book reviews

The Reluctant Messenger: Tales from Beyond Belief  | Candice M. Sanderson

“A must-read book that highlights the author’s spiritual journey into the unknown. It is uplifting, inspiring, and transformative.” ~ Rajiv Parti, M.D., author of Dying to Wake Up, NDE expert, consultant in Consciousness Based Healing


Endorsements & Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In this debut memoir, a psychologist shares the wisdom she received by opening her mind.

Sanderson is no stranger to the concepts of self-awareness and spirituality. As a psychologist who helps others cope during crisis situations and discover meaning in the most intense human experiences, she deftly writes about the mind’s often complex routes to finding inner fulfillment, peace, and enlightenment. This work is unusual in the way that it honestly shares a woman’s path to becoming a “medium” of sorts, tapping into the messages being distributed by energy sources around her. The author is open from the beginning about the shocking and uncomfortable nature of this transition, and invites readers to travel from the practical and research-based realm to the nonmaterial world of energy exchange. Sanderson repeatedly refers to “PoE,” which means “point of existence.” This idea involves using the heart to perceive events rather than simply employing the senses. For example, in a discussion of music, the author writes: “If humans would allow the music to flow through the heart centers, there would be a shift to a state of expanded awareness, which would allow for a fuller, richer experience than what the sense of hearing allows. The music carries the listener to a realm of expanded awareness where the energy of love allows emotional reactions to certain pieces of music.” This notion appears throughout the book, encouraging readers to draw on the heart to clear the mind’s “chatter” and embrace the world rather than simply relying on hearing, seeing, tasting, etc. Perhaps Sanderson’s greatest strength here is taking topics that might feel difficult for some readers to grasp—such as expanded awareness—and making them feel comfortable, accessible, intriguing, and engaging. The book will likely speak to those ready to take leaps of faith in their own odysseys to the unknown, tapping into new senses and experiences that question their past perceptions and limitations. If nothing else, readers should be inspired by the author’s bravery and candor in revealing the riveting details of her journey.

A strong autobiography recounts one woman’s road to spiritual enlightenment.


RECOMMENDED by the US Review of Books
Sanderson’s memoir is engaging and accessible. Her gradual opening to a wide range of emotive themes is touching and credible." – US Review of Books

"The message captivated me; the authors of my first message about a flower had revealed themselves through this familiar lyrical language."  – US Review of Books

In this mystical memoir, a psychologist turns psychic and shares the results of that experience. In 2013, Sanderson, a widow who had raised two children to successful adulthood, had a demanding but rewarding position as a school psychologist. Things seemed organized and predictable. But then, Sanderson says, “In ten minutes, my life changed forever.” In the midst of her daily commute, powerful words came into her mind, bidding and forcing her to listen and later record a message which spoke of a flower as a “flow-er of energy” and urging her to be such a “flow-er,” to grow and flourish. Though the experience caused her heart to pound, it was positive. Soon afterward she saw a flowering tree and began to see herself as one of its unopened buds. From that day onward, she had a flood of messages of a similar sort, sometimes in the form of dreams, and including words from people who had passed away. Each time, she would do her best to record the communications in a journal and share them on an online site. Nearly two years after the first incident, her message bearers, who called themselves The Muses Within, began encouraging her to write a book. Though she was not sure she was capable of such an undertaking, the idea gradually bore fruit. 

Sanderson’s book, like her consciousness, gradually expanded in scope to take in these new concepts, which include fascinating bits of practical, sometimes scientific, information. She cogently describes the linkages she was receiving between mythological concepts and factual reality, such as the science surrounding higher forms of energy. Some of the wisdom shared with her from her muses touches on psychological constructs that appealed to her professional training. For example, instead of worrying that we have “too much on our plates,” we should instead rejoice that we have a large range of options. Meeting with Native American mystics introduced Sanderson to the concept of the White Buffalo, a symbol of pure earthly energy. 

Sanderson’s memoir is engaging and accessible. Given that her career in psychology often required suppression of personal feelings and a rational approach to the problems of others, her gradual opening to a wide range of emotive themes is touching and credible. The central perception drawing together all of her extraordinary experiences is her own personal wonderment and, at times, puzzlement. Why was she chosen to convey these deeply meaningful communications, as she was merely a “common, everyday person who had stepped onto a path into the unknown”? She frankly reveals her myriad feelings and invites the reader to walk along that path with her. She recounts her steps to acceptance of the truths that are being given to her. She consults with like-minded persons and groups that might give further enlightenment, exploring meditation and other energy-generating practices that she can recommend to her readers. Her exploration into the revelations that have been fed to her from mystical sources forms a guidebook for anyone who may have found or is seeking an internal door opening to etheric realms. 

Book review by Barbara Bamberger Scott, US Review of Books

An Interview with Candice Sanderson by Allyn Evans, Monroe Institute
Like many who attend programs at The Monroe Institute (TMI), Candice “Candie” Sanderson, author of The Reluctant Messenger: Tales from Beyond Belief, discovered it is personal experience that transforms us. After that, we are no longer defined by other people’s stories. Click here to read the entire interview.

"The Reluctant Messenger by Psychologist Candice M. Sanderson is a Marvelous Example of Channeled, Transcendent Literature at its Best."
Review by: KEN KORCZAK

"The Zen tradition has a saying that goes something like this: “You cannot go to enlightenment; enlightenment must come to you.”

That might be a good adage to describe the experience of CANDICE M. SANDERSON, a pragmatic, hard-working, by-the-book psychologist who was minding her own business one day when transcendence suddenly came knocking, unbidden and out of the blue. No one could have been more shocked than her.

After all, a psychologist might tell you that hearing voices is an indication of mental illness. So here we have a psychologist who found herself questioning her own sanity … and yet, the communications she was receiving from “Out There” didn’t have the characteristics of delusion or perhaps some sort of cognitive deterioration of a woman now edging into her sixties. Just the opposite. The messages she was getting were soft, coherent and elegant, almost lyrical. The information was exotic, but certainly not “crazy.”

Despite agonizing self doubt and an understandable bout of denial, Sanderson relented and decided to let the voices in — and all of us are far better off because she did.

Readers of THE RELUCTANT MESSENGER will travel along with Sanderson on a remarkable journey that unfolds like the proverbial lotus flower. These first downloads of information are interesting enough, but perhaps not so unlike much of New Age pronouncements already out there. (There’s no shortage of books today based on channeled information, not to mention perhaps thousands of YouTube videos. In fact, this is a phenomenon literally centuries old).

But as Sanderson grows into her practice and becomes ever more accepting of the remarkable experiences, she learns to tune in her “frequency” with greater skill. What she brings out thereafter just gets more amazing page after page.

I’ve read dozens if not hundreds of books written by channelers. For me, what makes Candice Sanderson’s book different is twofold. 

First, she’s simply an excellent writer. Her prose flows effortlessly. She crafts easy sentences that are lean, concise, punchy and on target.  Words stream into sentences, sentences meld into paragraphs making for pages that glide down a path of least resistance. Better yet, despite the lofty nature of her subject matter, Sanderson never comes off as pretentious nor devolves into smarmy sentimentality. The result imparts a grounded sense of authenticity despite the mind-blowing information offered.

In fact, I found a certain ironic humor in how so many of the major revelations coming at Sanderson are triggered by the act of getting into her car, snapping on her seatbelt and getting ready for her commute to work! Driving to work is usually a grim routine of low-grade stress for most people, but for this author, it sets the stage for visionary inspiration!

The other aspect that separates THE RELUCTANT MESSENGER from other channeled works is the array of sources and kinds of entities Sanderson communicates taps into. Readers will be regaled with wisdom from:

• Disincarnate entities
• Angelic beings
• Extraterrestrials
• Deceased people
• Native American demiurges
• Ascended Masters
• Christian divinities
• Buddhist mystical figures
• Cosmological physics perspectives

… and more. Don’t worry, I’m not giving too much away because, believe me, you’re going to want to hear what all of the above have to say. All of these powerful sources aren’t trotting across the stage of Sanderson’s mind merely to spew vague philosophies — they’re throwing down some real cosmogonic red meat you’ll all be chewing on for a long time to come.

At the risk of overstating things, I have to confess that a certain name kept pinging through my mind as I was reading through this document (Ávila)— that of Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), the visionary 14th Century Spanish saint, not so much to make a one-to-one comparison with Ms. Sanderson, but because so many of the themes of both are similar. Saint Teresa said: “It is love alone that gives worth to all things.” She also said that everything we experience in this physical world is “vanity” and but a shadow of the greater reality of “the divine.”

But — whether a legendary saint or any of today’s popular working channelers — I’m betting Candice Sanderson would say that every one of us has the same potential to open to our own latent inner numinous because, after all, as her sources reminded her many times: “We’re all One.”

Ken Korczak is a top reviewer for Amazon. He is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of Bird Brain Genius.

“I am fascinated with the detailed messages that you have received from your celestial team of advisors. This is a captivating account of expanding awareness including gems of spiritual wisdom, messages from her celestial mentors and in her words…'uncanny shards of knowledge’.” ~ William Buhlman, author of Adventures Beyond the Body,  Amazon #1 Best Seller

“This extraordinary book, filled with wisdom, is the result of a revolution that took place in author Candice Sanderson’s life. She was an ordinary person who, by being open and accepting, allowed messages from another realm to come through to her. She courageously faced her own doubt, fear, and judgment as she was shown truths about creation, time, and other profound topics. This is a book for people who seek answers to the nature of our existence. This is a book that needs to be savored, not just read.” ~ Roberta Moore, Producer of Spiritual Films

"Candice Sanderson takes us on a journey that in times past was reserved only for initiates laboring in the secret confines of mystery schools. But this book demonstrates that what was once available only to a select few, is now happening spontaneously to ordinary (and sometimes reluctant) people. It is a harbinger of things to come. If you want an advance glimpse into the next stage of human evolution, read this book!" ~ Paul Rademacher, former Executive Director of The Monroe Institute and author of A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

“Candice Sanderson opens a doorway for us all to a profound spiritual dimension where verifiable information and answers abound. Follow Candice’s steps beyond the threshold of the rational mind to receive powerful messages that eagerly await you!” ~ Medical Intuitive John Kortum, author of The Kortum Technique

"In the spirit of Carl Jung's Red Book and Philip K. Dick's Exegesis, Candice Sanderson recounts her inner experiences and thoughts in an easy-going narrative that gradually moves readers beyond physical reality. The Reluctant Messenger outlines the progression of her spiritual development, from an initial apprehension of the unknown to the cultivation of an openness that leads her to becoming a "messenger" heralding the raising of human consciousness. Her book also introduces and explains concepts such as the nature of vibration and energy and how time is perceived. Her most touching description though is being shown how to acknowledge the spiritual life within a plant before cutting one of its flowers. The Reluctant Messenger is an interesting read and one with the ability to teach its readers new things about the world in which we live." ~ Mark Hunter Brooks, author of Christianity from a Different Perspective

"An unlikely messenger stumbles across a vast expanse of enlightenment when a singular message of insight and intrigue drops into her mind, literally out of the blue, on the way to her day job as a psychologist. Her traditional training in conventional psycho-analytics did not prepare her for the turn of events that would suddenly alter her life and understanding of all-that-is, forever. She hadn’t asked for it, didn’t seek it and certainly wasn’t expecting it, but she was compelled to explore the ever-stranger turn of psychic events that were happening to her seemingly of their own volition. Intrigued by a voice she knew was not hers, delivering a message of wisdom she knew she could not have made up, Candice Sanderson made a decision to pick up the thread and follow it. Little did she know that following that thread would lead her into immense regions of universal consciousness imparting wisdom – wisdom that would not only impact her but also transform those around her – and reveal astounding knowledge. With an easy narrative that is right away invitational and informative, Sanderson, with the help of her Guides, parts the veil of existential mysteries and reveals them as practical, down-to-earth truths. Reading The Reluctant Messenger sheds light on the mystery and weirdness of why we exist in the first place. This book is instantly approachable and ultimately satisfying as an exposé of what it means to be human on this planet at this time, in this age." ~ Laurin Bellg, M.D., author of Near Death in the ICU, Amazon #1 Best Seller

"The Reluctant Messenger is a gift from a spiritual dimension. You will not find this unique perspective elsewhere. As I process passages from each chapter, I notice that references are beginning to weave into my life, and I can really feel my creativity igniting, visually like a quiet steady sparkler from July 4th. Reading this book could be the bridge to your expanded consciousness!” ~ Gayle Santone, Tampa, FL

“Incredible! Candie Sanderson's book, The Reluctant Messenger, is a fascinating exploration into spiritual realms.” ~ Maria Ashmore, Psychologist

“Be prepared for a complete and radical change in the way you view reality.” ~ Allyn Evans, author of Live a Powerful Life, Guest Trainer at The Monroe Institute, Founder of Energy Medicine Squared

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite
Rating: 5 Stars
"Understanding human consciousness more deeply is a common quest, yet it is not uncommon for books to present the topic in terms too complex for readers to grasp. This book is different as the topic is explained in clear and comprehensible terms. Author Candice M. Sanderson shares her spiritual awakening journey in the uplifting book, The Reluctant Messenger - Tales from Beyond Belief: An ordinary person’s extraordinary journey into the unknown. Working as a school psychologist, the author shares how her seemingly ordinary life transforms into one of amazing synchronicities and life lessons. 

The messages that she receives from The Muses Within are both universal and personal; she learns to see the significance of many events within her own life. A thorough explanation of energy and vibration, as well as messages pertaining to Candice’s family, are shared. From interacting with angels at her husband’s death to information about her little granddaughters, these personal experiences add to the genuineness of her story.

The authentic voice within this book is its greatest quality. Candice writes in an easy to read flowing style, often starting her writing with a cup of coffee in hand or pulling out her cellphone to record a new message from The Muses. Although the imparted information is vitally important, the reader learns it is also accessible to all people. And, it may be imparted in unexpected ways. The Reluctant Messenger by Candice M. Sanderson provides exceptional insights into the oneness of all. It truly is a gem and will benefit all spiritual seekers."

Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite
Rating: 5 Stars
"The Reluctant Messenger by Candice M. Sanderson, treated as a trustworthy contributor to the massive influx of spiritual guidance offered by transcendent sources, is most noteworthy for both its precision and its incisiveness, as well as its inclusiveness. Most seasoned spiritual seekers in this time of rapid “download” and energetic transformation are at least tangentially familiar with the basic topics Ms. Sanderson addresses. That this author is the active recipient of much non-verbal knowledge and somewhat esoteric information (at first, a rather unwilling participant, to say the least,) speaks to the extremely difficult task she then assumes of presenting a great deal of complex information clearly to the public while also making it highly accessible to the lay reader. She fulfills her task perfectly.

Reminiscent of the massive coverage given to these subjects by Dolores Cannon, The Reluctant Messenger mirrors some of the same information whereby Candice M. Sanderson derives and lends further credibility, such as: the effect of energy frequency and vibration on personal transformation, the nature of consciousness in all living and material forms, the relevance of angels and other higher beings in a perceptible global transformation, the prophetic qualities of ancestral wisdom traditions and teachings, not to mention the purely personal transformative guidance consequent to ego-surrender, compassion, and sincere prayer. Told with down-to-earth clarity and candid revelation, even when Ms. Sanderson expects a reception of ridicule (e.g. for those fairies and elementals referenced by her transcendent tutors,) her book makes a great primer for anyone wanting to explore deeper issues of spiritual guidance and transformation."

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
Rating: 5 Stars
"The Reluctant Messenger: Tales from Beyond Belief: An Ordinary Person’s Extraordinary Journey Into The Unknown by Candice M. Sanderson is a fascinating book about the epic, life-changing journey of the author while being a conduit for spiritual messages. This book reveals the story of incredible tales from beyond belief that invite us to consider that we are actually more spiritual than physical. Apart from unfolding her own personal journey, the book shares the messages received by Candice, copied straight from her journals and transcribed from her recordings. The cosmic patterns, communicating with spirits, and the awareness that true life is timeless and formless will make you wonder about what exists beyond this universe.

The book is a must-read for readers who are curious to learn more about spirituality, awakening, and enlightenment. The author’s perception about human consciousness and spiritual understanding are both profound and insightful and will give readers a different spiritual journey. The author’s experiences are proof of the indelible link that exists between the two worlds. The book gives hope to readers about how dreams can open doors to these magical realms filled with boundless ideas which will help to bring positive change for all humanity, and sometimes the valuable lessons that can be learned through these dreams can be enriching.

I found the book enlightening and I thought it makes a good read for all those who are planning to embark on a spiritual journey. The author’s words and experiences will make readers reflect, contemplate, and introspect as they seek for answers to their questions and ponder about the spiritual dimensions that exist."


The Reluctant Messenger: Tales from Beyond Belief is now available on Amazon. Click here to PURCHASE NOW.
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"The Reluctant Messenger is a poignant and brave recounting of Candice Sanderson's unexpected intuitive awakening. As these extraordinary senses begin to emerge in ordinary people, a book like this becomes an invaluable guide and source of confirmation to everyday people.” 

Rev. Renee Bledsoe, Humanity: The New Messiah (coming 2019)