The final battle is approaching…
Lennox continues to fight against the Regime and Ahab, battling her own emotions as well as she gets over the loss of her best friend. Times are changing, and she soon learns that. Now working as a combat medic, she works to find survivors in what used to be the beautiful, free land of America. Now all she can see is blood, death, and destruction. Not only do they have to face Ahab and the Regime, but the Regime is now working on altering humans and animals alike, enhancing them and changing their DNA and faith in God isn’t proving to be enough.
Will the Sparrows succeed?
Or will they be lost in the tide of war-
And eternity?


Mandy Fender has, again, done an outstanding job. The themes and the characters are relatable and the book proposes the question we all ask ourselves- through it all, will we prevail?

Lovers of the Hunger Games, Legend and Maze Runner series will devour this epic finale to an equally epic series. If you are a teen striving to seek and serve God in all you do and say, this novel is for you. From the beginning to the beautiful, artistic ending, Lennox remains strong in her beliefs and strives to please her Master.

Mandy Fender artistically crafts words to fit onto the clean white pages like a master. This award-winning author shapes this novel together in a way that promises to make you stay up until the morning light.

Through all of the novel, she weaves beautiful messages, shows us that the future isn’t that bleak and reminds us that, if we have Christ, we are, indeed, a Conqueror.


Tips for Making Your Not-So Special Novel Unique

Tips for Making Your Not-So Special Novel Unique



Okay, there’s a big issue going on right now. Basically, it’s all about ‘is my novel unique enough?’ and then people stop writing their novels because they are worried that it isn’t. Let me tell you this- I’ve stopped more than one novel because I was afraid I was copying.

And maybe I was, I don’t know.
The thing is, there is no new idea in this world by now. Want to write a story about a rebellion? It’s been done. Want to write a story about a space ship? Done. Over and over and over again. But the thing is… each of those novels were successful. Why? Because each of them had an element that made them special and unique.
Here are some simple tips to making sure your novel is unique.


1. Change the time-period.

If you want to write a book about aliens invading the world, well, go for it. But, I mean, Independence Day? So change the time period. Make it Medieval. Train a group of knights to fight against the strange ships that come from the sky.
2. Change your tense/pov
People often say that Divergent is too much like Hunger Games. Honestly, other than the fact that it is in a futuristic world and people don’t get to choose what they do… I don’t see it. If Veronica Roth had made it third person, past tense, I doubt anyone would have judged her. So change the POV and you’ll have an entirely different perspective.
3. Change the scenery
If the book/movie you are afraid that you are copying is set in Iceland… make your book in a tropical paradise. If you do this, most people won’t even think of comparing.
4. Give your character a darker twist to avoid cliche
Okay, we’ve all heard the story of the knight rescuing the princess from the dragon. Some people like to flip it on their head and say that the dragon was rescuing the princess from the knight. But what if you gave it an even darker twist? Say that the knight was rescuing the dragon from the bloodthirsty princess? Even if your story is so cliché, all you have to do is give it a sinister and darker twist. People won’t even notice the original then.


What are your success stories for making your novel unique? Share in the comments below!

5 Things to Avoid in the First Chapter

5 Things to Avoid in the First Chapter

One of the most important things for an author to understand is how to form the first chapter. Or, more importantly, how not to. The first chapter is what the agents and publishers will read. It is also, most likely, the page that curious people will go to at a bookstore. So, if you have a bad beginning, everyone just assumes that you aren’t qualified to write and therefore do not deserve the attention. I have read books that have very bad beginnings, and so I didn’t continue to read them. What are the things to avoid in the first chapter? Here is a list of five things to remember.

1. Avoid long opening paragraphs

This is one of the things that bug me. A lot. If I open a book I want to instantly be drawn into the story. Sure, a small opening paragraph is fine. But don’t go along to write what I call a ‘Run-On Paragraph’ which is a paragraph that takes something you have already described and breaks it down bit by bit until I have a big picture- but maybe too big. I want to be drawn into the book first off. And if I am instantly put into a position when I have to read this poetic, run-on sentence, I’m going to assume that the rest of the book is that way and put it down.

2. Avoid using passive voice

Looking back at my books that I wrote years ago, I noticed I used passive voice. I told about things instead of showing them. That basically opened the door- but kept the screen tightly locked. I could smell the world, feel the warmth, see the light, but I couldn’t get in. We don’t want that. In the first chapter, and fundamentally the rest of the book, try showing things instead of telling them. For example, don’t say ‘the fall leaves’ instead, try doing something like this ‘the drying leaves crunched underfoot’. If you do it that way, people are sucked into the world, and they can almost see it, feel it, and smell it. It’s alright to use passive voice sometimes, but if you use it all the time agents and publishers will see you as immature, and won’t give your book another thought.

3. Avoid pointless facts

Do not go on to describe the color of her hair, where she went to school, who she dated, etc. right at the beginning. The beginning of the book needs to be like a movie- not a history book. Put in these facts one by one, dotting the book, letting the readers learn these things one by one. Don’t ever put anything like this: ‘Anne was twelve years old when she first went to Green Gables. Before that, she had been a lonely orphan in an asylum, and often talked to herself to keep herself from being all alone.’ That sounds quite immature, doesn’t it? Instead, Lucy Montgomery put in the facts one by one, telling the story, weaving it together, putting fact over fact, each of a different color.

4. Avoid answering questions

In the first chapter, I want to be left in the dark. I want to be asking questions. I want to have a good enough understanding of the world they live in, but I want to still be asking questions at the end. If you answer every question you proposed, I wouldn’t feel like I needed to read the rest of the book. I would feel satisfied. As mean as it sounds, you do not want the reader to be satisfied. You want them to fidget, wondering what’s going to happen next, hoping that they don’t have to wake up at 3 a.m. again to read what will happen next. Sorry, insomniacs, but it is the author’s goal to keep you up as late as possible. How do we do that? Keep them asking questions- and don’t answer them in the same chapter. Keep them waiting, hoping, sweating for the answer. And then, finally, when they get the answer, they are farther along in the book.

5. Avoid using an excessive amount of poetic similes

“Her smile was like a ray of sunshine shining on a freezing land.” These similes are fine, as long as they are used in moderation. But, I would advise you to eliminate them from your first chapter altogether. Because, most often, the similes are used to describe something we don’t need to know about. The reader will just skim over that description like this; she has a smile like a ray of sunshine. Yeah, I don’t care. Describe things as they are for now and then, later on in the book, you can go ahead and add similes. But, unless you are trying to write a very poetic book -which I caution you against- be careful when you use them. A good amount of similes can be beautiful- an excessive amount is immature.

Questions? Comments? Do not hesitate to make them known in the comment section below!



Creating A Brand New World

Creating A Brand New World


One of the biggest issues for me as an amateur writer was creating a world that seemed real and possible. Not just possible, but probable! I wanted to know how to create a world- and an easy step by step guide to making it realistic.

Now, you have probably come here hoping that I will provide that step-by-step guide, an easy affirmation, a stupendous instruction manual. You have been looking for the easy way to make it and haven’t been able to find it. Let me tell you why.

There is no easy way to create your universe, whether that be post-apocalyptic or a whole new world altogether. It’s that simple. Creating the world that your characters will live in, be in, and breathe in might just be the hardest -but most important- thing to figure out. You need a world that seems real, imperfect and beautiful.

I was forced to struggle on my own, hoping to find the easy guide to forming the world. Anything I ever came up with was shallow and was so thin I could see the light of reality on the other side. No matter how much I tried, nothing was working.

And then I learned something very important. In order to create the world my characters lived in, I first had to create the universe. It’s simple, really.

If there is to be the brain, first there has to be the body. The case- the protection. I cannot have one area of my world figured out without knowing the rest.

For example, if my characters live in China, I need to remember what is going on in South Africa. I need to know the whole story. My readers do not, but I do. Because what I know about the world that my characters live in will impact how they react, how they live, and how the enthusiasm of a world that I know is poured into my writing.

It’s easiest to write a book in modern times because we do not have to do the research on the past or the thinking on the future. We live in the world and we breathe inside of it.

Now, I have a question to ask.

What would our fictional worlds be like if we made ourselves live and breathe inside of it?

Everything would seem real.

And that is your goal as an author, is it not? To suck a person into a world so they forget the reality they are in?

Here are a few things I want you to remember as you prepare your world.

1. The world comes first- the story and characters second

As young authors, we tend to create the story in our heads late at night, planning and hoping, eager to write the book in the morning. But by the time the excitement fades and reality starts to sink in, disappointment settles on our hearts. We have made a mistake. A very, very common mistake. What did we do wrong? We spent so much time thinking about the characters, the names, or maybe this certain scene that we forgot to form the world. I came across this while I was writing my recent dystopian novel. I would lean back and stare up at the quotes on my wall, trying to figure out where to go next because I had no idea. And then, finally, I realized why. I created the characters first, thus leading me to create the plot-line. The void I had created was too big to patch up. This much was clear: I had to start over.

2. Patch up the pieces by writing a ‘map’ of the world they exist in

And so I opened a new document and begin to type out the attributes of the main protagonist, even though he is hardly in the book. I then went on to type out the other characters, then going on to describe the Union bit by bit- the assessment, the type of living conditions, the rules, the soldiers, and the family standards. By the time I opened up my novel document again, I had a fresh new eye on what was supposed to be written- and all of that played into my characters.

3. Remember that the characters you create are living people- not robots

Obviously, the characters you are busy creating live in breathe in the world you are forming. But that means that they are also aware of what is going on in the world around them, not just where they live. That is why it is important to form the entire universe, not just where the story takes place. If you form these things early on, the things the characters say and do will be impacted- thus making them seem more real and less animated.

4. The world you create is the world you destroy

This is one thing lots of authors forget about. They forget that, in the long run, not only will the characters be killed off. The world will be destroyed. It is important to remember that in Lord of the Rings, the Shire was destroyed. In the Hunger Games, District 12 was bombed. People forget that in order for war to be real- the world has to be destroyed as well. So when you are creating your world, make sure you figure out what can be destroyed and what can not be.

5. No real world is perfect

Flowing waterfalls, crystal skies, emerald hills, shimmering seas, marble buildings, streets of gold. I have just painted a vision of a perfect world in your mind. The world I just described is beautiful, but not realistic. If I depicted a world like that for my novel, it would instantly block the readers out. Why? Because no place except for Heaven is perfect like that. No one can imagine such pristine beauty. That is why it is important to create a world out of what you know- and what you understand. Sure, there may be areas that seem perfect; steep mountains, sweeping steppes, skies with clouds like cotton balls. But there are also imperfections. For example, the gaps that an earthquake created, the dirty children running around naked because their parents can’t afford clothes. Never forget that we live in a real world- and your characters must too.

6. Description is key

No real world is perfect- and to make sure that the readers understand that, you must describe it as so. Do the children live amidst a pile of rubble, their fingernails caked with blood as they forage for the remainder of their food? Does blood streak his body as he shields his wife, running away from the fighter-bombs? Is the world they live in nothing but ash and death and gore? Describe it to its very bones- picking apart the pieces until you have a solid description of reality. However, you do not want too much description in one part, now do you? That will make the readers feel cluttered, and they will not understand most of it. Spread the description out, putting it in a sentence here and there. I might do an article, later on, to further explain what I mean.

Creating a world isn’t easy- but it’s the most important thing you absolutely must create to make a novel whole, realistic, and painted.

Questions? Comments? Do not hesitate to make them known in the comment section below!