Author Interview with Lily Black

1)      Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

A: I’ve always been a writer—even though I was actually a late reader. Ever since I was a kid books and reading were my first go-to in coping with the challenges of life, so writing became a natural outgrowth of all that time spent reading.

 

2)      What inspired you to write your book?

A: I have a black belt and on occasion teach women’s self defense classes, so as my mind turned over story ideas I was struck by the concept of a warm and cozy small town juxtaposed against a seriously scary situation, and the people caught up in it. I explore this dynamic in both my first book, Storm of Attraction, and the second which is also set in charming Willowdale.

 

3)      What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: The story always comes first, but one takeaway I really believe in is that even the most difficult circumstances can lead to unexpected good.

 

4)      What drew you into this particular genre?

A: I guess despite being very aware of the dangers in the world, I’m a romantic at heart and believe that true love can triumph over anything. Totally cheesy, I know! I also believe that sometimes people need something to shake them out of their usual circumstances in order to discover what other resources they might have, and who they really trust. Romantic suspense is the perfect medium to explore this.

 

5)      If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

A: Just now I’d sit down with Detective Rawlings and have a long chat with her about her estranged husband! I know the two of them have split—leaving her to raise her twins mostly alone—and I know he’s a National Geographic photographer, but I don’t have all the other details and want them, because these two will be getting a novella or some newsletter time in the near future!

 

6)      What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

A: I use my Facebook page to connect with my readers, and really enjoy that. I also have my news page on my website which doubles as a blog, and more importantly send out a newsletter to subscribers in which I share short fiction bursts that I’ve written, or anything else I can to give my readers insights into my characters and Willowdale. I also love connecting with readers generally through the Book Ninjas website (www.book-ninjas.com), a content-rating catalog of romance and women’s fiction which I co-own and help to run. There I can see which books are popular and of course pick out new books just right for me based on their blush level, and what I see other readers picking up!

 

7)      What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

A: First, read, of course. Then, write. Remember that even short burst of writing time can train you in the craft, so never underestimate the importance of short snatches of time you can devote to your writing dreams.

8)      What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

A: I’m so glad you asked! I recently turned in Willowdale book two—tentatively titled Storm of Deception—to my publisher, and it will release sometime in 2019. It’s the story of a senator’s daughter and the veteran who publicly humiliated her when he ended their engagement, plus a deadly black mailer. The hero was introduced in Storm of Attraction so readers will remember him, and there are cameo appearances from the first couple, so I think readers will get a kick out of that. But mostly it’s just a super intense love story set against the back drop of a winter festival and the black mailer’s schemes, with touches of the drama which comes from life in the political limelight. To celebrate Storm of Deception’s acceptance for publication I made ‘suspenseful snowflakes’ by printing a page from the unedited draft. So much fun to make, since they have tiny teaser peeks at a page from the novel! They’ve been lots of fun to give away and I’m happy to share them here, too, if anyone would like one. This is a novel that nearly ripped my soul in half writing, and I can’t wait to share it with my readers!

SofD three sparkly snowflakes white side

Lily Black website: http://www.lilyblackbooks.com/

LB Twitter: https://twitter.com/lilyblackbooks

Book Ninjas website: http://www.book-ninjas.com/
LB Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lily-Black-1713161408963150/

 

Storm of Attraction low res

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Storm of Attraction by Lily Black Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A complex tale of rivalry, obsession and passion erupts into a fantastic romantic thriller in author Lily Black’s Storm of Attraction. Here’s the synopsis:

Love is worth fighting for.

Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble.

Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home.

As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames. 

This book was a very fast paced yet well developed read. The complex history between the two protagonists made for a wonderful look into relationships and how sometimes time apart can lead to unexpected reunions. Whether they be good or bad is up to you to decide, but in author Lily Black’s novel readers get to see an intoxicating relationship form between these two complex and emotionally scarred people. The edge of your seat thriller explores the danger of obsession and how that danger presents itself. It allows readers to see that asking for help and looking to others isn’t a sign of weakness, and by working together terrifying threats can be manageable. The best part of this though is seeing how the danger of this stalker brings these two driven yet emotional people closer together than they ever anticipated.

Overall I loved this story. The characters were engaging to the point where I’d love to read more stories featuring these two protagonists, and the big reveal of the stalker will leave the reader floored. This was a well rounded and emotionally driven read, and I highly recommend checking it out. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copies of author Lily Black’s Storm of Attraction today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1940215862/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1940215862&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Murder in the Heart of It All by Michael Prelee Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An aspiring journalist finds himself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a disturbing individual in author Michael Prelee’s Murder in the Heart of It All. Here’s the synopsis:

Someone is angry in Hogan, Ohio.

Residents of the small town are plagued by vicious, anonymous letters. The personalized notes land in mailboxes with devastating effect, revealing secrets and deeds better kept unknown. Whoever the sender is, they know the town and the people who live there.

Reporter Tim Abernathy is assigned to the story and tasked with finding out who is sending the letters and why. The letter writer doesn’t want to be found, however, and will kill to keep his secret.

A cat-and-mouse game ensues between reporter and letter writer as the violence escalates, shocking the residents of Hogan. Can Tim discover who is terrorizing the town before becoming the next victim?

I absolutely loved this book. To me it felt like a commentary on the anonymous nature of those who the world has deemed “online trolls”. In a sense, it showcased the overwhelming harshness these individuals faced that made them this way, while also showcasing the painful ramifications these hurtful comments or in this case, “letters”, have on those receiving it.

The story itself was well developed, and the characters themselves were incredibly engaging. It was refreshing to see a change in the typical “journalist” character. Normally in stories involving journalists they are eager to get the story by any means necessary, often hurting the people involved in that story. However Tim was a thoughtful, kind hearted individual who worked not for his own gain, but for the good of his community. The story also showed how easy it is for people to go to such violent extremes, and how fear of discovery can turn a harmless troll into a violent madman.

In the end this was a thought provoking and engaging read. This thriller allowed us to analyze the anonymous nature of the internet through the lens of a small town setting. Substituting emails or comments for letters, this story showed the power words have in our society, and how we can step above and beyond the pain we endure to become better people. Everyone experiences pain of one kind or another. It’s how you handle that pain and move forward that defines you. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Michael Prelee’s Murder in the Heart of It All today!

Rating: 10/10

 www.michaelprelee.com

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The Haunting of Barry’s Lodge by Annie Walters

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A modern day classic horror story comes to brilliant life in author Annie Walter’s novel The Haunting of Barry’s Lodge. A blend of old school ghost stories with psychological horror, this book takes readers on a whirlwind journey through one terrifying week in the life of an aspiring writer. Here’s the synopsis:

Alfred, a washed-up author, plagued by failures can’t believe his luck when his father-in-law, Frank, provides him with a chance that he direly craved for:

Seven days alone in an isolated Motel with the task of finishing his upcoming book!

But little does he know about the Motel’s unsavory history. Hidden in the copse of trees and about 400 miles away from his home in the dark forest of Skiddaw, it is a two-storey facade with twisting, malevolent chimneys and an eerie allure.Lack of WI-FI, poor signals and weird set of rules, the dark atmosphere soon turns his seemingly idyllic trip into a living nightmare. Apart from the usual creaks, groans, and moans of the crumbling structure, he soon finds himself face to face with an entity. An urban legend that is lurking in the woods long before the Motel found its existing foundations.

The Motel’s dark and haunting history quickly becomes tangled with Alfred’s life as he frantically searches for answers. Barry, the caretaker is hiding something. But what is it? Is there someone else living in the motel beside him? Or is the caretaker not what he seemingly appears?

Alfred quickly begins to lose his tenuous grip on reality as he sinks further and further into an intricately designed game of deceit and lies that might put his life in danger! Or is he a threat to himself and everybody around him?

The Haunting at Barry’s Lodge is a full-length novel of a riveting ghost story and a third edition by the author, Annie Walters, previously published as Barry’s Lodge A Haunting.

This was a fantastic new horror story. Playing on the classic themes of psychological terror and spine-chilling ghost stories, readers will be on the edge of their seat as they try to find out who Alfred can trust, and what is coming for him in this strange and eerie motel. The book was fast paced and drew the reader in with it’s vivid imagery and haunting backstory. Expertly crafted to paint an image in your mind, the story takes readers through the darkest corners of Barry’s Lodge, keeping the reader on their toes as friends become enemies and salvation may be a trap for Alfred.

Overall this was a fantastic story. Building a modern day classic, author Annie Walters has done an expert job of bringing this story to life. With a shocking twist ending, horror fans will not want to miss this brand new adventure. Be sure to pick up your copies of The Haunting of Barry’s Lodge today!

Rating: 10/10

 

Kiss of Death by Robert Skuce Review

A brutal murder. A desperate detective. In the middle of a sinister cat and mouse game between a ruthless serial killer and the seasoned detective
desperate to put him away for good, a stalker with an unhealthy view on love may be the only person that can tip the scales in Robert Skuce’s
novel, Kiss of Death. This intense thriller explores the dark depths of humanity and showcases that not everyone in this world is good, and those
that we consider our heroes may end up being the villains of their own story. As a heartbroken father becomes a ruthless vigilante, the detective
must race to find the killer before his best friend becomes the monster he’s already starting to become. First here is the synopsis:

Homicide detective, Bruno Norcross, is called to investigate the brutal murder of a college call girl. This isn’t just any other crime scene.
Bruno has seen this scene before, only the last time, the killer got away leaving Bruno feeling as though his career is incomplete. Nobody
escapes Bruno’s grasp twice and when his nemesis arises again, it’s time to bring him in. A serial killer, only known as the Kiss of Death, is
back, only this time he made a mistake. A witness, like no other, was left behind and this witness knows the victim better than anyone.

Rosie’s stalker, Ashley Truelove knows everything about her, from what she wears to who she sees. The question isn’t can Ashley help Bruno catch
the killer, but will he? With meager and confusing clues, two known victims and time running out, Bruno realizes that the cost of bringing the
murderer to justice will be paid in blood. With the police Sergeant on his back to catch this killer and provide justice for the death of his
daughter, Bruno is racing against time. Kiss of Death only hunts occasionally and time is running out before he vanishes again. Can Bruno find
the evidence to stop him or will he escape his clutches once again?

This story had an incredible plot. A true credit to the author’s handle on the thriller genre, this story takes the readers through twists and
turns galore as they begin to question who they can trust, who the true suspects are and who can really call themselves the hero of this story.
Allies become enemies and suspects become partners as the hunt for this ruthless serial killer will take the reader into the minds of both the
delusional yet crafty killer and the respected detective who desperately wants to avenge the death of his friend’s daughter and prevent more lives
from being lost.

Now, I will say that if I were to have any critiques for this story, it would be the editing. I do feel that this story could have been improved
if an editor had been able to catch the grammatical errors in this story. While the errors didn’t deter me in my enjoyment of the story at all,
I will say that it was noticeable and with this writer’s powerful storytelling power I’d love to see a keener eye help clean up the grammar to make
this story shine even brighter. However the character development was great in this story, as each character was very human in that they suffered
from various flaws and showcased how darkness can reside in the best of us, and how we all have the power to overcome that darkness if we so choose.

 

Overall this was a fun read that I highly recommend for any psychological thriller fans out there. It’s a classic noir detective book with a 21st
century technological spin as the hunt for the Kiss of Death begins. Be sure to pick up your copies of Kiss of Death by Robert Skuce today!

Rating: 7/10

 

The Girl At The Bar by Nicholas Nash Review

A one night stand turns into a nightmare as the lives of several people get ensnared in a deadly missing person’s case in the upcoming thriller,
The Girl At The Bar!

I was given this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

A psychological thriller. More twists and turns than a country road. Gripping characters.

These are just a few ways to describe the thriller The Girl At The Bar by Nicholas Nash. Here’s the synopsis:

Rebecca, a brilliant cancer researcher, disappears after a one-night stand with a neurotic man with a questionable past.

Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an inexplicable
chain of events as the bodies start to pile up.

No one knows why she disappeared. The race to find answers ensnares everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath lurking
in the shadows.

Is Rebecca still alive? What happened to her? Who did it? And why? Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers. No one can be trusted
and no one is above suspicion…

There were some great plot points explored in this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the author tackle a character that nearly fell into the
overly used plot of having a mental disorder that caused them to be violent, but instead this book did an excellent job of showcasing a character
who suffered with a mental illness and yet continued to strive forward and fight the preconceived notions of what living with mental illness
means, and showed that the character was flawed yet human.

I also thought it was interesting to explore the world of cancer research in such an in-depth way. I must admit I had little to no knowledge of
cancer research, and yet I feel way more informed than I did going into the book. The author did a great job of capturing the emotions that
went into the scientific exploration of this viscous disease, as well as the emotional toll of battles lost to the disease.

The plot was strong indeed, as were the vast variety of different characters involved in the plot, from the police investigating the crime to
the suspects of the kidnapping to the innocents caught in the crossfire. While I will note this: in the spirit of honesty, there were a couple
of grammatical errors that were noticeable throughout the book. However they were so minor and spread far apart from one another in the entirety
of the book, that it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book at all, and I don’t think it will for you guys either.

Overall, this was a fantastic thriller that everyone should read. The book does a great job of exploring the notion that humanity in general
is flawed, and yet being flawed doesn’t make a person evil. The villain of this story can even be attributed to both the antagonist and the
main plot point: cancer itself. Once you learn the origins of this villain, you will see how closely their rise to villainy resembles the
mutation of cancer, making this a deep emotional and psychological study of both diseases: cancer and evil. This is a must read novel, so be
sure to get your copies of Nicholas Nash’s The Girl At The Bar on February 1st, 2017. I give this book a 8/10 star rating, and hope you guys will
read it for yourselves!

Interview with Michael K. Foster, Author of “Satan’s Beckoning”

Thank
you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I want to congratulate
you on the release of Satan’s Beckoning.

Thank you, Antony. It’s a pleasure to meet up with you.

Can you
tell the reader’s out there where Satan’s Beckoning picks up in the DCI Mason
and David Carlisle series. How much time has passed since the events of the
first book, The Wharf Butcher, and what has changed for both DCI Mason and
David Carlisle since that first book?

 

Book 2 in the series opens with
a late night fatal road traffic accident, in the middle of January 2013. Barely
six weeks into his new role with the Northumbria Police Serious Crime Squad, Jack
Mason is sent to investigate. With the dust barely settled on the Wharf Butcher
case, the Detective Chief Inspector is out to impress. On his arrival at the
crash scene, all is not what it appears to be and he is soon faced with a
vicious murder investigation.

When criminal profiler David
Carlisle is drafted in to assist, he is faced with the killer’s wrath. Within
the seemingly dark vaults of the police missing persons files lay untold
dangers. Young women are easy pickings for a serial killer who believes God has
sent him to rid the world of an overindulgent appetite for greed.


What was the process like returning to this
series? Did you find it easy to pick up from where The Wharf Butcher left off
or is it more of a challenge to revisit a series that you spent so much time
establishing?

The plot idea for Satan’s
Beckoning came as a result of watching a late night TV chat show. At the
time, the host was interviewing a well-known celebrity who was going through a major
divorce settlement. He was 75 and she was 26, and boy did they look an odd
couple. What intrigued me more than anything else about this case was the money
settlement his wife’s lawyers were seeking. They’d only been married two years,
and she was asking for millions. Not only that, she was desperate to enhance
her own career by exposing her aging husband’s nasty little secrets in an
autobiography she’d supposedly written.

Intrigued,
this is where the writer in me takes over. Blackmail, greed, jealousy, hate,
they are all in there. Suddenly ideas for book 2 were swimming around in my
head – so why not throw another serial killer into the mix? If nothing else it
seemed the perfect challenge for the
two central characters, David Carlisle and DCI Mason.


Without revealing any plot details, what would
you say is the biggest difference between The Wharf Butcher and the killer in
Satan’s Beckoning? What makes this case a challenge for David Carlisle and DCI
Mason?

 

Having
created the Wharf Butcher, creating another narcissistic monster was a big
challenge this time. I guess the big difference between the two serial killers
is the not knowing who the killer is in Satan’s Beckoning. In trying to shed
some light on the serial killer myths, I decided that this book would feature
heavily on the mind games. Serial killers by their very nature are manipulative
interspecies predators who have the striking ability to deceive. Many believe they
even own their victims, and treat them as personal possessions. These people
are sensation seekers, and unnerving callous individuals who are prone to
violate the rules of society.

The
question I often ask myself is why are so many readers, including myself,
fascinated by serial killers? With this in mind, there is little wonder that
David Carlisle would feature heavily in Satan’s Beckoning. The difficulty was
how to fit Jack Mason into the storyline. I’d always wanted to write a crime
thriller series, but always felt the need to write something different from the
standard British police procedurals. I hope I have succeeded!


When writing, what drove you more when writing
this series: the character development or the plot?

The beauty of writing a series is that
the central characters are already developed, which allows me more time to
concentrate on the plot. By the very nature of the title – Satan’s Beckoning –this
was always going to be a dark psychological thriller, a game of cat and mouse
between the criminal profiler and a serial killer. Writing suspense into a
novel can be a very tricky challenge, writing continual suspense even harder.
You have to work on it, and the plot development for this book took two years
to write.


How important would you say the setting was in
Satan’s Beckoning?

 

Place is
really important in a novel, and it doesn’t matter where you live just as long
as the writer can take you to that place in their story. A few years ago I met up
with Ian Rankin in the old Oxford Pub, in Young Street, Edinburgh. The master
of crime fiction who has sold millions of books, Ian’s advice to me was that a
strong sense of place is very important in every good crime novel. I’m glad I
took his advice.


What was the process like researching for this
book series? What was the most fascinating thing you learned when researching
crime investigations by the police?

 

In trying to understand the innermost workings of a serial
killers mind, I spent endless hours on research and talking to senior police
officers, SOCOs, prison officers and people who have had dealings with these
people. Serial killers are not everyday people, but there are still plenty of
bad guys out there who wouldn’t think twice about tearing you apart. I’m lucky
I suppose, having worked six years in the British Law Courts as a Magistrate, I
regularly came face to face with the real criminals – a priceless experience as
a crime writer.


Shifting gears to the marketing side of your
book release, what would you say has changed in terms of your book launch for
The Wharf Butcher and now Satan’s Beckoning?

Twelve months on from my first book launch, and I have built up a small
following of readers. It has certainly made the difference, and through social media
networking, I have seen that interest slowly grow.

What has
the experience been like meeting readers and doing signings with book stores?

Book signing is an exciting
opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with your readers. Not only that, you have the chance to inspire and connect with
your readers. This, I feel, gives me a great opportunity to better understand my
target audience in a much deeper way than any other market research
or online communication.

In truth, I sell far more paperback books than anything else, so these
events are very important to me. Besides, talking
with potential readers leaves an impact unmatched by all other forms of
marketing, making your audience more likely to read your book and support your
cause.

 

In
this age of social media, what would you say has been the best social media sites
to promote your book, and why do you think that is?

From my own experience, and the experience of many
authors, bloggers, and top reviewers alike, Goodreads can be a great launch platform
to promote your work. How much weight the review holds for an author, depends
greatly on the publication and how much the reader trusts the reviewer’s
judgment. That said Goodreads
isn’t a platform to sell books directly. If you do try to do that, you will
simply be pushed out. Like many other platforms, genuine engagement is required
to get the most from it.

That said, Goodreads does offer authors the opportunity
to promote their books through giveaways and advertising, both of which can
help you get reviews on your books and spread the word about.

 

What
does the future of the DCI Mason and David Carlisle look like? Are there any
other book projects on the horizon?

 

I’m currently working on book 3 in the series. Still no firm title yet, but I hope to
have it ready for release by autumn 2017. The plot has been a nightmare to get
right, and has taken two years to research. It can be hard going at times, but
I’m really pleased with the way things are shaping up. No spoilers here, but
this one’s a real spine-chiller and not for the faint-hearted. All will be revealed
in the due course of time, but if you think you’re safe – think again!

Thank
you again so much for talking with us today.

Thank you for inviting me, Anthony. It’s been a
pleasure talking to you today.

 

Do
you have any websites or news you’d like to share with our audience?


For those who wish, more about me and
writing can be found at: www.mike-foster.me

Congratulations
on the book launch. This was a fantastic read and you truly have captured the
spirit and genius of the British Crime Fiction genre. 

 

Good
luck with the continued launch of Satan’s Beckoning, and we look forward to
seeing your continued success and your next great book.