Author Anthony Avina's Blog

Good books don't give up all their secrets at once. – Stephen King

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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February 1, 2017

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!

November 3, 2016


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.

October 18, 2016

Satan’s Beckoning by Michael K. Foster Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

The never-ending work of DCI Mason and David Carlisle continues in the explosive sequel to Michael K. Foster’s The Wharf Butcher, titled “Satan’s
Beckoning”. Filled with an even darker murder plot and shifting perspectives that keep the action and investigation of the plot moving forward
at an even pace, this was a fantastic sequel that builds upon the success of the first book and takes giant strides forward.

The Synopsis: The DCI Mason & David Carlisle Series: Book 2

When a fatal road crash turns out to be murder, JACK MASON is sent to investigate. 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. When criminal profiler DAVID CARLISLE is drafted in to assist, Carlisle is met by the killers wrath.

Delving into an even darker mind that uses religion to fuel his anger and devilish desires, this killer does something different that The Wharf
Butcher did: he gets into David Carlisle’s mind. The cat and mouse game the two play while the police hunt for the killer is mesmerizing to read,
and the mystery behind the killer’s identity will take the investigation into many different directions. Getting to see the investigation from
so many different views, from the bullish, physical take no prisoners approach of DCI Jack Mason to the analytical, psychological approach of
David Carlisle to the demented mind of the killer as he stalks his prey makes this a fantastic thriller that no one wants to miss out on.

Overall, this was a phenomenal read and actually manages to build upon the success of The Wharf Butcher with an even more thrilling and action
packed story that will lead readers into a climatic battle of wits between the killer and the investigators. Being a US blogger, I really enjoy
these books because it’s great to see the different approach to police investigations that this UK-based novel takes, and the setting plays a
huge part of the plot. The characters are well developed and given more insight after the first book, and this plot makes this one of my favorite
thrillers of 2016. Be sure to pick up your copies of Satan’s Beckoning by Michael K. Foster on October 20th, 2016!

Rating: 10/10

October 10, 2016

Dead by Morning (Ritual of the Night #1) by Kayla Krantz

Death wears a beautiful face in the spine-chilling thriller Dead by Morning, the first in the Ritual of the Night series written by author
Kayla Krantz. Here is the synopsis:

Obsession is deadly. No one learns that better than Luna Ketz, a pessimistic high school senior. She wishes more than anything to graduate but
things don’t always go as planned. Luna quickly finds herself trapped in a web of lies and murders, spun by the least suspected person in her
hometown. It’s not long before she realizes she’s being targeted by the person she despises most in the world. When Luna figures out who is
behind the killings, things make a turn for the bizarre when she is contacted by a friend she has not heard from in years. It is then Luna
realizes she is very much in danger, but although she can avoid the killer in reality, she cannot avoid him in her dreams.

There’s something about nightmare killers that is especially troubling. Like a Nightmare on Elm Street before it, Dead by Morning plays on the
fear that a lot of people have, and that is that our dreams will somehow follow us into our waking world. The book was well written and
progressed at a steady pace. The characters and the events of the book were quite shocking, and watching main character Luna struggle with what
might be the worst parents in the world, students and friends who have fallen under a killer’s charming facade, and a killer who’s obsession
begins to tear her world apart was both intriguing and heart-pounding to read.

Overall, Dead by Morning was a fantastic read and a great start to an amazing series that promises a wealth of world-building mystery. The
interactions between Luna and the killer throughout the book are chilling to read and I think both teenagers struggling through high school
and adults who enjoy a good mystery and horror story will enjoy this novel. Everyone should pick up a copy of Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz
today!

June 15, 2016

The Wharf Butcher by Michael K. Foster Review

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

Have you ever wanted to find a book that perfectly embodied the spirit and format of such great shows as Broadchurch and Sherlock? Then look
no further than author Michael K. Foster’s incredible novel, The Wharf Butcher. An intense crime thriller that does an excellent job of analyzing
character growth and showcasing the deep emotional scars that make a monster in our society, this is a fantastic read!

A serial killer is stalking Tyneside. But there is a pattern to his killings, his choice of victims, his method of slaughter. David Carlisle, a
criminal profiler, is brought in to assist DCI Jack Mason with his task of identifying the killer and stopping him in his tracks. The Wharf
Butcher is a fast-paced thriller that shines a light on the dark forces at work within the corridors of power, in the board room and the police
force itself. The clock is ticking to catch the monster that has been unleashed. But first Carlisle must get inside the killer’s head…

Combining the intrigue of a whodunit with the disturbing nature of serial killers and the emotional core of a great television drama, the first
novel in the building series focused on two intriguing new investigators is a smash hit from the opening pages all the way to the shocking
conclusion. The depth for which the author explores each side of a murder investigation is phenomenal to read, and not only do we get glimpses
into the personal lives of the investigators and how their lives affect their work, but readers will love to get into the gritty dark side of
the mentality of this serial killer. Will the investigators be able to stop this killer before it’s too late? Be sure to pick up your copies of
The Wharf Butcher by Michael K. Foster today to find out!