Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Review: 'In Love by Christmas' by Sandy Nathan

California author Sandy Nathan earned 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. But perhaps more poignant to her gifts as a writer is her personal life experiences of a riches to rags to success life she has journeyed. Her writing has won twenty-six national awards.

Sandy’s ability to comingle spiritual concepts with the raw language of today truly helps this third book of the BLOODSONG SERIES. As she mentions, ‘When Bloodsong Series laid out in my mind originally, it started with a trilogy about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman. Their lives intersect at a huge spiritual retreat the shaman holds every year in the New Mexico desert.’ And it is precisely this admixture of paranormal and reality oriented writing that makes her work sing.

A brief synopsis: ‘Leroy Watches Jr. is a shaman whose Power is a bit quirky. Sometimes it makes things worse. Despite his flaw, he must save his soul mate from her addictions, her father, and Evil Incarnate, or she’ll be damned forever. Trying to unite with his true love, Leroy embarks on a pilgrimage that takes him to the highest levels of European society. As he travels, his shamanic Power grows. So does the Dark Lord's hatred of him. He learns a lot. One thing he learns is his prospective father-in-law "has a few fleas." Will Duane came a long way spiritually at his Grandfather's retreat, but he's got a long way to go. Will demands that Leroy and Cass be in love by Christmas. He’s used to getting his own way; Will is the richest man in the world. If they aren’t in love, what then? Leroy doesn't know if he can find Cass by Christmas, much less be truly in love with the real woman. What if Cass’s addictions can’t be overcome? What if he can’t heal her soul?’

But to appreciate Sandy’s skills, this excerpt is offered – ‘When Leroy’s communication centered upon him being pursued by the FBI, domestic Antiterrorism Force, cops and a bunch of cattlemen’s associations, Will came to attention. He hadn’t kept up with the news that week, being at the retreat in a bizarre geomagnetic site where nothing worked normally. Even his beyond-state-of-the-art satellite Internet connection didn’t always work.’ Strange, exotic, and very creatively inviting on many levels.

Alchemy is at work here in the trusty hands of Sandy Nathan. Grady Harp, October 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.