Author Anthony Avina's Blog

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

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

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always written. The first story I ever wrote was a sequel to Return of the Jedi after I saw that film as a little kid. I didn’t want the story to end. So, I kept it going. After my parents divorced, I started writing song lyrics every night to help me fall asleep. That’s when I first discovered how cathartic writing could be. I based the structures on all the lyrics I read on the liner notes of my cassette tapes. But it wasn’t until I graduated from high school, when I realized I was sick of playing in punk rock bands that I started taking my writing very seriously. I realized writing was how I communicated with the world, and I wanted to do that directly. I didn’t want my audience to have a mediated experience. I’ve modified that stance since then, but I’ve never not considered myself a writer since then.

2)     What inspired you to write your book?

The Adversary’s Good News was inspired by seeing a copy of Dante’s Inferno one morning. A roommate of mine had left it on the kitchen table. I’d recently finished my first novel, and I was looking for a new project. I took one glance at that book, and I realized, I’ve had visions of the afterlife. I want to write that story.

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

I want readers of The Adversary’s Good News to think about life and love and the value of both.

4)     What drew you into this particular genre?

With The Adversary’s Good News, I didn’t start with any particular genre in mind. As the story went on, I realized more and more that it was a kind of horror story. Since that was where the writing had naturally taken me, I decided to embrace it. I went back and reread Stephen King, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz for inspiration (in addition to the classics I was reading to help me construct a literary version of hell – Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost). Once it was done, and I took a closer look at it, I decided it was its own kind of genre, which I refer to as “Literary Horror.”

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

If I could sit down with any character in my book, I’d sit down with Evius. As the impetus for the entire cavorting story, I’d want to know what makes him tick, why he acts the way he does. Why does he lead Christian on this journey through the afterlife, and is there any reason to his rhymes? Also, I’d like to know who he actually is. What’s his name? Where does he come from? Who is he, really?

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

Facebook and Instagram have definitely been the most instrumental. Each site has its own values, and its own abilities. But I’ve heard back from specific readers on both sites who have discovered my books there.

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

Don’t give up. Find a story you believe in. Write it and promote it. It’s worth getting your voice out there. It’s what “we” do.

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

More writing. Always. I have a new collection of poetry scheduled for release this summer. It’s called We Are the Underground, and I’m very excited about this collection. It includes my “Zodiac” cycle, which contains one poem for every sign in both the Western and Chinese zodiac systems; although, true to form for me, which one is which is not always the easiest to spot. That’s what I think makes the cycle so interesting, trying to figure out which poem represents you and your sign. Poems from this collection have recently appeared in The Stray Branch and Badlands Literary Journal. If this collection sounds like something you’re interested in, I urge you to join my mailing list at: As a mailing list member, you’ll know precisely when We Are the Underground is released, and I’ll send you a link to purchase. Also, when you join, you’ll get a free copy of my selected poems in the member’s only collection Lunar Surfaces.

Author Bio:

Israfel Sivad is originally from Whittier, CA. He is the founder of Ursprung Collective, which has been referred to as “fantastic brain food” on ReverbNation. His first novel, Crossroads Blues, has been compared to the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Palmetto Review).​​ His second novel, The Adversary’s Good News, was a finalist for the 2016 Chanticleer Paranormal Book Award. His stories and poems have appeared in the Santa Fe Literary ReviewThe Stray Branch and Badlands Literary Journal.


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In honor of the upcoming blockbuster event of the year, (Avengers: Infinity War), it’s time to check out one of the influences for the film, Infinity by writer Jonathan Hickman. The story explores a major Marvel event, where Thanos begins a galactic war as the Avengers fight both in space and on Earth. Here’s the synopsis:

The year’s most anticipated blockbuster cosmic event is here, as the Marvel Universe marches towards Infinity! The mad titan Thanos makes his world-shattering return, and his armies fire the opening shots of a galactic war that will be fought both on Earth and in deep space – with our heroes caught between both battles! As Thanos’ secrets are revealed, the Inhumans’ city of Attilan falls, and the Illuminati find themselves on the front line! And as every Origin Site on Earth goes active, the Builders enter the Marvel Universe. But can the Avengers return to Earth in ti me to save it, when betrayal in the Galactic Council has left them prisoners of war? Galactic empires will fall as Thanos’ crazed plans come to fruition!

Collecting Infinity #1-3, Avengers #18-20, New Avengers 9-10.

The graphic novel does an excellent job of bringing the larger than life scale of the threat of Thanos to life. The story of Thanos and his Black Order is a unique addition to the Infinity saga, adding new threats and a much more powerful army to Thanos that the Avengers must face. The artwork is beautiful, integrating the various factions of the Marvel Universe. We see the beginning of the fall of Attilan, the Inhumans Kingdom after Thanos begins his conquest of Earth. We get a taste of the influences for the upcoming film in the MCU, and got to witness the ruthlessness and villainy of Thanos.

Overall I loved this comic book. The maturity and graphic nature of this particular story kind of helped establish the stakes of the fight between the Avengers and Thanos. A story of manipulation, power and hope, this was an amazing story to read. If you guys haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of Infinity: Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman today!

Rating: 10/10


Today we are going to be diving head first into a highly acclaimed novel from a well established author. A young woman finds herself fighting for her life in author Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds. The first of the Darkest Minds series, the book does an excellent job of creating a dystopian YA world filled with pain, loss and hope. Here’s the synopsis:

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

This novel does an excellent job of showcasing the struggles of a society divided between children and adults. A mixture of Marvel’s The Runaways and X-Men with a YA twist, the books pull at the heartstrings as you explore the emotional stories of not only Ruby, but the kids she meets along her journey. Hesitant to know or trust anyone, she must quickly learn what the world is like after this epidemic since she’s been locked up and find a way to find peace before she’s thrust into a battle she wants no part of. The characters are what really pull you into this world. While the incredible backstory and mythology the author creates is engaging, the personal stories and relationships between the characters are what keep you hooked until the final page of the novel.

Overall this was a fantastic story. A great first introduction into a YA Dystopian series, The Darkest Minds does an excellent job of creating vivid imagery that depicts a nation torn apart by this mysterious illness, a hatred towards the children lucky enough to survive and a failing economy that leaves entire towns empty. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging tale, and if you haven’t yet you have to pick up your copy of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken today!

Rating: 10/10

Hi there my friends. I’m honored to once again be hosting a guest post from the incredible website BetterHelp. The post they’ve put together for you guys is near and dear to my heart, as Bipolar Disorder affects someone I love and care for dearly. I may talk about that in a separate post, but for now I hope this post will help anyone suffering from Bipolar Disorder or anyone who knows and loves someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Take special care to read the article and click the links, especially if any of you feel you need help in this regard. Thank you once again to BetterHelp for this amazing guest post, and I hope you all will enjoy it.

Anthony Avina


You may know it as manic-depressive disorder, but it is typically now referred to as bipolar disorder. This is a serious mental health disorder that affects close to three percent of the United States population. Bipolar disorder is a double-edged sword in that it causes both severe depression and mania or hypomania, which is an extremely high mood. There are several types of bipolar disorder, including bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by having at least one manic episode that lasts at least seven days and is followed by a depressive or hypomanic episode. Those with bipolar I disorder can also have psychosis, which is a period when emotions and thoughts are impaired so much that you are no longer able to tell what is real and what is not real. This sometimes includes hallucinations.

Bipolar II Disorder

This condition consists of having more than one period of depression and a period of hypomania but no manic episode. Hypomania is a less severe type of mania that causes some manic episodes but you can still perform your daily activities. Many people with bipolar II disorder are mistakenly diagnosed with depression because they do not consider the hypomania a part of the disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, is a milder type of bipolar disorder. With this disorder, you will have both depression and hypomania on and off for several years but it will not get severe enough to affect your daily life. It is called cyclothymic disorder because you cycle through high and low emotions over and over again. This condition is rare and only affects less than one percent of the American population.

How You Can Tell if You Have Bipolar Disorder

Even though the signs of bipolar disorder can vary from person to person, there are some that are common in all patients. These symptoms include:


  • Not sleeping
  • Talking louder, faster, and more often than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Trying to do more than you can handle (overbooking yourself)
  • Extreme behaviors such as gambling, unprotected sex, spending money that you cannot afford
  • Drinking in excess or using illegal drugs
  • Rapid thoughts


  • Feeling sad, despondent, and helpless
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Anger or aggression
  • Crying bouts for no obvious reasons
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Memory lapses
  • Thoughts of suicide

Risk Factors

According to experts, bipolar disorders are genetic, but they can also be affected by environmental issues like constant and extreme stress, lack of sleep for long periods of time, addiction to alcohol or drugs, physical abnormalities in the brain, and/or chemical or hormonal imbalances.


The treatment for bipolar disorder includes medications such as a tricyclic antidepressant, an atypical antidepressant, monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). In addition, those with bipolar disorder should talk to a therapist on a regular basis. This is important because some of the medications can become less effective over time and your therapist will be able to tell just by talking to you if you need to switch your dosage or medication. If you do not have a therapist to talk to or you are too busy to find the time to make an appointment, you can find a professional on Just click here to talk to someone, with no appointment necessary.

A breathtaking and artistic song that explores the complexity of mental health and the hardships those who suffer from it must endure, the French baroque pop band Breakfast At Your Place brings a classical pop flair to an all too important topic.

Now as a trigger warning, I must tell you that this song does deal with the theme of mental illness, so if this is something that may trigger you, be warned.

I loved this song. The dream like melody was both haunting and lovely all at once. The band reminds me a lot of artists like Lindsay Sterling, who bring a modern pop sound to the classical music realm. The battle most people have to endure with mental illness is quite literally a battle, one that can become overwhelming to those suffering from it. To those on the outside they will never be able to fully comprehend what people they care about suffer through, and this song expertly conveys that while showing this magical world that this young girl suffering from mental illness escapes to inside her mind.

This was a great single. Beautiful, sometimes tragic but always emotional, this fantastic hit explores the complexity of mental health in ways very few artists these days can. The song itself is both wonderfully sung and filled with amazing music. If you guys haven’t make sure to grab your copies of Visions by Breakfast At Your Place today!



Visions – Breakfast at Your Place
Released: 3 March 2018
Songwriters: Julien Barnu, Natacha Colmez
Singer: Alexia Papineschi
Producer: Julien Barnu
Visions is a single by French baroque pop band Breakfast at Your Place. It mashes acoustic cello and electronic sounds for an airy and dreamy sound. It tells the story of a disturbed girl who finds refuge in an enchanted world of dreams and hallucinations.
Visions was written by Breakfast at Your Place keyboardist Julien Barnu and Breakfast at Your Place cellist Natacha Colmez, who is also a member of the Paris National Orchestra.
The singer, Alexia Papineschi, is a French comedian and dubber that joined the group in 2017. She’s the French voice of Cinderella in the 2015 Disney film.

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

The wonderful children’s book author BCR Fegan has struck gold once again with his newest release, Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32. The beautiful artwork combined with the heartwarming tale gives families everywhere a new classic children’s book in the making. Here’s the synopsis:

The magical Hotel of Hoo is a mysterious place with some very unusual occupants. As our guests explore the strange hotel, they are invited to experience everything it has to offer with just one warning… don’t ever look behind door 32.

This imaginative picture book aims to take children beyond the first ten cardinal numbers, and introduces them to the patterns of counting in a fun and accessible way. With rooms to explore and unique objects to count, children will enjoy lingering on each page as they make their way closer to the forbidden door.

The story is one of the most unique tales I’ve read in the children’s book genre. The various rooms of this hotel are filled with interesting creatures that make you feel like you’re reading a classic fairy tale. The story allows children to learn things such as counting, following the rules and more, all important lessons any parent would love to teach their children. The artwork itself reminds me of modern day films children adore, such as Despicable Me and Coraline.

Overall this was a wonderful read. Filled with childlike wonder, adventure and a fantastic educational tool to help drive the children’s imagination and learning skills, this book is a must read for parents and children alike. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by BCR Fegan today!

Rating: 10/10



BCR Fegan is an award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.

Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.

As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.


The powerful Amazon warrior Wonder Woman returns in her first DC Rebirth graphic novel, Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Lies. Written by Greg Rucka, the graphic novel finds Wonder Woman with two sets of memories, and in search for the truth. Here is the official synopsis:

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

New York Times best-selling writer Greg Rucka returns to Wonder Woman! After suffering an unimaginable loss, Diana must rebuild her mission as Earth’s ultimate protector and champion. However, in the midst of her grief, her Lasso of Truth stopped working! Start down the rabbit hole as dark secrets from Wonder Woman’s past unravel her present!

From the ashes of DC Universe: Rebirth, critically acclaimed writer Greg Rucka along with illustrator Liam Sharpunveil a tale that will forever alter the DC icon in Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies!

Collecting: Wonder Woman 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, Rebirth

The incredible work done in this graphic novel is truly breathtaking. The strength and courage Diana displays as Wonder Woman showcases both the emotion and power women can emulate all at once, while also exploring the larger DC Universe as a whole. The latest incarnation of the DC Multiverse introduces the dark new version of The Cheetah, Wonder Woman’s friend turned hated enemy. Showing the horrors of her origin, Cheetah may be Wonder Woman’s only hope of finding her home. The way the writer showcases the affect of the multiversal changes to DC Comics on Wonder Woman is a brilliant stroke of storytelling, and the art is incredibly vivid. The lush environments seem to just pop off of the pages, and the wider conspiracy teased in the pages of this graphic novel make for a compelling and edge of your seat story.

Overall this was an incredible read. Filled with classic Wonder Woman and DC Comic goodness, the story highlights the strength and wisdom of the character, all while showing off the long standing affects of multiverse changes. If you have’t yet pick up your copy of Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Lies by Greg Rucka today!

Rating: 10/10

Greg Rucka (Writer), Liam Sharp (Artist), Jodi Wynne (Letterer), Matthew Clark (Penciller), Sean Parsons (Inker), Laura Martin (Colorist), Jeremy Colwell (Colorist)


A gritty graphic novel showing the darker side of the Marvel Universe, writer Brian Michael Bendis brings to life one of the world’s most beloved characters in recent years, Jessica Jones. The story of a woman with a haunted past and a dark secret comes to life in this amazing noir style graphic novel. Here is the synopsis:

After a decade, Jessica Jones is back in her own solo series! A lot has changed in the Marvel Universe and there are many secrets hiding in the shadows – secrets only a special woman like Jessica Jones can hope to uncover. Alias Investigations is open for business, and of all the many mysteries to discover, her new case may be the most dangerous one! This blistering new series is filled with haunting revelations from Jessica’s past, and answers to some of the biggest questions about the new Marvel NOW! universe! From Jessica Jones’ original creators comes an all-new chapter in the world-famous private eye’s ongoing adventures!


I loved this graphic novel. The series brings the gritty nature so many fans have fallen in love with over the course of two seasons on the Netflix series of the same name, while also incorporating the larger Marvel Universe in new and unexpected ways. Twists and turns take Jessica on a lonely journey, alienating not only her friends and allies, but the man she loves as well. Filled with humor, action and a budding mystery within the Marvel Universe, this comic brings the story like only Jessica Jones could. Arguably one of the most complex and strong female characters in the Marvel Comics Universe, the artists and writers did a fantastic job of breathing life into the hero. Exploring a multiversal mystery uncovered by Jessica and a complicated family dispute all while working on her latest case, Jessica is shown in a very real, volatile and emotional state that readers will instantly fall in love with.

Overall this was a wonderful story, filled with passion, superhero goodness and a powerful character you can really invest in. If you guys haven’t pick up this incredible graphic novel Jessica Jones Vol 1: Uncaged by Brian Michael Bendis today!

Rating: 10/10

Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Michael Gaydos (Artist), Matt Hollingsworth (Colourist), Cory Petit (Letterer), David W. Mack (Cover Artist)


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

A surreal and thrilling blend of science fiction, horror and westerns comes to life in author Lynn Steigleder’s novel Terminal Core. A group of ragtag fighters with haunted pasts must put aside their mistrust of one another to save the human race and their dying world. Here’s the official synopsis:

Aon, a solid core planet made from the priceless and most dense element in the galaxy, caladium, is under silent attack. Plans are made by off-worlders to dissolve the unbreakable core using crude oil obtained from 19th century earth. Once the oil is refined, the byproduct, gasoline, will soften the caladium, allowing it to be collected. It is soon discovered the core is made from living beings created from caladium itself. The off-worlders employ a band of corrupt inhabitants to carry on this work. They find themselves in a constant struggle with a small coalition of Aonians bent on saving their home world. Both factions clash with the indestructible core creatures. With horrendous beasts one step behind and deadly pitfalls ahead, the coalition struggles to finish its journey, hoping to insure their races’ survival.

I absolutely loved this read. The blend of the science fiction setting with some pretty vicious and horrific creatures that made it feel like a creature feature horror story. The inclusion of the western style setting helped integrate the characters well, with each one harboring a dark secret that could easily turn friend into enemy or foe into ally. The complex western world was filled with backstabbing, lying, cheating and death, making this an intriguing read to say the least. The book itself flowed smoothly, keeping an even pace throughout. One of the biggest highlights however was the extensive world building, shifting the story from the planet Aon to the western age of 1800’s Earth and beyond.

Overall this was a fantastic read. Full of life, death and adventure, this was a unique and creative read that cannot be missed. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of Terminal Core by Lynn Steigleder today!

Rating: 8/10