely into the background as the plot progressed), included a bumper crop of secondary characters who were mostly “ethnic” and written in dialects, and subplots that went nowhere. However, the basic story piqued my interest, and I used Drew’s basic plot as my playground. I jettisoned about two-thirds of the original, although I kept some chapters and scenes intact – well, mostly intact. I focused on and rewrote the characters (and ages) of Drayton and Dane, making them the protagonists, with Drayton as the POV character. I also added the romantic subplot and the paranormal elements, among other things.
Jack Drayton is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?
Jack changed quite a bit during rewrites. My developmental editor pointed out that his friend, Hector, was the stronger character and was taking over. As I worked through that, the relationship between the two changed, and Jack’s character began to assert itself. I just followed behind him, transcribing what he did and said.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I may be the only author on earth that doesn’t think he has any relevant comments or observations to make on the human condition. My aim is simple: create an enjoyable story with good characters. If any themes develop, fine, but that’s not a goal. I believe the reader’s background, experiences, biases, and beliefs influence how they interact with text, so any themes you put in the written word while change based on that anyway.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working on another Young Adult historical fiction set in a 1941 Hollywood movie studio. I’m hoping it will be available in the first half of 2022.
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