Stone Creek

ISBN: 978-1-954332-52-2
278 Pages
Pub Date: August 2024

“Through the specific and timely lens of ecoterrorism…from constantly building tension to exploding dams, book clubs will love discussing its many evocative layers.” 
Kathryn Craft, author of The Far End of Happy and The Art of Falling



The Promise of Pierson Orchard

ISBN: 978-1-939288-51-4
304 Pages
Pub Date: April 2017

A finalist for the
Eludia Award

“Brandes checks off all the boxes for quality fiction: the characters are well-rounded, the settings, such as the apple orchards, the crisp Silver Creek, and the rocky outcrops, are vividly described, and the plot is well-organized and crisply paced. The tension between the characters satisfyingly rises to a crescendo that’s in sync with the larger environmental crisis that threatens the town.”





Kate Brandes

Kate Brandes lives in the small river town of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two sons.  She writes about and paints rural places and small-town dynamics with underlying environmental themes. Kate has worked as a geologist and environmental scientist for more than twenty years. She currently teaches geology, creative writing and a course on Landscape, Culture and Story of Place at Moravian University, where she also co-directs the Moravian Writers’ Conference. Kate’s first novel, The Promise of Pierson Orchard, was published in 2017.

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*NEW BOOK coming Summer 2024*

Stone Creek (2024)

Geology professor Kate Brandes’ story of a woman abandoned by her father, an anarchist who blows up dams, presents complex environmental issues further complicated by thorny family dynamics.

Seventeen years ago, Tilly Stone (age 13) is left to fend for herself in rural Pennsylvania when her infamous eco-terrorist father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Ever since she’s tried to forget the dams they blew up together and forge a new life until her father’s return threatens to upend her small-town world and her friendship with the dogged FBI agent still pursuing him. Ultimately, as the past and present fuse and blow up with more than one kind of casualty, Tilly must choose between the father she loves and her home.


The Promise of Pierson Orchard (2017)

Long before fracking ever came to Minden, Pennsylvania, the fissures in the Pierson family were developing into major fault lines.

Green Energy arrives, offering the rural community of Minden the dream of making more money from their land by leasing natural gas rights for drilling. But orchardist, Jack Pierson, fears his brother, Wade, who now works for Green Energy, has returned to town after a twenty-year absence so desperate to be the hero that he'll blind their hometown to the potential dangers. Jack also worries his brother will try to rekindle his relationship with LeeAnn, Jack's wife, who's recently left him. To protect his hometown and to fulfill a promise to himself, Jack seeks out his mother and environmental lawyer, Stella Brantley, who abandoned Minden--and Jack and Wade--many, many years ago.