Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes


ATimetoDieCovA Time to Die by Nadine Brandes swept me into a world that somehow made me feel as if I had been simultaneously swept into the past and the future. She brilliantly weaves impoverished archaic communities with enough futuristic tech to remind me that I’m visiting a time many years after terrorists attacks that devastated the world. In rebuilding, a wall was put up, splitting those who are governed by clocks, and those who choose to remain independent.

The dystopian society Brandes created is enough for me enjoy the ride. Add Parvin, an eighteen-year-old with no direction and no accomplishments, nothing but a ticking clock. A clock that is about to run out.  A clock that knows the time of her death.

Or does it?

Parvin has a twin brother. Perhaps the clock is his and he only has a year to live. We don’t know. And though it’s not Parvin or her brother’s fault there weren’t enough clocks available at their birth to set the time of their death, it’s unacceptable to live in their community without one. Now they’re secretly radicals, sharing the same clock.

But one of them only has a year left. Parvin can’t risk having lived all her life for nothing. Her life has to have meaning. This drives her to make a choice that will completely alter the last year of her life. A string of life-threatening events follows that moment, all the while growing her faith and dependence on God.

I’ve read many good books, but it’s been a long time since I picked one up and became instantly hooked. A Time to Die had me delaying dinner and annoying my family with my need to know what will happen next.

I highly recommend this book to any and all readers. There are moments that might be disturbing for someone who is in Jr High or below, but young adults to 100 plus, male or female…anyone who enjoys a good, clean adventure with God at the center…don’t miss A Time to Die.

You are loved,

J F Rogers

More about the author:

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. Her dystopian trilogy, the Out of Time Series, challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by 'bumbershoot'.) When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai, editing fantasy novels, or being a Harry Potter super-nerd, she and her knight-in-shining armor  are out chasing adventures.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

B.R.A.G. Medallion

I’m so excited to share that Astray has received the B.R.A.G. Medallion!
In case you aren’t familiar with this award, and you probably aren’t, B.R.A.G. stands for Book Readers Appreciation Group. IndieBRAG, LLC is an organization that seeks to find and support talented Indie (self-published) authors. You can find out more about who they are and what they do here.
I can’t tell you how honored I am to receive this reward. It comes after months of prayerful consideration to decide to take a couple of years off from writing. At least, from writing a novel. I can’t stop writing (or thinking in blog posts). But time will tell what will happen. In the meantime, as always, I’m seeking God’s leading day-by-day. I’m leaning on my life verse to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will set your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
My heart is full of gratitude. I’m thankful to God, first and foremost because “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) But I am grateful to everyone He has put in my life. So many people helped me achieve this life goal of writing this book. My pastors gave me spiritual guidance and encouragement in this journey as did family and friends. Critique partners also encouraged me and offered a collective wealth of knowledge and advice. The glowing reviews I’ve received and now, this reward provides much needed affirmation that my work was not in vain.
I can’t help but look back at the moment I submitted my life to God. Shortly thereafter the mess I’d made began to turn into something beautiful. I found my church home, the book I’d tried so hard to write over the years practically wrote itself, I married my wonderful husband and we were baptized together, my beautiful daughter was saved and baptized, I got involved in many ministries and eventually began working for my church, and my life’s work became published. I can’t help but look back and see God’s faithfulness to those who seek Him.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
Thank you all.
You are loved,
J F Rogers