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Literary Titan Book Awards June 2021

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

 

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

 

Night Air Descending

Night Air Descending: A Novel (The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz Book 2) by [T P Graf]

Jaime knows exactly how fortunate he is to be part of his adoptive family. His past is riddled with trauma and hardships, but he has managed to persevere and grow close to a whole new group of people he considers his true family. He spent his childhood and good portion of his adult life feeling unwanted and unloved. No matter what happens, he knows that his new family supports him and will be beside him every step of the way even if that means watching him delve into his past. Jaime knows that this is one journey he will not need to endure alone.

Night Air Descending: Book II from the Trilogy – The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz, by T.P. Graf, continues following the life story of main character, Jaime Cruz. A reunion with his sister has been in the making for a while, and in this second installment, it becomes a reality. When Jaime contacts Zoey, he doesn’t expect to hear from her much less make a lasting connection. Above all else, he never expects to hear about her life-changing diagnosis.

Graf has a unique way of making Jaime’s stories feel palpable for the reader. I always feel that I am side-by-side with Jaime, watching his life unfold. There is a different feel to Graf’s first-person narrative style, and I have to say I enjoy it immensely. It’s comfortable and laidback which makes for an easy and smooth read. Graf’s characters each have wonderful quirks and offer readers relatable little nuances at every turn. Jaime never disappoints. The way in which he handles each crisis in his life is admirable and makes for an engaging storyline. The dynamic that exists between Jaime and his adoptive family is a loving one, and the one between him and his sister is genuine and touching.

The backdrop of the ranch and life out west is a perfect setting for Jaime’s story. Graf’s descriptions are not overdone and blend perfectly with his characters’ personalities. I cannot see Jaime’s storylines working in any other setting. The idea that he has gained a new lease on life meshes effortlessly with life in the west–beautiful, untouched horizons and land that remains protected from change. It’s the ideal fit for Jaime.

Jaime’s story, simply put, makes me happy. For all the hardships he has endured, his outlook is positive and his temperament remains even and patient through the changing circumstances. He is a sweet spirit I have truly enjoyed getting to know in Graf’s series.

Pages: 222 | ASIN: B08R7PZ2FG

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Seeds in the Desert Wind

Seeds in the Desert Wind: A Novel (The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz Book 3) by [T P Graf]

Jaime is one of several folks on the ranch who work hard, plan meticulously, share a common faith, and love those around them fiercely. He leads a full life and is part of a strong, close-knit family. Faith is a huge part of their lives, and that faith is put to quite the test when college-aged Quinn returns home to live with her father bearing news that may bring a significant change to the plans they already have in motion.

Seeds in the Desert Wind: The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz, Book III, by T.P. Graf, is the third in a series chronicling the life of main character and narrator, Jaime. His life on the ranch is laidback, eventful on an average scale, and steeped in faith. The cast of characters surrounding Jaime are actually much more well-drawn and easy to visualize than Jaime himself. He serves as the reader’s window to life on the ranch and the guide throughout the experiences that shape the family’s dynamic.

Graf tackles some highly relatable topics in this third book in the series. The controversy surrounding Quinn and her pregnancy news is timely and will, no doubt, resonate with readers. Quinn is welcomed into the fold and, even though she faces questions and side-eye from many, she finds her place and is surrounded by love and protection from those on the ranch, no matter their initial reactions. The theme of unconditional love is prevalent in Graf’s work even if it is peppered by hints of tough love.

I am intrigued by Jaime. We hear so much about the lives of the other characters and so little about Jaime’s. It truly is as if we are watching him live his life and seeing everyone else through his eyes. The reader hears very little introspection from Jaime but can see the results of his thoughts and actions in the events as they play out. It is a truly interesting way to position a narrator in a realistic fiction story that gives off the feeling of a biography.

I love the backdrop of the ranch and the tight knit group of characters. Every quirk, every nuance, and each daily challenge make this story relatable and enjoyable. Jaime is a fascinating narrator. I highly recommend Seeds in the Desert Wind: The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz, Book III, by T.P. Graf, to anyone looking for a book that wraps around you like your favorite blanket and touches your heart in a unique way.

Pages: 223 | ASIN: B08T9X2V7Q

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Literary Titan Book Awards May 2021

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

Quick Quirks, A Quick Book by Benjamin Anderson

 

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

 

Equally Frightening and Intriguing

Christy Cooper-Burnett
Christy Cooper-Burnett Author Interview

Finding Home follows a convict sentenced to serve life in another time. I loved the idea behind this novel. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The first book in the series, No Way Home, follows protagonist Christine Stewart, who works for the government as a transport agent. I thought for book two, it would be interesting to write the story from the prisoner’s perspective.

I have often contemplated what the effects to society would be if the overcrowding finally became too much for our justice system to handle. What if the public refused to tolerate it? With technology advancing so quickly, it makes sense that cyber-crimes would fast become a leader in white collar crimes. What better way to exile non-violent criminals than to transport them to a time where technology was non-existent and their skills would be useless to them? The thought was equally frightening and intriguing to me.

Malcolm is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

I wrote Malcolm as an ‘every-guy’. A man who was in a slump of sorts. He had no real future to look forward to, and he made a rash decision that was out of character for him, but one that would set him on a path he couldn’t veer from. I did not want him to be a sword-wielding hero. He needed to be relatable to explore how a normal, average person would react to being exiled hundreds of years to the past to start over.

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

I felt it was important to see Hannah’s transition from a fearful, abused woman who had lost herself, to a confident, capable woman surviving in unthinkable conditions.

I also enjoyed exploring Christine’s mindset regarding her job. She struggles with the guilt of exiling prisoners with little chance of survival on their own. Yet as a law enforcement officer she took an oath to do her job to the best of her ability, and she tries to strike a balance between the two emotions.

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

Book three in the series, Escaping Home, takes Christine and her crew on another adventure to 1790, Virginia and 1908, New York. Book three differs from the first two, in that the time-travelers are forced to make some very risky decisions that ultimately become life-changing. Escaping Home is slated to release on November 18.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

An exiled prisoner. A desperate woman. A time travel agent willing to break the rules.

Malcolm Aldred is starting over in 1868, Oklahoma. There’s just one problem—he’s an exiled prisoner from 2070.

In 2071, Los Angeles, housewife Hannah Cole is desperate to escape her abusive husband, and begs Cyber Criminal Enforcement Agent Christine Stewart to send her somewhere, anywhere, in history. When Christine agrees to send Hannah to 1868, neither woman has any idea the events that sets in motion.

Malcolm and Hannah adapt to pioneer life in an untamed world full of danger and unimaginable hardships, but falling for each other was never part of the plan. When a deadly hunter tracks Hannah to 1868, fate intervenes and catapults her back to Colonial America, threatening to destroy their future before it ever begins.

Can Christine save Hannah in time or will they both be lost to history forever?

No Way Home

No Way Home: A Time Travel Novel of Adventure and Survival by [Christy Cooper-Burnett]

No Way Home by Christy Cooper-Burnett is an adventurous time travel story about Christine Stewart who is a time traveler that works for Cyber Criminal Enforcement Agency (the CCEA), Los Angeles Division for a living. She escorts convicted cybercriminals back in history as a sentence for their crimes until 2070 when she takes a routine visit to Piedmont, Oklahoma in 1867, she gets stranded and is forced to hide while she waits for rescue, and a local man, John Harding takes her in after her prisoner abandons her. The CCEA’s malfunctioning transporter did not only trap her but also other time travelers who were on different missions at the time.

Author Christy Cooper-Burnett is economical with words but is still able to create a richly atmospheric world. This time travel romance is filled with intriguing characters that face one suspenseful event after another. Vivid descriptions throughout the story ensure we are well placed in the dusty trails of Oklahoma in 1867. This is an excellent contrast to the future year 2070. This stimulating contrast between times and worlds reminds me of the show Westworld, minus the robots, but with the same excellent story telling. Author Christy Cooper-Burnett shows her writing expertise in how seamlessly she switches the story from one historical setting to another without losing the plot.

The friendship between Christine and Anabelle is precious as they find solace in each other while they are stranded. Christine proves her loyalty to her when she finally manages to rescue her despite the obstacles she encounters. Their story line was, to me, the most emotional and impactful, possibly because their relationship was well defined, or just because I related to them, in either case I really enjoyed following them.

No Way Home by Christy Cooper-Bunnett has created an entertaining historical fantasy novel that blends many different genres seamlessly; romance, western, adventure, science fiction. But this is still a character driven book with an imaginative story and a thrilling twist around every corner.

Pages: 284 | ISBN: 1684337097

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Night Air Descending

Night Air Descending: A Novel (The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz Book 2) by [T P Graf]

If you are looking for a book about family, faith, and healing, T.P Graf’s Night Air Descending is right up your alley. It follows the life of Jaime Cruz, a young man who managed to find love and healing in a Texas family. Together with his partner Billy, and his adopted family Bill, Betsy, and Sallie, he forges a new existence, one of joy and peace. This is quite contrary to the life he had growing up – one of pain and loneliness. He sends out letters to members of his estranged family, hoping to reunite and guide them to healing as well. While only one family member bites, this is enough to inspire hope in Jamie and his chosen family.

Throughout this intelligent and evocative book we learn about Jamie’s view on love and the beautiful relationship he has with his adopted family. The themes of family, belonging, and love reverberate throughout the narrative. Using the perspective of Jamie to tell the story, the author draws us in and makes it more relatable and memorable. It also helps that most of the events in the book are everyday occurrences that the average person can relate to.

Moreover, the characters are well developed, each having his or her own personality and desires – some surprising and some not so much. The author’s writing style is light and easy to read – there isn’t any use of wordy long-winded paragraphs. This writing style is reflective of the story, in its ability to find beauty in everyday simplicity.

I enjoyed the story, and the dialogue, but because there was so much dialogue I felt that there were phrases that were repeated often: “I said”, “He said”, and “She said”. I would have enjoyed more descriptions of scenes and character state of minds from a narrative point of view to break things up and give the dialogue some direction.

This is a beautifully written book that has a grounded and authentic feel so much that it feels like we are reading someone diary; one filled with the daily hassles, family and ranch life. However, if you are looking for something easy to read and that seamlessly blends Christian faith, love, and family, Night Air Descending could be the book for you. This is a heartwarming book that possesses author T.P. Graf’s distinct literary aesthetic. 

Pages: 222 | ASIN: B08R7PZ2FG

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The Canon City Chronicles

Davalynn Spencer
Davalynn Spencer Author Interview

A Change of Scenery follows a woman trying to reclaim her life by moving and finds a cowboy’s who challenges her in more ways than one. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

A Change of Scenery is Book 4 in The Canon City Chronicles series, and deals with the lives of twin little boys, Cale and Hugh Hutton, from Book 3, Romancing the Widow. In continuing the family saga, time passes until the boys are old enough to tell their story, which takes us to the silent-picture days of filming Westerns in Canon City, Colorado. Canon City was an early “Hollywood” before Hollywood, with actors such as Tom Mix filming many pictures here. Local ranchers and cowboys were often used as extras in the films.

Ella is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

Ella Canaday feels robbed of the two most important things in her life, but she refuses to remain in her prominent father’s home as an invalid. She sets out to make her own life, yet with no hopes of regaining her losses. However, when faced with the “impossible,” she does not shrink away from the risks and rises to the task — with common-sense encouragement from a local rancher, Cale Hutton.

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

Important themes for this book are second changes, forgiveness, and courage.

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

I am working on Book 5 in the series featuring Cale’s widowed brother Hugh. However, on June 1 Barbour Publishing is releasing a contemporary romance collection titled Always A Wedding Planner. My novella in the collection is “Taste and See.” And of course, my hero is a cowboy.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Inspirational Historical Western Romance

A hidden fear. A daring challenge. A liberating love.
A motorcar accident on a rainy Chicago night steals Ella Canaday’s fiancé as well as her ability to ride. Clinging to the remnants of her independence, she cuts her hair and her ties with her wealthy father and takes a train west as the seamstress with a moving-picture company. Colorado offers the change of scenery she needs. But she doesn’t expect the bold cowboy who challenges her to reclaim both the loves she thought she’d lost forever.

Cale Hutton needs the money the moving-picture company is paying for use of his cattle and horses, but he’s not keen on some city gal gettin’ in the way out at the ranch. Between the filming crew by day and a rogue cattle-killing bear by night, his attention snags on the little bob-haired seamstress. Something about her easy manner around his horse sets his mind to find out what she’s hiding and why she has such a pull on his heart.
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