This Blog is Officially Closed

This blog is officially closed now that I’ve moved to my new author and editor website:

Please be sure to re-follow me at the new site!


Nadine Brandes


MLP 5-Book Giveaway: Which Books Will it Be?

If you’re new to the giveaway, please visit this page for details on how to participate!

Ad--Lunar Lander

Over the past five days, we’ve had over 240 votes for which five Marcher Lord Press (MLP) books should be entered into my MLP Anniversary giveaway. It’s been quite exciting seeing the different reading preferences. I can’t wait to see the results. I will tell you that the standings are quite close! Voting ends tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7pm EST.

You may vote by going to my Pinterest page and repinning/liking the five books you hope to see in the giveaway. Or, if you don’t have Pinterest you can vote via my Facebook Pinterest page by hovering over the book covers you want and clicking the Facebook “like” button. This giveaway is open to anyone and it is completely free. You don’t even have to like speculative fiction (though, if you win a MLP book and read it, you’ll undoubtedly be sucked in.)

The five top-voted books will be revealed Wednesday morning (9-25-13) on my brand-new author website:

Nadine Brandes Website

Two days and counting! I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve been working on the over the past several weeks. As many people understand, it’s exhilarating to see a vision develop into reality. That’s how it’s been with my website (although learning code—the equivalent to a new language—and trying to keep my eyes from glazing over has been a challenge.) What better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway with fellow visionaries?

For those of you who who follow my blog via e-mail, you will be transferred automatically to my new site. For anyone else who follows in a different manner, you will have to re-follow me once the website changes. Until then, you have two more days to vote for your favorite books!

What’s Your Adventure?

Authors dream about adventures. Then they write them. And readers enter them.

My goal as an author is not just to convey that thirst and pursuit for “something great”, but to urge and inspire my readers (and myself) to live them. I want my writing and my life to be an adventure story from start to finish.

My upcoming book, A Time to Die, came from the idea of living an active life–a life where we step in faith after a daring idea and watch God work. One year ago, this month (August), I laid awake in bed at 2am after watching the summer Olympics with my husband. My mind rotated in a sleepy stupor like a movie reel, thinking about how God’s equipped each of us for great things. After a string of sleepless nights and very out-of-the-ordinary prayers, my husband and I chose to take a daring step into the unknown:

I was going to snowboard race…in faith.

Yes, you heard me right: A bookworm on a snowboard who currently lived in flat snowless Missouri with a degree in speech therapy. Interesting mix. But I trusted God would take me all the way to the Olympics if He wanted. And that’s what I prayed for.


It may sound crazy, me being an author going on such an adventure, but I refuse to live vicariously through writing.

I never dreamed of being an Olympian before this pursuit. I’d never raced before. I wasn’t even that consistently active, but I had grown up in the Rocky Mountains so I had a little snowboarding history. Still, this pursuit of adventure came from a completely different desire of my heart. My husband and I truly had no idea what we were getting into, but we didn’t need to know. We just needed to know why we were doing it.

I didn’t make it to the Olympics, but God took me all the way to the US National Championships where I placed 13th. Now my husband and I have this story forever—the story of pursuing a crazy dream as far as we could. No one can ever take it from us and we can share it with our children. That may sound a little sappy, but we have no idea the number of ripples this adventure started or what it might inspire. We’ve gotten a taste of what God can do with a daring step forward. We get to share it, and it’s good, dear friends. So good.

So let me ask you, what’s the most daring adventure you’ve stepped into? It can be anything! Do you have one you’ve dreamed of?

(To read the details behind my initial decision to snowboard race, click here!)

What Exactly is ‘Speculative Fiction’?

When people ask what genre I write and I say, “Speculative Fiction, specifically dystopian.” I usually receive a polite smile over a mask of confusion.


Picture from Deviant Art

I only heard the term ‘speculative fiction’ a year or two ago and realized, “Hey, that’s what I write!” So what exactly is it?

As Jeff Gerke, founder and publisher of Marcher Lord Press, likes to say, “It’s the “weird” fiction.” Or, as the eloquent Wikipedia puts it: Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres. Science fiction, fantasy, utopian, dystopian, time travel, steampunk, horror, alternate history, vampires, spiritual warfare, technothriller, and superheroes. I’ve still probably missed a couple.

My debut novel, A Time to Die, is dystopian (a discussion for another day), but I have some plans to write a fantasy series in the future.

How do you feel about Speculative Fiction? Do you write in any of these genres? Read them?

CrossReads Book Blast: Keeper of Reign by Emma Right


Keeper of Reign

By Emma Right

About the Book

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it?

For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema.

Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn’t get himself killed first.

Keeper of Reign (Reign Fantasy) On Kindle
Keeper of Reign in Paperback


Emma RightEmma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

Follow Emma Right
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Emma Right!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Christian Book Lovers Hop


Starting June 25th through June 30th, The Readers Realm and Spirit Filled Kindle are hosting The Christian Book Lovers Hop. Each site listed is giving away a mixture of ebooks, gift cards, audio books, book packages, and other great prizes. All entries are free through Rafflecopter or comments. Be sure to take a look and what’s offered.You may win and find yourself with a new favorite read!

1. The Readers Realm

2. Spirit Filled Kindle

3. Pauline Creeden, Author

4. Melissa Turner Lee

5. SittingOnThePorchwithLynn

6. Laura J. Davis

7. Fantasy Author J. L. Mbewe

8. Adventures in Writing

9. Please Don’t Remove MarGreat’s Glasses!

10. Always Walk in Love

11. Bonnie Blythe’s Pure Romance

12. Fly Through the Gateway to Gannah

13. God Mission Possible

14. Body and Soul Publishing

15. Bookly Books

16. The Jevlir Caravansary

17. Practical Proverbs

18. Rebekah Lyn’s Kitchen

19. Phyllis Sather Write the Vision

20. Katy Lee Books

21. HIStory – Providence Thru the Ages Blog

22. Morgan L. Busse, Author

23. Cliff Ball


25. Staci Stallings

26. Aaron DeMott

27. Roller Coaster Suspense

28. Lorilyn Roberts Linky Blog Hop

29. Keeper of Reign–Promotional Fantays Blog Hop

30. Christian Romance Author Laura J. Marshall

31. Sidney W. Frost


(*If you are interested in joining the hop, visit this page to sign up!)

Three Qualities That Make For An Engaging First Line

The Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference (CCWC) introduced me to a deeper level of editing. Not only am I excited to apply this understanding to my own work, but I’m itching to apply it to manuscripts from my clients. I was honored to be accepted into the Fiction Intensive Clinic taught by author, editor, and publisher, Jeff Gerke (Marcher Lord Press) at the CCWC and one specific nugget mined from this clinic applied to writing an engaging first line.

According to Jeff Gerke, an engaging first line should contain the following three components:

  1. It should be simple.
  2. It should be interesting and engaging: the beginning of your novel is the portal to the rest of the book. It’s possible to have a simple opening line without it being engaging.
  3. It should be appropriate for the tone of your book. For example, if your book is a sweet comedy romance, don’t start with, “Mother died of a flesh-eating disease.”

Here are some examples of first lines I personally like:

I was born during the second holocaust. (Enclave, by Ann Aguirre)

Piper decided to jump off the roof. (The Girl Who Could Fly, by Victoria Forester)

There was once a time when only God knew the day you’d die. (My work in progress, A Time to Die)

They took me in my nightgown. (Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys)

Take these three points and examine your own first line. Does it have all three components? If not, what’s missing? Do you have any favorite first lines?