Queen Lenore – The Ear Tickler

Continuing on in this series explaining how the characters, places, and everything of BRUMBLETIDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF EVE came to be, today is Lenore.

Lenore, Head of Castle, is beautiful, powerful, and a master of words. By her schmooze, the people of Little Ipswich pour into Castle Emily with not only their hearts but their wallets. To them, Lenore is their savior, giving them opportunity in life. Anyone, young or old, rich or poor, can come to Emily, leave their life of hardship for a time, and be ROYAL. How could anyone not support a selfless leader like this who cares only for the people?

Lenore loves that the people view her this way and does everything in her power to make sure they continue. Why? Because as long as they think that she is for them, they will not looker deeper and find that she is only for her. Lenore tells everyone they are royal, allows them into her palace for no cost, and look at that, the money rolls in! Lenore doesn’t mind a bit telling everyone what they want to hear because she knows that she is the only real Queen of Emily and everyone else, unbeknownst to them, is only her servants. Tickle their ears and they will bow without question.

The idea for Lenore came from lying, schmoozing politicians, pastors, and cult leaders. I tried to paint her and someone really difficult not to love on the surface which is why Maggie idolizes her in the beginning. There is also several layers to Lenore as even she isn’t fully aware of all of the evils of Emily.

Have yet to read BRUMBLETIDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF EVE? Check it out here!

The “Royals” of Emily

A man dressed in a white gown with a gleaming crown upon his head is working the tollbooth. A nameplate reads, King Cornelius Kipp: Booth Attendant. I recognize his kingly garments as the ones worn by Batch-goers and kids attending Emily Academy. I’ve seen Atticus Peabody dressed like this when he arrives home from Winter Break.  
-Maggie Prewitt, BRUMBLETIDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF EVE

“Look around you, my dear. We are all royalty here in Emily. You are indeed a princess on the grounds.” -Queen Lenore, BRUMBLETIDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF EVE

Today I am disclosing how the idea of the general public getting to be treated as royalty in Emily blossomed in my mind. If you read Emily = Your Weird Local Church, you know that the idea for Emily Castle itself came from churches in small towns that lure the people in with miracles and prosperity. These prophecies, healings, and magic seem to be most bountiful for those who already have wealth that they are willing to share with the establishment. In the same way, these “elites” that seem to always acquire even more wealth translated in my mind to the top tier highly decorated”royals” of Emily. Again everyone is welcome, but not everyone is equal.

And unfortunately, just like in real life when the middle and low class masses are swindled into purchases they can’t afford, the same happens in Emily when it comes to “fulfilling their royal destiny” as we see Maggie’s mother and even the good-hearted Cal Rumple falling victim to.

I realize that so far, the story is pretty negative. But it’s not over! We have many more ideas to discuss and one of them is the true Kingdom that is hidden beneath the abomination.

Have yet to read BRUMBLETIDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF EVE? Check it out here!

Emily = Your Weird Local Church

In the almost two months that BRUMBLETIDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF EVE has been published, I have received one particular question from almost every reader who has given me feedback. It’s something along the lines of “Where did you get these ideas?”

In response, I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts explaining exactly that starting with the magnificent Emily Castle.

Emily (which in my mind’s eye looks much like the famous Neuschwanstein Castle) floats miraculously on the Lux Sea three miles outside of Little Ipswich. Here, the general public can come any time an event called Batch is held and get the royal treatment… literally. No matter if you are rich, poor, somebody or nobody, you get your own throne, a feast fit for a king, and servants at your beck and call that actually refer to you as “Your Majesty” and things of the such.

If you would like, you can purchase royal garments to actually look the part. “Fulfill your royal destiny” so to speak. And of course, anyone who’s anyone wears the palace garments when they attend Emily. You can even raise your children up royally in the castle’s prestigious Emily Academy where young “princes” and “princesses” learn the way of the elite.

Once inside you will be wowed by magical happenings. Angelic creatures called Snickerlings sing songs that sound different to everyone as they are playing in tune to what you want to hear. Torchless flames light your path, candles speak, and lit fireplaces are actually tunnels used to get from here to there (don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing). If you are lucky, maybe your visit will be during the time of the Whisper’s Fortune. These beings that switch from animal to human and back again will tell what’s in store for Little Ipswich and the Castle. Are they good are evil? Who can tell?

And is that a dragon?

The magic and mystery is seemingly endless in Emily. So what made me think of it. While much of it just came from my fingertips when writing, the idea for Emily was spawned by your weird local church.

Most of us have one in our our otherwise completely normal city or town. There’s our neighborhood, the grocery store, where we get our hair cut, all of these completely normal things, but then there’s these churches I speaking of. You know, the ones where there is supposedly all these miraculous things going on. Not just sometimes, but apparently every week! Healings, visions, prophecies— weird stuff. Not only that, but anyone in town, rich or poor, somebody or nobody, can attend and be told how special they are and how to live their best life. Sure, no charge to visit, but if you want to really belong, it will cost you.

I got this mental picture of the woman who turned out to be Lenore in the story saying to someone “Don’t you see, we are all royals here.” and that’s pretty where it all started.

What did you think of Emily? Would you like to visit?

Have yet to read BRUMBLETIDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF EVE? Check it out here!

BRUMBLETIDE: a Supposal

Here are some of the reviews so far of Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve…

“Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve is an amazing story full of magical fantasy and the right amount of suspense. This is a lovely story that pulls at your heart and leaves you wanting more. A must read for kids and adults alike!”

“This was such an exciting read from Chapter1! I am an adult, and truly wanted more and more to read. I was so sad when it was over! Such a fun and exciting story of magic and life. I can’t wait until the next book comes out!!”

This book is a great story about an unlikely and humble hero in a world of magic and enchantment. It is a great gift and a fantastic read for children of all ages. As I was nearing the end of the book, I was thinking, “How cold this possibly end so soon? There’s not enough time to bring the story together!” J Reese Bradley said, “No problem!” and wrapped it up nicely with a neat little bow on top, and I kind of wish she hadn’t! I want more. It will be interesting to see what new adventures are in store for our hero and her friends. When does the next book come out?!

And my personal favorite from my Dad…

“Are you on drugs?”

Thank you to all of you have have given it a shot. I hope with my whole being that you enjoy it! I want to begin giving you a bit of facts about the book starting with what it actually is. Those of you reading it have probably picked up on its Biblical themes. It has been called an allegory because of these. But it is not, in fact, an allegory but a supposal.

If you don’t know, Brumbletide was inspired by C.S. Lewis’s The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Pippin, my Great White Stag, is the mysterious White Stag in the last chapter of TLWW. Of course, I gave him the name Pippin and made up his whole story in Brumbletide but he is not only my “Aslan” but has many ties to Aslan as well (I will go into no more detail until you’ve had more time to read until the end.)

Many thought The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was allegory because of it’s Christian themes. But Lewis said that it should actually be called a “supposal”. Suppose there was a place called Narnia in need of salvation…

And that is how we should look at Brumbletide. Suppose there was a place called Little Ipswich in need of salvation. Suppose everyone had fallen for a terrible lie. Suppose there was a King ready to save them from their false kingdom. Suppose there were some chosen to do the job.

Find Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve by clicking the link below!

Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve has FINALLY released!

Royals, royals everywhere!

Little Ipswich is an otherwise average, small-town except for one thing. Set afloat in the Lux Sea that borders it is Emily, an enormous stone castle where magical and miraculous things are said to go on.
After being scared out of her wits by a doomsday prophecy involving the castle and a strange place called Brumbletide, twelve-year-old Maggie Prewitt begs her mother to take her to Emily to find out what it’s all about. Inside, Maggie finds a talking candle, magical creatures, and flying children called Snickerlings. And if that wasn’t enough, the general public is treated as royalty getting to sit on luxurious thrones and dress in fabulous gowns and sparkling crowns.
Emily also has its own academy where young people are “groomed into their royal destiny,” which, like it or not, Maggie gets the chance of a lifetime to attend. At the academy, she undergoes a drastic transformation, learns lots of new things in classes such as Disposition and Non-Common Sense, and even finds out that she is a descendant of one of seven highly esteemed ancestors chosen by the Great White Stag, Pippin.
But it isn’t long before Maggie realizes all that glitters is not gold at Emily, and that things unseen may not only be secret, but sinister.

If you know a reader 10-14 years old or have just been curious about my new book, check it out by clicking the link!

Yes, The Gospel Will Save the World

Yes, the gospel will save the world—and here’s how.

The gospel is the good news that Christ died and rose again to save us from the wrath of God. If you don’t believe me, pray and ask.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

This gospel will save the world, and has already saved it. So where is the salvation? Where are the Christians? Where are the new creations? Where is peace and joy that surpasses all understanding?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Here it is, Christ is waiting for you. The one reading this. Whether you are in church or not. Whether you profess to be a Christian or not. The time to examine yourself is at hand.

God is real. Jesus Christ is real and died for you. When you seek Jesus Christ (pray and ask!) you will grow into a new creation. This is real, but we don’t see it often these days.

Be the new generation.

Be the generation that found God. Be the generation that understood the meaning of a “new creation”. Be the generation that took pride in surrendering to the God who made you, who raises you from the pit, places a crown on your head, and gives you life! Be the generation that because you understood these things, the future generations went on.

So what to do? First, right now, ask God to open your eyes to His gospel. Then, find a Bible, and start reading it from Genesis. Don’t neglect this step! Pray for understanding before and as your read.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Next, hold on tight. Let God work in you. But keep holding on. Keep praying and reading.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5

I am telling you, on the other side of these steps is true peace, joy, and purpose. I wouldn’t take the time to write this if there wasn’t. I know that if everyone, right now, takes a moment to call to God, and ask Him to open their eyes and heart to what Christ has done for them, the world will change dramatically for the better. This will happen, because multitudes of people would begin to grow into this “new creation” that really happens when you come to know Christ. And as John 15 so clearly says, they will bear fruit!

What could it hurt? Call to God.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11

Blessings,
JRB

The Great White Stag

Can you believe that C.S. Lewis’s The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe will turn seventy next year? This story has affected me in so many ways. I love the world of Narnia. Even when it’s winter there and they are waiting for Aslan to bring Spring, I wanted to sit down with a tea and chat with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. I love how simple the story appears, yet has so many secrets hidden inside. This story even inspired my story, Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve. Do you remember the mysterious White Stag that leads the Pevensies out of Narnia? I wondered who he was? What if he was paying a visit from another kingdom? Where would that be? What would it be like? There is already a lot of mythology surrounding the White Stag so it was fun to learn and imagine his world.

I named him Pippin.

The Gift of Humiliation

I used to think that I was in humiliating situations way more than anyone else. Now, looking back, I think it was just that I was much more sensitive and self-conscious than those around me at the time.

Still, there were these happenings that were pretty darn embarrassing….

When I was five, sitting in the middle of my fellow kindergarten classmates, I felt the need to, ahem, “pass gas” coming on, so I did the only logical thing. I put my hands over my ears, closed my eyes, and let it go! I remember opening one eye to see the whole class, including the teacher, laughing hysterically.
When I was twelve, I ended up in the swim relay at summer camp. I was pretty nervous considering I was not an amazing swimmer, and also couldn’t stand anything, not even water, being in my eyes. Not planning on being in a swim relay or even getting in the pool for that matter, I didn’t bring goggles. The time came for me to do my lap. I was last in line for the relay, and our team had the last lane in the pool. I dove in and swam my little heart out. I was quite proud of my speed until someone smacked me in the head. Shaking it off, I continued on. I was pretty fit, but the swim seemed miles long. To my surprise, I smacked a couple of people in the head on my journey. Oops! Sorry! But again to my surprise, they smacked me back. Come on! Finally, I touched the edge of the pool. I stood up, wiped my eyes (they were closed the whole time since I couldn’t stand any water in them), the pool was empty. I looked straight into the face of the guy I’d been crushing all week, and worst of all, the entire camp was laughing at the girl who swam directly diagonal across the whole pool! I went back to my cabin and prayed no one would make me come out for the rest of the week. They did.
When I was sixteen, I was one of the first of my friends to have a car. It was a clunker, thank God, because this was also at the same time that I began dating my first boyfriend. I was nervously driving us both to the movies when he reached over and put his hand on my leg. Distracted, I jumped the median and proceeded to drive on top of it for its whole length, sparks flying from the back of my little white Cavalier. The car didn’t last long after that. Don’t date and drive, kids.
When I was seventeen, I made the brilliant decision to drop out of school and move out of my house all in the same first-period class one morning. Not old enough to serve alcohol, I got a job as a night shift waitress at Waffle House. I was impressed with how much money I made in tips the first week! However, my excitement didn’t last long because one morning, as I was gathering my things and heading out the door, one of the first shift waitresses stopped me and proceeded to rip me a new one. She was upset because, for the past week, I had waited my tables, cleaned them up, gathered my things, and went home. I did have the passing wonder of who they hired to clean the bathrooms, floors, windows, and things… little did I know it was me!
When I was twenty-two, I said yes to marrying someone just because I was too afraid to say no. In the middle of the engagement, I gave the ring back and said I didn’t want to marry him. But he begged me to change my mind, and I gave in. Five years of misery ensued.

Ah, good times.

I share just a few examples of my humiliation because you need to know it is one of the absolute greatest gifts I have received in life. The chance to be humiliated, survive, and receive notch after notch of boldness to live genuinely is what fuels me to do the things I love with no apologies or explanation. It’s how I am unfazed by rejection, and even glad to see it. Rejection is a sign that I’m in the game! Moreover, I love my humiliated self. It is much more approachable, and has won me great friendships.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid of what anyone thought of you? I bet the possibilities coming to mind are endless. Have you been humiliated lately? Revel in it. Feel it to the utmost extent.

And welcome yourself to your new beginning.

Blessings,
J.Reese Bradley