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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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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Author/Novel Spotlight: Sean Young

Today, I am spotlighting Christian novelist, Sean Young. He contacted me via this blog requesting a review of his new novel, To Fear the Dawn. When I checked out the link to his Amazon author page, I made a surprise discovery. I recognised one of his previous novels, Violent Sands. I read this many years ago and loved it. Good news is that this novel will be revised and released as a trilogy. I am looking forward to reading this new edition later this year. 

So now that I have been reunited with one of my previous authors, I wanted to find out more about him and this new novel. To Fear the Dawn. So let's get started. First, a little about Sean: 

Sean Young blends his life-long love of novels with a strong Christian worldview to produce gripping thrillers anchored in a Biblical core. A thirst for adventure and deep personal faith create his unique brand of action-packed page turners that make the reader's pulse race, while quietly shining the good news of the gospel and remaining free of profanity and offensive sexual scenes that have become so prevalent in modern fiction.

His first novel was a seven hundred page Historical Suspense Thriller that took three years to write. This was first published first in the USA, and then in Europe where it was translated into Spanish.

Sean lives with his wife and two children in Surrey, England. 

Now let's have a look at To Fear the Dawn. which was released on January 3, 2017, in the Kindle format at Amazon:

In a world of religious freedom, he found it easy to ignore the light. But the coming darkness will be far less forgiving.

"If you like political intrigue, conspiracy in the halls of power and a sizzling plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, then you’ll love Sean Young’s powerful portrayal of a world on the verge of cataclysm."

When Nicholas Gallagher, spots an opportunity he grabs it with both hands. The self-made billionaire has just learned information that could save a lucrative business deal — but he didn’t realise his newfound knowledge would change the world as he knew it. It turns out Nicholas has unwittingly crossed a dangerous group of financiers, united in a mystical faith, who have quietly taken over the banks, the media, and even the laws that could protect him.

Before he can take action, his accounts are frozen and he is branded a murderer in the international press. Just when Nicholas thinks all hope is lost, help comes in the form of a priest with a sinister past. Could this canny ally be the only thing that keeps him alive?

In a treacherous adventure that takes him across the globe, the former billionaire has one chance to reveal the truth, to save himself, his family, and all humanity from a holocaust that could shake civilisation to its very core.

I asked Sean why he wrote the To Fear the Dawn and whether there are any Biblical themes:

The theme revolves around God's sovereignty. His will comes to pass despite all of mankind's best efforts to thwart Him. On a micro-level Nicholas, my protagonist is an atheist who has no interest in God. However, God has his number and everything Nicholas does - every direction he turns - he is forced to face the truth until he can no longer ignore it. 

On a macro level, consider the Babylonian empire in Old Testament times. The greatest political and military force the world had ever seen was little more than a pawn in God's hands used to turn His people back to Him. While Babylon does not feature in this book per se, it is the Biblical narrative from which I drew my antagonist for To Fear The Dawn.

I enjoy writing characters who find themselves on the cusp of faith in Jesus; people who have been confronted with God's truth but who have not yet embraced it or who have not yet allowed God to transform their lives in any meaningful way. There is a brutal honesty in these characters that simply makes them more interesting to me as a writer. They simply don't know, what is or is not acceptable in western Christian culture. They say and do inappropriate things without even realising how another might judge their behaviour or find it offensive. I enjoy exploring how God brings about that change as we slowly morph from the old into the new.

It's just a personal preference as a writer. While I acknowledge that there is plenty to explore in that seasoned Christian stereotype who has learned to adhere to the socially accepted norms of church culture, I simply find such characters less interesting. As such, most of my protagonists are people on a journey to faith rather than stalwart believers.

To Fear The Dawn deviated from that slightly as one of its protagonists is a priest (seasoned Christian stereotype) who is forced to confront a rather sinister past. This character was supposed to play second fiddle to the main protagonist but, I confess, he actually stole the show for me. In this character, I found an opportunity to explore that aspect of our Christian walk where we are confronted with our past; those things that we know are sinful but with which we still privately struggle despite our best efforts to live the life God has called us to.

For most of us, these issues are relatively easy to hide from those around us. They may be lustful thoughts or a propensity for gossip - or maybe an overly materialistic attitude. All of these can be tempered and easily hidden behind a Christian facade at church on Sunday. But what happens when the issue an individual struggles with is a far more destructive or socially unacceptable one? Does that make them a lesser Christian? My second protagonist was such a character and I revelled in exploring the often questionable choices he made - and guilt after the fact - when he was thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

If what you have now read has whetted your appetite for more, here is an excerpt and Sean's reason for choosing it: 

I chose this scene because it shows the protagonist at his absolute weakest. Nicholas Gallagher is a man who is accustomed to being in full control of his own destiny. Atheism comes easily to him in such a position. Suddenly, all that control is stripped away and he is thrust into a situation where others determine every aspect of his life; when he eats, when he sleeps, his freedom -  even his very life and death are in the hands of his captors. 

While God did not bring about the circumstances in which Nicholas finds himself, He will use the situation to bring about His purposes. Even though Nicholas doesn't realise it yet, his rebirth has already begun. This is the start of a journey that will lead Nicholas, spiritually, to the place God wants him to be.

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

Nicholas awoke at the distant sound of a clanging door. He opened his eyes, but it made little difference. He could barely see the edge of his bed in the shadowy cell. The slits between the bars on his door were little more than slightly lighter shades of black. There may have been a moon outside, but the prison's interior was like a dank cellar with the door fastened shut. He could hear, however. Things moved in the night and he'd learnt to sleep lightly. Even now, he could hear the scuttling of tiny feet as some sort of unidentifiable vermin moved about the floor.

He shivered slightly and pulled the sack-like prison blanket to his shoulders. It smelled like dirty socks and provided all the comfort of sandpaper. Prison was certainly the great equaliser, he reflected bitterly. All his money and power outside were worthless to him in here.

Nicholas had heard about the corruption inside prisons, but so far had experienced none. The guards had refused to treat him any differently from the rest of the prisoners and had become openly hostile at even the hint of a bribe. He hadn’t been allowed so much as a telephone call outside his legal rights.

If anything, they seemed more ruthless with him than most of the other criminals in the establishment and had taken pleasure in taunting him with the threat of bringing some of the more hardened criminals to visit his cell in the night.

Nicholas understood all too well, what such a visit might mean. The thought terrified him, but so far, their threats had been empty. On two occasions, the night staff had woken him in the small hours by jiggling keys in the lock. They had rattled the door to his cell, but it had been nothing more than their sick idea of a joke.

He refused to give them the satisfaction of showing his fear, but he'd cowered under his blanket, waiting for the moment to pass. The worst part of prison was how powerless it made him feel.

He'd discussed the incidents with his lawyer, but the man had told him to keep quiet about it. A complaint laid with the warden would achieve little, as Nicholas had no proof. It would merely be his word against that of the guards. In fact, such a complaint might even annoy them enough to want to teach him a lesson and invite more serious aggression.

“The best thing you can do is keep quiet and show no fear.” Those had been Jason Kreely’s words.

But you’re not the one stuck in a cell while potential rapists rattle the keys outside your door.

He longed for Jessica. Not a minute went by that he didn’t think of her. Jason had advised against bringing her to the prison, even in visiting hours. The mere sight of her would cause enough jealousy among the guards and other inmates to make Nicholas a target. The price of marrying a supermodel.

Nicholas had been incredulous at the outlandish statement, but Jason Kreely had been firm. “Forget everything you understand about human nature, Nicholas. These people have no moral compass; that’s why they’re here. And remember, the guards are not much better than the inmates. There is very little difference between the two. Don’t give them a reason to bully you. If you do, they will torment you until you break under the strain and then silence you before you have a chance to speak.”

“Why can’t you get me out of here?” Nicholas had been on the verge of tears. It was unlike him, but weeks of stress and constant threats on his body and very life were beginning to take their toll. Not to mention the fact that he stood to spend the best years of his life in prison.

Nicholas had to constantly remind himself that not everyone was his enemy. He'd actually fired Jason at one point and accused him of conspiring with the courts against their case, before coming to his senses and apologising. Jason had been gracious and never mentioned the incident.

The idea of a conspiracy still hovered over Nicholas like an oppressive tyrant. He was unable to shake the idea that other prisoners were watching his every move as if waiting to strike the moment a chance presented itself. He tried to convince himself that they were merely curious of the newcomer, but it was impossible.

He felt like one fighting the tide. Willow's documents had vanished and so had his witnesses, the policemen he'd given the documents to. He had considered mentioning the Anglican minister to Jason but was afraid that Kanabas might meet the same end as the policemen. Decklin Kanabas was his only hope and Nicholas refused to risk giving him up to the people who had put him in prison and sealed his fate.

One thing prison had taught him was to trust nobody. He wouldn’t even risk a phone call, as his movements and conversations could be monitored far too easily inside the prison walls. When the time came, he would contact Kanabas, but not before.

Nicholas knew enough about the law to know that he needed to be proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt. It was a long shot, but if a priest could testify and be convincing enough to a judge – even one who was perhaps less than impartial – he still had a chance.

Footsteps interrupted his thoughts. Three or four sets. He held his breath as they approached his cell. They stopped outside and once again, he heard the keys jingling, searching for the lock.

He had played out the scenario every night since the first incident and knew what he needed to do. With quivering hands, he reached for the loose slat carefully positioned near the top of his bed within easy reach. All the while, he wished fervently that this was just another sick prank on the part of the guards.

The slat had been easily concealed. It had, in fact, been a handle from a broken broom. Nicholas had been told to get rid of the item and had quietly slipped the handle down his collar and the upper part of his right leg. One became inventive in prison. It had taken several nights of scraping, but he had managed to sharpen the broken end to a point and kept it hidden under his mattress.

“Kom ryk seun, come rich boy. It’s time to work for your money.” Constable van Rensburg. Nicholas recognised the guard’s voice. The man had tormented him from the moment he’d arrived.

Several chuckles echoed in the darkness. Some were the voices of guards, but others were of a more sinister timbre that bore the mark of prison inmates.

The keys rattled in the lock once more. Nicholas closed his eyes tightly. Then he heard the click. This was no joke, he realised. This time he faced the real thing.

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

To Fear the Dawn has a good ranking on Amazon: 

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,625 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

And some very positive and encouraging reviews. Here is just a sample:

To read more go here: To Fear the Dawn Reviews













on January 26, 2017
Just finished reading this book and was super impressed at author Sean Young's ability to hold my ADD brain's attention span captive. It's definitely the kind of book that you need to block out some time to read. While there are many changes of settings with characters on the run, overall, I felt like the passage through the plot was realistic. The premise at the beginning seems a bit out there, but, the farther you read, the more plausible it becomes and makes a person really think about who really controls world-influencers: the people with power, the wealthy and the like. I must say it was very unsettling. Using a priest to aid and abet the main character, Nicholas who was truly seeking the truth and the right path, but couldn't always use a virtuous route, was such an interesting character development. Mr Young developed his characters into full-dimensional people--so much so, that at times I wanted to cheer for them and, at other times, I wanted to wring their necks for their stupidity. Seeing a man-of-the-cloth developed so thoroughly was a pleasant surprise. It created a paradox in my mind initially that led me to some greater self-discovery. It is a thriller so there is obvious evil and the consequences of it throughout the book. Which "right" will you side with? When will the truth finally be revealed or will it? The climax and ending took me completely by surprise. However, it doesn't leave you hanging and needing to buy a sequel which I really appreciated. Kudos to author Sean Young on an excellent thriller that will appeal to both men and women and keep you riveted while reading.

on January 4, 2017
Sean is able to write a story that has many twists and turns and keeps the reader engaged. It was hard to put down the book once I started reading it. The book makes the readers pulse race at the many dangers faced, and continually desire to see the good overcome the evil. If you enjoy reading suspense, then pick up a copy of "To Fear the Dawn" and be prepared for a wonderful journey through the intrigues of good vs. evil. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Christian Suspense.

on January 28, 2017
I love mystery & action, I love twists & turns... And a good story. This book has all of it. Without the garbage - without vulgar language or smut. Add in the quiet foundation of a Biblical worldview of faith, integrity, & strength and its a very enjoyable read. Sad it's over! Thank You!

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Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader of Christian mystery and suspense, political intrigue, conspiracy theory, Christian inspirational, to consider reading To Fear the Dawn 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).

1 comment:

  1. Wow...sounds like lots of research and devotion to his work! Congrats of a well written book!

    Linda B

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