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Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Sandy Nathan, author of The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy

Hi, everyone!



I am pleased to participate in Sandy Nathan's Tales From Earth's End Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.


About Sandy:

Sandy Nathan writes to amaze and delight, uplift and inspire, as well as thrill and occasionally terrify. She is known for creating unforgettable characters and putting them in do or die situations. She writes in genres ranging from science fiction, fantasy, and visionary fiction to juvenile nonfiction to spirituality and memoir.

“I write for people who like challenging, original work. My reader isn’t satisfied by a worn-out story or predictable plot. I do my best to give my readers what they want.”

Mrs. Nathan’s books have won twenty-two national awards, including multiple awards from oldest, largest, and most prestigious contests for independent publishers. Her books have earned rave critical reviews and customer reviews of close to five-star averages on Amazon. Most are Amazon bestsellers.

Sandy was born in San Francisco, California. She grew up in the hard-driving, achievement orientated corporate culture of Silicon Valley. Sandy holds Master’s Degrees in Economics and Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. She was a doctoral student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and has been an economic analyst, businesswoman, and negotiation coach, as well as author.

Mrs. Nathan lives with her husband on their California ranch. They have bred Peruvian Paso horses for almost twenty years. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.

Her latest books are The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy, Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love and Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground, which are all part of the Tales from Earth’s End series.

CONNECT WITH SANDY ONLINE: 

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Sandy!

Sandy has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.




What Makes Visionary Fiction Visionary?
By Sandy Nathan © 8/28/2012


I write visionary fiction. A while back, I was surprised when one of my books was reviewed as science fiction. And then it happened again, and again. Earlier, my book Numenon was reviewed as fantasy. I was shocked. To me, it was a write up of my meditation experience.

Now, I don’t really care. You can read my books as whatever you want, be it sci-fi, fantasy, or visionary. Even so, I’d like you to know how I define visionary fiction and what about my books puts them in that category.

To me, visionary fiction rests on a core of moral principle. St. Thomas Aquinas’ famous maxim, “Do good and avoid evil,” spells it out about as clearly as it gets. Visionary fiction contains a moral core and a belief in the ability of individuals and society to evolve in a positive fashion, overcoming evil and generally setting the world right.

Does this mean that visionary fiction is by nature a Polly-Anna-ish or The Secret-ish exercise in “Keep up a cheery front and everything will be groovy in the sweet bye and bye”?

Some visionary fiction fits that mold and has been very well received by readers. This includes some of the best-known examples of the genre. That “happy ever after” quality fits the needs and expectations of many readers.

But! What if you aren’t the typical reader? What if you want a message with a wallop? A message with teeth, that addresses the hard issues you face in your life?

I’m like that. I hate anything easy, simpering, obvious, trite, and watered-down. My writing reflects my preferences. It contains violence, sexual situations, strong language, and doesn’t give away its ending until it ends. Happy endings are not guaranteed in my work. I’d give my novels an R rating if they were movies. (Though they’re way, way less violent than stuff I’ve seen on TV and in the movies. Like the TV series 24 and the smash hit book and movie, The Hunger Games.)

So what about this? Is my work visionary fiction? Should I make it sweeter or tone it down? Call it something else?

I’d like to share a story with you. I was at a meditation retreat a few years back. Some of us participants had corralled one of the monks in a hallway between meditation sessions and bombarded him with questions.

Someone asked, “Why do some people have very calm and undramatic spiritual paths, whereas other people have huge spiritual experiences and their lives go up and down and all over the place?”

The monk answered with something like, “Different people have different lives and spiritual needs. Some people live very quiet lives. They have spiritual realizations that are subtle and deep. Their spiritual experiences reflect this. They may be very profound, but they’re not showy. These people are absolutely on a spiritual path. They get what they need in quiet ways.”

On the other hand, he said, “Some people’s spiritual experiences are huge––dramatic lights, visions, voices, feeling like the hand of God has reached down to re-orientate their lives. These experiences fit the personalities of the people having them. Their lives are often tumultuous. They may have had abusive or traumatic experiences to overcome.

“The various types of spiritual experience fit the people who have them. One isn’t better than the other. If you have subtle experiences, you don’t have to long for a whopper. Whatever experience you have is fine. The important thing is that you live in such a way that you have the experiences.”

That was one of the most useful teachings I’ve ever gotten. I am a person who has very large spiritual experiences, usually in connection with trauma or loss. I’ve always wanted to be one of those contained, tranquil, angelic babes that you see floating around in spiritual circles.

But it just isn’t me. That isn’t how my soul operates or my artistic vision, either. Years ago, I produced sculpture. Dynamic, emotion-filled pieces that won prizes in art shows. I longed to produce something gentle. I did, too! One piece. That was it.

When I began writing, my work was illuminated by spirit and filled with light. Also some of the nastiest bad guys and most hideous situations you’ll ever see. Jungians call that working on the dark side, and prize it. Some critics of my work haven’t been so kind.

The thing is, we write what we’re given. I have lived through some situations so horrifying that I will never talk about them. Directly. My fiction is a way of working through my emotional debris. It’s not always bright and shiny. It may not show humanity pointing in an upward direction––right then.

But the moral core is there, and so is my abiding belief that at least some of us are on the good road. The road of spirit and light.

Some people need the grittier type of material I write. My work is for people who have been impacted by alcoholism, drug abuse, or mental illness. This could be their own illness, addiction, or disease or what they’ve had to face due to evil perpetrated upon them by others. My writing is for those lovely, blissful souls who have the smooth path, but like a thrill now and then. It’s also for those of us who know the other side.

It’s for those who know what can happen, and also know that the scars can be erased and the trauma overcome if you’re willing to work.

So that’s the source of my stories.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Sandy!
 

There is a book giveaway and a Kindle Fire giveaway, so be sure to enter both!
 
One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of Sandy's latest paranormal fantasy novel, The Angel and the Brown-Eyed Boy.







Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet. Two people carry the keys to survival: A teenage boy and an intergalactic traveler.

By the late 22nd century, the Great Recession of the early 2000s has lead to a worldwide police state. A ruined United States barely functions. Government control masks chaos, dissenters are sent to camps, and technology is outlawed. War rages while the authorities proclaim the Great Peace.

Finally it all breaks down. We’re in New York City on the eve of nuclear Armageddon. In the morning, ultimate destructive forces will wipe out all life on earth. Only Jeremy Edgarton, a 16-year-old, tech genius and revolutionary; and Eliana, the angelic, off-world traveler sent to Earth on a mission to prevent her planet’s death, can save the world. Join Eliana and Jeremy as they begin a quest to save two doomed planets … and find each other.

Winner of Four National Awards:

● 2011 IPPY (Independent Press) Award Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction.

● 2011 Indie Excellence Award in Visionary Fiction (Winner of Catergory)

● Best Books of 2011, USA Book News:
- Winner, New Age Fiction
- Finalist Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Buy Links:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to Canada/US addresses only until 12:01 AM EST on October 19, 2012.

~ ~ ~ NEW KINDLE FIRE HD GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and Sandy Nathan are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Participants

Tuesday, September 4
Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book (The Angel and the Brown-eyed Boy)

Thursday, September 6
Interview at Blogcritics (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Friday, September 7
Guest Blogging at Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, September 10
Book Feature at Hardcover Feedback (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Wednesday, September 12
Interview at I Am a Reader Not a Writer (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Thursday, September 13
Guest Blogging at The Top Shelf (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Friday, September 14
Interview at Debra’s Book Cafe (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, September 17
Book Review at The Road to Here (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Wednesday, September 19
Character Interview at Beyond the Books (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Thursday, September 20
Interview at Books Books the Magical Fruit (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Friday, September 21
Guest Blogging at A Bookish Dame (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Saturday, September 22
Book Review at Book Club Sisters (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, September 24
Book Review at Reader Girls (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Tuesday, September 25
Book Review at The Bunny’s Review (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Friday, September 28
Book Review at Books Books the Magical Fruit (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Sunday, September 30
Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, October 1
Book Review at Words I Write Crazy (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Tuesday, October 2
Guest Blogging at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Wednesday, October 3
Interview and Book Giveaway at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews (Interview & Book Giveaway)

Thursday, October 4
Interview at The Book Connection (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, October 8
Book Review at Rainy Day Reviews (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Tuesday, October 9
Guest Blogging at Inside BJ’s Head (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Wednesday, October 10
Interview at Beyond the Books (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Friday, October 12
Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, October 15
Guest Blogging at Sweeping Me (Sam & Emily: A Love Story)

Wednesday, October 17
Book Review at Waiting on Sunday to Drown (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Thursday, October 18
Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Friday, October 19
Interview at A Bookish Libraria (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, October 22
Book Feature at Reader Girls (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Tuesday, October 23
Interview at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Wednesday, October 24
Read Chapter One at Pump Up Your Book (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Thursday, October 25
Read Chapter One at Pump Up your Book (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Friday, October 26
Read Chapter One at Pump Up Your Book (Sam & Emily: A Love Story)

Tuesday, October 30
Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Monday, November 5
Book Review at Words I Write Crazy (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Tuesday, November 6
Book Feature at Reader Girls (Sam & Emily: A Love Story)

Wednesday, November 7
Interview at The Bunny’s Review (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Thursday, November 8
Book Trailer Spotlight at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem (Featuring the Tales From Earth’s End series)

Friday, November 9
Book Trailer Spotlight at Margay Leah Justice (Featuring the Tales From Earth’s End series)

Monday, November 12
Interview at Books Books the Magical Fruit (Sam & Emily: A Love Story)

Tuesday, November 13
Interview at Literarily Speaking (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Wednesday, November 14
Interview at GeoLibrarian (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Friday, November 16
Book Review at Sweet Southern Home (The Angel &  the Brown-eyed Boy)

Monday, November 19
Book Trailer Feature at If Books Could Talk (Featuring the entire Tales From Earth’s End series)

Tuesday, November 20
Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea (Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love)

Wednesday, November 21
Book Review at A Bookish Libraria (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Thursday, November 22
Guest Blogging at The Bunny’s Review (Sam & Emily: A Love Story)

Friday, November 23
Book Review at Words I Write Crazy (Sam & Emily: A Love Story)

Monday, November 26
Interview at Examiner (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy)

Tuesday, November 27
Interview at The Writer’s Life (Featuring the entire Tales From Earth’s End series)

* * * RESCHDULING: Book Review & Guest Blogging at Bookish (The Angel & the Brown-eyed  Boy)

16 comments:

  1. I was actually going to pass over this post today because of time constraints, but I am so glad I did not. The Angel and The Brown-Eyed Boy sounds really good and I have definitely added it to my TBR. I love finding new to me authors and look forward to following :)

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  2. Well there was a second contest - and my nutbunny brain just saw it. I would love to win a Kindle Fire for my son. I love my Kindle and he would be over the moon to have one with all the bells and whistles :)

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  3. I would love to win a kindle Fire for my grandaughter. I finally got one for Mothers Day and my Grand Daughter reads so much that i have not seen it since this summer. So either i need one or she does. I just can't take it from her. Thanks Joannie

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  4. Because I really should invest in a quality e-reader, but I'm a poor 20-something.

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  5. I need a Kindle Fire because I have a first generation Kindle with a button keypad and toggle. I know it's time to upgrade. I would love to win since an upgrade is not in the near future. : )

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  6. I'd love a Kindle Fire because I used to have a Kindle, which I received as a gift, and it broke, so I've got 100+ books somewhere out there that I haven't been able to read. I buy so many books that I saved a lot of money that way.

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  7. I'd love to win because my first gen Kindle is dying. The screen is cutting out words, so it's pretty much guessing how the story goes. :) Thanks for the chance!

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  8. I would love to win a Kindle Fire because I've never had an ereader and I think it's about time I got one.

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  9. I'd love to win a Kindle. Always wanted one, never had one.Thanks for the giveaway.

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  10. I would love to win a kindle because my ereader died ages ago and I can't afford to replace it. Thanks for the awesome giveawy!

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  11. I would love to win a Kindle Fire so that I can pass it along to my niece as I am DETERMINED to make her a book geek like me! This would be an amazing way as she loves to play on mine.

    Thanks so much for the amazing giveaway!

    Best wishes,
    Marlena
    charmedpoms@yahoo.com

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  12. I would love to give it to my boyfriend!

    Antane

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  13. I need a Kindle Fire because they look amazing, and I also don't have an ereader right now. I read on the computer.

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  14. my sister loves to read and realy would like to have one so i could give it to her

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  15. I would love to win the Kindle Fire because my son is an avid reader and goes through books like crazy. The trouble is, they get squished sometimes in his bag. It would be nice to have a Kindle Fire and keep the squishing at bay. :) Thanks!

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