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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 new author's novels or author's who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.   
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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).

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