Frontlist | Avanti Centrae’s Writing Career has Begun With a Bang

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Avanti Centrae is the author of the international multi-award-winning VanOps thriller series. Her debut, VANOPS: THE LOST POWER (Black Opal Books 11/9/19), took home a genre grand prize blue ribbon at the 2017 Chanticleer International Book Awards, a bronze medal at the UK-based 2019 Wishing Shelf Awards, and an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Hollywood Book Festival. She built on that success by winning a bronze medal at the 2020 Readers’ Favorite awards for SOLSITCE SHADOWS, and recently added another prize.

This year’s Chanticleer Authors Conference was broadcast via ZOOM webinar the week of Sept 8 -13, 2020 from the Hotel Bellwether in Bellingham, Washington and was headlined by international bestselling author Robert Dugoni. Part of the conference is an awards contest that receives thousands of world-wide entries each year for sixteen fiction genres and multiple nonfiction divisions. The Global Thriller genre celebrates thrillers that put the balance of world power on edge, or that will end the world as we know it. On Sunday, September 13th, first place category winners competed for best in genre.

First place Global Thriller winners were:

– Randall Krzak for Carnage in Singapore
– Courtney Leigh Pahlke for Life Force Preserve
– Jett Ward for Execute Order
– Nicole Mabry for Past This Point
– Avanti Centrae for Solstice Shadows – A VanOps Thriller
– Joanne Jaytanie for Salvaging Truth, Hunters & Seekers, Book 1

SOLSTICE SHADOWS – A VanOps Thriller by Avanti Centrae took home the Global Thriller Genre Grand Prize.

Centrae had always wanted to write. “I wrote my first story when I was quite young, maybe six years old, and always remember wanting to be a writer.” Life got in the way and she wrote her first novel at age fifty.

In the latest from her VanOps series, SOLSTICE SHADOWS, (Thunder Creek Press), Centrae not only keeps us guessing but combines intrigue, history, science, and mystery into pulse-pounding action. SOLSTICE SHADOWS is about computer-app designer Maddy Marshall and an encrypted relic. Can she and the VanOps team decipher the dangerous code before extremists trigger a high-tech apocalypse? Kirkus Reviews called it a “rousing sequel.”

The genre-grand-prize winning novel has been described as DA VINCI CODE meets TOMB RAIDER. It’s the second book in the series that #1 New York Times bestselling author James Rollins called, “a masterwork of international intrigue.” SOLSTICE SHADOWS became an instant Barnes & Noble Nook #1 Best Seller and Amazon Canada #1 Best Seller. “Fans of complex and highly detailed espionage and action thrillers are certain to dive right into this mixture between Indiana Jones and Dan Brown.” ~ Readers’ Favorite – Five stars

The international action takes place around the winter solstice timeframe, beginning at a Mexican archeoastronomy site. The heroes race across the globe through the dangerous bazaars of Morocco, fallen Turkish temples, and Egypt’s perilous Valley of the Kings. “Since I love to meld history and science into my novels, using archeoastronomy as a backdrop was a perfect way to set up the story,” Centrae notes.

Centrae adds, “I think places set the mood and atmosphere of a good tale. For instance, the snake-like shadow display in the dark jungle of Chichen itza forms the backdrop for a suspense scene. In Petra, during winter solstice, the setting sun creates light and shadow effects around a podium inside Ad Deir, or the Monastery, where the Nabateans held religious festivities for their main god. It’s the perfect spot for Russian villains to stake out our heroes and reinforces the theme that ancient secrets can pose modern threats.”

An avid world-traveler, Centrae has studied aikido, been a river raft guide, and thrives on adventure. She resides in Northern California with her family and German shepherds.

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