Video Review: Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem

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Valentine’s Day Book Giveaway!

I wanted to let you guys know that two of my books will be free starting today and ending on the 17th! The first is Blood and Romance and the second is At First Glance.

At First Glance: A Frightening Romance Novel https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008X0NK56/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_umVGAbMERH74E

Blood and Romance: A Book of Poetry and Horror https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042P5DP6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_4mVGAbAWZFY7K

Why Should You Re-Release Old Books?

Time. 
Time has produced new innovations in the world of writing and publishing. In today’s world of publishing authors have more opportunities than ever to showcase their work without traversing through the process of traditional publishing houses. However as many self-published and traditionally published authors can agree, time allows us all to learn from our mistakes and improve ourselves and our writing. With self-publishing it is easier now than ever before to improve on our previous work.
In a month and a half, I will be releasing I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered. This is a three novella series telling the story of Lisa Etron, a seemingly innocent teenage girl with a dark persona bubbling just beneath the surface. I originally published the first novella, I Was A Teenage Killer, in 2010. This story was fun to write, but as the years have gone on i recognize so many grammatical and story based errors that the time to fix it was here. Not only have i and my skills as a writer changed and improved, but the world has changed as well. Whether its our current political climate or the tragedies of our world reshaping our views or the wisdom and strength that comes with age, this book began to feel outdated and in need of serous improvements. So i went through all of the novellas and realized this would make a great remastered novel, and so i began to work.

In the end, i think this remastered book is stronger and more character driven then it ever was before. The themes are more prevalent and the show versus tell style of writing has helped me to improve how the story is conveyed. This is something all authors can do. Our experiences and our understanding of the world can reshape how we view the past, and with the innovation that is online self-publishing it is easier than ever to strengthen the works that came before. I highly encourage any author out there to take the time to reread their books and look to see if time has given them any new insights or views that can improve their work. I hope you guys enjoyed my brief viewpoints on re-releases and book publishing. If you guys want to check out my work for free be sure to sign up for my free newsletter here on my blog, and if you guys are interested in seeing what a remastered book looks like then be sure to preorder your copies of I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered today on Amazon and soon to be available on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and more!
I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0756SVSGD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_wwqRzb0T6F1VC

Interview with Michael Bernhart1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became an author.

A familiar story: Much like the disgruntled admen of Madison Avenue who labor in the evening over their own redemptive great works of fiction, I started on a novel in the mid-80s as an antidote to a bad professional and life situation. This may work as an escape, but it isn’t a guarantor of good literature. The result – in my case – was a peevish, angry half of a book; the hero is unlikeable – as are all the other characters, come to think of it. Thirty years later I’m still trying to salvage that book.

Capitalizing on one advantage, I’ve enjoyed a singularly rich and diverse (and lucky) life. If I were to peal out the list of places I’ve lived and jobs I’ve held it would come across as boasting. It’s not; it’s gratitude, mixed with wonder. (Dumb luck is important.) The consequence is I can draw on first-hand knowledge of life on five continents and a variety of interesting occupations.

2) What would you say is the best description for your series of books based on Max Brown?

I’ve attached the label ‘philosophical thriller’ to the series. Pretentious? Of course. There is dry/wry wit, which seems to be my forte as a writer, and a travelogue-esque element as the settings are unfamiliar – and interesting – to most readers.

3) What inspired you to create this series and delve into this genre in particular?

Evil. Each book explores a different face. Jane Austen famously said it all comes down to love and money. I disagree; there’s more. As we move up the evolutionary ladder the higher-level species show an increasing propensity for dysfunctional mayhem. Animals fight and kill for survival, either as individuals or as a species. Humans often fight for the sheer hell of it, and to their disadvantage. Why? Paradoxically, the modern religions we’ve created – notably Christianity and Islam – take as their starting point that God is omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. How can a caring, ever-present, and all-powerful deity be supervising a world that’s convulsing with outright wickedness? It doesn’t square.

There’s no easy explanation for that inconsistency (called theodicy in religious debate) but I did feel some mileage might be gotten out of a closer look at the wellsprings of evil. Hence, greed, lust, ideology and acculturation are central fixtures in the novels. No answers, but if I got it right the questions may have been framed a little differently than in other novels.

4) If you could sit down for a drink with any character from your books, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Ronnie the Redoubtable Scot, a favorite of many readers. I didn’t treat Ronnie well at the end.

I’d ask Ronnie why he does what he does. He’s dedicated his life to the dangerous and underappreciated task of clearing landmines. One of those noble souls quietly trying to clean up humanity’s messes. And a wise-ass.

5) What would you say is the biggest challenge you face as an author when it comes to gaining a readership and marketing your book?

That is the biggest challenge. Each and every blessed day 2,700 new novels are pushed out on an indifferent reading public. Some of them must be good, but average sales are 250 copies, many to family, friends and the author him/herself. How do you break out of the pack? I have no idea. Writing is a losing proposition.

The big houses talk airily about quality control, but there’s little evidence they practice it (e.g., James Patterson continues to be published). I’d like to think the truly good and innovative literature is coming from the independents. The better reviewer/bloggers – like this one – provide a guide and filter but the number of their followers is typically small. 

Are these counsels of despair? Hell yes. If it weren’t for rampant narcissism no one without a signed deal would write.

6) What advice would you give to any new or aspiring authors out there?

I’d like to tell you to scram; we don’t need more competition. More seriously? Read.

7) Any plans for more books in the Max Brown series or any other books on the horizon?

A very difficult one. One of the fascinating jobs I alluded to above was directing a women’s health program in Jordan. Under the umbrella of women’s health I took a brief run at honor crimes . . . and withdrew from the field, unsuccessful. In the current Max Brown novel his wife has liver cancer which leads them to the ‘red-trade’ of organ harvesting and illegal sales. I tie this to honor crimes where victims are plundered for saleable kidneys, livers, etc. Given these topics, it’s been difficult to keep up the dry/wry wit that has received favorable comment in the past.

This is a picture of the author. Some kind folks at a new age festival captured my aura on their aura-cam. They gushed that it was an exceedingly auspicious aura, and they looked sincere when they said it. At least they didn’t ask for money.

Book Cover Reveal: I Was An Evil Teenager Remastered

Hello everyone! I am so proud to announce that my book, I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered, is now available for preorder. It is available on Amazon for $2.99 and will be available for the same price soon on iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and more. Here is a little bit about the book:
Killer. Zombie. Demon.
Evil comes in many forms, and Lisa Etron embodies them all in I Was An Evil Teenager, the three novella series that explores evil and the ways in which it appears. Author Anthony Avina brings a unique look at the work of Lisa Etron, a seemingly normal teenage girl who harbors a dark secret that threatens to tear apart not only those closest to her, but an entire town as well.
Lisa Etron is the girl next door. Lisa Etron is the most beautiful and popular girl in her school. Lisa Etron is the girl of Dave Trent’s dreams. Lisa Etron is a demented killer, hellbent on chaos and murder, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve those two goals. While a seasoned detective works to solve the mystery of a series of brutal murders, Lisa plans a deadly killing spree that threatens to destroy those who have made the mistake of loving her. 
This remastered edition of the book updates the story and brings a deep dive into the battle between good and evil. Showing the lengths in which evil is willing to go to to tear people down, and the way in which people use hope and love to overcome that evil, this novel features the combined novellas of I Was A Teenage Killer, I Was A Teenage Zombie and I Was A Teenage Demon. 
A twisted horror saga like no other, this series follows one group of people who must survive the twisted mind of a killer who refuses to go away and let them live happy lives. In this one of a kind novel, discover whether or not evil ever truly dies…
In honor of the book preorder, I wanted to share with you guys the official book cover reveal. I spent a long time designing this cover and hope it captures the essence of the books. I’d love for you guys to share this book cover on Twitter and Instagram. If you do tag me (@AuthorAAvina on Twitter, @authoranthonyavina on Instagram), and use the hashtag #EvilTeenager or #EvilTeenagerRemastered and I will share your posts on my social media feeds and feature you guys in my upcoming videos on my YouTube channel, Avina Vlogs. Thanks guys, and stay tuned for more information on this book release in the months to come. I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered is due to release on October 20th, 2017! Preorder your copies today!
http://amzn.to/2vHLlhN

USNA: The United States of North America Books One and Two by Harry Kalensky, Davey Longworth, Allan Stanleigh 

In a world where politics has taken a much larger role than ever before, politically charged works of fiction are becoming much more prevalent. One such book stuck out to me, and that was the graphic novel series USNA: The United States of North America. In both books one and two of the series, the future is dominated by advanced technology and a continent formed into one nation, and a small group of rebels who hope to return their nation to the people, and not the military council that now rules. Here is the synopsis:


An action filled multi-character drama, this graphic novel tells about a time in the future when our two great countries, Canada and the United States, have amalgamated and there is a growing discontent. Family farms have been replaced by huge corporate farms that exploit the bulging prison populations for labor. Severe drought has led to food shortages and rationing in the cities. Young adults are being conscripted to fight in the Cent-Am wars while a groundswell of rebellion is building. The rebels want to return to a time when the policies of the government represented the best interests of the people, not the best interests of those who govern. To lead their movement, the rebels are planning the return of their leader, the exiled former prime minister of Canada, Samuel Stern. To combat this threat, a new organization has been created by the administration of USNA. It’s a covert homeland security force: the Strategic Home Alliance Defense Organization (S.H.A.D.O.). Operating on the fringes of the law, their mission is simple: locate and eliminate any rebel activity using deadly force if necessary. This is the story of the people’s fight against tyranny in our own backyard.


A mixture of science fiction, political fiction and espionage thriller, this story showcases a future where two nations become one, and the rule of law makes corporations the dominant force, not the lower class who help build businesses or the farmers who’s entire lives depend on the land they farm. This graphic novel series does a fantastic job of showing multiple points of view, from the naive widow who is shown the real world for the first time to the optimistic rebel leader to the tough as nails military general who is as ruthless as he is cunning. 


The artwork in this graphic novel is beautiful, bringing a sort of noir realism like Frank Miller’s Sin City to a fast-paced, action packed world where boarders have all but evaporated on our continent. The plot is both familiar and new, exploring a new topic but giving a reassuring formula of a small, ragtag group of rebels who must become heroes to free the people under the corrupt thumb of a military based government. 
Overall, this is a must read graphic novel series, which showcases the lengths a government may go to exert control over a nation and the strength of the men and women who yearn to give freedom back to the people. USNA: The United States of North America is a wonderful series from a talented group of writers and artists who I hope to see more work from in the future. Pick up your copy of USNA: Books One and Two today!
USNA: The United States of North America https://www.amazon.com/dp/098097013X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_X.-MzbPXS8CK8

Barking Madness by Ryan Hill

A psychological horror story unlike any other, Ryan Hill’s Barking Madness explores the psychology of teenagers in today’s world while also analyzing the psychology of a person experiencing a supernatural event, and does so with vigor and passion. Here is the synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Rosetta Harper is plagued by nightmares of a masked man. With her father’s new career move, her family has just relocated from Florida, to the small New England town of Ashwood, a quiet town and close-knit community where you know your neighbors, and trouble is a word unspoken. But soon after her arrival, both Rosetta’s world and the worlds of her classmates come crashing down.

Michael hates his family and feels alone and unloved. He only finds comfort when he’s with his friends, but even they get on his nerves. Everything about Ashwood and his life bores him, until Rosetta Harper moves into town. With her as a new classmate, Michael finally gets the excitement he was looking for, but it may be at too high a cost…
Overall this is a great story. The author does a marvelous job of bringing to life the struggles of the average teenager, and showcase the mindset teens have when facing larger than life problems. The only criticism I have would be that the novel could have benefitted from less lengthy chapters. The story was strong enough to stand on it’s own, but in several instances the story would delve into too much detail, and would have been better off leaving things to the reader’s imaginations. 
I did enjoy this story. It was an edge of your seat thriller with characters the reader can either identify with or can associate with people close to them. The small town life these teens have mixed with the supernatural and psychological horrors of the story make this a fascinating read. I will say as a word of warning that this book does delve into mental illness within the story, and showcases how teenagers sometimes view it. While true to today’s world, the less than politically correct viewpoints of the characters at time could be triggering to those who struggle with mental illness. Despite this, the story was a fun, intense thriller with a heart-pounding conclusion you guys won’t want to miss, so be sure to check out Ryan Hill’s Barking Madness, available now!
Rating: 8/10
http://www.pulsepub.net/barking-madness.html