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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.

The Few Cowgirls Around

T. P. Graf Author Interview

A Cowgirl’s Stories is a companion book to the trilogy featuring Jaime Cruz, but here we get to focus on Sallie’s character. Why did you feel like Sallie needed a book of her own to tell her story?

Sallie was introduced very slowly in the trilogy and while as the story progressed, we learned how influential she was to her family, we never had the chance to really hear her story and the stories of her parents. My editor friends all agreed that when the spirit moved Sallie to tell her story, this author needed to take her promptings seriously. I first told them I didn’t think Sallie was in any rush. Then one morning at breakfast, my spouse asked what I was thinking about. (I guess I looked like I was off in some distant place—which I was.) I replied, “I’m not sure you want to know. Sallie is writing the first chapter of her story.” As with all my novels, once I start to write I write everyday as though some tap has been turned on and won’t turn off until the story is told.

What sources of inspiration did you pull from to create Sallie’s character?

Visualizing Sallie was easy. Living in West Texas as I did for many years, there were the few cowgirls around that made my descriptions of her authentic—if a bit of an amalgamation.

As to her essence, I’ve known some strong women in my life including my own mother. I’ll tip my hat to them for all they have taught me by their example. None ever smoked Swisher Sweets or had Sallie’s course tongue. Still, it wasn’t hard for me to imagine that growing up as the eldest daughter on a remote ranch would imbue Sallie with the love of nature, humor, grit and tough old cowgirl demeanor that defines her character.

What scene in the book was the most emotional for you to write?

I have to mention a couple scenes: the day’s events when Bill shares with his in-laws and Sallie, Billy’s leaving home; and when Billy mourns in solitude on the Sierra Diablo, the passing of his beloved grandparents. They share in common the hardship of grief and mourning in the midst of estrangement—making any sadness all the harder to bear.

Did you feel like you were able to complete Sallie’s story with this novel?

Yes. While she would, no doubt, continue her influential role in the family, she clearly states in the final pages, it is for others to pass along her gifts of love, understanding and wisdom to those who follow along with their own stories. Any future telling would fall to Noah or Billy, though I’m not sure the author will get the job done. It would only make sense to me if such an addition followed several years from now when Billy or Noah can really weave a new generational tale.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

No one member of the Geermann-Schlatter family defines the life and essence of the ranch quite like Sallie.
When her great-nephew, Noah, says to her, “Grandpa writes the poems; you need to write the stories,” Sallie reflects upon the lives of those before her, those in her life now and the extraordinary healing that comes to all when hearts are open.
Sallie’s own life has been molded by her father’s reverence for “nature’s symbiosis” and her mother’s contemplative spirit. She blends her characteristic wit and gravitas with her unending love for the people, land and creatures that surround her. She takes us along on the journey as only she can.

A Cowgirl’s Stories

Sallie Geermann has been asked to document her life. It’s not something she ever set out to do, but this is a request from the people she loves most; her family. After all, she knows that hers is a story worth telling because it involves all of them. From her childhood to her days in the Vista Grande rest home, Sallie puts on paper her life story; warts and all. Everyone who knows Sallie knows her tale will depict her days as a ranchhand and an aunt who loves unconditionally, but not one of them can possibly predict how profound her words will be.

A Cowgirl’s Stories, by T.P. Graf, is a companion book to the author’s trilogy featuring main character, Jaime Cruz. Having read Graf’s trilogy and having fallen for Jaime and the entire cast of characters, I was more than excited to see Sallie with her own book. Sallie is one of the standout characters in Graf’s works, and I could only see good things coming from a book featuring the story of her life. I was not disappointed–Graf more than delivers with this look back at Sallie’s days on the ranch.

There are books you enjoy, books you find relatable, and books you recommend to friends because you think they are well-written. Then there are books like Sallie Geermann: A Cowgirl’s Stories. T.P. Graf has crafted a tale that envelops readers in a warm blanket tightly woven from the perfect combination of beautiful memories and difficult truths. As Sallie reminisces, readers will find themselves drawn into her life on the ranch as she both cherishes her family and struggles to help them overcome their many hardships over the years.

Sallie is such a special character. She is open, honest, and possesses all the best traits readers seek in a main character. Her ramblings are random and, at the same time, completely captivating. I adore that readers do not necessarily know where Sallie will take us next. The unpredictability of her tales is endearing in the best possible way.

Graf’s companion book is a perfect addition to the Jaime Cruz trilogy and, in my opinion, can be read before or after the first three books. This is a must-read for anyone who has read Jaime’s trilogy or a great way to introduce themselves to Graf’s work. Sallie’s life story is one readers will not want to miss.

Pages: 250 | ASIN: B0B8Y48TYP

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Flukes of Fate

Jed is a miner during the California Gold Rush, and he’s been painstakingly digging away for years, alone in the mountains, staking his claim. He is content with his secluded life and doesn’t care much for people. That is until his neighbor Bradley brings him a letter from his sister. This letter is the catalyst that sends Jed on a perilous odyssey through the American West. It has been thirty years since Jed has laid eyes on his family, and he seeks to rectify that. As Jed travels to Pennsylvania for Christmas, he experiences an adventure that readers will not soon forget.

Through this compelling character driven story readers experience how wild the American west really was. This book does a fantastic job of using historical details to keep the novel grounded while still being entertaining. The excellent descriptions ensure each scene is vibrant, and also serves to provide the reader with a window into life in the 19th century. The story is full of information that really helps to capture the time period.

The novel felt authentic and Jed’s character felt like he possessed a rugged magnetism. I was captivated from the second I started this novel. There is rarely a dull moment as a sense of adventure seems to be imbued in the story. I could never really guess what would happen next to Jed but, I suppose, such is life in the wild west. The story gave me the same feeling as Homer’s Odyssey; with Jed being sort of a western Odysseus. I really enjoyed the vastness of the story as well, as he makes his way through several states across the U.S..

Flukes of Fate is an excellent read for anyone that enjoys a well-crafted historical fiction novel. Author Luther Robison has created a captivating story that is consistently entertaining and perfect for fans of thrilling but emotionally impactful westerns.

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I Live Its Evolution

J. Arthur Moore Author Interview

Blake’s Story follows a boy who sets out on a quest for revenge but unknowingly embarks on a transformative journey instead. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

On a visit from his home in South Carolina, at age 10, my great-grandson, Bryson Brodzinski, asked it I would write a story he could be in and help to create. I agreed and we went out in the back yard for a photo shoot. This became the back cover of the book.

The following year on the weekend of his eleventh birthday, I went down to visit him and his family. He sat down at my computer and typed in the plot line for the story. That afternoon we went to Historic Brattonsville, a southern plantation at McConnells, South Carolina, for a photo shoot. This became the front cover for the book.

Thus, the setup for the story was created by Bryson. While it was intended that we would develop the story together through email, his schedule precluded this and I agreed to research and write the story based on his plot line, and include those pieces he had written the first time he came up with the request that I do the story.

Blake is an interesting character that I enjoyed watching develop throughout the story. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I was guided by Bryson’s plot line with additional influence from my research into the history and the units involved in the story. Preconceived driving ideals are not so much a part of my writing. When I sit down with my manuscript my mind focuses on the story and I live its evolution and write what comes to mind. I have mentally gone into the world of the story and it evolves accordingly. I write as it evolves. There is little preplanning. Therefore, as the story evolved, Blake’s character evolved. There are times when something after the fact influences the story. In the case of Blake’s Story, that happened as a result of the photo shoots. Eight boys, in addition to Bryson, came to represent major characters within the story. My neighbor’s older boy became

Matthew. His brother became Tyler. All boys had connections from my neighbors who mowed my lawn to brothers who were Civil War musicians, to brothers who were members of the train club, to a boy who was the grandson of fellow member of the friends board for a National Historic Site, to another who was a volunteer persona at the site. The photo shoots took place after the book was first published and resulted in a minor character becoming a major character, thus resulting in a rewrite of part of the book. A second printing included the character photos and a rewritten story.

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

The most important “theme” was to stay true to Bryson’s plot line. Otherwise, I focused on the main character, Blake [Bryson’s middle name, by the way] and how he interacted with those around him and with events as they unfolded. I have been faulted by reviewers for not delving more into slavery. True, slavery was part of the culture in which Blake lived, but I chose to leave out any political issues and focus on family and the relationships that were more common to the times. Blake’s family and their slaves respected one an other and accepted their stations in life as the way things were during their times. By the nature of the story, revenge and forgiveness were driving themes from the beginning. It was up to me to see that they developed and the story evolved in a fulfilling manner. I am honored that some reviewers agree.

“Despite the relatively simple plot, the greater strengths of this book include the resonant theme which emerges from the book, and the stirring revelation that the common threads which bond the boys (and humanity) are far greater than the temporary divisions of war.” Hollywood Treatment “This well-crafted collaboration is engrossing, memorable and an excellent conversation-starter about the war’s ills, the drive for revenge, and the profound power of friendship and forgiveness.” Blue Ink Review

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

My most recent work has included the release of Summer at Stewart Creek, written 40 years ago and recently published December 1st 2020. It is a train themed story, which takes place in the imaginary realm of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad of West Virginia. The setting is recreated in miniature through my model railroad with photography of it being used to illustrate the book. A 40-page photo album of the railroad is included in the back of the book. Two other books have followed, both from manuscripts begun 40 years ago and related to the same setting and to another book, previously published in 2014 and republished in its 3rd edition in 2019, Summer of Two Worlds. Twelfth Winter, the sequel to Summer of Two Worlds was published June 1st 2021, followed by Stranded in Snow Shoe, the prequel to Summer of Two Worlds, on June 1st 2022. Both take place in the same setting as Stewart Creek and include overlapping characters. No new projects are planned for the foreseeable future.

Blake learns of his father’s death at the battle at Shiloh. He has to do something about it and decides to go to the war and kill the soldier who killed his father. But it’s not as simple as he thinks. Entering the war during the Kentucky Campaign of 1862 with the 2nd Tennessee under Brigadier General Patrick Cleburne, he later finds himself with the 31st Indiana under Brigadeer General Charles Cruft when he falls at Perryville. Friendship with an enemy soldier has unexpected consequences.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award August 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

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

Literary Titan Book Awards August 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

Calm Before the Storm by Steven Paul Germanè
The Sting

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

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