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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Avalon: A Pilgrim's Progress Allegory by Valerie Howard

I would like to introduce to you the author, Valerie Howard and her novella, Avalon, an allegory in the fashion of Pilgrim's Progress. Pilgrim's Progress was one of my son's favorite books/movie when he was a teenager and young adult.It became an allegory for his struggle against evil; it is such a powerful allegory of the Christian's journey. I am pleased to present to you this new book, hose main character happens to bear my daughter's name. Here's a little bit about the author:

Valerie Howard lives in Maine with her husband, their toddler, and two insane beagles named Pepper and Tucker. She has been writing since the second grade and reading and writing have always been her passion. She seeks to show how good God is through every book she writes. Valerie now has nine children's books, two women's fiction books, a "how-to" book, a children's Christmas play, and a compilation book coming soon!

Avalon is an allegorical novella, written in the spirit of Pilgrim's Progress, that follows a young slave girl through her unbelievable journey of escape from the slave yard. Fairytale meets reality as each symbol reminds the believer of how God has done the same in their personal lives when He rescued them from slavery to sin. Readers will relate to Mara's feisty attitude and die-hard spirit as she faces the many challenges that come her way.

Here's a short interview:

What made you want to write an allegory?

I wanted to paint a picture of what the salvation story really looks like from our perspective. I think what made me want to make it a medieval theme was the fact that God is called the King of Kings, and Jesus is called the Prince of peace, so the allegory fit better into a Kingdom kind of setting.

What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

I want anyone who reads this book to understand how great God is for saving sinful souls. I want people to think about the fact that God could have left us to ourselves, but instead chose to rescue us from the slave yard and pour His undying love on us, even though we could never deserve it or earn it on our own.

Anything else we should know?

I intentionally made the main character look like me in physical appearance, because I know that I once was lost, but now I'm found. This is my story, as it is every believer's story, and it can be your story too!

Here is an excerpt from Valerie's book, Avalon

"Adelaide awoke to a tremendous crash of thunder and a brilliant flash of lightning. Deaf and blind for the moment, Adelaide frightfully wondered if she had been struck. But as the second and third claps of thunder made their way into her ringing ears, she realized that she was still unharmed— though perhaps not for long.
Then came the rain. Adelaide soon discovered a hole in the carriage’s roof that was allowing a torrential amount of water to seep inside. The carriage stopped rolling abruptly, and Adelaide worried that one of the horses had been injured, or Prince Justinius himself was hurt. Somehow, worrying about the Prince’s well-being seemed unnecessary, so Adelaide didn't dwell on that thought for very long before another deafening roar of thunder made her teeth vibrate. The rain was coming down harder now. After realizing she had been keeping her eyes tightly shut, Adelaide opened them and quickly ascertained that the last flash of lightning had struck the carriage. Now one of the door’s curtains was on fire and waving wildly in the howling wind.
Panicking, and with a racing heartbeat, Adelaide screamed, “Prince! Prince! Help! Please help!”
Thunder boomed and lightning struck simultaneously. Adelaide glanced out her window as a giant tree come crashing down next to the road.
Adelaide turned toward the back of the carriage, repeatedly dodging the flaming curtains, and watching the fire rapidly spread to the wooden carriage walls. She took a step backwards, inhaled a deep breath of smoky air, and shouted again.
“Please, Prince, help! Fire! Fire! Help!”
The rain drowned out her voice before it could reach her own ears. No answer. Thunder rolled. Lightning lit up the sky over and over again. Had the Prince abandoned her? Had he seen the flaming fabric and decided that she wasn’t worth the risk?
Adelaide was in hysterics. She felt around the smoke-filled carriage for a dish to collect the rainwater in. She planned to try to douse the raging fire enough for her to make it through the doorway. As she struggled to keep breathing, she reached for the silver bowl on her table. As soon as she set it on the floor and watched it begin to fill with water, she heard something crack above her. She looked up just in time to see a large piece of wood from the carriage’s ceiling sailing through the air. The splintered beam struck Adelaide square on the cheekbone. Searing pain shot straight through to the back of her skull as she was knocked down to the floor. At the very moment when she knew she couldn't take another second of panic or coughing, two strong arms wrapped tightly around her and everything went black.

Avalon is available at Amazon
You can also visit her at her