Posts tagged “Great Love Stories

The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop

Posted on February 27, 2013

It’s a pleasure to be a part of The Next Big Thing — Blog Hop. The Blog Hop is a virtual blog version of a chain letter. Every week, an author answers ten questions and then gets five of his/her author friends to answer the same ten questions a week later. Thanks, Kate O’Reilly, author of It’s Nothing Personal, for including me in her blog hop last week. And today it’s my turn to answer those questions while passing it on to the next round of authors looking to participate.  So, ahem… if you happen to know any authors looking to participate, please let me know ASAP…

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook, Love Story, Love, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction, Tear jerker, Heart wrenching

1.  What is the working title of your book?

Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love

2.  Where did the idea come from for the book?

Nine years ago, while snorkeling on my honeymoon with my bride in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, I looked down and spotted a lone sand dollar sitting on the ocean floor. Ignoring the boat captain’s exhortation not to touch anything in the sea, I dove down to pick it up, whereupon it exploded in my hand, disappearing in the water around me. Shortly after returning home, my relationship with wife came to an end. And she disappeared from my life, seemingly forever.

For me, the sand dollar has come to represent how fragile life really is, for the blessings we have in our lives today are easily shattered tomorrow. I wanted the world to look at sand dollars differently, the way I do, though my eyes. And I thought the visual of a sand dollar exploding on the silver screen would make for an awesome opening scene in a movie. So I first wrote the story in the form of a movie treatment, and when I was done, I figured, why not novelize it into a book?

3.  What genre does your book come under?

Such a simple question… I’d love to say that the official genre is a love story, but no such BISAC genre exists. So I’ve classified Sand Dollar as a romantic fantasy.

HOWEVER, that description doesn’t quite do Sand Dollar justice for several reasons. First of all, the fantasy aspect in Sand Dollar doesn’t come into play until the end of the story, albeit along with a complexion-altering twist. In addition, there are strong elements of tragedy and contemporary romance. So in conclusion, perhaps the genre should be changed to contemporary romance tragedy fantasy or contemporary tragedy fantasy romance – something like that…

But before we complicate things too much, consider this: Is it at all possible that I’ve somehow invented an entirely new genre? One that heretofore has never existed in the annals of publishing? A genre that might have you screaming “What the heck” before you toss the book across the room, stomp on it a few times, and then pick it up to continue reading where you left off? A genre that I affectionately refer to as the W.T.H. genre? Nah… On second thought, let’s just label Sand Dollar as a romantic fantasy and call it a day. 🙂

4.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’m so glad you asked! Definitely Morgan Freeman as Josh. I wrote the part specifically with Morgan in mind. I’d like to see Emma Stone — a vivacious, young redhead — play the role of Robin, and perhaps Channing Tatum as Noah. Although, who wouldn’t want to see Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams reunited once again on the big screen? I certainly would!

5.  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A man on his deathbed describes his life of love and loss to a wise orderly, only to discover a far greater truth about the past, present, and future.

6.  Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love is self-published. The paperback book is $9.99, and it’s available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The eBook is only 99 cents, available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Sony Reader, and others. Click here to see the full list of retailers selling Sand Dollar.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took about five months to write. When I finished it, I thought it was the next best thing since Romeo and Juliet. However, I didn’t know it at the time, but my first draft sucked. Not until I had rewritten it time and time again for a period of 2 years was it any good. And now I think it’s great, ha. But don’t take my word for it — check out the reviews.

8.  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

First, let me say that Sand Dollar is both a heart-wrenching and heart-warming love story about “the one who got away”. It’s not your typical fairytale romance, though. It’s more like this roller coaster ride that we call life, where things rarely go according to plan, and the ones we love the most are usually the ones who can hurt us the most.

That being said, the story is best compared to The Notebook, but with a Sixth Sense twist. For various reasons, it could also be compared to Water For Elephants, The English Patient, and Evening. However, Sand Dollar is uniquely different. You’ve got to read it to see why.

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

After watching The Notebook about eight years ago in the movie theater, I thought to myself, I could do that. I could write a story like that. In fact, I think most of us probably could. That’s because we’ve all loved and lost at some point in time in our lives. And for far too many of us, and for whatever circumstances, the one we loved was “the one who got away”. I’ve had one, and chances are you’ve had one too. Sand Dollar tells of such a love – a love gained, a love lost, and through it all, a love that just won’t die.

10.  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Sand Dollar was a finalist in the ForeWord Firsts literary competition for first-time authors. Also, Sand Dollar has a rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5 stars) on Amazon with over 70 reviews. Several people have stated in their reviews that Sand Dollar was the best love story they have ever read, with many of them comparing me to Nicholas Sparks. However, more than any number or ranking, people have stated that my writing has touched their lives profoundly, which, to me, is the single most gratifying thing I have ever done in my life.

Thanks for checking out my answers to The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop. Have a great day!

Sebastian 🙂

Sand Dollar eBook Only 1¢ at eBookPie

Posted on February 19, 2013

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook, Love Story, Love, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction, Tear jerker, Heart wrenching

For a limited time only, eBookPie is selling
Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love

for only 1¢


Also, eBookMall is currently giving the eBook away for free!

Happy reading from Sebastian Cole!

Free Sand Dollar eBook at eBookMall

Posted on February 18, 2013

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook, Love Story, Love, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction, Tear jerker, Heart wrenching

For a limited time only, eBookMall is giving away
Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love

for free!



Happy reading from Sebastian Cole!

Nancy Narna’s Review of SAND DOLLAR at Amazon

Posted on January 12, 2013

★★★★★  Romance, Remembrances and Revelations

“Sebastian Cole certainly has poured his heart and soul into this, his first title. We are introduced to hard-working but lonely, Noah Hartman, who has everything he could ever desire and then some–with the exception of a soulmate. He’s sure she’s out there somewhere and, in desperation, even resorts to online dating sites to find the girl of his dreams. After he suffers several disappointments, and has all but given up his quest, he accepts his brother’s invitation for a guy’s night out. Little did Noah know that this night would change his life forever, for up on the crowded dance floor was a flame-haired, spirited beauty named Robin. He knew at first glance that she was “The One” and as soon as she danced with him, she felt the connection as well.

She took his breath away and captured his heart and gave each other “Butterflies”. Robin shows how alive and wonderful life can be, much to the dismay of his parents who were hoping he would get his mind back on the business at Hartman Industries, forget this Robin foolishness and meet and settle down with a nice Jewish girl. However, this wasn’t to be, as Noah and Robin marry and settle in Noah’s house with Robin’s Daughter, Brittany, of whom Noah has become very fond. All seems dream-like and grand, until, without any rhyme, reason, or warning, Robin leaves him. Melancholy and heartsick, Noah tries to understand why she has left him. What has he done wrong? Many twists, turns, an unfortunate choice of action and ultimately a diagnosis keep them apart physically, but not within Noah’s heart. Will they be apart forever? Will Robin remember she loves him? What part does the Sand Dollar play in all of their drama? You’ll be agitated, in need of tissues, warmed by the presence and love of Josh, irritated, and ready to shake some sense into both Noah and Robin, as well as feel disgust at the cold, detached demeanor of Noah’s Parents. Author Cole has created characters that stir your mind and pluck your heartstrings, as you feel you have known them forever. Bravo to Mr. Cole on such an outstanding first work. I’m hoping we’ll hear a lot more in the near future. If someone doesn’t grab this tale to be made into a movie, they’re foolish–and, if you don’t add this to your TBR list, well…all I can say is you’ve really missed the boat!” — Nancy Narna

This story will keep you guessing…

Posted on December 29, 2012


“SAND DOLLAR is a wonderfully written story that managed to evoke a range of emotions as I read it. When reading I like to get emotionally connected through a story’s characters and events. By giving me the ability to make those connections, This book provided the escape I anticipate and expect from a really good book.

Sebastian Cole does a remarkably skillful job of developing the main characters of Noah and Robin. They are multidimensional, which I deem an essential component to any great story. The characters in general, are believable as the author reveals idiosyncrasies and flaws that are reasonable and realistic. I also think he captures the essence of what most readers would characterize as the idealized male-female “love” relationship. Something every great romance novel must have.

The messages that are intertwined throughout the book are both meaningful and important. Living a “true” life, feeling life as we experience it, facing and overcoming hardships (both in and out of our control…as well as others) are all personal issues readers know about intimately and deal with and contemplate continually, and this allows the reader to really connect to this work. I liked the writing technique the author incorporated which floats the story in and out of the past. Some authors have difficulty using it without disrupting the story’s flow. Mr. Cole’s writing style made those parts easy to follow. By using that approach in his writing, he added interest and forced me to consciously make connections and think ahead as I read. I also found the story itself to be fluid with a healthy dose of believable twists and just the right amount of fantasy to keep me engaged.

Although this book is labeled as a “romantic fantasy,” I am sure many readers will be able to make personal connections to the storyline. I’ll close by saying I originally looked into purchasing this book because I was made aware of a local connection and had no idea of the premise of the story. Now that I have read it I can say I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the writing and some of the “enlightening” information I gained by reading it. Pick up SAND DOLLAR. It’s a book that I had a hard time putting down. It is sure to hold your attention and keep you guessing as you read. Be sure to keep the Kleenex handy… and get ready for some big surprises.” — Lisa Ann