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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Nadine Brandes ~ Author of A Time To Die!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Nadine!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 

Thank you for having me, Melanie! I’m an author of faith-based speculative fiction. I’ve been writing with a goal for publication for over 10 years and boy has it been an adventure! I love the Lord, traveling, season, chai lattes, and music. I also work as a freelance editor and I hope to live the rest of my life working around books and story.

My husband and I currently live in Idaho (no children yet) and hope to travel a bit more of the world before settling down and starting a family.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NDAJBTU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00NDAJBTU&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=OZVDOA7S4O2CA4EZI love dystopian fiction and, I have to say, your book sounds very good. For those who aren't familiar with it, will you share about A Time To Die?

Okay, imagine you have a clock on your bedside or nightstand and it tells you – down to the last second – the day you’ll die. You watch it tick down every day and there’s no mystery behind when you’ll die. That’s what my book, A Time to Die is about. Everyone has a Clock telling them how long they have to live. My main character has only one year left when the story starts and she feels like she’s wasted her life. So, in a last-ditch effort to find purpose, she gets a little…radical. ;-)

What inspired the story?

This story came to me after the death of an acquaintance. He was the same age as me and he died very suddenly while doing relief work in Africa. I remember thinking about the little I knew of him – he was always zipping back to Africa to help out a certain village. He’d skip out on college, the family business, and any other responsibilities to go back to Africa.

Something in him knew he didn’t have time to go to college or invest in his family’s business. I wondered if I was using my time as intentionally as he did. From that question (and the many others that followed) I wrote A Time to Die. Through writing it, my own life and view of life changed drastically.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

When I started breathing. [grin] But really, I don’t think there’s ever been a time that I didn’t process something through story. I didn’t consider writing as a profession, it was just a natural need of life – like breathing and eating and sleeping.

When I was a child, I became a chronic liar. I embellished everything. Once I hit my teen years, I finally grew a conscience and started channeling that desire to fib and embellish into stories. Once I entered college for a different degree, I realized that writing books was the only pursuit that felt right with my dreams. Not to mention God continued to lay it on my heart until I couldn’t resist. So I started pursuing it professionally.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 
I never use my first idea in a scene, no matter how good the idea might be. Because, chances are, a reader will think of that idea too and then that makes my book predictable. So, when I’m faced with the question of, “How will they escape?” or “What will happen to cause a fight?” I think hard on an answer…then ditch it and think again.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=21973&picture=piano-notesWhere do you like to write? 
We have a guest room transformed into a writing room/library. I get to decorate it however I want. :D It’s positively magical and full of windows! But when I need to escape the house, I love working in old coffee shops. When I lived in Missouri, there was the perfect place made out of old bricks with a window corner. *Sigh*

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
Play music (piano), travel, discover new recipes, travel, snowboard, and travel if I can. ;-)

What is your favorite genre to read and why?
Speculative fiction, but that’s kind of an obvious answer. Favorite subgenres in spec-fic would be dystopian, virtual reality, and fantasy. I also love theology books that push me to deepen my faith. Like Follow Me and Radical by David Platt, Love Does by Bob Goff, Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, and The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer

What is your least favorite genre to read?
Romance. *Peeks from behind hands* I know, I know, it’s probably the most popular genre out there, but it’s not for me. I read too many non-realistic romance books growing up that created the wrong idea of what romance should be. Then, when I met my husband I was blown away by real romance --- the romance that God intended. Not a single book could compare and I lost my interest in romance novels from then on. For me, there’s very little takeaway from them that I can apply to my life.

However, I still enjoy romance in books. I just don’t like pure, solid, romance novels.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet? 
Antarctica, but mainly because of book research. I’m sure when I start writing a book set in a different environment I’ll want to go there, too.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 
Right now it’s Hebrews 11:4: “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.”

I love the idea that, through being faithful in my life, God will still use me to speak and affect lives even after I’ve joined Him in heaven.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie? 
Too many to possibly narrow it down without specifying genres and mood. But these are two of my favorites:
Movie: Fiddler on the Roof
Song: Let’s go with Divine Romance by Phil Wickham

What is your favorite holiday? 
Christmas, hands-down. My birthday is two days after Christmas so that time of year has been the epitome of celebration and family my entire life. It always feels magical and I grew up in Wyoming which always provided a very white Christmas. [grin]

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?
I experienced all four seasons to their full extent for the first time four years ago when living in Missouri. I was raised in southern California and then we moved to Wyoming when I was ten. So-Cal is perpetual summer and where we lived in Wyoming was mostly winter. I never saw a full autumn or spring until I moved to Missouri. I was blown away. So, right now, I’m just in awe of all four. But I’m leaning toward autumn.

Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Snow!
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Tea or Coffee? Chai tea (though I was a barista and I love making coffee.
Call or Text? Text.
Cats or Dogs? Depends on how much hair they’ll shed. ;)
Early-bird or Night-owl? I’m more of an afternoon crow. But I’m trying to be an early-bird.
Introvert or Extrovert? According to all those personality tests out there, I’m smack dab in the middle. But I recharge by taking time to myself so, probably technically introvert.
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. But Twitter’s growing on me.
Mystery or Romance? I think we’ve already seen my view on Romance. ;) I’ll go with mystery.
Sneakers or Sandals? Sandals!

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
I’m working on book 2 in the Out of Time trilogy. After this trilogy, I have a portal fantasy up my sleeve that I think a lot of people will enjoy. (I hope!)

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web? 

Thank you so much for having me! You can find me on:
My book on Amazon: http://bit.ly/ATtDamazonkindle

Enter for a chance to win a print copy of A Time To Die by Nadine Brandes! Giveaway is open internationally and ends 10/9.

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


  1. Great interview! "A Time to Die" will certainly bring the scripture Lord, teach us to number out days, home! Can't wait to read it. I too love Chai tea and dogs. Have a wonderful day!

    1. Thank you! That Scripture is often on my mind as I write the Out of Time books. I hope you enjoy it! Do you have a favorite type of Chai? :)

  2. I love dsytopian too! This book sounds really good. I am more of an afternoon person too!

    1. You mean I'm not the only one? [grin] It's nice to meet a kindred spirit. If I had to choose between the two, I'd love to LEARN to become a morning person -- sunrises are so delightful...but so is sleep. Hm... ;)

  3. Tick tock ~how long they have to live. What an interesting story, would love to read this one! !
    dkstevensne at outlook .com

  4. Thanks for being here, Nadine! I love dystopian novels...I also like your practice of NOT using the first idea that comes to your mind when writing...Great idea. :)

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Yes, sometimes it can be hard to discard that first idea, but it's always worth it! :)

  5. Cool premise... Sounds like an awesome read! :)

    1. I like to think so. ;-) You'll have to let me know what you think after you read it.

  6. Enjoyed the interview. I love Chai tea too! :)

    1. A fellow chai-lover! Hurray! I often think doesn't get the attention it deserves...which just means more for us! ;)

  7. Sounds like an awesome book! Can't wait to read it :D

  8. I've seen this book and been anxiously awaiting it. And it seems we have lots in common, too! Would love to win as I am a big quality YA fan (teens/tweens in the house!). I like the concept on this one. All the best to you, Nadine, and congrats on publication!

    1. Thank you so much, Heather! :) I hope you and your teens/tweens enjoy the book! It's recommended for ages 16+.

      Even if you don't win the giveaway, I do hope you still find an opportunity to read the story. :)

  9. I love my romance books, but if it's a good story, almost any genre will do. Congrats on publishing!

  10. I seen the interview but missed the chance to be on the launch team. What a kick to actually think you may know when you might die and have a chance to do something good in the time left. I hope if that ever happens; relationships in families can be repaired.

    1. I'm sure I'll put together another launch team with book two. I'd love to have you a part of it!

      Yes, it's still a bit mind-boggling to me to imagine knowing when I might die, but I'm thankful that writing the book has helped me to think on this more.

  11. I loved this interview with new-to-me author Nadine Brandes! This book sounds very interesting...and I know my middle daughter would love it, too! I think she, too, has wanted to be an author since she started breathing! ALWAYS reading or writing something! Thank you for the interview, the giveaway, and the chance to win!
    Kelly Y.
    kelly *at* dkcountryarts *dot* com

    1. Wonderful! If your daughter ever wants to chat about writing or has any questions, have her shoot me an e-mail through my website's contact page. I'd be happy to answer any questions I can. :)

      I hope both of you enjoy the read.

  12. I love dystopians! I would love to read it!

    1. Woohoo! Do you have a favorite? I'm always looking for new dystopians.

  13. Can't wait to read this -- hope I win! Enjoy reading/reviewing YA . . .

    Carol Gehringer

  14. Wow! The story behind the book is so touching!
    I also love your favorite verse! :)
    I didn't use to read Romance novels either :P but then I discovered Inspirational Romance and I got to admit that I kind of like it ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Sometimes I have a day or two where I'll pick up a romance and just love it. :D I'm not totally immune. [grin]

      Glad you like the verse. It's such a good and needed reminder prayer.

  15. I like a little mystery with my romance too... dkstevensne (at) outlook .com

  16. I agree with you, ~ I just don’t like pure, solid, romance novels.~ I like suspense or mystery with a little good clean romance :) d_stevens310 (at) live.com


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