The Dead Wake Anthology is a collection of horrifically good stories centered around the idea of zombification. Did you write these stories with the intention of building an anthology or did you write them separately over time?
I wrote with intention of building a short story collection of different ways zombies can cause havoc.
My favorite story from the collection is No More Coochy Coochy Coo! Do you have a favorite story from the collection?
I rather liked Gunslinger and have had a lot of readers wanting it to be made into a novel so I’m doing just 🙂
I really enjoyed the character development in your stories. Each character seemed unique and multilayered. What were some themes you wanted to capture in your characters?
I wanted all of my characters to be as real as someone sitting next to you, so no actual themes as such for them, more along the lines of ‘realism’ given they were short stories, that needed to be focused on a lot more.
Are you currently working on volume 2 or are you working on a different story?
Yes, I’ve written and published a volume 2 and it is up for pre-order, released date ‘Halloween’ this one is without zombies. It is my first short story collection of pure horror without a single zombie. I’m sure you’d love it. The title is Death O Death Horror Collection Vol 2 the one I had you review has had a slight name change, it is now titled: The Dead Wake Horror Collection Vol 1. A link to the second volume: https://amzn.to/2SAI7ra.
The Dead Wake Anthology by Ellie Douglas is a collection of thrilling short stories. The anthology investigates the idea of zombification threw a number of avenues, exploring what the impacts of an outbreak would be in a variety of scenarios. The anthology sits well within the horror and thriller genres and makes for an exciting though horrifying read. Ellie Douglas often investigates how the transition from living to dead, to living-dead would progress in the various instances of infection meaning that each story is unique in the ways in which this topic is explored.
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He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.
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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
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Destiny Revisited finds Gabby at an ex-boyfriends funeral where she is handed a ‘death box’ that sets off an unexpected chain of events. Where did the idea for the death box come from and how did it develop in the story?
In my first novel, Destiny Revisited, the objective was to encourage the readers to reflect on how the choices we make influence our entire lives. The novel is layered with irony, juxtaposition, and symbolism. The Death Box was one way to achieve this.
Preserving past memories is a well known practice. When Gabby Girard sees Jake Chevalier for the last time she has no idea that the cardboard box she hands him will forty years later be returned to her as The Death Box. Once Jake becomes the new keeper of this box, he now symbolically renames it The Death Box, representing the “death” of his relationship. Ironically , however, it also becomes Jake’s “lifeline” to Gabby. What follows after she opens that box is Jake’s final expression of love. It is a gesture that I know most readers will appreciate.
The Death Box was created in the early stages of the novel’s conception. It also becomes the catalyst for what follows in Gabby’s life, as well as, a link to the sequel novel, Destiny Revealed.. At that point Jake’s journals, found in The Death Box , becomes Gabby’s guiding light.
Gabby’s character is well developed and the relationships she has are heartfelt and heartbreaking. What were some sources of inspiration for you when creating Gabby’s relationships?
Gabby Girard believes that literature has the answers to all of life’s questions. Creating this character my intention was to illustrate how powerful authors words are. To achieve this I relied on my own favorite writers, James Joyce, TS Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Toni Morrison, and Dante. Inspiration also came from various cinematography heroine. Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Katie Morosky, in The Way We Were.
Every romantic relationship that Gabby faces, she hopes will lead her closer to happiness. Unfortunately, not until Jake Chevalier releases her will she ever find peace.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
There are many complex issues that Destiny Revisited addresses. If there is one idea that I would like readers to contemplate, it would be how much control do we really have over own destiny?
This book is the beginning of a series. How many books do you have planned and how far do you want to take Gabby’s story?
Destiny Revisited ended as a cliffhanger. It was always going to end in that way. What I did not expect was how many readers would request a sequel novel. That was when I decided to write Destiny Revealed. This novel allowed me to include more details about Caden Cassidy Sterling Powers, and Selina Cassidy.
Understanding Caden’s life in Ireland before moving to Savannah, Georgia, adds depth to his character. Similarly, Sterling was a real mystery that I wanted the reader to learn more about.
Once I decided to add a new character, Maggie Mendoza, everything began to develop nicely. The novel took a new life of its own. No longer was it now only a romance, it became a mystery novel.. Although I once considered another Destiny novel, I came to the conclusion that I like the way it ended. Although it is difficult to “walk” away from Gabby, I knew it was time to move on.
My next novel, Seven Days in Lebanon, is a historical fiction, based on the real life story of my grandmother’s exile in 1917 from St. Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution and her marriage to the last Prince of Kiva. It is in the final editing stage. It will be released early next year. Currently, The Mermaid’s Grandson, a work in progress, is a fantasy fiction that will touch the heart of every reader who ever experienced the joy and loss of a child.
When Gabriella is handed the death box at her boyfriend’s funeral, she has no idea how her life is going to change. Her life becomes more than a stage; it becomes the looking glass through which the past and future can be seen.
Destiny Revisited begins in a Boston chapel in 2001, where Gabby flashbacks to the beginning of her journey–to Savannah, Georgia during the early sixties. Her memories take her to the university where she escapes a tragic love affair and finds herself living an extravagant, but ultimately mundane lifestyle in Kentucky. That is, until multimillionaire Sterling Powers, introduces a naïve Gabby to his special world of sexual intrigue.
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When Sam Blades starts work at Shimmering Dreams, he hopes to climb the promotional ladder and bring security for himself and his girlfriend. Hailed as the greatest invention of its age, he would be working on new technology that downloads your dreams to your phone.
But, unbeknown to him, somebody behind the scenes is pulling the strings.
What lengths will someone go to when they are forced to repay a debt? Is Sam being set up as the fall guy to take the blame for dreams being used for nefarious activities? Who ends up taking matters into their own hands with drastic consequences?
Follow Sam’s tongue-in-cheek journey through a world of industrial espionage where he blindly battles against an alcohol-fuelled boss, a corrupt copper, a revenge-seeking hitman and a tone-deaf busker.
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Going Dark follows Amelia as she tries to help journalists that have been kidnapped which has sparked an international incident. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
The idea of ‘Going Dark’ started to form in my mind as I spent nights working on the foreign desk at CBS. Those nights, I was alone in the entire studio, watching incoming video feed from our military forces stationed in Iraq. In 2006-07, the war was in full swing and we received daily updates on the progress and struggle people were facing during the war. The war zone wasn’t too far off from our foreign correspondent team stationed in Iraq, reporting from there. As I was sitting at my desk, I envisioned Amelia Sinclair (a foreign liaison in Going Dark) how hard and challenging must be to be separated from your family when your job takes you away from them, especially if you have young children.
Amelia and Jets are dynamic characters that are enigmatic and empathetic. What were some themes you wanted to capture in their characters?
Amelia had to sacrifice her career when she became a mother. Having children was not something she had planned on doing, but when it happened, she made the decision to stay back and take a desk job.
However, her thirst for adventure never fully went away. So, when her boss, Harold Fost, approached her with a proposition to oversee a covert assignment, she simply couldn’t resist. But Murphy’s Law tipped the scale against her and her friends and co-workers get kidnapped. I wanted ordinary people, the readers, who juggle work and family life to be able to relate to her and to the choices she makes along the way on this journey.
Jets is a complicated guy. He’d seen things most of us have not, working as a spy for the CIA. To me, he was interesting because, he believed in the cause set forth by the CIA, but he still had conscious and when he sees the wrong person is being blamed for crimes that she didn’t commit; he has to put aside his oath to the CIA and go with his guts, even if that decision could cost him his career.
This is an exciting novel on par with Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy novels. Did you start writing with this in mind of did this happen organically?
Tom Clancy was a master at setting up an engaging plot and building action in his novels. He is certainly an influencer in my writing. Another writer whom I admire is John Le Carre, unquestionably the undisputed father of spy thrillers. Both of these writers are exceptional.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I recently finished writing the second book in the Gabriel Jets series, called Political Whispers. Jets is a castaway in Afghanistan, having accepted a covert position, offered to him by Robert McKaine. Jets is in charge of a secretive drone program, most on Capitol Hill don’t know it even exists. The second book has more military overture and is action packed. Political Whispers is slated for release in early 2019.
Gabriel Jets is the CIA’s top agent, a man with a reputation of getting the job done, no matter the price. On a rare visit back to the States, Jets is dispatched to collect a video depicting the kidnapping of four U.S. journalists working undercover in Damascus, Syria.
Meanwhile, the U.S. president and his chief of staff, Robert McKaine, are called to the Situation Room to receive a briefing. Damascus is rocked by a terrorist plot that killed twenty-five innocent people.
A link between the two events is quickly discovered, with evidence pointing to the involvement of another U.S. journalist, Amelia Sinclair, a prominent foreign correspondent, with direct ties to the missing.
While Jets hunts for the video, he crosses paths with Amelia. In a blink of an eye, his mission is compromised as he believes she is being set up to be the fall guy.
As the U.S. government closes in to arrest Sinclair, Jets alters his assignment to help clear her name and track down the powerful men behind the ploy to draw in the country into an international scandal.
If Jets fails, the country he swore to protect, will go dark.
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Inevitable Dreaming follows Waldemar struggling to cope with the loss of his family as a friend suggests a new virtual reality therapy? What served as your inspiration for the setup to this riveting novel?
The goal was to describe a dreamworld in the tropics and then confront the reader with the harsh reality that superstition, “magical” beliefs—a broad category that ranges from beliefs in mythical animals, to connections with animals’ fabled properties, to spiritualism and traditions—have an impact on the welfare of real-life animals and ecosystems. 3D virtual reality therapy was a means to get to this goal.
This novel does a very good job at examining the self-deprecating nature of some people. What is Waldemar character based on?
He is a criticaster of tunnel-vision in police investigations and of the argument’s judges tend to use in the name of the law. So, as a character, he is critical towards anything that leads to prepossession, prejudice or any other bias really (in my next novel, the game changer, he comes back shortly as a helper in finding this tunnel-vision in business around the harbor of Rotterdam). Then, in his own dreamworld, he might discover something about himself regarding this personality trait. I will not tell you in detail, since that would spoil the reading/plot.
I felt that this novel was about personal tragedy and grief. What were some themes you wanted to explore in this novel?
Superstition, animal welfare and most definitely also ‘’revenge’’. Revenge is one of the main underlining themes of this book. I thought it was especially interesting to see what a character like Waldemar, living for the law and ethics, becomes when feeling this urge for revenge.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
Currently, I am working on two books, but I am not sure they will ever be finished.
At the moment forensic psychologist Waldemar van Splunteren is defending himself against an inquiry, thereby challenging his unjust suspension, something terrible happens: his wife and child are being killed in a tragic accident. He loses himself in self-pity and avoids any contact with the outside world. Only Miriam, a prosecutor and a good friend of his wife, does not budge. She advises him to try a new form of meditative, virtual reality therapy. During these sessions, Waldemar comes to know slowly what actually happened. He decides to investigate it all along with Miriam, leading them to Borneo, Indonesia.
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Think of the worst scenario you could possibly imagine. Got one? Chances are Joshua Squire can think of something worse. Angel Virus, Squire’s inaugural novel, paints a nightmarish scenario: all of the world’s children suddenly, inexplicably die. And the rest of world might not be too far behind. The story follows the lives of four people (Dutch: a Wisconsin metal worker, Jin: a small business owner in Beijing, Aletta: a European pediatrician, and Aysi: a teacher at a church in Africa) all of whom are recovering from past demons when the world starts falling apart. The novel wastes little time detailing the titular epidemic that kills the world’s children before zeroing in on the lives of these four protagonists. Squire, a poet by nature, flexes his linguistic muscles best in these personal scenes. At one point I found myself wishing that Squire would show the exposition instead of telling it. But when the narration focuses in on the individual suffering, the scenes cut deep enough to make the reader yearn for the safety of the omniscient narrator.
It’s in these dark, visceral images where Angel Virus shines the brightest. Subtle details such as place names and character backstories invite close reading. But at other times the reader races forward at full speed as characters flee through the jungle, get entombed in the city, or suddenly discover that allies can become one’s worst enemies. In addition to great images, Squire successfully creates realistic characters who inspire empathy within the reader. The dialogue comes off as believable while still maintaining a poetic quality.
Unfortunately, Squire’s excellent descriptions and well written characters also work against him. Angel Virus takes place over a wide variety of settings and includes many secondary characters. All of this helps create a believable disaster on a world-scale. But trying to tackle this much material in a novella length story sometimes becomes disorienting. In addition, while each of the four protagonists add compelling drama to the story, they all follow a similar path. Since the story is relatively short, none of the protagonists are allowed to fully develop.
Overall, Angel Virus is an exciting first novel. While the scope of its story and lack of versatility in the heroes’ narratives threatens to hamper the novel, the writing is strong enough to keep the reader interested. The novel’s conclusion left me wanting more, and that’s exactly what this trilogy plans to offer. But even if you stop at its last page, Angel Virus compels you to consider the link between psychology and spirituality, the nature of good and evil, and why you should cherish your loved ones long after you finish reading it.
Pages: 96 | ASIN: B01JZXY0JY
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Destiny Revisited by Eleanor Tremayne is the story of the life of Gabriella Girard. The book starts with Gabriella attending the funeral of Jake Chevalier who she had not spoken to for thirty-three years. After the memorial service, she receives a ‘death box’ from Jake’s wife. It is the same box Gabby gave to Jake on New Year’s Eve in 1967, the last time they had seen each other. Gabby’s mind goes back to the first day she met Jake, and the next section of the story takes place in Savannah, Georgia, in the 1960s, during the three years Gabby and Jake spent together as teenagers in love. They had promised to stay together forever and were planning their lives together after high school. But then Jake joins the marines and goes off to war, to fight in Vietnam. And everything changes for them, and Gabby’s life spirals off course.
I immediately became involved with the characters, which is why I didn’t like the way Jake treated Gabby after he made the decision, without even talking to her, that they could no longer be together. He claimed he still loved Gabby, but he didn’t contact her to tell her the relationship was over. Instead, he returned home engaged to another woman. Though I understood his motivations, I would have liked to see him handle the situation in another way, since his actions not only affected him, but Gabby, as well, for the rest of her life. Although Gabby had relationships with other men, she never again found the happiness and love she’d known with Jake.
I really liked the part where Gabby traveled to Europe after she finally opened the ‘death box.’ This section of the story was so sweet, but also very sad. Especially the part about the proposal. It was a very emotional remembrance of lost love and regret for all the things they had planned to do, which never happened.
The story ends abruptly, without showing what exactly happens to Gabby which left me anxious to know what happened after that point. I wanted her to have a happy ending after everything she had gone through in her life.
I enjoyed the poems and quotes that were included at the start of each chapter. But there were some grammatical issues that distracted from the flow of the story. Although it became less noticeable as I continued reading and was pulled into the story of the young love Gabby shared with Jake.
This book is a fantastic emotional roller-coaster with twists I certainly didn’t see coming. This is a character driven story that delivers intrigue by getting you invested in some dynamic and well developed characters.
Pages: 390 | ASIN: B073QFZF98
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Survivors of the Sun is a thrilling post-apocalyptic adventure story following Georgia as she struggles to keep her family safe in a new dangerous world. What was the inspiration for the setup to this novel?
Inspiration for the book came while I was living in an isolated farming community sixteen miles from the township where I had my Jewelry Studio. At one point I was cut off, with one other family, for ten days by raging flood waters. We were not prepared. None of us were able to get into work or school. There was no internet, no phone, no electricity and absolutely no means of communication with the outside world. Both households pooled their food and the kids and dogs ran wild. Even so, it was a wonderful time and it led me to think of how different it would have been if something similar had occurred in a large city.
Georgia starts the story as a happy wife and mother, and manages to survive several obstacles by her will and determination. What were some themes you wanted to capture in her character?
Firstly that she was not a well prepared, gun totting superhero. She was a normal woman, in an average household confronted with the unexpected and the unthinkable. I wanted her to have her failings, insecurities, and self-doubt; as well as a strong set of values, showing her inner need, despite the situation, to remain honest. I also wanted to reveal her developing relationship with the children and how her steadfast influence, determination and loyalty encouraged the positive development of those around her.
This is an entertaining post-apocalyptic story; did you start writing with this in mind or did the story develop organically as you wrote?
It was always going to be a post-apocalyptic story, but I did not have a plot. When I started writing I knew about as much as the characters did, and it seemed to me that they took over and led me on the journey down South.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
It is a sequel to Survivors of the Sun and I am planning to have it ready by May 2019.
Georgia was not a survivalist and she did not have a bug out plan. She was a happily married woman, at home with three children and their Boston Terriers. In an instant everything changed. The power went off, and no-one knew why. By nightfall, Nathan, her husband had still not returned. In time, the water stopped running. With only three days of food left in the house and dwindling water supplies, she has no choice but to flee Kansas City.
Their world changes dramatically, entering a post-apocalyptic age, with looting, rioting and violence becoming the norm. As they escape across country, Georgia has to overcome her fears and keep her loved ones safe. Together they face heart wrenching decisions as they encounter the inconceivable.
Their journey leads them through a harsh new reality. The struggles and hardships that they endure, threaten their very existence, testing their loyalty, fortitude and love for each other in ways they could never have imagined.
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