Author Anthony Avina Presents: The Best Books Of 2016!

What’s up my friends? As the holidays quickly approach, so too does the new year, and with that comes a time of reflection over the past year’s
events. One thing I thought I’d do for this blog is talk about the best books I read in 2016, from YA and dark horror to memoirs and more! So
without any further delay, here are my tops books of 2016! Not all of these books were released this year, but I read them all the same and
really enjoyed them. I hope you will enjoy my few thoughts on these, and if you want to read my full reviews of these books and more, be sure
to follow me here on my blog.

1) Saint Odd by Dean Koontz:

The final installment of the Odd Thomas series was such an emotional one. The final battle between good and evil took place, and the book marked
the most heroic character development of the series. The character of Odd Thomas has quickly become one of my favorites, and Dean Koontz fans
will recognize the incredibly powerful story that has been told over the course of several books. Fans of the series will not be disappointed in
this final installment as story lines will close, and the ending will bring a smile to your face as you read the final thoughts of Odd Thomas.

2) The Night of Elisa (Illustrated Edition) by Isis Sousa:

This beautifully Gothic story was brought to life beautifully by author Isis Sousa. The story follows a young girl running away from her past, and
the young man who fears she’ll discover his own dark past. Set in a Victorian era setting, this story is equal parts horror and historical
fiction, and this book quickly became an instant classic that horror fans will not want to miss.

3) Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices Book One by Cassandra Claire:

The first book of author Cassandra Claire’s The Dark Artifices series brought the world of the Shadowhunters to Los Angeles, advancing the story
years after the events of the Mortal Instruments series. Fans of the original will love returning to the mythology of the original series, while
also loving the new characters that are explored in this story. The book involves forbidden romances, brutal murders and shocking revelations
that promise to bring about a new and intriguing threat to the Shadowhunter world.

4) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins:

The spiritual successor to Gone Girl, this book by author Paula Hawkins was one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read. The psychological thriller
focused on a woman struggling with an alcohol addiction and a traumatic past, who involves herself in a missing persons case and discovers that
some secrets are darker than anyone could imagine.

5) You’re Never Weird On the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day:

This incredible memoir from creative genius Felicia Day was a fantastic way of telling the story of her life. It was a humor filled memoir that
spoke to the creative and geek-loving people of the world, and told of how it’s possible to not only be yourself, but to be yourself and succeed
in life doing what you love. It’s a great memoir that everyone should read.

6) the girl who couldn’t come up with an original title by the Behrg:

One of the more impactful and thought-provoking stories I read this year, the book from author the Behrg was an emotional roller-coaster that
deserves to be read. While I do urge you to read the review since there is a trigger warning for this book, I think this is a fantastic story
about a young girl who traverses the realm known as The Lines. Filled with emotion, heart and an incredibly creative story, this is definitely a
must read book.

7) Zenith: The Androma Saga Part 1 by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings:

This story from authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings was a breathtaking new science fiction adventure that explored a brand new galaxy
and characters that all settled into moral shades of grey. The story is fast paced, action packed and does a great job of setting up the larger
story that is set to be told in the coming full novel in 2017.

8) Tales from Alternate Earths Anthology from Inklings Press:

This amazing anthology from Inklings Press featured some amazing works from a group of  fantastic authors that explored one of my favorite
scientific theories and their respective literary genre: alternative universes and alternative history. This anthology was fantastic, exploring
worlds where the Cuban Missile Crisis wasn’t averted or where Dinosaurs didn’t become extinct, but rather evolved and grew into the dominant
species. This was a fun read that was insightful, entertaining and fun to read, and I highly recommend you guys read it.

9) A Life of Death (A Life of Death #1) by Weston Kincade:

This emotional YA story from author Weston Kincade follows a young man who recalls his time as a teen, when he discovered an incredible
gift, but at a time when he was at his lowest. This story explores the ramifications of abusive family lives, and the impact that death has on
our lives. It’s a fantastic read that people will not want to miss.

10) Satan’s Beckoning by Michael K. Foster:

This sequel to The Wharf Butcher from author Michael K. Foster was an incredible read, and delved deeper into the world of DCI Jack Mason and
David Carlisle. The hunt for a serial killer becomes personal as Carlisle begins to get into the mind of the killer, and discovers a dark world
filled with deceit and untold horrors. This is a thriller worth reading, and one of the best thrillers of 2016!

11) Red Death by Jeff Altabef:

This YA dystopian novel explores the impact of religion and the way cultures interact in this futuristic world where a plague known as the Red
Death has impacted the world, dividing the land into tribes and following a group of people from the various tribes who come together and discover
a world shattering secret. Setting up a world filled with action, romance and heart, this is a must read first book in an exciting new series.

12) Where The Dead Ones Play by Kyle M. Scott:

This exciting and dark horror thriller was one of the best stories I read in 2016. The story told by author Kyle M Scott was dark, intense and
incredibly powerful. The imagery used to describe the setting, along with the amazing character development that helped change the story constantly
until the last page, was fantastic to read. The shocking conclusion haunted me as I visualized the outcome, and fans of dark horror will not
want to miss this incredible read.

Special Mention to “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” by Ian Doescher, which was a fantastic read! This early Christmas gift was so fun to get
into, filled with amazing inner monologues from fan favorite characters, and the combination of Shakespearean language and Star Wars mythology
was so incredibly powerful. I definitely recommend this literary classic!

That was my list guys. I hope you guys enjoyed this, and I hope you will not only check out my reviews, but will get these books for yourselves
and check them out. These ranged from big name releases to small, independent publishers and authors, and I’m happy I got the opportunity to
read all these amazing books. Thanks for an incredible year of books, and I look forward to building up this blog and reading even more books next year!
If you haven’t yet, I’d love it if you guys could follow this blog and share this post. I appreciate your support, and look forward to providing
even more book posts next year! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!

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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.

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