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Monday 4 November 2019

✉ℚ An Interview with award-winning author Avanti Centrae - Avanti Centrae

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author who takes over our blog to talk to us about her latest release, The Lost Power (, Black Opal Books, 341 pages), a Thriller, book one in the VanOps series.

“Avanti Centrae’s VanOps: The Lost Power opens a tantalizing new series that combines historical mystery and cutting-edge science into a masterwork of international intrigue--with the promise of more to follow. Written with a dynamic, cinematic style and full of action and suspense, here’s a book that defines page-turner. Don’t miss this riveting debut!” ~ James Rollins, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crucible

|| Synopsis || Teaser: Preview || The Series || Author Guest Post Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

An Interview with award-winning author Avanti Centrae

by Avanti Centrae

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Avanti Centrae, a former Silicon Valley IT executive turned thriller author.  Avanti recently won a Genre Grand Prize blue ribbon at the Chanticleer International Book Awards for her debut novel, VANOPS: THE LOST POWER.  Her unique blend of intrigue, history, science, and mystery has been getting rave reviews.  #1 NYT bestselling author James Rollins called the novel, “A book that defines ‘page-turner.’”

Avanti, give us an overview of THE LOST POWER.

"Sure, it’s nice to chat with you.  THE LOST POWER is the first book in the VANOPS thriller series and an origin story about how everyday people get pulled into a covert world of intrigue and danger.  My publicist likes to say it’s a DA VINCI CODE meets TOMB RAIDER type international thriller, and I agree that description gives readers an immediate feel for the story."
What’s the tagline?
"An aikido black belt.  A Russian sniper.  And the ultimate race to find Alexander the Great’s mysterious Egyptian weapon."
Thanks.  That gives me a good idea of what the story is about.  There are several unique characters in THE LOST POWER.  Tell us about them.
"Thanks for the question.  The characters were really fun to create.

Lithe, athletic, and intelligent, non-violent aikido black belt Maddy Marshall is thrust into a dangerous world where her special martial arts skills aren't enough to save herself or her country.  To survive a series of arcane tests, Maddy must look deep into the past, and her green eyes become dark with anger when the lives of those she loves are on the line.

Tall, dark-haired Will Argones, Maddy's twin brother, is a skeptic who has made his living as a successful test engineer.  Always on the lookout for danger, he can't keep his hands still - his fingers drum on his long legs or twirl his ever-ready-for-trouble flashlight.  When members of his family are murdered, he's forced out of his comfort zone and into a deadly, international game of cat and mouse.

Broad-shouldered Bear Thorenson, a bristly-haired marine, has always wanted to carry the world's troubles on his back by being a covert operative.  He jumps at the chance to join VanOps, an ultra-black organization with the duty to stop extreme threats.  But he’s caught between his mission and his long-held feelings for Maddy.

Freckle-faced AJ, a foster boy at Maddy's dojo‎ with satellite dishes for ears, is kidnapped by the Russian sniper who tore apart the fabric of Maddy's and Will's lives.  Feigning sleep, AJ overhears a Russian plot to destroy America's early warning defense system.

Ivan Klimov is one of Russia’s most accurate snipers.  Graced and cursed with congenital analgesia, he’s insensitive to pain.  As a blood ritual, he marks his kills on his arms and legs to remind himself to be cautious.  Careful.  His patience makes him extremely dangerous."
Give us two quotes from the book that reveal something about Maddy.
"Okay, this quote is from the start of the story when Maddy and AJ are driving to her father’s vineyard:"
      AJ asked, “Sensei, would you kill someone if you had to?”
      Surprised, Maddy frowned. “I’m not a sensei yet, remember?” She paused for a moment before she replied to his query. “Where did that question come from?”
      “We were talking about it in the locker room at the dojo after class. We know aikido is about non-violence, but what if you don’t have a choice?”
      His voice dropped to a dramatic whisper. “What if it was kill or be killed?”
This quote is when Ivan is thinking about Maddy as an adversary:"
      But the Marshall woman. A world-class athlete who had barely missed the Olympic team, she’d used her lightning-fast reflexes to become a warrior in an unusual martial art. And she was gifted with a keen intelligence. A dangerous combination. In another time and place, he’d have been interested in her as a mate.
How about Bear Thorenson, the bristly haired marine that joins the twins on the quest?
"Okay.  This quote is while Bear is falling over a hundred-foot tall waterfall:"
      For a long minute as he fell over the waterfall’s edge, Bear felt weightless, like he had during his parachute training. Time slowed as he got a peek through the water in his eyes and saw the river far below. Ignoring the scream in his head, he tried to keep his feet heading down as he fell. And fell. And fell. Then, with a bone-crunching splash, he hit, boots first. The jolt quaked his feet, spine, and head before he submerged, churning in an underwater tornado.
The sniper seems relentless.  How about him?
""Sure, this quote is again from Ivan’s point of view:"
      Ivan wondered where on his body he would mark this job. His left arm was covered in sets of hash marks— scars, where he had marked his kills. He started scarring himself in school to impress the other children, and eventually it had become a blood ritual after a task to remind himself to be careful, that he too could die. After this morning, it would be time to add another scar.
In THE LOST POWER, there’s a lot of conflict between the characters.  For example, the twins are estranged and have a long history of sibling rivalry.  Tell me about their history.
"Yes, when the story opens, Will and Maddy haven’t spoken much in the ten plus years since high school. Will pulled a prank that Maddy thinks is unforgivable, and he has always been bitter at how well she did in school and in sports.  When their family members are brutally murdered on a foggy Napa Valley morning, they’re forced to work together to figure out why the killings happened."
Ivan isn’t your typical bad guy.  What’s his story?
"Although Ivan is one of Russia’s most accurate snipers, he has a son of his own who is being used as a pawn by a Russian baron.  The baron is pulling strings on a plot to cripple the United States and Ivan, like the twins, is caught up in the baron’s plan.  If Ivan doesn’t follow orders, his son will be killed.  This fuels Ivan’s frustration, and makes him even more deadly."
I love that unexpected character twist.  The book is definitely a page-turner, with some other twists at the end I didn’t see coming.  Where can readers buy it?
"It’s for sale on all the major online retailers, and readers can also request it from their local Indy bookstore or library."
How can readers follow you on social media?
"Readers can check out the first six chapters of THE LOST POWER for free on my website at

And they can follow me on any of these platforms:

Thank you so much for this interview!"
DA VINCI CODE meets TOMB RAIDER in this award-winning thriller that #1 NYT bestselling author James Rollins called, "A book that defines 'page-turner.'"

The Lost Power
Pre-order NOW! Out 9 November 2019

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from Smashwords find on Goodreads


CMash said...

This sounds like a page turner. Putting it on my list!

Avanti Centrae said...

Thanks for the interview! It was really fun chatting with you about the characters.