Why Book Three is NOT Titled: “A Time to Live”

Everyone assumed book three would be called A Time to Live. In fact, it even turned into a joke between me and some friends (yes, Lisa Godfrees, I’m looking at you.) A Time to Rise - Placeholder 3And, when you break down the titles and look at the progression, A Time to Live just makes sense, right?

I’ll admit, I considered it. For about a second.

But my titles are chosen for very specific reasons and book three’s title was the hardest to find. It’s been the red-headed step-child of my manuscripts — not making sense and the toughest one to wrangle. I went from title to title to title and they just didn’t fit. Not even A Time to Live, so here’s my explanation why I went with A Time to Rise.

A time to…and a time to not…

– In the “Time” passage of Ecclesiastes, everything is a contrast. A time for WAR or time for PEACE. They’re opposites. (Meaning sometimes there should be war, and sometimes there shouldn’t.) And the opposite of “A Time to Die” is “A Time to Be Born.” This implies there is a time when we are not dying and times when you can be born and you can’t be born.

I have a point, I promise.

But notice there is no opposite to live. Because if Ecclesiastes included A Time to Live, that would imply that there are times we shouldn’t be living. (“Living” in the sense of it being an action, not a state of being alive.) We should ALWAYS be living. We should always be pursuing life, actively seeking God, growing His children, & striving to bring shalom. (Tweet this) That’s not something that should be stopped. Because there is never a time when God calls us to laziness, mediocrity, passionlessness…

For Parvin (and for all of us)…it’s always been time to live, even when she’d “wasted her life.” It’s the same for us. So I didn’t title book three “A Time to Live” because that implies that what she’s been doing this far has not “counted.” Oh, but it has.

Ecclesiastes 3

I’d originally planned to take all the titles for the books from Ecclesiastes three. And I’ll admit it was rather cruel of me to let many of you still think that’s where the title was coming from during our guessing game. *sniff* I’m sorry.

Here’s what changed my mind:

ATimetoDieCov–  A Time to Die (book 1) was Parvin questioning the purpose of life. She met The Preacher who’s a type of King Solomon from Ecclesiastes (bitter, grouchy, and hopeless…) During this book, she realizes that The Preacher is wrong — there is purpose to life. She’s going to bring shalom. So, in a sense, she outgrows the challenge of Ecclesiastes.

A Time to Speak (book 2) was taken from the Ecclesiastes 3 passage, but the theme of the book really came from Hebrews 11:4. (If you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about. Hint: read the last line of the book.) I mixed the title from Ecclesiastes and Hebrews, and in a sense this revealed the grown that Parvin had made.

– A Time to Rise (book 3) is now so far from Ecclesiastes 3 that it just didn’t make sense to take a title from there. The story in Ecclesiastes is completed. So after a lot of prayer, I took the title from Isaiah 60:1-2. I love how the chapter starts with God calling us to rise for His glory. It’s a calling that is applicable to each and every one of us and seemed to complete the circle and the messages of the books perfectly.



That’s where the title A Time to Rise comes from. Stay tuned for more information about book 3 in the coming months via this blog and my newsletter!

What do you think? Should it have been A Time to Live?

About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in 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 or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. I love that, Nadine!

  2. Gotta admit, Nadine, when I first heard the official announcement for the title (and not “A Time to _I_E”), I felt tricked. That said, I really love your choice. It sounds better and fits the entire story better than “A Time to Live.” I always thought that “A Time to Live” was just a little too predictable, and if there’s anything the Out of Time Series is NOT, it’s predictable. I still think you were a little sneaky, but I suppose I will have to forgive you. 🙂

  3. Oh!!!! Each of your books have fallen in line with what the Lord was working in me at the time they were being released. This just confirmed my word for the year. Especially the reference to Isaiah 60:1-2. Thank you, Nadine. I love the title and the reason. Love it. I cannot wait to have the whole series! I love when the Lord works “things together for good”!!

  4. I guessed ‘A Time to Live’ however ‘Rise’ resonates so much more. Because now she’s not just living, but she’s living with purpose and accepting the challenge. Great choice 😊

  5. Anna Bourassa

    Perfect decision! Especially after finishing book 2. I think I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it! 😉

  6. A Time to Rise is such a perfect name, as soon as I heard it I thought it had to be the right one.

  7. I can’t imagine having a better title. I thought at first it was from the “time” chapter, but A Time to Rise seems so, so very perfect. It was amazing seeing Parvin (and myself) grow through the last two books, and this post perfectly explains the reason for this awesome title. *sends an internet hug* It’s perfect, Nadine. ^-^

  8. Genius and inspiring. Thank you for putting such thought and feeling into your characters, plot,…AND titles. Your series highlights a bold message, and I really appreciate that I’ve found your blog and them. 🙂 Looking forward to A Time To Rise so much!!!

  9. I am SO glad that it’s A Time to Rise and not A Time to Live, though during the title reveal, I did end up resigning myself to “Live” since that seemed to be what everyone was guessing (and it kind of made sense). “Die” and “Live” seemed too cliche … especially with how book 2 seems to end. Rise works even more to me knowing the inspiration behind it now … It makes me think of Skillet’s song, “Rise” which kind of fits the OoT books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXqSSMpiOaY

  10. Book titles are so important. I’m one of those folks who actually cares more about the book title than the cover image. If the title is intriguing, I don’t care if there’s nothing on the cover. I’ll pick it up and look at it. The trouble is finding a title that communicates the deeper meaning of the story without sounding cliche, and I think “A Time to Rise” does that admirably. There’s just something about the word RISE that makes me smile in general. 🙂

  11. Of course it was destined to be “A Time To Rise” all along. Only those of us who hadn’t thought it through could have thought otherwise… =)

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