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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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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Halloween Special from The Crossover Alliance: Adverse Possession by Jess Hanna

To celebrate Halloween, The Crossover Alliance have reduced the price of one of their novels, Adverse Possession.

For this weekend and ending on Monday 31/10/16, this novel is $0.99, available in electronic formats of ePub, Mobi, Kindle AZW3, and PDF.

Click on the title below to take advantage of this offer and be blessed with Jess' novel.

Adverse Possession tells the tale of The Forresters, Andy and Tess and their children. They have found their dream home… but so has something else.

After years of moving from place to place, Andy and Tess are ready to settle down. But from the day they moved into the sprawling Victorian house, something just wasn't right.

The power cuts out twice a day on a fixed schedule. Windows unlock and open on their own. Strange scratching sounds come from behind the walls.

As the bizarre occurrences continue to increase in frequency and strength, the true source of the extraordinary activity is revealed.

What started as an enchanting curiosity has become a danger to them all, and the Forresters are in a race against time to save their family from an enemy unlike anything they have ever known.

I have read and reviewed this book and it is one of my favourite Christian horror stories. It is highly entertaining, scary yes, but also gives a welcome education in biblical spiritual warfare, it honours God, strengthens and uplifts the Christian's faith and gives those dabbling in the occult something to think about.

 Here is my review from November 2013, to whet your appetites:

I first read this before it was published as an advanced readers copy from Jess. I had not written a review after reading it, just emailed the author my thoughts and impressions. It was only after starting this blog and checking my reviews on Amazon, that I realised I had not honoured Jess with an official review. To do so would mean reading this again. This was also another excuse to revisit this novel.

I was taken in then and am just as taken in now. This is even better the second time round!

This novel was the second horror story I had ever read and was read soon after the first which was Something Stirs by Thomas Smith. Both books are written by Christian authors and both deal with haunted houses by demons and deal with demon possession. Both also deal with these topics using spiritual warfare as outlined in the bible. But enough of the comparison between these two books, however, I must say they compliment each other very well, and both are a credit to each author. It was both these two authors and their horror stories that have convinced me that Christian authors have just as much or even more ability to write convincing horror especially when it is based on the source of horror as documented in the Bible, through the fall of satan and the other angels and their transformation into evil entities and their maleficent, deceptive and manipulative intentions in our lives.

Hanna has set a nice, even pace in the first half of this novel, introducing the characters, establishing the family dynamics, moving into and settling into the house, while interspersing certain incidents that, while not at first deemed to be demonic activity or out of the ordinary, but soon increase in frequency and become more bizarre, leading to Andy and Tess believing that something supernatural is occurring and is definitely of a malevolent nature as evidenced by the disruption to their lives and the effects its oppression on their personalities and relationships. 

The second half of the novel definitely has a faster pace with the activity of the supernatural increasing, now being identified as a demon spirit that has its sights set on Alexis to possess and control. Hanna definitely adds more clues and explanation to what this demon is, why it is here, what its motivation is and as it possesses Alexis more and more, its power and activity is more extensive and destructive to Alexis, Tess, Andy and Jonathan. The parents try everything they know or think of to rid themselves and their house of this demon, including a paranormal investigator and his family. All this does is make things worse, ridding the house of the demon but then inviting more of them to inhabit the house and possess Alexis even more. This is very biblical as the bible states that if a demon is exorcised and the person not then inhabited by God's presence/Spirit, more demons come and inhabit the person.

The attempts by the local Catholic priest to rid these demons does nothing except to cause his death, increase the demons power and the despair of Andy and Tess. However, through this priest, Hanna introduces the origin of these demons, and it seems to be linked to Tess's past, namely that of the sins of her alcoholic father being passed onto through subsequent generations. Again, this is biblical as the bible states that the sins of the fathers are passed on through the third and fourth generations.

One could wonder what could happen next to rid the house of these demons. Here Hanna introduces the biblical principle of spiritual warfare in the form of Tess' mother, Claire, who is a Christian and after being told what has been happening, realises that the only way to end this is through prayer and using the authority of Jesus as outlined in the Bible. Her first attempts have limited success, not due to this bible truth being ineffective, but due to her emotions blocking her faith, but her attempt does evoke a defensive, defiant and aggressive response from the demons. It is obvious from this reaction that the demons are threatened by the mention of God and Jesus. It is here that she realises she has no choice but to involve the services of her Pastor.

Hanna progresses the spiritual warfare principles here by preparing the Pastor with prayer, submission to God, and obedience to His will. On my first reading of this novel, I did not realise this Pastor was the same as that of Hanna's first novel, The Road To Hell!! This is a welcome connection to this previous novel and adds strength to the plot and characterisation.

From this point on, Hanna really shines with the spiritual warfare aspects. The way Pastor Tom prepares Andy to be the one to break the demonic power over Alexis and his family is very well done and give honour and credence to the Bible and God's power and sovereignty. Again, he has followed biblical principles where the power and authority over demons can only be given to someone who has accepted Jesus as Saviour and repented of their sin and been forgiven and born again spiritually. The scene in the novel where Pastor Tom encourage Andy to accept Jesus as Saviour in order to defeat the demons is a real cliff hanger as Hanna portrays Andy's confusion, despair and frustration very well. I started to cheer Andy on with this, knowing the truth of the bible in this matter!! 


Hanna has created the ending of this novel to be fast paced on its own, the final confrontation between the power and authority of God against this demon. It is totally absorbing and very descriptive. It reads like a movie scene as it is played out in the reader's mind. This is the most horrifying part of the novel and the most dramatic. 

If someone was to ask what Christian horror is like, this novel could be presented to answer that question. 

Highly Recommended.  5/5 Stars

Here is that link again to the Crossover Alliance for Adverse Possession:
http://www.thecrossoveralliance.com/adverse-possession

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Visitor by J.L. Pattison

The Visitor

A stranger in a cornfield, a letter detailing horrific future events, and a chance to change the fate of a nation slipping into turmoil.

Theodore Garfield never believed the old farmer’s story about the day the stranger appeared in his cornfield. And Theodore was even more skeptical about the letter the visitor left behind detailing the gradual downfall of America beginning with the assassination of a future president named John F. Kennedy.

Years later the farmer’s story is all but forgotten until a young senator named John F. Kennedy is elected president. With the farmer and the letter.


The Guru's Review:

I love time travel novels. It was this that attracted me to this short story. The plot was also another factor, of course. Usually a time travel novel has its plot designed to alter history and its events. Such is the case with The Visitor. The author has a fascination with the assassination of President John F Kennedy and this is very nicely portrayed through the main character and the plot. It draws you in and you find yourself accepting the challenge of preventing JFK's assassination just as the main character has.

This is a great example of what makes fiction speculative: the what if of the story; what if I could alter history? Would I do it? In this short story, Pattison portrays this very well and it is a compelling read. Apart from his fascination with the assassination of JFK being one motive for making this short story speculative, Pattison gives evidence of a greater motive. He seems to be concerned with what is developing to American society ripped from today's headlines or implied from those headlines,
(Theodore): “I'm telling you because I don't want to take this to my grave and you're the only person I can trust. I am not sure how much of a difference you can make, but I know you can do more than I can now. I implore you to do whatever you can to prevent Kennedy's assassination because once that happens, everything will change.”
Theodore spoke of a future where their government would engage in surveilling its own citizens— cataloguing their every move, action, and thought— all under the guise of keeping them safe. A future where Americans will not only tolerate the intrusion, but welcome it. Quade rolled his eyes when Theodore muttered something while drifting in and out of consciousness about millions of parents murdering their children in utero. Then Theodore's final sentence arrived. He pieced together a disjointed string of slurred words about internment camps and a great culling of American citizens, then fell silent.
And a few pages later,
...within the next couple generations, Americans will become so distracted by various gratifications that they won't even realize their government revoked most of their liberties. And by the time they recognize what's happening, it will be too late. They'll awaken to discover that they've amused themselves to death.” “There would be resistance.” “There will be no resistance to the boot on their necks. And eventually they will grow to love the boot.” Theodore paused as he struggled to swallow before continuing.
And yet, there seems to be a third motive for Pattison writing this short, that even if we could travel back in time, we would have to deal with the sovereignty of God,
"Let me get this straight,” Theodore said smirking while shooing a persistent fly away from his face. “During the years this letter’s validity could have been proven, it went missing, only to reappear after those events passed?
I'm afraid so. You see, I believe God is sovereign, and if man develops a way to travel through time to change the outcome of certain past events— events that God has ordained to take place— then no matter what we do, we will not be able to change them. This could explain Mr. Blair showing up at the wrong time and place, and how I misplaced the letter for over forty years.
It is these motives that forms the backbone to this short. It adds depth and strength to the plot and its action. It strengthens the characterisation of Quade when he realises (too late) the truth of what Theodore told him and realises that the future of society is not going to be a safe one.

I have read a few time travel novels where the technology of time travel is described in some detail, but due to the shortness of this story, this is absent. Pattison gives very few details of how the Visitor at the beginning of the story arrives in the year 1899. Having now read this short, it is just not necessary to have this technology included. Not only due to the shortness of this story but this absence gives the author more time (and words) to concentrate on the main story line as I have outlined above. I guess this backs up the saying that less is more!

When I read this short, I was hooked on Pattison's writing and imagination. I now follow him on Amazon and Goodreads. I have read his second novel, Alibi Interrupted (also a time travel short concerning JFK's assassination) and this just adds to Pattison's talent as a gifted author and story teller. I am looking forward to him writing his first full length novel.

Thoroughly enjoyed this short while giving me something to think about concerning the future path society seems to be taking when ignoring God's sovereignty and taking matters into their own hands.

Highly Recommended. 5/5

To read a preview or buy The Visitor, click on the Buy or Preview icon below.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Author Spotlight: Marshalee Patterson

Today, I am spotlighting author, Marshalee Patterson. I discovered her second book, The Path of the Chosen Warriors as a free book from Amazon. It was then advertised by the author on a few Facebook groups that I belong to. After reading what she had to say about this book, I decided to offer her an Author/Novel Spotlight post to promote this new book and herself as she is a relatively new author.

So let me introduce you to this new, Christian author, Marshalee Patterson. First let's have a look at her Bio.

Marshalee Patterson was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She has always had a love for reading. It was while attending the Merl Grove High School that she discovered that she loved writing stories.

Some of her favourite novels were written by Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo, as she found she liked the true to life stories that we all can relate to.

However, after leaving high school, she went on to pursue a career in banking as a Bank Teller and didn’t follow up on her writing. It wasn’t until after she visited Italy in 2003, she started to relive the experiences and wanted to write about it. She gives credit to being a Christian as it is the Holy Spirit that she says guides her in writing her books.

She writes Christian romance/adventure and family books, where all her characters are created from her own experiences, with the experiences of a few and this she said helps her to write with a lot of heart and love.

She hopes that through her novels she can inspire people of all ages with the message of hope in Christ and showing them that through him comes deliverance. Her goal is that through this medium, she can give readers a better knowledge of how to be victorious against satan’s tactics and exposes some of the devices he uses by creating stories where readers can better understand situations and root causes of demonic doors opening in our lives and through spiritual warfare prayers that she herself have been using and saw results, they too can learn to stand strong against the devil themselves too.

She is a lover of nature and the tranquillity of it. She finds nature refreshing and peaceful. She loves different cultures especially the Spanish which she feels makes us learn to appreciate ours a little more in areas where we have been ungrateful or unappreciative. She loves salsa music very much and dances it well too. She is a proud Jamaican.

Now let's have a look at The Path of the Chosen Warriors which has just been released today, August 18, 2015, in e-book and printed editions:

Book Description:
This action packed Christian Romance book is one filled with Spiritual Warfare, where a young couple that was just rediscovering their love, was thrown into a strange town by a terrible storm. Soon they must discovered how to break the chains of the town's people who were held captive to a demon god called Abaddon, by allowing Christ to minister through them while risking their lives and in doing so, they themselves discovered their true calling. 

I asked Marshalee why she wrote this novel and she replied:
Well I wrote that book after the Lord gave me dream, of people offering their own to a demon God and it is also to be a tool to help make people more aware and alert to what they dream. Since I started learning about warfare prayers and saw how the Lord reveal the source of things that I was struggling with because of family curses or witchcraft covenant through certain movies I use to watch that most think of as innocent, I started to understand, and the more I prayed them, the more I saw myself having victory in the spirit realm and things making more sense, so that is one reason for the book.

I don't know if there will be a sequel as I write by the Lord's command, but I feel that I may have one that tackle the issue of witchcraft but that's when the Lord thinks I'm ready and knowledgeable enough about that.

I don't just write for entertainment, Yes, I use that format but only to make the spiritual lessons more understandable. The theme is spiritual warfare as that's what we are facing every day as Christians whether we like it or not. You can either choose to fight or be crushed. The book is fairly new, so I haven't gotten much feedback as yet, but just did a promo and I know I will be hearing some good feedback soon. I have a great review on amazon so far which gives readers a good insight of the content. check out here for that.

I think 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 she chose this:

I chose this section as an excerpt because this is the one of the most important message in the book. It’s about the newly converted Christians that have come to confront the demonic high Priest that was now possessed by the evil host Abaddon, in order to free the young couple and their friends who were shipwrecked in the strange town in order to let God use them to deliver them. I wanted the message in this chapter to be on teaching Christians to know that when they work together without letting things distract them, how strong they are in conquering evil, as the devil like to use that to weaken the link and end up bringing confusion.

Excerpt:

At the sight of the last man’s death, he fell to his knees and shouted, to the surprise of the crowd, who didn’t even notice him standing in the entrance of the shrine while the angels wiped out the angry mob.
“Forgive me, God of these people. I see now that there is a greater power than Abaddon and I am sorry for all I have done against you,” and he fell on his knees and began weeping.
The people started rejoicing as they saw their enemies all dead and the High Priest on his knees. Some ran past him inside to free their friends. As those outside saw their friends emerge, they began cheering and embracing.
Ruth turned back towards to shrine and watched as the High Priest sobbed quietly to himself while everyone was celebrating. She walked towards him and knelt in front of him as he had done to her earlier and placing her hand upon his chin, she lifted it up to face her.
She smiled at him as she saw that there was still human love left in him. She told him to renounce Abaddon to be free of his hold. He started to renounce Abaddon and started to repeat what Ruth was saying to him to accept Jesus into his life, when suddenly his appearance changed and Ruth saw herself staring into the eyes of Abaddon himself.
Her eyes widened as she felt his hand on her throat. She grabbed his hand to free herself as she started to feel her breath diminishing. He forced her to stand as he got to his feet. Suddenly Joshua noticed she wasn’t near him and turned to see her being choked by the High Priest.
As he rushed towards him to free her, he was grabbed by the free hand of the High Priest and thrown back into the crowd, getting their attention now. They all gasped as they realized that it was no longer the High Priest but Abaddon himself. He was damn strong,” Joshua said to himself as he was helped up to his feet by someone.
As Abaddon walked more towards them, they stepped back as the sight of him was nothing they had ever seen before. Even though they saw the blackness in his eyes and felt the evil within him, they remembered the God that just saved them and they held their faith.
“Abaddon we aren’t afraid of you; our God told us that we have power over all rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in the high places. Therefore we command you to release her and be consumed by fire,” a few shouted at him and then was joined by the rest.
They kept on calling on the fire of God to consume him and as they did the High Priest started screaming at them in the creepiest voice that made Ruth shiver. But even as she could feel breath leaving her slowly, she saw only the High Priest and tried to reach him.
“Fight him, resist him, command him to leave you in the Name of Jesus,” and at that name, she saw the switch from demon and man and back to demon and the look she got from the demon this time was deadly.
He began to squeeze her neck harder giving her little air to breathe but just enough for her to say, “The Blood of Jesus is against you Abaddon,” and with hearing that he violently threw her into the air and she landed in the river.
The people grew fiercer towards him and began to shout at him to be consumed by fire which started to burn at him causing him to scream violently, throwing the High Priest’s body to the ground. They then commanded him to loose him and die until the body of the High Priest was left motionless on the ground.
While that was happening, Brad and Joshua rushed into the river to get Ruth. She had fallen hard and was lying beneath the water. They were happy that it was a still river which prevented her body from being washed downstream.
As they lifted her from the water and laid her on the river bank, she seemed to be bleeding on the forehead. It seemed she had hit her head on a rock when she landed in the water. Ripping his shirt off Brad wrapped it around her head to stop the bleeding and then Joshua started CPR.
She hadn’t taken in a lot of water as she wasn’t under that long, so she was revived quickly, but the head injury was causing her to slip into unconsciousness. Joshua sat and pulled her into his arms and began to weep and tried to keep her conscious.
“Baby stay with me,” he said nervously, “remember we are going to have a son named David… who will love music like you do and sing like you.”
As he held her in his arms, he continued, even though his voice started to crack as the words came out, “Remember…. how you promised never to leave me….. and that we will grow old together,” he said to her and kissed her cheek.
“God, you told me she’s the one for me, you can’t take her away so soon. Let her be healed by the stripes of Jesus which He bore for her in Jesus Name,” he prayed as the tears slowly ran down his cheeks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ End of Excerpt ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This novel has one Amazon 5 Star review:

Top Customer Reviews

 Does good always triumph over evil?
By Claudette Beckford-Brady on February 7, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase  

A story of spiritual warfare: the perpetual fight of good over evil in a paranormal setting with demonic forces attempting to overcome the Christians in the community. Marshalee Patterson has crafted an inspirational novel with a great plot and storyline which I can envisage as a movie. The story draws you in and holds your attention as you want to know what the final outcome will be. Who will triumph? Will the evil forces of Abaddon defeat the Christians? Will Ruth and Joshua escape from Sodom Shadows and return to their home in Shiloh City? Suspense, action, intrigue and more, in this story which takes the reader to the realm where the struggle for supremacy takes place. Although in a fictional setting the author makes it quite clear that evil forces exist in this literal world we live in and that a battle must be constantly fought in order to overcome and stay ahead of the forces of the devil. A good read.

If this content has piqued your interest in Marshalee and her novel, you can check her out at the following social media platforms:
Marshalee Patterson at Createspace

Amazon Author Page    

Facebook   

Twitter:
 
The Path of the Chosen Warriors can be purchased at Amazon from the link below and you can also read a further excerpt as well:



Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader of Christian fantasy, romance, the supernatural or spiritual warfare, to consider reading The Path of the Chosen Warriors and help promote Marshalee's novel by adding a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (or any other social media you subscribe to).

I am really looking forward to reading The Path of the Chosen Warriors, and Marshalee's future novels.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Buster's Legacy: Book Five of the Adventure Chronicles by Jeffrey Allen Davis



Buster's Legacy: Book Five of the Adventure Chronicles

Four disappearances in Jameston, Missouri, have come before the brutal murder of one of the Renegades. When the killers leave graffiti indicating that the attack was due to the victim’s link to Adventure, Renegade leader Ben Shalley opens a line of communication with Jamie Raleigh that brings the ninja and his friends into town to investigate.

To add to the situation, three friends from Thera have come to the Mother World to find a demonic ruby that may be linked to the troubles. But what does all of this have to do with a short story that Buster Goodman wrote when he was thirteen?

Heroes and villains must join forces to battle a greater darkness. And, in the process, a few souls may be saved.

The Guru's Review: 


When I finished this latest instament in the Adventure Chronicles, one thing stood out to me. This is book 5 in this series. In some cases, the more books that are added to a series, the more the series losses its flavour and plot and seems to become watered down. Reader's start to consider that this author needs to end it for the series sake and the reader's as well.

Well, I can say that this is not the case with Davis' Adventure Chronicles. This volume is just as fresh as the first but in one sense even more so. I mentioned in the past two reviews that this series has taken off since Davis introduced more of the supernatural, and specifically spiritiual warfare in Volume 3, Gateway to Thera.

Buster's Legacy continues with the fantasy elements from the world of Thera and these spiritual warfare plot lines. It seems that there is not only plot lines from the Earth characters that we have all come to love to continue this series, but there is from the world of Thera as well. These last three novels have been a mixture of plot lines from both these worlds. It is this, and the supernatural, spiritual warfare themes that have made this series such an enjoyable and spiritually uplifting reading experience.

I also mentioned in my review of Book 1, Invasion of the Ninja, that Davis has successfully combined Christianity and martial arts together and they enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Both these elements are successfully continued in all the books in this series, including this one. These two elements form the pillars of success for this series. I pray that Davis keeps this formula as it has proved to be a winner so far.

I found the premise of this current volume unique. Davis has set up this plot cleverly. The reader is not aware of where this demon possession comes from until after the half way mark of the novel. Then when this origin is revealed, you think that not something I would have thought of or guessed. This may have been purely poetic licence on the author's part, which is fine, but how this happens may also be possible with how demon possession works. Either way, it is an effective plot development.

Again, Davis has portrayed spiritual warfare biblically. This is and always will be a winner as it reinforces how a believer can overcome demon possession as well as uphold biblical principles. By overcoming, I mean as the believer who is using these biblical principles to cast out a demon from the possessed. The reader, whether they have a relationship with Jesus or not, will not be lead astray through portraying spiritual warfare in this way. And this is what a Christian author should portray if they include spiritual warfare concerning demon possession in their novels.

I appreciated Davis' portrayal of how confidently Elvara is when she practiced her faith in standing on the Word of God while practicing the spiritual warfare principles in casting out the demons many times in the final confrontation at the end of the novel. There is nothing like having a character in a novel such as this who shows what it is to know who they are in Christ. Elvara is the epitome of this and I find this a great encouragement to myself in this. The bible is rich in the various aspects of who we are in Christ. I am encouraged to see Davis included some of these aspects in novels such as these through characters such as Elvara.

As with the other novels in this series, I have thoroughly enjoyed this new instalment. So glad to hear that Book 6 is on the way as well.

Strongly Recommended.

World Building 5/5

Characterisation 4/5

Story 4/5

Spiritual Level 5/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 5/5

Average Rating 4.6/5

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet, A Spiritual System for Rating Books by David Bergsland, and that Buster's Legacy contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Spirit-Filled Fiction outlined in this booklet, I award Jeffrey A. Davis with
The Reality Calling Spirit-Filled Speculative Fiction Award

Congratulations Jeffrey A. Davis!

To read a preview of Buster's Legacy, click on the Preview button below: