Friday, June 22, 2018

Judah's Scepter and the Sacred Stone earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Author D.A. Brittain's Judah's Scepter and the Sacred Stone is a tale of adventure and romance. Shining light on the story of Princess Teia Tamar, this novel offers a fascinating conclusion to what may have become of the little-known daughter to the last King of Judah. Some theorists believe the princess may have traveled with Jeremiah, the prophet, to Ireland following the overthrow of Judah by Babylon. This novel chronicles Princess Teia's desire to follow the will of Yahweh, and the struggles she endures as she travels with Jeremiah as they seek God's intended path for his people.

Brittain has woven a unique tale of romance that is altogether intriguing. The author's grasp of history and biblical scripture is apparent throughout this thoughtful and introspective novel. Her depiction of Jeremiah the prophet, as he yearns to share the truth of God's desire to be at the heart of one's life ambitions, offers a wonderfully uncommon perspective of this man's role during this pivotal time in history. A captivating and compelling work of historical fiction, based on biblical scripture and some historical conjecture, this book has many levels of depth and won't soon be forgotten by readers of any age. Judah's Scepter and the Sacred Stone is recommended for home and school libraries and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Stranded, by Matthew P. Mayo, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Author Matthew P. Mayo's Stranded is inspired by the true story of Janette Riker.  Through a series of unfortunate events, fourteen-year-old Janette was left alone at the foot of the Rocky Mountains to brave the harsh conditions of winter in 1849. Written in journal format, this novel is altogether riveting. Harrowing scenes are told so vividly, and with such powerful prose, it's easy for readers to become entirely immersed in Janette's story. The young frontier girl's heart-rending account, as represented by Mayo, is one that will not soon be forgotten.  Equal parts fascinating, inspiring, and endearing, the story of this determined young lady who endured unbearable conditions in the unforgiving wilderness is suitable for readers of all ages who will surely be entranced by this historically accurate work of fiction.

Stranded is recommended for home and school libraries and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. 

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Author Sandra L. Rostirolla's, Cecilia, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

18-year-old Cecilia, along with her mother, and two brothers, live together in a utopian society formed after the Great War. Cecilia has never known the cruelties of humankind; but following a violent and senseless raid on her village, she is the only person miraculously spared from carnage or kidnapping. Against all odds, she determines to find and free her brothers who were taken as prisoners.  Emboldened by a fierce determination the spirited young woman sets off to the city of Vitus where her brothers are held captive.  

Soon after leaving the only home she's ever known she begins to doubt the sanity of her quest.  But before she has a chance to reconsider she is taken prisoner by Amalardh, an assassin sent to kill the person bearing the symbol which she wears around her neck. 

Author Sandra L. Rostirolla's Cecilia is a true literary gem.  Insightfully penned, with characters that are well-developed, and a plot that sizzles, this book has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

Friday, June 1, 2018

Author M.J. Evans on her award winning book, The Stone of Mercy – Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER? When people ask me when I started loving horses, I respond that I was born with Manure in my blood. Well…I was also born with ink in my blood! I have always loved to write but I didn’t have time to actually become a published author until my fifth child entered high school.

WAS THERE A TEACHER OR OTHER MENTOR WHO INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING - PLEASE ELABORATE: Other authors are my inspiration! I grew up devouring all the Marguerite Henry horse stories. I also love all the C.S. Lewis books and, of course, J.K. Rowling.

HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? My ideas for stories always come when I am least expecting them. I never sit down and say: “I need to come up with a new story idea!” The idea for “The Centaur Chronicles,” of which “The Stone of Mercy” is the first book, came to me while I was reading the Bible. I read Ephesians 6:14: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” My brain became overwhelmed with the whole story!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LINE FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK AND WHY? As an author, I think of myself as an artist with words. Therefore, my favorite line would be any line where I get to beautifully describe a setting or emotions in a way that the reader can understand. Here is one example: “Lit by the silver moon, the rolling hills looked like ocean waves, and the gentle breeze rustling the grasses sounded like whispered secrets.” And one other example: “The shimmering signs of spring did nothing to quell the storm clouds of emotion that were building inside Carling.”

WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE DO YOU BELIEVE ARE MOST LIKE YOU AND WHY? I don’t want to claim that I am the star, but, in this case, I really am! I am the most like Carling. I doubt myself but am willing to do what needs to be done. I’m also very obedient by nature and always strive to do my best. Carling’s response to the Wizard when he tells her that she is to become the queen is what I would say: “I’m sorry to question you, sir, but how is this to be as I am still but a child? I know not the ways of the world. I have barely left the confines of my own little village. And now I am alone in the world with no one to guide me.”

WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GLEAN FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? As they read the series and gather all four of the Stones of Light, I hope they will see the value in developing the four virtues of Mercy, Courage (to do what is right), Integrity and Wisdom.

IF YOU COULD BE COMPARED TO A WELL-KNOWN AUTHOR WHO WOULD YOU MOST WANT THIS TO BE AND WHY? One critic called me “This generation’s C.S. Lewis.” I couldn’t have been more honored. He teaches valuable, spiritual lessons through his fantasies. I hope I can become as good as he was.

WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE? Obviously, the Bible and The Book of Mormon are the greatest books ever written and the greatest person is Jesus Christ. They are my source of peace and strength in an otherwise confusing and challenging world.

HOW DID YOU FIND AN AGENT / GET PUBLISHED? I have never used an agent but I published “The Mist Trilogy-Behind the Mist, Mists of Darkness, and The Rising Mist,” and “North Mystic” through publishers. I did it the traditional way: submit query letters and whatever else they ask for and wait, wait, wait. It is very exciting to be selected for publication by a publisher. I learned so much from them. However, I have since started my own company to publish my books. I hired graphic artists and editors. Creating a book from start to finish is an even more exciting process.

IF A CLOSE FRIEND OR LOVED ONE WANTED TO WRITE A BOOK, WHAT GREATEST PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM? Writing takes about 10% talent and 90% perseverance. You have to spend hours and hours not only writing but studying the craft of writing.

CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK? You need to figure out who your audience is and where to find them. My audience is 9 to 14 year-olds, especially those who love horses. So, I go to the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and the Little Britches National Rodeo and other places where young readers and riders are to be found. I also do a lot of school presentations.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT? My greatest accomplishment is the critical acclaim I have received from award programs such as Literary Classics. Of course, my friends and family love my books because they love me. But when professional critics love your work, you know you are on the right track!

WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ASPIRATIONS? At the moment, I’m focusing on finishing all four books of “The Centaur Chronicles.” After that, I have another book in my head that I want to finish…but that one may take me until I die!

TELL US SOMETHING PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT THEY MIGHT FIND INTERESTING: I was a cheerleader for two years at Oregon State University!

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS? If you want to be a better writer, read more!

WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED? “In the Heart of a Mustang,” (2016 Literary Classics Gold Medal winner.) “North Mystic,” “The Mist Trilogy: Behind the Mist, Mists of Darkness, The Rising Mist,” New: “The Stone of Courage-Book 2 of the Centaur Chronicles.”
All of my books have received national awards and may be purchased (and autographed) through my website: They are also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or independent bookstores.

DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS? I am currently revising “The Stone of Integrity-Book 3 of the Centaur Chronicles.” I hope to have it out in early 2018. It is possible that pre-release copies will be available before Christmas. I am very excited about Carling’s third quest. She travels to a hidden island populated by fairies who always wear masks! The Heilodius Herd of Centaurs are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to stop her from completing the Silver Breastplate.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

The Princess and the Rogue The Tears of Hathor, by Richard J Johnson, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Princess Li is the youngest of three children, all girls. Sadly, her mother passed away while giving birth to her. So grief-stricken was the emperor at the loss of his bride that he went into a great depression. Try as he might, he could not seem to control his incessant crying. His constant weeping made him appear weak before those in his kingdom and he soon began to lose the respect of his followers. Seeking the help of a witch, he implored her to conjure a spell to cure his malaise. But when she does, a new problem arises in the form of a very unfortunate curse upon their land.

Years later Li grows into a confident young lady. Determined to help her father and their kingdom, she sets out on a quest to reverse the curse that has befallen their land. Along the way, she meets Aramis, a young man whose unfortunate circumstances have led him into a life of thievery. The two make quite an unlikely pair as they join efforts to find the fabled Tears of Hathor which Li believes may be the key to saving her kingdom.

Author Richard J Johnson has crafted an entirely entertaining and altogether charming tale which is sure to enchant young readers. The characters of Li and Aramis are well developed, and their back-stories help readers establish a connection with our protagonists who are both likeably flawed. Exciting plots and unexpected sub-plots keep this book moving at an enjoyable pace. Ending on a cliff-hanger, which is most assuredly intended to set the stage for the sequel to this book, The Princess and the Rogue, The Tears of Hathor, by Richard J Johnson is highly recommended for home and school libraries and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval