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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading debut author's novels or those author's who have not had many reviews thus providing them much needed encouragement 
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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Walker's Vale by John J. Zelenski

Walker's Vale


James Cooper moved his family to Walker's Vale, Pennsylvania, in search of the ideal life. What he got was the just opposite. As this small town's eerie history is revealed and repeated, it's clear the devil is in the details and he's waiting for the Cooper's young daughter. When the FBI come knocking at his door, James quickly realizes that his ideal life may come with a steeper price than he thought. This story of faith, deception, and horror will captivate readers as one man fights for his family's safety and embarks on a journey toward redemption in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.

The Guru's Review: 


I must confess that I was hoping that this novel would be like two other haunted house novels that I have read from Christian authors. These two had similarities and differences but treated the same way using biblical spiritual warfare principles with the end result still the same, evil and demonic forces overcome by the power of Jesus name and the covering of His blood, His Spirit, prayer and faith. That is not a bad outcome at all, just goes to show great creativity within the essence of storytelling and how the Bible supports both these treatments. 

Where my hope was shattered (in a positive way) was the different take on the haunted house scenario that we are used to. While one of the aforementioned novels was based on a demonic entity claiming the house for its own dominion and the other having been invited in for the same purpose, Zelenski has the affected house and the region containing Walker's Vale a mere part of its entire dominion that the demonic force has claimed. I really liked this, as it took the dark forces and spiritual warfare outside the confines of just a house and broadens the scope of this horror and the effects on the whole town that goes back 150 yrs. This is backed up by the prequel (The Journal of Ezekiel Walker), setting the foundation for this larger demonic dominion and story line in Walker's Vale.

Demonic activity is scary due to its very nature and its origin. Zelenski has adhered to this very well in this novella but not to solely scare the reader. I was on the edge of my seat, riveted, totally absorbed and anxious as to what was doing to happen next and when the spiritual warfare was about to occur. While the demonic onslaught was occurring, Zelenski had not given any clues as to why the Cooper family were targeted (apart from being Christian) or what was the connection to the prequel and larger history of Walker's Vale. I wondered if this was going to happen as I was running out of pages, being very aware that this was only 134 pages in length! Zelenski finally delivered and it was a very satisfying ending with all ends tied up well. I actually cried at the end due to the blessing of victory and the miracle that occurred. 

So far in my reading of Christian horror, I am pleased and appreciative that the authors have not glorified the demonic or its horrific manifestations. Neither has Zelenski. Yes, the demonic needs to be described and shown for what it is but only as much as that in order to balance the story line with the clash between good and evil, angels versus demons, God's sovereignty versus satan's pride and arrogance. The same can be said for any inclusion of the angelic. In this novella, I loved the description of the angelic; that they were just as they are in the bible, messengers and warriors. No glorification of them here. In both these descriptions, the authors of Christian horror are honouring God, reinforcing His victory over sin and death and portraying as realistically as possible, the spiritual realm. This shows the spiritual warfare that Christians and non-Christians alike are up against whether we are aware of it or not. To be in the know and aware is where God needs us to be. This is one reason I am glad that Christian authors like Zelenski create novels where my knowledge of spiritual warfare is increased, my faith strengthened while being entertained simultaneously (some would argue that being scared is not being entertained!). Yet, dealing with the demonic in real life is not entertaining either! Serious and sobering stuff!

Zelenski deals with the demonic biblically in this novel using various principles. Ezekiel invokes the Blood of Jesus against the demonic entity. He also shows how long-standing faith in Jesus, as shown by Ezekiel Walker and detested by the demon, prevented this entity from destroying him over the course of the years outlined in the prequel. The author has also shown protection by calling on the name of Jesus during demonic onslaught by Jim when he was first attacked. 

Another element in a Christian's defence against the demonic is having a right relationship with Jesus. Zelenski deals with this by having these strange circumstances bring Jim Cooper to his knees, realising that his failing relationship with Jesus is placing him under attack from this demonic entity. It was refreshing to have him restore his relationship with God, repent of his doubts relating to his marriage and why his daughter has autism. Another element is to have faith in action as exhibited by Maria. She stood firm in the belief that no matter what was going to happen, God was still her protector and she had His peace and assuredness. 

I have only one complaint. The shortness of this tome. I had the same issue with the prequel. I look forward to Zelenski venturing into the arena of full-length novels! 

I am very impressed with the novels and writing of John Zelenski and look forward to his future works. 

I can see why this novella has been optioned for movie rights and is in the process of being made into a movie. It deserves it!

Highly Recommended. 5/5 

World Building 5/5 

Characters 5/5 

Spiritual Level 4/5 

Story 5/5 

Enemy Spiritual Level 5/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

_______________________________________________

Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet,

A Spiritual System for Rating Books by David Bergsland, and that Walker's Vale contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Redemptive Fiction outlined in this booklet, (click on the title below to see what this is based on), I award John Zelenski with 

The Reality Calling Christian Redemptive Fiction Award





Congratulations, John Zelenski!


To read a preview or buy this enthralling novella, click on the Amazon link below.

Walker's Vale

It is also available online at Barnes and Noble, or autographed copies can be purchased from the author from his website at http://www.johnjzelenski.com/.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Author/Novel Spotlight: Devin LaVore

Today I am spotlighting novelist, Devin LaVore. What alerted me to him was not just his Facebook post promoting his debut trilogy, The Covenant Series, but his zeal and enthusiasm regarding being an author, this completed trilogy and his love for God. This zeal is so encouraging and contagious. When I read the synopsis of the first book The Before, I immediately knew I had to buy it and it was this and his zeal that I decided to spotlight him here.

I have yet to read the first book in the trilogy, The Before, but am nonetheless looking forward to it. 

So sit back and allow yourself to experience the zeal and imagination of Devin LaVore. Firstly, let us discover a little about himself: 

Devin: I have a crazy amount of life experiences that I am sure seep into the lines of my writing and help color the worlds I imagine. My first passion is God, and from that integral connection comes forth a myriad of creative things. I love to write about fantastic and supernatural things, but I also like to write about the real world and real challenges and the solutions to those challenges. I believe in the power of the story. It's a non-confrontational, entertaining way of delving into that most precious possession: the heart. Therein lies the true journey, the true peril, and the opportunity for true joy - if we are willing to be honest with ourselves.

In addition, Devin adds: Someone might ask me what would I be doing if money was not an issue? I'm doing it. Writing stories is my passion. Sure there are things I like to do besides writing (especially in the hobby realm), and I go after those things with passion, but to tell a story that might help someone in some way in life is an awesome privilege. I love creating characters and other worlds and being a part of that history of imagination and creativity that helped shape my imagination - and took me to places I'd never seen and showed me worlds I'd never known - all through the pages of written words or movies or tv shows. I LOVE it! And it is my hope that this passion, especially for knowing how awesome God truly is, will spill out of every single book I write :) God bless :)

I asked Devin why he wrote the entire series: 

I have been a fan of science fiction and fantasy and the crazy, awesome stuff the imagination comes up with for as long as I can remember. I ultimately wrote the book to display relationship with God and how awesome, powerful, and dynamically unreligious - and real - it can be, without using earthly religious elements to tell the story. Thus, I took my love for speculative fiction and married it to my passion for Jesus, coupled with my own personal experiences of 22 years, and out came this series called The Covenant Series. It addresses church life, spiritual warfare, relational tension, and how it all affects the heart of a person and their direction in life - all set on the backdrop of another world in another universe, surrounded by technological marvels, intense spiritual experiences, and the ongoing dynamic of family life.

Now let's have a look at each book in The Covent Series, released on October 27, 2016, in e-book and paperback editions (click on the links in the titles to see more from Amazon):

The Before: Birth of the Dreamer (The Covenant Series Book 1)

Designed to fulfil a divine purpose, Eliah Tanon and his family make the hard choice to move to a specialized school, which promises to be a place of hope. Not long after they have settled in, Eliah meets another student who threatens to use his creations for evil.

The Between: Ways of the Wicked (The Covenant Series Book 2)

After the devastation of the Monster, Patrick Tanon, fueled by rage, decides to take justice into his own hands and kill the one responsible for the destruction. During his quest for revenge, Patrick learns the cost of fighting evil on his own and what lies between love and deception.

The Now: Purpose of a Life (The Covenant Series Book 3)

When Nydis Young’s deepest secret is exposed, he finds himself in the middle of a war he didn’t even know existed. As he comes to terms with his new life, Nydis is eager to join in the fight, but the fight will test his ability to trust the very ones who saved him.

After reading this it might be beneficial to read an excerpt, just to get a hint of what to expect, so here is one and the explanation why Devin chose this. This is from The Before, Book 1:

Devin: Even though this particular excerpt happens somewhat deeper into the story, and is the second major dream Eliah receives from Ek'Awd, I picked this one because it's a good representation of the entire Covenant Series. It shows Eliah's connection to Ek'Awd, which is essential to the decisions Eliah makes throughout all five books. And, being that the subtitle of Book 1 is, Birth of a Dreamer, it demonstrates the kinds of dreams Eliah receives from his dynamic union with Ek'Awd.


~~~~~~~~~~~~Start of Excerpt~~~~~~~~~~~~

The War

Season 5: Levan – the White Season
Day: 26
Year: 5797

The sky was a smear of roiling blackness. At the top of a mountain range, looking down upon a narrow valley, Eliah sat on the edge of a cliff, legs dangling, surrounded by thick, red grass. The atmosphere was strangely dim due to the darkness that covered the sky. Light penetrated the sky, but Eliah could not tell what Shift of the day it was.
Behind him stood two mammoth trees towering to the sky like great guardians of Bareeth. Branches reached upward and outward like a million living veins filled with green, red, and golden leaves that lay open like umbrellas. The branches and leaves moved and swayed without the help of the wind, as if alive.
Down in the narrow valley, squeezed between two mountains, two opposing forces faced-off against each other. On the one side: a small band of valiant warriors dressed in red, green, and golden battle armor. From the looks of it, there couldn’t have been more than three hundred of them.
About a quarter of a mile in front of them: certain death. A black mass of soldiers filled the valley floor with the flanks of the army edging up the base of each of the mountains’ sides. Millions upon hundreds of millions covered the desert floor behind the vanguard of the army. Eliah then realized that the oily smoke from the sky was not smoke at all, but another army of winged death. They looked like giant insects with six legs, two enormous pinching claws, and fur covering their segmented bodies. They were clustered together so tightly they blocked out the suns.
Eliah’s heart filled with fear, but not for himself. Though the little army seemed fearless, bold even, Eliah knew that their death was only a few feet away – and he didn’t understand why the little army was about to fight the other army. And then, like a ray of hope shining in his heart, Eliah became intuitively aware of the presence of Bane Salem behind him.
He turned and saw Bane Salem stationed between the two living trees, seated on a Ariylash lion – a creature so large six Bareethans could ride on it comfortably. It was all white with black, glossy eyes, and its mane was thick enough for a child to hide underneath it. Bane Salem’s hair was thick, black, and long, like the mane of the lion; his hair moved as if the waves of the ocean lived inside of it. He had the most beautiful face Eliah had ever seen, and his eyes glowed – one yellow and one blue; his bronze skin glowed like a fire lamp. He was clothed in a white armor, but it appeared to be made of a clothe-like material. A long sword, as long as the lion’s body upon which he rode, stretched out alongside the lion’s body.
Bane Salem reached up into the tree that dangled low over his head and grabbed what Eliah could only recognize as a loaf of bread. Because the foliage was so thick, Eliah could not tell that anything except leaves grew on the trees. Not only was it bread that Bane Salem grabbed from the tree, but it was hot bread as if freshly pulled from an oven. Bane Salem tore off a piece and stuffed it in his mouth. When he chewed, the muscles in his jaws bulged like little mountains pulsating on the sides of his face. He wasn’t afraid of the impending doom below or the darkness above. He didn’t even seem bothered by it.
He looked at Eliah and said, “My friend, would you like one of these? It will help you endure what you must witness.”
Eliah hopped up and ran toward Bane Salem, reaching him within fifty footsteps. He stopped short of the lion’s face – a face so big Eliah felt it could swallow him in one swift gulp. Yet, he knew the creature meant him no harm and was, in fact, a gentle beast.
“Have you come to stop this battle?” Eliah said, heart still frantic with panic.
Bane Salem laughed. “Stop it? I’ve come to win it.”
“Then . . . why are you all the way up here? Shouldn’t you be down there?”
Bane Salem smiled once more and tossed Eliah the bread he’d plucked from the tree. “Eat – and see.”
Eliah hesitated for a second, then tore into the bread with as big of a bite as his 8-year-old mouth could muster. As soon as the moist heat of the dough hit his mouth, his fear disappeared instantly, like a blown out candle, and his heart surged with great courage.
He looked forward and saw what he had not seen before, what must have always been there just beyond the realm of normal perception. Behind Bane Salem a plain as far as the eye could see filled with red, green, and golden-armored warriors riding on the same Ariylash lions, except these lions had swirls of red, brown, and black covering their furry bodies. All of the warriors wielded swords and bows, and other weapons Eliah had not ever seen.
Eliah looked up at Bane Salem and gave a thought. But before Eliah could utter the question, Bane Salem answered his thought with a finger pointed toward something behind him. Eliah turned and saw the surrounding mountains covered with the same soldiers, too many to be numbered, all mounted on their Ariylash lions.
He turned back to Bane Salem with another thought.
Bane Salem pointed again, but this time to a sky filled with white birds as large as the warrior’s lions, hovering over the oily darkness in the sky, and the birds were clad in the same green, red, and golden armor.
Just as the black army seemed to horribly outnumber the little fleet of three hundred standing against it, so did the black army seem like a speck of dust compared to Bane Salem’s army.
“They cannot see me unless I want them to,” Bane Salem said. “They believe they have the upper hand, and they must believe that for their sakes. Their pride is what has led them here, the valley of their doom. But my Bareethan soldiers in the valley will not need to fight against this great horde. They will simply stand by and see the delivering power of my hand.”
“I don’t understand,” Eliah said. “Why did you let me see this?”
Bane Salem swung his leg over the Ariylash’s head and jumped down. He knelt his seven-foot frame down on one knee, getting close to Eliah, almost face-to-face. Bane Salem’s hair continued to sway and flow, and his eyes looked even brighter up close.
“Because, Eliah Tanon, though you are small and young now, the warrior that you saw below, leading the charge against such a great array of adversaries . . . is you!”
Eliah’s knees buckled. He swallowed hard. His head suddenly weighed several thousand pounds. To keep Eliah from falling, Bane Salem cupped his left arm around Eliah’s back and gently pressed his hand to Eliah’s torso. Eliah relaxed into the safety of those arms.
“The vision is a long way off,” Bane Salem said, “but it will come to pass.” He eased another chunk of hot bread up to Eliah’s mouth.
Eliah bit into the bread and felt another jolt of energy, but his heart and mind were still not ready to process Bane Salem’s words.
“This is the fruit of my spirit.” Bane Salem tore another piece from the loaf and gave it to Eliah. “You will need to eat this every day, for a great battle is coming that cannot be avoided – and I am preparing you for it.”
“A battle that I’m not going to have to fight? But . . . why me?”
Bane Salem’s eyes flashed, and his hair began to billow. Eliah didn’t know whether this was passion or anger.
“Why not you?” Bane Salem spoke with increased passion. “Have I not invited you to this? Have I not fitted you for it from birth? If it is me doing the asking, will you lose?” Bane Salem gave a big smile, shining his perfectly straight, glistening teeth. “Who can defeat you when I am at your side? This is why I brought you here. Remember how I showed you, when you were just a 3-Year, how your influence will touch the world?”
Eliah nodded.
“Not everyone in the world will like the touch – and the Withering will still dictate the hearts of those who have positioned themselves to reject me. They will seek to harm you, but I will be with you. I am showing you this beforehand that you may be strong to endure in the coming days. Though the day may seem far off, it will not be late in delivering all that I have shown you.”
Filled with courage from the bread that Bane Salem called fruit, Eliah lowered his head on Bane Salem’s forearm, closed his eyes, and said, “Whatever you want, I will do.”
Those last three words, “I will do,” Eliah caught himself saying aloud as he awoke from the dream.

~~~~~~~~~~~~End of Excerpt~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Before has 2 encouraging and positive reviews from Amazon: 




















If you would like to investigate more of this author and The Covenant Series, you can go to the following social media platforms: 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYZT8Xtvg7ER3k20zp1f10g (This is more my nonfiction side of life, helping people grow in their walk with God)
Website: http://devinlavore.com

Has this whetted your appetite to buy any or all of this series or to read further excerpts? If so, then please click on the BUY or PREVIEW icons below:




Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader of Christian science-fiction/fantasy, supernatural, spiritual warfare, inspirational fiction to consider reading The Covenant Series and submit a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (or any other social media you subscribe to).

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Journal of Ezekiel Walker by John Zelenski


The Journal of Ezekiel Walker




In the wake of light…evil waits. 

In the fall of 1945, just after Word War II, Ezekiel Walker has returned home on a furlough from his Civilian Public Service Unit. As Ezekiel tries to adjust back to life at the farm, strange and unexplainable events begin to occur at the homestead, and Ezekiel begins to experience visions and bizarre sightings. When a stranger suddenly arrives with promises to rebuild the small town of Walker’s Vale and befriend the young Ezekiel, a portal to the supernatural is opened and lives will never be the same.

The Guru's Review: 


I have waited approximately two years to read this prequel. So many times I have looked at it on my Kindle Cloud Reader and Goodreads shelf longing to read it, but have had other books to review by author requests. John has asked me so many times over this period when I would be able to review it. Well, that time has come!

Being the first novel I have read from Zelenski, I must say that he writes competently. As this novella is in a journal style of writing, he has mastered this very well. It tells the story effectively and transports the reader into the post-WWII era. More importantly, into the mind and personality of Ezekiel Walker. I really felt as if I was there with Ezekiel as he was journaling these events. You also experience his faith and relationship with God. That becomes very encouraging. Not only is Zelenski's writing effective in telling this story, but it is his construction of it that results in one suspenseful, action-packed read, engaging, compelling and biblically based.

I have often stated in previous reviews that part of an author's character, personality and relationship with God can be found scattered throughout the story. These are found in characterisation and plot constructs. This is very much the case with this novella. I like what I see here. How much of Ezekiel is based on Zelenski? Author's are encouraged to write what they know. Zelenski has had dealings with the demonic in his own life and this novella may be influenced by this. The next novel, Walker' s Vale is directly based on his past dealings. How much of this personal experience has shaped his relationship with God? How much of his relationship with God has encouraged him to deal with the demonic God's way? From reading this tome, I would say a lot on both of these accounts. I very much appreciate his adherence to biblical, spiritual warfare principles that he has included. This honours God. Using these principles, he shows that anything to do with the demonic can be overcome by 
  • engaging the name of Jesus, 
  • pleading the blood of Jesus 
  • quoting specific bible verses (in this novel, Isaiah 41:10 was used as an example)
  • being open to, and obedient to, the leading of the Holy Spirit 
  • praying before, during and after any demonic activity. 
Zelenski shows that it is God's battle and not ours. He is showing us in this novella that a horror and spiritual warfare story is not worth telling if it is not constructed from a biblical worldview. 

I often state in reviews that I like to see certain criteria in Christian fiction: 
  • it has entertained me 
  • it has encouraged my walk with God, 
  • it has not deviated from known biblical doctrine, and it will not lead a non-believer astray or promote false doctrine, 
  • it honours God, 
  • it does not encourage worship of the created (eg angels) instead of the Creator (God).
Zelenski has achieved all this for me in this novella. Very impressed with his first offering. If this is the standard that he has set for future novels, then I am definitely a fan. 

Highly Recommended. 5/5 Stars 

World Building 5/5 Characters 5/5 

Spiritual Level 5/5 

Story 5/5 

Enemy Spiritual Level 5/5

Overall Rating: 5/5 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet,


A Spiritual System for Rating Books by David Bergsland, and that The Journal of Ezekiel Walker contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Spirit-Filled Fiction outlined in this booklet, I award John Zelenski with (click on the title below to see what this is based on)

The Reality Calling Christian Spirit-Filled Fiction Award




Congratulations, John Zelenski!


To read a preview or buy this enthralling novella, it is available online at Barnes and Noble, or can be purchased and autographed from the author from his website at http://www.johnjzelenski.com/.

Currently not available from Amazon.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Supraphysica by Drew Boudreaux

Supraphysica


For Philip, a sociology student at N.Y.U., January 25th was supposed to be a normal start to the spring semester. That definitely didn't happen. As the day unfolded, he came to faith, unknowingly befriended an angel, and was recruited into a covert project to literally build a new world. The next two weeks were equally paranormal—yet a lot more trying as Philip's newfound faith is stretched nearly to the point of nonexistence.

Join Philip, Encar, and their respective families in this modern story of faith, hope, and love—and a healthy dose of geoscience.

The Guru's Review: 


This is one very promising offering from Boudreaux with this debut novel. I really liked it. I found it entertaining, it kept me wondering what is going to happen next, how are these adolescents/young adults are going to create this new world with all its astronomical logistical issues. On this subject, the author employs his knowledge and experience of geology (his occupation) to address this issue including knowledge of geology's associated fields as well. From this platform, he successfully marries this field of science with faith and how they validate each other. I applaud the author for doing this as it takes courage and conviction to address this issue in a world that is anti-Christian and hostile to what the Bible says on any topic. We need more Christians in the science and medical fields to take a stand like Boudreaux has in whatever way they can to get the message out there, that the evidence of Creation and its Creator is found in this physical world we live in.

I pray that Boudreaux can continue to create novels along these lines. He has a knack for being persuasive and making a compelling case while making the read entertaining and educational.

I am not sure if the author intended to add humour to this tome, but I found it quite funny having the angel Gabriel manipulating physics in various ways to appear as human as possible in walking, eating, drinking. Other authors have not considered this type of manifestation from the supernatural to the physical, they just have their angels take human form and that is it. Even the Biblical account of angels does not, as far as I remember from these accounts therein, address this question of how angels appeared in human form. I was not too fussed on this aspect of the how I just accept that they do appear as fully human for the purpose they do as outlined in this novel. However, I did enjoy the author's take on this, it was very clever. 


I again applaud Boudreaux for the spiritual/biblical aspects of this novel. The Gospel is presented as it is in a testimony type format which is fine as this is one effective way of evangelisation without it being preachy or long-winded. I enjoyed the newly found zeal and enthusiasm that Ryan had from his recent conversion and the change in his emotional, mental and heart attitude. That brought back very fond memories of my own conversion and illustrates how that should not change or diminish as the Christian gets older, not just in a physical sense, but as they experience life in this fallen world. I enjoyed seeing the faith of Philip be challenged as events affecting his mother and father deteriorated and him being thrust into spiritual warfare that resulted in him growing spiritually and learning to trust God as Sovereign. 

I would have liked more of the spiritual warfare to be further developed as I feel this would have not only added more suspense to the plot but showed how spiritual warfare is not just sporadic occurrences in our lives but a continual one as we are encouraged in the Word to always be on guard and ready to fight, to daily put on our spiritual armour etc. It was refreshing seeing Philip's peers encourage him and build into his spiritual life and enable him to grow spiritually. These are good examples of Christian/biblical fellowship and relationship and allowing God to be the author and finisher of their faith, focussing on Philip in this example. 

I have stated in many reviews that I am not one for romance as the general genre but if it is included as a subplot, then I am a happy reader. Boudreaux shows the beginnings of expertise in this area. I also love Christian romance from a male's perspective and Boudreaux can be added to my list of successful male authors who portray romance from a biblical point of view. I found it refreshing that he touched on the sexual temptation/lust that exists in developing adolescents lives and how Philip's male peer was able to assist him in dealing with this from a biblical perspective. Sexuality is one very hot potato in Christian circles as the Church does not handle this well and thus Christians are more affected by the humanistic effects of sexuality than what should be and can be moulded into our lives from the model that God has provided in the Bible and His intention.

There is only one major issue I have with this novel. The ending. Everything leading up to the creation of this new world was exciting and had a great build up, but when the real reason the group built this world was explained, I found it a letdown. Not saying that this reason or the author's message is not valid as to how we have and are treating this planet that God has given us, but it just did not seem to fit into this part of the plot or its build up to the end. However, the description of what the members of the group and notably Encar and Philip planned to do once they have returned to their real world/lives seems to have rescued this let down somewhat.

I can see why Drew has been awarded a Redemptive Speculative Fiction Award by Reality Calling. It is appropriate and I pray that Drew continues to be courageous, daring and faithful in including biblical themes, doctrines, attitudes and discipleship in future novels and using his scientific expertise to show God as God and Creator of this home He has given us to steward and to thwart the false scientific theories that exist to deny the existence of God.


All in all a very impressive debut novel. I look forward to more from this author. I can definitely see that God has not finished with him as a novelist yet!

Strongly Recommended.  4/5 Stars

World Building 5/5

Characters 5/5

Spiritual Level 4/5

Story 4/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 2/5

Overall Rating: 4/5 

To read a preview of Supraphysica or to buy a copy, click on the BUY/PREVIEW buttons below:

Friday, 13 January 2017

Author/Novel Spotlight: James E.Tate

Today I am spotlighting new Christian author, James E. Tate. This was not a difficult decision after discovering his book, I Go To Prepare a Place - An Allegory of Eternity, on Facebook, James being a new author and the book description. I have come across a few novels that deal with Heaven and this one looks like a very well researched one and resplendent with James passion for the Lord and what He promises us once we go to be with Him. I am very much looking forward to reading this novel. 

So let me introduce you to this new, Christian author, James E. Tate. First, let's have a look at his Bio:


I worked for Bell Telephone Company in Oklahoma, Missouri and for Bell Labs in New Jersey. I retired as District Data Systems Manager, and since, have had two of my books published, Tale of Tails with a Thirst for Verse, and I Go To Prepare a Place - An Allegory of Eternity. A few more books are anxiously waiting on the shelf, wondering when I’ll honour them with publication. Over 700 of my articles and poems have appeared in magazines, newspapers and newsletters, and I have served in many capacities in the Fellowship of Christian Writers in Oklahoma, and the Fellowship of Christian Poets in Florida. I’ve taught poetry workshops, and I’ve written prose and poetry columns.

I live in Tulsa with my bride who has stuck with me 68 years. I tell her that if she keeps on doing good, I may keep her around. She is quick to retort, “Don’t you threaten me!” We have a passel of offspring—3 children, 5 grands, 15 greats and two great-greats—as the world turns we keep on counting. Hey, when you’re octogenarians, they add up. We attend church regularly and have filled many church positions down through the years. I still play tennis two or three times a week and ride my mountain bike often. I’m 88 and she’s, none of your business. Thankfully, the Lord has indeed blessed us.


Now let's have a look at I Go to Prepare a Place, released on August 17, 2016, in e-book and printed editions:

Book Description:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)

We can only imagine the delightful environment of Heaven. Its ecstasy is more difficult to describe than a multi-splendored sunrise, or the captivating beauty of a symphony. However challenging it may be, the author grapples with the subject in-depth to provide realistic, although speculative views of this sacred place, while an exciting plot unfolds. Along the way, ordinary people and biblical characters learn answers to many intriguing questions. Imagine timelessness while you consider this thought: Time is a dimension of life awaiting our venture into timeless eternity.

Come along with the protagonist, Travis Taylor, who shows a newcomer, Josh Jenkins, the wonders of Heaven. Josh experiences Heaven’s utopian atmosphere, adjusting quickly, surprising Travis with astonishing perception. The pair meet legendary characters and learn of their joys and sorrows of life. An underlying question nags at their consciousness—why does the universe have so much space and so many galaxies, if not to be used with purpose and meaning? Unknown to the pair in this fictional episode, their involvement is preparing them for an ultimate assignment on distant planets. A place with challenges and many dangers.

Fasten your seat belts for rapid transit, as you go exploring Heaven, then to outer space with these men. Witness their daring exploits, their joyous discoveries, and savor the moment they make a life-changing discovery—an unexpected encounter, incredible and awesome. Don’t be surprised if this novel motivates you to search your soul in your walk of faith. Enjoy.

I asked James why he wrote this novel and he replied:

My initial purpose for writing this novel was to create a desire for heaven, by showing some wonderful things inside the gates of pearl. We all wonder what heaven and the ecstasy of Jesus are like, and in my attempt to whet reader’s appetite to go there, I researched available sources. The Bible, of course, was high on the list. I perused other books and articles on the subject, plus some interesting reports of near-death experiences, with the person getting a peek at the streets of gold. I began to develop a clearer view of this magnificent place called heaven. Those resources, coupled with my own imagination, equipped me to give readers a vicarious feel for this glorious place—especially through the eyes of the protagonist and other characters.

I worried over the book like a dog gnawing a bone, many months while the novel grew. I sent drafts to a few friends and received encouragement, but I was not happy with it. I set it aside, pulling it out from time to time. I tinkered with it a few years and gave it some new titles in the process. It still seemed incomplete. I wondered if God, in his omniscient wisdom had bigger plans for this vast universe—and perhaps for this book. Did He create innumerable galaxies and trillions of stars for special purposes not disclosed to humans? Aha! Outer space! This was what I needed for the second half of the book—a thrilling planetary exploration for some of the main characters. Trips with dangers, intrigues and life-changing discoveries. An odyssey sanctioned by Jesus Himself! I know, that’s a stretch, but this sci-fi twist is an author’s prerogative, right? In eternity and it’s inevitable lengthiness, how else would distant cousins (if they exist) be evangelised? To provide this aspect, my imaginings went into orbit, sailing beyond the horizon, the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and into the unexplored universe. The book grew. Is there a sequel? Maybe.

After reading this it might be beneficial to read an excerpt, just to get a hint of what to expect, so here is one and the explanation why James chose this:

After Travis and Josh spent much joyous time in heaven, they were surprised by a visit from Michael. The imposing archangel helped prepare them for an assignment on distant planets.


---------------Start of Excerpt:---------------

Michael stroked his white beard, partly covering his bronzed cheeks. With a smile in his bright eyes, he said, “As I inferred, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the thought of eternity. With the new and exciting things you will be doing, you won’t have time nor inclination to be bored.

“Some are going to special assignments on Earth after its makeover. Some elsewhere out in the universe. Some noteworthy people have already been given assignments, for example—Moses, Joshua, Daniel, and Philip from Bible days, along with a post-Bible group consisting of Abe Lincoln, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, and Peter Marshall—these and many more are preparing to go soon. The list goes on to include thousands of others.”

“My, my! I don’t feel like being included in a special assignment along with those heavyweights,” Travis exclaimed.

“Have you considered that most of those mentioned felt the same way early on? You will grow into it. And when necessary, you will have Divine help in doing so.

“Now, let’s get on with this discussion. Although some of your past contacts have told you things that helped prepare you, you men need to learn much before venturing to your new assignment on distant planets.”

“Sounds important. Where? When?”

-------------End of Excerpt:---------------

Since its release in August 2016, James seems to have started off with reviews on a good footing. Here are some of them:

Amazon Top Customer Reviews


By Hanna on September 29, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I found this book to be captivating! The intrigue of the story development gives Christians food for thought, and it holds your interest to the end. It is a great read!!


Exciting and realistic view of the possible activities we will have in heaven.
By Rosybook on September 20, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase


I loved the surprising development of the story. Very exciting, entertaining and realistic.


 Five Stars By Janice Edge on September 24, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase


Great read!!!


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Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader of Christian science-fiction/fantasy, supernatural, inspirational fiction to consider reading I Go To Prepare A Place and submit a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (or any other social media you subscribe to).