Blog Archives

Monster Literary Book Awards March 2017

The Hungry Monster 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 The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winners

This God, I (The Onryo Saga Book 2) by [Ryg, Rocco]Witch Heart: Leadership always requires sacrifice (Gray Girl Book 3) by [Spieth, Susan I., Spieth, Susan]

The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women (The Blood, Sun, and Moon. Book 1) by [Breaux, Kevin James]The Leader of Lors: Book II in The Atriian Trilogy by [Bonning, Fawn]

The Sightseers Agency (The Dreadnought Collective Book 5) by [tumbler, terry]

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

Fractured (Lisen of Solsta Book 1) by [St. Martin, D. Hart]The Husband Who Refused to Die by [Darby, Andrea]

The Bug Boys by [Hoffman, Stewart]The Status Update by [Buck, Sonia J.]

The Wanderer's Last Journey (The Orfeo Saga Book 4) by [Eiland Jr., Murray Lee]Uncle Stubby Gets Married (Shadow and Friends Series Book Five 5) by [Jackson, S., Raymond, A., Schmidt, M.]

“Books bring to life aspects of literary genius.” – Mary Schmidt, author of Uncle Stubby Gets Married.

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

Monster Literary Book Awards: February 2017

The Hungry Monster 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 The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winners

The Time Slipsters (The Dreadnought Collective Book 3) by [Tumbler, Terry]

Special Task Force: GREEN MAJIK #1 "Pretty Hate Machine": The Reader Feedback Dooms Day Edition by [Templeton, Don]

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

The TVC Project by [Bridges, Tom]
The Nightmare From World's End by [Stava, Robert J.]Coffin Dodgers: A Sci Fi Horror Book by [Adams, Tom G.H.]

“Books are the linchpin of my existence. My earliest childhood memories revolve around the magic of reading, of being transported through time and space via a vivid story. Since I was old enough to know what a book was, I knew I was destined to write books as well.” – Don Templeton, author of Pretty Hate Machine

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

Monster Literary Book Awards: January 2017

The Hungry Monster 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 The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winners

Recusant (The Brin Archives Book 2) by [Cronin, Jim]In His Way by [Duvall, Rebecca]

Stealing Magic (The Legacy of Androva Book 1) by [Vick, Alex C]The Inlooker: Full Length (The Dreadnought Collective Book 2) by [Tumbler, Terry]

Oliver and Jumpy - the Cat Series, Stories 10-12, Book 4: Bedtime stories for children in illustrated picture book with short stories for early readers. (Oliver and Jumpy, the cat Series) by [Stejskal, Werner]

REN: Awakened by [Brittany Quagan]Seed Me by [Lavery, Konn]Master Athina (The Books of Athina Book 4) by [Estes, Danny]

Zurga's Fire (The Orfeo Saga Book 3) by [Eiland Jr., Murray Lee]

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

The Onryo by Rocco Ryg

Slippery Things by Lane Baker

The Great Scourge by C.A. MacLean

The Heart of Hannen by Fawn Bonning

Jesus and Magdalene by João Cerqueira

The Crown Princess Voyage by Dylan Madeley

 

“Books give me the freedom to step outside of myself. That words alone can transport the reader to a reality as believable as the one he or she actually lives in, should not logically be possible. It’s a kind of real life magic.” – Alex C. Vick, author of Stealing Magic

 

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

 

Hungry Monster Book Awards: November 2016

The Hungry Monster 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 The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winner

Bean Takes a Walk by Ann Bevans & Matthew Ethan Gray

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

Mother Athina by Danny Estes

Game Over by Derek Eddington

Beyond Cloud Nine by Greg Spry

The Second Sphere by Peter Banks

Seed of Treachery by C.A. MacLean

Wolves Among Sheep by Steven Pajak

Chaste: A Tale From Perilisc by Jesse Teller

The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana by Katlynn Brooke

“When I look at a book, I see the history of books, old tomes with sacred knowledge. The authorities that controlled the books controlled the people. Books brought the old world to order. My books are how I bring my life and my thoughts to order, the only lasting way I can see to impart wisdom and ask questions.” – Jesse Teller author of Chaste

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

Modern Civil War

Ian Page Author Interview

Ian Page Author Interview

Sanctuary is a fast paces post apocalyptic thriller where war envelopes the world and cities fall apart as anarchy reins and people start killing each other in the streets. What was your inspiration for the initial carnage and war that takes over the world and how does that push the development of the two main characters?

The inspiration was to write something that seemed plausible. The aim was to create a world where the reader would look at the news and wonder if what they were reading was fiction. So instead of having an easily detected outbreak of monsters or aliens, I wanted the process to be very insidious and start from the time that our characters figure out that something is going on. That’s also why there isn’t an omnipotent viewpoint and told from the character’s perspective. The goal was to have the reader right next to the characters and have the reader empathize with their decisions. The model I used was, unfortunately, modern civil war. Enemies are identified and rounded up. People cohere to the social structure that is still intact, put themselves in danger and go to work or school and cling to those they love. So I tried to make my characters realistic and let you see who they really are.

What I like about Sanctuary, and what sets it apart from other novels of it’s type, is that the main characters are minority women. Why did you feel that these characters were a better vehicle to move the story along in a post apocalyptic world?

To tell you the truth, that was probably subconscious. The original idea was just around JJ. I think I was frustrated seeing superficial formulaic women in the action genres. So I glued a few of my friends together and came up with her. Many of her lines are direct quotes. So imaging them in the story allowed me stay within character. Deeta was a logical choice because of the dietary issue, I actually didn’t come up with her until I started writing the opening sequence. I just decided to make her Kashmiri Hindu with a Muslim name. By doing this, she and her family had been marginalized even in their own country. As the story developed, I used her situation as I thought it would play out. When the characters took me into the story, I discovered they were just a little more cautious, more observant, suspicious than an average hero and that gave everything a lot more depth. Sadly, it also allowed me to realistically illustrate how our societies divide themselves along racial and predetermined prejudice under times of stress. That was not intentional when I started it, but if I wanted it to be believable, it had to go in.

There are a lot of modern issues weaved throughout the story, like; terrorism, internment camps, war in the middle east and Korea. What were some thing in the headlines today that made you think it would be a good fit for your story?

There is no shortage of headlines that could make it into the book. I could go to any of the news outlets and write five chapters. The Orlando shooting is probably the easiest, the the coup in Turkey, the stories coming out of the ISIS held territories, all of them could find a way in. But when I wrote this, I really tried to stay away from actual accounts. So instead of referencing a particular shooting or war crime, I wrote a scenario in a real setting where tensions are high. Then someone or a group of people would act out on those “what I’d really like to do” impulses. Then there would be the retaliation. Then I added random acts that would happen unpredictably without explanation. The scary part was that I really wasn’t that inaccurate.

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

I was asked to write a novella for a possible series about an assassin. This one was tough but turned out to be a lot of fun. This character is more imagination than anything else, but she was a ball to conjure up. After reading Sanctuary, a publisher asked me to write the story and for a minority woman to be the lead. And, as these things go, the people that asked for it may be getting out of the publishing business. So I’m shopping it around. The title is Siibay.

Book Description:

Deeta Nakshband, a Connecticut physician is attacked by a local surgeon while on duty in the hospital. Her friend, Janelle Jefferson, has similar experiences in Miami. Both of them become aware of an increasingly violent world as acts of isolated brutality escalate into civil unrest. They grapple with their paranoia as family members and coworkers become dangerously unpredictable. Worldwide, military units go rogue, war begins in Korea and cities implode as people slaughter each other in the streets. Martial law is declared in an attempt to maintain order. People are arrested, detainment camps are set up and interrogations end with tragic consequences as modern civilization crumbles. Deeta and Janelle band together with family friends and coworkers to save each other and find sanctuary.

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Hungry Monster Book Awards: October 2016

The Hungry Monster Book Awards are given 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 The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winners

The Eyes Behold Tomorrow by [Hart, Ken]

The Eyes Behold Tomorrow by Ken Hart

Sir Princess Petra’s Mission by Diane Mae Robinson

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

Hegira by Jim Cronin

Lady Athina by Danny Estes

Pearl of the Seas by Ruth Finnegan

Schackled Scribes by Lars Teeney

Plain Brown Wrapper by Greg Lynch

The Mansion’s Family by Rose Channing

Soul Searcher: The Reckoning by Stephen S. Arend

Books have the ability to entertain and inform us. They can make the impossible possible. They are vehicles of time travel and windows into perspectives. In books, authors are gods and imagination is their power. Transforming letters into words; words into characters and places; and these into emotions and worlds. Even if we never meet, we are connected by the stories we tell.

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see more information on the awards. See all award winners.

Hungry Monster Book Awards: September 2016

The Hungry Monster Book Awards are given 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 The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winners

25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More by Mark Tullius

Legends of Perilisc by Jesse Teller

The Dragons of Alsace Farm by Laurie Lewis

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

Spikes by Kelvin Kettle

Paralian by Liam Klenk

Lord Athina by Danny Estes

The Hobbymen by Tim Owens

Voodoo Child by William Burke

Thawing AC Nielsen by Paul Carey

Call of the Conjurer by Ryan Grimbly

Deadly Troubadour by Brent Thomas

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Donald Kirch

Paroxysm Effect by Ashleigh Reynolds

American Flowers by Michael McLellan

The Scalian Legacy by Norbert Monfort

The Mansions Twins by Rose Channing

Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman

The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani

Books have the ability to entertain and inform us. They can make the impossible possible. They are vehicles of time travel and windows into perspectives. In books, authors are gods and imagination is their power. Transforming letters into words; words into characters and places; and these into emotions and worlds. Even if we never meet, we are connected by the stories we tell.

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see more information on the awards. See all award winners.

Nowhere to Hide

Nowhere to Hide4 StarsWe’ve read it all before: world is ending and suddenly the planet is swarmed with zombies. It always comes on suddenly from either a failed experiment or black magic. The beauty of Nowhere to Hide by Tracey Tobin is that we don’t quite know where the zombies have come from. Their existence is known at first through a viral video shared on the news of a seemingly dead woman trying to eat the young men filming her. Our protagonist, Nancy King, is a bartender by night and struggling student by day who sees this news report while visiting her friend. The two young women shrug it off and make plans to go shopping. Instead of taking ages and years for the zombie issue to spread it seemingly takes only 24 hours. The next thing Nancy knows is that her neighbors in her apartment building have all gone postal with her crotchety upstairs neighbor leading the pack. So begins Nancy’s descent into hell as she has to find some way to escape the madness while caring for her younger upstairs neighbor and traumatized friend.

Friendships are central to the tale in Nowhere to Hide. Tobin introduces the expected characters; the kindly elderly man who acts as a mentor, the youth who is unsure of himself and what is going to be expected of him, the unexpected heroine, the friend-turned-enemy. You name it, it’s there. While it may seem like a lot, Tobin definitely melds and infuses the story she is telling us with essential characters. No one you meet seems like a sacrificial throw-away which can be very common in stories like this. Everyone exists for a reason, even the power-mad ‘leaders’ of the first sanctuary Nancy and her young compatriot, Greg, run to.

Along with friendships there are death-flags waving everywhere. While it is important to note that no one who is introduced is sacrificial fodder, it is clear to see who is going to die and who is going to live. If you’ve read enough of these stories you’ll be able to see the deaths coming a mile away, but that doesn’t detract from the actual story itself. Even the action scenes during zombie combat are well written without lingering on the blood and gore that comes with fighting the undead.

There are bits of the story near the end that seem a bit shallow. This could be a great introductory novel in a series or saga, but it appears to be a stand-alone. There are bits at the end of the story that lead the reader to believe that a sequel would help explain those questions that linger at the end but there is no confirmation of one at this time.

Nowhere to Hide is a great zombie-thrill with a strong female lead and equally strong male co-leads. The characters all have a purpose and while the rotting flesh and combat that happens is messy, there is very little in the writing itself to betray a messily written tale.

Pages: 234 | ISBN: 1477527923

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Sprk.It

Basically Frightened

Basically Frightened4 StarsBasically Frightened is a story about one man’s travels, trials and tribulations in a post-apocalyptic Britain. Finally venturing out to break his cycle of hermitage, the narrator searches to find a group to join in the fight against the end of humanity. He finds group after gang after collective after family. When he finally discovers an eclectic community that takes him in and allows him to stay, he tries to fit into the environment. Sometimes, one can try too hard to fit in and the main character finds this out in spades.

Basic Frightened is a delightful story about one of the most depressing topics: The End of the World. The Narrator has a wit about him throughout the entire story that is both engaging and endearing. The entire time reading this book and the terms ‘Keep a stiff upper lip’ and ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ kept coming to mind like a gentle yet firm reminder. The characters that the protagonist can be a bit stereotypical and the story itself follows a well-trod path, but neither of those should keep this book from a wide spread audience.

The Narrator, ‘Buckaroo Bonzai’ as he likes to call himself because he never reveals his name, has similarities to other heroes of the wasteland that was once civilization: Strong sense of right and wrong, unique skill-set to help benefit those around him and the courage to do what’s right. Whereas the other ‘nameless’ or legendary characters, ‘Buck’ stands out due to the genuine and compassionate personality he exudes. Throughout the entirety of the book, ‘Buck’ allows the audience to peak not only into the corners of his own mind but why the world is the way it is. And none of it feels forced or rushed. The narrator combines stories from his own life and bits of trivia from everyday life (ranging from movies, hence the chosen name, to celebrity gossip) and allows the reader to step immediately into the current situation. This is a mark of a talented writer.

The author, Vasily Pugh, has a way of weaving a story together without being overly dry (and one could say British) or being overly sappy either. He allows the story to be dramatic and deep and then has a scene where the characters are talking about a modern day chamber pot. The dialog feels natural and the references that give the reader a mental landmark to guide themselves show a well-designed thought process. Other stories and media that deal with this subject matter tend to be gloomy (for good reason of course) and deal with the human aspect of apocalypses. Mr. Pugh has done the latter with being able to bring a fresh new look on the former. The content, while a bit done before, is still a fresh take on a subject that has been prevalent as of late.

In summary, Basically Frightened is truly ‘another slice of Post-apocalyptia’ but one in the same vein of the devilishly too short lived television series ‘Pushing Daises’. A look at a dark subject matter (murder and death/the end of the world) and showing it in an incredibly bright and almost fanciful manner.

This book should and will be a best seller one day. Or at the very least, the fantastic first step in a great literary career.

Pages: 219 | ASIN: B01KYKNQAG

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Sprk.it

I Dove Into This Dystopian World

Mark Tullius Author Interview

Mark Tullius Author Interview

25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, radical religion, and extreme population control. What was the spark that made you want to write a book with such dystopian themes?

The idea for 25 Perfect Days came about after my wife suggested that I connect “5 Minutes Alone” and “Four Percent,” two short stories I’d been trying to publish. Once I saw the possibilities, I dove into this dystopian world. I had been spending a lot of time researching police brutality, government conspiracies, and the abuse of human rights, so this was my chance to work through the anger I had toward these injustices.

There is a large cast of characters in this novel. What was your favorite character to write for and why?

Tough question, but I have to go with Michael Adams, the father in “Five Minutes Alone.” I reworked this story several times, even after it’d been published, because my perspective changed after I became a father. I forced this character to make a very difficult decision and discovered a lot about him in the process.

The novel is really a collection of short stories, much like the novel World War Z. Why did you choose this format to tell the story?

I began my writing career with short stories and absolutely love being able to tell a story in just a matter of pages. The short story format however comes with many limitations, especially when protagonists routinely die and there are hard-to-find connections between stories. I intended each of the stories to be capable of standing alone, but also add something to the overall collection. One of my favorite aspects of this format is that I could pop right back into it and expand it to showcase a new character or an unjust law as I did with 5 More Perfect Days (included in the bonus edition.)

In 25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More you tackle a lot of extreme social viewpoints. Do you think there is anything today that you once thought only fiction, but has become reality?

I’m afraid I haven’t been all that creative in imagining some of these desperate situations, as I’ve simply exaggerated what is already taking place in different parts of the world. Outlawing homosexuality, the use of indentured servants, our dependency on technology, the corruption and oppressive potential of both religion and government. The biggest compliment I’ve been given in reviews is that 25 has made readers consider their rights and how important they are to hold onto.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will that be published?

Early 2017 I will be releasing Unlocking the Cage which documents my four-year journey where I traveled to 25 states and over 100 gyms to interview 400 MMA fighters. Summer will mark my return to fiction with Try Not to Die: In Brightside and Ain’t No Messiah.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Youtube

25 Perfect Days: Plus 5 More25 Perfect Days, named one of IndieReader’s Best Indie Books for 2013, just got better with the addition of 5 More Perfect Days. A totalitarian state doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a slow, dangerous slide. 25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, an ultra-radical religion, and the extreme measures taken to reduce the population. Through twenty-five interlinked stories, each written from a different character’s point of view, 25 Perfect Days captures the sacrifice, courage, and love needed to survive and eventually overcome this dystopian nightmare.

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