Sunnyside Up
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Sunnyside Up

Adelaide Somers is a stubborn old lioness of a woman fighting hard to regain control of her runaway life. Her only means of survival is a 150-year-old family business collapsing from neglect. Neglect she blames mostly on her absentee family members. “Am I the only one left with a sense of responsibility?!” she rages. The business, Sunnyside Up Enterprises, is a landmark funeral and burial service accommodating the infamous elite of Outskirt, Kentucky, as well as a motley collection of Adelaide’s proud and outspoken ancestors. Ancestors who do not rest easy. Her only business partner is her slightly younger sister, Felicity, the victim of an accident neither she nor Adelaide is able to remember clearly, or sometimes, at all.

How do they navigate this nebulous labyrinth of a life? It’s all in how they see themselves, each other, and the often separate worlds they inhabit.

Adelaide sees herself as the solid and reliable anchor of the family business, as well as the family itself, what little remains of it. Felicity, on the other hand, knows she’s not quite right, blaming her own eccentricities on what she calls accident head. She communicates regularly with the rowdy bunch of family members down under, including Granny, Auntie Belle, and Uncle Pothead. Or at least she believes she does. Mostly bewildered, she would like to know how to handle the plethora of extrasensory gifts that often feel forced upon her. Why her? Why not Addie? She’s terrified that if she learns too much too quickly, she’ll leave her big sister behind. One foot in this world and one in the next, Felicity precariously straddles existence itself. She begs Addie to attend the esoteric seminars she thinks may help them find their way together. A way Adelaide sees as a dead end.

“But don’t you find it all confusing, Addie?” Felicity asks. “Don’t you want to know why?”

The answer is no. Adelaide does not want to know why. The only things Adelaide finds strange are the classes themselves, not to mention the other students, the instructors, the psychedelic transportation and the dark barn of a classroom that feels more like a cave. If you ask her, it’s a cult. But deep down she’s worried that if she doesn’t at least try to help Felicity out of its grip, she’ll lose her sister to the inevitability of madness.

But maybe she’ll lose her anyway.

Adelaide might be more willing to release Felicity to the inevitable if Felicity weren’t the one individual in the history of the world who truly understands Adelaide. Understands Adelaide’s prickly nature, yes, but also the reason Adelaide can’t seem to recover from the tragic loss of an old love whose memory haunts her.

Sunnyside Up is a deeply character-driven tale of two lovingly combative Kentucky sisters and a man named Julian, a miner’s son, who was not their social equal. It’s a story of love and survival, but also of quantum entanglement at a Jungian level. Entanglement that requires each character to dive deep into murky shadows with open eyes to consciously execute the unraveling. Such an unraveling requires cooperation from all involved. Cooperation that is buried alive in ego and resentment from a mysterious accident that tethers all parties to a single event in the past. Whether or not they’re successful depends on the heroic courage and deep character that only one of the sisters possesses.

And not the one who needs it most.

Welcome to Sunnyside Up and the deadly serious, often comical world its residents inhabit on any number of planes.


  • Sunnyside Up by Rea Nolan Martin is a fictional story that focuses on two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Adelaide is the older sister and Felicity is the younger sister. They live in the rural town of Outskirt, Kentucky. The family business is Sunnyside Up Funeral Home and Chicken Farm. The business has been passed down through generations of their father’s family. They provide funeral services and have a cemetery on the property. Adelaide considers herself to be the stable businesswoman, and she cares for her more eccentric younger sister.Both sisters have trouble remembering incidents from the past. They frequently refer to a ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, OnLineBookClub.Org - 4 out 4 Stars
  • With far too many metaphysical fiction novels seeming to come from the recycling bin these days, Sunnyside Up is cut from new cloth and wholly original. With a Juicily mordant narrative that coils back upon itself and rightly deserving of your full attention as Martin achieves a pitch-perfect balance between narrative and style.With a propensity in popular fiction for stereotypical protagonists, it’s a real pleasure to read a story centered on and held down by two leads like Adelaide and Felicity Somers. Their wacky eccentricities underpinning the grim relentlessness of Martin’s narrative and foreshadowing neatly pitched swerve balls ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Book Viral -- 5 out of 5 Stars
  •  The spiritual novel Sunnyside Up follows two sisters who confront eternal truths with a helping of heavenly wisdom and earthly charm.In Rea Nolan Martin’s otherworldly novel Sunnyside Up, two sisters who live and work among the dead contemplate their paths to the hereafter.Raised in a Kentucky funeral parlor, Adelaide and Felicity are putting off a particular burial. Stubborn Adelaide, who runs the family business on her own, claims that she can’t find the energy to bury Julian, the son of a miner—but she still finds time to sneak smokes, alcohol, and sugary treats.Felicity, meanwhile, cavorts with spirits and encourages Adelaide ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Forward -- Clarion Reviews -- 4 out or 5 Stars
  • Sunnyside Up by Rea Nolan Martin is highly original storytelling that you don’t read every day. It centers on the lives of two sisters, Adelaide and Felicity Somers, as they try to make sense of their lives after a terrible accident. The book’s title is the name of their funeral home business and chicken farm in Kentucky that Adelaide manages. Neither of them is married. Adelaide was once in a relationship with Julian Buck, but he passed away. Half the time Adelaide can’t even remember that Julian is dead. Felicity is similarly struggling to remember certain events from the past. There are those who blame Julian for his role in a ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Readers' Favorite Review by Vincent Dublado
  • A spellbinding tale that follows the lives of two sisters bound together by complex family dynamics, Sunnyside Up by Rea Nolan Martin is a spellbinding tale for fans of literary fiction with fully drawn, sophisticated characters. Set in a rural village in Kentucky, Adelaide Somers lives with her younger sister, Felicity. They are two unique characters whose current circumstances are forged by events that happened in their childhood, events that they don’t remember so well. Addie sees herself as the only responsible person in the family who takes care of the dying family funeral home business and chicken farm. She is driven nuts by ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, The Book Commentary by David Reyes -- 5 out of 5 stars
  •  5.0 out of 5 stars -- A sheer delight!   Sunnyside Up was a joy to read on so many levels. At the start of the book, I was pleased enough with the curiously altered state of consciousness of the two main characters, but this quickly evolved to a depth I didn’t expect. Rea Nolan Martin fashioned a remarkable story as seen through the eyes of a fascinating set of characters living in a fictional backwoods of rural Kentucky. The author’s prose is a sheer delight, and the pacing of the story is spot on—it moves along but lingers where it should, allowing the reader to take in the important moments and to savor the sheer beauty of her ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Amazon Reader Review
  •  5.0 out of 5 stars  -- Uniquely Brilliant   Sunnyside Up was challenging for me at first. It took me time and thought provoking dialog with myself before it became more that a mere story. The often quirky and sometimes shocking Adelaide and Felicity tugged at me, taking me by the hand into another verse.On the surface, Rea Nolan Martin is a wonderful storyteller. She weaves unique characters into the story as well as unexpected flashes of humor through very serious subjects. Under the surface, Ms. Martin brilliantly brings the reader into another realm of understanding. There are no words for the sublime emotional experience. ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Amazon Reader Review
  •  5.0 out of 5 stars -- WOW!! Just WOW!   Sunnyside Up is a delightful trip into the world of two eccentric sisters and their (mostly dead) family. Nothing is as it seems. The story is a beautifully written mix of comedy and pathos that stayed with me a long time after reading it.Martin’s prose is artful, making me want to linger and relish the writing, but the compelling story keeps me turning pages to see what happens next.Like Martin’s other books, Mystic Tea, The Anesthesia Game, and The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright this story has a mystical component that draws you in and adds dimension. I commend the author on another ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Amazon Reader Review
  •  5.0 out of 5 stars -- A Rollicking Ride   Sunnyside Up takes the reader on a journey of quantum proportions. Nolan, a talented, creative storyteller, weaves her tale through the push and pull of two sister on opposite trajectories. The book has zany characters, a love triangle, wild fashion and a slew of remarkable guides. The story challenges the reader to confront their own beliefs along with the circuitous journey of the sisters.As the story unfolds, the sisters come to a flexion point. The choice is both simple and complex and each sister must make their own, personal decision. Do they go towards the light or stay firmly planted in ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Amazon Reader Review


IPPY: Independent Publisher Book Awards SUNNYSIDE UP, first place, 2022, Visionary Fiction


Walking on Water
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Walking on Water

Are you ‘exactly where you are meant to be’? Do you know how to manifest your dreams? Put the power back in prayer? Stop a war? Heal yourself? Change the course of history? Do you know that Faith is not the same as Belief, or Power the same as Force? Do you know why we’re up to our necks in Vampires and Zombies?

In this collection of 32 original, eye-opening essays, author Rea Nolan Martin addresses these issues and more. She digs deep into her own experience to blaze a clear path of awareness and empowerment through the social, psychological and spiritual morass of these confusing times. Poised as we are on an evolutionary precipice, these insights have the potential to change the way we look at the world, and in so doing, change the world.


  • A personal and intimate exploration that encourages us to question the way we live, Walking On Water is the timely and prophetic release from Rea Nolan Martin. With thirty two powerfully poignant reflections, she touches our hearts and minds with prose full of grace and simple truths. It’s one of those rare books with the power to create an epiphany in readers and one that can bring about profound change. There are many people claiming to be teachers, coaches, guides and gurus. Nolan doesn’t claim to be any of these, but as an award winning author she writes with an earthy rhythm which brings a special quality to her words. It’s ... (read more)

    – John Reese, Book Viral
  • Rea Nolan Martin, known for her Visionary Fiction, wrote this engaging collection of nonfiction essays “to illuminate the path from personal victimhood to self-awareness and enablement…” The pieces address such topics as faith, suffering, and awareness.In Essay 2, for example, the author discusses the differences between faith and belief, concluding that “belief is a product of the mind” whereas “faith is a product of the spirit.” Yet the book is not overly abstract. In Essay 18, Martin suggests actions to overcome obstacles where past trauma may have paralyzed present growth (“Seize Authority Over Your Thoughts”; “Lose ... (read more)

    – Blue Ink Review
  • In Walking on Water: A Path to Empowerment, by Rea Nolan Martin, you will be moved. I was. This profound little book of inspiration is a gem and a treasure trove of wisdom. And you'll discover that not only does Rea Nolan Martin walk the talk across the slippery water surfaces of life, but she also shows us how to do that. And add to that, she's a superb writer. (See any of her novels.)

    – James Evers, 5.0 out of 5 stars -- Navigating Life's Slippery Surfaces
  • Having now read everything that Rea Nolan Martin has written I was intrigued at the thought of getting to know a little more about the mind behind the stories. If you have read Mystic Tea or Anesthesia Games you will know her books encourage a lot of reflection a well as being highly enjoyable to read. Walking on Water: A Path to Empowerment is a very apt title because she reminds us that we wall have a part to play in shaping the future. The essays and reflections are both deep and thought provoking, besides being a glimpse into the mind of a top notch writer.

    – Avid Reader, Thought provoking words from a top notch writer


Nautilus Book Award

WALKING ON WATER, Silver, 2016

Book Club Discussions

The Sublime Transformation of  Vera Wright
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The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright

Vera Wright is a quirky sixty-plus beautician who is perpetually trying to improve herself.

One Sunday she decides to respond to her pastor's challenge to "surrender her life to God" because, why not? At least it would make her a better person. Much to her shock, this quiet little gesture is taken seriously on the "other side", and from that moment forward she is relentlessly recruited to save the world.

Vera is a most unlikely crusader, who battles this new vocation with every tool in her parlor. Chaos ensues, including mystical visions, out-of-body mayhem, bilocation, lucid dreaming, and drawers full of mysterious automatic writings.

In the process of her own reluctant sanctification, she persuades her beloved church lady friends to create The Society of Loaves and Fishes, the first order of female Catholic priests. There is a new order of miracles, she tells them, that God can only perform through women.

The novel explores the extraordinary potential in simple and humble people with a wink and a nod to the harrowing cost of true spiritual commitment. It is an optimistic and humorous story with serious underpinnings that will entertain and inform both saints and sinners.


  • Over the centuries, the prescription to a happy, problem free existence for the common wo/man has been "Let go, let God." This prescription has been mercilessly exploited by power mongers, both at the political and the religious levels, by leaders, who by virtue of their position claim to have their own hotline to God. As a result, they have steered many hapless men and women to their doom.The aftermath of religious persecution (often for personal and political gain) has led to widespread atheism and the erection of other pedestals, prominent among them being science and rationality. The very idea of a close, intimate, one-to-one ... (read more)

    – By Bani Sodermark  VINE VOICE, A Surrender to the Will of God
  • The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright is one of those rare books that you read, and later when you think about it, it makes you smile. Rea Nolan Martin always seems to find the right notes to negotiate the themes of her books and as always, she challenges the way we see the world. From a critical perspective she certainly brings all the elements of successful fiction together, but perhaps more importantly, from a reader’s perspective, she always delivers an uplifting and insightful narrative. The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright isn’t an “inspirational read” in the usual syrupy sense, with Nolan paying particular attention ... (read more)

    – BookViral Review
  • Vera is Laugh Out Loud funny...Soul searchingly poignant...Beautifully written...every page a treasure and a joy! Vera's Transformation mirrors many of our own adventures, after asking the question..."Why am I here?" Inspired guidance and direction for those of us, on Planet Earth, at this time.

    – A Recipe for Miracles
  • Life-changing alert! Rea Nolan Martin walks a fine line between laugh-out-loud humor and the deepest of profound philosophical ruminations in this book. And it's a line that she treads with skill and grace, especially in her characterization of the novel's hero, Vera Wright, a down-to-earth, middle class woman "of a certain age." While the subject matter may appear weighty, Rea's nimble writing keeps the story moving and the twists and turns in her characters' lives compelling. Deeply spiritual without being preachy, Vera Wright has its own transformational ability to open our eyes to new ways of thinking about ... (read more)

    – Thought-provoking, compelling and funny, all at the same time!
  • I absolutely loved this book! After reading the back cover I wasn't sure it would be a good fit for me based on my age and spiritual beliefs. I worried for no reason! Ms. Martin explored the traditions of Catholicism and faith in general, offering an alternate perspective on long established interpretations. The possibilities presented lit me up, granting a freedom and camaraderie to my already present thoughts about religion. Her story telling technique made the inquiry into such tradition unfettered, heart-warming, contemplative, eye-opening and comforting. I recommend this read to women and men of any faith. Enjoy the ride it's ... (read more)

    – Page Turner
  • I rarely come across a book that I literally can't put down and this was one of them. The unfolding of Vera's journey and spiritual awakening is awesome, profound and powerful. I found myself completely engaged with Vera, her character and the entire story. She became a dear friend; one that I shared happiness, absolute laughter, tragedy, introspection and mystical moments. This is a book that will definitely cause you to open you eyes and ponder your soul, while feeling a lightheartness at the same time. The prophetic translations at the conclusion of the story are inspired, thought provoking and utterly amazing. I can't stop ... (read more)

    – A Thought Provoking - WOW Experience!
  • The only reason this reviewer tags Vera Wright with a four-star rating is because she hopes it will act as a carrot to the author, encouraging her to bring us a sequel to this page-turning novel. Vera Wright is a bundle of contradictions so human that it is impossible not to recognize ourselves in her. She is at once irreverent and pious, funny and deadly serious, confused about many things but clear in one - her love for her family. But, she is also daydreaming through much of life, going through the routines and rituals that make up her days. Four pages into this story, the daydreams come to a screeching halt and Vera begins a journey ... (read more)

    – Moving Heaven and Earth
  • After just a few pages, I felt that I'd known Vera Wright forever, and her journey became my journey. She is a fully dimensioned character that is an ideal "everywoman". Vera is the unwitting star of a drama/comedy/mystery that plays out in most unusual and entertaining ways. I loved the mystical component of this story, and its compelling description of the hereafter. This story covers some pretty controversial ground as it relates to the Catholic Church, but does it in an inclusionary and sensitive way. And just when the story line becomes very intense, sad, or disturbing, a laugh-out-loud humorous episode will surprise and ... (read more)

    – Absolutely loved it!
  • I rarely read anything more than once but this one I will, for fear that I may have missed some little tidbit. This book was a feast! Every word, every phrase, every situation is supremely and intentionally orchestrated by the author. If you read it too quickly, you'll miss something for sure. I found myself caught up in the story and having to go back a page or two while asking myself, "did that really just happen?" or "did she really just say that?" and then laughing out-loud at the hilarity of what on the surface had originally seemed serious. There is a lot that is serious and thought-provoking that is brilliantly ... (read more)

    – I couldn't get enough!

Book Club Discussions


Authors often deliberately employ a variety of literary devices in their storytelling. One of these devices is symbolism. At what point was the symbolism of Vera's profession obvious to you? At what point in the story did Vera's personal priorities change and how did this affect her profession?


Another literary device, used especially in visionary novels, is the use of archetypal names. For instance, Vera Wright is derived from the Latin "veritas" for truth and "right", for absolute. So as a prophet, Vera's name represents Absolute Truth. Can you identify the meaning behind other names in this story?


Foreshadowing is another effective literary device. Can you identify the place/s where Vera's ultimate transformation was foreshadowed?


Characters are often placed in specific relationship to one another as protagonists/comrades or antagonists/adversaries in order to reveal certain things about themselves that lead to their growth and transformation. Which characters were protagonists/comrades and which were antagonists/adversaries? What did these confrontations or empathies reveal about each character? How did it help them grow?


Do you think Vera would have been able to fulfill her mission if Monk had lived? If Mia had not reformed? If Father Max had turned his back on her?

Mystic Tea
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Mystic Tea

MYSTIC TEA is the inspirational and sometimes comical story of six quirky women living in a rural monastery, who are all that remain of a community that once thrived. Lost in an emotional and spiritual fog, they struggle daily with faith, friendship, loyalty, obedience, crushing debt, and now--an Official Investigation of Women Religious launched by the American bishops in Rome. Only a miracle can save them. So why isn't their mystic founder--the renowned Saint Grace of Syracuse--providing them with one of the many miracles she so freely supplied in earlier, less desperate times?

Maybe she is.

Or maybe she's at least trying. Though no one is quite willing to give up on Grace, there are few available channels for miraculous intervention, and those that are available are highly unlikely. The possibilities include: Mike--the cerebral, stern, but earnest prioress; Gemma--the unstable 30-year-old novitiate with a dark secret; Arielle--the endearing 20-year-old jailhouse conversion with a history of drug abuse; and Mother Augusta--the unorthodox 90-year-old mystic hermit who performs unsanctioned purification rituals and brews her own magical sacred teas. How this ragtag group will survive a Vatican Investigation is anybody's guess.

Maybe they won't.

In the end, MYSTIC TEA is a contemporary love story between young and old, franchised and disenfranchised, pedestrian and mystic. It is a universal tale that transcends religious context, set in the backdrop of the corruption of one of the world's most influential institutions. Most of all it's a story of female empowerment as the sisters struggle to identify a way out of a crucible that no longer works for any of them. Miracles are redefined as crises share boundaries with miraculous transformations, and one way of living makes way for another.


  • In Nolan Martin's (The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright, 2012) latest novel, a group of eccentric nuns struggle to find themselves and each other in a convent.Gemma stands on a hill, talking to the Hudson River. Arielle, fresh from rehab, wakes up in a jail cell to a vision of an angel. Prioress Michael Agnes reads through correspondence from the Vatican. Although each character is very different, they all soon find themselves at the same convent on a farm near Albany, N.Y. Gemma so wants to be saintly that she conducts secret acts of penance, putting rock salt in her too-small shoes and wearing full winter habits in the heat of summer. ... (read more)

  • Rea Nolan Martin crafted the most ingenious characters ever and threw them all together in one book. I don't typically get into stories or even movies, for that matter, where there are so many different characters, each with a different tale that has to be told...because it makes me feel as if there is just too much going on in one place. Martin gave life to Gemma, Arielle, Mike, Maya, Grace and Augusta to name a few, and she did it with such ingenuity, I was blown away! As soon as I started reading page 8, which begins Gemma's story, I knew that this was going to be an impeccable read… AND, it was, all the way through. I love "clean ... (read more)

    – Rave Reviews by Nonnie Jules 5***** Star Rated!
  • Mystic Tea (2013), by Rea Nolan Martin, is the tale of a community of mismatched young women who struggle to keep themselves and their convent going on a farm near Albany in upstate New York. Abandoned by a changing world and in search of God in ways as unique as each of the nuns, their way of life has already changed, and they are clinging to the shreds of meaning and purpose. From Gemma. who self-inflicts bodily harm in the name of penance and hears the voice of her non-existent twin, to Sister Mike, the caretaker of the group, and Arielle, a recently released criminal fresh out of rehab who is not even a Catholic, each of the main ... (read more)

    – Sunflower and Moth
  • A community of quirky, mismatched, and endearing women struggle to find meaning and purpose on a ramshackle monastery in upstate New York. Having spent their lives in service to a church that seems to no longer serve them, they are confused about their own futures and the future of the entire monastery. Led by Mike, the practical no-nonsense prioress, and Augusta, the grand ancient mystic hermit, they are joined by Gemma, a self-punishing novice, and Arielle, a firebrand jailhouse conversion who was sent there out of rehab by a “sort of angel.” The personalities, commitments, philosophies and beliefs of these and all the characters ... (read more)

  • How can God be fun? “Easy”, says Arielle, throwing her arms around the world, leaving a trace of her DNA on everyone she meets. “With difficulty”, says Gemma, choosing a negative way of diminished possibilities. “When I am ready”, says Mike, endlessly preparing the way of the Lord. And then, there is Augusta who sees a future in Mystic Tea, and who lets it happen anyway. Where is their God? Filling the spaces inside atoms and the galactic voids. Visible in fleeting shadows and in the goodness of the ladies. His future for them is bigger and more spell-binding than they could ever imagine. Where is the author? Crafting ... (read more)

    – Neanderthals: The Science and The Myths, Mystic Tea: Reflections on a Novel
  • I was captivated by this story, couldn't put it down! The author's writing connects you with each character in a way that you feel you know and understand them. It was hysterical, thought provoking, spiritual and absolutely wonderful to read. I loved it!!!

    – Fantastic!!!
  • The story was spiritual and yet at times just made you laugh out loud with some of the ridiculous antics. Clearly the author has a sense of humor. As each character developed you wanted to know more about them and truly cared about them. A page turner

    – The characters come alive
  • This story brought back memories of the nuns I had in school, but they certainly did not have as much fun as the nuns in the story. Ms. Martin gave such vivid descriptions of the events in the story that you felt like you were there. The characters were hilarious even though they all had serious issues. I wanted to be a friend to all of them. Ms. Martin keeps you involved so you want to find out what happens to each character. Loved the ending. Write another book soon!

    – Awesome read -- couldn't put it down.
  • " As diverse a collection of women as I've ever encountered, and nuns, to boot! The richly drawn characters in this book range from an ex-junkie novitiate to an aged prioress who seems part religious and part wizard. Holding them together as the once tranquil world around them frays and crumbles is a nun/psychotherapist, who is facing her own questions about a much-tried faith. Martin delivers a wild ride--at times hilarious and often poignant--that keeps you riveted to your seat until the last page. A compelling read, and one that demands a sequel!"

    – A "League of Extraordinary Women"
  • When I first started reading Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin I was not sure what to expect. I was not even really sure what the book was about. When I finished Mystic Tea I not only sure of where the name came from but had fallen in love a little with each and every one of the characters in the book. This is a book about Mystic tea as the title implies but it is also a story about love, faith and the human condition that requires not just God's love and forgiveness but also humananities love & forgiveness, and most importantly the love & forgiveness we need the most,to & for ourselves. Thank you Rea Nolan Martin for giving the ... (read more)

    – Mystic Tea
  • This is a wonderful story that is filled with laughter, love and friendship. It makes you see life in the way it is intended, touching on human emotions, love, forgiveness, the spirit. It's hilarious at times but very thought provoking as well. The writing is so well done that you didn't want it to end. Thanks to the author for filling my heart with a beautiful story!

    – I loved this book! A Must Read!!!
  • I bought this book because. I wanted to read how nuns lived. This book was nothing like I expected. So much better than I expected. It is lively to read. Expect the unexpected. A real page turner.

    – Mystic Tea was wonderful
  • I got this as a free title through Amazon. First thing off the bat, I clicked to "Look Inside." And then I downloaded it and kept reading, until I was done. Not what I'd call a standard novel about nuns and the religious orders. Instead it is an alternative story, quite expressive, well written, humorous, and provocative. The character development was a bit irregular in places, but they all worked out in the end. I was wondering how in the world Ms. Martin was going to splice the backgrounds of some characters into an order of nuns.....but the story was uplifting and charming. Read it to see where the title comes ... (read more)

    – Have some tea and indulge yourself with this title
  • A wonderfully unique and entertaining story. For me being a person that is not religious, this book is all about religion, but done in a very unusual way which I loved. The story main focus is a run down monastery in upstate New York, and its eclectic group of inhabitants, from Augusta, the mother superior who is an ancient mystic hermit, who can concoct magical teas. Mike the monasteries prioress and a handful of very free spirited nuns, Gemma who has come to the monastery to become a nun, but has a problem hearing voices and is a self punishing novice, and Arielle a young drug addict who after rehab comes to them after having seen and ... (read more)

    – A great read....
  • What an enjoyable read Rea Nolan Martin has cooked up this time. The distinct voices she uses to illuminate the internal & external fears, joys, traumas, and growths of these endearing and occasionally kooky women is done masterfully. Everything I read was so vividly depicted in my head, I occasionally felt like I was living on the farm right alongside these women! I don't want to give too much away, so instead I'll just recommend that everyone reads this book! Great job, Rea--I hope you're already cooking up your next big adventure!

    – This book should be read... seventy times seven times!


IPPY: Independent Publisher Book Awards

MYSTIC TEA, first place, 2014, Visionary Fiction

Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards

MYSTIC TEA, first place, 2014, Literary Fiction

USA Best Book Award Award

MYSTIC TEA, first place, 2014, Visionary Fiction

International Book Award (IBA)

MYSTIC TEA, finalist 2014, Visionary Fiction

Book Club Discussions


Each of the primary characters in MYSTIC TEA was given a distinct literary voice and point-of-view (POV). Did you find each Voice/POV to be consistent and easily recognizable? Can you describe the different language/voice used for Gemma, Arielle, Mike, Augusta, Maya? Was the language appropriate to the character?


Each of the primary characters is on a specific spiritual journey formed by the circumstances, belief systems and experiences of her past, as well as her goals and ideas of the future. How would you describe each of their journeys?


Do you think any of the outcomes of these characters' lives would be different if their journeys had not intertwined and converged with each other? For instance, what would have become of Gemma without Arielle, Mike, or Augusta? Likewise for other character pairings. Would any of them have fulfilled her purpose without the others?


This story begins with a monastic community of nuns who are confused about their allegiance to a church leadership that no longer serves or nourishes them. How do they rise above this disappointment to continue serving God and their communities?


What would you say are the true vocations of Gemma and Arielle?


Had you ever heard of psychic twins (or chimeras) before reading MYSTIC TEA? The author thought these conditions were a figment of her fertile imagination until the subsequent appearance (two years later) of an article in The New York Times, Tuesday, September 17, 2013: DNA Double Take. Do you ever sense things before they happen? Do you think anything else in this book might be prophetic?


The Anesthesia Game
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The Anesthesia Game

How many ways can they anesthetize themselves from a tragic memory buried too many lifetimes ago to count? Forty-something Hannah, fifty-something Mitsy, and sixty-something Pandora, indulge in a creative assortment of addictions that obscure the mysterious connection to a common past that haunts them all.
Estate reserve pinot noir, QVC, and a deck of maxed-out credit cards drive the beautiful, outgoing Hannah and her Virginia horse farm into a financial corner that alienates everyone around her, including the love of her life.

Religion, spiritualism and an addiction to the telephone psychic, Pandora, create the agoraphobic cave into which Hannah’s lackluster older sister, Mitsy, retreats from everyone, including her critically ill fifteen-year-old daughter, Sydney. Otherwise living in financial splendor in a Connecticut mansion with her mostly absent husband, Aaron, Mitsy arrives at a point of desperation at which she has no choice but to beg the irresponsible Hannah to assume her daughter’s care.

Pandora, a brilliant but obstinate, burned-out telephone mystic, lives in a rustic cabin overlooking Lake Tahoe and Heavenly Peak. For reasons that confound even her, Pandora drops every client from her roster but the ever irritating and obsequious Mitsy. Tested by Mitsy’s constant phone calls, as well as the many mystical dilemmas surrounding them all, Pandora trades her green tea and tofu for the cigarettes, coffee, Snicker bars, fine wine, and hashish that muddy her mystical vision just when she needs it most.

The link to their recovery is Sydney, the child among them, and the stake they all share in her perilous condition and unlikely cure. As Sydney submits to the weekly treatments for an illness she refuses to grace with a name, she plays THE ANESTHESIA GAME, a game that ultimately leads her to the origin of her disease and a way out of the struggle that binds them all.

Narrated from the points-of-view of each of these women in alternating chapters, THE ANESTHESIA GAME is a 360 degree tale that begins in the present, revealing the distant past in delicate flashes of memory. In the end, the women discover their heroic natures only when forced into the crucible of a hospital ICU, assisting Sydney as she swings precariously between life and death.


  • I can’t say it loud enough, you should read this book! It tugs at your heart-strings heavily as you live through the possibility of this child’s demise; you watch a marriage fall apart; you flinch as a woman throws herself at a man who clearly isn’t interested in her any more, and you feel a mother’s pain at the loss of her child she couldn’t save. Well written? Captivating? Great Read? You bet it is…it’s a Rea Nolan Martin and I can guarantee absolute, pure satisfaction after reading this book and any others which bears her name on the cover.Ms. Nolan, you have a fan for life! For those avid readers who constantly email me ... (read more)

    – Nonnie Jules, Rave Reviews by Nonnie Jules
  • The Anesthesia Game is Rea Nolan Martin’s third novel, and she is indeed a gifted writer. While at its core it’s the story of family relationships, it’s enveloped in an intriguing mystery and mysticism. The central character is 15 year old Sydney who is dying from a disease her mother and aunt do not want to name. The sicker she gets, the more her mother, Mitsy falls deeper into depression and more dependent on her mystic advisor Pandora, who has problems of her own. Her aunt Hannah, who suffers from own addictions and denials, tries to come to Sydney’s rescue. Yet there is a strange and mysterious past that binds them all, and if ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, review
  • I so enjoyed this book. Author Rea Nolan Martin is a truly creative and visionary author, and I have to say, this storyline is unlike any other that I have found before. Coming from a person that does a lot of reading, this is truly a great find! Author Martin's character development, scene setting abilities and just plain excellent storytelling abilities make her work second to none! Any reader who enjoys creative fiction, stories with strong and interesting female characters, or just a great read would love The Anesthesia Game. I highly recommend this book, and I am very much looking forward to seeing what author Rea Nolan Martin has in ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite
  • Moving, powerful and heart-warming, The Anesthesia Game is the latest release from Rea Nolan Martin and it proves an unforgettable celebration of friendship and fortitude. Blooming with authenticity, Martin’s keen emotional intelligence shines through from the start as she takes her readers on a captivating journey with multiple plot threads that are well-conceived and intriguing. With an emotive narrative, her prose is delivered with refreshing candour, creating wholly endearing characters that exude strength of personality and purpose. Each one memorable for the lives they have led, the unspoken truths they have harboured and the trials ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Book Viral Review - In the Spotlight
  • An engaging young girl had a disease, unnamed by mutual agreement of her family, but her condition was dire. Her mother had checked out some time before, unable to handle the stress and grief of her only child’s imminent death. Her father was mostly absent, unable to deal with either of them. Enter Aunt Hannah, who doesn’t exactly have her own life in order, but has a scheme to extricate herself from catastrophic debt through an arrangement to care for Mitsy and Sydney for an extended period. Leaving her own family farm in the hands of her ex-husband, she traipses off to Connecticut to care for her sister and niece. She and Sydney are ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
  • 2015 acknowledgement by Ellis Nelson of the Visionary Fiction AllianceAs 2015 draws to a close, I suspect most of us get reflective. What happened that surprised us, delighted us, disappointed us? Like most years, 2015 was a mixed batch of experiences. We decide which tag to give each one. I have a container filled with little slips of paper that mark what I label good experiences and soon it will be time to review those in the spirit of gratitude. Always there is the tug of those events that never materialized. But linear time demands we move on, but not before a shout out to some of the new friends I welcomed in 2015. Rea Nolan Martin is ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Visionary Fiction Alliance
  • CLARION REVIEWSupernatural forces define this story of illness, addiction, and redemption.LITERARYSydney, a teen dying of cancer, receives the support of three women across several lifetimes in The Anesthesia Game, Rea Nolan Martin’s inspirational Visionary story.Mitsy won’t even say the name of her daughter Sydney’s illness. Holed up in her room, constantly calling the hotline psychic Pandora, she’s barely able to take care of herself, much less Sydney. Enter Mitsy’s wayward sister, Hannah, whose shopping and drinking habits have run her into a financial hole. Hannah has no time for psychics or Mitsy’s self-pity. But when ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Clarion Forward Review
  • This is a book that exemplifies a genre called “visionary fiction”, a genre that has been pioneered by the author in her earlier books. Such books explore a reality that is not just based on that which takes place on the material plane alone, it is also affected by that which happens on other planes simultaneously. Choices and decisions, even those made in earlier lives, inasmuch as they exist as patterns in our subconscious and unconscious minds, affect events or situations in our present lives. It is almost as if the beta waves that engage our conscious minds, “anesthetize” us to the above patterns, hence the title. The good news ... (read more)

    – Bani Sodermark Ph.d, Review
  • The Anesthesia Game is elusively spectacular. Let me just say the title of the book is exclusively marvelous. Superb! Everything about it entices you as an explorer. The start of the novel is also superb.  It was an excellent make for a tragic relationship with family members. It continued to strike me hard whenever the Doctors got involved.  Emotional and fast pacing.  The writing style pulls you in for the numerous things it excelled at; (i) it expresses so much yet so little and paces the plot effectively, (ii) brilliant character developments; Sydney did enough being there and revealing the horrors and wonders of being alone, ... (read more)

    – Rea Nolan Martin, H's Review
  • Reader Reviews on Amazon                                                                                                         

    – Rea Nolan Martin, Amazon Reader Reviews


Reader's Favorite


IPPY: Independent Publisher Book Awards

THE ANESTHESIA GAME, first place, 2016, Visionary Fiction

Book Viral

THE ANESTHESIA GAME, Crimson Quill Award

Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards

THE ANESTHESIA GAME, first place, 2016, Novel

Book Club Discussions


In The Anesthesia Game each of the characters has been taken (or takes herself) off-course on one wild ride or another. Ironically, these detours serve to bring their lives into focus in order to reveal their true destinies. Do you think this happens frequently in life? Do you think adverse events are necessary to detach us from our superficial lives and re/connect us to purpose? In the end, how did each of the characters benefit from the adverse circumstances s/he experienced as a result of Sydney’s illness?


It is said that we each have at least one master in our lives who teaches us how and where to walk the path. In what way did each of these women (wittingly or unwittingly) instruct or assist one another?


When we think of a child or young adult enduring the rigors of chemotherapy, we are mostly outraged by the injustice of their suffering. How does the character, Sydney, transcend suffering and consequently, victim consciousness? How does she teach the others to do the same?


In the beginning, the character, Pandora, is painted in shades of light and dark. She is an ambiguous creature, a mystic, who, depending on your viewpoint, could be crazy or genius. How does she portray both ends of the spectrum? How do you feel about that dichotomy at the end of the story? Does she fulfill her destiny?


As the science of physics and energy moves into mainstream knowledge, we become more aware that every material thing contains a specific vibration and frequency. Does it seem logical that at some point medicine might be able to pinpoint the vibration of individual diseases? If so, can the cure be far behind? Did you find this line of thinking far-fetched when first introduced into the storyline? How do you feel about it now?


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