“Good Words” for Song of the Earth

I wanted to share what the readers are saying about my novel, Song of the Earth. It was released in July of 2014. It is available on Amazon, both in print and on Kindle. Each time, and since the beginning, I never dreamed that this story would stay relevant throughout the decades. And now, here we are again. Immigration at the forefront.

As the immigration issue rocks congress and the nation one more time, and some children are still trudging north to the border along with all the other migrants, Song of the Earth comes forward to lend a deeper meaning to immigration. It is not a pro-immigration novel, but, more so a novel with truth embedded within its pages. No matter what side we are on, in order to have a legitimate conversation we need to understand and be able to put ourselves on this border, to see, to feel, and become a part of it. Then the issues that we all hold so dear (both sides) we will find irrelevant as we drop into a more profound level of our existence. Within the pages, the reader experiences the journey of the people through the eyes of Jessie O’Leary, a journalist from the east, who is on the border writing stories and trying to protect herself from all the emotional turmoil that she encounters each day. It is Jessie and Clay’s love story and as we travel through the chaos with them, it becomes a story of a binding trust, of acceptance and of change. A reader in Alaska just said that he loved the imagery. He felt he was right there on the border, and breathing in the dust, that he had never read anything that put him so in ‘place.’

Here are some of the reviews Song of the Earth has received:

"This is an amazing journey of personal growth and humanitarian growth, in forgiveness and compassion, awakening to the spirit within and without. It follows, the Song of the Earth is also a song of death and birth, set in the modern times where death is so frequent on the border of America and Mexico. What I take away, and what resounds to me, is the promise of life, in its full force, if we can heed the call.

The author utilizes description, the sense of place, to bring out the subtle and not so subtle emotions that wash over one in feeling the connection to Earth and to one's fellow man and woman.

One of my favorite passages, which I think speaks to the nature of this book:

"When he got lower, a simple wailing permeated the air, feeding on the wind. It was a low, sad song. The notes sifted up from the dirt and caught on the wind like a flame, swirling and twisting through the sage and the cedars, growing, spreading through the canyons, searching for answers.

"A lightning bolt shattered the moment, flooding the area in light."

"Song of the Earth was a fabulous book that introduces the lives of immigrants trying to cross the border.

This story is absolutely beautiful and stunning. It starts off rather slow, and boring (to be honest), but once I was half way into the story I was hooked and obsessed. Even when the book ended I wanted more! I was desperate for Susan Nunn to continue this story because I fell in love with the characters.

Susan Nunn does an excellent job with character development. These characters start off as strangers to the reader and by the end of the story I cared for them and wanted to hear more about their lives. These fictional beings have many layers and become very real. I was amazed by the skill of Susan Nunn and her character development. At the beginning of the story I wasn't into these characters and I felt nothing to them, but once this story developed the main character Jessie was the main reason I continued reading. I wanted to continue reading about Jessie and I cared for her well being throughout the story.

The plot itself was very beautiful. It wasn't action packed, mysterious or thrilling, but it did have character. The story itself helped me with my own grieving. I felt that someone could pick this up and learn something new about themselves, whether it be around grieving, caring for others or simply caring for the earth.

I really enjoyed this book, and I can't stop singing it's praises. It wasn't the best book on the planet by far, but it definitely displays very strong messages and themes.

Four out of five stars. Incredible book with incredible themes and messages."

This is a beautifully written novel about a woman writer's journey helping Mexican immigrants and her own personal growth and love story.

At first I had a hard time getting into the story, but after about 1/4 of the way in, I then had a hard time putting it down!

Maybe some of our politicians should read this book!

Chiricahuas Mountains

What a story, and I imagine there is more truth here than fiction.

The book overtook me with it’s strength! I was not expecting it and gingerly began reading it at first and almost immediately was consumed by the power of the love story and the passionate vibrations throughout of personal freedom and what that means to the characters and to me. I could not put it aside! My most favorite part was during the walk to the border that Jessie, the reporter, went on and her interaction with the native people, including the birth of a baby, in the rugged, desert lands and how that changed her. I would totally recommend this book, for its vivid sketches of life at the border, including glimpses of the danger and horror that many experience. A good read

C. Susan Nunn’s novel, SONG OF THE EARTH, is an unusual book. It weaves intrigue, mystery, page-turning adventures, and hot romance set along the “Borderlands,” the barbed-wired, patrolled border along northern Mexico. This “New Adult” novel (or older YA) involves the terrible situations faced by people who dare to attempt the crossing, and people who are determined to stop them. Sex, violence, friendships, and courageous deeds are all part of the stirring descriptions of the terror and hardship faced by those crossing illegally. What an unusual and effective way to increase awareness of the situation of undocumented Latinos through story, fast action and “romance fiction.” The sex episodes are not graphic and mostly unfold “behind partially-closed doors.”

As part of the author’s wish to “give back” to the people who shared their stories and inspired this novel, Susan Nunn is donating a portion of book sales to Frontera de Cristo, located in the sister cities of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, and Douglas, Arizona. Frontera de Cristo is a Presbyterian bi-national border ministry that works with many faiths and organizations working for humanitarian rights and immigration reform. Learn more about this organization at www.fronteradecristo.org.

Author's Note: I would not recommend this for young adults.

SONG of the EARTH is a novel you will not forget. The individual stories reflect the complexity of immigration issues mixed with politics, compassion and greed. Once you begin the first page, be prepared to keep reading.

Two fascinating love stories with a behind the news headlines view of the human side of illegal immigration on our southern border. An inside look into the real lives of those affected, both US citizens and those from various other countries, without the hype and prejudice we hear so much about in today’s media. One love story is about Jessie and Clay, their dramatic meeting on the border and their falling in love. The other love story is about our Mother Earth.

This book is well thought out and written. Ms. Nunn offers a very fair, empathetic and unique look into the personal lives of those actually involved in the current border drama. As a person who doesn’t live in the border area, I have gained a beginning of an historic appreciation of how this very old migratory travel ritual has transformed into a confusing national frenzy. As in the best of good historical fiction, the reader leaves the book with different lenses for appreciating this time - a sad and unfortunate situation for many people.

Susan Nunn’s Song of the Earth is a dramatic story of current day events along the Mexican/Arizona border from the point of view of a gifted, well-connected newswoman and an undercover ATF agent who stumble upon one another in dangerous conditions. The danger stems from nature in the way of a flash flood and from mankind in the way of drug and gun runners, human coyotes who prey on the desperate and errant law enforcement types. It is a love story of privileged characters for whom the risks end just as more and more immigrants come across the border unprotected and exploited. What can this couple do to ease the trauma and illegality of the sojourners’ travails? Perhaps it is just their status that will lend credence to their mission and carry the writer and reader into future stories.

Nunn makes a strong case for immigration change through her lyrical descriptions and strong character development. There are elements of magical realism here, especially in Jess’ trek with the immigrants as they walk northward through Mexico. Lupe, the ageless curandera, all-knowing and protective, guides Jess, who comes into her own on the trail. Children cling to Jess and she to them as they sing along their tedious route. Births, pregnancies, illness and severe hardships mark the way. Jess leaves the group at the border, just when the going will become most difficult and elusive. But she knows from earlier experiences what they face and in Clay she finds the way has been made somewhat safer for them. With dedication to her theme and reverence for its subjects, Nunn shows the disgrace of our national inability to extend clear humanitarian acceptance and aid to potential citizens and does it with passion and truth.

It brought memories of the border and the Chiricahuas back in full color. How did you do that?

My only problem came when the story ended. I wasn’t ready.

This is a journey into our consciousness, both as a people and as a nation.

No matter what side of the immigration debate you are on, this will definitely change the way you now think of immigration.

‘Susan Nunn has written/created the USA/Mexico border in all its horror, and beauty. She renders that man-made border- the ancient trade routes- human. Alma Luz Villanueva, author of Song of the Golden Scorpion.

Song of the Earth is a gripping novel that recounts the complexity of the human story behind immigration issues and politics. With the authentic flavor of first-hand knowledge of the Borderlands, the drama of tragedy, romance and adventure unfold, as the protagonists come to know themselves more deeply against the backdrop of a harsh and unforgiving land. But ultimately, this story becomes a profound call for awakening to the pressing need to respect and preserve the earth. Joan Ruvinsky, author of This Wind.

In Song of the Earth, Nunn challenges the reader to view with an open heart human rights issues that have been politicized on the Border. She beautifully accomplishes her mandate with the love story between Jessie and Clay. Meeting in a circumstance in which the Earth shows its power, they are forced to look inside themselves to find their own beliefs about the Border. They find those beliefs are more aligned than they originally thought, but only after a life-changing event. This novel is ultimately a gift to everyone involved in the struggle for equity at the Border.

Once I started reading I was unable to put the book down. Real-life issues about the border were intertwined with a love story. As a character in the book goes across the lands with the immigrants you feel as though you’re there with them experiencing what they go through as they travel towards the border, you find yourself hoping that they are able to cross the border with no problems. This book is very well written!! I am hoping for a sequel.

I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying your writing … the images your words provoke, the analogies, the rhythm of the sentences, the story, the character development…..everything. Congratulations!!!! This is a fantastic piece of work!

I read it every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep. I carry the feel of the story with me throughout the day. You are a natural, even if it took you 15 years to write it. I hope it is one of many to come.

Beautiful, heartfelt book that does not shy away from the challenges of our time and yet manages to uplift and empower and entertain. A Love story with a capital L, this book embodies love in all its forms, including the writer’s obvious love for language and storytelling!

Lovely, sensitive story of border issues and a peoples struggle to find a better life. A great read. A page turner. A new perspective on the immigrants from the south. They become people, not just statistics. A look at how the money of immigration and the drug trade has created a corrupting influence on law enforcement officers.

This is a love story that takes root near the US/Mexico border. It is passionate and beautiful and heart-opening. The author really knows the setting, and helps you to know it as well. It feels like you’re there, you can almost smell the desert flowers. I like to learn something when I read, even if the story is fictional. C. Susan Nunn delivers…