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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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Friday, 29 September 2017

Author/Novel Spotlight: Nathan Allen Olsen

Today, I am highlighting novelist Nathan Allen Olsen. I met Nathan in a Facebook group and showed interest in his novel, Death Is Not The End, Daddy. I offered him an Author/Novel Spotlight to encourage exposure to himself and his short stories. Nathan's short stories and novellas show speculative themes that make it very thought-provoking and show his journey of faith from a painful past to one of increasing transformation through allowing God to work in him.

So sit back and explore the mind of this emerging author, as he has been described. But first a little about Nathan: 


Since starting off on this journey nearly ten years ago at the age of sixteen, Nate Allen has three works of fiction under his belt as well as a collaboration with M.J. Elliott nearing release. He currently lives in South Carolina with his wife of nearly five years and his two-year-old little girl.

Nate's mission in life is to use the pain from his past to bring hope to as many as will listen. There is much more to come. If you want to join him on this lifelong journey, you can find (and follow) him here: (www.facebook.com/cloudsdweller)

Now let's have a look at Death Is Not The End, Daddy and a review. This novella is available in e-book format. Click on the title to be taken to the Amazon book description page, to buy or view using the Look Inside feature:

Death Is Not The End, Daddy

John Doe

John Doe is a killer. Fourteen children in the last twenty-six years. Teddy tells him to and he listens. He has to listen. He is parked across the street from the elementary school in Payne, North Dakota, waiting for Teddy to tell him the name of the next child. He hasn’t yet, but he will… 

Matthew Mills 

God is good. It's the only truth Matthew Mills needs. But, pain is still pain. It has only been a week since his wife had her second miscarriage in the last three years. She has become a shell of who she was. Only his daughter Marcy is a light in his life.

What would happen if she was taken away?

I asked Nathan why he wrote Death Is Not The End, Daddy and what are the Christian/Biblical themes.

I wrote Death is Not the End, Daddy to be an experience that shows how God can use even the most hopeless of situations and turn it around for His glory.

Nathan has kindly provided an excerpt to whet your appetite and the reason he chose this: 

These are the first two pages of the book. I believe it entices while giving very little away and sets up what's to come beautifully.


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

John Doe

I don’t remember much before Teddy, but I do remember the laced leggings I found in the backseat of dad’s Buick. They weren’t mom’s. She was already sick by that time. Sick and dying. But, he was out sticking his piece in someone else…

He stuck his piece in me, too. That was the day Teddy came into my life. He wasn’t just my faded brown bear anymore. He was Teddy. He understood the pain of watching mom die; he understood the hate growing in me after daddy stuck his piece in me. He helped it grow.

Even before mom died, Teddy told me daddy didn’t deserve to live. At her funeral, he cried. The fake! Those tears attracted someone else, who he stuck his piece in later that night.

After mom died, I only had Teddy. He has never spoken in the way a person does. But, he does talk. His voice is constantly in my head. The bear just sits. And when I look into his eyes, I see blood. Lots of it. Blood and pain. I fill with tingles. Teddy says that’s as normal as the hatred I still feel for daddy. Sometimes I question it, though. And sometimes, Teddy gives me horrible nosebleeds, where my eyes feel ready to pop.

Teddy told me to come to Payne, North Dakota, and park across the street from the elementary school. He hasn’t given me the name of the next child yet. But, he will. He always does. My identity is what Teddy tells me to be. When I question it, he makes the blood I see in my head come out of me. He told me to kill daddy. With mom gone, there was no one else. It was just Teddy. Daddy didn’t even say a word to me anymore. He was gone most of the time. And when he was home, he scared me.

Teddy promised me that it would help. I listened. He was only protecting me. Teddy told me when to kill him, and what to use. There was blood. Lots of it.

Matthew Mills

God is good. It is the only truth I need. It has kept me afloat through my wife’s second miscarriage in three years. But, pain is still pain. It’s only been a week since she lost the baby.

Sometimes I wonder how Job felt when everything was taken from him. He made it through and came out a better person. The Lord uses pain to mold us—

I worry about my wife. The light has left her eyes. She used to profess her faith. Now it seems like she is drowning, and no matter how much scripture I read, the light doesn’t return. I am the pillar of this house. The Lord gave me that job, and I will stand even as everything else crumbles around me.

The devil has filled my head with thoughts of suicide. He tries to convince me that the razors from her shaver will be the death of her. He tells me to leave the bathroom door open when she showers, just in case. And I do, just in case. There is weakness in me. I’m not afraid of the enemy. My victory is through Jesus Christ. But, sometimes I fear her death is in His plan. Anyone who tries to tell me He would never allow that, I refer them to Job. The Lord takes away, sometimes for reasons we can’t understand.

My bible is out; the highlighter has already run across a few Proverbs, and a comforting piece in John. I have found quite a few verses that reassure me of my place in Him. I believe I have two sons in heaven.

I cling onto my Marcy. She is eight and a bundle of silly and sweet. I feed her the Lord daily. And His light shines from her in every way. I love her more than I thought possible. She is my little princess, and I try my hardest to make her feel that way, especially now that Janet has shut down…

Something is stirring tonight. I can feel fear trying to slip into my house. It’s trying to claw up the back of me and enter through the front. I have a job to do tonight. My bible is highlighted on almost every page. If a battle is coming, then I will win, because greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. I am the pillar, and I can feel the pieces beginning to crumble. Help me stand tall, Lord. Help me stand tall.

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

Nathan has one positive Amazon review: 

I love books that give me a glimpse into somebody else's mind, compassionate books about authentic characters. This novel is just awesome. We look into the minds of Matthew who's daughter has been kidnapped and in John's, the kidnapper's, mind. While Matthew is struggling to keep his faith and trust in Jesus, John experiences that freedom and forgiveness are possible. A surprisingly good book about faith, fear, trust, forgiveness, God's plans, the invisible world and God's unconditional love.

This is not the only novel Nathan has authored. Here is another:


Andrew Jeffery Stephenson, a stupid man, by his own admission, is in critical condition from gunshot wounds. He’s entirely alone. His wife left him for someone more successful, someone better. When he’s honest with himself, he knows he’s just waiting to die…

And he does. With the sound of a fading flatline beep and the post-life urging of the woman he still loves, he finds himself in a paradise of his own making. He wakes up on a beautiful beach with her by his side. Oh, paradise indeed!

Shortly after, a man simply named D comes onto his property. A self-proclaimed “realtor for your post-life needs” D quickly shows Andrew just what this paradise is. It’s not heaven; it’s a miraculous accident. Paradise doesn’t belong to the religious but to the creative, to men of logic and reason. And because of this, his beach is just one small piece to an endless collection of beautiful properties, or “timeshares” as D calls them.

D’s game is realty. And the piece of property Andrew brought with him is an excellent bargaining chip. Andrew’s interested in choices; D’s interested in getting him the best deal possible. 

There’s only one problem. While searching out different timeshares, they come across a man on the side of the road who’s dressed like an angel. He’s holding a cardboard sign that reads:

3 Days…

And the countdown continues.

They say that the world will end when the countdown hits zero. Are they “crazy” as D claims? Or are they trying to warn Andrew that the end is near?

Nate wrote this novel with this idea in mind: 

The Counterfeit tackles the idea of paradise without God. 

Here is an excerpt:

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

There are many things I want to do with Angie on this beach. I start to untie the slim string on her top half, as she kisses me deeply, moving her hand downwar—

“Welcome, friends!” a strange voice interrupts us as if nothing were about to happen. Angie immediately stops kissing me and uses her forearm to hold her top half on as she gets up from lying on top of me. I get up too. A black man with dirty dreads and a greying goatee is running toward us from inland. He is wearing black swim trunks and a red plain t-shirt.

“Who are you?” I ask as I walk toward him. I am beyond confused. What is anybody else doing here?

“Just call me D. I am here to welcome you. It’s always interesting to see the expansion. It’s always getting bigger, always adding new territories, new places to lease. You brought with you a pretty piece of land. I love the beach. Great attention to detail, by the way.”

“What are you talking about, D?” I ask as I look out toward the ocean.

“This world is always expanding. Just as life was a wonderful accident, post-life is an even better accident. Everyone who makes it here brings with them their own paradise, their own little piece. By itself, it would be an adequate final destination. But, as a piece to a much bigger puzzle, we are in the process of something amazing. You brought with you this beach. Someone else brings a mountain view, or even the mountain itself. We have a colorful variety. Cabins on the lake. Mansions as far as the eye can see. We have the most beautiful skies, both night and day. An astronomer has a very simple paradise. He had a small house, far away from everyone else, so that the night sky would come to life. His paradise is studying the stars with his trusty telescope.

“Some people are touchy about visitors though. I hope you won’t be like that, friend. This beach is plenty big enough to share, don’t you think?”

“Share?” I ask. “For how long?”

“Well, indefinitely, friend. You share your land, others share theirs. For example, if you let the couple next door, who have a stunning view of the Himalayas, come to your property, they lend you time in theirs. I’m sure they would love a beach getaway.” he smiles. “Think about it as a timeshare. Post-life is a vacation that never ends. But, everyone likes to change the destination from time to time.” he chuckles, seeming to expect me to do the same. 

“D? Me and my wife just got here. This is all still very new—

“Say no more,” he interrupts. “I just want to know that you’ll be open to a timeshare deal in the near future. I know quite a few interested clients who would love to rent out a place as nice as this.”

“We’ll see,” I say, hoping he takes the hint to leave.

“Good.” he smiles strangely. “What was your name? I forgot to ask.”

“Andrew.”

“Good to hear, Andrew. Just know one thing. No matter how wonderful your little piece of paradise is, there is always the opportunity for more. With the right planning, I could get you into two or three more pieces of paradise. One is kind of boring, wouldn’t you say? There are quite a few vacancies at this time.”

“How are there vacancies? People willingly give up what they own?”

“Not exactly,” he says as he begins to walk away.

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

One Amazon review shows the positive nature of this novel and the potential of Nate as an author:


ByAlexander Preston September 19, 2017

Heat: There were a few scenes of sexual innuendo. They were comparatively minor and not gratuitous, but the word pictures were just enough to make me uncomfortable. In retrospect, I see how their presence actually served the storyline, but it’s just something to be aware of for more sensitive readers.

Profanity: None.

Violence: Some frightening imagery and references to violent acts.

Genre: Christian Paranormal

Age recommendation: 15 and up, due to imagery and sexual innuendo.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Counterfeit with a request for an unbiased review.

The Counterfeit turned out to be a singularly fascinating read. The opening had me immediately hooked through its stream-of-consciousness narrative style depicting the inner thoughts of a man in a coma. The framing was artful and taut, with a fast-moving pace and clever use of minimalistic language. I immediately found the main character (narrating the story from the first-person) to be real and relatable. The backstory of his marital and self-image problems is spot-on in portraying the struggles of many people in the real world. There was also an immediate sense of suspense as we see him awaken in a “Paradise” realm that is stated to be neither Heaven nor Hell. He is told by others he meets there that this is the “real” afterlife as opposed to those other, “imaginary” places. But various clues begin to indicate that things are not quite what they seem… I read on with an intense curiosity as the mystery behind this strange place. What followed was a very intriguing scenario, suggesting the afterlife could have more levels of detail to it than we are inclined to think; highly speculative, yes, but clearly well thought out and perfectly compatible with Biblical orthodoxy.

There were some weak points, of course, many of which could have been addressed through a longer, more detailed narrative. The sequence of events seems a bit rushed and forced in places, with the protagonist’s actions and decisions not seeming to logically follow from one another – this cropped up several pages after his first entry into the “Paradise” realm. The dialogue started out strong but became progressively more wooden towards the middle and downright syrupy towards the end – for some reason, the characters seemed to be selectively avoiding contractions in their speech (i.e. “he is” as opposed to “he’s”, etc). This made things a bit awkward and stilted and seemed out-of-place given the established characterization. I also noticed that protagonist became increasingly weepy and emotional as his character arc progressed – a lot of this made sense giving the story itself, but I often found myself cringing and wishing he would grow a spine.

The story structure itself turned out to be a bit different from what was suggested in the synopsis. I was expecting a steady build-up of suspense culminating in a “Twilight Zone”-style twist ending. The big “reveal” turned out instead to be at about the very middle of the narrative, but the author did a good job of providing another, equally significant source of tension until the very end.

Throughout the entire 66 pages, this novella is suffused with thought-provoking, highly spiritual themes that make it in many ways a masterwork of Christian Fiction in the tradition of C.S. Lewis. I was particularly fascinated by the portrayal of God as representing ‘fullness’ and the Devil representing ‘emptiness’ – it reminds of J.R.R. Tolkien’s thoughts on the ‘nothingness’ of evil. When imagining Hell, we often think that simple ‘non-existence’, ‘annihilation,’ or ‘oblivion,’ would be a preferable fate for lost souls – the truth, I think, is that Hell is all of these things. It represents complete and irrevocable separation from the very Source of existence. To experience nothingness is to experience torment beyond imagining – what Christ meant when he used imagery of a ‘lake of fire.’ The author explores this idea not through didactic lines placed in characters mouths, but by weaving it into the very fabric of the story. I will also continue to ponder his thoughts on maintaining a heavenly as opposed to earthly perspective when it comes to reaching the lost with the Truth.

At the same time, he features extremely vivid and well-imagined descriptions of what Heaven will likely be, masterfully portraying what many of us tend to think of as indescribable. Christ himself makes an appearance and is portrayed in the same manner. I will say that I’m instinctively sceptical of attempts to ‘humanize’ God and Christ and put words in their mouth as story characters, and I might have preferred a more subtle or ‘poetic’ approach that recognizes their place above human understanding. But this is a minor quibble in comparison to everything else.

All in all, I give this book four stars and will readily recommend it to any Christian reader who wants to see their beliefs explored and re-confirmed in a new and original way. An excellent tour de force by an emerging author!

Let's take a look at Nate's latest Work In Progress that is to be released very soon: 

Nate has described his new work as 
Think of TV seasons. Each tells a singular story, provides a climax, and sets up the arcs to come. I will be releasing A New Beginning in parts or "seasons". Once the story is done, I will release the entirety as a book. I wouldn't do this for any other story but no other story I am working on is as timely or spiritually relevant as this.
A New Beginning. 

A new beginning? With the Credit Chip, anything is possible! Buried in debt? Erase it! Terrible credit score? Start over! In trouble with the law, now weighed down by a felony charge? POOF! There it goes… 

Ken Cardiff only wants to see his older brother get better. He can only hope the Credit Chip can help, but he can’t escape the chill settling on his spine. Since his brother got the Chip two days before, something in him has changed. 

Kyle Cardiff is lured in by the promise of a new beginning but he doesn’t know the cost. Only twenty-two years old and already more than familiar with the inside of a jail cell, he will do anything for just one more chance.

Rosy Matthews knows what the Credit Chip is. Trying to convince Ken, her Ken, that it’s the mark of the beast has brought more scoffs than anything else. She hopes it isn’t too late for Kyle, but she knows that it already is. 

When President Francis Abraham Pummel was only six years old, he should have died. But, the day he should have died was the day he lived. Now forty-two years old and approaching his second year in office, he has a plan to bring real change to anyone who will listen.

To buy or preview more of these novels, click on the BUY/PREVIEW icons under the covers below:



Death is Not the End, Daddy can be purchased at the following links:

Smashwords    Barnes and Noble

The Counterfeit can be purchased at the following links: 

Smashwords    Barnes and Noble 

Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader who likes reading in the genres of Christian science fiction and fantasy, to consider reading Death Is Not The End, Daddy or The Counterfeit 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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