Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: The Sandoval Sisters

The Sandoval Sisters' Secret of Old Blood
By:Sandra Ramos O'Briant
When Alma flees with her young lover to Texas to escape an arranged marriage with a much older man, she sets in motion a drama that will put the sisters and their legacy at risk. Pilar, a 14-year-old tomboy, is offered as a replacement bride, and what follows is a sensuous courtship and marriage clouded by the curses of her husband’s former lover, Consuelo. She will stop at nothing, even the use of black magic, in her effort to destroy the Sandoval family. The Mexican-American war begins and the Americans invade Santa Fe. The sisters are caught in the crosshairs of war from two important fronts-New Mexico and Texas. Their money and ancient knowledge offer some protection, but their lives are changed forever.

"This story of love, mysticism and betrayal tests the ultimate boundaries of sisterhood. I loved this brave, lushly written tale of life in old Santa Fe."

-        Jill Smolinski, author of Objects of My Affection

Arranged marriages

A runaway bride




A woman doctor


The Sandoval diaries


"I really liked this story. There were certain parts that were just so real when I read them that it was hard to not get involved with the Sandoval sisters."*

Santa Fe was the first foreign capital captured by the U.S. An unbelievable influx of men occurred, but nary a word has been written about how that affected the New Mexican women. Until now.

I grew up in Santa Fe and spent summers in Texas, but now make my home in Los Angeles with my husband, two sons, a dog, a cat and two quarrelsome parakeets.  

         Cast of Characters:

            Oratoria Sandoval: "I first entered the Sandoval compound a barefoot slave . . . Estevan had traded for me—a bag of flour for a ragged peasant girl of five—after I had been captured by Apaches in Mexico. He brought me to this high mountain desert, to Santa Fé, the City of Holy Faith, as a wedding present for his bride. I became doña Teresa’s favorite, who was sixteen and far from her family in Mexico City. She taught me to read and to cook, and christened me Oratoria because of my skill with languages. 

            Alma Sandoval: "I’d been in the grip of ancient memories, reciting a list of family secrets that stretched back for centuries. I’d developed an eccentric reputation in Santa Fé, even for a Sandoval. I wasn’t sure if the memories were from an unknown part of my mind, or if they came from reading Sandoval diaries when I was much too young."

            Pilar Sandoval: "I’d read a few of the diaries . . . Bunch of whiners and schemers, if you ask me. I like creatures who are half this and half that, in myth's and biblical stories, not in my flesh and blood relatives."

            Geraldo Quintana: “I’m no saint,” he said. “I loved my wives, but I was a young man, selfish and uninformed. Penetration, the young man’s dream, is not all there is to lovemaking.”

            Consuelo Benavides: “You Sandovals think you can take everything. You’ll suffer. I’ll make you pay for what you’ve stolen from me!”

            L.B.: “Mexes ain’t too poplah round here, but I guess you knows it already . . . you as white as B.B., Miz Alma. You could pass fa her daughter. Make the most of it, girl. Passin’ is good.”

The first chapter can be found here and here.

The sequel to The Sandoval Sisters' will follow the next generation of this uniquely blended family into the 20th century. An excerpt from the first chapter is at the end of the book.

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More excerpts at:

or The Blood Mother Blog

I'll be at the Los Angeles Festival of Books this weekend signing books: Here's the link
Schedule here:

*A few of the 5-star reviews from Amazon.

About the Author:

The Sandoval Sisters' Secret of Old Blood is Sandra Ramos O'Briant's first novel, but her work has appeared in print and online journals. A complete list and links can be found here:
She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Texas, but lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, a dog, a cat, and two quarrelsome parakeets.
I'm not aware of much fiction written about the New Mexican women of the 19th century. My goal was to tell a story about women who interested me, women who bravely dealt with whatever life dished out to them. The issues confronted by the Sandoval sisters are contemporary: racism, sexual intolerance, the power of superstition, dealing with mother-in-laws.
The story also has a fair bit of romantic eroticism which the centuries-old Sandoval diaries dealt with candidly. My research didn't yield much information on rebellious Latinas of yore. They obeyed their fathers, brothers, husbands, and priests, so I wrote the Sandoval sisters-not exactly as firebrands-but as women who make a change toward owning their power, each in their own way, and all while living on a rough frontier at the juncture of three cultures.
Santa Fe was the first foreign capital captured by the U.S. An unbelievable influx of men occurred, but nary a word has been written about how that affected the New Mexican women. Until now.

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