The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy––A future world only heartbeats from our own
Hurry! Hurry! Get your free angel here. All you have to do to get your free angel is hit that link sometime during July 21st or 22nd and she will be delivered to your Kindle or Kindle app. Will it be a real angel?
Ah, come on. For real angels, you gotta do more than hit a link. Start praying now and maybe you’ll get a real one before you die. This is not a real angel, it’s an eBook about an apparent angel, who isn’t even an angel, really.
My book The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, will be FREE this Saturday and Sunday through the Amazon KDP program. If you have a Kindle or one of the apps for Kindle, you can download my eBook about a dancing extra-terrestrial. OK. So she’s not an angel. She’s lovely and angelic and utterly innocent and good and kind, which just naturally makes some people want to kill her.
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boyis a story about a girl from out of town–way out of town, another planet––who drops in on a mission to save her planet. Little does she or anyone on her world know, things on Earth have reached a very bad state. So bad that we’ll blow the place up––all of it, every living thing––the next day unless someone does something right away.
Eliana doesn’t know this. She knows she must find “the Golden Boy.” She does this effectively, finding him at an upscale high school for the arts in New York City. But he isn’t who she thinks he is. And there the plot doesn’t just thicken, it explodes.
The IPPY (Independent Press) Award Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction–This is an important win in the largest and oldest competition for independent presses.
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy is the winner of four national awards, including the coveted Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction from the IPPY (Independent Press) Awards. Also won the Visionary Fiction category in the National Indie Excellence Awards. The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy has 22 reviews on Amazon with a 4.6 out of 5.0 possible rating. Very highly rated. I like the book, and other people like it, too.
Hey, everybody! Lady Grace is almost here! The official launch date is May 1, 2012. My publisher has the following announcement:
Lady Grace, Book II of Tales from Earth’s End will be officially launched on May 1, 2012. We at Vilasa Press think you’ll be as pleased with the book as we are. We’re looking forward to gala launch activities. We’ll be announcing them here. We’re providing more information about the book here. You can also read about it on author Sandy Nathan’s website.
Barry Nathan, publisher, Vilasa Press
* * *
BEYOND THE END OF THE EARTH:
Three stories intertwine: Earth is devastated by a nuclear holocaust. Technological wizard Jeremy Edgarton and a few of his friends are whisked off planet moments before the disaster by the goldies, a race of super-evolved aliens. They seem too good to be true, and unfortunately, they are. The humans want out.
Jeremy’s mother, Veronica Edgarton, awakens from a cryogenic sleep in a chamber deep beneath the ice. Next to her is her husband, one of the most ruthless and cruel men ever to have lived.
The inhabitants of the gigantic underground bomb shelter Jeremy and others built are preparing to emerge. They were supposed to become a super-race. Regrettably, evolution can work for evil as well as good.
Each of these events is potentially volatile. Combine them and the results are explosive! The players from across time and space are catapulted into a struggle of cosmic scale, challenging them to draw upon every ounce of their physical, intellectual and spiritual strength.
Lady Grace is a thrilling, action-filled adventure wrapped in the embrace of epic love.
* * *
Praise for Lady Grace:
Lady Grace holds its own with the best of today’s sci-fi page-turners while accomplishing much more. Nathan’s second book in the Tales from Earth’s End is just as much a spiritual and psychological exploration as it is science fiction/fantasy thriller. Nathan has created a unique niche that leaves her without rival in the canon of contemporary fiction.
– Nathan Fisher, MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business
A gripping original sci-fi tale that brings politics, spirituality, and personal responsibility into the mix. As in all interesting tales of good versus evil, the path to outcome is not predictable but the trip is super enjoyable and will keep you clicking for the next page.
– Consuelo Saar Baehr, author of Daughters
I LOVED Lady Grace! From the first moments, I could not put it down. Sandy Nathan has done it again. Within her believable, gripping tale of people who have somehow survived a thousand years, Sandy explores instant telepathic teleportation, human-animal relationships, survivalism, personal relationships, social experimentation, dehumanization, and the most of these . . . Love. The twists of
Jeremy’s evolution with Eliana and his mother, Veronica Edgarton, are breathtaking.
An Interview with Author Sandy Nathan: Questions Answered Here––
The following sample interview is provided for the convenience of the media and book groups.
Where did you get the idea for the novel?
About five years ago, my brother died suddenly and tragically. He was my only sibling and adored little brother. I was grieving, with all sorts of thoughts and feelings arising. About three months after his death, I had a dream. In the dream, a shining creature like an angel hovered above me. She was absolutely good, a being of love and light. She appeared to me as light. The light dropped closer and finally merged with me, so that I got to feel what it was like to be that angelic creature.
That was the angel in the first book of the Tales from Earth’s End Series, which my creative process turned into an angelic alien sent to earth on a vitally important mission. That was The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy.
The rest of the plot of The Angel popped into my brain in the next few days. When I finished writing that book, Lady Grace was rocketing around in my brain. I just wrote it down. Lady Grace is the story of what happens after the radiation clears enough to permit life on earth to continue. None of the survivors knows exactly how much time has passed. When I finished writing Lady Grace, its sequel was front and center in my mind. That sequel is Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground. It will be published in early 2012.
Lady Grace, like the other books in the series, is an action-filled adventure with elements of sci-fi, and fantasy. And it’s a love story of epic proportions. What’s unusual about it––besides pretty near everything––is that two of my characters from the Bloodsong Series’ first book, Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money, “jump ship” and have roles in Lady Grace. This was really fun to write and I hope you enjoy reading it. The idea of having Bud, Wes and Will Duane show up just happened––serendipity. But they solve an important problem.
How did you come up with the title?
The book is about rejuvenation and personal change. It’s about grace and the power of grace. The title is also the name of one of the characters. You’ll see when you read it.
Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character is Lady Grace. I’m not going to spoil things by saying more. I will say that I noticed after writing the book that its major heroes are women. I wrote the story without being aware I’d done it that way. I guess I’d have to say that my favorites are all of those tough and wonderful women that save the day.
Do you have plans for sequels? Can you describe them? When will it/they be released?
Yes. I have at least two sequels in the works. The first, Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground, is a breathtaking romance of legendary proportions. It takes place in the underground bomb shelter on the Piermont estate after the nuclear meltdown. I’ve been told it’s the best thing I’ve written. It will be out in Spring 2012.
And, a fourth story in the series is shaping up in my mind and partially written. That follows directly on Lady Grace. This is going to be a few years out. The Bloodsong Series and Tales from Earth’s End are going to touch in a major way. They may even merge.
Numenon, the first book in the Bloodsong Series, takes place in 1997. When we see Bud and Wes in Lady Grace, it’s 2015. Eighteen years have elapsed in the world of Numenon’s characters. That’s lots of water over the bridge. We have to see what happens to our billionaire, Will Duane, and his little band of outlaws. We have to see what’s going on in the world. My writing focus is going to be on the Bloodsong Series for the next period of time. Lots happens there––I’ve got drafts for many stories.
How long have you been writing? How often do you write?
I’ve been writing full time since 1995. Before that, I wrote academically and professionally. I write every day. I don’t set a particular time or word goal for myself. I write until I deliver a scene or chapter the way I want it. I quit working when I get a feeling satisfaction with my work. That can take a long time to achieve.
What authors have inspired you?
My favorite writer of all time is the Icelandic Nobel Laureate, Halldor Laxness. His Independent People is a masterpiece. Laxness can write two simple lines about a fish and have me in awe and tears. That’s good writing.
D. H. Lawrence is a favorite. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is one of my favorite books, as is Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
For more popular authors, I love Diana Gabaldon’s work. I’ve read the entire, massive Outlander Series three times (!), plus the associated Lord John books, and I even have the graphic novel of Outlander.
I also read lots of books by independent authors. Consuelo Saar Baehr is a favorite.
* * *
PRESS RELEASE: AUTHOR SANDY NATHAN REDEFINES VISIONARY AND NEW AGE FICTION WITH HER TALES FROM EARTH’S END SERIES
SANTA YNEZ, CALIFORNIA – Lady Grace is Sandy Nathan’s latest Visionary and New Age novel. With it, Mrs. Nathan continues to redefine the genre. Many think of Visionary and New Age fiction as an uplifting (if perhaps preachy) category that carries a positive message for humanity. The good guys are pretty much assured of winning, or at least their cause is. New Age fiction in Sandy Nathan’s hands is a no-holds-barred war between good and evil where nothingcan be taken for granted.
“No one––on a spiritual path or not––is guaranteed a smooth ride through life,” Sandy Nathan says. “Existence has the same end point for all of us. We may be on an upward learning curve and have enlightenment as a goal, but the path is not easy, nor is the outcome assured. That’s reality.
“I like reality. My stories feel like they might have happened, even if they’re totally fantastic. Being real includes the possibility that the bad guys might win. In allowing for any outcome, I want my writing to make the literary quality of New Age fiction stronger. And keep its mystical nature.”
Lady Grace, the second book in the Tales from Earth’s End Series, continues the story line of the first book, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy. The Angel ends with a nuclear holocaust destroying almost all life on earth. Lady Grace begins with survivors attempting to create a new society on a planet blasted to a prehistoric state.
As the characters come together, three separate stories emerge and intertwine. Each thread is volatile. Together they are explosive.
The characters of The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy return for new adventures surpassing any you can imagine. New voices come forth, including some surprises. “I borrowed from my other series, the Bloodsong Series, and brought a few characters you’ll recognize if you read my first novel, Numenon. Lady Grace spans time and reality for a mix that’s part sci-fi, part fantasy, and definitely Visionary and New Age,” says Mrs. Nathan.
I’m collecting testimonials for my new books Lady Grace and Sam & Emily. These are books two and three of the Tales from Earth’s End Series, my take on life and rebirth after a nuclear holocaust. Hoping for testimonials, I sent out some review copies and contacted a few people I know who are really good writers.
I’ve written that the hardest thing about getting testimonials for your book is getting up the nerve to ask. Then it’s up to your skill and the universe.
Wow! Sometimes what I get back after making a request blows my mind! I asked Laren Bright, an Emmy-nominated television writer, for a testimonial about Sam & Emily. What I got back is this:
I have been following Sandy Nathan’s writing since her very first book, Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice. Then came her novel, Numenon. Being a sci-fi fan, I have always been leery of new writers. Sandy put the lie to that for me. Numenon definitely had what I was looking for: a good story, imaginative ideas, and good writing. When I got to the end I was both sad and happy; sad because I was so invested in the story that I wanted to know what was going to happen next and happy because I was assured this was only the first in a series and I would be able to spend more time with these great characters down the line.
Then Lady Grace came along and I found that Sandy had reached new heights in her story-telling and her craft. I told her I thought it was the best thing she had written. But then I read Sam & Emily. Out of the ballpark! It’s a terrific story with wonderful characters – both the good guys and the bad guys – in all kinds of wild situations.
I think what makes Sandy’s writing so powerful is that her stories originate from her real-life experiences. The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, first in the Tales from Earth’s End series, for example, came out of processing the grief over her brother’s death. So her stories are charged with the authenticity of what she’s going through.
If this is your first experience of Sandy Nathan’s writing, prepare yourself for a wild ride. And give thanks that there are Sandy Nathan books already in print and even more on their way.
Laren Bright Emmy-nominated television writer
It can’t get much better than that! He praised my entire writing career. Thank you, Laren, for your words of praise and vote of confidence.
Thank you, Laren!
Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-one national awards, in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.
The Tales from Earth’s End Series introduces characters pushed to their greatest extremity––to the end of the planet and their own lives. The people of Earth’s End must cope with nuclear holocaust, survive on a planet reduced to prehistoric standards, and adjust to life in an underground tomb––the bomb shelter on the Piermont estate. And you were thinking life is rough!
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy shows a group of people attempting to escape a nuclear holocaust in a ruined future world. It’s part teen romance and part coming of age story, with overtones of 1984. It’s won two national awards in visionary fiction, another in new age fiction & still another in fantasy/sci-fi.
The Angel‘s first sequel, Lady Grace, brings some of The Angel‘s characters back together and puts them in another struggle for existence. This time, they’re fighting against the elements and a degenerate society which the nuclear war has spawned.
The second sequel, Sam & Emily, is a love story involving two characters from The Angel. It’s an epic romance that takes place in the Piermont Estate’s underground bomb shelter after the nuclear bombs have gone off. Sam & Emily can’t escape a passion that lasts a lifetime. This book sizzles.
All three books have a transcendent, looking-for-a-better-world quality. The protagonists are pitted against horrific difficulties. They’re thrillers and well as visionary fiction.
What to authors do when they’re not writing? In an earlier post, I said we “get real,” meaning think about our books and their characters and do things to make them realer in our minds. Of course, by the time you write and publish your book, you can almost touch the people and things in it, they’re so real to you.
In that earlier post, I shared an imaginary interview with a character from The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, an award-winning visionary fiction novel of mine released in early 2011. Doing a spoof interview is one way of making characters real and sharing that reality with others. Another way is making a video. The video below is my take on what the characters of The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy look like.
Not familiar with the book? Here’s a two sentence summary: Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet. Two people carry the keys to survival: a teenage boy and an intergalactic traveler. The date is 2199, or thereabouts.
When we’re not doing things like creating the above, we writers write. I’m working away on two sequels to The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy. The books are in production with an early 2012 release date planned. If you liked The Angel, you’ll love Lady Grace and Sam & Emily.
WHAT DO AUTHORS DO IN THEIR SPARE TIME? We “get real,” meaning think about our books and characters and make them even more real in our minds. When I write a book, it’s like I’m in a play, and playing all the parts. I know what each character feels and how he relates to the other characters. I get a clear image of how he looks, moves, and speaks. Writing is a wonderful experience, when it’s going well. If I’m blocked or the words don’t flow, I’d just as soon chew on steel wool. Or cockroaches, or something.
A two sentence synopsis of the book: Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet. Two people carry the keys to survival: a teenage boy and an intergalactic traveler.
Here’s an “interview” I did with a character from THE ANGEL, Sam Baahuhd. The interview turned this into a short story while I was writing it. (The pieces I write don’t always do what I expect.) Sam’s being interviewed by a TV station of his time. The year is 2199.
What does Sam Baahuhd look like? This is as close as I could get. It’s impossible to convey how masculine Sam is, or how hunky.
Sam Baahuhd, Headman of the Village at Piermont Manor, c. 2199
Here’s what the station’s advertising says about the following interview:
WNYC’S STAR REPORTER MEREDITH CARLISLE INTERVIEWS VILLAGE HEADMAN SAM BAAHUHD.
Join Meredith at Piermont Manor in the Hamptons! Our favorite investigator visits one of the poorest areas in America and one the USA’s greatest and oldest stately homes. Tune in at 3 PM for a view of life in the 22nd century.
WNYC––NEW YORK CITY’S ONLY NETWORK
At the shoot on the estate:
“Meredith, I don’t like it here,” my stylist says, backcombing my hair furiously. I sit at my dressing table on the estate’s lawn. I’m Meredith Carlisle. But everyone knows that.
“Did you see all the trees driving out here? Weird,” he whispers.
“It was very weird.” I turn to the rest of the crew. “Everyone: This is the country. They have trees in the country. We’ll do the show and get back to New York.”
“They don’t have that in the country,” Alfred, the director, points at the stone mansion stretching as far as we can see. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to get it all on camera.”
I stare at the enormous structure. The mansion is like a wedding cake made of granite. Breathtaking. “We’re at Piermont Manor. It was constructed in the 1800s, four hundred years ago. Nobody gets in here. We had to agree to interview this idiot to be allowed in. Who is he? Sam who?”
My crew edges toward the van. They’re freaked out by the acres of lawn and all the trees. The lack of skyscrapers. I take control.
“Alfred, where is the man we’re supposed to interview?”
“I asked those guys over there,” Alfred points to a group of very large men standing on the other side of the lawn. He cowers a bit.
“What did they say?” My crew’s undue nervousness is irritating.
The whites of Alfred’s eyes glint in the sunlight. “I don’t know what they said. They speak a foreign language.”
“Great. Why didn’t anyone find that out? Alyssa, you’re the production manager. Do we have a translator?”
“No, Meredith. I’ll try to find one.” Alyssa looks around helplessly.
“Oh, wait. Someone’s coming.” My jaw drops. I can’t stop looking at him. He’s the same as the mansion. Breathtaking. A huge man. Shoulders like forever. That chest. He strides out forcefully. Something wafts from him. Manliness.
My jaw drops farther as he gets closer. Also, my nostrils twitch. He’s dirty. It’s real dirt, not something applied by the makeup department. He appears to be sweating copiously. He takes off his hat. His graying hair is matted where the hat’s brow band pressed it tight.
“Hello there?” I extend my hand, despite my disgust at his grimy paw. “You must be Mr. . . “ I search for Alyssa and she mouths the pronunciation. “Baaaaah-huuhd.”
“Mr. Baaaaah-huuuhd.” I smile broadly.
“Ma name i’ Sam Baahuhd. A’m th’ headm’n o’ th’ vil’ an’ o’ersee’er o’ th’ big house.” He nods at the mansion.
“Oh,” I say. “Who?”
He repeats what he said.
“Do you have anyone who speaks English? I don’t speak your language.” He’s very appealing close up, if filthy. My heart flutters.
“Ah fergot tha’ yer not o’ th’ Hamptons. Been out here s’ long, we got our own way o’ talkin’. Ah’ll pretend yer th’ hooch man out at Jamayuh. Ah always speak proper English when ah’m w’ him. Canna make a deal otherwise. Can ye understand me?”
“Yes, Mr. . . .”
“Baahuhd. Ye say i’ like this, with th’ air comin’ from here.” He presses my belly, forcing the breath out of me. I feel faint. Something comes off of him, like a force. It’s wonderful.
“Baahuhd. I see. Well, we’re set up for the interview,” I indicate a couple of club chairs set on the mansion’s front terrace. “Any chance of us getting a peek inside?”
“Nah. Jeremy’s got ‘er wired up. Get any closer ‘n’ ye are an’ ye’ll nah go nowhere again.” He smiles, showing surprisingly white teeth.
“Yeah. An’ more. D’ ye know Jeremy Egerton?” I shake my head. “He’s the lady’s son, Mrs. Veronica Egerton. Ye know of her?”
“Oh, yes. Veronica Edgarton is famous. And rich. And beautiful. She’s the general’s . . .”
“Aye. She owns th’ big house an’ the village an’ all th’ rest around here. An’ me, too.”
“She owns you?”
“Might as well. Ye know why yer here t’day?”
“Yes. To interview you.” My cheeks tremble from smiling so much.
“Nah. Yer here because Jeremy Egerton sent word to let ye in.” He looks me in the eye. It’s terrifying, though thrilling. “If Jeremy hadn’t tol’ me to let ye in, ye woulda been chased back to th’ city th’ minute you set foot on this place. That was three hours ago, out on th’ road. Jus’ so we get straight on it.”
“Certainly, Mr. Baah . . .”
“Baahuhd.” He walks to one of the chairs and sits down. “OK. Le’s get this goin.’ Ah got work to do. What ‘er yer questions?”
“I thought that the natives of the Hamptons didn’t like to be asked questions.”
“We don’. Usually, we shoot before we get t’ askin’ questions. But ah figured this was a chance t’ say some things we don’ get t’ say.”
“And what’s that?”
“That we’re not animals. We’re in th’ Hamptons because we was born here, jus’ like ye were born in th’ city. Weren’t our fault. Weren’t our fault that we don’ have schools an’ have to work like we do. Weren’t our fault that we got nothin’.
“We risk our lives seein’ that the lady keeps that,” he tosses his head toward the mansion. “An’ we get very little thanks fer our trouble.”
“You risk your lives?”
“Yeah, lass. Th’ Hamptons is a dangerous place. We get th’ people who run away from th’ cities. Th’ people escape from th’ torture camps––there’s one o’er at Jamayuh, th’ next town down. We got the hooch runners an’ them that deal in the weed and mushrooms. An’ th feds. All of them is dangerous, an all of them want this place.” He smiles. “Coupla times a year, they come t’ get it.” The smile broadens. “Ain’t got it yet.”
“You fight to keep the estate for Mrs. Edgarton?” I’m shocked, but I shouldn’t be. The Hamptons are like the Wild West once was.
“I got plugged three times so far. Not countin’ the nicks.” He rubs his chest where he’s been shot. “Ah’m scarred up lak an ol’ bear. It’s war out here. Jus’ like in the cities.”
“We don’t have war. What are you talking about?”
“Whad’ya think th’ smoke runnin’ along the horizon is? There’s a war.”
“There’s no war. If there were, the government would have told us about it. President Charles says everything is fine.”
He nods his head and smirks. “When ye drove in, did ye happen t’ see big round bowls cut out o’ th’ ground,” he uses his hands to indicate large depressions, “all lined with cement? An’ wi’ long pointy things stickin’ out of ‘em, aimed at the sky?”
“Yes. They’re all over the place. President Charles said they’re satellite dishes to help our screen reception.”
“No, lass. They’re atomics. An’ they’re set to go off t’morrow morning. Early. All over th’ world.” He’s looking at me steadily. He’s so magnetic I almost believe . . .
No! I can’t believe what he’s suggesting. The president would lie? There’s going to be an atomic war? That’s treasonous. We’re in the Great Peace. Everyone knows that. A niggling thought about my daughter’s third grade teacher disappearing comes up. No, she took a leave of absence.
“I’m not going to listen to this.” I turn to Alfred. “Pack up, we’re going back.”
“No,” Sam says just a little bit louder than normal. Everyone freezes and looks at him. “Yer gonna get ev’ry thing ah say, an’ yer gonna play it on the tellie today. Tha’s why Jeremy let ye’ come out here. You gotta tell the people wha’t happenin’.”
“A nuclear war starting tomorrow? The government would have told us.” I’m shaken. For some crazy reason, I believe him and know that I’ll do what he says. “What will we do? Where can we go?”
“Yer gonna go back an’ show ‘er on th’ tellie,” he says to the others. Then he turns that million volt gaze on me. “Fer ye, there may be a way out. Yer a pretty thing. Ye could be one ‘a’ ma wives.” His smile is mesmerizing.
“Wives?” The idea seems worth considering.
“Ah got four. Ye’d be ma fifth, but we gotta big house. The stable, yon.” He points to a barn.
Fifth wife to . . . His dirty hands make up my mind. “No. I’ve already got one ex-husband. I don’t need to be married.” I regret the words as I say them. There’s something about him.
“OK. Ye’ll take th’ camera back t’ the city an’ play ‘er today. Ye need t’ tell the people to . . . to run. Or t’ stand. They’ll die, either way. But they d’serve a warnin’. Tis only fair.
“Tha’s what ah got t’ say. Now git. Ah’m done wi’ ye.”
I watch his back as he heads toward the stable. Broad shoulders. Easy gait. Powerful.
I feel drawn to him. No. I made the right choice. We have to get out of here.
“We’ve got the van packed, Meredith.” I hop in as it pulls away from the mansion.
“You know we can’t play what we got,” Alfred says as we jolt down the rutted road. “It’s treasonous. Everyone knows that the Great Peace is baloney. We’re in a war. But it’s covered up. This will blow the cover. The feds will kill us.”
“Yes, we can. Sam said to,” I’ll do what Sam told me to do no matter what. “We have to give people a warning.”
“Why, Meredith? There aren’t enough bomb shelters in the world to save everyone. We’re going to die.”
And then it sinks in. If what Sam said is true, we’ll die tomorrow.
I should have taken his offer. He wasn’t scared about what’s coming. He must have a shelter or something. “Turn around! We need to get back to the Piermont estate.”
The van shudders to a stop.
“What’s that?” There’s something in front of us. A vehicle across the road. Another vehicle pulls up behind us. Black figures are moving toward our van.
“What is it, Alfred?”
“Open the door,” a black-clad commando yells. “Give me the cameras.” We give them to him.
“I’m Meredith Carlisle of WNYC. Those cameras are the property . . .”
“I don’t care who you are.” He uses some very rude language, and tosses something in the van, slamming the door. It clatters on the floor. I see a digital timer counting down.
After the explosion, the commandos gather near the flaming remains of the van. “We got the treasonous materials. Should we look at them?”
“Nah. The president said everything is all right. That’s good enough for me.”
This award feels very good. It marks almost four years of work by myself and my publishing team at Vilasa Press. I want to thank my content editor, Melanie Rigney; my book designer, Lewis Agell; and Kathy Grow and Kathryn Agrell for copy editing and proofreading assistance. Many thanks also to my husband, Barry Nathan for keeping Vilasa Press organized and moving forward.
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boyis Sandy Nathan’s new science fiction/fantasy novel. Of the special genre of books and films that include 1984,A Brave New World, andThe Prisoner Series, The Angeltakes the reader to a dark future world that’s not so different from our own. In the late 22nd century, people are continually watched, disappearing off the streets and from their homes. A shadowy but all-powerful government calls the shots; war rages while the authorities proclaim the Great Peace.
All is not bad in this fictional realm, for the angelic extraterrestrial, Eliana, appears on the streets on New York City on a mission to save her planet. As radiant and pure as the world around her is tarnished, Eliana must find the Golden Boy. He turns out to be Jeremy Edgarton, a tech genius on a planet where technology is outlawed, a revolutionary, and the FBI’s most wanted. They find themselves caught up in an explosive adventure when Jeremy decodes new transmissions and discovers that a nuclear holocaust will take place the next morning.
The themes of The Angel read like pure sci-fi, but author Sandy Nathan explains, “I’m a former economist. While the love story between Jeremy and Eliana enchants, the back-story––the hideous world around them––is the product of my economist’s mind interacting with current events. We’re in the worst economic melt-down since the 1930’s, with no end in sight. Some events in The Angelare based directly upon history. For instance, Germany’s economic distress during the Great Depression is one factor contributing to the rise of Adolf Hitler. Could a totalitarian government arise from our current conditions? Maybe. The Angel’sworld is just a heartbeat from our own. In writing The Angel, I wanted to entertain my readers and challenge them to discover solutions.”
So the book has a vision, a powerful vision, and a dark vision. And it’s also got a love story that will melt your heart. And the sequel is well into production. I’ve been told it’s even better than The Angel. Whoa. Something to look forward to.
When the girl appeared on the sidewalk, the edges of her body and clothing were fuzzy, as though all of her hadn’t arrived. She looked up and down the street, the way a person would if she’d forgotten an address or lost her way.
Her hair was frizzed and matted, sticking out akimbo. She was thin, had a dirty face, and wore a scratchy coat that was far too big. Its sleeves were rounded little capes; her arms stuck out of them like chopsticks protruding from a napkin. The coat slipped off her shoulders, first to one side, then the other. She hitched it up and kept walking. When she walked, the coat opened to reveal her feet and lower legs.
Her thin socks, trimmed with grayed lace, were pulled up to make a ruffle below her knees. Pink satin laces held up the socks, their Xs snaking up her shins from her shoes. She looked pretty much like everyone she saw, except for her shoes. Long pink ballet slippers stuck out from beneath her coat, as improbable as roses sprouting from the cement.
Eliana made her way along the sidewalk, knowing that she was dirty, feeling the grit in her hair and on her skin. When she had reached the planet’s atmosphere, clothes and all sorts of things had rushed at her with great force, tossing her over and over. Dirt had come, too. She had found the clothes she needed and put them on the way her teachers had shown her. Then her people had put her where she was.
Humans passed, but no one stopped or said anything to her. A paper blew against her leg. More dirty papers blew and piled up everywhere. Streaked and grimy buildings rose near her. Writing in different colors covered their walls. She looked carefully, but couldn’t make out the words. She’d learned to read and write English, but those words mystified her.
“Hey, you!” a person said loudly.
“Yes?” She spoke to a human for the first time, politely bowing. The human was dirty like Eliana, with torn clothes and matted hair. She couldn’t tell if it was a he or a she.
“Get out of here!” the ragged person shouted. “You don’t belong here.” Eliana cowered, but the stranger rushed past her, clawing at something Eliana couldn’t see. “Stay away,” the human said, and then stood with feet braced, shouting, “Get out of here, all of you. Stay away!” The human hadn’t seen Eliana at all.
The girl realized that her people were right; they had put her where no one would notice her. Now she needed to tell them that she had arrived. She raised one foot, turning it gracefully and resting it easily on the other knee. She flicked the shoe with her finger, listening. A trill of clear notes deep within her brought the hint of a smile. She held the coat closed and stood still. She was where she was supposed to be. It had begun.
She fingered the piece of paper in her pocket. Her map. Beneath it, in the pocket’s depths, was the notebook. What was written on it would get her where she needed to go. She had all she needed.
She walked a long way along the hard path. More humans passed her. To her left, gray, inert structures rose high in the sky, blocking the sun. She touched the see-through parts of their lower levels, looking at the humans inside. They looked at each other with darting eyes, speaking rapidly. Everyone outside rushed frantically, noticing nothing. They didn’t see her, just as her people had said.
Eliana choked when a very large carrier passed, spewing a foul odor. The carrier floated above the hard surface where the vehicles moved. Her teachers had told her about the floating. Though she couldn’t see it, a force lived under the machines that made them go. It would kill her if it touched her. She didn’t know what kill meant; kill did not exist in her world. Her mother had explained that she would be like a dead pet. She had seen dead pets before they whisked them away. Motionless husks. She moved away quickly. Better get on with her purpose. She didn’t have much time.
A man with a round stomach and a gray hat walked out of an opening in the ground with many others. He walked like he had a mission. His coat was the same scratchy stuff as hers, but it was buttoned up and looked new. He looked new; his face was ruddy and clean. His shoes reflected the pale sunlight. The trill of notes resounded in her mind once again.
He was the one! She stood in front of him to make him stop. She hoped he could comprehend her speech.
“Will you help me?” she said, working to form the strange words.
* * *
George bent down to look at her. A homeless waif, dirty and lost. She didn’t smell, thank God. Then he saw her shoes.
“You take ballet? My daughter takes ballet. Those are pointeshoes. You shouldn’t be walking in those. They’re just for dancing.”
“Dance,” she said with a tiny smile. She looked beautiful when she smiled. Something about her touched him.
He pulled a five-dollar bill out of his wallet. He never gave money to street people, but this was a new one: a bedraggled ballet dancer out begging. Probably her mother got the shoes at a thrift store and put her up to it.
Then he looked at her again and knew that she didn’t have a mother—not on this earth, anyway.
“Take this,” he said, handing her the bill. He wanted to get rid of her. The first race was starting soon. He had bets to place.
She looked at what he’d given her as if she’d never seen a fiver before, then pointed at the image of the Lincoln Memorial on the bill and whispered, “Temple.” She seemed to be speaking out loud for the first time.
He tossed her another five. She had a good act, if it was an act. Yet everything about her told him it wasn’t an act. She was so foreign that he couldn’t even comprehend how foreign she was. The look on her face said she’d never seen money and had no idea what to do with it.
But she was wonderful, too. Standing next to her, he felt buoyant, like the bank wasn’t going to take his house back and life was great. He felt happy. It had been so long since he had felt that way, he almost didn’t recognize the feeling. His chest opened up and a smile popped onto his face. He wanted to help her, maybe take her to a shelter or help her get a job. She looked at the money and tried to give it back.
“It’s for food.” He pointed at his mouth. “Food. You know what that is, don’t you? I gotta go.”
She didn’t know what food was, he could see. She wanted him to do something. He looked around frantically. The races were about to start. He couldn’t be hanging around with some little girl. He had bets to place and a house to save. Getting away from his wife hadn’t been easy. He had taken two subway lines and a cab down here so she would see his car in the office parking lot when she checked up on him. She’d never know he wasn’t slaving away all day.
The wife just didn’t get that he was the boss. He could take an afternoon off once in a while. George could imagine the horses parading in the paddock area, ready to head onto the track. Overhead, flags would be flapping. All the guys would be there. “Hey, long time no see. The little lady keeping you on a short chain?” They’d drink beer, and, for an entire afternoon, life would be what it should be.
“Sayonara, ballet princess. I gotta go.” He tried to step around her, but couldn’t.
“I gotta go,” she whispered without moving.
Something about her was breathtaking. “Where do you want to go?”
“School.” She looked at him with huge, solemn eyes. They were gray, with silver flecks that made them gleam. He stared, unable to look away.
“Well, go. I’m not stopping you.”
“Where? Where is school?” She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket. The name and address of a high school was written on it. The Hermitage Academy. Everyone had heard of it. Kid actors and dancers and artists went there.
“Dance school,” she whispered, looking at him hopefully.
He got it: some of those artist kids looked like her. The ones on stage and such. He’d seen them on ads for plays like Grunge and Road Dirt. Maybe she fell out of her mommy’s Rolls and ended up down here.
But she wasn’t rich and she hadn’t fallen off anything. His head said she was just a funny little girl and the rest of him said she was from outer space. He had to get away. “The school’s uptown, a long way.” He tried to grab the paper and draw a map but she pulled it away, alarmed.
“Honey, I gotta go. I got people waiting. Hail one of those cabs. The yellow cars? That’s a cab. Wave one down and go to school. Use the money I gave you. Here’s some more.” He gave her a twenty and then a demonstration of waving down a cab. None of them stopped for him.
They stopped for her. She walked into the traffic, looking into the eyes of a cabbie. Horns screamed and cars shrieked as their braking systems locked. The taxi hovered there, rocking back and forth.
“Whatsa matter with you? You crazy?” the driver bellowed. “You tryin’ to get killed?”
George scooped her into the cab and sat next to her. “The Hermitage Academy. That art school in Manhattan. The famous one. Take us there.”
His hand shook when he placed his arm around her shoulder. Such a close call. He had to protect her. Light radiated from her, light and something good. She was here to do something important. He had to get her to the school, and then he could play the ponies.
The school looked like a prison, a stone-fronted hulk rimmed by chain-link fencing with rolls of razor wire on top. He saw it and cringed. She wouldn’t try to climb the fence, would she? The wire would cut her. Did she know that? Should he warn her?
The playground was concrete. All of it was unmarked by graffiti, which he took as a sign of the school’s esteemed position in the world. The place still looked like a damned jail.
She looked at it, eyes wide. “School?”
“What’s the matter? You haven’t seen it before? That’s your school. Right at the address you showed me. Go. I’m not taking you any farther.”
She fumbled with the door handle.
“Jesus, do I have to do everything?” He got out and walked around the car, then opened the door. He took her hand and set her on the curb. Her hand was as tiny as a little elf’s. White and cold. “You button up that coat. Just walk across the street to that guard station. They’ll let you in and see you get home. And listen, honey, you get in any trouble, call me. My name is George Hempstead.” He pulled a business card out of his pocket and gave it to her. “What’s your name, sweetheart?”
“Eliana. I am Eliana.” She took his card and looked at him solemnly. She put his card in her pocket, then dug deeper into it and pulled out a notebook. When she opened it, light blasted from the pages. She showed him one.
His eyes bulged. The page looked as though the words were cutouts with a million-watt bulb behind them. The book was written in light. That was wild enough, but he couldn’t believe what the page said. He’d been working the numbers all week and knew every horse and its odds. He tried to take the book from her. “You even got their weights down. Where did you get this?”
She pulled away. “Write. This for you. They are wins.”
“How did you know that?”
“This for you. You help me.”
He pulled out a pen and pad from his jacket and scribbled what was on the page. How could anyone not believe tips that came from magical letters in a fairy’s notebook? Just the same, he asked, “You sure this is right? These are the winners?”
“They always right.”
And they were right. Every horse on that list won by what she said it would. He won all day. He maxed out his credit cards––and he won and won. He wished he had more to bet. He’d bet the house if he could. His buddies were freaking out. Rich said, “Hey, let me bet with you. We can split the money.”
Something inside him said no. What was in that little girl’s notebook was only for him. If he tried to share it, it would all backfire.
He had to go through security when he left with his bags of money. Two men in black suits took him to an office under the track. It had filing cabinets, a desk, and a window, high on the wall, covered with a grille. He didn’t mind. He already had eaten the paper on which he had written the tips. They couldn’t nail him on anything.
They frisked him and questioned him. They had a file open on the desk. He started when he saw his pictures stapled in it. They had a file on him! One photo must have been taken at the window when he had made a bet. It had bars up and down; his face looked expectant. The other one showed him and his buddies sitting in the stands laughing. He figured they kept files on everyone. The feds always watched. “A low-bet regular,” it said under his photo. He was insulted.
“Hey guys, a little angel came to earth and sat on my shoulder.” He grinned. They let him go; there was no reason for them to hold him. When he went back to that school and found that little girl, he’d come back. Tomorrow, they’d call him something else. They’d change the caption on his file to “All-Time Winner.”
He stopped short. The girl. He had to get Eliana. He was nothing without her.
The book takes place in the late 22nd century and features a character from outer space. Nuclear Armageddon is supposed to occur the next day. Is it science fiction? A fantasy? Sure is. It’s both science fiction and fantasy.
Does it have anything to say about present day reality and the economic situation we find ourselves in? Oh, yeah. Big time.
I was recently interviewed by Irene Watson of Inside Scoop Live. Irene’s interview captures The Angel’s soul better than anything that’s been produced about the book so far. I began The Angel a few month’s after my brother’s sudden and tragic death. Grief was a motivating factor in my writing, but lots more was active in my overheated subconscious when the book came blasting through. I’m an economist. I’ve been worried about the snail-like progress of our recovery from the Great Recession. I’ve been worried about a lot of things in our world. They come out in Irene’s interview.
Please take a moment to listen to the interview and join me in exploring the direction our world is taking. Is the world of The Angel something that could come to pass? You can hear the interview on the link below, or through the link to Irene Watson of Inside Scoop Live.
THE ANGEL & THE BROWN-EYED BOY is a sci-fi, fantasy, thriller set on the planet earth’s last day. It presents a dark and doomed planet with secrets hidden everywhere. It’s characters are an amazing crew that will haunt you. One reviewer called it, “A future world only heartbeats from our own.”
While THE ANGEL & THE BROWN-EYED BOY has this science fiction/fantasy aspect, it is also the story of a troubled young man’s coming to grips with his family, which has to be the most dysfunctional in the world’s history. He has hours to do it before the nuclear Armageddon.
Most of all, THE ANGEL & THE BROWN-EYED BOY is a love story between Eliana, the angelic dancer who came to earth to save her own planet, and Jeremy, the tech genius, revolutionary, and heir to a fortune. Their love flames in this novel. It’s one of the great love stories, with love reaching through time and space.
I hope you enjoy it on Valentine’s Day or any other.