Sunday, October 19, 2014

Realm Explorers Part XIX: Visit Thera with Jeffrey Allen Davis

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.  

Author’s name:
Jeffrey Allen Davis

Title of book and/or series:
Gateway to Thera:  Book Three of the Adventure Chronicles

Brief summary of the story:
The group known as “Adventure” is an adolescent team of martial artists who regularly find themselves in situations where they have to use their special skills to defeat various villains, ranging from ninja clans to racists.  Many of the characters are Christians and their beliefs dictate how much force they use when they have to fight.  Until the third book in the series, the stories have been grounded in the “real” world (fictitious towns in Missouri).  However, in the new novel, half of the team is spirited away to another world to save a girl with the gift of prophecy from a dark wizard.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Thera is a world that shares a history with our own.  Around 1000 AD, Merlin—who is a prophet in my stories—was disturbed by a growing interest in people trying to explain everything without keeping God in the equation.  Understanding that such “knowledge” would result in Satan creating more false religions to attack the one, true faith,  he drew a number of people into a new world to help them avoid the coming religious wars, hoping for a Utopia.  Unfortunately, man cannot physically escape the fall of his first parents and evil followed them to the new world, as well.  As the histories of the two worlds diverged, Thera did not go through an industrial revolution and, thus, is still in a form of the Middle Ages.

If we were to visit Thera as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
The King’s City in New Camelot is a place of wonders.  Though I won’t detail it much until the fourth book, it is where the current king—a true descendant of King Arthur—lives.  Also, it is the home of the largest church in that world, complete with some of the most breathtaking art and architecture of EITHER world.

What dangers should we avoid in Thera?
The Dark Lands, to the south of New Camelot, are the lands of Tarent the Mage.  His army consists of bloodthirsty, human warriors and human/reptilian hybrids known as crechaw, both of whom obey their dark master without question.  The people of his lands feel the weight of a tyrannical ruler who randomly picks them for various experiments.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Thera?
Gun powder has not been invented there, so weapons are still of a Middle Ages type.  Various types of swords and bows fill out the requirements for weapons in the army of New Camelot.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Thera?
The people who first traveled to Thera took their horses with them.  Horseback is still the most common form of transportation, although some powerful wizards (all of whom on Thera are evil and not trusted) have found ways of traveling by magic.

Gateways from Earth to Thera are rare, natural occurrences that only Tarent of the Dark Lands has been able to successfully duplicate at will, using two gold coins to form the base of a doorway between the worlds.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Thera that we don’t see on Earth?
The flora and fauna are very similar to what’s on Earth, though the heroes of the novel note that some of the sounds that they hear from the animals seem more primal.  Some of the animals, like the deer, have adapted new features to help them feed from high trees.  A deer has much stronger back legs that they can use to leap several feet from the ground.

Elves exist on Thera and it is important to note that, while they look like we’d expect from depictions in other fantasy novels and movies, they are viewed as simply another race of humans here, rather than another, long-lived species.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Thera?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Having a basis in the real world with a Biblical worldview, there are no “good” mages.  Wizards always follow some aspect of Satan and draw their power from him.  The opposing people who would fill the niche of “good wizard” are, in truth, prophets.  They travel with words of encouragement from the Lord, doing good where they can and always giving Him the glory for any miracles performed.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Thera as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
As the world shares its history with earth (which the people of Thera refer to as “the Mother World”) the days of the week are the same.  The holidays celebrated haven’t been spelled out yet, although I expect the major Christian holidays to be celebrated, as well as those practiced by the high liturgy churches (Lent, for example).

Is there a particular religion practiced in Thera?  Please describe what it involves.
Christianity is the primary religion in New Camelot.  As the splitting of the history happened in 1000 AD, the Protestant Reformation had no part in the history of Thera.  As a result, there are no “denominations,” so to speak.  The Church is viewed as the body of Christians and the people view and respect the Trinity with reverence.  However, the corruption in the Church that caused the Reformation never happened here, so the church is still heroic and concerned for the well-being of the parishioners.

Other nations follow false religions and the leaders of these realms know that they are following aspects of Satan for the power that he gives them.

What is the political or government structure in New Camelot?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The rulers of New Camelot have always been descended from King Arthur.  I have not gone into much detail about the current ruler yet, although I intend to introduce him in the next novel.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Racism is discussed when the topic of elves comes up.  An elf maiden points out to the protagonists that, while she may look different, she is “no less human” than them.  Religion always seems to be a hot topic and Christianity is, foremost, the TRUTH in my books.  That, in and of itself, tends to garner some anger, especially from those who don’t take note that the books are listed as in the Christian genre.

Author Autobiography:
I’ve been writing in some form or another since I first picked up a pencil.  I can remember drawing a picture book—before I learned how to read—showing a duck on a pond getting eaten by a shark.  The characters in the Adventure Chronicles have been in my fiction since the second grade, where I started drawing comic books about them.  By the time I was in high school, I realized that I can’t draw a stick figure and started writing long-hand stories about them.

I currently live in a suburb of St. Louis, MO.  I live less than four blocks from the hospital in which I was born.  I’m happily married to Vickie Davis.  I have a daughter and two step-children.  I am a Baptist minister, although I’m not serving in that capacity at the moment.  My faith will always find its way into my writing, even if the story is not overtly religious.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?  
Gateway to Thera can be purchased in multiple formats:
Though the other ebook versions haven’t been released yet, you can pretty much find all of the versions on Smashwords.

Also, for anyone who would like to get a taste of the series, the first book is free at the following links:

Where can readers connect with you online? 
Well, there are a few places:

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Thera.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the Halloween world of Mistral's star, in Realm Explorers Part XX!
-Annie Douglass Lima

Are you an author who would like your world to appear on Realm Explorers?  Click here to download the instructions and interview form, or email me at for more information.


Tina at said...

I'm intrigued by the role Merlin plays in this series. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

Tina at said...
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